Adnan Syed- Guilty?

After listening to the podcast, Serial , I am still unsure whether I believe that Adnan Syed is guilty of murdering Hae.  On one hand, I believe that the court did not have sufficient

Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee

evidence to prosecute Adnan and that Jay could have framed him.  On the other hand, I find it slightly suspicious that he barely has any recollection of the day of Hae’s murder.  Further, I question if he may be psychotic.

Is it possible that Adnan could be innocent?  In his testimony, Jay states that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body and that Adnan confessed that he was going to murder her.  However, the audience does not have any background information regarding Jay and Adnan’s relationship.  It is possible that Jay attempted to frame Adnan.  We don’t know if he had a motive.  I also wonder if perhaps Jay was covering for himself.  Maybe he was told by the police that it was either going to be him or Adnan arrested for the murder and he decided to place the blame on Adnan.  Further, Jay’s stories cannot be considered reliable, given that they change every time.  On The Intercept, Jay admits that he lied to the police and says “I saw her body later, in front of of my grandmother’s house where I was living. I didn’t tell the cops it was in front of my house because I didn’t want to involve my

Jay Wilds

grandmother” (Cooper, 2014).  What else did Jay lie about?  Given that this was the main piece of evidence that was used to charge Adnan with murder, I do not believe that it was sufficient to pronounce him guilty.

Is Adnan guilty of murder? A theory that I had while listening to the podcast was whether Adnan is a psychopath.  Charles Montaldo says “On the first impression, psychopaths generally appear charming, engaged, caring and friendly. Outwardly, they seem to be logical, reasonable, and with well thought-out goals” (Montaldo, 2017).  In Serial, Sarah Koenig described Adnan as gentle and kind.  Additionally, in an interview, Jay described Adnan as “a little pompous, a little arrogant, but he seemed really driven as far as his academics” (Cooper, 2014).  Koenig even went as far as to say that she can’t imagine that he would ever commit a murder.  If Adnan was a psychopath, he would put on a mask of sanity and try to manipulate Koenig into believing that he was innocent.  After all, this podcast is very well known, which could

Syed in jail

convince the world that he was wrongly accused.  Even if Adnan is not a psychopath,  he nevertheless could have committed the murder.  In his interview, Jay said “he seemed under a lot of pressure to please… he just couldn’t come to grips with being a loser and failing. He failed; he lost the girl” (Cooper, 2014).  Therefore, it could have been a crime of passion.  What’s even more suspicious is that Adnan barely remembers the day of the murder.  Why does he not remember any details of the day of his girlfriend’s death? If it had been an ordinary day, I wouldn’t blame him for this.  However, this is a significant event.

Personally, I find it very difficult to express a fixed opinion regarding Adnan’s guilt.  There are so many factors and pieces to this story which make me question both his guilt and innocence.  For this reason, I doubt that we will ever find out the truth.


Works Cited

Cooper, Natasha. “Exclusive: Jay, Key Witness from ‘Serial’ Tells His Story for First Time, Part 1.” The Intercept. N.p., 29 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 July 2017.

Koenig, Sarah. “Season One.” Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

Montaldo, Charles. “Characteristics of the Psychopathic Personality.” ThoughtCo. N.p., 9 Mar. 2017. Web. 28 July 2017.

“On the Road to Innocence.” N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Serial.” Bustle. Bustle, n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.


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