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.




In the years since season one concluded, Sarah Koenig wrote updates about important developments in the case. In 2015, the cell phone expert who testified at Adnan Syed’s trial said he no longer stood behind his testimony. In 2016, Adnan's attorney introduced new evidence and presented a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Serial covered what happened, day by day, in the three audio updates below. In 2019, Maryland’s highest court reversed a decision to give Adnan a new trial.


On September 19, 2022, the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office vacated Adnan's conviction. Sarah was at the courthouse when Adnan was released, hear details in Episode 13.

On October 11, 2022, prosecutors dropped the charges, and Adnan is now free. Police are continuing to investigate. We are done reporting this story, but are sure others will continue to follow it. As they do, here's what we'll be looking for.

About Season One

A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found 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 sentenced to 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 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.

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