Many will argue that all the evidence in the Serial podcast points towards Adnan Syed being guilty, I will argue differently.
Adnan Syed the 17 year old murder. Or so we thought.
Photo of Adnan in high school
I believe that Adnan is innocent despite all the “evidence” on the surface, pointing towards Adnan’s guilt. The Nisha call, Jay’s alibi and testimony, Cell tower Maps and the AT&T Fax Cover Sheet, all of the above outline something fishy about this whole case. As Sarah Koenig says in Episode 1, “It’s like a Shakespearian play” one lover lashing out at the other in revenge. The whole case to me feels like a large piece of drama, similar to a reality TV-show, friend betrayal someone else is in on it, a hit man and Adnan the calm and collected serial killer.
Sources credible in the field of murder trials hold the opinion that the case presents itself strangely. Jim Trainum, former Homicide detective, after being asked if Adnan’s case was unremarkable and if we would we find similar holes and inconstancies, gave an interesting reply, “No. Yeah sure most cases have some ambiguity, but overall they’re fairly clear. This one is a mess.” Lawyers and a forensic psychologist agreed the case was messy. I strongly agree with them. Jay’s alibi barely matches up with that of the call logs and has inconsistencies. It also seems too well thought out. Adnan’s master plan all fit together perfectly except for the fact that he had no alibi, so it seems fake. Why give Jay his car and cell phone, then ask Hae for a ride and strangle her to death, but have no alibi. If this murder was so well thought out, was Adnan really that stupid to not have an alibi?
Adnan as a person also piques my interest. He is confident and wants to do everything to get his name cleared. His peers say they could never imagine him committing murder. Adnan shows his confidence many times and even says, “There’s nothing that I’m afraid of.” He is a logical person and knows people will say, “How convenient, he only remembers the things that help him; anything bad he forgets.” Adnan understands how this looks and it could go against his innocence, but he can only remember what he remembers. Adnan, in an attempt to provide evidence to his innocence, agreed to a DNA test of the materials found on Hae’s body: material under fingernails, hair and skin samples. Is this false confidence or is this something more like a desperate attempt to show his innocence after losing hope years before? The Lawyers from the University of Virginia’s Law School Innocence Project Clinic who proposed the idea unearthed possible murder suspects, one being Ronald who was released on January 1, 1999, just 13 days before the murder of Hae. Ronald, a suspect, has committed other crimes including burglary and rape. One of his victims was Analyse Lee and he was convicted due to a DNA match. Analyse was Korean like Hae and was also strangled to death. Coincidence?
A Glimmer of Hope
For the reasons of lack of evidence and the downright misruling of the court, I believe that Adnan is innocent. A new trial for him took place and his guilty status was vacated. While Adnan is not formally declared innocent, this is a huge step to determining that he is an innocent man. The exposure of Serial will continue to help Adnan and his family reach the conclusion that they deserve.