The Case Against Adnan Syed
4 Part Series
Directed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg, The Case Against Adnan Syed will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, a case brought to global attention by the hugely popular Serial podcast.
In production since 2015, The Case Against Adnan Syed closely re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, from high school romance, forbidden love and cultural conflict, to the aftermath of her disappearance, the original police investigation and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial. Presenting new discoveries as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case, and featuring exclusive access to Syed, the defense team, the Syed family, friends and teachers of both students, and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement, the series traces how the rush to justice and Syed’s conviction in 2000 raised more questions than answers about what happened to Hae Min Lee, underscoring the instability of memory and conflicting eyewitnesses.
In June 2016, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch vacated Adnan Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness finally had her day in court. The State of Maryland appealed the lower court judge’s ruling, but on March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted him the retrial he has been waiting for.
The Case Against Adnan Syed
Sarah: Right before the premiere, Jessica tells me Adnan’s request for a new trial was denied. So, where does that leave us?
Jessica: I don’t know where that leaves us. The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a previous decision to give him a new trial. They agreed that yes, his lawyer did a poor job. They felt there was too much evidence against Syed to for there to be a different outcome in a new trial. Is it the end of the road for Adnan?
Will The Case Against Adnan Syed Give Us Any Additional Info?
Sarah: I really don’t know. I’m curious if The Case Against Adnan Syed will give us any additional info. Looking back, Serial is my first true crime podcast. Listening to Sarah Koenig’s voice, I feel part of the investigation. Koenig takes a deep dive into old photos, police records, new interviews & more to get to the bottom of the case. My biggest takeaway is he could not recall his whereabouts on the afternoon Hae went missing.
Jessica: Serial was different. I have been listening to This American Life for years, so I was an early adopter of the Serial podcast. At the time, there is nothing else like it. Serial is a throwback to old radio days, but with a true crime twist. I can remember being so excited for my drive to work on Thursday mornings when the next episode arrived. What was so incredible about it was that you could find the players online. During the original airing, I was able to look up people on Facebook. Subreddits had people involved in the 1999 case answering questions. Extra evidence was posted on the actual Serial site. It felt like the whole country was participating in the investigation. Serial has never been able to recapture the magic of the first season, mostly because it was the perfect story at the perfect time.
Sarah: Yeah, I couldn’t get into Season 2. It just didn’t draw me in like the case of Hae Min Lee.