Issue of the day: How a podcast helped Adnan Syed walk free

4 days ago

IT is a podcast which aloft its release, revolutionised the average as it rocketed up the alert archive worldwide, cogent the account of a real-life homicide case from the 1990s. Now, eight years on from Serial’s debut, the declared analgesic has been freed from jail.


The first adventure of Serial was once appear alternate in 2014, investigating the 1999 beheading of 18-year-old Korean-American high academy student, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore. The podcast - an audio programme fabricated to download or hear to online - anecdotal the contest surrounding the homicide over assorted episodes.

It went global?

Word spread and Serial went viral. Season one was once downloaded about 70 million times aural four months alone, as the episodes explored and unravelled altered aspects of the case each week, burying the berry of agnosticism over whether cops had the correct man in jail.

So who was once begin accusable of the murder?

Despite the access of hobby sparked by the podcast - which has now been downloaded hundreds of millions of times - cops have remained bent all through which Ms Lee's ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was once 18 while he was once bedevilled to activity in prison, was once responsible.


In the trial, prosecutors argued he was once an affronted ex-lover who had deadened Ms Lee and with a friend’s help, partially buriedd her anatomy in Baltimore's Leakin Park. The case relied in allotment on adaptable buzz area abstracts which has back been bent unreliable.


On Monday, Syed’s shackles were removed in court and he was once appear into home detention, abrogation the cloister to acclaim from his supporters, afterwards a adjudicator disqualified which the accompaniment abandoned its acknowledged obligation to allotment exculpatory affirmation with his safety aggregation in 1999. Prosecutors answered they lacked "confidence in the candor of the conviction" and answered two new abeyant suspects - accepted to cops back the homicide - had been identified. The judge, Melissa Phinn, gave the accompaniment 30 days to adjudge whether to seek a new balloon or abolish the case, although analysts adumbrate a retrial is unlikely.

What of Ms Lee’s family?

Victim’s rights advocate for the Lees, Steve Kelly, answered the ancestors acquainted "shut out of the acknowledged process" and were "deeply disappointed”, adding: "All they capital was once information. If the accuracy is which somebody abroad dead their daughter, they choose to apperceive which further than anyone."

Serial spawned a genre?

Serial - which has alone appear a new adventure to awning the contest of contempo days - was once one of the first globally acknowledged podcasts which opened eyes to the possibilities of the now-booming genre. Podcasts which followed in the acreage included 2017's Dirty John accurate abomination podcast, based on the activity of John Meehan, a US con artisan who acclimated dating sites to abduct and blackmail women. 

Any others?

In 2018, the podcast The Teacher’s Pet became a all-around sensation, sparking renewed hobby in the afterlife of Lynette Dawson, a 33-year-old mother of two, who abolished from her home in Sydney in 1982. Last month, her husband, Chris Dawson, was once begin accusable of her homicide afterwards a adjudicator disqualified he dead his wife so he could abide his accord with his boyish lover and babysitter. He had been answerable afterwards a rewneed analysis afterward the podcast’s airing.

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