Serial: Guilty or Innocent?

Serial is a podcast series narrated by Sarah Koenig that investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee and the guilt or innocence of her ex-boyfriend in high school, Adnan Syed. I have viewed episode 1 so far. Throughout the episode a range of information is covered and lots of new findings are revealed. Adnan has always expressed his innocence but, the real kicker is the 21 minutes he cannot account for one afternoon after high school. In episode 1, Sarah Koenig is investigating Adnan’s alibi.

Check out this webpage for a more in depth summary of Serial 

After episode 1, I was asked if I would rule Adnan to be guilty or innocent. Since my answer to this question, I cannot stop wondering if he is or is not innocent. I said that I would rule Adnan Syed guilty as they had no hard proof of his innocence.  Also, he did not have an alibi and the extremely detailed story of his friend Jay saying Adnan killed Hae was pretty convincing. Now, I think I have changed my mind. The saying you are innocent until proven guilty comes to my mind. They did not have evidence of Adnan being guilty, no DNA, foot prints on the scene, or any of that crime show kind of evidence. Now, years later he is stuck in jail for something I personally do not think he did. Especially since Asia wrote an alibi saying she was with Adnan after school that day, as now Adnan has a possible whereabouts to that empty 21 minutes he was thought to have killed Hae in.


Here is Adnan Syed pictured from his high school year book. (First right in bottom row, captioned A. Syed.)

I absolutely loved this pod cast! I plan on watching more of the following episodes. I think it interested me because it is crime related and I enjoy all types of crime shows and movies but, the podcast was a new format to me which made it intriguing. The narrator, Sarah Koenig did a spectacular job keeping her voice interesting and the material she was covering fascinating. I thought the use of other people’s voices were a good feature, specifically those involved in the day of the crime as they are very relevant to the murder. The voice of the claimed murderer, Adnan, I think attracts listeners because of course you want to hear what the so-called murderer had to say about the case.

I was unsure about the format of a podcast. For me personally I like to see pictures or videos on a movie, television series, or book for example. But, I thought journalism in this format was very effective. This is most likely because such vivid vocabulary was used. The use of this imagery through words really helps the listener paint a picture in their mind. I would definitely be interested in listening to journalism in this format again because as a listener I was able to shut my eyes and picture the story almost as a movie was playing in my mind. I liked that it was different and not the typical format. Overall I think I still prefer movies, television shows and books to podcasts just because sometimes it is a lot of work to picture it all in your mind and I like that other viewers and me have the same, or at least similar view of the characters whereas when you imagine everything it is up to you own interpretation and you could be considered to be wrong in comparison to some others. There are pros and cons to both pod casts and other media forms. With podcasts, again its up for interpretation in how you imagine it in your head which is nice for some people but difficult for others. I prefer reading compared to a podcast because if you mishear something on the podcast it is difficult to understand it and sometimes understanding people’s accents is tough too. When reading, you are able to look up unfamiliar terms and re-read if you do not understand.

June 7, 2000: Adnan Syed gets life sentence for killing Hae Min Lee

Here is a newspaper clipping of an article written about the murder case.  Check out The Baltimore Sun’s website and the archives about the murder of Hae Min Lee and the story of Serial the podcast. 

On a different note, the podcast Serial, and in turn the murder of Hae Min Lee and the accused killer Adnan Syed have become quite well known. If I were in Adnan Syed and his family’s situation I would find it very difficult mentally or emotionally. For Adnan Syed, IF he is innocent then it is not fair that he is in jail and getting all this bad press. For his family, I can only imagine how devastated they are that they are left wondering if their son is really a murderer or not. It must be hard for them that the podcast Serial has become so popular because now their family name is out there and people know who they are, and not for the right reasons. You hear of people receiving threats and hate mail and I really hope Adnan’s family does not receive this flack. Even if Adnan ends up being guilty of murder then it is not fair to his family that they are being punished. Adnan committed the crime, not his family members so why should they be chastised.

Also, I think it must be difficult for all included in this fiasco because the murder occurred so long ago. Put yourself in their shoes, could you remember every detail of a random afternoon years ago? For me, it would be very difficult and painstaking to remember the perfect details. I can barely remember what I ate yesterday! This is how the podcast begins, with the narrator Sarah Koenig recalling how Adnan’s trial somewhat revolved around how he could not remember that afternoon that Hae was killed. This later reveals many issues for all involved in that day. The fact that there are challenges to memory throughout the podcast concerns me for the truthful outcome of Adnan Syed’s innocence or guilt for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Largely, I highly recommend this podcast for anyone who is interested in crime and just in general. It was very stimulating and is a nice change of medium. Have you watched any of the podcasts for Serial? What is your opinion on them and podcasts in general? Do you think Adnan Syed is innocent or guilty? I would like to hear your opinions in the comments below!

If you are interested in watching the Serial podcasts and finding out more about the murder case check this website out!

Works Cited

-, Cresswell. “Serial Podcast: Episode 1 ‘The Alibi’ – Summary.” Leanne Cresswell. N.p., 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

Fitzpatrick, Molly. “Why Are “Serial” Podcast Fans So Obsessed With MailChimp?” Vocativ. Vocativ, 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 July 2017.

George, Justin, David Zurawik, and Wesley Case. “The story behind the ‘Serial’ podcast.” N.p., 03 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

“Season Two.” Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2017.


One thought on “Serial: Guilty or Innocent?

  1. I like how you did further research into this case to prove your point. I also like the fact that you were honest about first thinking he was guilty but then using your own knowledge you made a fair minded decisions towards the evidence provided. However did you consider jays story into this case or your post? Did you think he was telling the truth or did you think he had a part in the murder? Good post and analysis!


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