Guilty or Innocent?

After watching the final episode of Serial, I have mixed feelings as to whether Adnan Syed is guilty or innocent. To be honest, I am mostly neutral on this issue but if I had to pick a side, I would consider him to be innocent.

Here are my top 5 reasons as to why I think Adnan is innocent:

  • A Strikingly Similar Murder Case occurred Within the Same Year
  • A similar murder story occurred in Baltimore within the same year Hae Min Lee was murdered. The victim, Annelise Hyang Suk Lee, was a Korean-American who was also killed by strangulation (Koenig). Doesn’t this sound familiar? In my opinion, both cases share too many key similarities to be a coincidence. It is unsure whether the motive behind both murders was racially directed and unfortunately, the killer Ronald Lee Moore  cannot be further questioned because he died in 2004 (Koenig).  However, If DNA testing is pursued, and the strands and fragments that were found on Lee’s body match Moore’s then this case will have new a lead.

    A picture of Annelise Hyang Suk Lee


        2. Adnan’s Alibi was not Contacted for Trial. 

    Asia, Adnan’s only alibi was not contacted for trial. In my opinion this is very troubling,  shouldn’t any qualified judge consider both sides of the argument before reaching a final verdict? According to Asia,  on Janurary 13, 1999 she was at the Woodlawn Public Library afterschool with Syed (Koenig). That night she also wrote him a letter, reminding him of their conversation and suggested for him to use the library’s video surveillance to prove his whereabouts. The next day, she wrote another letter to him, again offering any help. These letters are crucial for this case because they  are one of the few physical pieces of evidence available.

       3. Jay Wild’s Credibility is Questionable

    Jay’s Wild’s testimony has not been consistent during his multiple police interrogations or at his testimonies at Syed’s  trials. Even in an interview with a news publication called, “The Intercept”, Wilds offered different  narrative with even more inconsistencies (Koenig). This makes me wonder, why was Syed’s conviction heavily dependant on his testimony? Without the cellphone evidence as corroboration, the jurors and judge  would be left to depend their decision on whether he is worthy of being trusted. And clearly, Wild’s seems to be hiding something.

       4. Cell phone Tower Evidence is Unreliable    

    The AT&T records analyzed during trial indicated that Syed’s phone signaled a cellphone tower nearby the forest where Hae Min lee was killed from incoming he received on Jan. 13, 1999 (Koenig). These signals were the central argument used against Syed during trial, however, the cover sheet on the records faxed to Baltimore police by AT&T contained an important warning in small print: “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status…Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location” (Koenig).  Poor Syed, the case’s attorney’s failed him by being careless and not fully analyzing the evidence.




    5. Hae Min Lee’s Body was found in an Unlikely Manner

    This fact I did not find in the Serial podcast, rather I found it from a page in Rabia Chaudry’s book, “Adnan’s Story.” Hae Min Lee’s body was found by a man named Alonzo Sellers. He found her body after stopping his car by the forest to urinate. Sellers then proceed to walk 100 ft into the woods on a day where temperatures ranged from 30 F to 40 F (Chaudry).  After reaching the side of a river behind a large Oak tree, he found Lee’s body. Doesnt this sound odd? Why did he take such an extensive route to urinate? He also failed the first polygraph and was given a second one with completely different questions that he passed.  Some of the questions he failed were: “Did you do anything to that girl to cause her death?” and “Do you have any association with Lee?” (Chaudry) Nonetheless, the police never contacted him again or took DNA or hair samples from him either. These facts further make me question whether Sellers is a possible suspect in this case.

    Thanks for reading! This case is certainly the one of most puzzling  stories that I have examined because new evidence keeps arises that alters my viewpoint. Let me know what your opinion is on Adnan’s innocence in the comment section below!




    Work Cited


    Animated Tiger, 2 June 2016,

    Chaudry, Rabia. Adnans story: the search for truth and justice after Serial. St. Martins Press, 2016.

    Koenig, Sarah. “What we Know” Audio blog post. Serial. Dec. 18, 2014


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