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.