#Serial: No Miscarriage of Justice in the Adnan Syed Case

by Jamison Koehler on February 12, 2015

Over at our private family page on Facebook, we have been having a lively discussion about Serial, the This American Life podcast that investigates the 1999 murder of Baltimore County high school senior Hae Min Lee. Lee’s former boyfriend Adnan Syed is currently serving a life sentence for her murder.  The 12-episode podcast investigates allegations of his innocence.

My brother-in-law George and I are on opposite sides of the debate. I am convinced of Syed’s guilt – at least as convinced as you can be after listening to a superficial summary of the evidence by a chatty, self-absorbed non-lawyer. Leading the argument on the other side is George.  “My gut says he’s guilty,” says George, “but I am dumbfounded that he was found guilty based on the flimsy evidence.”

George is a true Renaissance man, as good with the arts and social sciences as he is with hard science. At the same time, his experience with our criminal justice system is — as far as I can tell — limited to having received a ticket for parking in a cross-walk thirty years ago and then writing a song about it.  Now compare George’s experience with my qualifications. After all, although I have never done a murder trial, I have devoted my entire legal career to defending the accused. That is, of course, if you believe the hyperbole on my website.

So whose argument do you think carried the day?  First there is my niece Geneva:  “I agree with Uncle George,” she says.  “It doesn’t seem like enough!  There isn’t a SINGLE other person besides Jay!!”  Then one of my sisters jumps in:  “I find myself agreeing with George on all counts.”

And this isn’t even the sister who is married to George.

So where do I begin? First, I am still puzzling over one of Syed’s statements to narrator Sarah Koenig. When asked why he would have considered pleading to a crime he didn’t commit had such an offer ever been extended to him, Syed responds that, during the 15 years he has been spent incarcerated, he has not met many people who have beaten a first degree murder charge. The absurdity of this statement goes unremarked upon by the adoring Koenig.  Oh really?  Do you think that might be because, generally speaking, people who have beaten criminal charges are not sitting around in prison?

Second, there is the producers’ misguided decision to devote an entire episode to the views of the Innocence Project at UVA.  Although Koenig takes this as a sign of encouragement, I don’t know how you can be surprised that the head of the Innocence Project, a woman who has spent the previous 26 years seeking to have people exonerated of crimes for which they were convicted, would look at the evidence and arrive at the conclusion of innocence.  I suspect that if Koenig had brought the same facts to the local prosecutors office to get their feedback she would have come back with the opposite conclusion.  Can you say “organizational bias”?

Finally, there is Koenig herself. It is not just that, in trying to be so hip, she says things like “what went down that day” when “what happened” would work much better. It is also that, putting herself front and center in the story, she is so clearly smitten with Syed that all objectivity flies out the window. In the very first episode, she describes him as tall and “barrel-chested” with large, brown eyes, like a calf. And she can hardly disguise the giddiness in her voice every time she speaks with him on the phone.  She subsequently ties herself up in knots trying to find any evidence of his innocence. A butt dial? Really?

In the final episode, in a rare moment of self-awareness, Koenig notes that this case came to her, not the other way around.  Did my colleagues and I, she asks, just spend a year of our lives investigating  a run-on-the-mill murder case?  Because that would be a real bummer, wouldn’t it?

The tale of an innocent man sitting behind bars makes a far more compelling story, and that is clearly what Koenig and her producers were hoping for. But I am not convinced. Although, as it turns out, I cannot speak any for any of my family members, let me put it this way:  I myself am not losing any sleep over this.  Nor am I willing to draw any deeper conclusions from this case about the sad state of our criminal justice system. The government’s case was not perfect. Nor were the prosecutors who presented it.  But a jury heard the evidence over the 10 to 12 week trial.  They assessed the credibility of the government’s major witness and decided that they believed him. They then took just a couple of hours to convict him.  It sounds to me as though an imperfect system run by imperfect people came to the right conclusion.

44 Comments on “#Serial: No Miscarriage of Justice in the Adnan Syed Case

  1. You make strong points as usual, Jamie. I was interested to see that, after all these years, Adnan has now been granted an appeal based on ineffective counsel by his lawyer — regarding that pesky witness who could have provided an alibi but wasn’t asked to testify. My understanding is that this appeal is unlikely to be successful, but we’ll see what goes down.

  2. I don’t know. Based on nothing more than what’s written here (I actually haven’t heard these podcasts of which you speak), I have to side with George.

    (No, seriously.)

  3. Rick: That is just a defense lawyer’s knee-jerk reaction. 🙂 That and the fact that everybody always agrees with George.

  4. I hope he gets a new trial. I would love to be in the room when the second jury convicts him. The reaction of his naive, codependent lawyer pal Rabia Chaudry would be a thing of beauty.

    My vote for the worst moment of unchecked stupidity was when the Innocence Project professor at U. Va. became giddy because a serial killer was apparently at work at about the same time. When Koenig begins to question the relevance of it in light of the other evidence showing that she couldn’t have been the victim of a serial killer, the dumb or deceptive professor says: “Big picture, Sarah, big picture.” And then Koening never challenges the idiocy of that response. The serial killer idea is the quintessential theory that ignores the big picture.

    How many convictions out of 100 do you see with weaker evidence than this one? It is unbelievable that so many people entertain such doubt of his guilty in light of the overwhelming evidence. And I’m not talking about questioning whether a jury should have convicted. I’m talking about the people who really entertain the notion that he is factually innocent.

  5. Thank God, someone else who agrees with me. And a criminal defense lawyer too — and a good one.

  6. There are many, many others who agree with you Jamison, but as you mention, those who do are not losing any sleep over where Syed currently sits, and therefore do not really feel a need to comment on it.

    As skewed as the podcast was, the ridiculousness that is taking part post-podcast, on Reddit and other blogs, is hundreds of times worse. Rabia Chaudry is essentially holding her copies of the trial transcripts and other documents ransom, only releasing them after certain benchmarks are met in donations to the “defense fund” she is in charge of. The Trust currently sits just shy of $90k. If Syed does not get a re-trial that money goes to him to do with as he sees fit, meaning there is a very good chance that people are being duped into contributing money to a convicted murderer.

    Additionally, every document that is released is “pre-screened” by defense attorney Susan Simpson, who is in Chaudry’s back pocket, and is presented with the same skewed perspective as the podcast. Every new “document release” is combed over by Simpson and is subsequently accompanied by a blog post where she magnifies every minor mistake the prosecution made and offers it as prosecutorial or investigative corruption. It is clearly Chaudry’s favorite PR tool, as it is identical to Serial.

  7. Hello Jamison,

    Thank you for promoting some common sense amongst your readers. There is a lot of stuff that Koenig didn’t explore — esp things that were incriminating. See this reddit post summarizing stuff others on reddit have found or analyzed

    Since your time is limited, start with the first two links by the user who goes by reddit handle adnans_cell, and then see the Dogwood Rd related links by users with handle justwonderinif and jlpsquared. Koenig could have, and should have, checked both these angles.

    Again, thanks for your post.


  8. Jamison,
    Many agree with you! There is a romantic appeal to writing the next ‘Thin Blue Line’ that journos cant resist. The trouble is the podcast was designed for pure entertainment purposes. That meant amplifying/exaggerating/inventing any kind of ‘doubt’ and dismissing, ignoring, sweeping away anything incriminating. In fact it is fair to say that none of the prosecution’s case entire case was really presented. It was 12 episodes of defence material v zero episodes of prosecution material.

    There is no reason to doubt the jury or the judge who presided over this case.

    If George hears the full pros case he might come around 🙂

  9. Some strong convictions here. I remember waking up to my clock radio in the late 80’s, back in the same town, good old Baltimore, my wife and I listening to the accounts of Kirk Bloodsworth, who was sentenced to death for murder. The prosecutors were convinced that he was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a preponderance of evidence. I guess they had to feel that way. Well, they were wrong. And he wasn’t killed, fortunately.

  10. I stumbled upon your post after typing the words “Adnan+Syed+Guilty” into a google search. I had a discussion with some co-workers about this yesterday and they all believe Syed is innocent and, while he seems relatively affable on the podcast, I believe he is guilty. Here are a few reasons why:

    First, why would Jay Wilds insert himself into a murder investigation and confess to playing a role if he did not have anything to do with it? While he did not serve jail time, he was convicted of a felony, which stays with a person and can pose as substantial burden on someone’s life and future opportunities. For Jay to plead guilty to this role in this crime, he is either completely insane or he did what he said he did in some capacity.

    Second, to the possibility that Jay might have done it and framed Adnan, what is Jay’s motive for this? A leading theory is that Jay was jealous of the relationship Adnan had with Jay’s girlfriend, Stephanie. Even if Jay was extremely jealous of their relationship, when does strangling Adnan’s ex-girlfriend become a plausible means of exacting revenge on Adnan? It does not. Further, what are the odds that a 19-year-old stoner will have the intelligence and know-how to kill someone and then successfully frame someone else for it?

    Third, Jay knew where the Hae Min Lee’s car was located and took the police right to it.

    So, yes, Jay is inconsistent often but he is knowledgeable in key ways. Adnan, unlike Hae’s new boyfriend, Don, has no alibi. All the evidence points to Adnan.

    There are really no dark, shadowy figures in this story. Nobody conspired to frame the son of lower working-class immigrants for the murder of the daughter of working-class immigrants. That would make no sense.

    People think he is innocent because they want to believe he is innocent. He is guilty

  11. Hi, I listened to the podcast and I have to say I found Adnan to be quite unstable in his responses to SK. For instance, when she questioned him about the money stealing, he got quite angry, reactive and got his back high up, but he is so calm and collected (and sounds so calculated) when he talks about his murder trial. He remains so careful not to get mad at Jay (it almost sounds like he is trying to send Jay a message) and also he knows if he turns against Jay, Jay might have more dirt on him. I think they re both involved but Jay turned his back on Adnan unexpectedly. It sounds like it..I also wonder where Stephanie has been as both of them are so protective of her. I really think there is a third person that is not mentioned here and has gone unnoticed.

  12. I have to say for the entire run of the series and a long time afterwards I felt Adnan was innocent or at the very least his guilt was riddled with enough reasonable doubt. Of course, I had my doubts all throughout the podcast. Doubts that Koening raised like how could Adnan not remember what happened that day when everyone else seem able to. She pointed out that even the boyfriend (I forget his name) took inventory of that day when he first got the call that she was missing, something it would seem most people would do when a cop calls.. Adnan seems to be the only one who cannot remember. But I digress. While I still feel there might be reasonable doubt, alot of Koening’s case seems to hinge on Adnan’s likability. I found myself swayed by that too.

    Recently, I watched a 20/20 about the case of Doug Stewart who killed his ex-wife and I came to the conclusion that a killer might come off as guilty even in the most obvious slam-dunk cases. In the Doug Stewart case, there was a receipt of Doug buying gloves, duct tape, a tarp and a shovel, there was security cam footage of him buying that stuff at the walmart that he stopped a state away on the way to killing his wife(she lived in Michigan, he lived in Virginia), there was Doug’s fingerprint found on the plastic packaging for the tarp used to hide Doug’s ex-wife’s body at her house.Alot of evidence that would seem to bury Doug. They had an ongoing custody battle over their kids, so there’s motive. You would think that this would be enough to convict Doug, but the prosecution had more. The testimony of his co-conspirator, a young man Doug had used to create an Alibi for himself. The only thing that was missing was a body. I don’t need a body to know this guy is guilty, maybe it’s important but I don’t need it.With all this, Doug still maintains his innocence. If there was not all this forensic evidence, it would be easy to believe Doug.

    I think at the end of the day, we just want to believe someone when they look into our eyes and tell us its the truth or when they sound nice or cool. Its just how we are wired. I felt that way when I watched Doug. I felt that way when I listened to Adnan. Sure, there is less forensic evidence in Adnan’s case than in Dougs’. The point is we have to be careful not to fall prey to the better angels of our nature when it comes to the matter of guilt vs innocence.

  13. “I came to the conclusion that a killer might come off as guilty even in the most obvious slam-dunk cases”

    *correction – A killer might come off as INNOCENT even in the most obvious slam-dunk cases.

  14. I’ve been listening to the Undisclosed podcast, after devouring Serial after it was completed. I went back and forth as to whether or not I thought Adnan was innocent or guilty.

    I have advanced degrees in Islamic Studies, mostly in gender and all that entails including immigration, honor, race, etc. The big red flag for me was Jay and the “Pakistanis” in a van. Jay is so terrified that his co-worker at the adult video store *still* remembers that palpable terror and having seen pictures of Jay, I can see where you’d remember it. My theory early on, but I still can’t really find a specific justification for it, is that this was a kind of honor killing. Honor killings don’t really necessitate specificity of the crime other than some breach of the community’s code, family’s honor, etc. and they have quite a range. There was something about Adnan’s relationship with Hae even after they broke-up, we know that it was a huge no-no when they *were* a couple, that was disruptive to the community’s golden boy, to his family’s status, to the community’s status, etc. I can’t help but think that they brought Jay into it somehow with the idea that they would be able to pin it on the black guy, restore honor to Adnan and company, and no one would be any the wiser!

    My husband is an attorney and he flat-out refuses to listen to this podcast.

  15. Fact 1: Jay led police to the victim’s car
    Fact 2: Jay and Adnan both agree that they were together in the hours just before Hae disappeared when they met about Jay’s girlfriend’s birthday gift
    Fact 3: Jay and Adnan were seen together in the hours immediately after Hae disappeared
    Fact 4: Jay’s timeline of events isn’t feasible and Adnan doesn’t give a timeline

    From Fact 1 we KNOW that Jay has direct knowledge about Hae’s demise
    therefore either Jay killed Hae, Adnan killed Hae or Jay AND Adnan killed Hae

    Jay was separated from Adnan for a couple of hours but definitely wouldn’t have had time to kill Hae, drive to Leakin Park (over an hour each way) bury Hae, drive back and pick up Adnan following track practice

    Since we KNOW that Jay was involved and he wasn’t separated long enough from Adnan to commit the crime by himself, we KNOW that Adnan was involved. Therefore Adnan is lying.

    Finally, given that Jay’s timeline is impossible and his ever changing story and we know Adnan is involved as well, it is obvious that Jay is involved in the murder.

    * Most likely timeline that fits all of the facts:
    1) Adnan and Jay meet before school not to buy Stephanie a present but either for Adnan to pay Jay for helping in the murder or to finalize preparations for the murder
    2) Adnan goes back to school, gains access to the unsuspecting Hae’s care immediately following school and murders Hae. Jay is most likely parked nearby in Adnan’s car.
    3) Adnan and Jay waste time until track practice when Adnan goes to establish an alibi
    4) Following track, they waste time until sunset so they can dispose of the body under the shroud of darkness.

    Did Jay actually strangle her or did he just agree to help with the disposal of the car and body, it doesn’t matter. At the minimum, he conspired to commit murder and should be in prison for life. Both should be in prison for life.

    Finally, anyone who says that Adnan would then turn on Jay when Jay flipped on him is wrong. Adnan is obviously intelligent and turning on Jay gains him nothing and loses him everything. All of his blind supporters, his chances at a retrial and eventual exoneration, all gone. For revenge on Jay? Not worth it. Literally the prisoner’s dilemma.

  16. i think he’s guilty i just don’t think the state had a compelling case. the timeline that they present couldn’t have been correct. that’s the only thing the podcast reveals with some distinctiveness. for their theory to be correct it would have had to be an exercise of unmatched precision. it’s more likely that the crime was committed later in the day. im not sure why they were so ardent about their timeline b/c it didn’t even match the cell tower evidence, completely. Jay is full of shit. he’s an accessory after the fact (at least) and he told them this theory trying to minimize his involvement and they tried to make the evidence match his narrative. the bottom line is that no one else had a motive and Adnan can’t account for his time in any reasonable way. He also seems like a 17 year old – still – trying to sell his parents on a bullshit story. No reasonable non murderous individual loses entire chunks of time. This interviewer chick clearly fell for this guys charm and is blind to the obvious facts. NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE COMMITTED THIS CRIME. It wasn’t a random serial killer who then went to Jay and told him where the car was. The only miscarriage of justice here was that Jay was allowed to walk.

  17. It’s good to know that I’m no the only one who believes he’s guilty. I had a group of coworkers telling me he’s innoccent. I was even asked why am I even listening to the Undisclosed Podcast if I don’t believe in his innocence. Since first listening to Serial and his interviews I felt he was guilty. His responses and demeanor are what make me feel this way initiallly before even knowing the full facts. At first trying to have an open mind I thought well maybe its just him sounding defeated but I dont really feel that’s the case now. After listening to him speak I think he’s intelligient, manipulative and immature.
    Jay lies but just because he tried to diminish his own role doesn’t mean that Adnan is innocent. I’d like cold hard proof against the killer. This seems to be the reasons behind me listening to Undisclosed. Although I know this is not their goal. I almost feel like they might actually find something on accident that will confirm Adnan is guilty.

  18. Finally! Someone who sees and states the obvious! Adnan struck me as the golden boy of his community who was anything but. He is charming and manipulative. Look at how he manipulated the producer of Serial. At one point in the podcast he states” I didn’t kill her but…” in a casual manner, when if he truly didn’t kill her he would have said it in a more serious manner and that would have been the fulcrum of his statement. Instead he said it as a ” oh by the way” kind of statement. I agree the state did the best they could with an imperfect system but it was not a miscarriage of justice. I did find Jay to be believable though.

  19. Thanks for this post. I’ve listened to Serial several times (it was at the gym; I do have a life), am married to a public defender, and have a general distrust for prosecutors and cops. Although I went back and forth on Adnan for a LONG time, I believe he did participate in the crime.

    One of the things that is really bad about this case are the eyewitness accounts. I am a high school teacher, and I can tell you that my students would’ve been mixed up and confused had they been interviewed weeks later. ON THAT DAY did he ask for a ride? When did she leave school? Etc., etc. This can either be good or bad for Adnan depending on who said what at which time. Inez, who said she saw Hae after school, for example, said she was coming back for a wrestling match when it’s been proven there was no match that day based on newspaper articles. In other words, Summer and Inez, those two after-school witnesses, are thinking about another day, which would be easy to do as there are multiple matches every week. Hell, if an authority figure came to me and asked me when student X had left my last class and where they said they were going/what they had to do, I’d probably mix it up, too. My students work, have after-school activities, get rides from multiple people, etc.

    We can also somewhat discount Adnan’s alibi as she said she remember a huge snowstorm on the day she saw Adnan and that her bf had to spend the night because of it. That actually happened the week before while an early morning ice storm actually occurred on January 14. But see how these memories become blurs in the space of time?

    When it comes down to it, there is just so much that listeners discount because we want to believe Adnan. I was in that camp until I really started thinking about it. Since I am a teacher, I can see how, in a crime of passion, Adnan strangled Hae in a fit of jealousy. This has nothing to do with Adnan being Pakistani; it has everything with him being a moody teen. SK doesn’t buy that motive, but I have seen my students do crazy things in the name of love. They are dramatic and things can escalate quickly. And Hae’s diary is evidence she was quite dramatic. She loved Don after just days of dating? I could see her still enjoying the attention Adnan gave her, continuing to flirt and tease him while courting Don, and that realization in Adnan not being a good one. Mind you, this is just speculation from a teacher’s point of view.

    There are many other little things that stick out to me. Adnan’s interviews are, at times, just weird. He doesn’t have answers for crucial pieces of information. And how does a kid who pages/calls a girl multiple times a day for months prior to the killing have no communication with her January 13 on? How about both Jay and Adnan lying about their relationship with one another? They were clearly more than just acquaintances.

    Together Jay and Adnan make up some kind of story of what happened to Hae. They both participated in some way, in my opinion. My gut feeling says they were together more often than not on that day and Jenn is covering for Jay big time. Since the only consistent testimony in this whole case is Cathy’s, I believe her account of the weird apartment drop-by at the very least.

    All this being said, the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt Adnan committed the crime. There was so much shadiness in this case with police questioning and actions by the prosecution. My belief is the cops believed Adnan committed the crime but knew he would never be convicted based on the evidence unless their key witness, Jay, testified, so Jay avoided prosecution.

  20. What a relief to read your post, Jamison Koehler, JD.
    It gives me pause that Syed was tried as an adult, and that we imprison young men like him for so much longer than other countries. But if I’d been on the jury, I’d have convicted and slept well that night.
    I write this as a former city newspaper reporter who’s covered major and minor criminal and civil trials (including some of OJ Simpson’s). I’ve interviewed professionally and met socially (but thankfully never dated) charming, glib, well-spoken men who turned out to be secret abusers of women they were involved with.
    I found Serial absorbing, and a tremendous work of art —a jazz concerto of overlapping contradictory voices, multiple unreliable narrators, blind alleys explored ad nauseum and schools of red herrings netted, dissected and mounted. I could not stop listening. It’s an emotional diary of a journalist’s search for truth while exposing, as much as she can, her own blinders, hopes and presuppositions.
    But Serial became problematic when it crossed the line from entertainment to investigative journalism that cast substantial doubt on the validity of Syed’s conviction and ambivalently advocated for his factual innocence. Serial won a Peabody, one of the highest awards in broadcast journalism. Syed may get to reopen his case.
    If I’d been on the jury, I would continue to sleep well after listening to all of Serial more than once. As a journalist, it aroused my skepticism when I realized that almost nobody from the prosecution side of the aisle gave a live interview to Serial — not homicide detectives, not the prosecutors, not the victim’s family, not the witness (Jay) who confessed to helping cover up the crime by helping Syed bury Hai Lee’s body, and not the girl (Jenn) who told police she helped Jay wipe fingerprints off shovels he said had been used in the makeshift burial in a lonesome Baltimore park.
    Why did none of pro-conviction side trust Serial enough to participate? The few who cooperated and believed Syed guilty found their remarks framed in demeaning ways. To take a small example, the friend of Hai Lee’s who found Syed strangely possessive is described as “admitting” that her view might be colored by the fact that she thinks Syed committed the murder. Before playing Jay’s interview with police, Serial taints the listener’s mind by asking Adnan Syed why Jay would have made up such an apparently improbable story. (Syed swats this softball back with his signature charm and floats the notion that maybe it was for the reward money, but he hates to judge because he knows how it feels to be wrongly accused.) The simplest explanation —that Jay is telling the truth —is not given the time of day.
    I find nothing suspiciously “timeworn” (as Serial put it) about the detectives taking a close look at Syed, Hai Lee’s former boyfriend. It’s common sense. Most murderers know their victims. Women are at highest risk of being killed by an intimate partner after they leave the relationship.
    The star witness against Syed, “Jay,” gave testimony credible in its essential features: that he spent chunks of the day and evening of Hai Lee’s disappearance with Adnan Syed, used Syed’s car and cell phone, socialized with him in the company of other friends, and helped him bury Hai Lee’s body in Leakin Park, seven minutes drive from the high school. Cell phone records, other witnesses, and even Syed himself support many of his story’s essential features except for the burial, even if nobody’s story, or the cell records, matches up in every hour or detail.
    Syed’s attorney cross-examined Jay for days and failed to dent his credibility. She may have had a voice like fingernails on a blackboard, but she did not sound incompetent.

    Adnan Syed’s case does not fit the mold of most wrongful convictions. He’s not some poor guy misidentified by a traumatized rape-victim/witness and freed by DNA evidence. He’s not a defendant betrayed by a jailhouse informant who testifies to an improbable holding cell “confession” in exchange for lenient treatment. He’s not a mentally retarded African American with a drunk court-appointed attorney. He’s not a hapless devotee of heavy metal who falls victim to widespread anti-Satanic panic in a religious southern town.
    Nobody hated, targeted, or framed Adnan Syed. This was prior to 9/11. This is not Hurricane Carter. Think instead of the wife-murderer Scott Petersen, the sexual predator Bill Cosby, the Heisman Trophy winner OJ Simpson. Their public charm had nothing to do with the facts of their dubious private behavior.
    Serial spent 30 hours on the phone with the imprisoned Adnan Syed, as though plumbing his personality in this artificial encounter would give her clues to what he did or didn’t do on a winter day in Baltimore in 1998, a couple of weeks after Hai Lee left him for the last time and took up with another young man. This is a rookie mistake, thinking you know someone on the basis of their words alone in journalism and in life.

    Memory is fallible. I’m not surprised by minor discrepancies in court testimony that defense attorneys (and prosecutors alike) usually make much of: “Ms. Jones, in your deposition you said there were three apples. Now you say there were two. Were you telling the truth then or are you telling the truth now?” I have seen EMTs grilled as though they were responsible for the murder they’d come to clean up.
    It is reasonable to think that Syed is factually innocent only in a Ptolemaic universe, where the planets describe weird looping orbits in order to justify the theory of a solar system whose heavenly bodies rotate around the earth rather than the sun.
    If Adnan Syed is telling the truth, an extraordinarily long list of people are lying. The two high school girls who said he asked Hai Lee for a ride on the day of her disappearance. Jay, the young weed dealer who feared the police and yet confessed helping bury Hai Lee. Jenn, who drove Jay to a dumpster to wipe fingerprints off the burial shovels. The words of the dead girl, Hai Lee herself, via her diary and a letter to Syed describing him as a possessive lover who accused her of making him “sin” by alienating him from his religion and wouldn’t accept their breakup. And Syed himself. On the back of a letter of complaint that Hai Lee sent him underscoring one of their breakups, he later wrote these words: “I will kill. ” In that instance, I believe him.

  21. I started the podcast thinking Adnan was innocent, but all the facts mentioned kept creeping back. The last episode convinced me he was guilty. When the producer Dana started listing out all the unlucky coincidences it would take for Adnan to be innocent. And it always came back to Jay knowing about the crime scene, and where the car was. That excluded other possible killers like Mr S, or Don, or the serial killer. None of those could align with Jay.

    And while Jay was sketchy on the timeline and place the trunk reveal happened, he was accurate on the Leakin Park timeline. And there was no motive for Jay to kill Hae Lee, and the only one with motive was Adnan. I also wondered about the Don letter. Hae would have and that in the car with her when she gave Adnan a ride from school. I wonder if that was the tipping point for Adnan? At any rate, the podcast was fascinating. I do think people expect crimes to be solved like CSI, with all the ducks lined in a row, or with a blurted confession. But most cases aren’t, I imagine, and the prosecution goes with what they have. While I do think the case was flimsy, it was obviously strong enough that it only took jurors two hours to deliberate. There were doubts, definitely, but was there a reasonable doubt that would have involved another killer for Hae Lee? I couldn’t think of one.

  22. Why would Jay insert himself into this mess? He was already involved with the police. He had been arrested on 1/26/1999 (before Hae’s body was found), so it is *just possible* he was offered/threatened with something to initiate his involvement. Once he said “Ok” to the prosecutor/police it would have been pretty hard to uninvite himself to their party, regardless of how tortured and improbable his testimony *had* to become in order to fit their ever-changing timeline. The prosecutor supplied Jay with his attorney for Jay’s plea agreement, included a willingness to testify at Adnan’s trial.


    Keep in mind, in this instance Urick was prosecuting JAY and the defense attorney for Jay was *supplied* by Urick. Rather odd, I would say.

    It doesn’t matter that Jay had no reason to kill Hae. Jay is not the accused in Adnan’s trial, so no one has to defend him. Separate issue, therefore a fallacy in reasoning.

    IF (beyond a reasonable doubt, shall we say?) you can consider the possibility that Jay may have been willing to accept suggestions/hints/encouragement from the police and/or prosecutor at any time leading up to the trial, in any of his statements recorded or prerecording, then it seems possible that Jay basically doesn’t know anything about Hae’s murder – where he was, who he was calling, where Hae’s car was. In fact, Jay might have no better idea of what Jay’s day was like on 1/13/1999 than Adnan can recall what Adnan’s day was like on 1/13/1999. Jay may have stepped on a landmine and once he heard the click he was just desperate to do what ever it took (say perjury?) to stay on the grateful side of Urick, who was the only person who could safely extricate Jay from the landmine without loss of life or freedom. Just a thought.

    Personally, I think our justice system is mildly to moderately #%#*!@ up and if I found myself questioned by police about my whereabouts a month or more out from my average* day, I could be in prison for life too. That is a frightening thought!

    *Just a reminder, Adnan was asked by police (Adcock) if he knew where Hae might be on the evening of 1/13/1999, when her parents’ reported her missing. After that, life goes on per normal for the entire school at Woodlawn, most of Hae’s friends, according to testimony at trial, not really worrying about Hae for a week or more (think self-absorbed teens who imagine themselves [and their friends] as more or less immortal). There is no further questioning by Hae’s family or the police. She’s not in school, but who knows, maybe her parents are so mad at her for breaking the rules that she is grounded and her pager is taken away?

    (Yes, most of us would like to be grounded from school, but Hae was an excellent scholar and athlete, making that sort of child stay home and babysit annoying cousins or clean the house to learn a little gratitude might not be a bad punishment.)

    So, back to Woodlawn…students are being students and doing their self-absorbed thing. We know from trial testimony that even those who ‘remember’ seeing Hae on 1/13/1999 are actually remembering things differently or from (a) different day(s): wrestling, concession stand, basketball game, etc. If Adnan DID NOT kill Hae, he really has no reason (a month later) to have that particular day stand out from any other day, especially in an impromptu chat with the police, which is all he had before he was arrested at the end of March.

  23. Kim, your position is that Jay knew nothing about the murder, or the car, or anything and was just a patsy to prop up the prosecution’s case? I don’t see how that is the case. I agree with the lawyer that you cited in your link and his reasoning on the case, but none of that has anything to do with the statement of facts. Jay’s account of events happened before he actually got the lawyer from Urick. And even if you question the full account of the day, the critical points all match up and he was able to find the car.

    Add to that the fact that Jay was telling multiple people what happened that day. He was afraid, and not of getting caught by the police. I think that there was prosecutorial misconduct, but none of that was pertinent in the facts given by Jay about who killed Hae Lee.

  24. George Castillo,
    Jay was picked up by police and arrested in late January 1999. (So after Hae had disappeared but before her body had been found.) He was charged with disorderly conduct (misdemeanor, I believe) and resisting arrest (felony, pretty sure). For this alone he was probably facing jail time and/or some hefty fees. On 2/9/1999 Hae Min Lee’s body is found. Jay is talking to police (according to his employer) sometime around 2/20-22/1999. This is presumably about his 1/27/99 arrest since it is not part of the discovery in Adnan’s case…but who knows what occurred considering all that happens after that.

    2/26-27/99 Jenn P. gets interviewed about Hae (with a lawyer present)
    2/28/99 Jay gets interviewed about Hae. At this point he still has that previous 1/27/99 arrest hanging over him.
    (Adnan arrested)
    3/5/99 Jay’s 1/27/99 arrest is ‘stetted’ or set aside. Why? Because he agreed to cooperating in an ongoing investigation? Maybe not, but we do not know. Whatever the reason, at this time Jay has no charges against him for which he can have legal counsel provided by the state. He is on his own or has to self-pay for any legal advice. Apparently, up to this point, he has had no legal advice.
    3/15/99, 3/18/99, and 4/13/99 Jay is talking to police again. He still has no legal representation or advice and his story, sure ‘nough, begins to resemble a timeline that implicates Adnan and becomes refined as the police learn new information.

    So what happens if Jay mentions that he might have some info to share with police about a murder investigation if they can be a little lenient with the felony and misdemeanor charges? (He’s dating Stephanie and has certainly heard rumors. I can see the mere suggestion of something like that snowballing out of control pretty quickly for a 19-year-old, who thinks he has some street smarts, trying to out maneuver the police and detectives in Baltimore. He speaks to police again after the police have spoken to Jenn. Maybe there is a little reciprocal feeding of rumors and information and perhaps Jay thinks he is doing fine. I am sure the police are willing to encourage him that he is doing fine and will continue to do fine if he HELPS with their investigation. He still has not had to face his felony/misdemeanor charges and he still has not sought counsel. He thinks he has this under control. By the time Jay asks about getting a lawyer (3/15/99), his felony and misdemeanor are on a stet and he isn’t entitled to a public defender. When Jay finally calls the public defender’s office (late summer ’99 before the 1st trial), he is told he does not qualify for one because there are no charges against him. It is just shortly after this that Jay is charged, given a lawyer, and enters that “will testify, etc” plea bargain but by this point he is in way over his head.

    I agree that Jay’s statements to police occur before he had a lawyer. I think that is a major part of the problem he got himself into. You are correct that I should not have mentioned the prosecutor’s involvement in the early stages of Jay’s statements. Urick isn’t involved until THE SINGLE day (9/7/99) in which Jay is actually (1) charged with accessory after the fact to murder, (2) supplied a defense lawyer by the prosecutor, Urick , (3) enters a plea of guilty before a judge (4) has that judgement left ‘unfinished’ all before noon.

    If Jay is telling “multiple people” about his involvement, they are all keeping nice and quiet until late in February, after his first arrest. Jenn also gets a lawyer before she talks to police (and never gets charged with anything). Who else did Jay tell?

    I’m not sure Jay is completely uninvolved. I’m just speculating like so many others are. I just think that if this is an example of how our justice systems works…well, then it doesn’t work very well. I feel horrible for Hae Min Lee and for her family. Yuck!

  25. The ad hominem attack here by Mr. Koehler on Sarah Koenig strikes me as not only ill conceived, but also simply sour grapes. How dare a journalist venture into the territory of prosecutors and defendants?

    She did. And millions of people listened. An diverse, international audience began to questioning the blindness of justice and the vagaries of the criminal justice system in particular. Bravo.

    It was a stirring documentary series that certainly left me absorbed. Her conversational storytelling was compelling narrative and in no way should she be faulted for it.

    My gut? Adnan is guilty. No way, given the evidence presented at trial, however, was there not reasonable doubt. Jay was clearly much more involved than he claims. But he has not near enough motive to strangle Hae Min Lee. However, given Jay’s past, I concede that it is possible he agreed to collude with Adnan for payment. Or he agreed to be an accessory after the fact for other reasons.

    When all is said and done, the eyewitnesses and the friends don’t carry quite as much weight with me. How often are people shocked that their friend/neighbour/co-worker could commit murder? What Koenig did that was strikingly original, in that she not only painstakingly investigated the facts, but also the judicial system, and our own emotional involvement when we investigate or bear witness to any story.

    For many reasons, SERIAL is groundbreaking. Our own inherent biases and compulsions are probably the first challenge in attempting to meet the facts of this case.

    It is such a tragedy that a young woman died. It is also sad that we care more about it because of curiousity, not empathy.

  26. “at least as convinced as you can be after listening to a superficial summary of the evidence by a chatty, self-absorbed non-lawyer. ”

    lol…I concur. I enjoyed the podcast, and it did ‘make me think’, I love wrongful-conviction and false-confession stories, they exisist and awareness of them HELPS the justice system—sadly, this isn’t one. Not to me.

  27. I am an appellate prosecutor. The evidence in this case and in the Steven Avery case was compelling. Our homicide prosecutors would love to try a case where an accomplice’s testimony is corroborated by cell phone records, physical evidence, and the defendant’s own statements. Our homicide prosecutors would love to try a case where the victim’s remains were found in a fire pit on a defendant’s property, where a victim’s personal effects were found in a barrel on a defendant’s property, where the victim’s car was found on the defendant’s property, where the defendant admits on national television that he saw the victim on the day she went missing. Not to mention the defendant’s DNA in the victim’s car and the victim’s car key and DNA in the defendant’s bedroom.

    As an appellate prosecutor for the past 10 years, neither of these cases give me even a bit of pause. Especially not Avery’s case. The jury there heard every bit of evidence Making of a Murderer challenges as well as the prosecution’s evidence over the course of several weeks, weighed the credibility of each, and resolved the conflicts in favor of the prosecution. Avery had an excellent defense by seasoned, effective defense attorneys.

    The only thing that would have given me pause about Sayed’s case was Asia McClain not being called as an alibi witness and there being no evidentiary hearing on why she was not called. Effective assistance of counsel is presumed and a defendant must demonstrate that he received defective counsel. Decisions concerning what witnesses to call and what defenses to present are presumed to be matters of trial strategy. Defendant has to show that the decision not to call a witness was objectively unreasonable and but for the trial counsel’s bad decision, defendant would have been acquitted.

    Asia McClain’s proposed testimony is interesting. It seems that Sayed’s trial attorney knew about her and decided not to call her. Perhaps because it is contradicted by Sayed’s own statement that he was with Jay and not at the library. Or perhaps because it would corroborate Jay’s testimony that Sayed was trying to create an alibi by returning to the school after strangling the victim. Which was further corroborated by Sayed’s initial alibi that he was at his mosque which was abandoned when cell phone records placed Sayed somewhere else.

    Also, McClain’s proposed testimony is impeached by her statements to the prosecutor that she was pressured by Sayed’s family into writing the letters and her unwillingness to initially testify at an evidentiary hearing during defendant’s direct appeal.

    Serial and Making a Murderer make for compelling radio and TV. But concluding that these defendants are innocent or deserve new trials based solely on ten hours of defense-slanted narratives without any deference for the jury verdicts or the entirety of the evidence trouble me. It is like basing a decision on the defendant’s opening statement or closing argument.

  28. Julie, I believe you may be placing to much faith in 3rd person testimony (cough Thiru Vignarajah) rather than actual trial evidence and testimony in Adnan Syed vs State of Maryland.
    1) Expert testimony at the recent PCR hearing and previous court decisions back up the contention that a defense attorney cannot have a ‘strategic reason’ to NEVER CONTACT a potential alibi witness put forth by their client. ASIA WAS NEVER CONTACT BY ANYONE ON THE DEFENSE TEAM. I’ll assume you understand the difference between contacting a potential alibi witness and/or call a potential alibi witness to testify.
    2) Asia did not say she was pressured. She initiated the contact with Adnan’s family just after his arrest. She chose, of her own volition, to write to Adnan with specific, verifiable evidence of what she recalled.
    She admitted to being ‘irritated’ when she was initially approached by Ms. Chaudry, but that was after the 2nd trial. Irritation does not equal pressure.
    3) The cell phone ‘evidence,’ at least as far as incoming calls, has been shown by A) the original expert brought in by the prosecution, B) the defense expert at the PCR hearing, and C) even the FBI CASE expert brought in by the state in the recent PCR hearing to be ambiguous if not downright junk science.

    The facts of the testimony and the evidence presented in the hearing are available to anyone who is interested in the TRUTH of this case. Your statements, not to mention those put forth by AAG Thiru Vignarajah in his post PCR hearing press conference, perpetuate the growing concern all citizens should have that our nation’s prosecutors cannot be trusted to follow the standards set for them by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1930 when it said that the prosecutor’s interest in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.

    I haven’t followed the MAM case very closely, so I, as a mere humble citizen of this nation, do not feel qualified to offer an opinion since it would not be based on verifiable fact but only on hearsay.

  29. Julie,

    Just curious, as a prosecutor, what were your thoughts on Brendan’s conviction? Even if you do not believe that Avery was framed, can you honestly say you believe the confession from his nephew?

    I agree with your analysis of not putting Asia on the stand. There is no way to know why Gutierrez did not call her to the stand. Perhaps she went to the library and was not able to find tapes to prove Adnan was there, or any logs to see if he was there. Perhaps she was able to refute her story based on other factors. Maybe it contradicted the story her client had plus her strategy for trial. Or perhaps, Adnan never gave her the letters. This was a interesting theory here: https://www.reddit.com/r/serialpodcast/comments/3919qu/when_did_gutierrez_learn_about_asia_did_she_ever/

  30. Jamison,
    Thank you for one of the more accurate summaries of Serial. You make many great points and I agree completely with your final sentence.

    I found Serial was an exploration of justice based on “feelings”. I too thought it was odd when Sarah talked about Adnan’s big dark eyes, etc when she should be discussing the facts of the case. I noticed she often would speak in a slightly higher pitch when talking to Adnan, something women unconsciously do when they’re around men they’re attracted to. Her speech about “oh you’re just such a nice guy” was just pathetic and awkward. Even Adnan was getting frustrated at that point. When I googled her, and learned she has a “face made for radio”, it all made sense. To think she played just a few minutes out of her countless hours of conversation with the guy makes me wonder how hilarious the rest of it must be. It boggles the mind that this biased “investigation” could win a peabody.

  31. TJ:

    Maybe this is the journalism of the future in which the reporter inserts him or herself into the story. I have been listening to the Bergdahl series, and Koenig again spends a lot of time talking about, as you say, her feelings. In fact, in the last episode that I listened to, she even had someone else interview her about how she felt about something.

    Koenig may have been flattering Syed in an attempt to put him at ease. I think of Joe McGinniss snookering Jeffrey MacDonald into confiding in him and allowing him complete access while McGinniss was writing Fatal Vision. (Jeffrey MacDonald’s wife contacted me a couple of years ago and I wrote about that murder here:


    But I agree with you about the tone of Koenig’s voice — she sounds almost giddy. It is as if she has a schoolgirl crush on him.

  32. One of the most troubling aspects in both Syed’s case and Avery’s case is the complete failure to view or evaluate the cases within a legal frame work.

    In evaluating whether a defendant received a fair trial or was denied the effective assistance of counsel, you have to examine the entire record. You cannot view pieces of evidence–like snippets of testimony.

    For instance, in Syed’s case, Koenig makes much out of Jay’s inconsistent statements. In 15 years as a prosecutor— 10 of those as an appellate prosecutor–it would be the rare case where a witness did not have some inconsistencies in his statement, especially when the witness was an accomplice and\or gave multiple statements and testified multiple times.

    The jury is instructed on inconsistent statements and instructed that it may consider some, all, or none of a witness’s statement. The jury is also instructed that one way to evaluate a witness’s testimony is to consider whether it is corroborated by the other evidence.

    Here, the jury was informed of the inconsistencies in Jay’s testimony through a thorough, searching, multiple-day cross examination. Informed of the inconsistencies, the opportunity to watch Jay testify and observe his demeanor, and the other evidence, the jury likely chose to believe at least some of Jay’s testimony.

    We take witnesses as we find them. Witnesses to criminal behavior, especially accomplices to the behavior, are typically not boy scouts. Jay was a pot dealer, who helped Syed bury Hae’s body. Koenig’s shock and disbelief stem from her ignorance of the legal and practical machinations of the criminal justice system.

    Journalists and the press have a role to play in the criminal justice system. Like in exposing the sex abuse scandal in Boston. Like busting open the case against Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Like exposing that they were innocent men on death row in Illinois. But journalists need to keep a professional distance so as to maintain objectivity. Journalists should have a healthy skepticism of both the prosecution and defense cases. Journalists who cover the ctiminal justice system should also have a workkng understanding of the law.

    Documentarians are not journalists but they should maintain their objectivity and have a working knowledge or be very clear about the fact that they have a bias, are not lawyers, and avoid portraying their sweeping conclusions about a case as gollowing from law and\or fact when they’re not.

  33. Julie,
    Again, I am responding in reference to Serial season one only, as I do not have as much information on Making of a Murder.

    Serial is Serial. It is “one story told week by week.” Koenig’s mission was not to determine if Adnan Syed was guilty, innocent, not guilty, or anything else. The opening sentence of her show places her, Sarah Koenig, squarely in the middle of this series. “For the last year I have spent every working day trying to figure out where a high school kid was for an hour after school one day in 1999.” She goes on to say, “I realized it is really hard to account for your time, in a detailed way I mean.” She does not put herself forward as an impartial spectator. She states she will try to be ‘honest’ but never claims to not waver between who/what she believes as she presents new material to her audience. I do not think Sarah Koenig believes (nor intended for her audience to believe) that she had revealed all the details in this case. In the final episode she states she still has ongoing questions and has reached no final conclusion on Adnan’s guilty/innocence. It’s entertainment.

    News reporters or investigative reporters who specialize in a specific news genre should, as you said, maintain their objectivity and acknowledge their biases and the limits of their knowledge (though personally I think they rarely do). None of this applies to the phenomenon that was Serial season one.

    On the other hand, since you state quite confidently that “Jay was a pot dealer, who helped Syed bury Hae’s body,” you obviously have read through all the evidence, read all available transcripts, and (without any acknowledged bias) have reached THE CORRECT CONCLUSION. Why? Well, I guess because you have “15 years as a prosecutor — 10 of those as an appellate prosecutor.” Why should we lowly and humble, uninformed citizens question you?!

    Perhaps your bias is showing? Perhaps the criminal justice system’s legal framework has gone for too long in this country not being questioned? Do I need to point out that just because something, like our justice system (or my personal budget), operates in some certain way now that it does not mean it can not be questioned, scrutinized, and perhaps improved?

    Serial season one did not set out to prove Adnan was innocent. It most emphatically did not state that Adnan was innocent, or guilty. It raised questions about police investigative processes, about the credibility of many peoples’ testimony (not just Jay’s), and about our judicial process. I think all of those questions are reasonable to ask and reasonable to further investigate.

    Regardless of the truth of this particular case, which, unfortunately, the general public may never know due to the many unresolved and potentially unresolvable questions and the time that has elapsed, I think it raised awareness for a segment of the population who up until now had not been given such an interestingly presented platform to learn more about these subjects.

  34. Speaking of snippets and feelings… Can some savvy legal mind explain the strategy for comments like this in a closing statement?

    “What evidence you have before you is that the records — when this entry was made, at what time of day. The thing that could have clearly established that she signed for whatever purchase added up to 1.71 and that it was the owner of the ATM card that used it on 1/14, 1999, might have been – – even though – – the man on whose testimony they based charging — they never looked at them. They had these. And they’ll say that this is in April they got the records. Assistant State’s Attorney, Homicide Division, Courthouse East, here, this building. And look at the entry that says January 14th, 1.71. Or find out what’s — where is that Crown? Maybe somebody saw her. And at the same time — did nothing — sent to them.”


    “In — don’t have a system of — we don’t pick the jurors who are charged by judges to act as referees. We don’t allow subjects charged by the police to have lawyers who have a role — I stand up here because I have a role. You take an oath to listen to the evidence and to listen to me — Detective McGilvery decides that he believes the anonymous call from an Asian male, whoever that is.”


    “Ms. Murphy focuses on, the Tina residence, the young — non-Muslim — who met Adnan at a party on Scarlet Place, right down the street, and likes the attention that a handsome young boy is playing with her this phone as technologic as you get, has on it the scroll system anybody could make that call. But more important, the only – – is Jay Wilds – – this most important call is to Ms. Murphy, go the Tanner residence in Montgomery County, took place at 3:32. Now, according to Jay Wilds, he’s and Adnan — well, I’ll call you around 3:30 — Jay testified how he didn’t call at 3:30. 3:30 came and went, so he got in his car and he started to go, and Jen Pusitari — so according to — Jay Wilds — he was in the car that night – –”


    “And based on what Jay Wilds said, they came in the middle of the night — Adnan Syed. And — even if you can get past his story that his urge to urinate is so great, 2.9 miles from his house, right off Dogwood Road, right off of where Dogwood Road intersects with Woodlawn, on which is Woodlawn High School. He had to urinate so bad and he was so concerned, as he said, about this privacy and not being seen that he walked into the woods, 127 feet — him sign this — we never heard and you can’t speculate. But the one thing you can assume, if there was something else there that would hurt Adnan —”

    Between these baffling, disjointed comments (I would not be so polite as to call them statements) and Ms. Gutierrez’ grating voice, my *feelings* as a juror (you know, one of us common folk) would be that this lady is whacked. Furthermore, I wasn’t allowed to take any notes and there were so many times, dates, places and lies about times, dates, and places. I know there was some evidence about Jay locating the car, (did he say he just ‘saw’ it around the neighborhood?), the relationship (that Enehey Group testimony was frightening), Adnan smoked pot (!). Not to mention that after the police started telling the kids at school that there were loads of evidence about Adnan’s guilt, well then everybody at school started spreading these rumors about how he was guilty… Well, somebody killed this poor girl and the police and prosecutors seem pretty sure it was this guy since he’s the only one they really even looked at…


    Are we done here? Where’s the nearest bar, by the way? TV court is SO much easier to understand…

  35. It’s obvious that Adnan did murder Hae. No he should not get a new trial. He had two already and was convicted of murder in both.

  36. AC
    It is obvious that you do not know anything about the case if you think he was convicted in 2 trials. His first trial ended in a mistrial. He was convicted in his second trial with the help of an ailing defense lawyer (Christina Gutierrez), prosecutors who don’t follow the rules of discovery, and a coached witness (Jay Wilds). Pray you never are wrongly accused and face a jury/judge/justice system of YOUR peers.

  37. I think there is a misconception that someone has to have committed this crime therefore that someone is “x” or “y”. Its been a while since law school and I didn’t pursue a legal career so there may be some holes, but I did listen to this podcast and I have to say my conclusion was different. Adnan in my opinion is more likely than not to have murdered Hae, but that is not the burden of proof in a criminal case. In a civil case you can reach the conclusion “okay…Adnan probably did it, because there is a body of circumstantial evidence that supports it (see OJ’s civil case)”. In a criminal case you cannot say “Alright we have “x” and “y” as suspects of murdering “z”, if “y” has not done it, “x” must have done it. That is a big no-no in criminal law. You also cannot say, “x” is saying “blah” and “y” is saying “meh”, “meh” was corroborated by “1/2 & 3” but “blah” was never corroborated, therefore it must be false. Also a big no-no. There are assumptions in each of those statements, and while okay in civil cases to say “yeah, that assumption is a safe one” in criminal case, those are deal breakers. While I also believe that Adnan had something to do with this crime (And that is the safest assumption that I can make with what I listened to and read in the case facts), I cannot agree with the legal premise that he is beyond reasonable doubt, the one who killed Hae. There is sufficient reasonable doubt in the scenario that Adnan HAD TO BE involved. There is also sufficient reasonable doubt that the Hae murder investigation was conducted poorly and there were signs of misconduct. Therefore (as our criminal justice system have chosen these words very carefully) be inclined to say that Adnan Syed is “not guilty”. We don’t say that Adnan Syed is “innocent”

  38. Set aside that Adnan doesn’t want the DNA testing done. He called her all the time up to the point where she was dead. Then with everyone looking for her he no longer calls, why? because he already knows she is no longer able to answer the phone.

  39. Pingback: Adnan Syed Dna | Seattlehomesfront | Post

  40. Try harder, jeff.

    1) Adnan has never said nor implied that any DNA connected to his case should not be tested.
    2) Adnan got his cell phone on 1/11/1999 (2 days before Hae went missing). He called Hae the evening of 1/12/1999. (3 calls within a little over an hour, but only one lasting long enough to consider a voicemail or short conversation at 1 min 24 sec). He made no other phone calls to Hae. I’m not sure how you can claim that “he called her all the time up to the point where she was dead” based on the phone records. A better assumption, although it is only an assumption, is that he called her shortly after he got his new phone to give her his phone number, as he presumably did with other friends and acquaintances.

    Please, jeff, share with us more of your astonishing evidence against Adnan.

  41. Pingback: Difference between a leading and non-leading question | Koehler Law

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