For those of us who have listened to the largely popular podcast, ‘Serial’, and flown through the first season at break-neck speed, the most exciting developments are still to come…
After airing in 2014, the podcast captured the attention of over 100 million listeners. The subject of its first season, and arguably its most intriguing, was centered around a Baltimore, MD murder case from 1999. Adnan Syed, a then senior at Woodlawn High School, was found guilty in the kidnapping and murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee back in 2000. He has been serving his life sentence ever since.
Throughout the first season of her podcast, journalist Sara Koenig tries her level best to get to the bottom of exactly what happened to Hae Min Lee. She conducts countless interviews with Adnan, pursues every rabbit hole she is led down and considers every possible scenario conceivable. As a listener, Koenig artfully shares with you her thought process every step of the way, and takes you through her journey in search of the truth. She has a way of bringing you in to the investigation; making you feel as though you’re right there next to her, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Lee’s body was eventually found lying in a shallow grave, just a few paces past the tree line in a nearby park. During his trial back in 2000, prosecutors relied on cell phone records which placed Syed at the burial site. However, Koenig’s investigation into the trial have led her – and her army of listeners – to believe that there is reasonable doubt in Syed’s guilt. The negligence of the defense to call on a key witness, plus evidence to suggest that cell phone technology was relatively new, and thus, unreliable at the time, provided reason enough for the Baltimore Circuit Court judge to order a new trial for Syed back in 2016.
Although that order was later appealed by the state, Thursday’s decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the 2016 decision for a retrial. After 18 years, Syed will be given a second chance to prove his innocence, and potentially free himself from the life sentence he now serves. There is no doubt that the increased popularity of this podcast played a significant role in this decision. And I look forward – as I’m sure most do – to watching this new trial unfold before our very eyes.