Murder Mystery


In the city of Baltimore, Maryland a mysterious murder took place. Woodlawn High School was attended by many students, two of whom were Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed. Two 18 year old lovers in secret. On January 13th, 1999, Hae Min Lee’s body was found buried in a popular grave site; some might go as far as to call it a mass grave, Leakin Park. Not long after the discovery of Lee’s body, Syed was arrested and charged with her murder.

No one payed much attention to this case until a podcast called “Serial” was made.It pointed out every fact about this case and quickly gained a nationwide audience. 18 years after the case, ordinary people and high-end lawyers are gathering evidence of their own to prove Adnan is innocent. When “Serial” was made, a lot of the evidence used against Syed did not make sense.

This whole thing started with Syed’s close friend, Jay Wild’s. Wild was not the first person to be interviewed about the case, and for a while was a suspect himself. What turned the tables was Wild’s testimony against Syed. He claimed that Syed killed Lee and that he helped bury her. The evidence given made sense in the beginning. Throughout their entire relationship Syed and Lee had to keep everything from their families. Lee’s parents were strict and wanted her to focus on her education. Syed was Muslim and put his entire religion and life style on his relationship with Lee. After their break-up, Wild and prosecution claim that Syed was angry. Having put his religion on the line for Lee, she repaid him with by leaving. His honor had been besmirched and he wanted revenge. Prosecution used the term “honor killing”.

This part of Wild’s story makes sense. Who wouldn’t be angry after going through this with someone they loved, even to the point of killing. However, Wild’s credibility weakens. He changes his story a total of 7 times and all changes were of when and where Syed showed him Lee’s body. First it was in the Best Buy parking lot, then it was outside a pool place. His argument is that this happened so long ago that some details are hazy. That could be possible, but wouldn’t your friend showing you another friend's dead body stick with you? Practically every detail. Also, it’s not as if the case was held months after what happened so Wild should be able to remember. Some of Wild’s friends even say that he had a reputation for lying, meaning he is not very reliable.

Another sketchy character is the man who found the body. His name was never released in any reports. This man claims that on his way to work at the school he needed to stop to pee after drinking a rather large beer. He was driving at the time and pulled over to find a tree to pee on. He claimed that he walked 100 feet into the woods to find a private spot and just so happened to stumble across Lee’s body. After walking 100 feet into the woods he stopped at a random log which just so happened to be the same log where Lee was buried. Assuming he didn’t tamper with the body any way, the body remained exactly the way it was when found. When police went to find the body, it took time to find it. Even people who knew where it was had trouble seeing it, so how is it that someone who claims to have had no idea about the body be able to see it as he starts to pee. Also, why stop and turn parallel to the street to pee. If you wanted maximum privacy, why not turn your back towards the street?

The last thing that makes no sense is the autopsy and the police report. In the report it

Stated that livor mortis had set in on the anterior side of her body and was most prominent in her face. Lividity takes 6 hours to set in after a person dies and sets depending what position the body is in. If the body is on its posterior side, lividity sets in there. The same thing if a body was on its anterior side and etc. In the beginning the report says that lividity was set in the anterior side of her body, but it also says that Lee was buried on her right side.

Lee was a full grown 18 year old girl who played 2 sports. In the report it stated that her fingernails were intact, meaning they weren’t broken and nothing was under them. It takes up to a minute for someone to fall unconscious from being strangled, at least three times that to die. A minute is a long time when someone is strangling you. It’s also plenty of time to defend yourself. Even if Lee wasn’t strong enough to get the attacker off, she could have scratched at her attacker so why didn’t she? Now maybe she did try to defend herself but the attacker could have been wearing longsleeves and gloves. But if she was indeed strangled by hands, like stated in the report, why is there no damage to the tracia? If she was strangled from the front or the back with a pair of hands, there should have been damage to the tracia.

Almost nothing makes sense about this case. Practically every fact contradicts another so it’s to say what’s reliable and what’s not. It also doesn’t make it any easier to say who did or didn’t kill Lee.

Works Cited

"How Long Does Death by Strangulation Take? - Ars Technica OpenForum." How Long Does Death by Strangulation Take? - Ars Technica OpenForum. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

~~-. "Post Mortem Examination Report." .PATE~__..__2_,_' /~11::1 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

"Re: What Happens to the Human Body after We Die?" Re: What Happens to the Human Body after We Die? N.p., 25 Apr. 2005. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

"Rigor Mortis and Lividity." Rigor Mortis and Lividity. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017

Kailah Pierre
Kailah Pierre
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