Big news for Serial addicts: according to Maxim’s Matthew Farwell, one of the public radio podcast’s two upcoming seasons (the first of which premieres this fall) will focus on the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who inexplicably vanished from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. Bergdahl claimed that he intentionally walked off his outpost as part of an elaborate plan to bring his disillusionment with his mission and his leaders to light. He left with the scheme to resurface a few days later at a larger outpost, where he would be able to air his grievances with a general. By the next morning, however, he was captured by a group of guerrilla insurgents with Taliban sympathies who tortured him and held him hostage for four years and 11 months. In May of last year, his safe return was negotiated in exchange for the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners, but after his release, he was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy (the latter of which can result in a life sentence).
No one on Serial’s production staff has officially confirmed that Bergdahl’s bizarre and traumatic story will serve as a future plot, but Farwell did report that Koenig and at least one of the show’s producers were present at a preliminary hearing for Bergdahl’s case last week. He also claims that he’s been in touch with “two former members of Bergdahl’s unit in Afghanistan who say they have been interviewed by Serial producers.” When Farwell reached out to the show for comment, production manager Emily Condon emailed the following response:
“We’d very much appreciate if fellow journalists would give us some room and not feel the need to attempt to dig into and try to figure out what you think we might be doing, especially since we’re actively reporting stories, and having a bunch of wild speculation out there makes our job reporting harder. Doesn’t feel very menschy. In any case, here’s what I can tell you: The Serial staff is currently working on several things simultaneously: Season 2, Season 3, and some other podcast projects. For now we’re not talking publicly about anything that we’re working on.”
It’s the murkiest of answers, but now that word is sort of out, we’re sure more details will surface faster than you can say MailChimp.