Serial

Serial

By 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.

Episodes

S01 Episode 13: Adnan Is Out

It’s Baltimore, 2022. Adnan Syed has spent the last 23 years incarcerated, serving a life sentence for the murder of Hae Min Lee, a crime he says he didn’t commit. He has exhausted every legal avenue for relief, including a petition to the United States Supreme Court. But then, a prosecutor in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office stumbled upon two handwritten notes in Adnan’s case file, and that changes everything. 
20/09/2216m 53s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 1

A strange letter appears outlining a plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Hamza and Brian visit the supposed mastermind of the plot, and he tells them he did take over a bunch of schools – just not for the reasons in the letter.
18/03/2259m 16s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 2

Hamza and Brian think the source of the Trojan Horse letter might be hiding in plain sight. After learning about the petty personnel dispute that probably gave rise to the letter, they’re even more bewildered about how it ever could have been taken seriously.
18/03/2253m 20s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 3

In a state of surprise, Hamza and Brian leave a meeting with the man the Trojan Horse letter was first sent to. And they learn about an internal investigation report that local officials have kept hidden, but which they think could contain a bombshell.
18/03/2238m 7s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 4

A series of frustrating interviews with Birmingham politicians leaves Brian and Hamza wondering if crucial information about the Trojan Horse letter was kept from officials in London. Then one rainy Friday afternoon, Brian hears back from a government source who wants to meet right away.
18/03/2245m 25s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 5

Hamza and Brian learn that the Trojan Horse letter wasn’t the only unsigned letter alleging an extremist operation was afoot in Birmingham. An interview with a couple who lodged complaints against their school starts out cordially, but six hours later, the atmosphere is so tense that not even an offer of tea can smooth things over. And Hamza stops pretending he’s not angry about what he’s hearing.
18/03/221h 0m

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 6

Hamza takes a long, hard look at what the government found when it investigated more than 20 majority-Muslim schools in Birmingham. And our two reporters have a confrontation – with each other.
18/03/221h 4m

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 7

Birmingham authorities struggle to explain why they disavowed their own findings about the Trojan Horse plot. But when Brian and Hamza make a discovery deep inside some court documents, everything suddenly makes sense.
18/03/2250m 26s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 8

A man banned from working in education in the aftermath of the Trojan Horse letter inspires Brian and Hamza to track down one last witness with him – in Australia. And all three travelers find their faith tested.
18/03/2247m 31s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Trailer

A mysterious letter detailing a supposed Islamist plot to take over schools shocked Britain in 2014. But who wrote it? From Serial Productions and The New York Times, “The Trojan Horse Affair,” an investigation that became bigger than we ever imagined. All eight parts are available now, wherever you get your podcasts. Search "The Trojan Horse Affair."
03/02/224m 7s

The Trojan Horse Affair - Trailer

A mysterious letter detailing a supposed Islamist plot to take over schools shocked Britain in 2014. But who wrote it? From Serial Productions and The New York Times, “The Trojan Horse Affair,” an investigation that became bigger than we ever imagined. All eight parts are coming next Thursday, February 3rd.
27/01/224m 10s

The Improvement Association - Chap 5

The Improvement Association PAC’s power in the county is threatened when an unlikely candidate enters the race for county commissioner. Plenty of people outside the PAC now have their own ideas about how to build Black political power here. Zoe examines what this election could mean for the PAC’s future.  
28/04/2148m 50s

The Improvement Association - Chap 4

With the PAC’s reputation suffering because of years of cheating accusations and resentment stirring within its ranks, a prominent member turns against the leadership. Nevertheless, Horace and his closest allies make a bold move by supporting a political upset at the center of the county.
28/04/2151m 2s

The Improvement Association - Chap 3

Zoe delves into one of the most serious allegations against the Bladen Improvement PAC: an accusation about stealing votes from vulnerable people that goes back 10 years. In trying to track down the veracity of this particularly persistent rumor, she comes to understand how and why election cheating allegations are so sticky.
28/04/2139m 37s

The Improvement Association - Chap 2

Zoe talks to people in the county who believe the Bladen Improvement PAC has been cheating for years. She tries to get beyond the rumors and into specifics, and comes face to face with the intense suspicion and scrutiny leveled against the organization. In the middle of another election, Zoe goes out with members of the PAC to watch how they operate and try to make sense of all these allegations against them.
28/04/2144m 12s

The Improvement Association - Chap 1

Following a notorious case of election fraud in Bladen County, North Carolina, in 2018, the reporter Zoe Chace gets an invitation from Horace Munn, the leader of the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, a Black political advocacy group whose name was dragged into the scandal. Horace asks Zoe to come down and investigate for herself and find out who is really cheating.
28/04/2144m 13s

The Improvement Association - Trailer

Listen to the trailer for our newest show, "The Improvement Association."  From Serial Productions and The New York Times, hosted by Zoe Chace.
30/03/213m 37s

Nice White Parents - Ep. 5

Chana has traced the history of the school from its founding and come to the present. But now: One unexpected last chapter. Last year, the school district for BHS mandated a change in the zoning process to ensure all middle schools would be racially integrated. No longer can white families hoard resources in a few select schools. Black and Latino parents have been demanding this change since the late 1950s. The courts have mandated it. Chana asks: How did this happen? And is this a blueprint for real, systemic change?
20/08/2052m 24s

Nice White Parents - Ep. 4

Public schools are inequitable because the school systems are maniacally loyal to white families. We can’t have equitable public education unless schools limit the disproportionate power of white parents. But is that even possible? Chana finds two schools that are trying to do just that, and both are actually inside the 293 building. One is downstairs in the basement, where a charter school called Success Academy opened about 7 years ago. The other is upstairs at BHS, the newly renamed SIS.
20/08/2048m 54s

Nice White Parents - Ep. 3

Chana Joffe-Walt explores how white parents can shape a school — even when they aren’t there. She traces the history of I.S. 293, now the Boerum Hill School for International Studies, from the 1980s through the modern education reforms of the 2000s. In the process, Chana talks to alumni who loved their school and never questioned why it was on the edge of a white neighborhood. To them, it was just where everyone went. But she also speaks to some who watched the school change over the years and questioned whether a local community school board was secretly plotting against 293.
20/08/2045m 4s

Nice White Parents - Ep. 2

Chana Joffe-Walt searches the New York City Board of Education archives for more information about the School for International Studies, which was originally called I.S. 293. In the process, she finds a folder of letters written in 1963 by mostly white families in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. They are asking for the board to change the proposed construction of the school to a site where it would be more likely to be racially integrated. It’s less than a decade after Brown v. Board of Education, amid a growing civil rights movement, and the white parents writing letters are emphatic that they want an integrated school. They get their way and the school site changes — but after that, nothing else goes as planned.
20/08/2051m 53s

Nice White Parents - Ep. 1

It’s 2015 and one Brooklyn middle school is about to receive a huge influx of new students. Reporter Chana Joffe Walt follows what happens when the School for International Studies’s 6th grade class swells from 30 mostly Latino, Black and Middle Eastern students, to a class of 103 —an influx almost entirely driven by white families. Everyone wants “what’s best for the school” but it becomes clear that they don’t share the same vision of what “best” means. For more information about this show, visit nytimes.com/nicewhiteparents
20/08/201h 1m

Introducing: Nice White Parents

We have a new show! Here’s a sneak peek of Nice White Parents, a new limited series about building a better school system, and what gets in the way. Coming July 30 from Serial Productions, brought to you by The New York Times. Subscribe today.
23/07/206m 0s

S03 Episode 09: Some Time When Everything Has Changed

The state of Ohio decides where Joshua belongs.
15/11/1848m 4s

S03 Episode 08: A Madman’s Vacation

A teenager decides to cooperate.
08/11/181h 3m

S03 Episode 07: The Snowball Effect

If you listen closely to the trash-talking, you start to get the message.
25/10/1853m 21s

S03 Episode 06: You in the Red Shirt

Life after you put a cop in jail.
18/10/1849m 29s

S03 Episode 05: Pleas Baby Pleas

Don’t tell the judges, but the prosecutors have the most power in the building.
11/10/1858m 42s

S03 Episode 04: A Bird in Jail Is Worth Two on the Street

What happens when the right evidence points to the wrong man?
04/10/1858m 35s

S03 Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit

The smell of raw marijuana + acting nervous + hands in pockets = ?
27/09/181h 0m

S03 Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls

When a judge believes he knows you better than you know yourself.
20/09/1854m 55s

S03 Episode 01: A Bar Fight Walks into the Justice Center

A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why’s she the one in jail?
20/09/1850m 33s

S03 Trailer

Serial is heading back to court—this time, in Cleveland. Hear the trailer now.
05/09/18

S-Town Is Live

Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass, and Brian Reed talk about our new show, S-Town. All 7 chapters are available now.
28/03/173m 0s

Preview of S-Town, Our New Show

We have a new show! Here’s a sneak peek of S-Town, a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed. S-Town is the story of a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life. Coming March 28.
14/03/174m 0s

S02 Episode 11: Present for Duty

The Season Two finale: What is Bowe’s fault, and what isn’t?
31/03/161h 3m

S02 Episode 10: Thorny Politics

Are you hearing what I’m hearing?
17/03/1650m 27s

S02 Episode 09: Trade Secrets

You don’t make peace with your friends. 
03/03/1647m 43s

S02 Episode 08: Hindsight, Part 2

Woulda, coulda, shoulda…
19/02/1635m 28s

S02 Episode 07: Hindsight, Part 1

It makes sense if you’re Bowe Bergdahl.
18/02/1636m 50s

S01 Update: Day 03, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

February 2016: Sarah Koenig ducks back into the Adnan Syed case for a few days. There’s a hearing in Baltimore—a court proceeding that’s been nearly sixteen years in the making. Syed’s attorney will introduce new evidence, and present a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Sarah and producer Dana Chivvis will discuss what happens, day by day.
06/02/1614m 12s

S01 Update: Day 02, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

February 2016: Sarah Koenig ducks back into the Adnan Syed case for a few days. There’s a hearing in Baltimore—a court proceeding that’s been nearly sixteen years in the making. Syed’s attorney will introduce new evidence, and present a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Sarah and producer Dana Chivvis will discuss what happens, day by day.
05/02/1614m 38s

S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

Why did Bowe Bergdahl walk off? 
04/02/1658m 48s

S01 Update: Day 01, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

February 2016: Sarah Koenig ducks back into the Adnan Syed case for a few days. There’s a hearing in Baltimore—a court proceeding that’s been nearly sixteen years in the making. Syed’s attorney will introduce new evidence, and present a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Sarah and producer Dana Chivvis will discuss what happens, day by day.
04/02/1615m 7s

S02 Episode 05: Meanwhile, in Tampa

CIA, FBI, YouTube, the Portland PD? There was no handbook for getting Bergdahl back.
21/01/1652m 17s

S02 Episode 04: The Captors

What's happening on the other side of the door?
07/01/1643m 58s

S02 Episode 03: Escaping

Bergdahl’s first year in captivity starts with an escape and ends with an escape. In between, he learns necessary, twisted lessons of survival.
24/12/1553m 0s

S02 Episode 02: The Golden Chicken

On the move with Bergdahl, the Taliban slip past the U.S. Army’s massive effort to find him. During those days and weeks, each side is asking, what is Bergdahl worth to us?
17/12/1558m 3s

S02 Episode 01: DUSTWUN

In the middle of the night, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl grabs a notebook, snacks, water, some cash. Then he quietly slips off a remote U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into the dark, open desert. About 20 minutes later, it occurs to him: he’s in over his head. 
10/12/1543m 5s

S01 Episode 12: What We Know

On January 13, 1999, Adnan Syed was a hurt and vengeful ex-boyfriend who carried out a premeditated murder. Or he was a bewildered bystander, framed for a crime he could never have committed. After 15 months of reporting, we take out everything we’ve got - interviews and documents and police reports - we shake it all out, and we see what sticks.
18/12/1454m 25s

S01 Episode 11: Rumors

Almost everyone describes the 17-year-old Adnan the same way: good kid, helpful at the mosque, respectful to his elders. But a couple of months ago, Sarah started getting phone calls from people who knew Adnan back then, and told her stories of a different kind of boy.
11/12/1439m 40s

S01 Episode 10: The Best Defense is a Good Defense

Adnan’s trial lawyer was M. Cristina Gutierrez, a renowned defense attorney in Maryland – tough and savvy and smart. Other lawyers said she was exactly the kind of person you’d want defending you on a first-degree murder charge. But Adnan was convicted, and a year later, Gutierrez was disbarred. What happened? 
04/12/1452m 42s

S01 Episode 09: To Be Suspected

New information is coming in about what maybe didn’t happen on January 13, 1999.  And while Adnan’s memory of that day is foggy at best, he does remember what happened next: being questioned, being arrested and, a little more than a year later, being sentenced to life in prison.
20/11/1444m 46s

S01 Episode 08: The Deal with Jay

The state’s case against Adnan Syed hinged on Jay’s credibility; he was their star witness and also, because of his changing statements to police, their chief liability. Naturally, Adnan’s lawyer tried hard to make Jay look untrustworthy at trial. So, how did the jurors make sense of Jay? For that matter, how did the cops make sense of Jay? How are we supposed to make sense of Jay?
13/11/1442m 44s

S01 Episode 07: The Opposite of the Prosecution

Adnan told Sarah about a case in Virginia that had striking similarities to his own: one key witness, incriminating cell phone records, young people, drugs - and a defendant who has always maintained his innocence. Sarah called up one of the defense attorneys on that case to see if she could offer any insight into Adnan’s case, and got much more than she bargained for.
06/11/1431m 57s

S01 Episode 06: The Case Against Adnan Syed

The physical evidence against Adnan Syed was scant - a few underwhelming fingerprints. So aside from cell records, what did the prosecutors bring to the jury, to shore up Jay's testimony? Sarah weighs all the other circumstantial evidence they had against Adnan, including curious behavior, a disconcerting note, and an unexplained mid-afternoon phone call.
30/10/1442m 58s

S01 Episode 05: Route Talk

Adnan once issued a challenge to Sarah. He told her to test the state’s timeline of the murder by driving from Woodlawn High School to Best Buy in 21 minutes. It can’t be done, he said. So Sarah and Dana take up the challenge, and raise him one: They try to recreate the entire route that Jay said he and Adnan took on January 13th, 1999.  
23/10/1442m 51s

S01 Episode 04: Inconsistencies

A few days after Hae’s body is found, the detectives get a lead that opens the case up for them. They find Jay at work late one night and bring him down to Homicide. At first, he insists he doesn’t know anything about the murder. But eventually he comes clean. He tells them what happened on January 13th. A few weeks later, he’s back at Homicide and his story has changed. In some ways, these changes are small and understandable. In other ways, they’re big and confounding.
16/10/1433m 14s

S01 Episode 03: Leakin Park

It’s February 9, 1999. Hae has been missing for three weeks. A man on his lunch break pulls off a road to pee, and stumbles on her body in a city forest. His odd recounting of the discovery makes Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary suspicious. For instance, why did he walk so far into the woods - 127 feet - to relieve himself? And that’s just the start. A look into the man’s past reveals some bizarre behavior.
09/10/1427m 7s

S01 Episode 02: The Breakup

Their relationship began like a storybook high-school romance: a prom date, love notes, sneaking off to be alone. But unlike other kids at school, they had to keep their dating secret, because their parents disapproved. Both of them, but especially Adnan, were under special pressure at home, and the stress of that spilled over into their relationship. Eventually Hae broke up with Adnan. And then, depending on who you ask, Adnan was either understandably sad and moping around, or full of rage and plotting to kill her.
03/10/1435m 49s

S01 Episode 01: The Alibi

It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent - though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.  
03/10/1452m 57s
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