What were you doing on a particular day 16 years ago?
This is the question at the heart of the Serial Podcast, an award-winning series which reports on the murder investigation of Hae Min Lee, an 18 year old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore. She was abducted and killed on 13 January 1999. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of her murder and given a life sentence. He’s still in prison, despite protesting his innocence throughout.
Serial, a podcast by journalist Sarah Koenig looks into the evidence and tells the story of the case over a number of episodes. The podcast has been downloaded over 68 million times and has spawned a number of follow-on podcasts and websites. All 12 episodes are still available and still rank highly on podcast charts.
If you’ve not heard Serial yet, follow the links on the ‘This American Life’ website for Serial.
The evidence against Adnan is shaky to say the least, the chief prosecutor, the investigating police, the defense attourney have all seemingly failed Adnan, whose case is now making its way back through the courts to be re-heard.
This American Life (the publishers of Serial) are planning a new series, looking at a different case, due to be published this autumn. (Rhumour has it that they will investigate the Bowe Bergdahl case – did he desert or was he captured by Taliban forces?).
Undisclosed Podcast – the legal details behind the case
If you’ve enjoyed listening to Serial, then get listening to Undisclosed.
Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller and Susan Simpson (all trained lawyers) delve into the evidence of Hae and Adnan’s case. It’s gripping stuff, picking apart the cell tower ping evidence and investigating who the anonymous tip-offs were from. Their delicate handling of the forensic evidence leaves the listener in no doubt that the police’s version of events is pure fiction.
Sometimes it is hard to follow what is going on, as it can get quite detailed, but the beauty of podcasts is that you can rewind and listen again.
This podcast is still running, with new releases every Monday http://undisclosed-podcast.com/
The Serial Dynasty – Truth and Justice Podcast
There are many many Serial spin off podcasts out there, but Bob Ruff of The Serial Dynasty set out to give Serial ‘fans’ (I use that term loosely for obvious reasons) a forum to debate the case and discuss their theories of what really happened to Hae. The podcast is mainly listener-driven, with Bob reading out emails from listeners and conducting phone ins.
Bob also scores some real hits with his interviews of witnesses and the authors of the Undisclosed podcast, but the real drama comes in Episode 19 when Don’s alibi is tested (Don was Hae’s current boyfriend at the time she went missing). So hang on in there as it is well worth the wait.
The Serial Dynasty has been re-named the Truth and Justice Podcast as Bob intends to look into other cases where possible miscarriages of justice have taken place.
Subscribe to the Truth and Justice Podcast via their website http://www.serialdynasty.com
I’ve found time to listen to podcasts when driving or jogging, and it really does make the time go faster. As well as ‘entertainment’ this case is truly gripping.
It’s astounding that Adnan was convicted of this crime, and justice for Hae has yet to be served. With Undisclosed and the Truth and Justice Podcasts on the case it really is a case of citizen journalism throwing the spotlight on the case. Surely justice will soon be done.