My twenty questions about @serial

This post contains spoilers so if you aren’t listening to Serial now, but might, stop reading!

It was @courtyforrest who first told me about Serial, the podcast presently sweeping the world. Courtney has made me aware of other good stuff in the past so I tuned in soon after.

I forget what I was doing while simultaneously listening to Serial Episode 1 in which host Sarah Koenig lays out both what Serial will be and the details of a closed case in Baltimore County involving the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee.

Via Reddit

Maybe the tv was on the background or perhaps I played Words With Friends. But because I wasn’t focused on listening, Serial didn’t work for me and I stopped listening after that first episode.

But a few weeks later, a coworker was raving about her New Obsession and I resolved to try again. This time, I gave it my full attention.

More details via

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Now I’m totally hooked, up to date and starting over at the beginning while waiting for the next episode. This is a good listing of all of the names associated with the case.

But I have questions, large and small. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. How much did MailChimp pay for its sponsorship? It was worth every penny.
  2. Eight episodes in, why have we heard so little from Adnan’s family and nothing from Hae’s? Where are the siblings if not the parents? At some point, I need the host to say that the families declined to be more involved or otherwise explain the lack of information.
  3. How did Jay come to the attention of police? That was revealed in episode 8.
  4. Why don’t we ever hear Jay’s last name?
  5. Adnan mentions checking email in the library. What was his email address at that time and is it still an active account? If so, there should be some sort of data trail.
  6. I know the track coach didn’t take attendance, but couldn’t other track team members confirm or deny Adnan’s presence at practice? Were they interviewed?
  7. What was track practice typically like? Were there group or individual workouts? Did practice follow a set schedule that might help corroborate Adnan’s alibi?
  8. Why is Sarah Koenig’s last name pronounced KAY-nig versus KOH-nig?
  9. Adnan says “SAY-ed” when his phone calls announce his name. Sarah says “SIGH-ed.” Please explain.
  10. Why didn’t Jay, the low-level drug dealer, have a cell phone and car when Adnan the high school student and part-time EMT did? Why did Adnan give Jay his phone as well as his car?
  11. Is it suspicious that Adnan bought the cell phone two days before Hae’s death or did it coincide with some milestone such as payday?
  12. Did Jay actually buy Stephanie a present for her birthday? Was Stephanie interviewed?
  13. What were Adnan’s and Hae’s heights and weights at the time of the crime?
  14. Is Asia McLean safe? I hope she’s protected. Baltimore’s Stop Snitchin‘ campaign was real, remember.
  15. If Adnan didn’t kill Hae, who did – Jay? Don? Creepy streaker janitor? Random stranger?
  16. Doesn’t anyone recall seeing Hae leave school on the day she died? Was she alone? I assume her car didn’t have any sort of GPS/black box data recorder given that this transpired in 1999, but did anything about the car reveal her whereabouts after school?
  17. Who other than Adnan could have reason to want a high school girl like Hae dead AND be physically able to kill her by manual strangulation?
  18. I am struggling to make up my mind as to who I think killed Hae. Jay’s lies make me concerned about him (also, where is he now?) but then, what would be his motive?
  19. I’m so curious about this Don fellow. Hae seems like a smart, mature girl, but still: why was a man of 20 (I think) years old dating a high school girl?
  20. What were Hae’s plans for the future? Was she looking at colleges? I need to know more about her.
  21. Were the email accounts of all involved parties reviewed? UPDATE here

Do you watch Serial and also have questions? Let’s discuss.  

Follow-up post on Serial here.

3 thoughts on “My twenty questions about @serial

  1. So-Next-Level Fly. (@DiosaNY09)

    I think for question 6, we got some insight with Will, who was also in the track team and Jay mentioned him as someone that Adnan said goodbye to. No one interviewed him.
    #7 Practice started at 4 and ended around 6pm. #12 Jay said he bought her a bracelet or something.
    #18 I can’t be sold on Jay’s innocence.
    #19 Don’s alibi was that he was working during the time the murder occurred.
    #21 No emails reviewed so far.

    As you can see, I’m binging. hahahaha


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