On Thursday, December 18, one question will be on millions of people's minds: Did Adnan Syed commit the murder of Hae Min Lee?
Confused? If you haven't been following Serial, the new podcast from the creators of This American Life that has riveted listeners across the nation, there's still time to catch up before this Thursday's season finale (but hurry!). What's it all about? In journalist and Serial host Sarah Koenig's words, it's about "the basics: love and death and justice and truth. All these big, big things.”
If you're looking for specifics: Since October, Sarah has been reporting on her year-long investigation into Adnan, a Baltimore high school student sentenced to life in prison for strangling his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee to death in 1999, even though he claimed his innocence. Sarah had two questions on her mind: was Adnan wrongly convicted? If so, what really happened? Since then, listeners have closely followed every twist and turn in her investigation and heard from Adnan and Hae's friends, his family, witnesses, jurors, and lawyers -- with few definitive answers.
And now, millions of people are hooked, talking about the new evidence unfolded in each week's episode, providing their own theories (even conducting their own investigations), and asking the same questions: did he do it? If not, who did?
Moreover, Serial has prompted discussions of its potential to revitalize long-term, in-depth investigative journalism and change the podcast landscape, the role of listeners in the age of social media and websites like Reddit (and their impact), and the ethical questions involved in crime reporting of this nature and representation of its subjects.
While we hope to have some answers on Thursday, many of us are coming to terms with idea that there may not be a clear resolution or justice for Adnan. The only thing we know for sure is that we'll have an extra hour or so of spare time every week. And if you're looking to fill that void with something like Serial, we have a some items here at ABC Library that you may enjoy.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote [ebook / eaudiobook]
(If you haven't read it yet, start here. Controversy aside, it's not to be missed!)
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr
Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson [ebook]
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson [ebook]
Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland by Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf
The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
Capturing the Friedmans [DVD]
P.S. Have you tried our Playaways? If you have a pair of headphones, a AAA battery, and a library card, you have access our Playaway audio player collection. Check them out at any branch and listen to audiobooks without needing a CD player or other device!