Remember back in 2014 when we were all obsessed with Adnan Syed, Sarah Koenig’s voice and the 15-year-old murder of Hae Min Lee? Given how many thousands of us downloaded that Serial podcast, it’s kind of crazy that we still have no real ending to the story, isn’t it?
Investigation Discovery thinks so, too. That’s why in the wake of Syed’s request for a new trial finally being granted, the network has released Adnan Syed: Innocent or Guilty. The special delves back into the case, looks at the popularity of Serial, and even gives us a few new tidbits about the evidence in question. By the end of the hour you’ll be asking yourself all over again: did Adnan really kill his ex-girlfriend all those years ago?
Well, the jury is still out. Literally in this case, since a new one hasn’t been selected. Heck, a trial date hasn’t even been set, since the prosecution is in the middle of what could be a really lengthy appeals process. (You’ve gotta love the U.S. legal system, huh?)
In the meantime, here are a few revelations we had while watching Innocent or Guilty.
1. This case is still a rabbit hole
Even though we already knew plenty of the players in question (not to mention the overall story), we were still sucked right back in with this special. Being refreshed on all of the details only made us begin to question the story all over again, and wonder if an innocent man has been sitting in jail for nearly two decades. So yeah, we kind of jumped on Google to look up a whole bunch of stuff immediately after the closing credits rolled.
2. Adnan is all grown up
In listening to Serial, we only ever heard Adnan’s voice from prison; we never actually saw his face. And even when the podcast blew up and pictures of Adnan surfaced, they were all from his high school days. So it was kind of a shock when this special pointed cameras at the present-day Syed, who no longer looks like his lanky high-school self, but like a fully grown man. As he obviously would, but it’s just something that never registered with us.
3. Hae Min Lee has a voice
We know that Hae was a star athlete thanks to Koenig’s descriptions of the girl, but the doc really drives that point home by showcasing her with sporting equipment and at practice. But the big thing that shook us was watching a local news interview with Hae for her sports accomplishments. It’s the first time we’d heard her speak, and it was shocking as heck.
4. No one looks the way we’d pictured
Unless you’ve looked up photos of some of the key players in this case (Christina Gutierrez, Jay Wilds, Asia McClain), you probably had ideas of what they actually looked like, and ended up creating pictures in your head. Well those images are all turned around thanks to the special, which finally features real, actual faces. And no one looks the way we thought they would. No one.
5. The cell tower testimony is just as confusing as ever
Let’s be honest: who was actually titillated by the cell tower episode of Serial? Right, no one. Despite the fact that it was a huge part of the original prosecution’s conviction, that part of the story made our eyes glaze over just a little. Well they’re back in this story, and they have more prominence than ever. Because thanks to a missing fax cover sheet that’s been unearthed, the expert who first testified to the tracing reliability of the towers was proven completely wrong.
6. There’s new physical evidence to consider
Ever heard of lividity? Well you’re about to get livid over it. Basically it’s a way that forensics experts can determine the position a person was in when he or she died: the blood settles after a certain amount of time. It’s important now because if Jay was telling the truth about Hae being pretzeled into the trunk of a car for several hours, her blood would have settled on her side — at least a little. But according to the autopsy, Hae’s lividity was in the front, indicating she was more sprawled out than that. And that, friends, is what we call a huge development.
7. There’s still no end in sight
One of the most frustrating things about Serial was the fact that it just… ended. Without an actual conclusion. Did Syed do it? Is he innocent? And if so who did kill the 18-year-old girl? Unfortunately since this is a true crime story in its ripest form, we still don’t have an ending. Sure, Syed is getting another trial at some point, but until then we’ll all just have to speculate and Google the heck out of everything. At this point, that’s pretty much all we can do.
Well, that and watch the special again. Because let’s face it: we’re still completely obsessed.