Serial Podcast: A Look into a Murder’s Trial, but did he Really do it?


     Haven’t we all been serial killers at one point in our lives? I mean my siblings eat cereal almost everyday of their lives. I can hear the murderous echoing of their crunch into each pebble. What’s that? I have the wrong type of serial? All humor aside, what is the actual difference between a serial killer and your run of the mill murderer? Is it the matter of picking the best cereal off the shelf in a store and bringing it home to enjoy a delightful bowl or is it how you prepare that so called delightful bowl? Do you pour your milk first or put the cereal first? Ok, ok I guess it’s none of those choices. The real difference according to the Crime Museum  is “defined as a person who murders three or more people in a period of over a month, with “cooling down” time between murders”(Crime Museum 2). You may be thinking “But there was only one victim, how is that definition relevant?”  In this specific podcast the murder of Hae Min Lee lead to the mental murder of Adnan Syed for the reason that I believe in his innocence based off the first episode “The Alibi”.     

     Growing up I always used to be surrounded by the topic of crime and murder. Now as weird as that sounds, my lovely mother has always had a high interest in the thought process of killers. That means she always had crime shows and documentaries playing in the background. Although when I came to watch with her she’d always tell me to leave and that it wasn’t for my age, i’d still find a way to sneak a peek at the TV. There were all sorts of shows like Criminal Minds and documentaries like 48 Hours which I LOVED. I guess all along it was a mother to daughter connection. This is probably the main reason why I enjoyed the “Serial” podcast so much. Another reason that I liked this podcast was simply because it was a podcast rather than a video. I feel like it allowed me to visualize my own images to go along with Sarah Koenig’s narration. I could follow along while cleaning my room and being productive. In the 54 minutes and 12 seconds that I was listening to the podcast, I also brushed my teeth, cleaned my room and folded my clothes. As that shows that you can do multiple tasks and enhance your listening skills by practicing this. A study done by Emma Rodero, professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona showed that using voice in a story allows listeners to use more of their imagination. “Participants who listened to the dramatized structure reported that they generated more vivid images in their minds, and conjured the images more quickly and easily than those in the narration condition. They also reported being more emotionally aroused and interested in the story”(Rodero 13)… So basically to summarize that spiel of smart words, more listening equals more imagination and emotional interest. If you’re looking for improvement in those areas then you know exactly what to do.        

      In reality, who likes to listen to the inhumane, gory details of someone taking someone else’s soul? Doesn’t seem too appealing if you ask me. It encompassed a high school romance that went oh so wrong when the loved girlfriend ends up dead. Who does everyone turn to? The ex boyfriend. So is he innocent or not? It really is hard to tell with a case like this one. Everything seemed blurry to almost every character but Jay; Adnan’s ex bestfriend. His testimony was very precise and he vividly remembered it “He takes the keys, he opens the trunk and all I can see is Hae’s lips are all blue…” is the beginning of what he described happened on that day. Having understood Jay’s testimony I immediately thought Adnan was guilty. I also had a little thought at the back of my head that whispered “How could anyone remember what happened with so much detail from an event that occurred 6 weeks back?” If you asked me, I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast in the morning let alone everything I did on a certain day in January. So I guess it comes down to the one with the most memory and sadly for Adnan it’s Jay. Based off of the amazing memory of Jay, Adnan got sentenced to prison on little evidence. Koenig mentions “They had no physical evidence” and that was what was so disappointing in this case. He could be innocent for all they know and that’s what i’ve started to believe. After all, he did somewhat follow his religion. The holy month of Ramadan for Muslims was taking place and to kill someone would be the greatest sin in all humanity. The month of Ramadan should be purifying where you connect with poverty and peace, not malicious intents. I also strongly believed in his innocence after Asia’s letters were introduced. She played such a crucial role and was Adnan’s only real proof(which they couldn’t use)to where he was within those 21 minutes. The golden letters that she wrote proved that he couldn’t have been killing Lee because he was simply at the library checking his email. A lot to intake right? Well that is exactly how I felt about this case. Unsure and a bit overwhelmed. One time you think it’s Adnan and another you’re thinking it couldn’t possibly be! If this doesn’t settle you than I don’t know what will. A poll was taken by the Baltimore Sun asking people if they believed his innocence or his guilt. 60.23% of the 4,051 people who took part believe that Syed is innocent (The Baltimore Sun 2016), 17.6% percent were unsure and 22.17% believed he was indeed guilty. The link to the podcast is provided for you to come to your own conclusion on what his fate should be, jail or freedom for Syed? Season 1-The Alibi:

      As for Hae Min Lee’s family, her murder must have been brutal. I guess closure would be hard because of the oddness throughout the evidence. The victim’s family could potentially feel happy that the podcast went viral for the reason being that they would like the world’s support. Although it is such a depressing memory to have they would probably want the world to know that Syed in their eyes is a horrific murderer. If I were in their situation I wouldn’t want people knowing. 


 Fame for the case through Twitter posts at the #SerialPodcast 

Having the constant reminder that my daughter has died in such a brutal way would not be very good for my mental state. It being publicized draws so much attention toward their family. Even though it’s been 15 years, people are constantly following blogs, Serial and news posts. This can be a constant reminder that no one would want around and then where’s closure? Nowhere to be found. It is hard to tell even a hint of what her parents thought since we didn’t hear from them in the podcast episode but just searching up on YouTube “Hae Min Lee case” brings up countless videos about current day news or the latest released on the case. There are many documentaries made and people seem to find this certain story a hit on the internet. The video below gives some Intel on Lee’s parents and the latest news.    



This intriguing podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig enlightens you on the journey through the very interesting case of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed. It is perfect for people who have a love for crime and mystery like me. If you try, maybe you can solve the mysterious case of the high school love bugs that were once ever so happy. 

Works Cited

“Adnan Syed: innocent or guilty? [Poll].” N.p., 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

Koenig, Sarah and Julie Snyder. “The Alibi.” Serial, season 1, episode 1, WBEZ, 3 Oct. 2013, 21 July 2017.

“Serial Killers vs. Mass Murderers.” Crime Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2017.





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