Adnan Syed was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000. After nearly 23 years of his life sentence, a Baltimore judge has overturned his conviction and all charges against him have been dropped.
But who is Adnan and why is this national news?
In 2014 the NPR podcast, Serial, debuted with host Sarah Koenig and rose to popularity like a cheerleader with a boob job. The podcast garnered hundreds of millions of downloads, broke every record in the book, and laid the ground for not only podcast popularity but the true crime genre. Koenig is now a muse for all podcaster mimics such as Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning in Only Murders in the Building.
The true crime story that captivated the nation was that of Adnan Syed who was convicted of strangling Hae Min Lee to death in Leakin Park, Baltimore. The podcast wove through the theories, the suspects, and all the characters in the drama that was the Hae Min Lee murder. Koenig left it to viewers to decide whether or not they thought Adnan was guilty. America all took its side and felt pretty strongly.
Adnan passionately maintained his innocence on the podcast despite that he had confessed to the murder. Additionally: he did not have an alibi for the 20 minutes of the day when Hae Min Lee died. His friend Jay Wilds testified that Syed told him he planned to kill Hae Min Lee.
The law now says Adnan was not guilty due to a technicality related to evidence sharing. But the podcast will live on and Americans decided long ago what was true and it’s unlikely they will waver from those 2014 opinions.