Serial Season One Fall 2014

Serial’s first season, which debuted in October 2014, is complete. You can access its twelve episodes below, for free. Season 2 will feature a different story and will be coming sometime later in 2015. Sign up for newsletter updates . Serial is a spin-off of This American Life, a radio show and podcast which produces new shows throughout the year and which you can listen to here.

Season One: Episode 01

The Alibi

It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent - though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.


All Episodes Season One Fall 2014


Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, and is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story - a true story - over the course of an entire season. Each season, we'll follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. And we won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we bring you the next chapter in the story, so it's important to listen to the episodes in order, starting with Episode 1. 

You can subscribe to the Serial podcast for free on iTunes and other audio platforms, and you can also listen here on this site. If you need help understanding how podcasts work and how you can get one, watch our tutorial. We’ve wrapped Season One of Serial, but all of the episodes are still available for free. Stay tuned for Season Two in 2015. 

Serial, like This American Life, is produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago.

Season One

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.


Sarah Koenig

Host and Executive Producer

Sarah worked for more than ten years as a producer of This American Life before she and Julie Snyder started Serial. She’s guest-hosted TAL several times, most memorably for the "No Coincidence, No Story" show. She’s produced and reported some of TAL's most popular shows, including "Switched at Birth," "Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde," "Petty Tyrant," and "Habeas Schmabeas," a Peabody Award-winning show about Guantanamo Bay. Before joining This American Life in 2004, Sarah covered criminal justice and was a State House reporter at The Baltimore Sun and the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire. All staff photos by Meredith Heuer.

Julie Snyder

Executive Producer

Julie created Serial with Sarah Koenig. She's also the Senior Producer of This American Life, which she runs side by side with Ira Glass, setting the editorial agenda of the program, but also overseeing and editing hundreds of individual stories and episodes. She's been with the show since 1997 – almost from its inception- and has produced many of This American Life's most entertaining and ambitious episodes, including "24 Hours at the Golden Apple," "Notes on Camp," and the Peabody-winning episodes "Harper High School."


Dana Chivvis


Before joining Serial, Dana did the fellowship at This American Life. She was also an education reporter and digital producer at NBC News, and a photo editor at National Geographic. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Emily Condon

Production & Operations Manager

In addition to working on Serial, Emily manages This American Life. She's been at TAL for six years. Her prior projects include overseeing the launch of Rookie and running the Oak Street Cinema, a single-screen revival movie theatre in Minneapolis.

Ira Glass

Editorial Advisor

Ira gives editorial and business advice to Serial. Generally this means he hears drafts of episodes and gives notes, helps with promotion, and consults on the show's format and business plan. He's the founder and host of This American Life, which has won the highest honors for broadcast excellence, and which was declared by the American Journalism Review as "at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution.”


Serial's original score comes from both Mark Henry Phillips and Nick Thorburn.

Mark Henry Phillips composes much of the music for Serial and also mixes the show.  Mark is a composer and sound designer and has worked on many critically acclaimed films such as the Oscar-nominated Cutie and the Boxer. When not scoring and mixing films, he releases music under the name Sono Oto

Nick Thorburn composed our theme song, as well as many other songs in the show. In 2003, he started The Unicorns, and released their first full-length album to critical praise from around the world. He went on to form another band called Islands, who've released five albums and played festivals from Coachella to Primavera Sounds and La Route Du Rock. Nick has also released a solo record and a variety of collaborations, and composes scores for film and television.



For Serial press inquiries, please contact Elise Bergerson.

For speaking engagements and appearances for Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, please contact the Steven Barclay Agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Season Two be a continuation of Season One?

No. We’ll be reporting a new story in the upcoming season.

Is Serial seeking pitches for Season Two?

We’ve chosen our next story but still welcome your pitches. If you think your story would be a better fit for a non-serialized podcast, feel free to send a pitch to This American Life: Submission guidelines are available here.

When will Season Two air?

We’re hoping to launch Season Two by the fall of 2015. You can sign up for our to get updates on the show.

How can I contact the show’s creators?

You can send an email to and someone on our staff will read it. But the Serial team is hard at work on the production of Season Two and is unable to respond to every email. If you’re a member of the media, please contact with your press requests. For speaking engagements and appearance requests for Sarah Koenig or Julie Snyder, please contact Steven Barclay at  

Will the show’s creators speak to my class?

Unfortunately there are only three producers working on Serial, and they don’t have enough free time to talk with classes. But we do have resources for educators that we encourage you to read and to share with students. We have do-it-yourself radio guides, storytelling tips, equipment recommendations, jobs and internships information, and more on This American Life’s Make Radio page.

Are transcripts of the episodes available online?

We don’t have any official transcripts, but a search of “Serial transcript” will bring you to a number of sites that have listener-generated transcripts. A note of warning though: because they aren’t official transcripts, we can’t vouch for their accuracy. 

Is an edited or subtitled version of Serial available?

Nope, just the original version.

Is Season One available in another language?

Serial is only available in English. At the moment we aren’t accepting listener-generated requests to translate the series.

Is Serial available in CD format?

No, we don’t have a Serial CD.

Is Serial merchandise available to purchase?

Yes! A Serial notebook is available from our web store now.

Can I use the Serial logo to create my own t-shirts or promote my event?

Unfortunately we cannot allow this type of usage. If you have other questions about permissions and licensing, please write to