Listening obsessively to Serial, a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, which examines one story per season over the course of several episodes.
The series came to life when Host and Executive Producer Sarah Koenig was asked to look into a murder case that took place in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1999. The body of Hae Min Lee, a senior in high school at the time, was found in a local park a month after she was reported missing and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in jail. After she started digging around, Koenig became fascinated by the information she was uncovering– the case is fraught with inconsistencies and it seems possible that Syed is innocent. But is he?
A new episode of the podcast is released every Thursday and examines different aspects of the case as Koenig tries to reach a conclusion. The reporting is wonderful, the storyline is perfectly paced and the case is so fascinating that it’s hard to wait a full seven days for the next episode to be released.
From the Serial website:
Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence – all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.
Here’s a New Yorker piece with some behind the scenes information about the production of the series.