I Just Finished Serial and We Must Talk About It!
Serial is the newest thing everyone can’t stop talking about. It’s a podcast hosted by a reporter from WBEZ Chicago named Sarah Koenig, and produced by Ira Glass of This American Life and season 1 just wrapped.
This entire season of Serial follows the case of Adnan Syed, a man who is serving a life sentence in Maryland because he was convicted for killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when they were seniors in high school, 15 years ago. This is a TRUE story, and every episode, Sarah takes us through new developments she’s unearthed, interviews with all the parties involved (including Adnan) and her team of reporters. How did she find out about this case? A woman named Rabia Chaudry contacted her. She’s a family friend of the Syeds and she believes that Adnan is spending his life in jail for a crime he did not commit.
Adnan was born in the United States to Pakistani parents, and they’re Muslims. He was forbidden from dating but teens will be teens. Hae’s parents are Korean and she was also not allowed to date. They did anyway, in secret, and a month after they break up, she comes up missing and they find her weeks later, dead.
Adnan maintains his innocence and the main evidence against him is the testimony of a guy named Jay, who said he helped him bury the body of Hae on the evening of January 13, 1999.
All the info I just gave you is in episode 1, so this is not even the spoiler or plot points that give any real thing away.
IF YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO SERIAL, THIS IS WHERE YOU STOP READING THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE SPOILER ALERTS AND STUFF YOU WANNA GATHER YOURSELF. GO AWAY AND GO LISTEN NOW!!!
Ok they’re gone. For the rest of us, let’s talk about this.
First things first: Adnan should not be in jail right now based on the evidence that was against him. The evidence against him is flimsier than tin foil. The fact that he got convicted strictly on Jay’s word and with inconsistent phone records, doe. I mean… COME ON. There was no physical evidence that linked Adnan to the crime. His downfall was a lack of alibi and Jay’s word. That should not have been enough. People shouldn’t be found guilty if there’s enough reasonable doubt and there definitely is enough here.
Especially since we found out that the prosecution got Jay a FREE lawyer who managed to get him immunity even though he was an accessory to murder. How does the person who helped BURY THE BODY never spend one day in jail? HOW, SWAY? I understand why Christina Gutierrez, Adnan’s lawyer shrieked like a banshee when she found out that fact. There are levels to that crookedness. Jay WAS bought off. He bought his freedom with the testimony against Adnan.
Speaking of Tina Gutierrez, she didn’t throw the case: she blew it. She wasn’t trying to lose but she lost from her incompetence brought on by her failing health. All that money she got from Adnan’s family and she didn’t even follow up on IMPORTANT things, like Asia’s affidavit, and physical evidence on Hae’s body. Like DAFUQ? She should have handed the case over to someone else, and she’s dead now so she can’t be questioned. BUT it’s clear that she handled Adnan’s case terribly and that is partly why he’s spent the last 15 years behind bars.
I do not buy the idea that Adnan was so hurt by the breakup with Hae Min Lee that he killed her. It had been a month, he had met her ex and everyone around them said he had already moved on to crushing on someone else (Nisha). NO ONE said he was Hulking out about the breakup. Is it possible that on the inside, he was stewing? Yes. But enough to kill her in the middle of a Best Buy parking lot in the middle of the day? Nah.
Folks were talmbout how because he was Muslim, he took their relationship more to heart and that must have been why he was so deeply hurt. That’s another thing. His religion DID cloud some of the facts of this case and he was discriminated against because of it. The tape from the bail hearing where the prosecution said he had an uncle in Pakistan who would help him flee the country had my mouth drop. SERIOUSLY?!?! Ugh.
Now, about the Alibi that Adnan did not have. If he was really going to kill Hae, would he not have had a greater recollection of his day with a BETTER alibi? Would he not have made sure he made his presence KNOWN at track practice so people could vouch for him? Walk up to the coach and high five him or something so that dude coulda more than remembered he was there. Would he not have made sure he coulda accounted for EVERY SECOND of his day? Adnan was smart, right? Well if he was about to kill his ex, he would have better answers for his day besides “I probably was doing that” and “I don’t know. Maybe.”
It is in Adnan’s cluelessness about his day that I really do believe him. It’s simple but it’s earnest. I do not remember what I wore 3 days ago. Ask me what I was doing between 2:36pm and 6pm and I’ll look at you like you asked me to recite Pi.
Plus, I do believe in Adnan being a nice guy who wouldn’t kill someone. Yes, he stole money from his mosque and yes he smoked weed but that is a far cry from killing someone. Like Dierdre of the Innocence Project told Sarah, she’s just not that lucky to stumble upon a sociopath on this case. He seems like a mischievous teenager who just got caught up and setup. I think he’s innocent of murder. He might have been doing shady things with Jay (maybe dealing too) but did he kill his ex? I don’t see it.
That brings me to Jay. I think someone else killed Hae and Jay was roped into it and forced to help them bury her body. That same force or threat is what still has Jay petrified after this whole time. Remember the dude Josh saying that Jay was on the verge of tears when he saw a car parked outside their job and he thought someone was after him? How could that person be Adnan when he’s behind bars already? Whoever is this third person is still why Jay wouldn’t even talk to Sarah on tape. He is SPOOKED. And I think that is the person who killed Hae.
Adnan was a convenient person to pin the murder on. Why? Because they could make it seem like it could make sense. Plus since he had his phone and car, Jay could really lay out the timeline to fit what he needs it to.
All the changing things in Jay’s story is enough to let me know he is lying through his teeth. From telling Josh that Adnan came and met him at a pool hall to say he’s killed Hae to him telling cops Adnan called him from the Best Buy parking lot to tell him to come get him. To whether they went to the park to smoke before he dropped Adnan at school for track practice. Many things just don’t add up. I do believe the Nisha call was a butt dial.
And the 3 hours where Jay was being interviewed by the cops and there’s no tape, I think he was absolutely coached. Shoot, that’s probably where they told him he would not get a day in jail for burying the body of a murder victim. He got that good good snitching deal.
Also, what role does Jay’s friend Jenn have to play in all this? So she just helped him dump the shovel and his clothes and that’s it? Her version of the story also shifts. And Stephanie, Jay’s girlfriend. It was her birthday but nobody called her that day? They didn’t take her to dinner? Why is she not even an equation in all this when Adnan said he loaned Jay his car so he could go to the mall and get her a gift? There’s so much here. But I shall stop.
There’s something rotten in Denmark and it is this story! SO MANY QUESTIONS. Serial ended with no definitive answer and some people are mad about that. BUT Sarah did say that it’s all happening in real-time so I didn’t expect there to be one. All we do know now is that Adnan’s case is going to appeals in January. And the Innocence Project is getting DNA tests done on specimen found on Hae’s body (The Innocence Project Tells Serial Fans What Might Happen Next).
I REALLLLLLYYY think Adnan is innocent here. Jay is shady as hell but there’s someone else who did this who is still free and Jay protected them by throwing Adnan under the bus.
What do you think? Is Adnan guilty or innocent? What do you think really happened? Could it be the serial killer for real? WHODUNNIT?
Other reads (because we’re all obsessed):
10 Crazy (and Some Not-So-Crazy) ‘Serial’ Theories