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Adnan Syed: Scapegoating Case Study Essay

Adnan Syed: Scapegoat The case of Adnan Syed is a mysterious one, it all starts with the murder of a 17 year old girl from Baltimore County, Maryland; Hae Min Lee. On the afternoon of January 13, 1999 she disappeared, her body was later found in Leakin Park (a hotspot for dead bodies) cause of death: strangulation. Her exboyfriend ,Adnan Syed, was arrested later for the crime and in June 6, 2000 was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison. The case on his story was mainly based from testimony given from his friend, Jay, who testified to helping Adnan bury Hae’s body.

Adnan constantly insists that he had nothing to do with her death. Is Adnan Syed really guilty? To begin with there is not enough evidence to classify Adnan is guilty, most of his case is built on speculation and testimonies and lacks greatly on physical evidence. But before we get to that, we start a few hours before Hae’s disappearance. Adnan told Jay that he wanted to lend Jay his car and phone so that Jay can buy his girlfriend a gift for her birthday, jay accepts.

Hae stayed late that day due to a wrestling match she was helping to coach, this is evident by a note she wrote to her current boyfriend Don stating that she was at a wrestling match and would be home late but would fax him when she gets home, she never does. A missing report is sent to the Baltimore County police station, and a few weeks later search dogs are sent into the woods by the high school. Their search ends on February 9, 1999. Her body was found in the woods of Leakin park by Mr. S, an alcoholic janitor known for being the town streaker, he said that he had to take a pee so he parked his car on the side of the oad walked out only to accidentally stumble upon her body.

At first you might not think that it’s much, just coincidence, but Mr. s didn’t just walk out and pee, he walked 127 feet from the highway and found a log he then went on the other side of the log, facing the highway, which is when he spotted a tuft of hair. He didn’t report it immediately, but about a week or so after. Forensic investigators then went to the spot where the supposed body was, after a long search and walking around the supposed crime scene, one investigator finally spotted the hair under the leaves.

One investigator quotes “Thave no idea how he spotted it, I was walking around the log in that same spot and still couldn’t see it. ” Along with the body they also found a rope, a bottle, and a feather none of which were tested in the lab. A few days later the police got an anonymous call and a new suspect arose; Adnan Syed. On February 26, Jenn (a friend of Jay’s) is contacted by the police to whom she says she knows nothing, she then goes to Jay freaking out and asking him what she should do. The next day she goes to the cops and tells them that Jay told her Adnan killed Hae.

On February 28, Jay gets interviewed by detectives, he tells them everything he knows; how Adnan showed him the body and then leads them to Hae’s car, this proves that Jay was at the scene. But Jay’s story changes, the next time he is asked by the detectives he admits to assisting Adnan with burying the body, he later tells Jenn that he needs to clean up the shovels and that he needs her help. These inconsistencies make it hard to believe that he is a solid witness, he doesn’t change his story once but multiple times.

He tells the Cops that he is sure the murder happened at the Best Buy parking lot and that Adnan later called him from a payphone there, he draws detectives a map of the location of the payphone but when you look through the blueprints and ask the primary and recent owners, no one has ever seen a payphone outside at the parking lot. Before we go any further we need to know the time of the murder, the state’s timeline is from 2:15-3:30 pm, this is when Adnan went from Woodlawn High school to Best Buy and between all this still had time to kill Hae, the problem with this is that it’s nearly impossible.

Investigators Sarah and Dana tested the State’s timeline, they accounted for the traffic of getting out of school,traveled from Woodlawn High to Best Buy, accounted for the time it would take to strangle Hae, and even with all this the time way surpassed the time given by the states. On top of this, on March 1, 1999, a day after adnan’s arrest a girl named Asia wrote him a letter stating that she had talked to him in the library the afternoon of Hae’s disappearance, the time being from about 2:15-3:30 pm the exact time that the state says Adnan killed Hae.

It is evident that Adnan did not appear to be a killer but rather a scapegoat. One thing you should know is that Adnan’s phone pinged from a cell tower by Leakin Park, the way cell towers work is that if you are in the range of a cell tower, the one you are nearest to is the one that will connect. If you remember earlier I stated that Jay had Adnan’s phone at this time, and if you are wondering what reason there would be for Jay to have a grudge on Adnan, well remember Jay’s girlfriend she is also Adnan’s best friend, and on top of that during a dance they were both crowned king and queen instead of Jay and her.

While this would not give most people a reason to frame someone, it might have been to Jay. To many people Jay was always a very weird and mean kid while to others he was goofy, but there was an instance when he was talking to a friend of his and they started joking around, jay told his friend he “should to know what it’s like to be stabbed” and took out his knife, his friend then said “no I don’t want to know, why don’t you? ” and then Jay pretended to try to stab him to which the guy held his hand and they both began to wrestle.

This puts Jay in a very tight spot, but even with this there is one evidence that looks especially bad for Adnan and that is the Nisha call. The Nisha call happens at 3:37 pm the afternoon of Hae’s disappearance and it puts Adnan with Jay which in turn collaborates with Jay’s story and makes Adnan’s alibi that Jay had his phone invalid. Nisha herself admits that she remembers talking Adnan who the passes her to Jay, she knows that it was on an afternoon but she believes it happened days earlier not on the day Hae disappeared.

Adnan’s phone bill states” we don’t bill for unanswered calls” and the loophole says “We won’t bill if it’s an unreasonable amount of time” this rules out the fact that it was a butt dial, but there is one thing about the bills, they say the # of the phone called, the minutes, possibly the time, but not the day the phone called that number. This is the case of Adnan Syed, in his primary trial he was meant to be ruled not guilty but the court overturned the trial due to problems caused by the lawyer. If you are still not convinced that Adnan is not, there is a coincidence that happened during this whole thing.

A website that categorizes all unsolved murders had a case that involved girl in Baltimore who was strangled and buried, she was found in december 13, 1999, the killer was a man named Ronald Lee Moore, this same man was accidentally released on January 1999, 13 days before Hae’s disappearance. Could this whole situation be a coincidence or something more? Was Adnan the killer or was this whole ideal bigger than him? Whatever the result, in my opinion and due to the evidence provided by myself and others i am not convinced that Adnan Syed was the one who killed Hae Min Lee.

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