Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, 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 ar...more


  • Nice White Parents - Ep. 5

    Aug 20 2020

    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...more

  • Nice White Parents - Ep. 4

    Aug 20 2020

    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.

  • Nice White Parents - Ep. 3

    Aug 20 2020

    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 q...more

  • Nice White Parents - Ep. 2

    Aug 20 2020

    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...more

  • Nice White Parents - Ep. 1

    Aug 20 2020

    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, ...more

  • S03 Episode 09: Some Time When Everything Has Changed

    Nov 15 2018

    The state of Ohio decides where Joshua belongs.

  • S03 Episode 08: A Madman’s Vacation

    Nov 08 2018

    A teenager decides to cooperate.

  • S03 Episode 07: The Snowball Effect

    Oct 25 2018

    If you listen closely to the trash-talking, you start to get the message.

  • S03 Episode 06: You in the Red Shirt

    Oct 18 2018

    Life after you put a cop in jail.

  • S03 Episode 05: Pleas Baby Pleas

    Oct 11 2018

    Don’t tell the judges, but the prosecutors have the most power in the building.

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

    Oct 04 2018

    What happens when the right evidence points to the wrong man?

  • S03 Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit

    Sep 27 2018

    The smell of raw marijuana + acting nervous + hands in pockets = ?

  • S03 Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls

    Sep 20 2018

    When a judge believes he knows you better than you know yourself.

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

    Sep 20 2018

    A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why’s she the one in jail?

  • S02 Episode 11: Present for Duty

    Mar 31 2016

    The Season Two finale: What is Bowe’s fault, and what isn’t?

  • S02 Episode 10: Thorny Politics

    Mar 17 2016

    Are you hearing what I’m hearing?

  • S02 Episode 09: Trade Secrets

    Mar 03 2016

    You don’t make peace with your friends. 

  • S02 Episode 08: Hindsight, Part 2

    Feb 19 2016

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

  • S02 Episode 07: Hindsight, Part 1

    Feb 18 2016

    It makes sense if you’re Bowe Bergdahl.

  • S01 Update: Day 03, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

    Feb 06 2016

    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.

  • S01 Update: Day 02, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

    Feb 05 2016

    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.

  • S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

    Feb 04 2016

    Why did Bowe Bergdahl walk off? 

  • S01 Update: Day 01, Adnan Syed’s Hearing

    Feb 04 2016

    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.

  • S02 Episode 05: Meanwhile, in Tampa

    Jan 21 2016

    CIA, FBI, YouTube, the Portland PD? There was no handbook for getting Bergdahl back.

  • S02 Episode 04: The Captors

    Jan 07 2016

    What's happening on the other side of the door?

  • S02 Episode 03: Escaping

    Dec 24 2015

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

  • S02 Episode 02: The Golden Chicken

    Dec 17 2015

    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?

  • S02 Episode 01: DUSTWUN

    Dec 10 2015

    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. 

  • S01 Episode 12: What We Know

    Dec 18 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 11: Rumors

    Dec 11 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 10: The Best Defense is a Good Defense

    Dec 04 2014

    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? 

  • S01 Episode 09: To Be Suspected

    Nov 20 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 08: The Deal with Jay

    Nov 13 2014

    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?

  • S01 Episode 07: The Opposite of the Prosecution

    Nov 06 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 06: The Case Against Adnan Syed

    Oct 30 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 05: Route Talk

    Oct 23 2014

    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.  

  • S01 Episode 04: Inconsistencies

    Oct 16 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 03: Leakin Park

    Oct 09 2014

    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.

  • S01 Episode 02: The Breakup

    Oct 03 2014

    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...more

  • S01 Episode 01: The Alibi

    Oct 03 2014

    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.