‘This American Life’ Storytelling Spin-Off Finds New Mysteries in 1999 Murder
The podcast investigates the trial and conviction following a teen's death, but also the memories, relationships, and evidence which the jury never saw
With their new podcast, a group of experienced radio producers and journalists tell the story of a complex, real-life murder, thereby asking — 15 years later — “who done it?” Almost as intriguing as the crime details and their narration is the fact that, with a year of research and several podcast episodes already behind them, the creators themselves still aren’t sure of the answer.
Serial is the first “spin-off” of the popular investigative storytelling show This American Life (TAL). Like TAL, Serial is a production of WBEZ Chicago and TAL head Ira Glass. The Serial team also includes TAL regulars Julie Snyder, Dana Shivvis, and Emily Condon. As the program’s producers explain, it takes advantage of the format and growing popularity of podcasts to create long-form pieces of audio journalism: “we unfold one nonfiction story, week by week, over the course of a season. We’ll stay with each story for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it.”