About Season Three

Serial is heading back to court. This time, in Cleveland. Not for one extraordinary case; instead, Serial wanted to tackle the whole criminal justice system. To do that we figured we’d need to look at something different: ordinary cases.

So we did. Inside these ordinary cases we found the troubling machinery of the criminal justice system on full display. We chose Cleveland, because they let us record everywhere — courtrooms, back hallways, judges’ chambers, prosecutors’ offices. And then we followed those cases outside the building, into neighborhoods, into people’s houses, and into prison.

We watched how justice is calculated in cases of all sizes, from the smallest misdemeanor to the most serious felony. 

This season, we tell you the extraordinary stories of ordinary cases. One courthouse, week by week.

Season Three Staff

Sarah Koenig

Host and Executive Producer

Sarah Koenig was a newspaper reporter for ten years, before joining the staff of This American Life in 2004. She guest hosted the show several times, and has produced and reported some of the show’s most popular episodes, including “Petty Tyrant,” “Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde,” “No Coincidence, No Story,” “Switched at Birth,” and “Habeas Schmabeas,” a Peabody Award-winning show about Guantanamo Bay. She started Serial with Julie Snyder in 2013.

Julie Snyder

Executive Producer

Julie Snyder is the co-creator of Serial and S-Town.  Before Serial, she was the senior producer at This American Life.  She has received numerous awards for broadcast excellence, including five Peabody Awards.

Emmanuel Dzotsi

Reporter and Producer

Emmanuel Dzotsi was a fellow at This American Life before joining Serial. He also reported and produced stories as an intern at NPR member stations WBEZ and WOSU.

Ben Calhoun


Ben Calhoun is a producer at This American Life, producing and reporting a number of award-winning stories, including the “Harper High School" episodes, for which he won a Peabody Award. He has also served as VP of Content and Programming for WBEZ, and contributed to Radiolab, NPR, and Marketplace.

Ben Phelan  

Researcher and Fact-Checker

Ben Phelan is a freelance journalist, writer, and musician who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to credits in magazine and book publishing, he has worked as a researcher and fact-checker for This American Life, S-Town, and Serial.

Whitney Dangerfield

Digital Editor and Researcher

Whitney Dangerfield serves as the art director for the Serial site, as well as for This American Life and S-Town, and she creates editorial projects for the shows. She also helped research this season. Before joining Serial, she was a senior staff editor at The New York Times.

Ira Glass

Editorial Advisor

Ira Glass is the creator and host of This American Life, which has won the highest honors for broadcast excellence.

Julie Whitaker

Social Media Editor

Julie Whitaker helps run all things digital for This American Life and Serial. Previously, she  worked at WNYC, BuzzFeed, and Doctors Without Borders.

Seth Lind

Director of Operations

Seth Lind also runs operations for This American Life. He is co-creator of the sci-fi comedy podcast Mission to Zyxx.

Emily Condon

Managing Director

In addition to her work on Serial, Emily Condon manages This American Life. She’s been with This American Life since 2009.

Stowe Nelson

Sound Designer and Mixer

Stowe is a sound designer and engineer. Outside of Serial, he designs sound for theatre and live performance, specializing in new and devised plays.

Additional Credits

Bex Hellbender

Web Development

Moth Studio


Studio Rodrigo

Web Design

Anthony Roman

Music Clearance

The Season Three score is a collaboration between composer Adam Dorn and legendary music producer Hal Willner.  

About the Music

We worked with animators at Moth Studio to create the Cleveland settings for each episode, and then we commissioned illustrations from muralists and artists to go in those scenes. Learn more about the art and the artists. 

About the Art

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