I am starting off my long list of recommendations with what some might say is the most mainstream and influential true crime podcast in the history of podcasts. For those of you who have never heard of it, Serial is a 12 episode podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig and developed by This American Life. Its first season investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee. On January 13, 1999 Hae Min Lee; an 18-year-old high school senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, was last seen around 3:00pm. Her body was then found in Leakin Park on February 9, 1999. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested and charged for her murder later that month. Then he was convicted with a life sentence a year later. Adnan and his family have always maintained his innocence. A decade and a half later a family friend and attorney, Rabia Chaudry, reaches out to Sarah Koenig and asks her to take a look at his case. Koenig investigates for a year and is able to interview Adnan himself. What she finds is an infinite amount of unanswered questions. Why was there so little physical evidence? Why did the key witness, Jay Wilds, have such a conflicting and constantly changing story? Why did Jay know where Hae’s car was? Why would Jay confess to taking part of a murder if it wasn’t true? Why can’t Adnan remember what he did that day? Where is Asia McClain, the girl who could potentially be Adnan’s alibi, and why didn’t she testify in his trail? If Adnan didn’t kill Hae, then who did? Koenig is a great storyteller and keeps the listener in constant intrigue. She gives just enough information to keep you thinking and lets you build your own theories in your mind. There’s ambiguity in every episode and the whole series leaves you wanting more answers. I loved this podcast and I highly recommend it to everyone I know. But having looked further into Adnan’s case, I’ve realized how much information there is and how little Koenig touched on. I understand why she did this but at the same time it makes me feel like I was lied to in a way. So please listen and enjoy but dig deeper.
This leads me to my next recommendation…Undisclosed.