Serial, the This American Life spinoff podcast that took the internet by storm with its true-crime debut in 2014, is already onto its next subject: The case of U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl. The story of Serial Season 1 isn’t yet finished, though. Adnan Syed — convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee while they were both Baltimore-area teenagers in 1999 — is still fighting to overturn his conviction, and he’s made progress in no small part because of the research conducted by Serial host Sarah Koenig and her team.
Syed is appearing in court this week for a hearing in which he will continue to petition for a new trial. Among the witnesses testifying on his behalf is Asia McClain, who faithful Serial listeners know as a high school friend of Syed’s who wrote letters claiming she could account for part of his time on the afternoon of Lee’s disappearance. She was, infamously, never asked to testify by prosecutors. Now, she’s taking the stand, and Koenig is there in the courtroom to report on the hearing.
“This week I’m going to do something I haven’t done before, which is duck back into Adnan Syed’s case for a few days, to report on a court proceeding that’s happening in Baltimore,” Koenig wrote in a message to listeners.
The first of these brief special episodes arrived this morning; the second is promised later today, and a third will arrive Friday. It’s mostly Koenig, in Baltimore, calling in to her producer Dana Chivvis to report on the court proceedings and attempt to analyze the strategies of both defense and prosecution. Koenig did not reach a conclusion at the end of Serial Season 1, so this hearing’s promise of even a glimmer of definitive answers is positively addictive for those of us who got swept up in the podcast in the first place.