Serial’s podcast revisits a 1985 murder in Laramie, Wyo. : NPR

Serial’s new true-crime podcast, The Coldest Case In LaramieRecalls the 1985 murder. AboveStorm clouds hovering over downtown Laramie, Wyo., on Aug. 13, 2022.

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Serial’s new true-crime podcast, The Coldest Case In LaramieRecalls the 1985 murder. AboveStorm clouds hovering over downtown Laramie, Wyo., on Aug. 13, 2022.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

In Kim Barker’s Memory, The City of Laramie, Wyo. — where she spent some years as a teenager — was a miserable place. A veteran journalist with The New York Times, Barker There are many other things to consider. The Coldest Case In LaramieA new series of audio documentaries from Serial Productions That brings her back to her home, with its jagged edges.

The cold case in question took place almost four decades ago. In 1985, Shelli Wiley?, University Of Wyoming Student, who was attacked and killed in her apartment that was also set ablaze. The The resulting police investigation did not yield any definitive results. Two Although separate arrests were made for the crime, neither one remained. And The case was then left to freeze for quite a while.

At The murder occurred at the following time: Barker As a child, he was Laramie. The case had stayed with her: its brutality and its open-endedness. Decades later, while waylaid by the pandemic, she found herself checking back on the murder — only to find a fresh development.

In 2016 – A former officer of the police, who lived near Wiley’s apartment was taken into custody for murder on the ground of blood evidence that linked him to the crime scene. As It turned out that many people in the area suspected he was responsible. This It felt like a clear resolution. But This lead also went nowhere. Shortly After his arrest, the charges against him were unexpectedly dropped and no new charges have been filed.

WhatWhat is the exact nature of what is going on? This It is located. Barker The scene is set.

The Coldest Case In Laramie isn’t quite a conventional true crime story. It The podcast doesn’t intend to be that way; even its creators insist otherwise. “a case of whodunit.” InsteadThe show can be described as a detailed account of what happens when the chaos surrounding a terrible crime meets a gravitational pull to closure. It’s It’s a mess.

At The heart of The Coldest Case In Laramie There is a fascination with the unreliability of memory, and the slipperiness or truth. One One of the most striking moments in the podcast revolves around a woman who was living with the victim at that time. The A woman remembered being sent a note with money and a warning not too long after the murder. The The message had been engraved in her brain for over a decade, but it was finally revealed through Barker’s Reporting, very few facts about this memory are as they seem. Barker The evidence is presented to her later and it challenges her core memory. You can almost hear the mind changing.

The Coldest Case In Laramie It’s undeniably compelling. But there’s also something about it’s underlying themes which feels strangely commonplace. We’re Current saturation is evident in a documentary boom that is so dominant by true crime stories. At These themes of subjective truths and unreliable memories feel like starting points for stories like this. And The pedigree of Serial ProductionsResponsible for seminal projects such as S-Town, Nice White Parents — and, you know, Serial — it’s hard not to feel accustomed to expecting something more; a bigger, newer idea on which to hang this story.

Of Of course, none this is meant to undermine the reporting and the still very important ideas that drive the podcast. It It will be frightening to think about how our justice system relies on something so unpredictable as memory. And how different people could look at the exact same piece of information and arrive at totally different conclusions. By The series’ end, even Barker Rethinks how she remembers it Laramie Where she was raised. But These themes are becoming more expected in nonfiction crime stories, raising the question: Where Where do we go from there?

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