New evidence has surfaced that the phone logs incriminating Adnan Syed, the focus of 2014’s hit podcast Serial and landing him life in prison were unreliable. Syed’s lawyer, Justin Brown, noted that his client was found guilty of murdering Hae Min Lee in 1999 due largely to the schedule of incoming phone calls to Syed, detailing where he as at the time.
A note on the cover sheet of Syed’s AT&T phone record read, “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location."Based on this new information, Syed’s lawyer has filed a motion for an appeal.
Much of the Serial podcast focused on the inconsistencies and lapses in information of the original case and of those testifying. Perhaps this new scoop, Syed, who adamantly defends his innocence, will give us a more concrete conclusion. This means that somewhere on this planet, nestled deep in a dark and damp recording studio,Sarah Koenig has firmly put down her Oolong tea and announced, to no one in particular, though maybe Dana, "my work is not, yet done.” Dana, not paying attention, responds, “there’s a shrimp sale at the Crab Crib.”
“Hush! You fool!"Sarah Koenig snaps. She swivels her chair to the nearest laptop and types in, "Adnan Syed innocent?” and finds the same BBC article we read to help write this piece.
“Who wrote this? Who else is he talking to?” Her voice, though determined, is shaky. She hasn’t quite been the same since Serial ended. Yes, the press events, the morning talk shows, book offers, and countless phone calls from other prisoners with life sentences, have taken up her time. And yes, it’s good to be kept busy, especially when there is something on one’s mind. But Sarah Koenig has never been able to stop wondering, that if she had just proven Adnan innocent, would it have worked out between them?
“Stop,” she says to herself, mistakingly aloud. “Focus on the case. It’s always been about the case.” This was of course a lie. But when you’re dealing with the courts and death and love, truth is too rare a juncture to constantly strive for it. Besides, if there was one thing she learned from her nationally acclaimed podcast, is the line between a truth and a lie is often blurred.
“Sara, get in here,” Sarah Koenig demands. “We’re headed back to Baltimore.”
‘What? But, I…“Dana is in shock at her boss’ sudden change of course. Just this morning they were working on an exposé of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra’s upright bassists. She was looking forward to traveling to Colorado, listening to beautiful music, and trying marijuana for the first time.
"Back to Baltimore? But..”
“No, buts. Those Denver bassists can go fuck themselves. I’ll fuel up the car and be out front in 15,” Sarah Koenig says as she gathers her stuff to head out the door. As she flurries down the stairs it hits her that this might be crazy. Was this a false hope? Should she accept that the case is closed, that even if the appeal goes through the likelihood of her getting to call Adnan every day again would be so slim. Other people are involved now. That new spinoff podcast Undisclosed is getting a lot of attention. Was she, Sarah Koenig and her podcast,Serial, simply just a flash in the pan?
Perhaps there isn’t an answer to that question, the same way there wasn’t an answer to her podcast that swept an unsuspecting nation and largely left them hanging. Sarah Koenig sits in her car outside the studio and waits for Dana. If only Adnan had a cellphone he could use in prison. She would text him right then and there, “I’m coming back.”
To be continued…