Serial: Episode 09: To Be Suspected
December 3, 2014 1:49 PM - Subscribe

New information is coming in about what maybe didn't happen on January 13, 1999.  And while Adnan's memory of that day is foggy at best, he does remember what happened next: being questioned, being arrested and, a little more than a year later, being sentenced to life in prison.
posted by mathowie (25 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
In this episode (before they took a 2 week break for Thanksgiving) it covered:
  • donations for a second season (how long will it take to start releasing episodes?)
  • eyewitness account that there was definitely no phone booth at Best Buy
  • Summer says wrestling talk w/ Hae after school lasted until 2:45 so her being dead by 2:36 isn't possible
  • The "Kathy" apartment story of Adnan being agitated might have been him getting a call warning him about an upcoming police call
That was a bunch of info delivered sort of outside the normal episode, the rest of it followed the case more closely:
  • Adnan doesn't testify and why
  • going over the post-missing, but pre-trial timeline of events
  • the story of Adnan getting arrested/charged (and his surprise)
  • Christa talks letters to Adnan first year in prison
  • sentencing after two trials, appeals
  • Adnan's life in prison
Compared to other episodes, not a ton of evidence was uncovered, outside of the intro section's clarifications on earlier details (don't know if any of them undermine the case per se). Looking forward to hearing more about the court case in the next episode.
posted by mathowie at 1:56 PM on December 3, 2014


It probably would be too much of a can of worms to open but I wonder if SK will ever investigate the possibility that maybe Hae didn't die on the same day she disappeared?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:21 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Summer says wrestling talk w/ Hae after school lasted until 2:45 so her being dead by 2:36 isn't possible

Of course, she was never questioned by the cops, or called as a witness by Adnan's defence. So much misconduct in this case...

Adnan has a new appeal, alleging that his counsel was incompetent. But this process was in train long before Serial came on the scene.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:43 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the thing about 2:36 being the critical moment in time never made sense to me. They're basing that on a phone call to Adnan's phone, right? Which Jay says Adnan had given to him?
posted by Etrigan at 3:59 PM on December 3, 2014


And Jay is a confirmed repeat liar. And there's no evidence of a payphone in the Best Buy parking lot.

The clearest thing to me is that the prosecution's timeline is full of holes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:05 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]




I was avoiding the FPP because I kinda don't want to know anything outside of what the podcast tells me. Is it spoilery in there?
posted by Etrigan at 5:25 PM on December 3, 2014


Thanks for the link to the cell tower locations, His thoughts were red thoughts.

By far, I think the most incriminating evidence is the cell tower pings near the park in the 6-8pm range. Those look real, and put the phone near the crime scene, and I haven't been satisfied with anyone's testimony about that night (esp. since Jay's kept changing). For me, the case seems like it was handled terribly by almost everyone involved, and I'm surprised Adnan was convicted, but those cell tower pings plus Jay knowing where the car was make me think both Jay and Adnan are not 100% innocent and someone knows something more and isn't talking.
posted by mathowie at 5:30 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was avoiding the FPP because I kinda don't want to know anything outside of what the podcast tells me. Is it spoilery in there?

It's worth reading, but get up to date on the podcasts first because details about the most recent episodes are discussed.

I don't think any of the external analysis can be regarded as 'spoilery'. Some of it, like the cell tower analysis, is really helpful.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:32 PM on December 3, 2014


...those cell tower pings plus Jay knowing where the car was make me think both Jay and Adnan are not 100% innocent and someone knows something more and isn't talking.

This is part of the problem. Cell tower evidence is being increasingly regarded as unreliable and very easily misinterpreted. Just because a tower was pinged, doesn't mean that a phone was in that tower's usual catchment. Network conditions are fluid. And yet, it's basically the entire basis of the prosecution's case. Without that, all they have is Jay, and he has no credibility at all.

I think Adnan has a decent chance of winning his appeal; I'm not sure what the outcome of that would be - I presume a retrial. In that case, given the alibi witness, the recent rulings on cell phone evidence, and the problems in the prosecution's timeline, I think there is a strong shot at reasonable doubt there.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2014


Network conditions are fluid.

See, for example, the call from Adnan's cell at 10:02pm (in the LL2 link). Adnan is provably at home, but the tower pinged is a few miles away, operating outside its usual range. This could suggest that he was at Jay's, except that everyone's testimony agrees that Adnan was at home, and the calls he makes 5 minutes before and 25 minute after ping the closest tower to his house.

So there is an argument that the cell tower pings near the park don't offer conclusive evidence that the phone was in the park. At least, not without confirming evidence about prevailing network conditions, which after 15 years are assuredly not available.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:52 PM on December 3, 2014


I was never on board with the limitation that Hae was killed before 2:36pm and I'm surprised it took this long for SK to throw that detail out.
posted by dogwalker at 6:17 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pronunciation of MailChimp based on data collected from Serial podcast. [more]
posted by unliteral at 8:15 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was never on board with the limitation that Hae was killed before 2:36pm and I'm surprised it took this long for SK to throw that detail out.

I think that part of the conceit of the show is that she is presenting the evidence in the order that she discovered it herself - thereby taking the listener on the same journey she went on, and is still undertaking.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:42 PM on December 3, 2014


uh yeah, that's why I'm surprised she spent anytime on it at all, let alone 8 full episodes.
posted by dogwalker at 9:54 PM on December 3, 2014


Well, it's a key element in the prosecution's case, so she had to spend some time on it. In any case, I had the impression that SK only found out about Hae's wresting team buddy recently - her recounting of her conversation with Hae after school is the first and only piece of evidence that contradicts that part of the prosecution's timeline.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:58 PM on December 3, 2014


Yeah, it was only in the week before the last episode that she finally got testimony that (if accurate) definitely disproves that part of the prosecution's timeline. Before that the best she could say was that it was highly unlikely that Hae and Adnan were at the Best Buy at 2:36 in the afternoon.

Also, now that there's a new episode, what are the protocols for making a new post?
posted by Kattullus at 4:18 AM on December 4, 2014


(Feel free to make a new post)
posted by mathowie at 6:26 AM on December 4, 2014


I appreciated that this episode acknowledged Hae's family. That’s stood out as a missing piece from the beginning for me. And I think Koenig handled it with tact and kindness.
posted by latkes at 7:42 AM on December 4, 2014


I thought it was important to acknowledge Hae's family but it underscored what makes me uncomfortable about this show (apparently not uncomfortable enough to stop listening though). These are all real people. The Lee family lost a daughter. This podcast is dredging up a part of their life that they are probably trying to forget.

I did also like hearing about Adnan's life in prison.
posted by radioamy at 11:37 AM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


These are all real people

Yep, the most disturbing part of listening to the show for me is that no matter what happens, Hae is never coming back. I'm not sure if Adnan is 100% innocent but it certainly sounds like there are grounds to retry the case and let him go free, but it's terrible to think there's no evidence on anyone that definitively says someone specific did this and in the end Hae will always be gone.
posted by mathowie at 11:44 AM on December 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


This podcast is dredging up a part of their life that they are probably trying to forget.

If my daughter were murdered, I would never forget it, and I would want to know who did it.
posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think the way we're often told to think about violence and murder is, that a fair trial for someone accused of a violent crime = complicity with the crime or lack of care for the victim. I liked that Serial aknowledged Hae's family in a way that for me didn't set up this dichotomy where sympathy for Adnan is supposed to equal lack of sympathy for Hae.

I guess if you are assuming Adnan did not murder Hae (which I am assuming) or at least that he did not have a fair trial, then it's pretty easy to have sympathy for him and for Hae's family. I could imagine a really powerful radio show some day that tells the story of someone who did kill, and helps others build empathy for someone who is in fact guilty.

That was something I found very effective and powerful in Dead Man Walking.
posted by latkes at 11:58 AM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


If my daughter were murdered, I would never forget it, and I would want to know who did it.

God, who knows what any of us would feel if one of our children was murdered? It's so unimaginable if you haven't experienced it.
posted by latkes at 12:01 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay I mistyped. I didn't mean that they're trying to "forget" in the sense of "pretend it never happened." But when you move past the acute stages of grieving over someone/something, it can be really upsetting to be thrown back into it, and I hope that's not happening for Hae's family.
posted by radioamy at 5:42 PM on December 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


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