"Serial": The Hae Min Lee murder case

Time Magazine: Family of Adnan Syed Reacts to ‘Serial’ Podcast


Millions have become obsessed with a 15-year-old murder case thanks to NPR’s “Serial,” a podcast from the team behind “This American Life” that explores a real-life mystery week-by-week. At the center of the case is Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when he was still in high school, and has been in prison ever since. Though Adnan plays an important role on the podcast and is interviewed in almost every episode, his family has refrained from publicly commenting on the show, until now. Adnan’s brother, Yusef Syed, spoke to CBS This Morning about Serial for the first time Thursday.

Appeal in the case of Adnan Syed, subject of popular podcast 'Serial,' ongoing 


As the true-life mystery podcast "Serial" continues to captivate millions, an appeal attempting to throw out the life sentence of the convicted murderer at the story's center is winding its way through court. The Maryland attorney general's office and state prosecutors were granted an extension last week to offer opinions on whether Adnan Syed received effective legal counsel when he was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 killing of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.


Comments: I've listened to 3 episodes. Interesting stuff. I've drawn no conclusions about the case. The above website has additional materials: maps, et cetera. 


  1. ‘Serial,’ Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More

    “Serial” has quickly become the most popular podcast in the history of the form.

    To call something the most popular podcast might seem a little like identifying the tallest leprechaun, but the numbers are impressive for any media platform. “Serial” has been downloaded or streamed on iTunes more than five million times — at a cost of nothing — and averages over 1.5 million listeners an episode. That is as many people as watch an episode of “Louie,” the buzzed-about comedy on FX. Ira Glass, the host of “This American Life,” told me his show took four years to reach one million listeners. “Serial” raced past that in a month.

  2. Convict From ‘Serial’ Podcast Granted Appeal:

    The Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed Friday to hear why the convict behind the hit podcast “Serial” should get a new trial.
    Adnan Syed, imprisoned since 1999 for the murder of 17-year-old Hai Min Lee, will get a new hearing following the depiction of the case winning national attention due to the popular “This American Life” podcast series.

    Comment: Interesting. From what I know of his trial, I think the trial itself was fairly conducted.

  3. Update: Subject of 'Serial' podcast asks court to overturn case, cites failure to interview witness:

    The basis of Syed's appeal is that his former lawyer, Christina Gutierrez, failed to interview Asia McClain, a student at Syed's school who said she was with him in the library at the approximate time of Lee's death. McClain had written to Syed after his arrest offering to speak with investigators and his attorney. In her letters, McClain also mentioned two other witnesses who said they saw Syed at the library. But Gutierrez, who was later disbarred by consent after questions arose about her handling of client funds, never interviewed McClain nor called her as a witness.

    "It is hard to imagine that Gutierrez could have done anything worse than failing to pick up the phone and call Syed's witness," Syed's appeals attorney, Justin Brown, wrote in the filing.

    Additionally, Brown argues that Gutierrez told Syed that prosecutors would not offer him a plea deal when in fact she never inquired as to whether one was on the table.

    Brown characterized Syed's former lawyer's failure to inquire about a possible plea deal and interview a potentially crucial alibi witness as running "deeper than the typical error or omission that is considered under the umbrella of 'effective assistance of counsel.'"

    "It not only violates something fundamental to the trial process," Brown wrote, "but it violates the duty of loyalty that is at the heart of attorney-client relationship ... his lawyer effectively stopped representing him."


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