When I was a little kid, my parents would turn on NPR in the car, on long road trips, when they wanted us to sleep. I used to whine about how boring talk radio was and swear that I would never understand why any normal human would actually choose to listen to it - monotone voices talking about obscure subjects.. I didn't get it. But their trick always worked, it put me right to sleep.
"WBEZ Chicago it's This American Life distributed by Public Radio International... I'm Ira Glass"
Little did I know, all those NPR mini-van naps led to the subliminal love of non-profit media.
Lately I have been completely obsessed with a new podcast from NPR's Sarah Koenig - Serial.
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she's been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators' notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence - all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.You guys - I am so hooked. It's like CSI but it fits in my pocket and I can listen to it on my crazy commute. Nothing like a good murder mystery on the L train right?
Anyways, that's my plug. Just listen to the first episode and then try to stop - I dare you.