Amidst a crowd of jersey-clad students heading towards a homecoming event, fans wearing “Murdersotan” shirts walked towards Northrop Auditorium. It was Thursday night, and it was time for the sold-out “My Favorite Murder" live show.
“My Favorite Murder" is a true crime podcast led by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, who, after meeting at a party, discovered that they shared the same macabre fascination with murder. True to its origins, the vibe of the podcast is less like traditional true-crime shows (think “48 Hours”) and more like a lively discussion of cold case conspiracies among friends.
Each episode of the podcast begins with Kilgariff and Hardstark discussing anything from the newest serial killer documentaries to the antics of Hardstark’s cats. After the open, they transition to talking about their “favorite murder” for the episode — a true crime story sometimes centered around a theme or, in the case of the live shows, a location.
The Thursday show naturally opened with the comedians regaling the crowd of "Murderinos", as fans of the show call themselves, with stories from their first visit to the Mall of America earlier that day.
When the time came to discuss their favorite Minnesotan murders, Kilgariff and Hardstark sat down at a round table on the Northrop stage, which changed the mood from comedy show to conversation between two murder-obsessed friends.
Hardstark introduced her favorite murder of the night, the Glensheen murders in Duluth, and the packed auditorium cheered. These were not amateur Minnesotan Murderinos.
The podcast hosts are open about the cursory research they do beforehand, but it’s clear that their audience isn't interested in the minutiae that they might find in other true crime coverage. The “My Favorite Murder” fans download every episode and come to the live shows for a frank, humorous conversation about the darker parts of this world. Kilgariff and Hardstark joke about the mistakes made by local law enforcement, the archetypes of every true crime case and the ridiculousness of serial killer logic.
While the comedic riffing made the night enjoyable, it’s clear that “My Favorite Murder” brings its fans together over an interest that is often hidden. True crime isn’t something people are encouraged to enjoy, but “My Favorite Murder” has built a community around that shared interest.
At the live show at Northrop, most fans showed up with their own true crime fan clubs, sometimes wearing matching “I’m a Karen” and “I’m a Georgia” t-shirts. They sipped red wine and took pictures in front of the stage with the “My Favorite Murder” logo projected on a screen in the background.
But some Murderinos also showed up alone — me, for instance. And, although I had worried that attending by myself might not be normal protocol for a live podcast show, I found myself sandwiched between two other solo Murderinos when the show started. The night felt like any other time I listened to the podcast on my own, but this time, I was surrounded by hundreds of other fans who had also memorized the hosts’ signature sign off: “Stay sexy. Don’t get murdered.”