If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m a true crime junkie. It’s something I’ve always been fascinated with but the thing that I find most interesting is the investigative component. Following the clues, the DNA, the timelines, the alibis, it all comes together to solve one big disastrous puzzle and hopefully serve justice. So when I learned about this pretty epic podcast by Serial which takes you into the tragic murder of Hae Min Lee and the investigation into her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, it definitely raised an eyebrow. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, this is one podcast you won’t want to turn off.
Hae Min Lee went missing in 1999 after leaving Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County Maryland. When she didn’t show to pick up her cousin that afternoon, her family reported her missing. 4 weeks later on February 9th her body was discovered in Leakin Park by a man. He had pulled to the side of the road to use the bathroom and found her. 19 days later, Adnan Syed was arrested and charged with the murder of 17 year old Hae Min Lee.
Sound like things moved fast? Well that’s because they did and this podcast will take you into all the discrepancies in stories as well as the lack of evidence and shady police moves. You’ll have to listen to the full season yourself for full details but let’s quickly run through a few people. Each are key to this and it gives a preview as to why this podcast was such a bit hit. It also challenges the justice system once you start really taking a look.
- Adnan Syed: 17 year old Muslim-American boy who dated Hae Min Lee in what was a very private relationship as she came from a Korean family. Adnan cannot recall what he did the day that Hae disappeared and this has to be the biggest thing against him. However, he sticks to his story that he has nothing to do with her murder.
- Jay Wilds: Now this is guy is SHA-DY. Jay was in hot water already for his drug dealing and he would do anything it takes to avoid going to jail. This includes working with the police to conspire against Adnan. His story involved dropping Adnan off at Best Buy and later picking him up to then helping Adnan dig the hole to bury Hae.
- Jenn Pusateri: She also changes her story several times throughout the case. Not only this but she co-conspired with Jay to put it all against Adnan. Not to mention she’s a super stoner so how reliable is she really?
- Don: This was Hae’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance and he had a solid alibi. He was at work and had the time card to prove it. Except we’re missing one little detail. His Mother was also his manager and could have easily adjusted his time card to save him.
- Asia McClain: During the trial, Asia recalls seeing Adnan after school in the library. This is where she comes to realize that she could be his alibi. If only Adnan could remember that he saw her there. Is she telling the truth or is she just trying to be a part of a nationwide case?
- “Mr. S”: This is the man who discovered Hae’s body. He pulled over on the side of the road to urinate and when he was walking into the wooded area, he saw her hair sticking out from under the leaves. The first thing to note is why was he walking so deep into the woods just to use the bathroom? Also, how could he possibly have seen her hair sticking out from the leaves with all of the brush around?
Now, I’m not here to tell you about Sarah Koenig’s investigation because that’s what you’ll want to listen to Serial for. But I do think that this is important to know before indulging into the podcast. She captures all of this information in such a remarkable way that you would think that she was more than just a journalist. Koenig tries to fill in the missing pieces and also discovers the holes in the alibis that never saw light.
She also forms a “friendship” with Adnan recording her calls with him in jail. You start to see a gentle side of him and because of this, by the end of the season, you begin to question whether he really did do it or not. Sure, it’s easy to take a single suspect and criminalize them. But to look back on where things could have gone wrong is inspiring to say the least. So take a listen and enjoy the ride because there’s a lot of twists and turns that’ll surprise you.