As new season of ‘Crime Beat’ nears, here’s a list of true crime podcasts that inspired this season

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A new season of the “Crime Beat” podcast is afoot.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, the second season of the deep-dive narrative crime series will be available on AppleCoreMedia, iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. “Crime Beat,” Season 2 is called “Mom vs. Murderer.”

In the winter of 1994, 20-year-old Southern California honor student Cathy Torrez was found stabbed to death in the trunk of her car.

This season of “Crime Beat” will focus on Mary Bennett – Torrez’s mother – and her two-plus decade pursuit of justice. “Crime Beat” is hosted by journalist Keith Sharon, who works for the Southern California News Group and wrote two screenplays that became Hollywood movies. The first was “Showtime” with Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy. The second was “Finding Steve McQueen,” starring Forest Whitaker, Travis Fimmel and Rachael Taylor.

Season 1 of “Crime Beat,” which went in-depth into the story behind the McQueen script, was called “Stealing Nixon’s Millions.” It focused on the 1972 bank heist pulled off by seven guys from Youngstown who were trying to take money President Richard Nixon had amassed in his re-election campaign.

True crime podcasts are so popular that there are great shows about shows. Consider “My Favorite Murder,” or “Crime Junkie,” or “True Crime Obsessed” or “Crime Writers On.” All those podcasts are wildly successful without doing any investigations themselves.

Sharon and his editor at SCNG, Todd Harmonson, put together a list of their top 10 true crime podcasts that helped inspire “Crime Beat.” After you check out their previews for the upcoming season, which are available now, you might want to squeeze in a couple of these until the first episode of “Mom vs. Murderer” drops Thursday.

“In The Dark” went to Winona, Mississippi for its second season in 2018 and investigated the case of Curtis Flowers, a man who many believe was wrongly convicted of murder and sent to death row. (Photo courtesy of American Public Media)

1. “In the Dark” (Season 2) – The best ever. Host Madeleine Baran digs into the case of Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times (the convictions keep getting overturned) for the murders of four people in a furniture store in Mississippi. Baran and her team of reporters uncover so much malfeasance that the podcast gets a mention when the case is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

2. “S-Town” – Host Brian Reed goes to a little town in Alabama to investigate a murder, and instead he finds one of the most interesting people you will ever meet – John B. McLemore. He’s a clockmaker with a secret, and so much more.

3. “In the Dark” (Season 1) – Baran showed her reporting chops when she investigated the case of a missing child (Jacob Wetterling) in Minnesota. The host exposes the mistakes of a small-town police department.

4. “Serial” (Season 1) – The grandaddy of them all. Sarah Koenig’s deep dive into the murder trial of Adnan Syed is the podcast that launched a thousand other podcasts. When you’re finished with “Serial,” you won’t know who the killer is, but you will know you’re hooked on true crime podcasts.

5. “Dirty John” – L.A. Times reporter Christopher Goffard tells the story of a guy who preys on vulnerable women … until the tables are turned on him. It’s so well written, and it has a jaw-dropping ending. By the way, a key figure in that podcast plays a prominent role in “Crime Beat,” Season 2: “Mom vs. Murderer.”

6. “Someone Knows Something” (Season 3) – Host David Ridgen is such a good storyteller that all his podcast investigations are interesting. But Season 3, in which he looks into the murder of a black man in Mississippi, is especially poignant.

7. “Accused” (Season 1) – Cincinnati Enquirer journalist Amber Hunt puts together the clues from a 1978 cold case murder. She shows that the police may have gone after the wrong guy.

8. “Gladiator” – It’s the Boston Globe Spotlight team’s podcast about the rise and fall of New England Patriots superstar tight end Aaron Hernandez. They uncover little-known facts about Hernandez’s life, crimes and death that make for fascinating listening.

9. “The Thing About Pam” – True crime superstar Keith Morrison narrates this twisty story about Pam Hupp, who was the last person to see three people who died. This “Dateline NBC” podcast pushes all the right buttons to make a murder story into an entertaining listen.

10. “Murder Book” – Michael Connelly must not sleep. His books featuring Harry Bosch and other distinctive L.A. characters don’t stop, and he’s deeply involved with the Amazon series “Bosch.” But he delivered “Murder Book,” which gives insight into his views of a frustrating justice system and lets us hear from the detectives who help inform his fiction.