This podcast hosted by Casey Miner popped up on my NPR One app one day, and I have enjoyed what I’ve listened to! The premise of the podcast is simple: Miner interviews interesting people with unusual jobs in short, 10-20 minute episodes. In these slice-of-life vignettes, Miner often taps into deeper contemporary social themes that takes you by surprise and makes you think.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life and hosted by Sarah Koenig, and tells one true story over the course of a season. There are two seasons, but I’ll be honest- the second one didn’t hook me like the first. Season 1 investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18 year old student in Baltimore, Maryland in 1999. Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was charged with first-degree murder, found guilty, and given a life sentence. As Koenig investigates the murder, years later, evidence comes forward that suggests Syed’s innocence. Serial first aired in October 2014, and by February 2016, season 1 had been downloaded over 80 million times.
“Sarah Koenig sorted through thousands of documents, listened to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talked to everyone she could find who remembered what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. She discovered that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury – or the public – ever 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.”
The Serial/This American Life team released another podcast investigating a murder, but in a small Alabama town with eccentric characters.
“John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.”