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Serial

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.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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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.

14mins

6 Feb 2016

Rank #1

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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. 

43mins

10 Dec 2015

Rank #2

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S02 Episode 07: Hindsight, Part 1

It makes sense if you’re Bowe Bergdahl.

36mins

18 Feb 2016

Rank #3

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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.

14mins

5 Feb 2016

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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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?

52mins

20 Aug 2020

Rank #5

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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.

48mins

20 Aug 2020

Rank #6

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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.

15mins

4 Feb 2016

Rank #7

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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?

58mins

17 Dec 2015

Rank #8

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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.

27mins

9 Oct 2014

Rank #9

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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.  

42mins

23 Oct 2014

Rank #10

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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.

54mins

18 Dec 2014

Rank #11

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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.

33mins

16 Oct 2014

Rank #12

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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.

53mins

24 Dec 2015

Rank #13

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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.

42mins

30 Oct 2014

Rank #14

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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? 

52mins

4 Dec 2014

Rank #15