I Finally Listened To The Serial Podcast

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The final episode had aired in December and there was lots of buzz about it amongst the blogs that I read. I’d been meaning to look it up ever since and last weekend I finally got round to it.

Let me just clarify that at this point I was under the mistaken impression that this was a fictional crime drama! I had avoided reading anything about it beforehand for fear of spoilers as I hate it when you find out the conclusion to a story halfway through.

I was therefore rather confused when I started listening to the first episode. It all sounded so… real!

After going back and rereading the Serialpodcast.org ‘About’ page, I realised my error.

For those of you who don’t know, Serial is a 10 part podcast that originally aired weekly from October through to December2014. It is read and produced by Sarah Koenig, an American journalist and radio personality who was contacted by the friends of Adnan Syed, a man currently serving life for the murder of his ex girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. They remain convinced that a botched defence case led to his wrongful imprisonment and, having seen an article that she’d written, asked her if she would be willing to look into it. Adnan was 17 at the time of the murder and has spent nearly half of his life in jail.

Each episode follows Sarah’s reinvestigation of the crime. She lays out the cases brought by the defence and prosecution, interviews key witnesses, friends and family of the involved parties and reviews the evidence, consulting with various experts. Hers is a quest to uncover the truth in a tangled web of doubt, conflicting testimonies and seemingly endless unanswered questions.

I thoroughly enjoyed (if it’s okay to use that word considering the subject matter) listening to the podcast and made it through all 10 episodes in a week. It hooked me in each time with its twists and turns and I couldn’t wait for the next installment.

It is heartbreaking to think that an innocent teenage boy may have been imprisoned and labelled for life as a murderer, forever to be judged by strangers. At the same time as further pieces of the puzzle are uncovered, you do at times start to wonder whether the whole investigation is a fools errand, something which Sarah also admits to feeling.

If anything, it will make you think. Do you know what you were doing at a
particular time 6 weeks ago for example? Could you account for your
whereabouts on a specific day 15 years ago?

Having stated above that I don’t like it when people give away spoilers, I will just say this – don’t expect things to be packaged in a neat little bow in a Hollywood style ‘last minute evidence saves the day’ episode 10 finale. Real life isn’t like that. But it’s still well worth listening to and I thoroughly recommend it.

I had never had the idea of listening to podcasts before Serial. I found it incredibly easy to find and download the episodes, there is a whole section dedicated to podcasts on Itunes, many of which are totally free and just a click away – who knew?!!

So whilst I am now back listening to my next Epic Read audiobook (The Luminaries in case you’re interested!), I’ll definitely be checking out some further podcasts in the future.

Let me know if you listened to Serial and if so what you thought!

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