Adnan Syed – Truly Innocent? Or a Good Liar?



A seventeen year-old Adnan Syed


Adnan Syed is an infamous name that will be heard a lot, as I will be talking about how I think he is sincerely innocent, based off the podcast, “Serial“. He allegedly killed his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, back in 1999 and has been in jail ever since. Sarah Koenig, the executive producer of the podcast, found this case interesting and decided to take matter into her own hands. As a result, an interesting podcast was made, and a spark has been re-lit onto Adnan and his girlfriend’s eccentric case.

Starting off, let’s examine the letter(s) that were sent by Adnan’s friend, Asia:



A letter that Asia wrote to Adnan

There is some vital information that the letter contains, like how Asia remembers physically seeing and talking to Adnan, on the day of Hae’s disappearance. Adnan’s actions throughout that day, led to Asia believing he was innocent. Another thing to notice from this letter, is the fact that she literally went to his house, just to talk about Adnan’s “calm” manners. In addition, the most important thing to take away from this letter, is the conclusion. She admits that they are not close friends, and one can tell that by how she says she’ll hunt Adnan down and “wip” his ass. The “ok friend” and smiley face combo fit the tone of her writing precisely, as she sounds like she is a distant friend (which she is). Another example of this, is at the very start, when she says “Dear Adnon, (hope I sp. it right)”. These are the little things that make it all sound more genuine.

Later on in the first episode however, it was revealed Asia called a prosecutor and said that she was forced to write the letters. There are many possible reasons as to why she may have said that, but I personally think that she said that just to get out of this whole situation. Since the case became more relevant and known to the public, she may have not liked the amount of attention she was getting, and decided that lying was the easiest option out. Plus she could have spoken out right away, shortly after being “forced” into writing those letters, and not many months after. As a whole, what she said was suspicious compared to what she wrote in the letter.



Adnan Syed’s “friend”, Jay

Next, we have the shocking statements made by Jay about what happened on the tragic day, which he told to the authorities. Considering the fact that Jay and Adnan did many things together, it wouldn’t make sense that Jay threw him under the bus. Either Jay must be lying, so that the case would just end and he’d be over it, or – Adnan actually murdered Hae. Now Jay lying is the most probable reason here, as he changes his story a lot, thus making sense if he lied. Rabia Chaudry, the attorney of Adnan, said this regarding the constant fluctuations of Jay’s stories, “Wilds changed his story during the investigation and trial, and did so again most recently in an interview with the publication the Intercept. In that, he says the burial took place around midnight, negating any significance the cell records had in placing Adnan near the burial site around 7pm” (Chaudry). As one can see, there is something fishy about Jay, as he seems to be constantly changing up what he says. Also, the difference between midnight and 7pm is huge, which makes him all the more suspicious.


Incoming Call to Track Meet

The calling history of Adnan Syed’s cellphone

Moreover, another piece of evidence(s) that was found against Adnan, were some of his cellphone records. A cellphone tower was able to give the location, and time of two phone calls on Adnan’s cellphone that took place on the day of Hae Min Lee’s disappearance. Regardless, this information does not exactly correlate to the whole case, as Amelia McDonell-Parry, a journalist for the Rolling Stone, further explains:


In an interview with The Intercept last year, Kevin Urick, the prosecutor from Syed’s 2000 trial, said that on their own, neither the Wilds’ testimony nor the cellphone evidence would have been enough to prove Syed’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Remember, Wilds never claimed to have seen Syed kill Lee; he merely claimed to have helped Syed bury Lee’s body (McDonell-Parry).

This quotation alone, should be enough to conclude on the fact that Adnan is innocent, as the prosecutor himself states that there would have not been enough evidence.

Finally, the last “evidence” (I wouldn’t really call it evidence) that is held against Adnan, is how he does not remember what happened on the grievous day. Adnan was first questioned by authorities about what he did on that specific day, between 2:00pm – 3:00pm, 6 weeks after it had happened. I personally do not remember what I did 6 weeks ago, and I’m sure most people wouldn’t either. Saying that he is guilty just because he does not remember what happened should not be totally held against him, as even though it can be considered as “evidence” it’s simply not enough evidence.

Throughout the “Serial” podcast, I genuinely thought that he answered every question he was asked with honesty. To this day, Adnan Syed is considered innocent until a new trial is held, where his innocence can be proven to everyone.

Works Cited

Chaudry, Rabia. “Adnan Syed Is Innocent. Now Find Hae Min Lee’s Real Killer.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 06 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2017.

Koenig, Sarah. “Serial.” Podcast. N.p., 3 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 July 2017.

McDonell-Parry, Amelia. “‘Serial’ Subject Adnan Syed: 4 Key Pieces of Evidence.” Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, 01 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2017.

McLean, Asia. “Innocence.” Letter to Adnan Syed. 1 Mar. 1999. MS. N.p.