“Serial”: My Verdict

serial square

Serial is a podcast about the murder of Hae Min Lee 

Sarah Koenig of the podcast “Serial” has spent over a year trying to determine Hae Min Lee. By the last episode she still has no concrete evidence against anyone but if anything has come out of the podcast it is that she believes the evidence against Adnan Syed, the convicted murderer, is too weak for him to be guilty. Frankly, I agree that Adnan was innocent and should be released from prison. The main reason I agree is that suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the evidence is not enough to prove Adnan guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Evidence

The main evidence that the state used in the case against Adnan is Jay’s testimony,  his relationship with Hae, he asked Hae for a ride on the day she disappeared, Adnan’s cell records(Koenig).

Jay’s Testimony



Jay said he knew he could get charged if he didn’t ‘come clean’


The testimony of Adnan’s friend, Jay, was probably the most important piece that was used to ‘prove’ Adnan’s guilt and one of the reasons I think Adnan is innocent.  I have one major problem with the testimony, why would Jay assist Adnan in a murder and have weeks pass by before he had a change of heart to confess. Additionally, Jay remembers a lot of details about that day, a lot of what he said conflicts with other evidence, such as the phone records, and his story changes a lot from interview to interview (Koenig). It seems to me that Jay said whatever he was told to so that he could avoid being convicted himself, he even recognized the fact that the police told him he could be charged if he did not cooperate (Simpson), and instead by cooperating he was able to make himself a deal and at the end he did not even get jail time (Episode 8).

Adnan’s Relationship With Hae



Adnan and Hae had recently split

Adnan’s relationship with Hae was the reason he was a suspect in the first place, Hae and Adnan had just recently broken up. Sure, I suppose that gives Adnan a motive for murdering Hae, but his relationship also could be considered for why he is not a suspect, Adnan cared for Hae for a long time before their break up and after even met her new boyfriend. So, while his past with Hae could be a motive, it definitely does not prove his guilt in any way.


He Asked For a Ride That Day


Hae’s car


Another piece of evidence is that Adnan asked Hae for a ride that day, Adnan gave his car to Jay that day, Adnan admitted that he asked her and many other people said they saw it happen. The reason this is important is that in his second interview Jay said, “No, but he tell me that ah, he’s gonna do it in her car.” (Episode 12) So, Jay said that Adnan told him he would kill Hae in her car and he admitted that he asked her for a ride, the problem with this is that nobody saw Adnan in her car actually, there were people who saw Hae leaving without Adnan in the car. Also, why would Adnan admit to asking for a ride to the police if he really killed her in the car, before admitting to this all they had was some students who thought they heard or saw him ask, nothing concrete until he admits to doing it. So, if this was really an important and incriminating piece of evidence, why would Adnan admit to asking?

The Cell Records



Jay claims he was at Jenn’s house without Adnan until about 4 but he also claims Adnan was there for the Nisha call, which happened at 3:30 (before he says he met Adnan)

Other than Jay’s testimony records from Adnan’s phone was the most important piece. First is the Nisha call, a call from Adnan’s phone to a girl that only he knows and happens in the middle of the day so it helps to prove Jay’s story (Koenig), but “Serial” proves that it may have been a butt dial. This means that a pillar of the case against Adnan is doubtable without even considering that Jay could have called Nisha because she was on speed dial on Adnan’s phone and he was snooping around. Additionally, Jay claims to remember the call but gets almost every detail about it wrong, he claims it happened about a half hour before he said, he says it was about ten minutes instead of the two it actually was, and he claims it happened in a spot that it couldn’t have because it was from a different cell tower (Simpson). So, one of the biggest pieces of evidence that tie Adnan to the murder is a phone call where we have no solid proof that it was not a butt dial or that he was even present for since the only potential witness, Jay, remembers nothing about the call accurately.



adnan jail

Adnan is serving a life sentence



In Adnan’s case, I have to agree with Sarah Koenig, although I am not completely convinced that Adnan was not involved in the murder, if I was on a jury I would find Adnan to be innocent. The case just doesn’t have strong enough evidence to prove that Adnan is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, too much of the evidence is questionable and that makes me feel that he may not have done it and should be found innocent if he gets a retrial.


Works Cited

Koenig, Sarah. “Serial.” Audio blog post. Serial. This American Life, n.d. Web.    <https://serialpodcast.org/season-one>.

Simpson, Susan. “Serial: An Examination of the Prosecution’s Evidence Against Adnan Syed.” The View From LL2. N.p., 04 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 July 2017. <https://viewfromll2.com/2014/12/08/serial-an-examination-of-the-prosecutions-evidence-against-adnan-syed/>.