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Serial Podcast Persuasion Essay

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Lexi O

on 7 May 2015

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Transcript of Serial Podcast Persuasion Essay

This case is so interesting that there is a podcast dedicated to researching and trying to find a sure answer. The woman who ran the podcast did years of research but was unable to come to a final conclusion. That is truthfully how the situation went, all of the information only led to more questions. There is proof to make a person believe that Adnan is guilty or innocent. However, Adnan Syed is not guilty. Although there is plenty of evidence to prove or refute the idea that Adnan Syed is guilty, Adnan is innocent.
Adnan & Hae
The murder case of Hae Min Lee is full of many holes and facts that don’t match up. That’s what makes this whole situation such an intriguing case, because a person can take either side. On January 13th, 1999 Hae Min Lee was murdered and buried in a forest named Leakin Park. Hae could have been murdered by a few people, but the jury for this trial settled on the killer being Hae’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.
Adnan is Innocent
There is more evidence that makes sense proving he is innocent than guilty. One big piece of evidence that proves Adnan is innocent is Jay’s story of how events went that day. The woman who narrated the podcast, Sarah Koenig, and one of her fellow producers reenacted the events of that day, except for the murder, according to Jay’s story. They realized that the first part of the day could have happened, such as going to the mall and looking for a birthday present for Jay’s girlfriend, Stephanie.
Adnan is Innocent
However, the second part of the day is basically impossible. Going through each action taken according to Jay, Adnan would have been very late for track practice. Adnan needed to be there on time if he killed Hae so he could get an alibi. When Sarah and her friend went through this, they even hustled to try to meet the time. Even when they did this, it was way past the time that Jay said he dropped Adnan off for track practice (Episode 5, Serial Podcast).
Serial Podcast Persuasion Essay
Something about Jay’s story that seems to have fault is the location of the call that Adnan placed to Jay. This would be the call in which Adnan asked Jay to come pick him up from where he was with Hae’s car and body. In one of Jay’s first interviews, he said that Adnan called for Jay to come get him and he showed Jay Hae’s body at a drug spot.
Later on, Jay changed his story and said that Adnan called from a payphone at Best Buy and showed him the body there. Jay even drew a map of the exterior of this Best Buy and included a payphone in the drawing. When more research was done, it turned out that there wasn’t a payphone in the parking lot for Adnan to call Jay. There was one in the Best Buy hall, but none outside like Jay drew up (Episode 9, Serial Podcast).
Something that also goes against the story of Adnan being the killer is multiple people saying that there was no way that Hae could have been dead by 2:36 PM. Hae and her friend both managed wrestling, and Hae was telling her friend that she wasn’t able to attend the meet. They talked for about ten minutes and it would have cut into the time frame of Hae being murdered. Therefore, there was no way she was killed by the time Jay said. Three people said the same thing on the matter, which helps prove that it’s true. It’s possible that the “come get me” call from Adnan was at 3:15 PM, but that messes with Jay’s testimony (Episode 9, Serial Podcast, Serial Timeline).
Hae Min Lee
After the breakup, many people said that Adnan appeared to be taking it pretty well. In fact, Adnan had side chicks scattered all over the place. Adnan’s side girls could be found in different states, which shows that he was probably over the breakup if he could be with all of these girls. This leads to a big controversial piece of evidence in this case, the Nisha call. Nisha, one of Adnan’s side girls, was called at 3:32 PM. Jay wouldn’t know Nisha, but Nisha claims she talked to both Adnan and Jay. Adnan said he was at the library and that Jay had his phone at the time, not him. Since Nisha was unknown by Jay, he probably wouldn’t have called her. Meaning, Adnan would have been with his phone, also connecting him to the murder.
The call was for two minutes and twenty-two seconds, which seems suspicious because it was long as if they had a conversation. Nisha claimed she talked to both of them, but it’s possible she lied or forgot. People usually remember what happens at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, all of the events in the middle can often be hazy unless they were huge or traumatic events.
Adnan had called her later that day, so it’s possible she was thinking of that conversation. There’s also a chance she was recalling a conversation with Adnan from a completely different day. Asia, a classmate of Adnan’s, also said that she saw him at the library that day at that time and they talked for a little bit. She was never contacted to talk about this in court, but spoke with Sarah and told her this information (Episode 6, Serial Podcast, Serial Call Log).
Not only did Asia see Adnan at the time the murder would’ve taken place, but the Nisha call could have been a butt dial. At first, it sounds weird that this would be a butt dial because the call lasted for so long, but it’s a possibility. Nisha said that the phone Adnan called didn’t have voicemail, and AT&T doesn’t charge for unanswered calls, so Nisha would have answered. AT&T also won’t charge for the call unless the call isn’t terminated in a reasonable time, which is thirty seconds. If this call lasted for two minutes and twenty-two seconds, of course the phone company would charge Adnan for the call if that’s the cutoff. It seems very odd that Nisha would sit there for that long of a call, but maybe she is thinking of a different conversation with Adnan.
Nisha making all of these claims could make Adnan seem guilty when he is actually innocent. This is a very big and shaky piece of evidence, and the state had no problem using it against Adnan when there’s also evidence that he’s law-abiding (Episode 12, Serial Podcast, Serial Call Log). After the breakup with Hae, Adnan seemed pretty depressed according to multiple sources. Adnan’s English teacher claimed that Adnan turned in some depressing poetry, but said many teenagers she teaches do this. It’s pretty transparent that Adnan felt very sad over the breakup, not angry (Episode 2, Serial Podcast).

A lot of evidence is against Adnan, but a lot of it can be broken down to prove that he is innocent. For example, they found a palm print of Adnan’s on a map book in Hae’s car, including his print on the page of Leakin Park, where Hae was buried. However, there were plenty of prints on the map from different people and nobody knew when the palm print of Adnan’s was put there. Jay claimed that Adnan said he was going to get into Hae’s car to eventually kill her, but it’s not proven that the murder part is true. Multiple sources have different stories, but all of them include Adnan asking Hae for the ride the day she went missing. Hae said that she couldn’t, and Adnan just went with it partially because he knew Hae gave her cousin a ride home and she would have to hurry to pick her cousin up. This makes people believe that he killed Hae, when it’s possible his car was having problems that day and/or he just simply needed a ride.
Adnan also wrote a note during a note exchanging between him and a friend during class and one read “I’m gonna kill.” It’s possible Adnan was being serious, but it was probably him just joking around. People say plenty of horrible things when they are fooling around with their friends, and this, more than likely, was just a joke. It wasn’t okay to say this, but Adnan was probably kidding (Episode 6, Serial Podcast).

There was also a kid in Adnan’s neighborhood that claimed Adnan showed him the body, but the kid is well-known for making up stories and lying. Many people also say that Adnan could have been mad about the breakup, leading to him killing Hae. There was a bit of a simmering period after their Christmas break and before Hae was murdered where Adnan could have thought about things and snapped. Although, Adnan didn’t seem too upset and preoccupied with the breakup if he had different side chicks from different places. People also said that his charm is superficial and he would easily trick you with it, but these people could also be biased and be one-sided after hearing the outcome of the trial. It’s also been said that Adnan is a good guy and isn’t fake. Adnan was also a very respectful person and would help people out. One guy remembers Adnan making sure that he didn’t feel left out and Adnan would stand up when your parents entered the room. There have also been statements from people believing that Adnan could have killed Hae, but there are also plenty of others that say he would ever do that and that he was a good guy (Episode 8, Episode 11, Serial Podcast).

Since Adnan didn’t kill Hae, it’s possible his friend Jay did. Jay definitely had a motive to commit this crime, and it involves his girlfriend and Adnan. Jay’s girlfriend, Stephanie, and Adnan were both king and queen of a school dance at Woodlawn High School. Jay had already graduated, but Stephanie was in the same grade as Adnan. The fact those two were at the dance together and such could’ve easily made Jay jealous. Jay also has a shady background, working at an adult film store and sold drugs. People have also said that Jay would be a nice guy, yet he could also be intimidating and mean. In one of Jay’s first interviews, Jay claimed that he was the “criminal of Woodlawn.” Later, he said that he was a good guy. He went from admitting he’s a criminal to suddenly changing his mind and saying he’s a good person.
All of Jay’s interviews and his testimony for this case are filled with lies and fibs, which also makes this story hard to piece together. This makes sense because people have said that Jay often made up stories. With each story, more and more details would be added in, also making everything seem weird. Jay could have just been remembering more as time went on, but maybe the prosecution forced Jay to put details into the story to make sure Adnan was guilty. At one point, Jay was charged with accessory after the fact of first degree murder. He was told to attend the trial so he didn’t have to get jail time. This is when the prosecution could have told him to make the story sound good for him and bad for Adnan. For a quick reference back to the call log, one of the women called was a woman that only Jay would know, named Jenn. The theory is that Jay was cheating on Stephanie with Jenn. There were a couple calls to Jenn during the time range of the murder. Adnan didn’t know Jenn and he surely wouldn’t call her on a regular basis (Episode 4, Episode 8, Episode 10, Serial Podcast, Serial Call Log).
Maybe it wasn’t Jay, rather a sergeant who was suspected of committing other crimes. On December 13th, 1999, another Korean woman was strangled. This is a similar modus operandi (M.O.) to the person who killed Hae. This man, referred to as Ronald Lee Moore, was linked to two other rapes and a murder. He was released from prison on January 1st, 1999. This was thirteen days before Hae disappeared, which seems very strange. Since he had committed suicide, Sarah was unable to speak with him (Episode 12, Serial Podcast).
Ronald Lee
By looking at all of this evidence, many arguments can be made about where Adnan was at the time of the murder and if he killed Hae or not. Not only does some evidence point to him being the murderer, but there’s also evidence proving he’s innocent. The Nisha call is very sketchy, but it could have been a butt dial. Plus, Adnan was at the library according to Asia and they had a conversation. The Best Buy that Adnan supposedly called Jay from didn’t even have payphones outside like Jay said. The palm print on the Leakin Park map could have been from a long time ago and there were also handprints from other people. People said that Adnan was obsessing over the breakup, but very few people with side chicks are preoccupied with a previous relationship. Although there is plenty of evidence to prove or refute the idea that Adnan Syed is guilty, Adnan is innocent. This leads to the conclusion that Adnan Syed is an innocent man and was wrongly convicted for this crime.
Adnan & Hae
Koenig, Sarah. "Serial." Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://serialpodcast.org/>.
Picture Sources
David Haglund, Katy Waldman, and June Thomas. “Are There Alternative Theories To the Crime on Serial? We Discuss What the Podcast Hasn’t.” N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2015. <http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/11/26/serial_podcast_spoilers_no_thanksgiving_episode_so_we_discuss_alternative.html>
“In-Depth Interview with Serial's Jay.” Boing Boing. N.p., 2014. Web. 3 May 2015. <http://boingboing.net/2014/12/29/in-depth-interview-with-serial.html>
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Reporter, MailOnline. “Pictured: Potential Suspect behind 'Serial' Podcast Murder Is Named by Innocence Project 15 Years after Victim's Ex-Boyfriend Was Locked up for Her Death.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 2014. Web. 3 May 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2885445/pictured-potential-suspect-serial-podcast-murder-named-innocence-project-15-years-victim-s-ex-boyfriend-locked-death.html>
“Serial's Adnan Syed Is Granted Appeal by Maryland Court.” Daily Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2015. <http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/serials-adnan-syed-is-granted-appeal-by-maryland-court-20150207-138tld.html>
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