About Me

“LL2” is short for Lower Level 2, or the second sub-basement of the George Washington University Law Library. LL2 has no windows, and no view to speak of, but it does have the library’s collection of books on international law. Susan spent too much time there during law school.

LinkedInSusan Simpson graduated from the George Washington University Law School. As an associate with the Volkov Law Group, she focuses primarily on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and white collar defense, as well as related civil proceedings. Her previous legal experience includes civil litigation and criminal appeals.

As a blogger at LL2, she will, on rare occasions, write about things other than jurisdictional issues, in which case she will most likely write about standards of review and/or Battlestar Galactica. Her interests include international tribunal procedure, law of the sea, conflicting sovereignty regimes, and craft projects involving obscure tetrapods and repurposed armor. She can beat you in Halo.

[email: susan.simpson@gmail.com]

Michael Williams is a former contributor to the VIew from LL2. He is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and formerly an attorney in Washington, D.C.  He is primarily interested in international economics, criminal law, domestic politics, and silly Internet videos.

[email: michaelraywilliams@gmail.com]

Email the blog: viewfromll2@gmail.com

33 thoughts on “About Me

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  4. Thank you for the cell phone tower time line. That is really helpful to put things in perspective. I admit to being biased towards Adnan being innocent and hope that more information will come forward that helps him. I am still troubled by the hits near Leakin park in the evening when Adnan was supposed to be at the mosque.

  5. Congratulations on the quality and quantity of your analysis and comments on Serial. Brilliant analysis and since my expertise is in health care law (Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance) , so I am learning how as an investigator/lawyer you approach criminal behavior from a methodological/theoretic point of view. But it was the title of your blog LL2 which caught my eye. I went to GW Law School in the early 1980s before the school and the library were remodeled and expanded. The library back then was the tall and multi-story part of the current building. But it had LL1, 2, and 3 which I assumed is where you studied. My preference for studying during finals was the bottom floor (which I think was LL1). Perfect place to study — no windows, and small cubicles among the bookcases. Always very quiet and perfect place to concentrate. Keep up the good work!!

  6. Sarah Koenig, is this your well crafted online alter ego to help bring a spectacular end to the podcast season? Either way, bravo to the author and this blog! :-)

  7. Your work on the Serial case has been outstanding. If you haven’t picked a husband yet, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring.

  8. I tried to write some of this on a sub reddit forum but it got lost in the shuffle. Many of the “pro-Jay” faction used fallacies of logic when discussing the case as it was presented on Serial. However during the first episode my son and I both said ” the guy Jay is the killer”. We felt sure that was the direction the story was going in and we would hear that Adnan was innocent. Obviously that is not what happened and I understand that SK and Serial are telling a story and this is not a documentary ( although maybe it should be) about a man wrongly convicted. From the beginning Rabia had me convinced Adnan had received ineffective counsel and that the man who pointed his finger should have been more scrutinized and not been given a sweetheart deal. Often Jay’s narrative slipped into the first person and made NO sense to any logical person analyzing what happened. Adnan was applying to medical school, Hae had a bright future, so did Stephanie. Who in this group was not going to have such a great future? Hmm… Jay and Jenn maybe? I cannot conceive of someone who had everything to lose strangling a young women who was his friend and who was honestly distraught over her death faking that. Also from Jay’s narrative we are to believe that you strangle someone and then go running around town stoned, scoring bud, and eating McDonald’s with a dead body in the trunk? The dead body of a girl you know has a very over protective family? Who was going to be expected at the child care center in an hour? It makes no sense.

    Furthermore Jenn tied Jay to the crime not Adnan. In a way she was a hearsay witness- she only had Jay’s word that Adnan had committed any type of crime. My own half baked theory? Here goes:
    Adnan mentioned to Jay around 10:00 am while they get baked that Hae knows about Jay’s cheating and is going to tell Stephanie but it is Stephanie’s birthday and Hae doesn’t want to ruin it. Jay casually asks if Hae and Adnan are still talking and Adnan says yeah sure I talked to her for a minute last night. He also mentions the stuffed reindeer he gave Jay’s girlfriend Stephanie for her birthday. Jay realizes he is 19, a loser, and his girlfriend is amazing. This is the girlfriend JAY is very jealous of and in the words of friends would “do anything for”. An Othello vibe is going on in that Iago is intent on destroying Othello ( more on that). More weed is smoked that morning and Adnan goofily teases Jay about the gift for Stephanie. Adnan realizes he has to get back to school. To pay for the weed he loans Jay the car and phone ( Adnan has school and track anyway and won’t need the car till after 4:30 or later and that is why he leaves his phone with Jay so he can call Jay after school and track and not be hanging out all day). Stoned Adnan may ask Hae for a ride around lunch time forgetting Jay has his new cell ( remember in 1999 cells weren’t that common and Adnan may have forgotten he could just call Jay and get his car back) and then later he said never mind Hae. Well Hae being a good friend calls Adnan’s new number at 2:36 to make sure he doesn’t need a ride and Jay answers. Is this why Jay lies and says Adnan called?

    Either way Hae is in danger at this point- Jay realizes that Hae may tell Stephanie at any point about the cheating ( with Jenn and who knows how many girls right?). He approaches Hae and convinces her to meet him ( or give him a quick ride) for a few minutes at Best Buy to talk about his side of the story. Hae agrees knowing she has a few minutes before picking the cousin up. Jay and her argue and she stands there “so coldly breaking someone’s heart and deserves to die”- Jay’s words but attributed to Adnan later. I think Hae stood face to face with her killer and said” why should I Iie you are a pot head and not good enough for my friend if it wasn’t her birthday I would tell her now” at this point they grapple and Hae is killed or incapacitated( with no coroners report and full autopsy we don’t know if the manual strangulation is the full cause of death maybe she was knocked out and died in the trunk?). Jay panics. He realizes Hae will be noticed as missing. He has 2 hours until Adnan gets out of school and calls him to get picked up. There is no evidence Adnan’s car left the Woodlawn area. His phone did but was it in someone else’s car? Like Hae’s?

    Iago has lashed out and the perfect Othello is ruined. No matter what Jay never planned on going down alone for this murder. He was going to implicate Adnan. The guy who had it all- a car, girls, good grades, loving parents, Stephanie’s admiration, and athletic abilities. The game is on. Jay calls Jenn he needs an ALIBI asap. For all he knows people will remember Adnan is on the campus ( like Asia McClean and Will) after the death is exposed and Jay NEEDS an ALIBI because no one knows where he is at this time. Often when people lie subconsciously they expose truths- someone called that phone at 2:36 and whatever led to Hae’s death happened in that next hour or so when NO ONE can account for Jay’s whereabouts so he makes up the story about Adnan calling from Best Buy and them riding around. When he tells the cops in February he realizes Adnan has no memories of the time when Jay knows he killed Hae on January 13th. Jay however does remember so he concocts the 3:40- 3:45 timeline with Jenn, Adnan has no idea he needs to be constructing alibis because he has no clue Hae is dead and her body is in Leakin Park. Not missing or with her dad. Jay knows this though and has to account for the 3:40 time ( maybe he thinks the coroner will know the time of death within the hour?). But Jay could have been caught in this lie because as far as he knows people remember Adnan at track so he places Adnan back at school around 3:55-4:00 and he is of course with Jenn waiting for the call ( lies). Remember Jenn is emphatic about the 3:40 time. Why? Because in their minds that is when Hae will be missed by her family. I think Jay left Hae’s car and body near the 1-70 store used the card to get a soda called Patrick and Phil to get a ride and get closer to where he had left Adnan’s car back at Woodlawn? I suspect Jay got in Hae’s car there and got her to drive somewhere. He killed her and panicked but also realized he had time to get rid of the body and the car before Adnan was done at track. That explains the weird story- he was betting Adnan would remember more and tossed the gambit. The Nisha call? Not as damning as people think. Jay is calling looking for rides. He accidentally dialed Nisha. Cells were not as common in 1999 and Jay wasn’t known for using one. He realizes the phone is ringing. Jay hangs up. Keeps trying to get back to Adnan’s car and and Jenn’s. He gets the car. Goes to Jenn’s. Acts weird. Has the weed from Patrick/Phil. Gets Adnan stoned after track practice. Realizes he needs to have him and Adnan seen together at this point. The trip to Cathy’s accomplishes this. Adnan realizes he has to get to mosque. Jay has time again alone. He dumps Hae’s body. Adnan has no clue this has happened and Jay was establishing evidence they were together that afternoon/early evening.

    Susan you have done incredible work in this case and if I am ever accused of a crime I will insist that you be hired as my lawyer. I have extrapolated the lessons of Adnan’s case to a broader conception of racism and bias in the judicial system. I wonder if having so many supporters from the Muslim community harmed him in the eyes of the jury? There definitely is a racial and cultural bias percolating under the surface in this case and for the sake of justice I hope between this case being serialized, the Ferguson and Garner gj verdicts, and other miscarriages of justice we analyze the current system and realize how it has no resemblance to the concept of fairness and equal treatment under the law that the founding father envisioned.

    Sincerely,
    A fellow sub-sub library dweller

    • This is excellent and makes so much sense.
      I have a 23 year old son and just for the sake of it I asked him to tell me everything he did two weeks ago on a day he was off work. He could hardly remember and kept saying, “I think I did this and then I would have done that.” Nothing concrete. I could check my mac card or my phone but to remember, I don’t. So for Adnan to not remember things is sounding more true to me, especially if he did not do it. After reading all the favors jay received for his testimony I am more favoring that he did do it.
      NavyMom

    • That’s a really nice shot at it. I would only quibble with I doubt Jay had the presence of mind to set up the whole “be seen with Adnan” thing….. instead it just all fell into place for him when the cops were so eager to coach him toward what they wanted to hear.

  9. Hello natdaniels
    Your version of events is compelling. I actually felt I could follow the events and accept that this may have happened. The versions I have read on reddit have seemed so biased but your version remains calm and I like that.
    It is the first time I have come to see a motive for Jay to harm, murder Hae. Jealousy? I can see that line of thinking. I wonder if this could make sense – Jay is jealous of Adnan, the Immigrant son who is also sporty, popular with the girls….kind, academic…..a guy who has come far considering his parents only recently settled in the U.S? Can others see this view as plausible? I am the daughter of immigrants too and I grew up with many girls who were Afro-Carribbean. We were often friends but there was also an underlying animosity from some who did openly resent the comparative success South Asian immigrants in London were having in School and even in the workplace. I am a Londoner but my relatives are Americans (from Pakistan originally) and they grew up in Maryland. They described the schools in that state being quite evenly divided between Black Americans and the other ethnic groups. I also recall comments about the sometimes difficult relationships between Black students and South Asian students but of course there were friendships too.

    After writing this I am beginning to feel I may be reading too much into Jay’s feelings!

    • that would not be a motive…the motive would be involved with stephanie….or jay cheating on stephanie and adnan knowing

  10. I’m going to try and make this quick1. when did the brother get out of school? 2.Jenn probably assisted in the murder which explains the inconsistencies and the framing of adnan. 3. she was probably using adan’s the cell phone to call her brother at the house to check up on him around 3 o clock since she seems to only have a pager. She probably checking to see if he was home from school or not since it could raise questions after the murder they had just committed 4 after moving the cars Jay dropped her off so she could do what she needed to do in order to not look suspicious and have an alibi. 5 jay informed jenn before he left that he was going to get adnan and take adnan to cathys which is why she knew to call cathy directly. How else did she know to call there without calling the cell phone jay had in his position first. 6 jay dropped adnan off at the mosque. 8 jenn calls to make sure he is going or already had dumped the body. Jay probably says working on it. 9 the page was to confirm that he finished it. 10 He goes picks up adnan and adnan takes him home where jenn is waiting for him which is probably at his house. 11 jenn probably sees that jay is not wearing gloves and they go back to where he dumped the shovels etc.. I’m not saying that I am anywhere close to right but it seems with all of jenns out right lies and half truths that she has a larger role in this and this explanation seems quite simple and usually the simplest explanation is the right one.

  11. Hi Susan, thanks for the interesting alternate narrative construction from the cell tower/antenna history. Very interesting stuff.. One problem though is adnan himself ‘thinks’ he ‘probably’ dropped jay off somewhere and kept the phone. I think it’s in ep5. What do you make of that? It’s ludicrous that jay and jenn’s testimonies do not match.

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  15. Susan, has anyone thought to compare Atty Gutierrez manner of speech and questioning from a previous successful murder trial? If she is ill and in decline mentally, would it be apparent in her speech patterns? She was taking lots of swings but not getting many hits during Adnan’s trial. She meandered off into random tangents while ignoring points she could have been making on cross-examination of Jay, Jenn; even the testimony of Nisha! Meanwhile, the prosecutors are making sense, speaking clearly and concisely, even though they are spinning tall tales.
    So I just wondered, is that ALWAYS how Gutierrez spoke during trials?

  16. You do a fantastic job and great public service!
    This case and the Podcast Serial have complety shaken what I thought about guilt, non guilt, innocence, trust, truth, lies and the criminal justice system. (the word justice here is very loose terminology). It should be called the criminal “so called” justice system.
    Thank you for bringing more clarity to what can only be described as a total mess mostly created by people whom we as citizens are supposed to trust. (Attorneys, judges, cops prosecutors, investigators, jury’s, lawyers on both sides). Obviously getting a conviction or not and getting paid was more important to the State of Md. and the defense team in this case than finding the truth. Which do to a total disregard for justice we will probably never really know. Really discouraging. Lot of lessons learned.
    I have already donated to the education fund in Hae Min Lee’s name. Now after your blog I’m going to donate to the defense fund. I’m from the area where this crime took place and have always loved my city and state and the people here. Now, not as much. I wonder how I will feel when I am supposed to go to jury duty next month.

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  18. Susan, I just wanted to say YOU ARE AWESOME. The amount of work and detail you are putting into this case is so inspiring. I hope you keep going with this and eventually uncover the truth of what happened to Hae Min Lee.

  19. Your work is fascinating and detailed, but complicated and very hard to absorb when you talk fast and run your words together. I had to listen to the Undisclosed Podcast twice because you talked like you were reading the disclaimer on a TV prescription drug ad. Please slow down and speak more distinctly. I’m not the only one who wishes you’d talk slower.

  20. First of all I think you are amazing and you do great work!

    Do you have any idea who gave Hae the heart charm for $120 and flowers that were recovered from her car? If they were from Don, in my opinion, they seems to be pretty expensive gifts for a young man to give a girl that he’s really not into, especially after dating for only two weeks. Were there any special occasions for her to receive flowers? Are there any thoughts that she received these flowers the day she was murdered? Especially since the roses were still wrapped and came with flower food.

  21. Dear Susan,
    I listened to “Serial” and I’ve been listening to “Undisclosed”. I believe you and your colleagues have brought out interesting information regarding the case of the State of Maryland v. Adnan Syed. But I had to stop listening half way through episode six because – well to be brutally honest – I just can’t listen to your voice anymore. I find it excruciating.

    I know that sounds very mean and I’m sorry about that. But I thought you should know why you are losing listeners – at least this one.

    I appreciate that both you and Rabia have slowed down your speech (or at least inserted a lot of pauses) since the premier episode. But that’s not enough.

    Here’s the thing: if you decided at this stage in your career that you wanted to be, say, a veterinarian, you would recognize that you had to acquire new skills in order to do that. In essence, you have actually decided that at this point in your career you are going to be a broadcaster. But you lack the necessary skills to be a broadcaster, just like you probably lack the necessary skills to be a veterinarian.

    But you can learn them! Take some voice/elocution/diction lessons! Frankly, I think you would benefit greatly by taking just one lesson! Believe me, most professional broadcasters were not born communicators – they had training in voice and presentation style.

    If you are still reading this, I want to re-iterate that it is not my intention to be cruel. I recognize that it’s impossible not to take a criticism of your voice personally – but I’m really not saying this to hurt your feelings. I think that you are performing a valuable service with this podcast. But I think you would be much, much more effective with some basic voice training. Please consider it.

    • Dee, you know there are several books on decorum, etiquette, and manners available for the public. Perhaps you should read a few since your family didn’t instill any sense or kindness in you. Susan, your voice is wonderful, ignore the idiot. We love you in Montana, voice and mind.

  22. I like this podcast BUT it is way too one sided. I get it, they are defending Adnan, I do, but this is way too much. I have not ONCE heard ANYONE (rabia, collin or susan) address the Nisha call. What was that all about? Let’s talk about that. Susan mentions how all these other coincidences seem “odd” and favor Adnan as those just cant be. Well what about the nisha call? How does adnan NOT KNOW where he was for that 1 hour, they KEY one hour in time? If my gf got killed/went missing, I would remember that day like NO OTHER, every second of it.

    I am not saying Adnan did it, hell, putting him in jail for life on no REAL evidence is nuts, BUT let’s please stop making it seem like Adnan did ZERO wrong and that there are NO question marks around him. Please address the things that look BAD for him….. I feel like I am listening to a Michael Moore movie, way too one sided and I can’t take that seriously as it gets old after a while and ignores all the red flags on the other side..

    Let’s go, address them pls….

  23. Susan, I find your voice clear and easy to listen to. You are articulate and informed. Keep up the good work. Love listening to you from Australia and appreciate your incredibly detailed knowledge of the case. After all, there are human beings’ lives at stake in this case and you’re doing great stuff to remind us of that underlying and important issue.

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