Creative Writing





Serial; A True Story.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called Serial recently. It may sound familiar because about a month ago, it was all anyone could talk about. Having never really been a fan of podcasts, I deemed this another social media trend. However, I finally gave in and listened to the podcast and now it is all I can think about.

Serial isn’t an ordinary podcast. It is a real story. A true crime. Over the course of twelve episodes, with each one varying in length, each episode looks at a different facet of a murder case. The podcast is hosted by Sarah Koenig and her method of story-telling captivates all of your attention.

Serial looks at a murder that was committed in 1999 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Hae Min Lee was strangled to death, and shortly after, her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. The state’s case against Adnan was mainly based on the account of a witness that claimed to help Adnan bury the body. This is where it gets interesting; Adnan denies everything and continues to declare that he had absolutely nothing to do with the murder.

Sarah Koenig looks at the case, through boxes of evidence, interviews with people in Adnan’s life, through letters and even conversations with Adnan himself. She allows you to live inside her mind, doubting Adnan, believing him, and then doubting him again.

The thing that is so intriguing about this case is the fact that Adnan Syed is a Pakistani Muslim boy. He lived a double-life as most South-Asian children do. He was living in a Western country with cultural expectations from another. Regardless of upbringing, teenagers will be teenagers and Adnan was no different. This allows everyone to relate to him. He was a boy that was deceiving his parents. It could have been any one of us and yet the state used this deceit as his ‘motive.’ He supposedly killed Hae because she had caused him to “stray” from his religion. Having said that, his behaviour before and after his relationship with Hae did not change at all. He continued to smoke marijuana, party and everything else that a teenager does, so this supposed motive has no validity.

I have not been able to stop thinking about him since I began listening to the podcast, about the dreams he lost, about the time that he will not be able to re-live. With each episode, I feel certain of his innocence and the weakened case. He is a victim of prejudice, and hearing his own voice adds a whole new dimension to the story.

It’s difficult to listen to the podcast and remember that it is not a television show, they have not caught the real killer. You have to constantly remind yourself that this is real and that’s when it really pierces your soul. Knowing that Adnan is still in jail, that it has been 15 years and he is still away from his family, his friends. His entire life has been taken from him. Although he has now been granted an appeal for his conviction, he is still being imprisoned. I keep wondering whether he can hear the whisper of a thousand voices praying for him to be released.

You can listen to the podcast here: http://serialpodcast.org/ 

I promise that after the first 5 minutes, you will not be able to think of anything else. 
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