Brow Beat

Sarah Koenig Will Dive Back Into Adnan’s Case, Start Releasing Updates to Serial Season 1

A teenaged Adnan Syed, who is receiving a new court hearing that could overturn his conviction in the murder of Hae Min Lee.

This American Life

This week, Sarah Koenig and the producers of Serial surprised listeners with a mini-episode that seems designed to re-engage anyone who fell off the Serial bandwagon when Koenig began reporting on Bowe Bergdahl for Season 2. “This week, I’m going to do something I haven’t done before, which is duck back into Adnan Syed’s case for a few days to report on a court proceeding that’s happening in Baltimore,” says Koenig at the beginning of the 15-minute episode. The Baltimore City Circuit Court, she explains, is finally considering Syed’s petition for postconviction relief, which he initially filed in 2010. Syed’s attorneys are arguing that Syed’s defense attorney in his 2000 murder trial, Cristina Gutierrez, was incompetent, and that his conviction in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, should be overturned.

Koenig recaps the first day of the hearing, which was yesterday, from her hotel closet. The hearing included evidence that Gutierrez’s lawyerly “powers were definitely waning” at the time she defended Syed, and testimony from Asia McClain, a potential alibi whom Gutierrez for some reason declined to interview. Nothing shocking happened during the hearing, but the mini-episode made my heart thump anyway—especially the intro, which featured the old theme music and choice soundbites from Koenig’s conversations with Syed. Serial will continue to release updates from the Syed hearing “not week by week, but day by day,” so stay tuned for more information tomorrow.

Serial also released a new episode about the Bergdahl case today.