'Serial' host Sarah Koenig says she was 'shocked' by Adnan Syed's release, nearly a decade after the hit podcast covered his case: 'I did not see this coming at all'
- Adnan Syed, the subject of the first season of the hit podcast "Serial," was released from prison on Monday.
- Sarah Koenig, the host of "Serial," told The New York Times that she "did not see this coming at all."
Eight years after the hit podcast "Serial" covered the conviction of Adnan Syed for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, Syed was released from prison on Monday.
"Serial" host Sarah Koenig told The New York Times, which bought Serial Productions in 2020, that she was "shocked" at Syed's release.
"I did not see this coming at all," Koenig said. "One of the first things I did was call Adnan's brother and then his mother — they told me they didn't know either. The prosecutors who filed the motion to release him kept it pretty tight, it seems."
Syed, who is now 41 years old, had been behind bars for 23 years after being sentenced to life in prison at the age of 18. In 2014, the first season of "Serial" raised doubts about Syed's trial and conviction, without coming to its own conclusion about whether he murdered Lee, his former girlfriend.
A Baltimore judge vacated Syed's conviction on Monday after prosecutors revealed that evidence pointing to potential alternate suspects was never turned in, and that they no longer had faith in the case.
"I felt almost disoriented for about a day," Koenig said. "Like the city prosecutor's office suddenly pulled off a rubber mask and underneath was a scowling defense attorney."
"Serial" surged to the top of Apple Podcasts on Tuesday after a new episode was released detailing Syed's release.
Prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to pursue a new trial against Syed, but Koenig said on the new episode that the chance of that is "remote, at best."
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