Podcasts

Why Maryland would be foolish to retry Adnan Syed

As by now you’ve heard, Adnan Syed, subject of Serial Season 1, has been granted a new trial and his conviction vacated.  Now it’s a matter of getting Adnan bail and getting him the hell out of prison as fast as possible.

The State of Maryland will likely push to retry Adnan for Hae’s murder.  Here are some reasons why they shouldn’t.

  • Obviously, the cell tower data, which was at the forefront of Adnan’s first trial, has been proven to be unreliable.  That would obliterate the state’s timeline as to when Hae’s body was buried (which the Undisclosed team did as well).  The state would have to come up with a whole new timeline, which would mean…
  • Jay would have to testify again.  Anyone who has listened to Serial and Undisclosed knows that Jay lies.  Constantly.  He has about nine versions of what happened the day that Hae died, including the infamous “trunk pop”, which has been disproven by medical experts.  Even if the state called Jay to testify, Jay would likely plead the 5th and be an ineffective witness.
  • Asia’s alibi would come into play.  Two days after Adnan’s arrest, Asia wrote to Adnan stating that she saw him at the library at the supposed time of Hae’s death.  Asia would be called as a witness, and her testimony would again blow the state’s timeline.
  • Justin and Adnan’s team of attorney’s would be able to introduce other possible suspects.  Don should be very worried now that the new trial has been granted, because he will most definitely be called to testify, since his alibi has been proven to be false by Bob.
  • All the evidence the Undisclosed team found would be put into play.  Hae’s paycheck not being cashed, the lividity and most damning the tapes of Jay’s interviews with detectives when they tap, tap, tapped Jay through questioning.  I’m sure Ritz and McGillivary are in great moods today (sarcasm).
  • Adnan has a competent attorney now.  Justin is not going to let things slip through the cracks like Christina G (rest in peace) did.  He’s going to follow up on every lead at his disposal.

Sarah Koenig originally brought us the story of Adnan, and relayed it to us beautifully.  However, Adnan getting a new trial would not be possible if not for Rabia Chaudry, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller from the Undisclosed team.  The details they uncovered about this case were amazing.  Bob Ruff from the Truth & Justice podcasts also made significant discoveries relating to Don and his alibi.  Congratulations to all of them on their hard work and dedication, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Lastly, congratulations to Asia McClain, who gave birth to her third child on the same day Adnan’s conviction was vacated.

Have a fantastic 4th of July holiday!

Podcasts

Adnan Syed is getting a new trial!

I don’t know Adnan Syed.  I’ve never met him, but I feel like he’s a member of my family.  And just a few minutes ago, Judge Welch ruled that Adnan would be granted a new trial and his conviction vacated.  This new trial is being granted on the cell phone evidence presented on the Undisclosed Podcast (which, if you liked Serial Season 1, you MUST listen to) proving that the cell tower evidence was not correct during his trial.

This is still a developing story, but it’s so exciting that I had to write a short post.  Proud to be an American today!

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Podcasts

Serial Dynasty

Episode 15 of the Serial Dynasty was, in my opinion, one of the best episodes yet.  Bob thanked Ann for the debate last week, and thanked listeners for all their emails and tweets, etc., about the episode.

Bob then shifted his focused by simply stating that Adnan is innocent.  Bob said that beyond a doubt, Adnan, if tried again with all the new evidence brought to light by the Undisclosed podcast, would not be convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee.  Bob also stated that the case against Adnan disappears without Jay’s testimony, and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s amazing to me that 12 people believed Jay’s story, which changed multiple times.  Bob also stated that he doesn’t believe any of Jay’s testimony, and because he believes Adnan is innocent, the tone of show will change.  Going forward, it will be the mission of this show to find true killer of Hae Min Lee.

Bob wanted to discuss Undisclosed episode 9, called Charm City.  At first, Bob admitted he was disappointed in the show, stating that it hadn’t brought forward any new evidence.  Personally, it made me sad.  Then Bob listened again, and found the episode full of evidence not he had not considered.  The episode highlighted the corruption in the Baltimore Police Department, and we heard lots of detective’s name that we have heard in the past.  We heard about the detectives ignoring confessions and ignoring evidence, and it seems that sadly, there are lots of “Adnan’s” in prison in Maryland.  We heard the names Ritz and MacGillivary several times during this episode.

Bob stated that the problem in Baltimore lies above the detectives.  Those in power care only about statistics and image.  If you’ve watched “The Wire”, you saw this first hand.  The mayor was corrupt, and was constantly pressuring the police commissioner and his deputy to lower the crime rate.  As a sidebar about the Wire – it was depicted that a Lt. “legalized” drugs – by allowing drug dealers to sell in one location – as to lower the crime rate in a location that had high numbers in the past.  His idea worked – and then the mayor caught wind and all hell broke loose.  The Lt’s plan had lowered the crime rate, but at a cost.  This was how much pressure was put on the police to lower crime rates.  If you haven’t watched the Wire, I’d highly recommend.  End sidebar.

Bob noted that there seems to be a real issue in Baltimore, especially with crime clearance rates. Detectives have to clear cases or they will be demoted.  It’s not about justice, but about results, which is pretty clear in the way the detectives narrowed in on Adnan from the beginning.  Bob then applauded the Undisclosed team for bringing these cases to our attention.  Bob noted that Detectives Ritz & MacGillivary have been busted many times for improperly handling cases – he wondered how many times were they not caught?

Bob then posed this question – ask yourself this – do you believe Ritz & MacGillivary could have coerced “made up” testimony out of Jay?  For me, the answer in hell yes.  Bob then said something that surprised the shit out of me by saying that he now believes Jays testimony was coerced.   Bob reread all the transcripts, and truly believes that one of two things got the ball rolling to Adnan’s detriment – either Adnan asking Hae for the ride, or possibly Eneahy group report.  The cultural memo provided motive; a Muslim “man” doing an honor killing – which is ludicrous. The detectives convinced themselves about the honor killing theory.  There was NO evidence against Adnan – nothing.  There were two calls made from an area near Leakin park, which the Undisclosed team refuted with AT&T.  Jen was called multiple times during the day Hae went missing; we know Jay had Adnan’s phone that day.  It’s possible that Jay was in some other trouble.

Maybe the detectives threatened Jay with a murder charge.  Maybe they leaned on Jay; threatened to charge him with murder if he didn’t go along with their story.  Maybe the detectives told Jay they had a mountain of evidence against Adnan.  Bob then something equally surprising – that he’s feel sorry for Jay.  I have to say, that in a way, I feel sorry for him too.  The detectives consistently made Jay look like an idiot – by having him change his story, over and over, and most of his story was nonsensical (the trunk pop location changing, for example).

Bob also believes that Urick was involved early on.  I’ve believed this all along.  Bob also believes that Jay’s tears and apology were real – he knew he was sending an innocent man to jail.  Bob stated he believes that Urick and Ann Benaroya were following Serial closely – and told Jay NOT to speak to Sarah Koenig.  Jay’s interview was published first – and the burial time was changed, likely due to the lividity evidence.  Then Urick’s interview comes out, and again, he makes Jay look like an idiot.

Bob ended the episode by saying going forward, he’s going to shift his attention to the suspects, since he believes Adnan is innocent.  Next week he’s talking about Roy Davis, so jump on google and see what you can dig up on him and send it to Bob at theories@serialdynasty.com.

Keep up the good work, Bob.

Podcasts

My Two Cents on this week’s Serial Dynasty

This week’s Serial Dynasty featured an interview with Ann Brocklehurst, a self-described journalist, private investigator and feminist.  She agreed to come on the show and have a “debate” with Bob – she believes Adnan is guilty, while Bob believes Adnan is innocent.

I’m going to say this right now – I believe that Adnan is innocent.  I believe this based on the evidence I’ve heard on three different podcasts.  This is not my personal belief or personal feeling, this is based on evidence.

Below are Ann’s 12 reasons why she is sure, beyond sure, that Adnan is guilty.  I will applaud Bob for his decorum and professionalism during this interview.  I actually gave up about an hour in because Ann was pissing me off with her personal views, which were not based on any evidence.  I decided to go back and finish the interview.  Ann’s points are in italics below.  The rest are my thoughts. I will also note that for a journalist, there are a LOT of spelling mistakes below, which I am not correcting.  Just saying….

  • Adnan has no explanation whatsoever as to how he landed in this position. Yes, I know Deirdre Enright said innocent people often can’t help their case. But she was talking about not being able to find a body in a field as opposed to having no idea whatsoever why your buddy Jay might want to frame you for murder. People who work with killers will also tell you that this vaguey-vague “someone must have framed me but I don’t know why” explanation is a pretty common one among the guilty.
  • I’m sorry, how does this prove Adnan is guilty?  He has no idea how he landed in this position because he is INNOCENT and didn’t kill Hae.  I find this entire statement asinine and not based on any evidence.  Saying that him not knowing how he got in this position makes him guilty is just plain stupid.
  • Jay has no reason for framing Adnan nor does anyone else let alone Roy Sharonnie Davis or Ronald Lee Moore, who, between the two of them, probably have the combined IQ of a cactus plant.
  • Jay has good reason to frame Adnan – his grandmother’s house was being used to make drugs, and many people in his family were part of this drug business.  Framing Adnan took the heat of off Jay and kept the cops away from Granny’s house.  Roy Davis killed a Woodlawn student not long before Hae was killed.  It’s certainly possible that it was him or Ronald Lee Moore.  But we don’t know.  Why?  Because the corrupt cops working this case never processed ANY DNA evidence.
  • Adnan should remember what happened on that very un-normal day. He was called by police the same day his ex-girlfriend disappeared. He was interviewed by police two weeks later. The whole “I can’t remember that normal day six weeks ago” schtick is total BS. And Koenig was a sucker for believing it. There is no good explanation for why Adnan has no alibi. He was aware the day Hae went missing something was seriously wrong.
  • Let’s be clear about something – Adnan found out Hae was missing in the evening, after 6 pm.  Missing.  Adnan had no idea where Hae was.  As far as he knew, she could have run off with her NEW boyfriend, Don.  I don’t find that incriminating.  Ann pointed out several times during the interview that her memory was “fuzzy”.  Why is ok for Ann to be fuzzy about past events but not Adnan?  And let’s not forget the fact that Adnan was high that day.  Several people have indicated that he and Jay were smoking pot.  And he was a teenage boy.  Have you met one of them, Ann?  I tell my 16 year old son something and he forgets five minutes later.  Adnan had moved on from Hae – he was with Nisha.  Of course that day was not significant for him.
  • Adnan has consistently lied about how people reacted to Hae’s disppearance, claiming it was no big deal, which is completely implausible. Hae had a new a boyfriend, a class trip to France booked, and university to look forward to. There was no way she’d take off to California in the middle of her senior year.
  • This is simply not true, and I’d love the see the evidence to back this claim up.  As soon as Friday, January 15, Adnan became concerned when Hae did not show up to a party.  Ann forgets that the Woodlawn students were out of school the rest of that week, so Adnan would really have no way to know anything about Hae’s disappearance.  In all the episodes of Serial, Undisclosed, and Serial Dynasty I’ve listened to, I’ve never heard anyone make this claim.  Which leads me to believe this is Ann’s thought.  Which means nothing.
  • Adnan’s good friend Imran appears to have been actively trying to discourage Hae’s California friends from looking for her a week after her disappearance, when, according to Adnan, no one was concerned she was gone.
  • In my opinion, Bob obliterated Ann on this one, proving that she was talking about a different Imran.  She stuttered with her response, after a LONG pause.  Not sure what this has to do with Adnan anyway.  What difference does it make what Imran’s doing to Adnan?  Another senseless, Ann based point.
  • Adnan had no reason for lending Jay his car. The idea that he was concerned about Jay getting a birthday present for Stephanie is laughable.
  • Hey Ann, did you miss the many times it was mentioned Jay DID NOT OWN A CAR???????  Of course it would make sense for Adnan to loan Jay his car to buy a gift for Adnan’s very good friend Stephanie.  In fact, several people pointed out that Adnan had lent Jay his car on a few occasions.  So because you’ve decided Jay had no reason to borrow the car makes Adnan guilty?  Please.
  • Adnan lied about asking Hae for a ride, contradicting the testimony of Krista and Debbie.
  • Nope, another lie on Ann’s part, and another point she was hit by Bob.  Several people testified that they heard Adnan ask for a ride and they heard Hae say no, that she had something to do. Read the documents on Undisclosed.
  • Adnan wrote “I’m going to kill” on a break-up note from Hae telling him to back off. (If you think that’s no biggie, let me know how you feel about it when you see your daughters writing a note like that and then discover the recipient’s decorated it with “I’m going to kill.”)
  • While I will admit it was a stupid thing to write, this really doesn’t prove anything.  It’s been talked about on Undisclosed and I feel it was put to rest.
  • Adnan exhibited other stalkery behaviour towards Hae. She hid from him at school and wrote in her diary that he was possessive.
  • Ann mentioned the fact that the French teacher was told Hae was not coming to a lab because she was hiding from Adnan, because they’d had a fight.  Pretty much everyone else disputes what Ann says here – that Adnan was not a stalker or possessive of Hae.  To me, this is typical teenage girl drama.  And it sounds like Hae was close to this teacher.
  • Adnan never tried to contact Hae after January 13th even though he called her three times the night before.
  • Um, Ann, NEITHER DID DON, her current boyfriend.  Adnan called Hae the night before, yes, but only spoke to her once, to give her his new cell number.  I find it more odd that Don never reached out to her than Adnan.  And again, they were not in school for almost a week after Hae’s disappearance due to weather/end of semester.  I’ll concede it’s weird he never called her.
  • There is no explanation for the Nisha call other than an improbable butt dial.
  • In my opinion, it’s been proven on Undisclosed that the Nisha call could not have been placed by Adnan, based on the time of the come and get me call.  I believe that Jay called Nisha by mistake on Adnan’s cell phone, which Jay had in his possession the entire day.
  • Adnan’s cell phone records place him in Leakin Park burying Hae’s body.
  • Nope, they do not.  Undisclosed got documentation from AT&T that incoming calls cannot be used to determine location.  And the lividity evidence proves that there is NO WAY Hae could have been buried at 7pm.

In conclusion, nothing Ann notes is enough to prove guilt.  She stated that she believes Jay.  That’s the first clue.  Jay lied repeatedly throughout this case, and at the end of the interview, Ann said “Oh Jay, why can’t you just get your story straight?”  This is someone we’re supposed to believe?  I was also appalled when Ann stated that Sarah Koenig has Hae’s pager records.  Where is she getting this information from?  Nobody has Hae’s pager records. I never heard Sarah or anyone else say this.  Just lies.

I believe that Bob won the debate and did a fantastic job of disproving pretty much everything Ann said.  Good job, Bob.

Podcasts, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Wishes For/About Adnan Syed

There have been many times while I have listened to Serial, Undisclosed and Serial Dynasty that I have found myself wishing things for Adnan. Sometimes I spend time re-playing many of the unfortunate events that led up to his conviction and wishing they had never happened, or that just one thing could have changed and resulted in a different outcome. Often, I’m wishing for his future and wishing that his nightmare will soon end for him wishing that he can have the life back that is rightfully his. Wishing that this horrible, tragic wrong is finally made right. Until that happens, I’ll continue to wish…

Here are my Top 10 Wishes for or about Adnan Syed.

10. I wish Adnan had waited a few more days to purchase his first cell phone. Adnan’s phone was used against him heavily in his murder case, because of the infamous cell phone pings (evidence that was completely obliterated in this week’s Undisclosed episode). Which leads to number 9…

9. I wish Adnan had never let Jay borrow his car and cell phone on January 13th. I know Adnan was being a good “friend” (acquaintance, really) but if he had just kept his car at school that day, none of this would have happened.

8. I also wish Adnan had never befriended Jay. On Serial, when Adnan mentioned that none of this would have happened if he was being a “good Muslim”.  I believe that one of the key things he was talking about was smoking pot and hanging out with someone like Jay. I’d imagine that this is one of Adnan’s biggest regrets.

7. I wish Jay and Jen spent (or will spend) some time in jail for their role in Adnan’s conviction. It’s been proven that they both lied, and we know that Jen was given a lawyer, who happened to be the neighbor of Detective Ritz. They were admitted accessories after the fact, yet neither spent a minute in jail. Wrong and disgusting on so many levels and I often wonder how either of them can sleep at night.

6. I wish that Adnan had a better lawyer or that he would have at least fired Christina Guiterrez before it was too late. I know that CG came highly recommended to the Syed family, but the Undisclosed team has unearthed so many instances of poor representation that it would almost be laughable if it weren’t so horribly tragic. The fact that she was later disbarred (when less than 1% of attorneys are) proves she was not in a right mind and that Adnan did indeed get ineffective assistance of counsel.

5. I wish that Adnan was not the victim of racial profiling. He experienced racial profiling in many instances, most glaringly by the Enehey report, and the prosecution arguing Adnan should be denied bail because he could be a flight risk to Pakistan. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about.

4.  I wish that Adnan realizes how many people believe in his innocence and want him out of prison. I hope he can find some comfort in the fact that there are millions of supporters who are firmly in his corner and desperately want him exonerated.

3. I wish for Adnan that Hae’s actual killer is found. Hae was Adnan’s friend and former girlfriend, and I’m sure her death was devastating to him. I hope DNA evidence will find the real killer.

I have two wishes that are tied for number 1. They are:

1. I wish that Urick, MacGillivary and Ritz will someday be forced to deal with the consequences of their role in this case. I know the likelihood of actual jail time is slim to none for police and prosecutors, but I hope at the very least that they become accountable on some level. As with Jay and Jen, I wonder often how these men sleep at night.

My number 1 wish for Adnan is freedom and exoneration. True exoneration – not an Alford plea (although I agree with Rabia – take the Alford if that becomes available!) Adnan deserves the life that was taken from him. He deserves to return home and be with his loved ones for every single second he wants vs. only during designated visiting hours once or twice a month. He deserves to put his arms around his family, and fall asleep in his own bed. And he deserves to open his eyes in the morning with a sense of excitement and hope knowing that he can do anything he wants during that entire day as well as every day of the rest of his life.

This is what I wish.

Special thanks to my sister Amy for her help with this week’s installment, and for being the one to introduce me to Serial.

Podcasts, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Bombshells from Undisclosed

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My Top Ten Tuesday this week is going to focus on the Undisclosed Podcast and is titled “The Top Ten Bombshells revealed on Undisclosed”.  As you know, Undisclosed is a podcast introducing new information on the State vs. Adnan Syed case introduced to us in the Serial Podcast.  It is hosted by Rabia Chaudry (the attorney who brought the case to Sarah Koenig and author of Split the Moon blog), Colin Miller (law professor and author of Evidence Prof blog) and Susan Simpson (law associate and author of View from LL2 blog).

Here is my Top Ten Bombshells from Undisclosed in reverse order.

10.  Kristy (not her real name Cathy) claiming her school conference was on January 13, 1999 from 9 am – 4 pm, the day Adnan and Jay were at her house and Adnan was acting weird, when the actual day of the seminar was January 22, 1999.

9.  The January 13, 1999 wrestling match Hae was supposed to attend was not actually held on January 13, 1999; it was January 5, 1999.  It was also noted that Hae’s interview with the local news was taped on January 13, 1999, which also took place on January 5.  I always found it odd that Hae would ask Don to call her off school on the day she is scheduled to be on the news.

8.  The fact that on February 4, 1999, 2 separate Baltimore County police officers ran plate checks on Hae’s car in a different location from where the car was ultimately found.  Didn’t Jay say that he and Adnan dumped Hae’s car at the 1-70 park and ride?  Points again to police corruption.   Don’t forget the fact that Hae’s car seem clean, the grass under her car was green and there was green grass in her wheel wells.

7.  The revelation that Adnan was questioned by detectives for 6 hours without being offered food and water, and that his parents and the attorneys his parents hired were denied access to him.  I would side note the manner in which Adnan was arrested, in the early morning hours, in front of his family.  Storming into his house, yelling at his parents, laughing at him, threatening sexual assault in prison.  Disgusting.

6.  The bombshell that Jay and his friend Phil tried to interrupt Stephanie’s interview with the private investigator.  More of Jay the bullshit artist working his magic and getting people to change their story for him.  I don’t believe Stephanie knows anything more than the utter bullshit that Jay spewed.  Which is pretty much every word out of his mouth.

5.  The Anti-Islam report.  Created by the Enehey Group, this crock of bullshit was used to portray Muslim men in a light completely unbecoming and false.  Let’s also remember Adnan wasn’t technically a man at the time he was arrested; he was only 17.  You can read the pile of shit here.  I personally found this racist and disgusting, and was highly offended.

4.  The news that the attorney assigned to Jenn Pusateri’s was Detective Ritz’s neighbor.  What I also find convenient is that Jenn magically had this attorney appointed to her the day after her initial interview with police.  That can’t be a coincidence.

I have three bombshells tied for 1st place.  I’m going to put them in order of explosiveness (pardon the pun).

1.  The changing of Adnan’s birthdate by detectives to make him appear to be 18 and intimidate him with the news that he could be eligible for a capital murder charge.  This is pure police misconduct.  The fact that this mistake wasn’t changed after the 6 hours of questioning where Adnan gave NOTHING to the detectives makes this even more sickening.  This piece of information is the reason Adnan was denied bail as well.

1.  The lividity bombshell.  According to bullshit artist Jay, Hae was stuffed in the trunk of her car by Adnan and driven around town for a while before her body was dumped later that evening; remember, Jay said Hae’s body was in the trunk in a “pretzel shape”.  According to Dr. Leigh Hlavaty, a medical examiner in Michigan who investigated the case, there is NO WAY Hae was in that position.  In fact, Hae was laying face down for 8-10 hours before she was buried/dumped.  This is really damning evidence, because it completely contradicts Jay’s testimony.

And the number 1 bombshell dropped:

1.  Tap, tap, tap.  As you will recall from Addendum 3, Susan uncovered what turned out to be the biggest bombshell in this entire case – tap, tap, tap.  During Jay’s police interviews, Jay would lose his train of thought and then tap, tap, tap – he would suddenly and inexplicably remember the right answer.  Not only did the detectives tap to lead Jay to the answers, they also did so verbally.  I would recommend that you read the transcript  from the addendum (or listen to the episode again) to refresh your memory.

Do you agree with my list?  I’d love to hear your bombshell moments as well.

To Rabia, Colin and Susan – keep up the amazing work.