Serial became an internet phenomenon almost as soon as it aired beginning in October 2014. A spinoff of This American Life, the podcast, hosted by Sarah Koenig, investigated the 1999 murder of 18-year-old Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee. The main subject of the podcast, and the man convicted for Lee’s murder, was Adnan Syed, her ex-boyfriend.
The podcast ended on an equivocal tone, and fans of the true-crime story have clamored for more. Now they’re getting their wish. Or at least some of them are—the ones who believe in Syed’s innocence.
Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and advocate for Syed, is launching a follow-up podcast to Serial called Undisclosed, which aims to provide greater detail about the case, “from an investigative perspective instead of a narrative one.”
That’s a strange statement, not only because Koenig’s Serial podcast, despite it telling a story, was quite investigative, but also because Chaudry clearly has her own narrative to tell—that Syed is innocent. She will be joined by Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, both lawyers who have blogged about the case.
To her credit, Chaudry has been upfront about her bias toward Syed, who in February won permission from a Maryland appellate court to appeal his case. Chaudry frequently posts information about the case to her blog, which in turn has inspired hotly contested topics on the Serial subreddit.
The Adnan Syed Legal Trust, which is funding Syed’s defense and is sponsoring the new podcast, has raised more than $93,000 in crowdfunding.
Critics of Chaudry accuse her of misusing those funds, and for exploiting the case for her own gain. Chaudry herself is a friend of the Syed family, and was briefly interviewed by Koenig on the Serial podcast.
While this new podcast will be far from unbiased, it still could uncover facts about Lee’s murder that were not discussed in Serial.
The new podcast premieres on April 13.