Serial has returned with a second season, following the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a US army soldier who was a prisoner of the Taliban for five years.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life and is hosted by Sarah Koeing. A single true story is told over the course of a season. “Each season, we follow a plot and characters wherever they take us,” the Serial website remarks. “We won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us.” The podcast is available on serialpodcast.com, iTunes, or Pandora.
The first season followed the murder case of Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. Lee disappeared on January 13, 1999, and a month later her body was discovered in a city park. Adnan Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested for her murder and sentenced to life in prison a year later. A majority of the case was based on the accounts of one witness that claimed to have helped Syed bury Lee’s body, but Syed has always said that he had nothing to do with Lee’s death. While researching the case for the podcast, Koeing discovered “that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury--or the public--ever got to hear.”
The day after the final episode of Serial aired in December 2014, Deirdre Enright of the Innocence Project Clinic of the University of Virginia Law School announced the possible discovery of another suspect. In Feb. 2015, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted Syed to appeal his conviction due to Cristina Gutierrez, Syed’s attorney, providing ineffective counsel. With the beginning of season two, Syed’s case has been re-opened and a new hearing date is yet to be set.
Season two follows the events leading up to and after the capture of Bowe Bergdahl by Taliban forces. In May 2014, Bergdahl was traded for five Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay, and, after five years, he was able to return home. However, within hours of his rescue, people began saying Bergdahl was a deserter and traitor who should not be celebrated. People said Bergdahl intentionally walked off the small outpost in Afghanistan and into hostile territory. On Monday, Dec. 14, an Army commander ordered Bergdahl to face a general court-martial, the highest level of trial in the military justice system, under charges of desertion and endangerment of troops.
The upcoming season of Serial is said to be Bowe Bergdahl’s way of telling his version of events. Stay tuned to see where the story takes Sarah Koeing and her team.