Serial Podcast Review

Evan Mackey

What’d you do six weeks ago on Wednesday? Most people would state that they remember going to work/school, but the rest is blurry. Unless a significant event happened that day, that ordinary day is blank. It’s hard to account for your time and memory. Now imagine going back 15 years on the same Wednesday. That’s impossible; you must be wondering, yes, it would be impossible but Let’s say your blank memory was the decision for the rest of someone’s life now that upped the ante, well even further addition to that an innocent woman was murdered in your high school. This woman was Haemin Lee, a 19-year-old exchange student from Korea. She was a fantastic student and an even better athlete. But why and who would do such a thing? Well, I’m here to unveil this crazy unravel. 

I’m not trying to sound cliche, but this is a high school love story surrounded with hate, jealousy, lies, secrets, love, and many, and when I mean many twists and turns and complete turn arounds. She had a wonderful boyfriend of 8 months, and his name is Adnan Syed. Adnan is currently in prison for life plus an additional 30 years. He was convicted in 2000 (Hae had been murdered in 1999). Both these lovers attended high school in Baltimore, MD. It seemed like an ordinary high school couple doing squeamish teenage activities such as sneaking out, etc. Both Hae and Adnan are from foreign regions. Both exchange students (Adnan being Muslim) had a very religious and strict family. It was the same story for Hae’s family as well. Adnan had the sense of choosing “his soul mate” or his strict religion. Adnan’s religion despises dating and no girls, period. This made Adnan want to explore just as much as Hae did, and we all know this is a great combo, and chaos will soon happen. 

Hae didn’t pick up her younger cousins from kindergarten after school. Her parents were anxious, “can’t be that bad. I hope my daughter comes home.”  A body was found the next day. The high schooler was murdered in cold blood by manual strangulation and found buried in Leakin Park. This park wasn’t just an average park filled with kids and swing sets. This park was known for dead bodies. Why, Why would someone do this, and for what benefit would this give them? Was Hae or Adan involved in any harmful activities, or was it just bad luck? Well, I can partly answer that question. Yes, as I mentioned earlier, Hae and Adnan are teenagers. What do you expect? Being locked up and not having freedom makes you want to explore even more and have “fun.” That included many things I will not mention and Adnan’s parents finding out. This case is seen as jealousy and revenge because Hae broke up with Adnan and began dating Don. 

Adnan, her ex-boyfriend at the time, was one of the first calls. He answered calmly and acted alright. Six weeks he was interrogated later with his friend Jay that had quite the story. Adnan’s alibi will come to haunt him next with Jay’s insane story of how it all went down. Jay says he and Adnan buried her together and gave them a complete story. Adnan’s alibi matched but very little and still had room for speculation. They tested his alibi, and he had a total of 21min when the school bell rings to murder Mae, supposedly in broad daylight in the Best Buy parking lot. That’s crazy. It was nearly impossible when they gave him the benefit of the doubt. There are tons of witnesses and different theories, but they mostly forget since they were asked 15 years later. 

There are so many questions you don’t know who to believe and why should you? I think Adnan shouldn’t be in prison for life, there isn’t enough information, and I think he tells the truth. He’s compliant, and when there’s evidence that doesn’t help him, he agrees that it might be right and is very complaint saying whether he does know or not compared to Jay’s story about them doing the horrendous deed. To put it short, the court should not have sentenced him. Jay’s story changes so often, and it’s just a big mess with more and more details throwing everything off track. There are parts in Jay’s story that match Adnan’s but nothing terrible and many lies. Why wouldn’t Jay contact the authorities sooner if he was wanted earlier that this was going to happen? Adnan had given him his phone and his car. He could’ve called and saved her. Jay answered that Adnan knew many secrets as well and could throw him under the bus. Jay was a drug dealer for pot, but that’s not nearly as bad as murder. The cops would understand and let him off the hook for saving a life and did nothing about it. He had plenty of time to do so plus he even “allegedly” helped bury the body with Adnan. This case is a mess and still a mystery. There are many details I’m missing but here where you can get them and understand the whole story.

Serial is a murder case podcast with seasons available on many platforms, and you can about find it anywhere. This single case is a whole season with 12 episodes having each episode 30-50 min long. I was skeptical at first because it seems like a lot, but I soon became interested in figuring out who murdered Hae Lee. It’s a fantastic series that goes really in-depth, sometimes a whole episode completely covering a detail in the case. The speaker is a woman with a beautiful voice and gives a calm vibe, she even calls Adnan from prison many times and offers his views about what’s going on, and she tells him the details about the case with them knowing more and more every episode. I strongly recommend this podcast and following through the process of solving mysterious cases. I don’t want to spoil what happens. You’ll have to listen to it yourself.