“Serial”: The Case of a High School Murder

Sarah Koenig’s podcast series, “Serial” investigates the murder of the teenage girl, Hae Min Lee that is thought to be committed by her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. Fifteen years after the 1999 murder, Koenig digs up the case to investigate Syed’s guilt. Throughout the first episode of the podcast, Koenig interviews Adnan and his family friends who believe he is not guilty while digging up old interviews from other people involved in the case (Koenig).

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“Serial”                                                   http://www.lsbu-multimedia-journalists.co.uk/cresswell/2016/11/02/serial-podcast-episode-1-the-alibi-summary/

A podcast is an audio file that is usually part of a series and is able to be downloaded and listened to (Dictionary.com). This specific podcast explores the investigation of a murder of a teenage girl (Koenig). After listening to the first episode, I feel that a podcast is a good way of illustrating the investigation. Throughout the podcast Koenig uses recordings of different voices which helps to bring the investigation to life. I was able to connect voices to different people who helped me better understand the different points of view on the murder. While Syed was talking to Sarah over the phone about his innocence, I could hear the frustration in his voice. This made me believe that Syed was telling the truth (Koenig). On the other hand, when Sarah plays the recording of Syed’s friend, Jay being interviewed by the police, I felt like I could believe that Jay is telling the truth when he says that Adnan told him that he was going to kill Hae Min that day (Koenig).

Koenig explores how hard it is to remember a certain day and everything that you did that day. She explains to the audience how this is what Adnan had to do. He had to remember January 13th, specifically what he did for thirty minutes after school that day.

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Adnan Syed (left) and Hae Min Lee (right) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11303390/Its-time-to-tell-it-like-it-is-the-Serial-podcast-was-rubbish.html

Can you remember what you had for breakfast yesterday? Let alone remember what you did for thirty minutes after school months ago? I would find this very hard to give specifics of my whereabouts if I was Adnan. Koenig also brings up how it is way more easy to remember a day when something big happened. A question came to my mind while I was thinking about this. Did Adnan actually remember every part of the day because it was the day he murdered his ex-girlfriend or does he actually not remember because it was just another normal day? Is he telling the truth or is he a pathological liar?

Over the past few years, “Serial” has become a very a popular podcast series with two seasons. This podcast goes into the intimate details of the tragic murder of a teenage girl.  For the family of Hae Min, this podcast brings up the memories of the fear they had when she went missing and was found murdered days later. If I was the family of Hae Min, I would find it very hard to have my loved one’s murder case reopened for the whole world to listen to. I would feel like her murder was being made into a reality show of some sort.

Overall, I found “Serial” to be a very interesting podcast series. I feel the audio tapes make it even more interesting, as I can hear the people’s voices but cannot see them. This allows me to create images of what I think the people or settings are like.






Koenig, Sarah. “Season One.” Serial. This American Life, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.

“Podcast.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.



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