Sarah Koenig's podcast Serial was behind all this, the twelve-episode real–time investigation of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a senior at a Baltimore high school. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed has been serving time ever since.
The podcast smashed all records, becoming the fastest to reach five million downloads in the history of iTunes. When people weren't listening to it, they were talking about it, or playing detective on online forums, or throwing weekly Serial parties. It was big.
After months of delay and foot-tapping, Serial Season 2 has unobtrusively gone live. And we're already hooked.
This time, Sarah Koenig is tackling the high-profile case of Bowe Berghdahl, the American soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan, was immediately captured by the Taliban, and imprisoned for five years. Having originally been welcomed home and hailed as a hero, Berghdahl is now facing a court martial, on trial for desertion.
In the first episode, we hear how Bergdahl suffered in solitary confinement. It flips your stomach. "How do I explain to a person that just standing in an empty dark room hurts? I would wake up not even remembering what I was. You know how you get that feeling when that word is on the tip of your tongue? That happened to me, only it was like, What am I?"
While Season 2 might not have the immediate whodunnit intrigue of the Syed case, it shares some of the themes: loyalty, suffering, pain, truth, regret, the unreliability of memory and the irrevocability of the past.
Why are you still reading this - go and listen now.
|What||Serial: Season 2 Podcast|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King George V (underground)|
10 Dec 15 – 10 Feb 16, Serial will be released every Thursday, times and dates vary
|Website||Click here to listen|