On January 13, 1999, Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old high school student from Baltimore, went missing. About a month later, police found her body in a nearby park. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, became the primary suspect after an anonymous call told the police to investigate him. In February of 2000, Adnan was found guilty of murdering Hae Min Lee and is currently serving a life sentence.
Though, there was evidence against Adnan, after listening to the podcast Serial, based on the murder of Hae Min Lee, there was also evidence shown for his innocence. So the question is, was Adnan a cold-hearted murderer? Or was he just framed?
The main key evidence for putting Adnan in jail was his friend Jay Wilds’ testimony, claiming Adnan had previously told him he wanted to kill Hae and was supposably there at the time when they were burying her body. But, there was no physical evidence linking Adnan to Hae’s murder. Instead, they based the verdict on Jay Wilds’ testimony, the records from Adnan’s cell phone from that day and a theory that “jealous ex-boyfriend” tried to get revenge on Hae. But is this enough evidence to send a man to prison for life?
Investigators compared soil found on Adnan’s boots to soil samples where Hae’s body was found, looked for Adnan’s fingerprints in Hae’s car and at the crime scene, tried to match fibers and hairs found at the crime scene with Adnan’s hair and clothes. But all of that came up empty. There was also Asia McClain who did not testify but claimed to have seen Adnan and spoken to him in the public library around the time that Hae was murdered.
It was a tough call whether or not Adnan was guilty for the murder of Hae Min Lee but after listening to the episodes from Serial, it seemed evident that Adnan was innocent. From the people interviewed, they all said Adnan never seemed like the type to do such thing, and he claimed he would never have an intention to hurt Hae because he loved her. Also assuming that Asia was telling the truth, he was seen in the public library at the time that Hae was killed so it couldn’t of been Adnan. Ultimately I believe there was not enough evidence linking Adnan to the murder.
I’m going to be honest, when I first saw that I had to listen to an hour long podcast I wasn’t sure how many times I would find myself zoning out and having to go back. But surprisingly, the opposite happened. Narrator, Sarah Koenig, did an amazing job explaining the story. She used a lot of expression which really kept me engaged. There was music playing in the background at some points which set a mysterious tone. There was also maps and documents (which can be found here) shared like Adnan’s cell phone records from the day Hae went missing. The episode included interviews from the real people involved and Adnan himself. It was compelling to hear what each person had to say and kept me wanting to hear more about it. I found that this type of media (podcast) was a very effective way of telling the story and engaging audience. They had multiple features like music, sound effects and real life interviews. I found this to be more effective than just reading about it because it gives the audience or listener a chance to relax and just listen to the story. It was engaging and it gave a better insight of the story.
I chose to write about this in a blog because I found it was easier to express my ideas and include some visuals and links. I also found that a blog is more personal, the writer can choose how they want it to be and write freely as opposed to a mainstream website which is more formal and less interesting.
Serial: An Examination of the Prosecution’s Evidence Against Adnan Syed. (2014). Retrieved July 15, 2016, from https://viewfromll2.com/2014/12/08/serial-an-examination-of-the-prosecutions-evidence-against-adnan-syed/