Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis in the studio.
There will not be a new episode of the wildly popular investigative podcast Serial released on Thanksgiving. Trust us, we know how you feel.
Most listeners impatiently await the weekly release of investigative podcast surrounding the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee. Currently, her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed is serving a life sentence for the crime in a Maryland correctional facility, but insists he had nothing to do with her death.
The first season of the podcast, a This American Life spinoff, follows host and executive producer Sarah Koenig as she investigates the evidence surrounding Lee's murder. The story is confusing, intense and captivating all at the same time, but listeners just want more. So we compiled information surrounding the podcast and case to keep your appetite for Serial satiated through the holiday.
And if you haven't listened to the podcast yet, hear the first episode below.
1. Adnan Syed has not listened to the podcast
In a recent interview, Rabia Chaudry, attorney and and friend of the Syed family, told Refinery29 that Syed doesn't listen to the podcast because he can't. "No Internet in maximum security. He doesn’t really know what the global response has been, and he has not been exposed to social media." However, Chaudry did say that listeners of the podcast have been sending him transcripts of the show.
2. Sarah Koenig and her team aren't that far ahead of you
In an Oct. 17 blog post on the Serial website, producer Dana Chivvis explained why they only release one episode per week instead of the entire season. "We’re still pinning down information, doing interviews, following leads. So when you listen each week, the truth is that you’re actually not all that far behind us."
Although, on Nov. 13, the Wall Street Journal reported that Koenig has completed "most of her reporting." She also rejects the rumor that she knows a secret ending that she isn't revealing to the audience.
3. A dozen clients complained that Cristina Gutierrez, Adnan's lawyer, did not file their pleadings in court
According to an article in the Baltimore Sun written by Sarah Koenig in 2001, Gutierrez was allegedly not only negligent with client cases, but with their money as well. In May 2001, Gutierrez was "disbarred by consent" and none of these claims were investigated because she willingly signed the disbarment. "Since I can't defend myself against anything, and I can't practice anyway, I decided to sign the consent," Gutierrez told Koenig at the time. Gutierrez suffered from multiple sclerosis and died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 52.
4. Adnan's mother and brother listen to the podcast just like everybody else
During an interview with CBS News, Adnan's brother, Yusuf Syed revealed that he and his mother listen to the podcast just like everyone else. "Some days I'll be like 'oh this is a really great episode,' some days I'll just feel so down and depressed."
5. The innocence project that is looking into Adnan's case is investigating physical evidence
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law that is currently looking into Adnan's case and are "poised to ask a court to test an old physical evidence recovery kit (PERK) that was used on Lee’s body to test for possible sexual assault in 1999, but was never tested for DNA."
6. Hollywood is trying to cash in on Serial
During an overview of the podcast, the Wall Street Journal mentions that Hollywood executives have reached out to This American Life about movie or television projects surrounding Serial. Don't worry, though — WSJ added that the show is not currently pursuing any film or television deals.
7. The MailChimp ad was produced by Serial's Dana Chivvis and Julie Snyder
During an interview with The Atlantic, MailChimp Marketing Director Mark DiCristina revealed that although they wrote the script for the infamous MailChimp ad, Chivvis recorded it on the streets of New York. DiCristina also stated that if MailChimp does support the second season of Serial, there will be a different ad.
8. Hae Min Lee made a purchase at a gas station the day she was murdered
According to records from The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, Hae Min Lee's bank records show that she made a purchase at a gas station in the amount of $1.71. The gas station was at the corner of Hartford Road and Northern Parkway, which is far from Woodlawn High School, about a half hour by car. The time of that purchase is unknown. (This may be mentioned in future episodes.)
9. Serial is the most popular podcast in the world
According to Apple, Serial has broken the previous iTunes record for the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads and streams, and remains in the top spot for most popular podcast in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. This number does not factor in streams from other sources, such as SoundCloud and other podcasting apps.
10. Parts of the Blair Witch movies were filmed in Leakin Park and Patapsco Valley State Park
According to the Baltimore Sun, the 1999 horror film Blair Witch Project was filmed partially in Patapsco Valley State Park, the park where Jay told investigators that he and Adnan had smoked weed the day of the murder. The sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, released in 2000, was partially filmed in Leakin Park, the same park where Hae Min Lee's body was discovered.
Bonus: Redditor jakeprops created a Google Map that shows locations surrounding the case
Tags: PODCAST, SERIAL, VIDEOS, WATERCOOLER