After the release of the popular podcast Serial, more and more people are wanting to find out the truth behind the murder of Hae Min Lee, a senior high school student who died on January 13, 1999. The main suspect Adnan Syed who once dated the victim, was determined to be guilty of Hae’s death. After researching for hours, it became clear to me that Adnan is innocent.
According to Jay, Adnan showed him Hae’s body and asked him to help bury it in Leakin Park on January 13, 1999, around 7PM, 4 and a half hours after he had strangled Hae. However, Hae’s autopsy reports have shown the phenomenon of fixed frontal lividity, where the blood within the victim’s corpse tend to concentrate in the part of the body closest to the ground. This lividity can only occur if Hae was paced in a position where she is facing down for more than 8 hours. When her body was found in Leakin Park, it was not laid flat as the reports suggested, but in a twisted position “resting mostly on her right side”. This proves the theory that Hae’s body was kept somewhere for about 10 hours (which allowed the
lividity to become permanent) before being buried at the park. If this hypothesis is true, then it would be impossible for Adnan to intercept Hae from picking up her cousin, strangle her, leave her body somewhere for 10 hours then bury her in Leakin Park. Asia McClain, a potential alibi witness, stated that she saw Adnan at the public library around 2:40PM that afternoon. According to Chaudry, other evidence have been found to prove Adnan’s presence at the track practice at 3:30PM. To be able to attend the practice on time, Adnan had to get changed and walk across the campus from the library in less than an hour which overlaps with the suggested time for Hae’s death.
The forensic evidence collected throughout the investigation further confirms Adnan’s innocence. None of the hairs found on Hae’s body matched Adnan. Jay claimed that him and Adnan drove to Leakin Park and buried Hae there. However, none of the soil samples taken from Adnan’s shoes, car, room and clothes matched the soil from Leakin Park.
Adnan’s trial was heavily based on his cell phone records on the night of Hae’s death and Jay’s alibi in which the validity of his statements are questionable. The court argued that the two incoming phone calls on Adnan’s phone around 7PM can be used to support Jay’s story and as evidence to prove Adnan’s movements that night. Both of these two phone calls “pinged a cell tower that covered the area where the victim’s body was found” (Chaudry). However, Susan Simpson, has discovered a fax cover sheet which stated that incoming calls are not reliable for location. Furthermore, Jay has changed his story during the investigations and trials, and in a recent interview with the Intercept where he stated that him and Adnan buried Hae around midnight. This statement further denies the significance of the cell records.
On June 29, 2017, Adnan was granted with a new trial after being in jail for 17 years while living under the title of a murderer. I believe that Adnan deserves this retrial and this is the chance to finally prove his innocence.
Chaudry, Rabia. “Adnan Syed is innocent. Now find Hae Min Lee’s real killer | Rabia Chaudry.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 06 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/06/adnan-syed-new-trial-hae-min-lee-rabia-choudry>.
“Maps, Documents, etc.” Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017. <https://serialpodcast.org/season-one/maps>.
ABCNews. “Serial’s Adnan Syed ‘Not Convicted Anymore’.” YouTube. YouTube, 02 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q64wO4no-gU>.