I really enjoyed listening to this podcast, the topic was interesting and the ‘story’ was told in a way that kept me invested in what was happening. I have always been interested in crime shows like Making a Murderer and the like, and I have even listened to other podcasts about crime so it’s no surprise that the topic of this podcast had me interested. However, the way the story is told and the pacing is just as important. Although it can be somewhat annoying sometimes, the fact that no real questions were answered throughout the duration of the podcast makes me want to listen to more. Furthermore, the question of “who is lying” that you’re left with at the end of the podcast incites thought as you question what you heard and try to look for answers. 

Serial Podcast Logo

I also think that the idea of presenting investigative journalism in this format, while not unique to Serial, is a good one. Although I love to read, when I imagine reading this podcast as a book or something I already start to feel bored. After all, most of this podcast was just the narrator listing the facts of the case. Sure there were interviews, but they weren’t exactly the most fascinating conversations known to man. In my opinion, the reason the podcast was interesting is because of the audio aspect of it. The added music, and the tone of the people talking, helped add atmosphere. Moreover, the fact that there was audio lets listeners connect with and feel empathy towards the people involved in the case. Although I hate to admit it, if I hadn’t heard

HBO have released a new trailer for their four part documentary about Adnan Syed (Photo: HBO)
Adnan Syed

how Adnan Syed spoke I probably wouldn’t have questioned his guilt as much. The underlying sadness in his voice made him seem more human than if he was just words on paper, and it made it easier to empathize with him. This is also why I would prefer to listen to podcasts like this instead of reading them as text. Although I don’t like audio books, something like this that is mostly fact based is much more interesting as a podcast for the same reasons I stated above. The only real problem I find with podcasts like this is that it is easy to miss information. With books it is pretty easy to find what you missed and read it again but with podcasts you have to use the scroll at the top, which makes it pretty easy to miss what you’re looking for.

Although I don’t really know enough about the victim’s family to make a proper guess about how they would feel, I know that if this had happened to one of the members of my family I would be pretty pissed off. Not only is someone digging up the past, they are also questioning the victim.

Hae Min Lee (Victim)

 Were they actually a bad person? Maybe that was why they were killed.

I know that the narrator of the podcast is trying to figure out if an innocent man was put into jail, but it is still disrespectful to the dead. Moreover, as shown by the ad at the beginning, the people running the podcast are making money from this. So not only are they digging up the past, but they are also making money off of the victim’s murder. So yes, I would be angry that these people are broadcasting what had happened to the world and benefiting from it.

I think that opening the podcast with a discussion on the fragility of memory was a good choice. It makes listeners question themselves as well as the memory of the people involved in the crime. It also helps people understand Adnan Syed’s reasoning for why he can’t remember what happened on the day the crime took place. I know that if you asked me what I did two days ago I would only be able to give vague answers at best, and asking me what I did six weeks ago is a lost cause. The issue of memory recall is prevalent throughout this podcast. Adnan can’t remember what he did the day of the murder but Jay seems to remember it quite clearly. Then there is Asia who can clearly remember talking to Adnan years ago.

What I am concerned about is not how much each person remembers, they each have their own reasonable justification about why they can or can’t remember what happened. I am concerned about what they remember. I took an Introduction to Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology class last semester and one of the things we talked about is memory recall. There are some people who are able to remember an event from years ago, but the problem is that details change over time. I won’t bore you with the reasons behind why, but if you’re interested click here. The important part is: while most people can remember large details, small details tend to change each time you recall the memory. So I am most concerned about the possibility that someone got a detail wrong, which might change the whole case.


HBO. “HBO Releases Trailer For ‘The Case Against Adnan Syed’ DocumentaryHBO”. CBS Baltimore. February 5, 2019. Retrieved from https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2019/02/05/hbo-releases-trailer-for-the-case-against-adnan-syed/

HBO. “The Case Against Adnan Syed”. Crave. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.crave.ca/hbo#/series/44673

Hellberg, Christer. “Serial podcast: The solution to the Hae Min Lee murder case”. WordPress. January 9, 2016. Retrieved from https://sharedtracks.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/serial-podcast-the-solution-to-the-hae-min-lee-murder-case/

Hendicott, James. ” Serial’s Sarah Koenig on her podcast’s message: ‘don’t judge before you try to understand’”. NME. January 11, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.nme.com/news/serial-s-sarah-koenig-on-her-podcast-s-message-don-867854

Koenig, Sarah. “SEASON ONE: EPISODE 06 The Case Against Adnan Syed”. Serial. 2014. Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-one/6/the-case-against-adnan-syed

Rajani, Deepica. “Adnan Syed”. iNews. April 2, 2019. Retrieved from https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/adan-syed-case-prison-now-hae-min-lee-murder-latest/

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