In its first season, the podcast, which has become known for its true-crime cliffhangers, had us up in arms about a confounding case of apparent murder. In 1999 in Baltimore, Hae Min Lee disappeared; her body was later found in a park, ostensibly strangled. Her boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime and sentenced to life in prison. 15 months of investigative reporting by Sarah Koenig and the “Serial” team revealed a case that was mismanaged by authorities. Over the course of 12 episodes, over 40 million listeners listened rapt as the podcast cast significant doubt on every aspect of the investigation.
The podcast’s second season centers on Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. army soldier who had been held hostage for five years by the Taliban. The details of his captivity, rescue and release to America have been marred by an investigation into why and how exactly Bergdahl became a prisoner in the first place. The military has charged Bergdahl with two crimes that could amount to a life sentence.
Koenig teams up with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Mark Boal, who wrote and produced “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker,” and his production company, Page 1, which the filmmaker founded to explore the intersection of reporting and entertainment.
The first episode sets us up for a thrilling exposé from Bergdahl’s point of view, with over 20 hours of recorded interviews Boal conducted with Bergdahl following his return to America. If the first episode is any indication, Season 2 will be as thrilling as Season 1.
Episodes are available for download on Thursdays. “Serial” is produced by “This American Life” and WBEZ in Chicago.