Serial

Serial Productions

Serial is a podcast from Serial Productions, a New York Times company, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episodes are released on Thursday mornings.

Our Editor's Take

One of the first true crime serial killer podcasts to really knock it out of the park and push the medium to the mainstream, Sarah Koenig’s Serial is a pillar of the podcast world. Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that won a Peabody Award in 2015 for its innovative long-form storytelling, and at one time, held the world record for the most downloaded podcast series ever.

Serial follows a single event for an entire season, recounting the storyline episode by episode. Season One takes you to the scene of Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, in 1999, where Hae Min Lee, an eighteen year old student, mysteriously disappears and is later found murdered. Koenig visits a suspect in jail, and famously recounts that "a bird in jail is worth two on the street".

Through interviews with suspects, Hae Min Lee’s family and friends, and even cell phone records, Koenig weaves her way through the teenager’s murder, new trials, and the case ultimately brought against her classmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The Serial podcast is titillating but never sensationalized, as Koenig knows how to tell a tremendous story while also uncovering clues and misdemeanors that even the police hadn’t uncovered in a decade of investigating the case. When rediscovering the case against Adnan Syed with Sarah Koenig, a community faced with snowballing new facts begins to realize that everything has changed.

In its second season, Serial takes you inside the world of US Army soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was charged by the United States government with desertion after having been held hostage by the Taliban for five years. In the third season, Koenig dives into law and order processes alongside cases at the Cleveland Justice Center.

Koenig is truly a master of her craft. She takes the listener on a journey with her true crime, serial killer mysteries, the Justice Center, and US military documentary-style podcasts. Serial is a champion of the podcasting world, a beacon for which many other trending podcasts look to for storytelling clarity and production expertise.

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