It was just last spring that a little podcast called “Serial” had us hypnotized—and spending way too much time trying to pretend we know anything about pinging cell phone towers. The late ’90s murder mystery involving high school sweethearts Hae Min and Adnan Syed was a flurry of hallway gossip, conflicting eyewitness testimony, post-9/11 racial politics in America and the nagging question, “Why?” Why would this boy kill this girl?
Faithful listeners may have found the finale unsettling, because there was no closure. What happened to the Jay, Asia McLean, Adnan, Rabia? What do Hae’s friends and family think of the “Serial” effect, and what’s next for Adnan? In light of the current hearing in which Syed is petitioning for a new trial, about which Sarah Koenig has been releasing updated in between episodes of season 2, let’s check in.
The Victim: Hae Min
Sadly, it seems that Hae is the least important person to the armchair detectives. With Adnan’s latest appeal, the family rebuked the fascination with the case, stood strong in their belief that the conviction was just, and shared some sad words about who Hae was, and who she could have been. Read the family’s statement here.
The Invested Family Friend: Rabia Chaudry
Remember Rabia, the family friend/lawyer who first brought Adnan’s case to the attention of “Serial” producers? Rabia isn’t, and has never claimed to be, an impartial person. She is rabid and vocal in her defense of Adnan, which makes her podcast (“Undisclosed”), Twitter feed and blog a one-sided conversation. With Adnan’s case before the courts, she’s as keyed up as ever.
The Is He/Isn’t He Suspect: Jay
The reluctant witness has given one official interview, but it was a doozy. In it he talks about his feelings about his portrayal in “Serial” (he felt “demonized”) and expresses sadness that Adnan is still proclaiming to be innocent. He also addresses his inconsistences, and talks about his motivation for misleading the police. It’s a dense, insightful look into the mind of a scared witness.
The Could-Be Alibi: Asia McClain
After years of being sidelined, “library alibi” Asia McClain (as she was known then) finally had her testimony heard. At the time of the original investigation, her affidavit provided an alibi for the time police believed Hae was killed—but the prosecution had it thrown out, claiming Asia wrote the statement under duress from Adnan’s family. Years later, Asia denies ever making the claim about being under duress. Still following? Her testimony is crucial to Adnan’s appeal. She recently spoke to the media for the first time.
The One Serving Time: Adnan Syed
We know Adnan is well-spoken, smart and has been incarcerated since he was in his late teens (it hasn’t all been time in the yard and push ups in his cell—according to the Reddit rumour mill, he has been married and divorced). His current hearing is for a new trial, citing (amongst many things) the alleged incompetency of his lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, Asia McClain’s unheard alibi and misrepresented cell phone data. The prosecution maintains that he had his day in court. He awaits the judge’s ruling.