On January 13, 1999 Hae Min Lee, an 18 year old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland disappeared. Weeks later her body was found in some woods a few miles from the school. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of murder, largely on the account of the testimony of Adnan’s friend Jay. 15 years later, Adnan still maintain’s his innocence. One of Adnan’s friends contacted investigative journalist Sarah Koenig with details about the case and Serial was born.
There are plenty of podcasts that I enjoy casually as they become available each week but Serial was a unique experience. I started the first episode on a Friday morning and finished the 12th and final episode that Sunday evening. I’ve binge watched shows on Netflix but this is the first time I’ve ever binge listened to anything. I was instantly hooked by the mysterious circumstances of the case and the professional but somewhat informal storytelling style of Sarah Koenig.
I’ve spent hours obsessing over this story. I’ve poured over the Serial subreddit. I’ve looked at the maps and and documents on the Serial website. I’ve had spirited discussions with friends who have listened to it and *SPOILER ALERT* I still have NO FREAKIN’ IDEA WHAT HAPPENED. I still want to believe that Adnan Syed is innocent but I find this to be an exhausting belief hang on to. I don’t trust the evidence surrounding Jay and the subsequent interview he did for The Intercept has only raised more questions about his involvement and his original testimony. I firmly believe that Stephanie knows that happened or may have been involved and her silence through the years only strengthens my belief.
You start Serial with the belief that all questions will be answered and *SPOILER ALERT* that just isn’t where this thing lands. While facts are uncovered throughout the investigation, the truth still eludes the investigators and the listeners. I still hope that at some point we do find out what really happened to Hae Min Lee on the afternoon of January 13, 1999 but even if this remains a mystery forever, Serial is still worth the journey.