Podcasts, Top 10 Tuesday

The Top 10 People from Adnan’s case I’d Like to Hear From

Having listened to Serial twice, Undisclosed and Serial Dynasty, I feel that Adnan and those involved in his case is people I know intimately, even though we’ve never met. There are so many “characters” associated with this story, and there are many “characters” that we have not heard from, or heard enough from. Here are the Top 10 People from Adnan’s case I’d like to hear from.

10. Hae’s family. Other than a few Reddit posts, Hae’s family has been relatively silent. I wonder if they have been listening to the podcasts and if hearing all of this new evidence (especially from Undisclosed) has changed their mind about Adnan. I’d also really like to hear about Hae as a person from their perspective.

9. Kristy (not her real name Cathy). Kristy testified that on the day of Hae’s murder, January 13, Adnan and Jay were at her house, acting strange, and Adnan received a phone call while at her house from Hae’s family. Kristy stated she knew it was January 13 because she had attended a school seminar that day. Susan from Undisclosed discovered that this seminar was actually held on date a week later (January 22 I believe). Does she realize the mistake she made? I would sure love to know.

8. Christina Gutierrez. Obviously, we can’t hear from CG because she has passed away. I would like to hear from the people who worked with CG and can speak to her state of mind while she was representing Adnan (and as it turns out, at least 4 other first degree murder cases at the same time).

7. Don. Hae’s love, who, the day after she disappeared, stopped reaching out to her, had falsified work records and his “rock solid” alibi was his mom. I’d like to hear from him about Hae, and about their relationship, and his “love” for her to this day (as he told Sarah in the last episode of Serial).

6. Detectives MacGillivary and Ritz. Firstly, I’d like to know how they sleep at night, knowing what they have done, costing an innocent man his entire adult life. I have so many questions really – why did they interview Jay without taping, what is their reaction to the tap, tap, tap. I’d mostly like to know why they targeted Adnan in the first place, and if Jay was really a CI.

5. Jay. We heard from Jay most recently in his Intercept interview, but I’d like to hear from him without his Urick appointed lawyer around. There has been a lot of new evidence released, especially the cell tower evidence, to contradict Jay’s testimony. And the lividity evidences obliterates Jay “trunk pop” testimony. I’d like to hear what he has to say for himself.

4. Jen Pusateri. What I’d really like to know from Jen is why. Why did she lie about her day with Jay, why did she lie about hiding clothes and shovels, and why did she and Jay frame Adnan. I’d really like to know if she feels guilty about her role in Adnan’s case. Because she should.

3. Kevin Urick. Same as Jay, I’d like to hear from Urick while not being supervised by his lawyer. Why did he hide evidence from CG? Why did he lie about Asia, a witness who could have exonerated Adnan? Why didn’t he request the incoming call list? Why? So many whys.

2. Mr. S. Why did he really stop in Leakin Park to pee? Did he know Hae’s body was there? I truly believe Mr. S. has some connection with Jay, and I’d like to have that explored. His story has never made sense. I’d like to hear the real story.

1. Stephanie. First and foremost, I don’t believe Stephanie has anything to do with this case, but I’d like to know what she knows about it. What did Jay tell her after he tried to interrupt her interview with Adnan’s private investigator? Why did she tell Adnan Jay had been picked up by the police? Why was she, an athletic, popular, very smart girl, dating a criminal like Jay in the first place? Why won’t she talk? I have so many questions for Stephanie. Mostly I’d like to hear about her friendship with Hae and Adnan.

Who do you most want to hear from?

Podcasts, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Wishes For/About Adnan Syed

There have been many times while I have listened to Serial, Undisclosed and Serial Dynasty that I have found myself wishing things for Adnan. Sometimes I spend time re-playing many of the unfortunate events that led up to his conviction and wishing they had never happened, or that just one thing could have changed and resulted in a different outcome. Often, I’m wishing for his future and wishing that his nightmare will soon end for him wishing that he can have the life back that is rightfully his. Wishing that this horrible, tragic wrong is finally made right. Until that happens, I’ll continue to wish…

Here are my Top 10 Wishes for or about Adnan Syed.

10. I wish Adnan had waited a few more days to purchase his first cell phone. Adnan’s phone was used against him heavily in his murder case, because of the infamous cell phone pings (evidence that was completely obliterated in this week’s Undisclosed episode). Which leads to number 9…

9. I wish Adnan had never let Jay borrow his car and cell phone on January 13th. I know Adnan was being a good “friend” (acquaintance, really) but if he had just kept his car at school that day, none of this would have happened.

8. I also wish Adnan had never befriended Jay. On Serial, when Adnan mentioned that none of this would have happened if he was being a “good Muslim”.  I believe that one of the key things he was talking about was smoking pot and hanging out with someone like Jay. I’d imagine that this is one of Adnan’s biggest regrets.

7. I wish Jay and Jen spent (or will spend) some time in jail for their role in Adnan’s conviction. It’s been proven that they both lied, and we know that Jen was given a lawyer, who happened to be the neighbor of Detective Ritz. They were admitted accessories after the fact, yet neither spent a minute in jail. Wrong and disgusting on so many levels and I often wonder how either of them can sleep at night.

6. I wish that Adnan had a better lawyer or that he would have at least fired Christina Guiterrez before it was too late. I know that CG came highly recommended to the Syed family, but the Undisclosed team has unearthed so many instances of poor representation that it would almost be laughable if it weren’t so horribly tragic. The fact that she was later disbarred (when less than 1% of attorneys are) proves she was not in a right mind and that Adnan did indeed get ineffective assistance of counsel.

5. I wish that Adnan was not the victim of racial profiling. He experienced racial profiling in many instances, most glaringly by the Enehey report, and the prosecution arguing Adnan should be denied bail because he could be a flight risk to Pakistan. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about.

4.  I wish that Adnan realizes how many people believe in his innocence and want him out of prison. I hope he can find some comfort in the fact that there are millions of supporters who are firmly in his corner and desperately want him exonerated.

3. I wish for Adnan that Hae’s actual killer is found. Hae was Adnan’s friend and former girlfriend, and I’m sure her death was devastating to him. I hope DNA evidence will find the real killer.

I have two wishes that are tied for number 1. They are:

1. I wish that Urick, MacGillivary and Ritz will someday be forced to deal with the consequences of their role in this case. I know the likelihood of actual jail time is slim to none for police and prosecutors, but I hope at the very least that they become accountable on some level. As with Jay and Jen, I wonder often how these men sleep at night.

My number 1 wish for Adnan is freedom and exoneration. True exoneration – not an Alford plea (although I agree with Rabia – take the Alford if that becomes available!) Adnan deserves the life that was taken from him. He deserves to return home and be with his loved ones for every single second he wants vs. only during designated visiting hours once or twice a month. He deserves to put his arms around his family, and fall asleep in his own bed. And he deserves to open his eyes in the morning with a sense of excitement and hope knowing that he can do anything he wants during that entire day as well as every day of the rest of his life.

This is what I wish.

Special thanks to my sister Amy for her help with this week’s installment, and for being the one to introduce me to Serial.


Podcasts Worth Listening To

I’ll admit it.  Until I started listening to Serial three months ago, I’d never listened to a podcast.  I’d never even clicked on the podcast button on my phone.  Now, thanks to Serial, I’m obsessed with podcasts.  Here are the podcasts I listen (or have listened to) in the past three months.

  1. Serial.  The podcast that started my love of podcasts.  Serial is the story of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee in 1999.  The story is beautifully told by Sarah Koenig over twelve episodes.  A new season is starting in the fall.  I cannot wait.  Check out Serial’s website.
  2. Undisclosed: The Case vs. Adnan Syed.  This podcast is a follow-up to Serial, hosted by Rabia Chaudry (the woman who brought Adnan’s story to Sarah Koenig), Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, Undisclosed is following up on Adnan’s case and looking into it from a legal standpoint.  The information that these attorneys have been able to uncover about the police handling of this case and the prosecution is stunning.  If you like Serial, you HAVE to listen to Undisclosed.  Check out their website.  I would also recommend reading Colin’s blog, which has a ton of great information about Adnan’s case.
  3. The Serial Dynasty.  The Serial Dynasty is a podcast hosted by Bob Ruff, an arson investigator from Michigan who is obsessed with Serial and Undisclosed (like me).    The Serial Dynasty is a listener-driven podcast, and Bob reads tweets and emails he gets from listeners (Bob read one of mine, which was really exciting!) and also is not afraid to discuss his theories on the case.  Bob’s mission is to free Adnan and get justice for Hae and I have mad respect for his passion.  Check out Bob’s website, which tells you how to get in touch with him.
  4. This American Life.  This podcast is where Serial came from.  Hosted by Ira Glass, This American Life is a weekly podcast covering a variety of different topics. I will admit I only listen to the episodes that sound interesting to me, but I’ve enjoyed those I’ve heard so far.
  5. Criminal.  Hosted by Phoebe Judge, Criminal is a podcast with short episodes that focus on a particular crime.  The latest episode, which I found particularly interesting, was about Petrified Forest National Park and how people steal the wood, only to grow a conscious.  Short, sweet stories, told by Phoebe, who like Sarah, has a nice, soothing voice.
  6. AJC Breakdown.  In this Serial-like story, Breakdown tells the story of Justin Chapman, a man from a small town in Georgia who was tried and convicted of starting a fire in his own home, which killed his neighbor.  Add a jail house snitch and you have a good mystery.  There are only 7 episodes, so you can knock this podcast out in one day.
  7. Daily & Sunday Telegraph –  The Alibi.  This is a brand new podcast with only one episode, but it was good enough to hook me. This is the story of two women from an affluent area in Australia who were brutally murdered in the same manner.  Their case is unsolved to this day.  Should be an interesting story.
  8. Reply All.  I heard about Reply All on an episode of This American Life in a very interesting episode, where I learned there were Americans held in concentration camps in China during WWII.  Reply All is a podcast about the Internet and stories surrounding it.  It’s very interesting and educational.

I will admit I listened to Slate’s Serial Spoilers and Crime Writers on Serial, which I enjoyed.  I tried Serial Serial and Serially Obsessed, but I didn’t care for them.

Do you listen to any of these?  Do you have any podcasts you would recommend? I would love to hear your thoughts.

I’d also like to thank those who work on these podcasts for their hard work.

Podcasts, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Bombshells from Undisclosed


My Top Ten Tuesday this week is going to focus on the Undisclosed Podcast and is titled “The Top Ten Bombshells revealed on Undisclosed”.  As you know, Undisclosed is a podcast introducing new information on the State vs. Adnan Syed case introduced to us in the Serial Podcast.  It is hosted by Rabia Chaudry (the attorney who brought the case to Sarah Koenig and author of Split the Moon blog), Colin Miller (law professor and author of Evidence Prof blog) and Susan Simpson (law associate and author of View from LL2 blog).

Here is my Top Ten Bombshells from Undisclosed in reverse order.

10.  Kristy (not her real name Cathy) claiming her school conference was on January 13, 1999 from 9 am – 4 pm, the day Adnan and Jay were at her house and Adnan was acting weird, when the actual day of the seminar was January 22, 1999.

9.  The January 13, 1999 wrestling match Hae was supposed to attend was not actually held on January 13, 1999; it was January 5, 1999.  It was also noted that Hae’s interview with the local news was taped on January 13, 1999, which also took place on January 5.  I always found it odd that Hae would ask Don to call her off school on the day she is scheduled to be on the news.

8.  The fact that on February 4, 1999, 2 separate Baltimore County police officers ran plate checks on Hae’s car in a different location from where the car was ultimately found.  Didn’t Jay say that he and Adnan dumped Hae’s car at the 1-70 park and ride?  Points again to police corruption.   Don’t forget the fact that Hae’s car seem clean, the grass under her car was green and there was green grass in her wheel wells.

7.  The revelation that Adnan was questioned by detectives for 6 hours without being offered food and water, and that his parents and the attorneys his parents hired were denied access to him.  I would side note the manner in which Adnan was arrested, in the early morning hours, in front of his family.  Storming into his house, yelling at his parents, laughing at him, threatening sexual assault in prison.  Disgusting.

6.  The bombshell that Jay and his friend Phil tried to interrupt Stephanie’s interview with the private investigator.  More of Jay the bullshit artist working his magic and getting people to change their story for him.  I don’t believe Stephanie knows anything more than the utter bullshit that Jay spewed.  Which is pretty much every word out of his mouth.

5.  The Anti-Islam report.  Created by the Enehey Group, this crock of bullshit was used to portray Muslim men in a light completely unbecoming and false.  Let’s also remember Adnan wasn’t technically a man at the time he was arrested; he was only 17.  You can read the pile of shit here.  I personally found this racist and disgusting, and was highly offended.

4.  The news that the attorney assigned to Jenn Pusateri’s was Detective Ritz’s neighbor.  What I also find convenient is that Jenn magically had this attorney appointed to her the day after her initial interview with police.  That can’t be a coincidence.

I have three bombshells tied for 1st place.  I’m going to put them in order of explosiveness (pardon the pun).

1.  The changing of Adnan’s birthdate by detectives to make him appear to be 18 and intimidate him with the news that he could be eligible for a capital murder charge.  This is pure police misconduct.  The fact that this mistake wasn’t changed after the 6 hours of questioning where Adnan gave NOTHING to the detectives makes this even more sickening.  This piece of information is the reason Adnan was denied bail as well.

1.  The lividity bombshell.  According to bullshit artist Jay, Hae was stuffed in the trunk of her car by Adnan and driven around town for a while before her body was dumped later that evening; remember, Jay said Hae’s body was in the trunk in a “pretzel shape”.  According to Dr. Leigh Hlavaty, a medical examiner in Michigan who investigated the case, there is NO WAY Hae was in that position.  In fact, Hae was laying face down for 8-10 hours before she was buried/dumped.  This is really damning evidence, because it completely contradicts Jay’s testimony.

And the number 1 bombshell dropped:

1.  Tap, tap, tap.  As you will recall from Addendum 3, Susan uncovered what turned out to be the biggest bombshell in this entire case – tap, tap, tap.  During Jay’s police interviews, Jay would lose his train of thought and then tap, tap, tap – he would suddenly and inexplicably remember the right answer.  Not only did the detectives tap to lead Jay to the answers, they also did so verbally.  I would recommend that you read the transcript  from the addendum (or listen to the episode again) to refresh your memory.

Do you agree with my list?  I’d love to hear your bombshell moments as well.

To Rabia, Colin and Susan – keep up the amazing work.


Serial Spinoff Summary – June 16, 2015

What an episode of Undisclosed!  Oh my god.

I’m not really going to spend any time talking about Serial Dynasty.  This week’s episode was a listener call in show.  Interesting concept, and interesting to hear from Adnan’s friend Omar.  I will say the first caller annoyed me – the one who wanted to know about the rumor from Serial.  Why ask Bob?  Sarah never told us.  Kind of a waste of time, but I digress (this is nothing against Bob).  Now, onto Undisclosed.

This week’s addendum was stunning.  Following up on last week’s equally stunning episode, this episode started with Susan uncovering an interesting piece of evidence – the fact that on February 4, 1999, two separate plate checks were run on Hae’s car – by two separate officers – two miles away from where her car was eventually found by the police, after being led there by Jay.  Sadly, these hits did not lead police to realize the car was being sought in a homicide investigation.  What does this mean?  To me, it means that Hae’s car was not originally left were Jay and the cops found it.  I believe that the cops moved the car to its final “resting” place, where it was eventually found by Jay.  This screams more corruption and has me more pissed off at the Baltimore police then ever.  Another dead end, but leaves more questions.

There was more discussion about Hae’s car – discussion about the fact that her ignition collar was missing, which would indicate that her car was being “hotwired”; there was also talk about what was found in Hae’s car – and what wasn’t.  Hae’s keys were not found, but one couldn’t open the trunk of Hae’s car without the keys.  There was no lever in the car to open the trunk.  There was also discussion about how all of the items found in Hae’s car were not itemized – including Hae’s purse – which you’ll remember Jay claims Adnan tossed into the woods after the murder.  There were also prints in the car that weren’t analyzed – specifically, the prints on the rearview mirror, which likely would have been moved if the car was driven by the killer.  Also curious is that MacGillivary ordered Adnan’s car not be tested for prints.

Jay’s Intercept interview was discussed, and it seems to me that Jay was trying to cover up lies he told 16 years ago.  I’m sure Jay is worried – he went from having this behind him to being the person millions of people believe to have played a bigger role in Hae’s murder.  He has a family and is likely trying to protect them.  I suspect Jay just can’t keep track of all his lies.

What’s most intriguing, and was a god damned cliff hanger, is that the DEA was involved in the investigation.  Why?  Was Hae a drug user?  Does this have something to do with Jay and the talk that his family was possibly involved in drugs?  I have so many more questions and a week until we know more!!!

One last thing, Rabia had a new post on her blog about Leakin Park.  Rabia walked to the log where Hae’s body was found.  Sadly, where she originally thought to have been found was not the right spot – and it appears that there was a natural depression in the ground that would indicate her body was just dumped – and not buried.  Worth reading.

Undisclosed has done in a short time what trained detectives and prosecutors could not do.  The depth of corruption and cover ups by the Baltimore City and County police is despicable.  Yet with all this unearthed, Adnan still sits in prison for a murder he so clearly did not commit.


Serial Spinoff Summary – June 9, 2015

This week’s Serial Spin-offs were both incredible episodes!  Let’s start with Serial Dynasty.

Bob started the podcast with thoughts about Hae.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the real victim in this crime is Hae Min Lee.  While her family believes (though maybe not now) that the right person is in prison for her murder, the evidence is suggesting that her murderer is still out there, and that’s very sad.
What I love about Bob and his podcast is that Bob really wants to solve Hae’s murder – not just free Adnan, which is what will likely happen someday.  He’s very passionate about his quest and I respect him for it.
This week’s SD focused on “The Suspects.”
Bob mentioned that he has listeners digging into Kevin Urick’s workload around the time of Hae’s murder.  Despite NO physical evidence pointing to Adnan, he was eventually convicted by the testimony of Jay, who was a known drug dealer (and possibly CI).  Bob offered a theory of why Adnan asked Hae for the infamous ride on January 13 and looked at an aerial map of Woodlawn high school.  The location of track practice was a good distance from the school, and offered no parking options.  Hae could have just dropped him off and went to get her cousin.
I’ve believed from the beginning that Adnan is innocent.  Nothing has changed.
Serial Killers
Roy Davis was the man convicted of killing Woodlawn student Jada Lambert months before Hae died.  Roy Davis also had a marijuana conviction under his belt, which could link him to Jay.  Davis was older, and could conceivably have been drinking from the brandy bottle.  Ronald Lee Moore was another man convicted of murder around the time of Hae’s death.  It’s possible they could be involved, but not likely.
Mr. S.
I’ve always found Mr. S. sketchy.  Mr. S. took a polygraph about Hae’s disappearance and failed, and later took another with specific questions about manner of death, in which he passed.  Bob had a theory that because Mr. S. was a streaker, he could have frequented the porn store where Jay worked, overheard something and went to investigate.  Mr. S’s story about having to pee and walking 127 feet just doesn’t make much sense.
A little self-promotion here:  the email Bob read regarding Don’s feelings about Hae was written by me based on a theory my sister came up with.  Bob read the email in its entirety, which was very cool for my sister and me – so thanks.
Oh Don.  Don, as you’ll recall, is Hae’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance.  Don and Hae had been dating for 14 days on January 13, 1999.  My email theorized that it seemed odd for Don to tell Sarah Koenig in Serial Episode 12 that “he loved Hae, he still loves Hae.  That doesn’t go away.”  Yet, Susan read in the police notes that “Don didn’t seem to be as into the relationship as Hae.”  I can tell you, and I wrote this in the email, that I dated a guy (ironically named Don) for three and a half years 20 years ago, and was engaged to be married to him.  I feel nothing for him today.  I wouldn’t ever say I still love him.  And we dated for YEARS.  Odd comment.  There is also not a link between Don and Jay that we know of. 
Last but certainly not least on the list of suspects is Jay.  Jay is the least credible witness I’ve heard about in this case.  His story changes repeatedly.  He apologizes constantly.  He and Jenn can’t seem to keep their stories straight and quite frankly, they act like people who are guilty.
One emailer theorized that “whoever smelt it, dealt it.”  It makes sense.  Jay is the logical candidate, given his criminal history, his repeated lies in court and to the police and the fact that he has changed his story more times than imaginable.
I’m not going to spoil Bob’s “Holy Shit” theory, which is presented with incredible detail and in a manner that is completely believable, but you should listen for yourself.  I will tell you I agree with Bob’s theory and have for some time.  It makes total sense and matches the cell phone records, but that is all I will say.  Do yourself a favor and listen!!! You too will be saying “Holy Shit” once you have.
Great episode Bob!  Please, please keep them coming.
This weeks’ episode of Undisclosed was titled “Autoptes”, which is the greek word for Autopsy.  Rabia, Susan and Colin discussed the details about Hae’s autopsy, and also about the discovery of her car, which was supposedly found by Jay leading the police to it (I don’t believe that).  According to Rabia, there are two crime scenes – the burial site and Hae’s car.  The hosts set out to prove whether the autopsy report and findings from Hae’s car match up to Jay’s story and that of Urick.  I think you can guess the answer.
Let’s start with Hae’s car.  Hae’s car was found on February 28, 1999 behind a house in a neighborhood.  Susan pointed out that while Hae’s car was supposed to be in this spot for 6 weeks, during which there were snow and ice storms, Hae’s car was in remarkably clean shape.  Susan also noted that the grass under Hae’s car was green and that grass in the wheel base on Hae’s car was green.  Inconsistent with it being in the same place, and outdoors, for 6 weeks.  Worth noting is the police never questioned any of the neighbors about the car, how long it had been there, nothing.  Another dead end.  There were also no soil samples taken from the scene, nor was it noted anywhere details about that car like the position the seat was in, how much gas was in the tank.
This leads to a big lie that was told at the trial – Kevin Urick told the jury in his closing argument that ALL of the fingerprints found in Hae’s car belonged to Adnan.  This is a lie.  Yes, Adnan’s fingerprints were in the car.  He dated Hae, and it was pointed out that Hae’s car was very messy and she seemed to use it as a locker.  So it makes sense that Adnan’s fingerprints would be there.  But there were also other fingerprints found in the car that did not match Adnan’s, but this was never brought up at trial.
Also worth pointing out are the details Jay knew about the contents of Hae’s car in his second interview compared to his first.  Remember, the police had the car in their custody for two weeks at that point, so they could have told Jay the contents.  Fishy.  Another point about Hae’s car – it was stated that Hae’s athletic equipment was moved from her trunk to her back seat, to facilitate stuffing her in the trunk. When her car was found, however, the athletic equipment, along with her purse (which Jay had told the officers that Adnan had taken) and her nylon jacket (that Jay told police Adnan had tossed in the wood) were there.  Proving yet another Jay lie.
The biggest blow to the state’s case came when Colin spoke to Dr. Leige Hlavaty, the Chief Medical Examiner in Wayne County Michigan.  Colin asked Dr. Hlavaty to examine the autopsy report to see if it matched the states theory.  It did not.  Here’s how:
The livor mortis in Hae’s body indicated that after she was murdered, she was laid face down for 8-12 hours.  Her liver mortis is all in her front, not on her right side.  The coroner also explained that Hae had two hemorrhages on her right side, which likely rendered her unconscious. Susan stated she found it odd that Hae didn’t fight back – this would explain why.  Dr. Hlavaty also stated that Hae’s strangulation likely took 5-6 minutes, not the 10 seconds the state noted.
What does this tell us?  Well, for one, it tells us that Jay’s story is complete and utter bullshit.  The “trunk pop” never happened, neither at Best Buy or his grandma’s house.  Hae was likely buried around 10:30 that evening – when we know Adnan was home (the cell records prove it).  We also know that Don was not reachable between 10 pm and 1:30 am, at which time he was supposed to have a date with Hae.  We know that the detectives did a terrible job investigating the crime scenes, and we also believe now that Hae was not killed in her car.  She was killed somewhere else, left face down for 8 hours or so then buried in Leakin Park.  It’s also highly likely her car was stored somewhere indoors until around the time it was found.
I’m still blown away that all of this evidence has been pieced together by lawyers and was totally overlooked or ignored by the trained and highly skilled detectives and prosecutor in this case.  It also means that Hae killer is still out there, and that is sad.  Hae deserves justice.  Hae’s family deserves justice.  And Adnan deserves the life that has been ripped away from him for a crime he so clearly did not commit.
Thanks to Rabia, Susan and Colin for another amazing episode.  Please keep them coming.
#FreeAdnan #JusticeForHae

Susan Simpson’s blog

If you are a fan of Serial and you haven’t read Susan Simpson’s blog, The View from LL2, you should do so immediately.  Please note:  if you have not listened to the Undisclosed podcast or the Serial Dynasty podcast, you probably want to stop reading now.  This post will divulge things we’ve learned that could be deemed spoilers.  Fair warning.

Susan Simpson is currently working with Rabia Chaudry (Split the Moon) on the case vs. Adnan Syed, the suspect at the heart of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the subject of the Serial podcast, a podcast that has been downloaded over 5 million times.

Susan, for the past many months, has been re-examining the case of Adnan Syed, by reviewing the evidence and testimony of Jay, the person whose testimony is responsible for convicting Adnan and other facets of the case.  She writes about the case in her blog, and now she, along with Rabia and Colin Miller are hosting the Undisclosed podcast, which is a follow up to Serial and riveting.  Susan and Rabia have also been on the show “The Docket”, on MSNBC, talking about the case with experts (you can watch the first episode here.)

I would like to point out that Susan has made a huge revelation in the case vs. Adnan Syed.  If you have not listened and don’t want to know, you should stop here.

Susan, in listening to the recordings of Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary interviewing Jay, discovered that Jay was being coached in his testimony.  When Jay would lose his place, the detectives would tap, tap, tap to get him back on track.  At this point, Jay would magically have the right answer.  Susan’s blog post from December 2, 2014 discusses Jay’s transcripts in detail, but note this was BEFORE she discovered the tapping.  You can read the post here.

After listening to Serial, Undisclosed and now the Serial Dynasty, I’m more convinced than ever that Adnan is innocent, though I should point out, from Episode 1 of Serial, I have believed Adnan is innocent.  Susan had another blog post, this one from April 3, 2015 about Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary.  This blog post is pretty damning against them, and details three other crimes in which they were the lead detectives, and the charges were eventually dropped against the suspect.  I found this particular blog post fascinating, and quite frankly, it pissed me off.  I wasn’t pissed at Susan, but at Ritz and MacGillivary for their blatantly shoddy police work.  I would be willing bet both of them (who are no longer with the Baltimore PD) are shitting themselves with all these new details being brought out.  You can read that post here.

The last blog post I’ll write about was written on March 19 and is about Don’s alibi.  Don, as you’ll recall, was Hae’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance.  Don testified that he was at work at the time Hae disappeared, however, he was working at a different store than he normally worked at, filling in for a friend.  Turns out that Don’s mom was his alibi witness and there has been some back and forth about his timecards for that time frame being falsified.  I’ve always found the lack of police interest in Don strange.  What’s also strange is Don, in his brief statement to Sarah Koenig in Ep. 12 of Serial, said he “loved Hae, still loves Hae.  That doesn’t go away.”  Don dated Hae less than 14 days.  There are reports that Hae was more into the relationship than Don.  I strongly believe Don should have been looked at more closely (though I don’t believe he was the killer – more on that to come later this week).  You can read that blog post here.

Susan hasn’t had a new post in over a month, and I’m hoping that will change soon, as her posts are incredibly interesting and always provide new information.  Serial fans should really check it out.  Happy Monday and go Blackhawks!!!


Serial Spinoff Summary – June 2, 2015

Hello, my name is Sheri and I’m addicted to all things Serial.

Yep, I am.  I the TWO weeks since I’ve listened to Serial for the first (yes, FIRST time), I’ve become obsessed.  I’ve listened to Serial twice, Undisclosed twice, Serial Dynasty (a few episodes twice), Slate’s Serial Spoiler Specials and Crime Writers on Serial.  All within 14 days.  Yes, it’s safe to say I’m obsessed.  To the point I print documents and take notes.  My kids think I’m nuts!

I digress.  Going forward, until I get bored (NEVER) or they end, I will be writing a weekly update about the Serial Spinoff’s – which are Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed and The Serial Dynasty, which I will assign the acronyms of UD and SD.  I will talk about the weekly episodes and discuss my thoughts (and theories).

This week, we had Addendum 4 to the Undisclosed podcast titled Mr. S’s Polygraph’s.  As you’ll recall from Serial and UD, Mr. S (whose real name is online if you’re interested, I just wont provide it) was the streaker who on his way back to work (which was less than 5 miles from where he stopped) and had to pee so bad that he stopped at Leakin Park, walked 127 feet into the park and stumbled upon Hae’s body. 

Mr. S went to the police to report finding Hae’s body, and became a suspect.  He was then given two polygraph tests.  One on February 18, 1999, which he failed, and another on February 24, 1999, which he passed. The first test asked questions specific to the case about Hae and the second only asked questions about the manner in which Hae was killed.

Colin brought in Brian Morris, who is certified in Polygraphs.  Brian reviewed the tests and concluded that the police were likely trying to vet information from Mr. S in the second interview that would not have been public knowledge.

I will note that I have found Mr. S and his story fishy from the get go.  You have to pee so bad you walk 127 feet to do so??  I heard the theory (maybe on UD) that he had heard something about the murder and went to investigate.  That would make more sense than his pee story.  Regardless, his story is odd.

There were also questions from listeners on twitter, and one was about Jay always borrowing cars from people.  Apparently this was something Jay did frequently, as he had no car of his own.  In terms of Adnan’s phone being loaned to Jay – apparently Adnan left the phone in his glove box because he couldn’t bring it in to school.  It’s entirely possible that Jay was being nosy, found the phone and was making phone calls on it.  We know Jay lies.

Overall, I wasn’t blown away by the piece about Mr. S.  If polygraphs were credible, they would be admissible in court.  I didn’t find this to be a smoking gun, just another thing to add to the large pile of information we already have.

This week’s Serial Dynasty (SD) was much longer than previous episodes and included an interview with Colin Miller, co-host of Undisclosed and author of the EvidenceProf blog.  Bob and Colin discussed the police notes being written on the 14th of February, despite many of the interviews taking place much earlier.  They also discussed Jenn, and her coming to the police station with a lawyer. 

The real piece I found interesting was Bob and Colin discussing a Reddit post called “The Top 10 Reasons Adnan Syed is Guilty”.  Bob pointed out that in all the emails he received, this was the only one that eluded to Adnan being guilty.  I wanted to talk about this, with MY THOUGHTS, point by point below.

1.  Statistical Probability.  Redditer names sigizmundfreud (who wrote the Reddit post) noted that 90% of women murdered by a male are murdered by someone they know.  I find this irrelevant.  What does that matter?  Statistically, there is a higher chance I will die in a car crash than in a plane crash.  Does that mean I stop driving?  No.  Again, don’t find this point relevant.  It was also noted that strangulation is generally “heat of the moment” and the prosecution has long stated that Adnan planned Hae’s murder.  Doesn’t mesh.

2.  Absurdity of Police Conspiracy.  I don’t find this absurd at all.  In 1998, there were 314 murders in Baltimore.  I’m sure the Baltimore police were overworked and underpaid and running on empty.  They found a strong witness in Jay and ran with it.  Despite the fact that Jay’s story changed 5 times.  Totally plausible.

3.  Incriminating Cell Phone Pings.  I don’t find the cell phone data to be credible at all.

4.  Multiple instances of Adnan lying.  There was note of Adnan lying to the school nurse saying that Hae wanted him back and he said no.  I don’t believe this.  Adnan was a 17 year old kid – growing up in a strict, Muslim household, but living in America, where the culture is much different.  Yeah, he lied.  About dating Hae, drugs, Prom and having sex. Normal teenage stuff.  Don’t put much credence in that.

5.  Hae’s letters and diary which point to Adnan not accepting the break up well.  There are multiple witnesses that describe Adnan as dealing with the break up fine.  In fact, he’d met two other girls and had moved on.  Most of the information I’d heard from Hae’s diary painted Adnan in a different light.

6.  Adnan’s attitude toward Jay is not of someone wronged.  What would be the point of Adnan saying anything about Jay?  He’s probably keeping his mouth shut about it in case he gets a new trial.  I actually think it’s smart.

7.  Adnan claiming no memory of that day.  Um, he was high?  Duh. I don’t remember what happened twenty eight days ago in my life.  I have no issue with this.

8.  Multiple instances of Jay and Jenn telling third parties about the strangulation death of Hae before any police interrogations.  I don’t believe a word from either of them. 

9.  Writing “I’m going to kill” on a break up note from Hae.  This could be stupid teenager stuff.  People say “I’m going to kill” all the time and it doesn’t mean anything.

10.  The Nisha call.  The smoking gun.  Here is my theory:  my theory is Hae caught Jay and Jenn having sex or caught wind they were having an affair and they killed her to shut her up.  JAY called Nisha from Adnan’s phone to frame him.  This is more plausible given the new evidence that track practice in 1999 would have started at 3:30 and Adnan could not have made the call.

I also have major suspicions about Don, but we’ll get to that in another post.  Just my ramblings.  I’d love to talk to people on twitter about the case.  Follow me at @hawksfanzucc.


My New Obsession

Some of you who follow me may have noticed I haven’t been reading as much as I normally do.  You may be wondering why.  I have a new obsession – and it’s Serial.
Serial is a podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig and affiliated with “This American Life”, another podcast sponsored by WBEZ in Chicago.  I’m super late to the Serial game – super late.  Serial first aired on October 3, 2014 and ran for 12 episodes.        
Serial is the real life story of Adnan Syed, a 17-year old Pakistani Muslim who was charged and convicted of the January 13, 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.  This murder happened in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the time, really didn’t resonate with anyone.  Now, more than 5 million people have heard the case of Adnan Syed.

On January 13, 1999, Hae Min Lee disappeared after school, when she was supposed to pick up her young cousin from school.  28 days later, on February 9, 1999, Lee’s body was found in Leakin (commonly pronounced Lincoln) Park.

Serial follows this story with no “side” – Sarah was asked to look at this case by Rabia Chaudry, a family friend of Syed, who has claimed for 16 years Adnan’s innocence.  Syed was convicted for the murder in 2 hours, based on the testimony of ONE person – an acquaintance named Jay Wilds.  Jay was a confessed pot dealer, and this was his connection to Syed.  A lot of the focus of Serial is on Jay, mostly because his story of the events of January 13, 1999 changed FIVE times.

Koenig speaks with Adnan in every episode.  Adnan is very forthcoming on his thoughts and feelings to Sarah.  I loved hearing his side.

I can’t even do this podcast justice, and I listened to it in about 36 hours.  I’m now listening again to see what I missed.  Why?  Because of the podcasts below.

Undisclosed:  The State vs. Adnan Syed is a follow up podcast to Serial, hosted by Rabia Chaudry.  Rabia is a lawyer and is looking at the case post-Serial.  She has a woman named Susan Simpson investigating the case and let me tell you – THERE HAVE BEEN SOME MAJOR BOMBSHELLS.  

This podcast is a must listen if you are obsessed with Serial.  It’s still running and new episodes come out bi-weekly.  I would highly recommend this.  Rabia and Susan both have blogs that are very interesting as well.  Rabia’s is splitthemoon.com and Susan’s is viewfromll2.com.  Must reads.
This Serial Dynasty is another Serial spinoff, but this is a listener-driven podcast run by Bob Ruff, who is a police chief and fire investigator in Michigan.  Bob asks listeners to send in questions and theories and then reads and responds to them on his podcast.  There have been some very interesting theories brought up.  This is entertaining as a Serial fan.

Crime Writers on Serial is a podcast that also focuses on Serial, as well as other topics.  There are about 6 or 7 episodes relating to Serial that are interesting to listen to, but don’t really offer anything new.  I would recommend this one last out of the others.

Slate’s Serial Spoilers Specials is another Serial spinoff podcast.  Hosted by different Slate folks, those episodes are around 30 minutes long and are interesting.  One of the ladies always on is a skeptic and keeps this interesting.

Overall, Serial is AMAZING.  I would recommend listening to it, listen to the other podcasts, then listen to Serial again.  I should probably not point out that I have listened to all these podcasts in 8 days.  To say I’m obsessed is an understatement.