What’s Happened With Adnan Syed’s Murder Case Since The Serial Podcast Ended?
Thursdays haven’t been the same since SK, the affectionate nickname given to the podcast’s host, wrapped up her incredibly lengthy and thorough investigation into the murder of the popular 18-year-old Woodlawn High School student. Hae was strangled to death on January 13, 1999 but her body wasn’t found until February 9, buried in Baltimore’s Leakin Park.
Sarah Koenig concluded the 12-part Serial podcast in December (Serial)
The state say Adnan, whom she dated until weeks before her death, murdered Hae in her car and then disposed of her body later that evening with the help of his “associate” Jay Wilds, who became the key witness to the entire trial. Of course, many now believe that Hae’s murder didn’t take place that way and are adamant that Adnan is an innocent man sent to prison for life on the basis of lies and an unfair trial riddled with inconsistencies.
It’s all very confusing and has continued to intensify in recent weeks thanks to new interviews and revelations, including a fresh affidavit from Asia McClain who previously claimed to be Adnan’s alibi, so we’ve digested it all for you in no particular order…
The Jay Wilds interview:
It was a huge shocker when Jay tweeted that he was ready to speak to the media about his involvement in the murder despite snubbing SK’s offer of appearing in the podcast. Now a family man, Jay chose The Intercept with whom to share his side of the story and it was explosive as he gave yet another version of the day Hae was killed, adding to the bajillionth versions we’ve heard before.
Jay Wilds during his sit-down interview with The Intercept last month (The Intercept)
Jay maintains his only involvement was the burial but this time there’s a twist as he says he didn’t help physically carry Hae’s body – it was all Adnan – but simply helped dig the very shallow six-inch grave. Safe to say his three-part interview raised more questions than we had to begin with! It got everyone mad but they were even angrier with the interviewer, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, who completely obliterated SK and Serial – we’ll come onto this later.
The Kevin Urick interview:
Remember him? Well, the state prosecutor didn’t want to speak to SK on the podcast, like Jay, so he chose to give an interview to The Intercept, again like Jay. The first part was absolutely ripped to shreds by fans who accused the interviewer NVC of being biased towards Urick and unfairly criticising SK’s investigation. In the interview, Urick claims Adnan’s trial was “pretty much a run-of-the-mill domestic violence murder” and defended the cell phone records and Jay’s inconsistencies.
After receiving an overwhelming amount of backlash, plus a statement from SK insisting that she tried to contact Urick multiple times for an interview – although he claims otherwise – the second part of his interview was heavily edited with little input from NVC. Again, he offered nothing new to toy with but he could be in MAJOR trouble due to a new development explained a bit later…
Adnan Syed is carrying out a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 1999 (Serial/Twitter)
Subredditors still trying to crack the case:
Oh the wonder that is the Serial subreddit. The Serial podcast may be over but the redditors are still going strong trying to analyse every bit of evidence over again and are ready to bash anyone that criticises the podcast or SK. As NVC well found out!
Adnan’s lawyers file appeal motion, currently ongoing:
Last week, Adnan’s lawyers finally lodged their motion asking a judge to grant their petition for a new appeal based on the grounds that Cristina Gutierrez failed to ask the state for a plea deal in the trial that resulted in Adnan’s conviction. The State of Maryland advised the judge to deny the petition but a decision is yet to be made and could take weeks, months or potentially even longer.
Witness Asia McClain speaks out:
Remember the episode where SK introduced us to Asia McClain, the WHS student who wrote letters to Adnan claiming to have seen him in the library at the time the state say Hae was killed? It was later revealed that Gutierrez had never even contacted Asia despite the fact that she was potentially his only alibi and could have made a difference to the trial. In a new affidavit, Asia denies Adnan’s family forced her to write the letters and, perhaps most importantly, did not tell Urick that she recanted her story, possibly suggesting that the prosecutor lied. Here’s her full affidavit.
Hae Min Lee was a popular student at Woodlawn High School (Twitter)
Movie studios fighting for rights to movie:
SK and the other producers stated that they had no intentions of turning NPR’s Serial into a movie at the time of their investigation, but ScreenCrush reports that Warner Bros. are interested in the potential adaptation for a feature length film while HBO have reportedly expressed an interest in developing the podcast into a limited series.
The Innocence Project:
Nothing much has been heard from Deirdre and the rest of her team since it was revealed in Serial’s last episode that they had filed a motion to test DNA evidence taken from Hae’s body. Reports have since emerged that they plan on using the DNA evidence to appeal for Adnan’s re-trial if his current motion is denied.
We’re no legal experts but the question should be raised: does all this reporting and speculation about a case that is currently in the midst of an appeal petition, jeopardise or influence the judge’s decision? We may never really know regardless of the court’s verdict due to the fact that everyone is divided 50/50 on the guilty/innocent aspect.
Still, we’ll keep you posted with any new developments that arise, including the appeal decision!
Will the courts decide Adnan deserves the right to appeal his trial? (Twitter/Serial)