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Conflicting Stories: “Serial” Podcast


By: Hashim Arain
Staff Writer

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

Some of you have probably heard of the new and wildly popular new podcast Serial, which explores the murder of a teenage girl in 1999. The podcast has become a hit, and has become highly addictive to millions around the world. The teen girl who was murdered named, Hae Min Lee who was allegedly strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend named Adnan Syed. This case has taken the world by storm by Serial’s host Sarah Koenig’s investigation of the case each week on the podcast.

Each episode Koenig goes through what happened on the night that Lee was murdered in Baltimore, and plays old tapes of the trial and witness testimony from it; she also includes a couple tapes from police interviews of some witnesses who are related to the trial. According to the Baltimore Sun, Syed is currently serving a prison sentence for life. Serial host Sarah Koenig has reignited debate on whether or not Syed actually did kill his ex-girlfriend, especially since there has been conflicting testimony on where he was during the night of the murder.

Throughout the episodes of Serial, Koenig speaks to Syed on the phone from prison, where at times she would try to get clear answers on where he was and what he was doing on the day and night of the murder. Koenig would also tell Syed about the other interviews that she has conducted with people who knew him throughout her investigation of this case. There has been one main person that has been saying conflicting things about this case, and that person is Syed’s friend, Jay Wilds.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Wilds claims that Syed called him on the night of the murder to help bury Lee’s body. Wilds has been a controversial witness in this case, mainly because his account of the events of the night of the murder kept changing; his accounts of what happened that night were changed back in 1999, to even now when he agreed to speak publicly about it for the first time with the website The Intercept.

According to The Intercept, Wilds explains that he told different accounts of what happened on the night he was with Syed, because he was a drug dealer in high school. Wilds goes on to say in the interview that the police weren’t interested in his past, once that happened Wilds told them the full story of his version of what happened that night. According to Wilds, Syed was very upset by his recent breakup with Lee at the time; he thought she was cheating on him, that’s what made him want to hurt her Wilds claims.

Whether that’s true or not still remains to be seen to this day. According to the Baltimore Sun, a close friend of Syed’s family, who happens to be an attorney named Rabia Chaudry brought this case to Koenig, and ever since Koenig has been working on this case for over a year, which then made her form the Serial podcast. There seems to be a tightrope of trying to sensationalize this, and making sure that facts of this case are all laid out.

Some have accused Koenig of sensationalism, while Koenig herself has said that she’s just trying to get straight facts about the case, and that she’s neutral of the parties involved here. According to the Baltimore Sun, there’s now a decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that’s coming up that will determine if Syed was represented by a bad attorney during the trial. I listened to Serial over winter break, and still don’t know if Syed is guilty or not, I guess we have to see if his trial will get a second look.