[Edit, 1/17/2015: In the two months since this post was written, substantially more evidence concerning the events of January 13, 1999, has been released. As a result, I have completely revised my opinion on numerous matters discussed herein.
This post has therefore been updated to add new and more accurate maps. However, I have not yet updated much of the accompanying text, and much of my current interpretation of the cellphone data is substantially different from what it was when this post was first written.]
Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been listening to Serial. For those who haven’t listened in yet, Serial is a weekly podcast covering the murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee, who was killed on January 13, 1999. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was subsequently convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and is currently serving a life sentence. (And if you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, turn back now and come back when you have. Otherwise, the minutiae of these cell phone records won’t be interesting in the slightest.)
The evidence against Adnan was complicated and deeply ambiguous. That’s unsurprising — after all, there’s a reason his case was chosen to be the subject Serial’s first season. But while there’s much we do not know about the the investigation into Hae’s murder and the state’s case against Adnan, based on what the show has covered so far, and what has been made publicly available about Adnan’s two trials, there are many reasons to be unsettled by his conviction. Even for those who think Adnan probably did plot and carry out the murder of his ex-girlfriend — and there are plenty who do — it is hard to say that there wasn’t room for some very reasonable doubts about his guilt.
Legally, there was sufficient evidence to support Adnan’s conviction; he’s not going to win any appeals there. An eye witness — Jay, Adnan’s weed dealer and casual friend — testified to his guilt. But while the jury always has the right to determine whether a witness is telling the truth, it does not appear that, in this case, there was any objective basis for crediting Jay’s testimony against Adnan (as discussed in further detail at Serial: Why Jay’s Testimony Is Not Credible Evidence of Adnan’s Guilt).
Other than Jay’s testimony, the only evidence that Adnan had any connection with Hae’s murder came from his cell phone records. As a result, understanding what those cell records show, and do not show, is a highly significant part of the case. Provided below is a summary of the data from each of the 31 calls made to or from Adnan’s cell phone that day — including the time, who the call was to, the duration, and the cell phone tower that the call was routed through — and a summary of how that data compares to the testimony and statements given by key witnesses in the case.
A note on the significance of the location data: It should be stressed that the tower data — that is, the record of the tower and antenna that a call was routed through — provides us with a probabilistic (and not determinative) location for where each call was made or received from. Moreover, the maps below use an oversimplified division of likely cell tower territories based purely on distances between towers, and does not take other factors into account. The fact that any particular call may have been routed through any particular tower and antenna does not mean that the call was actually made or received from within the territory immediately adjacent to that tower/antenna; calls can be routed through towers other than the one they are closest to for any number of reasons, and two calls made from the exact same location, within minutes of one another, could end up being routed through different towers. As a result, it should be assumed that some of the 31 calls made from Adnan’s phone that day were made or received from a tower other than the one the phone was closest to at the time of the call.
Taken in the aggregate, however, the tower data is very useful for assessing the likely path followed by whoever had the cell phone that day. Additionally, by comparing the tower data against both the witnesses’ known events of the day, and with the movement of the cell phone as shown from the calls that occurred before and after, we can make a good prediction as to the accuracy of the tower data for each call individually.
As there was no testimony at trial concerning the actual ranges of these towers, the below maps assume a conservative tower range of approximately two miles.
Time: 10:45 a.m., January 13, 1999
Adnan Calls Jay to Ask if Jay Has Gotten a Present for Stephanie
On the morning of January 13th, Adnan calls Jay from school, and then during his free period drives over to Jay’s house to pick him up. Adnan plans to kill Hae that afternoon, so he leave his car and cell phone with Jay, so that Jay can pick him up after the murder has been committed.
According to Adnan, he called Jay from school to make sure Jay remembered to get a birthday present for his girlfriend, Stephanie. Adnan and Stephanie are also close friends, and he did not want her to be upset if Jay forgot to get her something:
I kind of had a feeling that maybe he didn’t get her a gift. And I had free periods during school. So it was not abnormal for me to leave school to go do something and then come back. So I went to his house. And I asked him, did you happen to get a present for Stephanie? He said no. So I said, if you want to, you can drop me back off to school. You can borrow my car. And you can go to the mall and get her a gift or whatever. Then just come pick me up after track practice that day. (Episode 1.)
Jay says that, on the morning of January 13th, Adnan called him from school and then drove over to pick him up, and they go shopping together. In some of Jay’s statements, he claims that this was the first time he learned of the murder plan. In other statements, he claims he had learned of the plan the previous day. Although he sometimes also claims that parts of the murder were planned over the phone, Jay’s stories generally claim Adnan enlisted his help in carrying out Hae’s murder while the two of them were on a shopping trip together. However, he is inconsistent as to which shopping trip this was.
The Shopping Trip on January 12th: One of Jay’s stories involves Adnan and Jay discussing Hae’s murder during a shopping trip that occurred on January 12, 1999 — the day before Hae’s murder. Jay informs Jenn of Adnan’s plan to murder Hae, but she does not react to this news:
[I] went shopping with a friend of mine, an ex-friend of mine and ah, we ah, went to ah, ah, I just believe we went to Wal-Mart. . . . We had had a conversation. . . During the conversation he stated, um, that he was going to kill that bitch, referring to Hae Lee. . . . Ah, I didn’t, I took it with contexts and stand out my inaudible. We went, he dropped, he returned me to my house ah, I paged [Jenn] um no I’m sorry. Yes I paged [Jenn], um, we went to the [ ] park. . . There I told her the conversation me and Adnan had had earlier that day. And her reaction was just about the same and then . . . Returned home about 10 o’clock, received
another call from Adnan. This time he had told me ah, that we’re gonna hook up tomorrow. And that was it for the 12th. (Jay’s Second Interview on March 15, 1999) (herein “Int.2”).
The Shopping Trip on January 13th: Jay’s other story involves a shopping trip that instead takes place on January 13th, before Hae’s murder. Adnan calls Jay from school (the 10:45 a.m. call), and then goes to pick Jay up at his house:
I believe [Adnan] called me first. Um, he probably showed up at about 11, a little after 11 , 11:30, 11, 11:30 (Int.2 at 5).
That morning [on January 13th] [Adnan] called me and we took …. we were going to the Mall. He asked me if I could do him a favor. . . [Adnan called my house] a little after ten, about ten forty-five, quarter to eleven. I woke …. that is when I woke up. I showered so it was about an hour before I left. Ah we left the house, on the way to the Mall he asked me if I could do him a favor. . . (Int.1 at 2.)
Jay also confirms, in response to a detective’s question, that Adnan “came to [Jay’s] house about quarter of twelve, [ ] about an hour [ ] after he called” (id.).
In his statements concerning the shopping trip on January 13, Jay’s stories about what mall he and Adnan went to are not consistent. He names two different locations:
[W]e headed toward Westview mall. Um, we did a little shopping together. (Jay’s First Interview on February 28, 1999) (herein “Int.1”).
We went to Security Square Mall. (Int.2.)
Time: 12:07 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Jay Borrows Adnan’s Cell Phone and Car, and Drops Adnan Back Off at School
Explanatory Note: This call is likely a good example of the tower data not guaranteeing that a call was made/received from the area typically covered by the the tower/antenna it ends up being routed through. There is no reason for the 12:07 p.m. call to have been made in the shaded territory — it doesn’t fit any narratives, and no other calls are ever routed through L668. The most likely explanation is that the call was made within the territory typically covered by the tower directly to the west of L668, which is L651 – the Woodlawn tower.
Jay and Adnan go shopping together for a little while at Security Square Mall (just south of Best Buy (“BBPL”). Adnan tells Jay of his plan to kill Hae.
Adnan says he did not go shopping with Jay, and went back to school at around 11:30 a.m. However, he let Jay borrow his car and cell phone, so that Jay could go buy a birthday present for Stephanie, who is also a close friend of Adnan’s. He tells Jay he will call after track practice so that Jay can come pick him up.
In his second interview, Jay tells the police that Adnan comes over and they go shopping for a birthday present for Stephanie. After a while, Jay says,
We left the mall. I took him to school. I dropped him off in the back of the school. He went up to class. He left his cell phone in the car with me, told me he’d call me. I went back to my friend Jenn’s house and waited for him to call. (Int.1 at 7.)
When asked what time he dropped Adnan back off at school, he says it was between 12:45 and 1:15 p.m. (id.).
At trial, Jay testified that:
On the way [back] to school, [Adnan] talked about his relationship with Hae, and said it was not going well. [Jay] testified that [Adnan] seemed hurt rather than angry. [Jay] then testified that [Adnan] said Hae made him mad and said, “I am going to kill that bitch.” [Adnan] told [Jay] he could drop [Adnan] off at school and take [Adnan’s] car as long as he picked [Adnan] up later. [Adnan] gave [Jay] [Adnan’s] cell phone so that he could call [Jay] when he was ready to be picked up.” (Appellant’s Brief at 7.)
Jenn says that on the morning of January 13th, she and Jay made plans to hang out:
From work I called Jay. I asked if he wanted to come to my house and hang out. He said “sure swing by and pick him up.” Um then he got back in touch with me to let me know not to come and get him that he would be at my house. Between . . . Twelve-thirty and one I got back to my house, between one and one-thirty Jay arrived at my house. (Jenn Int. at 1.).
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
This call indicates that Jay is not at Jenn’s house as of 12:07, as Jay would not have any reason to call “Jenn Home” if he were. Since Jenn says she was at work and did not get home until 12:30 or 1 p.m., Jay could not have spoken to her when he called her home. This means that this call cannot be the call that Jenn mentions when she says that Jay “got back in touch with me”; it is unclear how Jay got in touch with her.
Time: 12:41 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Jay Still Has the Cell phone, and is Not at Jenn’s House
It is worth noting that Jay’s grandmother’s house is within the range of the L652A tower.
After Adnan and Jay go shopping, Jay drops Adnan back off at school, and then drives Adnan’s car to Jenn’s house where he hangs out while awaiting Adnan’s call.
Adnan is back at Woodlawn.
Jay says that he dropped Adnan back off at school after class. In both his first and second statements to the police, the detectives make sure that Jay clarifies he dropped Adnan off in the rear of the building (Int.1 at 3, 5; Int.2 at 6).
In his first statement, Jay said that after dropping Adnan off, he immediately went to his friend’s Jenn’s house. Jenn was not home, so he started playing video games with Jenn’s 15-year-old brother, Mark. Then, “a little while [later] [Mark’s] sister [Jenn] came in the house,” at approximately 12:45 p.m. (Int.1 at 5).
In his second statement, Jay claims that he gets to Jenn’s house at around 12:30, and Jenn gets home “probably about 1:30” (Int.2 at 8-9). He claims that after Jenn arrives at the house, they hang around all day, only leaving her house once:
Later that afternoon we had went out to her car. I think we had ran to the store, come back to get some soda or something like that. And we sitting in [Jenn’s] car and I told her that ah, I think that ah, Adnan was gonna kill Hae. (Int.2 at 9.)
At trial, Jay’s story changed somewhat (perhaps to account for the fairly obvious fact he did not spend the whole afternoon at Jenn’s house, as he claimed in his first two police statements). He testified that, after dropping Adnan off at school, he called his friend Jenn at 12:07 p.m., and then “went to her home and played video games with Jen’s brother Mark for about 30 minutes. Jen[n] was not home. [Jay] then left with Mark to go back to the mall. . . [H]e and Mark returned to Mark’s house and Jen[n] was there.” (Appellant’s Brief at 7-8.) Jay also does not testify, like he told the police in the second interview, that he informed Jenn of Adnan’s plan to kill Hae.
Additional note: to date, I have seen no explanation for why Jenn’s 15-year-old brother was at home playing video games at noon on a Wednesday.
In her statement to the police, Jenn claimed that she arrived at her home first, and Jay showed up about an hour later:
So want to say I got home probably between twelve-thirty and one and than I want to say that Jay got there probably between one and one-thirty, maybe as late a two, but I don’t want to… I don’t think it was that late. I think it was around one-thirty. So Jay gets there around one-thirty and we played video games, hang out. (Jenn’s Police Interview at 6) (herein “Jenn Int.”).
I remember Jay got to my house, he said he was wait… he sat the phone down on the coffee table and he said “I’m waiting for a phone call.” I was like you know, “who’s going to call you, what’s” you know his cell phone… cell phone’s out whatever, like it’s just a cell phone… he was like “I’m suppose to get a call around three thirty” and I said “okay” and he said “that’s when I’m leaving, around three-thirty when I get the phone call.” (Jenn Int. at 9.)
Jenn says Jay later left her house sometime between 3:45 and 4:15 (Episode 4).
At trial, Jenn testified that on January 13, 1999, “[Jay] came over to her house in a tan car to hang out with her and her brother. [Jay] was acting different, not relaxed, and had a cell phone which was unusual. [Jay] said he was waiting for a call.” (Brief of Appellant at 12-13.)
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The fact that Jay calls “Jenn Home” shows that Jay is not at Jenn’s house at 12:45 that day. Although this contradicts Jay’s first story to the police, in which he claims to have gotten to Jenn’s at around 12:30 p.m., by the time of Adnan’s trial his story has been changed to say that he did not get to Jenn’s house until around 1 p.m that day.
The timeline of when Jay and Jenn arrived at Jenn’s house is never resolved, however, as both Jay and Jenn claim to have been the first person to have arrived at Jenn’s house. Jay’s first story is that he arrived at 12:30 p.m. and Jenn arrived at 1:30 p.m.; Jenn’s story is that she arrived at 12:30 p.m., and Jay arrived at 1:30 p.m. At trial, Jay tells a completely new story to try and explain this fact: he claims that he went to Jenn’s house at around 1 p.m., but she was not home, so he and Jenn’s brother went to the mall to shop. When Jay and Jenn’s brother returned from shopping, Jenn was home.
Significantly, the tower data for the 12:41 p.m. call contradicts all known narratives of what was occurring during this time period. The call pings a tower fives mile to the east of Jenn’s house, close to downtown Baltimore, which makes its very unlikely that Jay was at Jenn’s house at 12:41 p.m., or even that he was near Woodlawn or Security Square Mall. There is no explanation for what Jay was doing downtown at this time.
Time: 12:43 p.m.
Jay Still Has the Cell phone, and is Not at Jenn’s House
Same as Call 3.
Same as Call 3.
In Jay’s first statement, Jay only mentions receiving or making one call before Hae’s death, and that is a call from Adnan to the cell phone at 3:40 p.m. to tell Jay to pick him up. Jay says he received this call while at Jenn’s house:
Detective: About three o’clock, so he . … you’re waiting around, he finally calls about three-forty?
In Jay’s second statement, Jay says that he had left Jenn’s house and was driving somewhere else when Adnan called for a pickup. He says instead that he received three calls on the cell phone from Adnan while at Jenn’s house, but that none of these calls were requesting a pickup:
Detective: [H]ow many phone calls did you receive?
Detective: And what was the nature of the calls?
Jay: Um, one was ah, to check and see if the phone was on.
Detective: And who made that call?
Jay: Adnan. Um, the other, the other was ah, the other was, I was telling him that I was gonna be there. That’s where I was gonna be at, that was the 2nd one. And the 3rd one, I can’t, it was very short, I can’t remember what we conversated about. (Int.2 at 11.)
This indicates that the detectives have showed Jay the call records, and have asked Jay to explain each call on the list. The three incoming calls Jay is talking about must necessarily be the 12:43, 2:36, and 3:15 p.m. calls. At trial, the prosecution disregards this statement from Jay, and argues that the 2:36 p.m. call is Adnan’s “come-and-get-me-call” from Best Buy. At the time of Jay’s second interview, however, this theory had not been developed yet, and the detectives are still accepting Jay’s story that Adnan did not call for a pick up until about 3:40 p.m. So their questions assume these three calls were made while Jay was at Jenn’s.
This left the detectives with a problem. Since Adnan’s cell records show no incoming call at 3:40 p.m., how did Adnan call at 3:40 p.m. for a pickup? Simple — he must have called Jenn’s landline! So they ask Jay about that:
Detective: Had you gotten a phone call from him?
Jay: Yes on the cell phone.
Detective: While you were at Jenn’s house?
Jay: Not on the cell phone while I was at Jenn’s, he had called on a hard line, while I was at Jenn’s and then um.
Detective: Adnan had called on the cell phone?
Jay: I know, I’m sorry, Adnan had called on the hard line while I was at Jenn’s house. (Int.2 at 10.)
When asked to explain what he and Adnan discussed during the landline call, though, Jay gives an answer that does not help the detectives, because he doesn’t say it was the “come-and-get-me” call:
Jay: Um, [Adnan] had told me he was, he inaudible, he was gonna need me to pick him up at a certain time, that was 3:30. I waited until 3:30, he didn’t call, I left he house, ah with his car and cell phone. (Int.2 at 11.)
A little while later, the detectives ask Jay about the landline call again, suggesting that Adnan had given instructions to Jay, and asking Jay to describe those instructions. Instead, Jay just gives a new answer entirely:
Detective: And that [landline call] was giving you instructions or what was the phone conversation?
Jay: Ah, I’m leaving school. He told me he was leaving school then. (Int.2 at 11.)
Jay claims that the “come-and-get-me” call did not occur until a few minutes later, after leaving Jenn’s house:
Jay: I left Jenn’s house because [Adnan] didn’t call me at the time that he said he was. And at that time I was half way between my house and [redacted]’s house. And he told me to meet him at Best Buy. (Int.2 at 12.)
Jenn says that she and Jay spent the afternoon “at [her] house, talked, listened to the radio played video games, played with my dog” (Jenn Int. at 9.) While Jay was at her house, Jay received two phone calls:
Um I don’t want to say ….. I want to say that he wasn’t ….. they weren’t very long, they …. I think they were like inaudible and to the point like I don’t think they sat down like inaudible or whatever on the phone. I don’ t think… I mean I really don’t remember exactly but I. (Jenn Int. at 9).
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The cell phone is almost certainly not at Jenn’s house, but is instead closer to downtown Baltimore.
Time: 2:36 p.m.
The Prosecution’s “Come-and-Get-Me” Call
The Prosecution’s Story:
After Woodlawn let out at 2:15 p.m., Adnan caught a ride in Hae’s car, and then strangled her to death in the Best Parking Lot (“BBPL”). At 2:36 p.m., Adnan used a pay phone outside of Best Buy to call his cell phone (which Jay had), and Adnan told Jay to pick him up. (Note: For various reasons, the prosecution’s theory of the 2:36 call is not likely to be correct. It is not based on the testimony of any witness, and cannot be squared by known timelines, but it is the only call the prosecution can identify that might have come from Adnan. It is much more likely, however, that as of 2:36 p.m., Hae was still alive.)
After school let out, he probably would have gone to the library and checked his e-mail, while waiting for track practice to start, which either begins at 3:30 (Episode 1), (Appellant’s Brief at 5); or at 4:00 p.m. (Episode 5).
Jenn says that Jay was waiting for a phone call, and planned to leave her house when he received it. Jay received several calls while he was at her house, but that he did not leave her house until sometime between 3:45 and 4:15 p.m.:
[Jay] just said he was waiting for a call and it was going to come around three-thirty, three forty-five, um Jay got a call and then I don’t know what was said to him in conversation um than Jay got another call, got off the phone and then another call came in and I don’t know if it was the same person or who it was and I don’t know whether it was on my phone or whether it was on the cell phone that Jay had. Um then Jay left my house, probably around three-thirty, four, four-fifteen, well after three forty-five, between three forty-five and four-fifteen. (Jenn Int. at 1-2.)
In Jay’s first interview, he says he spent the day at Jenn’s house waiting or Adnan to call. Adnan told Jay he would call at around 3 p.m., but he actually calls at around 3:40 p.m.:
Jay: I was sitting play waiting game, you know, he’s like “I’m going to call you, I need a ride.”
Detective: So you’ re playing this waiting game, waiting for him to give you a call?
Jay: Uh huh.
Detective: Does he call you at some point in time?
Detective: What time does he call you?
Jay: Um, time I remember talking to him, actually having a conversation with him, was about three-forty something.
Detective: Going back to when you dropped him off, does he give you a time that he’s going to call you?
Jay: He told me about three o’clock.
Detective: About three o’clock, so he . … you’ re waiting around, he finally calls about three- forty?
Jay: Yes. (Int.1 at 6.)
In Jay’s second interview, he gives the exact same time for the call:
Detective: Okay, um, at some point you left [Jenn’s house]?
[. . .]
Detective: Do you have any idea what t ime that was?
Jay: About 3:40.
Detective: Was Jenn still there?
Jay: Yes. (Int.2 at 10.)
Jay is very consistent about Adnan calling to be picked up at 3:40 p.m.; however, we know from the cell phone records that his claim cannot be true.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The cell phone records show that, at 2:36 p.m., the cell phone was pinging through the Woodlawn tower. Because the phone records also show that Jay was not at Jenn’s house from 12pm to 3:40pm (as he and Jenn have claimed), that leaves us with the following: (1) Jay was in vicinity of Hae’s last-known location at the time that she went missing; and (2) Jay has no alibi for where he was during that time period.
Additional Note: Jay’s explanation for why he lied about where the trunk pop occurred is completely nonsensical — or, at least, it is if you assume that Jay isn’t lying about everything else. Jay’s answer only makes sense if, in fact, that is the only question that Jay has actually answered truthfully. He’s telling the truth about why he lied.
Because the reason Jay lied about where Hae was murdered was because he was worried there might have been cameras at that location. And if the police checked those cameras, they would see that it had been Jay, not Adnan, who was in the parking lot with Hae. Hence, in Jay’s first statement, he gave the police a made up location, far away from Best Buy. But by the time of Jay’s second interview, he had learned that Jenn had told the police about where Hae had been killed, and that there were in fact no cameras at that location.
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Jay Is Near Woodlawn at the Time of Hae’s Disappearance
The Prosecution’s Story:
After receiving a call from Adnan at 2:36 p.m., Jay picks up Adnan from the Best Buy Parking Lot. Adnan then shows him Hae’s body in the trunk of her car. They leave the Best Buy, with Adnan driving Hae’s car and Jay driving Adnan’s car, and head to the I-70 Park’n’Ride (“I70PnR”), where Adnan ditches Hae’s car. Both Jay and Adnan get into Adnan’s car and drive away.
Adnan says he was still at Woodlawn or at the library, waiting for track practice to begin.
At trial, Inez Hendricks testified that that Adnan “was on the track team, and practice begins by 3:30 p.m.” (Brief of Appellant at 5).
Jay’s Stories (Five Versions):
In Jay’s first interview, Jay tells the police that he was at Jenn’s house from a little after noon until “Adnan called him about 3:45 p.m. saying ‘come pick me up.’” Jay explains that he went to pick Adnan up at a location 20 minutes away (marked above with an asterisk), “from off of Edmondson Avenue at a strip,” and that when Jay got there, Adnan “popped the trunk open,” revealing Hae’s body (Jay’s 2/28/99 Interview).
In Jay’s second interview, Jay says that when Adnan called Jay at 3:40 p.m., Adnan told him that “that bitch is dead. Come and get me. I’m at Best Buy.” In the same interview, Jay explains why he lied about where he saw the body the first time:
Detective MacGillivary: “Why did you lie about the location?”
Jay: “Uh, I figured there was cameras there or somebody had spotted him doing what he was doing.” (Id.)
In Jay’s third interview, on April 13, 1999, Jay “told police that [Adnan] killed Hae in Patapsco State Park, and that [Adnan] paid him to help” (Brief of Appellant at 11).
Jay’s fourth story, which he tells his friend Chris, is that he was at a pool hall in Catonsville when Adnan called. Adnan then drove to the pool hall in Hae’s car, and that is where the “trunk pop” occurs.
Jay’s fifth story, which he tells his friend Tayyib, is that:
Jay told Tayib that Adnan had called Jay the day before asking for his help in the murder. Jay said his reply to Adnan was that he would not help in the killing of Hae, but he would help Adnan bury the body. Jay further went on to tell Tayib that he met Adnan on the day of the incident at a gas station w[h]ere Adnan showed Jay the body. (Comment on Tayyib’s Statement.)
Jenn initially said that Jay was still at her house at the time of this call, because he was there until “well after three forty-five, between three forty-five and four-fifteen.” Accordingly, Jay would still have had Adnan’s phone at the time of this call. However, at trial, Jenn changes her story, and says instead that Jay left her house that day sometime between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. (Brief of Appellant at 13).
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Whoever has the cell phone appears to have been at or near Woodlawn. There is no evidence as to whom the 3:15 p.m. call was from.
Time: 3:21 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Jay Is Still Near Woodlawn, Shortly After Hae’s Probable Time of Death
The Prosecution’s Story:
After ditching the car at the Park’n’Ride, “to hear Jay tell it, [he and Adnan] just kind of tool around Baltimore County together for a while as if nothing had happened— buy some weed, cruise around, make some calls. After a while, Jay drives Adnan back to Woodlawn High School.” (Episode 1.) While in Adnan’s car, with Adnan, Jay makes a call to Jenn to see if his weed dealer, Patrick, is at his home.
Adnan says he was still at Woodlawn or at the library, waiting for track practice to begin.
Jay claims he was at Jenn’s house until 3:40 p.m., which means he should still have been at Jenn’s house at the time of this call.
If you instead use the timeline offered by the prosecution at trial, which disregards Jay’s timeline and claims instead that Jay picked up Adnan from Best Buy shortly after 2:36 p.m., then the 3:21 p.m. call occurred sometime around when Adnan and Jay are at the Park’n’Ride.
In Jay’s first and second police statements, he makes no mention of any call to Jenn during the afternoon. Instead, Jay claims, in the ride-along with the police on March 18, 1999, that after ditching Hae’s car at the Park’n’Ride, he and Adnan wanted to find some weed. They then called Jay’s friend “Patrick”** to see if he could sell them any, but Patrick was not home, so Jay left a message on Patrick’s answering machine (Episode 5). (**Note: The transcript identifies the friend as “Pete,” but the call records identify him as “Patrick.” It is possible that this is a mistaken transcription, and that Jay said “Pat” during the statement, and it was misheard as “Pete.” I have been unable to confirm what Jay actually says, but for now I will assume “Patrick” and “Pete” are the same individual, and refer to him as Patrick.)
At trial, in order to explain this discrepancy, Jay testified that, after ditching Hae’s car at the Park’nRide, “he called Jenn [ ] first, at 3:21 to find out if Patrick was home” (Episode 5). When Jenn did not know where Patrick was, he and Adnan then tried calling Patrick, before later giving up and driving to Forrest Park to buy weed from a corner salesman. Jay testified that this call to Jenn was made after he and Adnan had left the Park’n’Ride, and were driving south on Cooks Lane towards Patrick’s house (which is off of Edmondson):
Prosecutor: Do you remember making [the 3:21 p.m.] call?
Jay: I believe so, to ask her if he was on or if he was home, one of the two, meaning if he had marijuana.
Prosecutor: Whose number was line 26 again?
Jay: Jay: That’s Jenn Pusateri’s.
Jay: Jay: I was calling her, hey is “P” on, do you know if “P” is on again, do you know if he is home?
Prosecutor: This was after you had dropped off the car at the Park and Ride?
Jay: Jay: Yes.
Whatever version of the story you go by, Jay’s story has two big problems here. First, the Patrick call doesn’t happen until 3:59 p.m., a full 40 minutes after Jay made the 3:21 p.m. call to Jenn. And second, the call records show that the call was made while in the area close to Best Buy — not the Park’n’Ride, and not on the way to Patrick’s house. Jay is lying about where this call was made, and almost certainly the why as well.
Jenn testified that Jay would not have called her to find out where Patrick was, because “[t]hats just not a thing that would have happened” (Episode 5). This contradicts Jay’s story.
It is unclear whether, at trial, Jenn denies ever receiving a call from Jay at 3:21 p.m., or if she only denies that it was to ask about Patrick.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Jay cannot be at Jenn’s home, as he and Jenn repeatedly told the police and testified at trial. The cell phone records show that the phone was near Woodlawn for the entire time of Hae’s probable abduction and/or murder, and that the phone was being used to call “Jenn Home” during this same time period. As Adnan has no reason to call Jenn, it is virtually certain that the call was made by Jay.
Jay’s police statements are also inconsistent with this call. In his first interview, he does not mention ever making any calls to Jenn, at any point. In Jay’s second interview, he tells the police that after he and Adnan left the Park’n’Ride, he decided to call Patrick to buy some weed. It is not until trial that Jay claims to have called Jenn, in order to find out if Patrick was home.
Time: 3:32 p.m.
“The Nisha Call”
Explanatory Note: For a more in-depth discussion of the Nisha Call and why I believe it to be significant, please see Why the Nisha Call Shows That Hae Was Murdered at 3:32 p.m..
Of all the phone calls made on the day of Hae’s murder, this one is the hardest for all sides to explain. Because even though three people were involved in the call — Nisha, Jay, and Adnan — not a single one of them seems to remember this conversation taking place, at least not on the date and at the location shown in the cell phone records.
But because Nisha is only friends with Adnan, and because Jay has no apparent reason to call her if he is not with Adnan, this one is hands-down the worst evidence for Adnan’s case. If Adnan was at track, as he says, he could not have made this call. However, neither the prosecution, Jay, or Nisha have a plausible explanation for this call, either. Given that Nisha’s number was saved at the top of the list in Adnan’s cell phone, and given that Jay’s explanation for the call (as discussed below) does not appear to be true, this call casts doubt on Adnan’s case but is far from conclusive.
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay are in Adnan’s car, having ditched Hae’s car. Adnan calls Nisha, and then puts Jay on the phone to talk to her. (This means that Hae’s car must have been ditched at this time – if it hasn’t, then both Adnan and Jay could not have spoken on the phone.)
Adnan says he is at track practice and does not have the phone.
Although Jay claims he did not leave Jenn’s place until 3:45 p.m. (and therefore would not be with Adnan at the time of this call), Jay does say he remembers the call with Nisha. In his written itinerary on 3/18/99 (after, it should be noted, he has already been repeatedly confronted with the cell phone records), Jay says Adnan did call Nisha while he and Jay were driving around getting his, and that after he called her, “Adnan handed the phone to Jay at the golf course on West Forest Park Avenue” (Episode 5).
Jay’s story is not supported (although not disproven, either) by the tower data, as the pings for all calls from 2:36 p.m to 3:59 p.m., including this call, hit tower L651, which is the tower that is very close to both Best Buy and Woodlawn High School. This makes it unlikely (but again, not impossible) that the call occurred as Jay says it did.
Nisha testified that she recalled having a phone conversation with Adnan when he put Jay on the phone. But there’s a problem with this story — Nisha remembers the call happening at night, and while Jay and Adnan were at a video store that Jay worked at. But the call that happened on January 13, 1999, happened in the middle of the afternoon, and Jay would not begin working at the video store until weeks after Hae’s murder.
This makes the phone call Nisha remembers unlikely to be the same phone call as the one that happened on the day Hae died, but it does nothing to explain what conversation did happen that day.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Although the Nisha call is currently unexplained by all theories of the case, the cell phone records do confirm that – whatever the circumstances under which it was made – a call was likely placed by someone using Adnan’s phone, from somewhere in the Woodlawn area, to Nisha.
Time: 3:48 p.m.
The Cell Phone Has Probably Moved to the I-70 Park’n’Ride (or Somewhere Close By) So That the Killer Can Stash Hae’s Car Until Dark
Explanatory Note: At this point, I have not seen anything explaining who Phil is, but he is presumably Jay’s friend, and not Adnan’s.
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay drive around in Adnan’s car and smoke weed for a couple hours.
Adnan says he was at track practice or waiting for track to begin, which would have been at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.
To my knowledge, Jay has never once identified “Phil” or explained why Phil was called. Phil is not mentioned at any point during either Jay’s first or second interviews. Jay may have discussed Phil at trial, but if so, I have seen nothing referencing it.
The Phil call is interesting, however, in that it was made at 3:48 p.m. — which is almost exactly the same time that Jay claims Adnan called him from Best Buy, asking Jay to come pick him up. But under the state’s timeline (which has Jay going to pick up Adnan at 2:36 p.m.), by the time of the 3:48 p.m. call, Jay and Adnan must be on their way to Forest Park to buy weed, having ditched the car at the Park’n’Ride
Perhaps, however, part of Jay’s story about the “come-get-me” call is true. Hae’s murderer did indeed place a call at 3:45 p.m., asking a friend for help in disposing of Hae’s body… but the caller was Jay, and the friend was the mysterious Phil, of whom we know almost nothing.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The cell phone continues to ping the L651 tower. Based solely on tower data, it appears that the cell phone (whether it is in Jay’s possession alone, or whether it is with both Jay and Adnan) is still in the vicinity of where Hae was murdered, but it could also be explained by the killer driving Hae’s car to the I-70 Park’n’Ride. The call does ping an antenna eastward from where it had pinged in the three calls in the previous half hour, and it is well within reason that a call from the Park’n’Ride would route through a cell phone tower to the west (particularly given the topography of that area). Also possible, however, is that the cell phone has not moved during this time period, and the killer is still in the same location as the crime scene, with both Adnan’s and Hae’s cars. Perhaps that is why whoever has the cell phone is calling friends, to see if anyone can lend a hand.
Time: 3:59 p.m.
The Cell Phone Has Moved to the I-70 Park’n’Ride (or Somewhere Close By) So That the Killer Can Stash Hae’s Car Until Dark
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay continue to drive around in Adnan’s car and smoke weed.
Adnan would be at track practice, which starts either at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.
In Jay’s first interview, Jay does not ever mention calling any of his friends. There is no discussion of Patrick, or a call made to Patrick, or of going somewhere to buy weed. Jay says that immediately after ditching Hae’s car at the Park’n’Ride,
we went um we dropped an L back in the woods, back at [Patapsco] State Park (Int.1 at 10).
Jay and Adnan are at the cliffs at Patapsco for approximately half an hour. At approximately 4:30 p.m., Jay drives Adnan back to Woodlawn, and drops him off at track practice (id. at 10-11).
In Jay’s second interview, Jay says that, after dropping Hae’s car off at the Park’n’Ride, he calls his friend Patrick to see if they can buy some weed, but Patrick is not home, so he leaves a message. When asked how long he was on the phone, Jay say:
Um, the machine it’ll ring 4 or 5 times before the machine’ll pick up. There’ s a long song on there. Um, then his sister comes on, maybe like 4 minutes. (Int.2 at 16.)
The call was actually only 25 seconds long, so his claim about 4 minutes is way off. The claim that it lasted “like 4 minutes” is, however, intriguingly close to the time the call was made — 3:59 p.m. In light of the extensive coaching that the detectives provide to Jay during his second interview, it is possible that Jay has been shown the call records and asked to explain them, and mistakenly believed the call to Patrick lasted 3 minutes and 59 seconds, rather than that it had been made at 3:59 p.m.
Regardless of this mistake about the duration of the call, however, there is a problem with this story – Jay also claims that he and Adnan spoke to Nisha while they were in Forest Park. But that call was thirty minutes earlier, at 3:32, and Jay says that he and Adnan didn’t go to Forest Park until after he called Patrick – at 3:59 p.m. Both things can’t be true. Either Jay and Adnan drove to Forest Park after calling Patrick to ask about the weed, or else they did so before calling him. But in any event, both stories appear to be equally false, because they are not supported by the tower records.
Also — everything else aside, this is a really really odd story. Jay and Adnan have a body in the trunk, and their reaction is to call around to score some weed? Come on. From everything we know about both Jay and Adnan, neither of them are that monumentally stupid. And everything we know about human nature suggests that someone who has committed a carefully premeditated murder does not then go drive around the city calling people and hoping to score weed. Whoever made these calls, and whoever the killer is, I would bet an awful lot of money that the 3:48 and 3:59 p.m. calls had nothing to do with scoring weed and everything to do with a panicky murderer (or murderers) trying to figure out next steps.
In any event, Jay claims that after leaving the Park’n’Ride and calling Patrick’s answering machine, he and Adnan
head to Forrest Park to see if we couldn’t find that corner salesman there um. We go down there, we buy 2 dime sacks. Um, we turn around, I believe we stopped to get blunts on um, Rogers and Gwynn Oak, Gwynn Oak and Rogers on the corner of Gwynn Oak and Rogers. (Int.2 at 16.)
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The cell phone continues to ping the L651 tower, possibly indicating that the killer is still at the Park’n’Ride with Hae’s vehicle.
If so, the 3:58 call may in fact be the real “come-and-get-me” call. One (very speculative) scenario: after killing Hae, if Jay decided to move her car to a new location away from the scene of the crime, Jay would be stuck with a two-car problem. After abandoning Hae’s car (either at the Park’n’Ride, or somewhere near — a call from the Park’n’Ride could have been routed through L651, so that remains a possibility), he would either have a long walk back to Adnan’s car (approximately forty minutes, if at the Park’n’Ride), or else he would need someone to pick him up and drive him back. The 3:48 and 3:59 p.m. calls could then be explained by Jay calling his friends to see who could give him a lift. Jay might have called Phil first, and when Phil wasn’t available, Jay tried a friend and/or drug dealer. (Come to think of it, if you need a getaway vehicle, calling up a drug dealer buddy might be a smart idea — “Hey Pat, this is Jay — I’d love to buy some weed, can you hook me up? Except, small problem, I don’t have a ride — but if you swing by and pick me up, we can then go and smoke some of what I buy?”). Whatever happened during these two calls, it appears that, based on the tower data from the call following this one, Patrick might have come through for Jay.
Time: 4:12 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
The Cell Phone Travels Away From the Crime Scene, and Goes to Either the I-70 Park’n’Ride or to Forest Park
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay drive continue to drive around in Adnan’s car and smoke weed.
Adnan says he is still at track practice.
In Jay’s first and second interviews on 2/28/99 and 3/15/99, and in his written itinerary on 3/18/99, Jay tells the exact same story: that at 4:30 p.m., he and Adnan drive to Patapsco State Park to smoke weed and watch the sunset, which would have occurred at 5:05 p.m. (Episode 5).
In Jay’s third interview with the police, on 4/13/99, Jay states that – rather than travel to Patapsco after the crime – Adnan killed Hae in Patapsco State Park, and that Jay was there too, because Adnan had paid him to help with the murder and/or body disposal. This story is contradicted by all of Jay’s other versions of what happened, and – based on the timelines – it is pretty much impossible. Actually, it’s entirely impossible, it simply could not have happened.
Likely realizing this (or, more likely, being instructed on this by a prosecutor and/or defense attorney), Jay does not testify about any Patapsco trip at Adnan’s trial. The whole visit to the cliffs there to smoke weed just falls out of the story completely. Instead, Jay’s trial testimony just has him and Adnan driving around aimlessly for a bit, until eventually Jay drops Adnan off at track practice.
As discussed supra, Jenn says she got home from work a little after 12pm, and Jay showed up a little while after that. She and Jay
hung out at my house and th[e]n I guess around three-thirty, three forty-five[,] Jay got a call and then . . . Jay got another call . . . and then another call came in and I don’t know . . . Whether it was on the cell phone that Jay had. [ ] [T]hen Jay left my house, probably around three-thirty, four, four-fifteen, well after three forty-five, between three-forty and four-fifteen. I left my house between four-fifteen and four-thirty to go pick up my parents from work.”
At Adnan’s trial, Jenn testified that on January 13th, Jay came over “to hang out with her and her brother,” and that “[a]t 3:00-3:30 p.m., [Jay] left her house. After 4:30 p.m., Jennifer called her friend [Cathy’s] house and [Jay] was there.” (Brief of Appellant at 12-13.)
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Jenn is lying. If Jay was at her place until “well after 3:45,” and she left pretty much immediately after, how is Jay calling “Jenn Home” at 4:21? And why doesn’t Jenn tell the police that Jay called her immediately after he left her house?
The most plausible explanation for Calls 10 and 11 is that:
- Jay got help either in moving Hae’s car to the Park’n’Ride (if two cars were driven there), or Jay got a ride back from the Park’n’Ride (if only Hae’s car was driven there). The calls at 3:48 and 3:59 p.m. are from Jay, either (i) after he has driven Hae’s car somewhere to ditch it, and calling to ask for a ride back from the Park’n’Ride (or other parking lot near Woodlawn), possibly under the pretext of buying weed from the mysterious Phil and Patrick, or (ii) while Jay is still at the crime scene, and calling to straight up ask for help in transporting Hae’s and Adnan’s car to the Park’n’Ride. If the latter option is what occurs it could be that Jay finally got through to Patrick, who agrees to help, and Jay does the infamous “trunk pop” to Patrick when he arrives. Jay then ditches Hae’s car and is reunited with Adnan’s car, with an assist from Patrick; and,
- At 4:21 p.m., after recovering Adnan’s car, Jay calls “Jenn Home” to see if she’s around. She is. Jay then goes to Jenn’s house at around 4:30 p.m. for them to hang out, while Jay tries to figure out what the hell to do next. (Interesting note: it’s only a 20-minute walk from the Park’n’Ride to Jenn’s house. Perhaps this could explain some of Jay’s movements.) While at Jenn’s house, Jay is in fact “waiting for a phone call,” as Jenn will later testify. Because the phone call that Jay is expecting is from Adnan — calling to tell Jay to pick him up from track, just like he and Jay had agreed upon. At 4:58, Jay gets that call and goes to get Adnan, before they both go to Cathy’s.
- At 6:00 p.m., Jenn calls Cathy’s apartment, and Cathy tells Jenn that Adnan and Jay are at her place. This is why in Jenn insists that Jay left her house “after 3:45 p.m.” (police statement) or at “3:00-3:30 p.m.” (trial testimony), but also insists that when she calls her friend Cathy “after 4:30 p.m.,” Cathy tells her that Jay is already there. These two events (Jay leaving Jenn’s, and Jenn calling Cathy to learn that Jay is there) really do happen about an hour apart — but they occur at 5pm and 6pm, not 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
In fact, the only way all the timelines can fit together — without simply deciding that the trip to Jenn’s or the trip to Cathy’s or the trip to Woodlawn never occurred at all — is if Jay’s visit to Jenn occurs after Hae is already dead. That’s why Jay is “acting weird” when he’s at Jenn’s house. That’s why Jay tells Jenn that he is “waiting for a phone call” — because Adnan told Jay he would be calling for a pickup after track was over. And the 4:12 p.m. call is Jay calling to see if Jenn is home, either asking for help, or telling her he is coming over.
And that’s also why Jenn and Jay both insist over and over again that Jay was at Jenn’s until “well after 3:45” — because Jenn’s story about Jay being at her place until “3:45 p.m.” is something she was told to say in order to give Jay an alibi. If Jay killed Hae, then Jay might know that Hae was killed a little before 3:45 (i.e., a little before the call to Phil at 3:48). Even though the police have some mistaken theory about Hae dying at 2:30 p.m., Jay knows it was at least an hour later — and in case the police know that to, Jay has to make sure his alibi accounts for that time period.
So even though the call records show that Jay was probably at Jenn’s house from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on January 13 (assuming he was there at all), Jay has told Jenn to make sure her story includes that he was at her place until “after 3:45 p.m.” Because that is the critical window.
This would also mean that neither the Patapsco trip nor any of the other side quests Jay has mentioned ever happened at all. The trip to buy weed, if it actually happened (I’m skeptical), is the sole detour that even could have possibly occurred, according to the call records, but that call could just as easily show instead a ping from the Park’n’Ride.
Additional Note: Here is where the real speculation comes in. Remember Neighbor Boy? The friend of Jay’s, who told one of his neighbors that he had seen Hae’s body in the back of a trunk? It may have been simply been bunk, some kid trying to make himself sound cool by telling a story. But I would be awfully curious to know if there is any connection between Neighbor Boy and either Phil or Patrick…
While I have not been able to obtain any information on Phil, I was able to find one very speculative, but possibly interesting, bit of information about Patrick. In 1999, Patrick’s home address was for a road off Edmondson Ave — a few blocks down from where Hae’s car was abandoned after her burial.
Time: 4:27 p.m.
The Cell Phone Travels From Forest Park to Jay’s House
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay drive continue to drive around in Adnan’s car and smoke weed. Maybe they went to White Castle or something, idk.
Note: For an explanation of why this call shows that Jay’s story was coached to fit the cellphone records, please see this post.
Adnan says he was at track from the time it started (at 3:30 p.m., or maybe 4 p.m., witnesses testify to different times).
Jay says that, after driving around and smoking for a while, Adnan “told [Jay] that [he] had to take him back to school because he needed to be seen” at track practice, so that he could establish an alibi for Hae’s murder (Episode 1). Adnan told Jay he would call him to pick him up when track was over.
In Jay’s first police statement, Jay said that he went back to his home after dropping Adnan off at track, and that he was still at home when Adnan called him to ask to be picked up.
In Jay’s second police statement, Jay said that, after dropping Adnan at track (which the detectives carefully specify was done in the front of the building, on the circle), he went to a park to smoke a blunt, and then went to Cathy’s apartment where he smoked some more:
Detective: You go to Gelston Park.
Detective: You smoke another blunt?
Detective: Ah, after you smoke a blunt you go to Cathy and Jeff’s?
Detective: Was anyone there?
Jay: Ah, both Cathy and Jeff were home. (Int.2 at 21-22.)
At Adnan’s trial, Jay testified at trial that, after dropping Adnan off, he “went to [Cathy’s] house, smoked some marijuana, and debated about what to do. [Cathy] and her boyfriend were there.” (Appellant’s Brief at 9.) Then, “[a]bout 30 minutes later, [Adnan] called and [Jay] went to school to get him” (id.). The story about Jay going to “Cathy’s” apartment after dropping Adnan at track is unverified by any other source that I am aware of, and appears to be a fabrication — because Cathy did not arrive home until after 5:00 p.m. that day.
At trial, Jenn says that “after 4:30 p.m.,” she called her friend Cathy, and Jay was at Cathy’s apartment at that time (Brief of Appellant at 13). However, based on Cathy’s testimony, it seems almost certain that Jenn’s call to Cathy occurred after 6 p.m., because Cathy says she did not get home until after 5:00 p.m., and that when Jenn called her, both Adnan and Jay were at her apartment.
We know that Jay does go to Cathy’s apartment at some point on January 13th, but it was almost certainly after picking Adnan up from track, and not before track like Jay claims. Why? Because Cathy testified that she did not arrive home until “5:00-5:15 p.m.” that day, and that Jay and Adnan showed up “later” (Brief of Appellant at 13). Cathy said, in her statement, that:
while Jay and Adnan were there, Jenn called the apartment. Or maybe it was she that called Jenn . . . But she does remember talking to Jenn and saying, ‘Jay’s here with some kid who’s practically passed out on the cushions.’ And Jenn thought that was curious, like, ‘what’s Jay doing there?’ She told Cathy that Jay had been acting weird earlier in the day too. (Episode 6.)
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The tower records show that the cell phone was near both Jay’s house and Jenn’s house from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. — and therefore wholly inconsistent with Jay going to Cathy’s before getting Adnan from track. In fact, the three calls we know for certain were made from Cathy’s — the 6:07, 6:09, and 6:24 p.m. calls — all pinged towers farther south, close to Cathy’s, as expected, but the 4:27 and 4:58 p.m. calls both ping towers to the north of Cathy’s, next to Jenn’s and Jay’s places.
This cell phone data is consistent with Jay committing the crime alone. After ditching Hae’s car at the Park’n’Ride, Jay either goes to Jenn’s place or returns to his home. It is now 4:30 p.m., and Jay is aware that Adnan will soon be calling to tell Jay to pick him up from track. There would not have been enough time for Jay to dispose of Hae’s body (and also it would have been too risky to do so in the daylight). If Jay goes to Jenn’s house, then this perfectly explains Jenn’s police statement (see Call 11) in which she describes Jay receiving several calls. These are the 4:27 and 4:58 p.m. calls. Perhaps after leaving Jenn’s house, Jay returns home to get shovels for later use, and puts them in the trunk of Adnan’s car. After all, Jay says it takes him 15 minutes to pick up Adnan from practice after Adnan calls, and a drive from Jenn’s to Jay’s to Woodlawn would have taken about 13 minutes.
Time: 4:58 p.m.
Adnan Calls Jay to Pick Him Up from Track
The Prosecution’s Story:
At trial, the prosecution’s story is that, at the time of this call, Jay and Adnan are in Forrest Park buying weed.
After track, Adnan says he would have called Jay to pick him up. The 4:58 p.m. call would likely have been Adnan calling his cell phone to let Jay know he was done.
In Jay’s first statement, Jay said that he and Adnan were in Patapsco State Park smoking weed at the time of this call.
In Jay’s second statement, Jay claimed that he dropped Adnan back off at Woodlawn for track practice at about the time this call occurred.
At trial, Jay testified that he and Adnan were buying weed in Forrest Park at the time of this call.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
This call was almost certainly from Adnan, telling Jay that track is over and to come pick him up. That would be consistent with everything we can establish about the witnesses’ timelines.
It is virtually certain Adnan was at track that day. Why? Because regardless of whether Jay is guilty or innocent, his testimony about Adnan going to track is credible – Jay has no reason to lie about that specific fact, and many reasons to tell the truth.
If Jay did kill Hae, then when the police interviewed him and made it clear that they thought Adnan was their suspect, Jay would have been given a motive to frame Adnan. However, since Jay knew that he had picked up Adnan from track practice that day, Jay’s story had to include the fact that Adnan went to track – because Jay knew that people had seen Adnan at track, and Jay assumed that people would remember that. (In fact, only a single witness has specific memories of Adnan being at track that day. Other witnesses have also stated that they believe Adnan was there that day, even if they do not have a specific memory of it, because if Adnan had not showed they would have remembered that.)
On the other hand, if Jay’s story about Adnan killing Hae is true, then he likewise has every reason to tell the truth about track practice. If he says Adnan did not go to track, but someone remembered seeing him there, Jay’s story would begin to look questionable. Additionally, Jay has no reason to misremember dropping Adnan off at track.
Time: 5:14 p.m.
To: Incoming/Voicemail message left
An Incoming Call is Made to Adnan’s Phone, and Goes to Voicemail
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The 5:14 call was an incoming call that was not answered, and a voicemail message lasting one minute, seven seconds was then left on Adnan’s phone. As Adnan did not know how to check his voicemail yes, the message is not retrieved until January 14th.
Adnan was likely still at track practice at this time.
Time: 5:38 p.m.
Adnan and Jay Drive to “Cathy’s”
It is unclear how exactly the prosecution explains this call. The call is made to one of Adnan’s friends — Krista — which should suggest that Adnan has the phone. But Jay’s story claims he does not pick up Adnan from track until about 6:00 p.m.
After Jay picks him up from track at around 5:15 p.m., he and Jay go over to Cathy’s apartment. Adnan does not know Cathy, but Jay knows Cathy through Jenn, as she is Cathy’s sorority sister.
In Jay’s first statement, Jay claims that after track practice (at around 7 p.m., so much later than the call records can support) he and Adnan go to a McDonald’s off of Rolling Road and have dinner.
In Jay’s second statement, Jay claims he and Adnan go to Cathy’s apartment at around 6:15 p.m., so a little after this call. Jay also claims that, at around 5:45 p.m., Adnan calls from track to ask to be picked up — a claim that cannot be reconciled with the 5:38 p.m. call to Krista.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
As much as anything about the timeline of that day can be called established fact, the time period from about 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. appears to be the most well accounted for.
At approximately 5:15 p.m., Jay picks Adnan up from track, and they then go to “Cathy’s” (not-her-real-name’s) house. Cathy is a friend of Jenn’s. Cathy sort of knows Jay, through Jenn, but Adnan and Cathy had never met before that day. Adnan almost certainly has his cell phone back again by the time of this call — Krista is a friend of Adnan’s, not Jay’s, and Jay is unlikely to be calling her.
The tower ping at L653 could show that Adnan and Jay are driving from Woodlawn to “Cathy’s” house. Or, as Jay says, they could be at a McDonald’s getting dinner. And by “getting McDonald’s,” what I actually mean is “getting high and then really needing some Chicken McNuggets.”
Time: 6:07 p.m.
To: Incoming [Likely Hae’s brother (see Episode 6)]
Adnan and Jay Smoke Weed at “Cathy’s”
Explanatory Note: There is little/no dispute that Jay and Adnan arrived at Cathy’s sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m, where they hung out and smoke weed until approximately 6:30 p.m., before both left in Adnan’s car.
Jay and Adnan go to Cathy’s after track practice, although the precise time is hard to reconcile between Jay’s and Cathy’s testimonies.
After Jay picked Adnan up from track, they smoke some pot, and then Jay takes them to Cathy’s apartment.
At trial, Cathy testified that:
On January 13, 1999, at 5:00-5:15 p.m., she arrived home, and her boyfriend Jeff [ ] was there. [Jay] and [Adnan] arrived later . . . They all watched television at about 6:00 p.m. Appellant was lying on some pillows on her floor when he asked, ‘how do you get rid of a high?’ (Brief of Appellant at 13-14.)
Note that this is somewhat inconsistent with Jay’s testimony, which is that he was at Cathy’s before leaving to pick up at Adnan, and then returning to her house. Cathy (and apparently Jeff) never confirm that Jay had already been at their house earlier that afternoon.
Also, according to Cathy, Jay and Adnan just showed up at her place out of the blue:
I was kinda surprised and a little confused because [Jay] didn’t call me unless he was with Jenn and nobody had called to say ‘hey are you guys home? Do you guys want to hang out?’ Nothing like that. So it was a little strange that he would just pop up at the door. I remember him being like, ‘do you want to smoke? Do you wanna hang out?’ And I remember being like, ‘well hang on a second,’ and asking Jeff if he wanted to– ‘Jay’s at the door!’ Jeff was like, ‘for what?’ ‘Well he wants to hang out.’ And Jeff was like, ‘that’s cool.’ So Jay came in and he introduced his friend, I don’t think he introduced him by name, I think he was just like, ‘this is a friend of mine.’ (Episode 6.)
Note that this is somewhat inconsistent with Jenn’s testimony. According to Jenn, she and Jay “had plans to go to [Cathy’s] house together that evening” (Brief of Appellant at 13). So why does Cathy seem to think it was a total surprise to see Jay there?
Time: 6:09 p.m.
To: Incoming [possibly from Aisha (see Episode 9)]
Adnan and Jay Continue to Smoke Weed at “Cathy’s”
Cathy recalls that Adnan received a call from someone, but that it was “not lengthy.” After the call, Adnan was asking, “what if they come talk to me, what should I say, [ ] what should I do.”
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
It is not firmly established who the 6:09 call was from, but Sarah Koenig gives a fairly convincing explanation on the podcast – it was from Adnan’s friend, Aisha, telling Adnan that she had told the police to speak with him about Hae:
So maybe Aisha called Adnan at 6:09, says “I just talked to the police and they’re going to get in touch with you too.” Aisha says that Adnan was annoyed. Maybe that’s what Cathy interpreted as panicked. I think we can all stipulate that Adnan was super stoned. He told me he had weed in the car and was worried the cops were going to find it if they came to talk to him. So, imagine for a second that Adnan is talking to Aisha and says something like . . . What am I gonna do? What am I gonna say? They’re gonna come talk to me. What am I supposed to say?” (Episode 9.)
Additionally, although this call pings a different tower from the 6:07 p.m. call, it is virtually certain that the cell phone remains at the same location – Cathy’s house – at all times between 6:07 and 6:24.
Time: 6:24 p.m.
To: Incoming [likely the call from Detective Adcock to Adnan (see Episode 6)]
Adnan and Jay Continue to Smoke Weed at “Cathy’s”, Officer Adcock Calls Adnan to Ask About Hae
Explanatory Note: This call was almost certainly from the police, asking if Adnan has seen Hae. As Koenig describes the start of the investigation:
“Hae’s brother called the cops that afternoon. Officer Scott Adcock arrives from the Baltimore County PD. His initial report records the time as 5:12 p.m. Adcock calls Aisha and Adnan asking if they’ve seen Hae.” (Episode 9.)
Officer Adcock’s Story:
Office Adcock testified that, during this phone call, Adnan told him he’d asked Hae for a ride, but that he’d been “held up” at school and missed the ride. (One of Hae’s friends, Becky, gives a somewhat similar story – she says that Adnan asked Hae for a ride, but that at 2:20 p.m., Hae tells Adnan that she won’t be able to give him a ride, and Adnan says “OK, I’ll just ask someone else.”
Adnan says that he remembers this phone call:
“Oh no, uh, I do remember that phone call and I do remember being high at the time because the craziest thing is to be high and have the police call your phone. I’ll never forget that.” (Episode 6.)
But Adnan does not recall asking Hae for a ride that day, or telling the officer that he asked for one.
In Jay’s first police statement, Jay says that Officer Adcock calls while he and Adnan were at McDonald’s.
In Jay’s second police statement, Jay says that Officer Adcock called when he and Adnan were “leaving [Cathy’s] apartment,” and were “stepping from the foyer into the hallway.” Jay says he then begins to panic.
Cathy says that, a little while after receiving a phone call, Adnan just leaves, heading out the door, and Jay follows Adnan out, leaving his “hat and smokes” at Cathy’s (Episode 6). Adnan and Jay go downstairs and get into Adnan’s car. Cathy sees them stay there, for “[l]ike a minute . . . just sitting out in the car.”
What the Call Records Show:
Based on the timing of the 5:38, 6:07, 6:09, and 6:24 calls, what appears to have happened is that, after Jay picked up Adnan from track, Jay and Adnan go to smoke. Adnan gets really, really high. Jay and Adnan then show up at Cathy’s sometime between 5:40pm and 6:00pm. At 6:07, Hae’s brother calls asking about Hae. At 6:09, Aisha calls, and tells Adnan that the police are going to call him. Adnan freaks; he is super high, and the police are about to call him, and he starts asking, “What do I do if the cops call me? How do I get rid of a high?” Ten minutes later, he and Jay leave Cathy’s apartment. In the hallway, Officer Adcock calls Adnan, and Adnan and Jay get into Adnan’s parked car while speaking to the officer for a little over 4 minutes. They then drive away.
Time: 6:59 p.m.
To: Yaser Cell
The Cell Phone Returns to the Woodlawn Area
To my knowledge, Yaser has never been questioned about this phone call. Yaser was a friend of Adnan’s, although it’s unclear how close they were. Yaser is also the individual identified by the anonymous caller as someone the police should speak to, because Yaser, according to the caller, knows something about Adnan’s involvement in the murder.
Adnan’s Father’s Story:
Adnan’s father testified at trial that, on January 13, 1999, Adnan “attended religious services with [him] from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.” (Brief of Appellant at 16). Adnan’s mosque was close to his home, and is marked above with an asterisk.
Jay testified that “after the Adcock call, he and Adnan left Cathy’s and then they do a bunch of different things: they drive to Jay’s house for shovels, then to I-70 Park & Ride for Hae’s car, then Jay goes to McDonald’s back by school to wait for Adnan, says he’s there waiting for about 20 minutes, then they drive all around for awhile back over to Patapsco, then up Dogwood, to Security, before they finally get to Leakin Park.” (Episode 5.) There’s a huge problem with Jay’s story though. Doing what Jay describes “takes an hour and twenty minutes. Twice as long as, in other words, than the call log accounts for.” (Id.).
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The 6:59 p.m. call pings a tower that covers Adnan’s home and mosque, but not Jay’s house. Jay does claim that he went to the McDonald’s by school to wait for Adnan for 20 minutes after picking up Hae’s car, but Jay does not explain why on earth he and Adnan would add this trip to their itinerary. One possible explanation is that it’s an attempt to explain why the 6:59 call and the 7:00 p.m. call pinged at Woodlawn.
Time: 7:00 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
The Cell Phone Is Still in Woodlawn Area
According to Adnan, “he’s pretty sure he was with his phone at that time after track. Again, his memory is vague, it’s full of I probably would haves. But he says that from what he can remember of the evening, after he got the call from Office Adcock, he remembers dropping Jay off at some point and then he says he would have gone to the mosque for prayers. It was Ramadan. He doesn’t say he lent his phone out or his car to Jay or anyone else that evening.”
But if Adnan did kill Hae, this is quite possibly the most baffling thing Adnan could say. Why on earth would his story be that he is “pretty sure he was with his phone” at that time, when, if he is guilty, he knew full well that is exactly when Hae was buried? Why would he lie about everything else, but tell the truth about this damning detail — when he could just as easily have said instead that he let Jay borrow his phone that evening? Or even just say that he “might’ve” let Jay borrow his phone? Why would Adnan make such a bold-faced lie about going to mosque that evening (when there could potentially be dozens of witnesses who could confirm that he did not go to mosque), but then not go a tiny step further and say he doesn’t remember having his phone, but he frequently lent it out to Jay, and might have done so that night?
A simpler explanation is that Adnan really just doesn’t remember letting Jay borrow his phone and car while he was at mosque. Which isn’t an entirely satisfying explanation, but it makes more sense than a guilty Adnan lying about everything else and telling the truth about this single incriminating thing. After all, it is pretty much established fact that Adnan was as high as a kite at 6:30pm that night; him being fuzzy on the details is at least explainable. And if Jay had asked to borrow the the car, wouldn’t Adnan have probably agreed, based on his willingness to allow Jay to borrow it earlier? After all, he’s going to be in mosque for a couple hours, it wouldn’t be any inconvenience to him. Alternatively, perhaps Adnan felt he was too high to drive, e.g., “How do you make a high go away?” In which case Jay “offered” to drive an impaired Adnan to mosque, and then needed to “borrow” the car to drive back to Cathy’s — while promising Adnan he’d return the car when mosque was out.
At trial, Jay testified that, he “was supposed to meet [Jenn] at 7:00 p.m., so he paged her at 7:00 p.m. from Leakin Park” (Appellant’s Brief at 9). Jay does not explain why he was supposed to meet Jenn at 7:00 p.m., or when he and Jenn made this agreement.
In Jenn’s police statement, she says that,
between six-thirty, anytime, after I got home from picking my parents up, to seven-thirty. I guess it’s between that. I was in my bedroom ah getting dress because I knew I was going out later to just hang out at my friend Cathy’s house. (Jenn Int. at 13.)
While getting ready to go to Cathy’s, she then gets a message from Jay. Or maybe two messages. The source of this message is very unclear; Jenn gives a laundry list of answers of where this message might have come from:
that’s when I got the page that was a voice message from Jay saying to get him from the park and then when I …. and then like maybe actually maybe I knew to pick him up from the park earlier I had talked to him, but I’m not sure. He left a message on the machine telling me something about either to come and pick him up at the park or he was going to be later than what he thought, so don’t go to the park yet. I think I got two messages, maybe on my pager, one saying to pick him up and the next message saying “I’m going to be later don’t pick” you know “don’t pick me up at the park” or “I’ll call you when I need you” or something. I was confused… there was confusion in his message so I felt it necessary to contact him to find out where I was suppose[d] to get him from.” (Jenn Int. at 13.)
So Jenn either got a “page that was a voice message” (technically possible — a portable voicemail service was available in Baltimore, although the service shut down sometime in 1999), or “like maybe actually maybe I knew to pick him up from the park earlier I had talked to him.” Or maybe she got two messages. The two messages seem to make the most sense — the first message, via an unknown medium, was to tell Jenn that he needed the ride from the park, and the next message was to say that he needed her to pick him up later.
Either way, I believe we can be safe in assuming that one of these two communications was the 7:00 p.m. page. Jenn pretty much clarifies that at another point in her statement:
I believe that I got a voice message from Jay like um telling me to get him from the park and around between seven and seven-thirty I think it was and for some reason the message was like very confusing or something (Jenn Int. at 12).
The park Jenn identifies is this park located “off of Crosby and Chesworth,” but is not “the one that the pool’s on” (id.). This would make it Western Hills Community Park — a three minute walk away from Adnan’s mosque.
Now that’s an interesting coincidence. Why would Jay be calling Jenn to ask for a ride from a place across the street from Adnan’s mosque at 7 or 7:30 p.m.? Perhaps because Jay knew Adnan would be driving there, after leaving Cathy’s?
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
There are two big problems with Jay’s trial testimony about paging Jenn from Leakin Park. First, the cell records show that the 7:00 p.m. call was most likely made from the Woodlawn area, not Leakin Park. Second, Jay’s story has him in Adnan’s car — but not with Adnan — at 7:00 p.m. So how could he have paged Jenn at 7:00 p.m., if Adnan was calling Yaser at 6:59? Jay testified at trial Adnan drove him to Jay’s house, where they got “two shovels . . . and put them in [Adnan’s] car” (Brief of Appellant at 9.) They then “drove to pick up Hae’s car, and [Adnan] got in Hae’s car. [Jay] followed [Adnan] around for 45 minutes, and they ended up in Leakin Park.” (Id.) Which means that Adnan and Jay were in separate vehicles at 7:00 p.m., if Jay’s story is true.
An alternative explanation for the cell phone data is that Jay borrowed Adnan’s car and phone while he was in mosque. After leaving Cathy’s, Adnan is dropped off at the mosque near his house, and Jay drives to Hae’s car (which is either at the Park’n’Ride or at a mall parking lot near Woodlawn). He then drives Hae’s car to Leakin Park, taking the phone and the shovels with him from Adnan’s car, and buries her. He returns Hae’s car to where it was stashed earlier, gets back in Adnan’s car, and heads back to the mosque to return the car and phone to Adnan when mosque is out at 9pm.
The fact that Jay left Jenn a message asking Jenn to pick him up from a park near Adnan’s mosque further supports this theory. If Adnan did kill Hae, and recruited Jay to help him bury her, is no explicable reason why Jay would be calling Jenn’s pager from Adnan’s phone, and leaving Jenn a message asking to be picked up from the park near the mosque. Such a call could be explained, however, if Jay had been unaware that he would be unable to use Adnan’s car and cell phone. If Jenn and Jay had spoken on the phone while Jay was at Cathy’s (we know that Jenn called Cathy around 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. that night), then Jay may have asked for a ride from Jenn then, planning to have her take him to Hae’s car after Adnan dropped him off on his way to mosque. Jay’s plans may have changed when Adnan ended up letting Jay borrow his car while he was in mosque. The 7:00 p.m. call would then be Jay notifying Jenn that he no longer needed the pick up from the park near the mosque, but that he would need her to pick him up later.
Time: 7:09 p.m.
To: Incoming [possibly Jenn returning the call to her pager]
The Cell Phone Goes to Edmondson Avenue
EDIT, 1/17/2015: Due to the release of additional information concerning the reliability of the cellphone data, as well as the nature of the forensic evidence, I no longer believe that the cellphone was in Leakin Park at this time. It appears instead that the burial in Leakin Park took place hours later.
The Prosecution’s Story:
Adnan and Jay picked up Hae’s car from the I-70 Park’n’Ride, and then drive into Leakin Park via N. Franklintown Road, where they body Hae’s body. The route from the Park’n’Ride to the place where Hae’s body was found takes approximately four minutes. Although it is unclear why this specific location is chosen for the burial site, it appears, from Google Maps, that the section of N. Franklintown Road that Hae’s killer(s) would have used to enter the woods does not have a guardrail up. Although there are now concrete barriers in place, it seems very likely that, in January 1999, those barriers were not there, allowing whoever buried Hae to pull off at the side of the road there. As Gwynns Falls Trail was under construction at that time, there was likely ample room for Hae’s car to be parked (without blocking N Franklintown Road) while a grave was dug and Hae’s body was transferred into it. (For comparison purposes, note that the “Warning This Park is Patrolled” sign behind the concrete barriers matches the sign described in Episode 3 and shown on the Serial website.)
Adnan is at mosque.
Jay testified that “[w]hile [he] and [Adnan] were digging, [Jenn] called the cell phone, returning [Jay’s] page [at 7:00 p.m.]. [Adnan] allegedly answered and told [Jenn] they were busy and hung up.” (Brief of Appellant at 9.)
Jenn has stated that either the 7:09 or 7:16 p.m. call came from her. Jenn told the police in her taped interview that she called Jay because although he had left her a message earlier, asking her to pick him up, “there was confusion in his message so [she] felt it necessary to contact him to find out where [she] was suppose[d] to get him from.” (Jenn Int. at 13.) She says this call occurred
I guess I’d say between six- thirty and seven-thirty. . . I knew that I was dialing [Adnan’s] cell phone, the cell phone number.” (Jenn Int. at 13.)
“When I called them, um, Adnan answered the phone and said ‘Jay will call you back when you’re re–’ when he’s ready for you to come and get him, or for you to come and meet him, or whatever. ‘Jay will call you when he’s ready.’ And um, so that’s all like, he was very quick and very ‘bye’ you know.” (Episode 6.)
But at trial, she gave a different story. She testified that when she called the cell, someone other than Jay answered the phone and said, “Jay will call you back when he is ready for you to come and get him, he is busy” (Brief of Appellant at 13). She stated that “[t]he voice on the cell phone was an older male, deep, not like a kid, and it was not [Jay]” (id.). But Jenn does not identify the voice as belonging to Adnan – even though she knows him, and even though she had previously identified the speaker as Adnan in her police interview.
It should also be noted that Jenn’s statement (as well as Jay’s) does not match the known duration of the call. At 33 seconds, whatever conversation occurred must have been longer than the brief exchange Jenn describes, which would have taken less than 10 seconds.
But aside from that, why on earth would Adnan know that Jenn was calling to find out when to pick Jay up? And why would he even answer the phone? Surely after burying Hae’s body, Jay would have preferred to take his accomplice home himself — rather than forcing a third party to come pick him up, and potentially become involved.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The 7:09 p.m. and 7:16 p.m. calls are the two most significant calls in the case, because both calls were routed through L689B — which is the tower/antenna whose range is almost exclusively limited to the southwest leg of Leakin Park, where Hae was buried. We can say with almost complete certainty that whoever had the cell phone at that time was in Leakin Park, burying Hae’s body.
Why? Because we have independent evidence confirming that Hae was buried between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on January 13, 1999. (1) The first witness statement in the case came from Jenn, in her statement to the police on February 27, 1999, when she told them that Jay asked her to pick him up “some time after eight o’clock” (Episode 6). Jenn said that “[a]fter they’d driven a little ways, Jay mention[ed] shovels. The shovels Adnan had used to dig in the park to bury Hae.” (Episode 4.) She has no apparent motive to lie about the timing of when she picked up Jay, and there is no evidence that she had seen the cell phone records at that point, or was matching her story to them. (2) Cathy, who has no motive to lie and whose testimony could apparently be verified by her boyfriend, Jeff, states that Adnan and Jay were at her house until 6:30 p.m. that evening.
So Hae was buried in Leakin Park during that hour-and-a-half window. Of the 52 outgoing and incoming malls made to Adnan’s cell phone on January 12 and 13, 1999, exactly two calls were routed through L689B, which is the tower and antenna that covers the southwest portion of Leakin Park (and covers almost nothing that isn’t Leakin Park). In fact, only one other call was even routed through tower L689, despite the fact it is adjacent to the towers covering Woodlawn and Cathy’s house — and that’s the 4:12 p.m. call, when Jay would have been parking Hae’s car immediately next to Leakin Park, at the Park’n’Ride.
This is very strong evidence that the reason the 7:09 and 7:16 p.m. calls were routed from the Leakin Park tower is that the cell phone was, in fact, in Leakin Park. The odds are too much against this being a mere coincidence — because over the course of 48 hours, only two calls are routed through L689B, and both occur precisely within the one-and-a-half hour window in which we know the killer was in Leakin Park burying Hae’s body. This is a sufficient basis from which to conclude that the killer had the phone while burying Hae.
Time: 7:16 p.m.
The Cell Phone Is Still in Leakin Park
Adnan says he is at mosque.
At trial, Jay testified that, shortly after the call from Jenn (at 7:09), “while [Adnan] took Hae’s body to the shallow grave and put dirt on her to cover her, he received another call. He spoke part in Arabic and part in English.” (Brief of Appellant at 9-10.) Adnan does not speak Arabic, or any similar languages (Episode 5), so Jay’s testimony is hard to explain.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
This call, like the previous call, pings the tower in Leakin Park. Whoever has the phone is likely burying Hae’s body.
Time: 8:04 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
Cell Phone Is on Edmondson Avenue/Jenn and Jay Give Untruthful Statements
Jenn’s Police Statement: During her interview with the police, Jenn says she picked Jay up sometime after 8 p.m., because she had “arranged to meet [Jay] in the parking lot of Westview Mall” (Episode 6). Jenn drove to Westview Mall, where she “saw [Jay and Adnan] arrive in Adnan’s car.” (Episode 6.). She told the police that,
“Jay mentioned to me that he knew where Adnan dumped the shovel or shovels. I don’t know how many there were – but he mentioned to me that he know that where Adnan put the shovels.” (Episode 4.)
Jenn then tells the police that, after picking Jay up and leaving, “she drives Jay back to Westview Mall to the dumpsters back there so that Jay can retrieve the shovels and wipe the handles clean in case of fingerprints” (id.). “After that, Jay came back, got in [Jenn’s] car, and he was really shooken up. . . He was like you have to take me to go see my girlfriend now” (id.).
Jenn’s Trial Testimony: At trial, Jenn testified that “[b]etween 8:00-8:15 p.m., [she] got a message from [Jay] to pick him up at Westview [“WV”] Mall in 15 minutes, so she left and picked him up in front of Value City.” (Brief of Appellant at 13.) Jenn arrived there first. When Jay and Adnan arrived, “[Adnan] was . . . driving, and said hello to [Jenn]. [Jay] got in her car and said . . . ‘[Adnan] strangled Hae in the Best Buy parking lot. [I] saw her body in the trunk.’ . . . [Adnan] used [Jay’s] shovels to bury her and [Jay] wanted to make sure there were no fingerprints on them.” (Brief of Appellant at 13.) Jenn further “testified [Jay] told her he wanted to go check on Stephanie to make sure she was okay. They went to Stephanie’s house between 8:30-9:00 p.m.” (Id.)
After burying Hae, Jay claims he and Adnan got back into their respective cars, and drove to a neighborhood off of Edmondson Avenue (Route 40), where Hae’s car was abandoned.
Jay says that at some point after this, Jenn picks him up. But where? Jay has given a lot of different answers about where Jenn picks him up from, and it’s not clear which (if any) are true (Brief of Appellant at 11).
Jay’s story at trial is that after ditching Hae’s car, he and Adnan “went to Value City [located in Westview Mall, off of Route 40] and threw away some of Hae’s belongings and some other evidence in a dumpster. [Jay] paged Jen again. [Adnan] allegedly drove [Jay] home and [Jay] changed his clothes and put them in a bag. Jen came to pick up [Jay] at his home and took him to Super Fresh where he threw the shovels and his bag of clothes away in a dumpster.” (Brief of Appellant at 10.)
Time: 8:05 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
The Cell Phone is on Edmondson Avenue/Jenn and Jay Continue to Give Untruthful Statements
Why Jenn and Jay Are Both Lying about the 8:04 and 8:05 p.m. calls:
(1) Did Jenn see Jay arrive at Westview, or did Jay page Jenn to pick him up while he was at Westview? Because Jenn says when Jay paged her to pick him up, she went to Westview, where shortly after Adnan and Jay pulled up. In contrast, Jay says he paged Jenn while he was already at Westview, and Adnan then dropped him off at Jay’s house, where Jenn later picked him up.
These stories are completely irreconcilable, and cannot be explained by simple memory lapses. Why would Jenn forget where Jay told her that Adnan had killed Hae? And why would Jay forget where Jenn picked him up?
(2) Where were the shovels (or shovel) thrown away? In Westview Mall or at Super Fresh?
Jenn says that Jay told her they were tossed at Westview – and that, after picking up Jay at Westview and driving off somewhere, she and Jay later drive back to Westview, so that Jay can retrieve the shovels and wipe them clean. But Jay says (at trial) that he only threw away some of Hae’s belongings at Westview – and that he didn’t toss the shovels until after Jenn picked him up at his house, and drove him to Super Fresh, where he dumped the shovel(s) in a dumpster. So were they thrown away at Westview or Super Fresh? And why would Jay have needed to have Jenn drive him away from Westview, and then later drive him back to wipe down prints?
Any why the heck wasn’t Adnan concerned about wiping down prints, if he did it? And for that matter, why would Adnan be letting his pot dealer handle the huge responsibility of disposing of the evidence? If Adnan did kill Hae, I just cannot imagine him leaving such an important detail for Jay to handle.
(Incidentally, Super Fresh is out westward on Route 40, on the way to Patapsco State Park. Perhaps this somehow works in to Jay’s whole nonsensical Patapsco story somehow? Given how often Jay repeats it, it would be beyond bizarre if nothing about Hae’s murder was linked to there. Something about Jay’s claims about Patapsco are true, it’s just hard to know what.)
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The 8:04 and 8:05 calls show that whoever has the cell phone was probably somewhere along Route 40/Edmondson Avenue. As Edmondson Avenue is where Hae’s car was abandoned (Jay later led police to where the car had been ditched), these calls are almost certainly showing the killer abandoning the car after burying her body.
If Jay killed Hae, acting alone, then he still has a two-car problem to deal with in disposing of Hae’s body and car — as he would have parked Adnan’s car in one spot, and then driven Hae’s car to a different spot, with no way to get back to Adnan’s car. The cell phone records do suggest an explanation for what was going on. As all of the calls made from 7:00 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. are to Jenn’s pager, this indicates that not only did Jay have the phone, but that he had something urgent to communicate with her about.
The most likely thing Jay needed to talk to Jenn about was getting a ride after leaving Hae’s car. If Jenn was telling the truth about picking Jay up from a strip mall –- and her story on this point seems more credible than Jay’s — then that would explain how Jay was able to solve the two car problem. After dropping Adnan at mosque at 7:00 p.m., he drove Adnan’s car to Hae’s car (probably at the Park’n’Ride), drove Hae’s car to bury Hae’s body, then ditched her car off Edmondson Avenue. Getting from the Woodlawn area, to the Park’n’Ride, and then to the burial spot would take about fifteen minutes (five minutes for each leg, plus five minutes to switch cars.) Jay said that burying the body took 20-25 minutes. That would mean Jay was ditching the car at around 7:45 p.m., and from where her car was left, there are at least a couple strip malls within a 20-minute walk, if you’re walking a little faster than average.
That would provide a possible explanation for the two pages to Jenn in rapid succession, at 8:04 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. — at right about the time Jay would’ve gotten to a strip mall. The double page could have acted as the signal for Jenn to come and pick him up at a pre-arranged location.
In reality, if Jay was the sole killer, there are many ways he could have handled ditching Hae’s car after burying her body (such as parking it back at the Park’n’Ride and moving it over to Edmondson later, for instance). But whatever method was used, I think it is a fair inference that Jay’s multiple calls to Jenn from Leakin Park that night were related to the cover up of Hae’s murder — because why would someone burying a body repeatedly page a friend, unless the pages were related to said body burying? It’s not exactly a time that you would be worrying about making social arrangements, that’s for sure.
Additional Note: I’m not trying to say Jenn had knowledge of Jay killing Hae, or that she was actively involved in disposing of Hae’s car. That’s not what the timeline seems to imply. Her testimony is that her assistance was limited to disposing of clothes and boots, and it’s entirely possible that’s true. It’s also perfectly possible she would have fully believed Jay, if Jay told her Adnan had done it. Her decision to distort her testimony to protect Jay, then, might have only been intended to help an innocent friend not take the rap for a murder he didn’t commit. But her statement to the police has been cooked.
I will note, however, that I actually do believe most of Jenn’s story. Her description of events seems mostly accurate — but she has changed the timeline and the details to make sure Jay can “prove” to the police that he was not involved in the actual murder.
Time: 9:01 p.m.
The Cell Phone and Car Are Returned to Adnan, and Adnan Goes Home
Adnan does not have clear memories of what happened that night after he went to mosque.
This is going to get confusing, because Jenn describes at least three different series of events that occur after she picks up Jay from Westview. Those three versions are:
- Pick up Jay at Westview → Return to Westview to wipe down shovels → Go to Stephanie’s house → Go to the Cathy’s house (Jenn Int. at 2-4).
- Pick up Jay at Westview → Go to Stephanie’s house → Return to Westview to wipe down shovels → Go to Cathy’s house → Go to UMBC for friend Mike’s birthday party (id. at 18-20).
- Pick up Jay at Westview → Go to Stephanie’s house → Go to UMBC for friend Mike’s birthday party → Go to Cathy’s house (id. at 21).
Regarding the trip to Stephanie’s, Jenn says that they went either after rerturning to Westview to wipe down the shovels or before returning to Westview for the shovels (or after leaving Westview and never returning), and that the trip took about 15 minutes. After Jenn picked up Jay from Westview for the first time, Jay told her that “he wanted to go check on Stephanie to make sure she was okay,” so “[t]hey went to Stephanie’s house between 8:30-9:00 p.m.” (Brief of Appellant at 13). But Jenn is ambiguous in the wording she uses to describe this trip:
We, I want to say that we went to Stephanie’s house, his girlfriend, I want to say that we went there ’cause I think that I remember Jay saying that he wanted to go see Steph, he wanted to go and give her a hug and see her and make sure she was okay and everything[.] (Jenn Int. at 18.)
Jenn also said (in her trial testimony and police statement) that the following day she took Jay “to F&M drugstore to get rid of clothing and boots in a dumpster” (Brief of Appellant at 13). In her police statement, she was consistent with this trial testimony, and stated that,
sometime during the 14th . . . I went to see Jay again at his house. I picked him up and and he had his boots with him as well as his inaudible jacket that he had on the night before and he asked me if I would take him to F & M parking lot. I took him to F & M parking lot and we drove around the back until we saw a dumpster . . . and Jay threw his clothes boots in the dumpster. (Jenn Int. at 23.)
Cathy testified that, on January 13, 1999, after Jay and Adnan left her house a little after 6:30 p.m., “[Jay] returned hours later with Jennifer, but [Adnan] was not with them.” (Appellant’s Brief at 14).
Cathy had no reason to lie, and Jenn and Jay returning to Cathy’s is consistent with Jenn’s claims that she and Jay had plans to go there that night. It appears that Jay may even have testified that he and Jenn returned to Cathy’s at 11:30pm that night. But in that case, what did Jenn and Jay do from around 8:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.? And why did he and Jenn not go to Stephanie’s, as they claim?
In Jay’s first interview, Jay says that after ditching Hae’s car,
I drive myself home and on the way home he’s like “stop here.” We stopped at ah Westview and one of the dumpster’s behind Westview he threw all the stuff in. Um. . . Um we argue um we argue some more, went to the 7 -11 and then inaudible. (Int.1 at 20-21.)
In Jay’s second interview, Jay also claims in the first interview that he throws his clothes away in the trash outside of his house:
Detective: Where did you discard the clothing?
Jay: Um I put mine in the trash at my house, put it out in the trash? (Int.1 at 22.)
Jay says that after ditching Hae’s car,
I get out of [Adnan’s] car, I go in my house, Jenny calls me back, I tell her I need, I need to talk to her, um, its real important. And for her to come and get me. She comes right over, um, I take my clothes from that day, I put them in a plastic bag. Um, I go out to to the car with Jen. I tell her what happened. She ah, she says to me urn, she really can’t believe it, and I tell her stay away from him. And I tell her if I get locked up that she’ll, she’ll be the one person that really knew that I didn’t Hae. (Int.2 at 39.)
Jay says that Jenn picked him up at his house, and then took him to the dumpster at the “F & M, the one behind the ah, F & M inaudible on Route 40,” where he threw away “[a]ll [his] clothes, it was ah, they were in a giant plastic bag” (Int.2 at 41). However, Jay “think[s] [he] may had held on to [his] boots until the day after” (id.).
So while Jay and Jenn agree that Jay threw his boots away on the 14th, Jay and Jenn disagree on just about everything else.
Stephanie says that she did not speak to Jay until 11:30 p.m. on January 13th. This does not match Jay and Jenn claims they went to Stephanie’s at 8:30-9:30 p.m. that night.
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
The 9:01 p.m. call to Nisha strongly suggests that Adnan, and not Jay, had the phone at this time. But the call is also made from L651 – the same tower covering Adnan’s mosque and home. Although Adnan’s cell phone spent the previous two hours in Leakin Park and along Route 40, the only calls made during that time were to Jenn’s pager. Not a single call was made to one of Adnan’s contacts, which is consistent with the phone not being in his possession during that time.
Time: 9:03 p.m.
The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Once again, the records support a finding that (1) Adnan has his phone, as Jay would have no reason to call Krista, and (2) Adnan was at home, as shown by the tower the call connected through.
Time: 9:10 p.m.
The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Same as Call 26.
Time: 9:57 p.m.
The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Same as Calls 26 and 27.
Time: 10:02 p.m.
To: Yaser cell
The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House
Explanatory Note: This call is another good example of a call routed through a cell tower outside of its normal range. There is no reason to believe — regardless of which witness’s testimony is accepted — that Adnan was anywhere other than at his home at this time, or that he was out somewhere moving around at 10:02 p.m. at night. Adnan was almost certainly at home, and, by chance, his call to Yaser was routed through the tower directly south (L698), rather than through the tower that calls made from Adnan’s home are most commonly routed through (L651).
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Same as Calls 26-28.
Calls 30 & 31.
Time: 10:29 p.m./10:30pm (two calls).
The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House
What the Cell Phone Records Show:
Same as Calls 26-29.
Great read thanks!
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I like your angles and you really brought some light to things I had been pondering. Well written.
OMG! this is just incredible detailing. Almost feels like this could be it..
This case is surely giving so many of us ulcers. Sigh. 😦
Thank you for posting this! I wish you had been Adnan’s Lawyer.
Where does the cell tower coverage map come from?
The underlying map image and the tower site data come from Serial’s website. The overlay of the tower regions (“L651C,” “LL89B,” etc.) is drawn along the approximate equidistant points between the cell towers, so that for every point within each tower’s area, that tower will be the closest tower, and so the tower which (all other things being equal) a call placed from that point has the highest probability of being routed through. For example:
I didn’t do overlay of the territorial divisions, and do not know who did (p.s., if someone who sees this did it, let me know so I can give credit!), but I’ve checked the equidistant boundaries, and they are a rough approximation. Again, as noted several times throughout the post, the point of these maps isn’t to provide precision data; it’s to provide a way of visualizing the call data and examining the trends in what towers got pinged when. It absolutely should not be used as representative of where the cell phone actually was at any given time; instead, it shows what area was the cell phone’s most probable location, based on available cell phone evidence. What the equidistant lines can’t taken into account are things like call volume can result in calls being routed through towers based on factors other than location, and the geographical layout, which can also affect tower routing. For instance, while the area around Woodlawn is rather flat, there are some significant hills and valleys right at the Park’n’Ride and in Leakin Park which are more likely to distort things. (Worth noting: as far as geographical barriers go, it would appear that calls in Leakin Park really should route through L689. If there are any geographical barriers that could be expected to distort the routing, it seems like their expected effect would be to make calls in Leakin Park unlikely to ping to the west, as there are at least two significant hills in the way.)
I understood that cell phone technology back then did NOT transfer between towers, as when one was in use for example and default to another tower, as you stated. From what I understand of the old technology related to that time, a cell phone ping did verify a correlation between the phone and its location period…thoughts?
Given how many false statements are contained in Urick’s interview, I’m not relying him as a source for anything. But it doesn’t really matter, because even if you assume no switching by the towers themselves, there is still no way to determine which tower happened to catch the signal for any call. A call made from one location could be routed through numerous towers in the area, if those towers have an overlapping range.
Take the three calls made from Cathy’s house, for instance. Two ping through one tower, one pings through another tower, but the phone was in the same location for all three calls.
btw you’re doing a great job making sense of a myriad of tiny details
Even if the call were routed to another tower, evidence of the forward should be in the logs for all of the towers involved. I’m not sure how it would be logged, or if we would be looking at a singly linked list or a doubly linked list, but if Tower A forwards a call to Tower B, then at the very least, A should know that it forwarded to B.
You say at the beginning of this post that you have updated the maps but not the narrative and that your interpretation and analysis has changed a good bit. Is this narrative above still outdated?
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You’ve done an amazing job organizing so much information. Thanks for putting the time in, and sharing your results. This is now my #2 bookmark on all things Serial-related.
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Hi Susan, I think that your use of those cellular maps is a little(lot) misleading. The ranges for those towers are far great and more irregular than you are giving credit for. There a post on reddit with some details over here:
The maps are not showing cell tower ranges — they are showing which tower is the closest geographical tower for any given point. Any given call could be routed through a number of different towers, and there is no way to establish when a call was or was not made in the territory marked.
But the cell data does show very clearly established patterns. For instance, we know with certainty that the cell phone was at Cathy’s house from at least 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All three calls in that time period ping the two towers close to Cathy’s house, far to the south (L605 and L608). No other calls on January 13th ping either L605 or L608 at any time. Likewise, every single call that we know for a near fact was made from close to Woodlawn routed through L651, with a single exception (12:07pm) that routes through one tower to the west. Similarly, we also know independently, from Jenn, that the burial/car disposal occurred sometime between a little after 7pm and a little after 8pm. All calls in that range occur west of Woodlawn, and two hit the tower right at Leakin Park. Of all the calls made, only three hit that tower — the two made when we strongly believe that Haw was being buried, and the one made at 4:21 (although different antenna on same tower) which is when it appears Hae’s car was being abandoned at the Park’n’Ride — which is at the edge of Leakin Park.
Now, could all be a very big coincidence? Perhaps, but that doesn’t appear likely. If anyone with a statistics background would like to run the numbers on it, I’d be very interested in seeing it. But what the data is saying to me is that there are some very clear trends about what towers ping when, and we can make good guesses about movements based on that data.
Adnan’s call to Hae at 11:27PM late the night before on 12 Jan went through L608C. His two previous calls at 11:05PM and 11:07PM to Nisha and Krista, respectively, went through L651C (likely his house), but his subsequent calls to Hae went through L602C (near downtown Baltimore) at 12:01AM, and L654A (near Westview Shopping Center) at 12:35AM.
How do you think Adnan would have gotten his cell back after call 24? My guess would be Jay brought back Adnan’s car to the mosque and left the phone in the car. Also, doesn’t it seem strange that no one could confirm besides his dad that Adnan was at that mosque from 7:30pm to 10:30pm (Also from call 25+, when you say Adnan was at home, do you mean potentially at the mosque to match his dad’s story…but again if at the mosque, how would he have gotten his phone back?)
Great job btw!
I don’t necessarily believe Adnan’s father’s story, but I also don’t think the lack of other witnesses is an issue. It’s like track practice — people would have seen him there, but no one is going to recall six weeks later if he was actually there. Also, that doesn’t mean I think Adnan’s father was lying — but if he saw Adnan in the mosque that night at about 9 p.m., that’s exactly the kind of situation in which his memories might be fudged a little bit, as he convinces himself he saw Adnan there for a longer period of time. It’s also possible that Adnan was there from 7:30 to 10 p.m., exactly as the father says — it’s just that his testimony is sufficient for us to reliably establish that fact one way or another.
I’m going to address Adnan and Jay’s probable movements later, but I think Jenn’s testimony is pretty key for understanding what happened after the bodies were buried. Because I believe her stories about what happened that day are largely true, they just didn’t occur at the times she claimed.
Some information that is confusing about Adnan :
1. Its hard to find a guy in the mosque during Ramadan night so going and giving Adnans cellphone back would be a almost impossible for Jay because there are so many people and they all are praying facing one direction (one cannot just go and look for a person as people are praying in a row according to the system and no one can walk, talk or move in front of a person to check each other according to the rule of mosque ).
My point is the cellphone was with Adnan all the time after evening. The cellphone was never switched off if he was in mosque he would have switched it off. He called nisha at around 9..talking or making call is prohibited in mosque. Another information mosque prayer ends at 10:00 pm during Ramadan and starts at 8:00pm. Confusing part is how can he make call to Nisha at 9pm then??? (My guess is Adnan was not in the Mosque at all)
There are so many people in mosque and according to podcast his dad seems a practicing Muslim and they are well know in their community. How come they did not have any proof or witness except his dad that he was in the mosque from 7 on ward??
2. Why would some one lend a cellphone to a other person if he is calling it a day off and going to mosque for prayer ? General rule in Muslim community after prayer (during the Ramadan) you go home have dinner or wait to do seheri for next days fasting. My point either he was with the cellphone all evening
3. How come a person doesn’t what happened after 7:00pm on ward except for saying he was in mosque which also doesn’t have any proper proof.
Man Jay is screwed but Adnans statements doesn’t match either.
Jay drive him to the mosque. He obviously left the cellphone in the car and assumed Jay will park it and go home. Instead, Jay drive off to finish off his business and used the phone. When Adnan left the mosque he found the car, took his phone and didn’t think anything significant happened.
Just need to point out some things…
1. They may have had a set meeting place. Nothing says he went in specifically trying to find him as far as I can see
2. It is possible to leave the prayer area between prayers or even leave the mosque area to make phone calls. I have done this myself on several occasions…
3. Didnt understand what you meant as the sentence was just way too confusing
Your analysis is detailed. I have problems with your assessments and conclusions with respect to (1) the Nisha call and (2) the Leakin Park calls.
You seem to be convinced that Jay is the killer, or at least that Adnan is innocent. Imagine, for a moment, that you’re Adnan, and that you’re completely innocent. Your friend Jay shows the cops where Hae’s car is located, and the proceeds to tell a story about how you killed her. What’s your next move? What’s your opinion of Jay? What are you going to tell the police? What are you going to tell your lawyer? JAY needs to be investigated! JAY has a big hand in this!
Err, yes? That’s what he did.
I hadn’t seen that before, that makes a lot more sense. Why is it when Sarah asks Adnan about Jay he never mentions this? I’m starting to feel like we are all being played by the team at Serial, purposely withholding information to not only build suspense but to keep people thinking he did it, no he didn’t, he did it….etc.
I’m curious about where this counsel note was found. Who wrote it? And why has nothing been mentioned about it on the Serial podcast? Unless, they are saving it for a later episode. If this note is true, then that gives Jay plenty of motive to murder Hae if he thought she would expose his infidelity to Stephanie and destroy his relationship (which seems like the only good thing in his life.) It would still be Adnan’s word against Jay’s. But if Stephanie could remember whether Adnan convinced her to go to Assembly that day and not to Jay’s house, then that could change everything.
Regarding the Nisha call, are you pinning this call on a butt dial while the phone was in Jay’s possession? That’s pretty far fetched IMO.
Regarding the 6:59 and 7:00 calls, are you presuming the former was made by Adnan literally seconds prior to mosque, and the latter made by Jay literally second after dropping off Adnan? Again, pretty far fetched. Moreover, wouldn’t there be witnesses who saw Adnab at mosque?
Regarding Adnan’s testimony about having his phone after track, isn’t it plausible that a guilty, lying Adnan believed he merely needed to lie about where HE HIMSELF (not his cell phone) was at the time of the killing and the burial? I doubt that, at the time he gave his story, he anticipated the cell phone records and tower locations would come into play. And a guilty, lying Adnan would want to stretch the truth as little as possible.
And I will reiterate again: if Adnan was, as you say, somewhere else during (1) the killing and (2) the burial, where are the eyewitnesses that can attest? This lack of testimony, combined with everything else, is just too damning for Adnan, notwithstanding Jay’s sketchiness. I also can’t get over Adnan’s lack of hostility/anger/confusion/determination toward a clearly guilty Jay, which would clearly be the case of Adnan were innocent, as he would know for certain that Jay was guilty.
I’m not pinning anything on the Nisha call. Until a witness can come forward and tell us something reliable about how that call happened, it’s not data that can be meaningfully interpreted.
Adnan does not recall it happening. Nisha recalls a call that could not have occurred on January 13. Jay recalls a call that’s fifteen minutes longer then it should be; that occurred a half hour before it possibly could have been made; and was made from a location that the tower records suggest is unlikely to have occurred.
So what do we make of that? Given that (1) the person receiving the call does not remember it, and (2) there was no caller ID on a home phone so the person on the other end would have no easy way of knowing whose phone it was made from unless that person talked, there is nothing conclusive we can say about it. It’s odd, and I’d really like an explanation. But the Nisha call itself is not a basis for disregarding all the other evidence we have.
Not seconds. As much as a minute and fifty-nine seconds apart. And if Jay is burying a body in a very limited window of time, wouldn’t we expect him to call and arrange for his back up ride the very second he got a chance?
Sure. But that’s not evidence of anything.
First, your premises are wrong. There are witnesses who think they saw Adnan during those times. (Adnan’s father, Will, Asia, another classmate). The reliability of those reports is hard to judge for the exact same reason that Adnan’s own memories of that day are butty. It’s been six (or more) weeks.
Second, even assuming it was confirmed fact that Adnan did not have eye witnesses who could precisely vouch for his location for an entire hour and twenty-one minutes of that day, that’s still not evidence that Adnan killed Hae. It’s evidence that he had an opportunity. Now, how many other Woodlawn students would similarly be unable to account for that hour and twenty-one minutes? Scores, at least. Maybe hundreds.
Your assessment of this is based on about 15 minutes of recorded phone calls played in a podcast that is specifically geared towards telling a story. I would suggest not taking your conclusions about what Adnan has done and said over the past 15 years based on how his phone conversations have been edited for Serial.
First, the Nisha call indicates that Adnan, not Jay, had the phone.
Second, a mere two minutes separates the 6:59 and 7:00 calls. Seconds, minutes, whatever. One call made by Adnan and another by Jay less than two minutes apart. You’re pinning your theory on a very specific hypothetical detail – that Jay and Adnan made the calls right at the time Jay dropped Adnan off.
Third, none of those witnesses testified (did they?). None of those witnesses are very reliable. You’d think there would be at least a few people who could saw him SONEWHERE during the first two goes before track, and then the hour and a half after cathys. NOPE.
Fourth, when I listen to Adnan talk, he does not sound upset or angry at Jay. He has apologized for “all the pain that has been caused” at trial. If he is innocent, then he knows Jay is guilty. Nothing at all, nothing, had indicated that he believes Jay did it.
I’ve already addressed your first three points, but re: Adnan’s lack of anger: (1) you are incapable of evaluating another person’s emotions based on a few clips of them speaking in a podcast, and (2) I would encourage you to listen to the stories of people who have been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted, before you decide that Adnan’s reactions are “unusual.”
How someone responds to adversity or an apparent injustice is simply not evidence, one away or another, of whether they committed a murder.
The first three points require you to reach a far-fetched conclusion, rather than accepting the most likely case, in order to fit your theory.
Adnan has been asked by the host about how he feels, about how he feels toward Jay, about why he’s not angry or bitter. In this story we are hearif a variety of stories. Part of the effort in determining which story we are to believe is determining who we want to believe. This is what a jury does, when stories are contradictory. Who should we believe? This includes how the witness talks, looks, articulates himself, hesitates, gets emotional, etc etc etc. I stand by my statement – Adnan’s demeanor, and some of his answers, is extremely odd to me.
Just wanted to add this: If Adnan was expecting to see Yaser at the mosque, it makes complete sense that he and Jay would arrive there and then Adnan would place a short call to Yaser to the effect of, “Hey man. I’m here. You here? Oh, I see you.” At which point he gets out of the car and enters the mosque. Jay then immediately places a call as Adnan walks away. This doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
Jack (not to be confused with me I’m the original Jack here) – If that were the case, surely Yaser would have testified to such. And surely Adnan would have remembered planning and meeting someone for mosque.
Again, I’m pretty hung up on the fact that no one testified that they saw Adnan either (a) during the two hour time between school and track or (b) during the hour and a half period of time after cathys. The fact that NOT ONE PERSON testified to his location during this 3.5-4 hours of time is very fishy. I don’t need someone to account for ALL of Adnan’s time during those periods of time, but if he was somewhere other than with Jay and Mae during any point of that 3.5-4 hr period, the huge likelihood is that SOMEONE (probably multiple people) would have seen and remembered seeing him. Either at the Library, mosque, or elsewhere. But no, not a single person was able or willing to testify to such. This piece of evidence (or lack thereof) is just too weird for me to brush off.
Jack – multiple people told the police they had seen Adnan during that time, but his attorney never called them to stand. People from school, Yasser gave a testimony to police, etc. Also, people told police/Serial they saw Hae at the time she was supposedly being killed or already dead. If Adnan’s attorney did not call these people to the stand, that’s why they didn’t testify and as made clear by this week’s episode – she didn’t bother to contact them or put them on the stand.
Original Jack–let’s say that someone you talk to regularly/everyday at work is being charged with murder. Could you tell me right now what you and this guy did together on October 24th? Or 23rd? On just, what would be (as you’d expect), a normal work day or routine? You can recall with ease every thing he and yourself did on a typical day? Because other than for Hae and the killer, it’s a typical day for everyone else until they get the news that she is missing and still that’s not til way later in the day and prob not for a couple that you start being on high alert. I can tell you right now I have no idea what I was doing on a day 6 weeks ago. So anyone of my friends that committed murder then would be screwed if I was to have seen them that day…
“As much as a minute and fifty-nine seconds apart.”
Your math on the time distance between the two calls around 7pm is wrong.
The second call could not have been placed later than 92 seconds after the first call. And it could just as likely have been place merely seconds after the first call (in fact as little as 1 second later).
Or, on the way to the mosque, Adnan may have agreed to let Jay have the car while Adnan was at the mosque. The call to Yassir could have been on the way to the mosque and then Adnan hands the phone to Jay as they are driving to the mosque, at which point Jay makes the page to Jenn.
The big problem for Adnan, for me, is that at this point he doesn’t know what has happened to Hae, yet he doesn’t try to call her when he gets home? I can buy that he didn’t try in later days, but that night, I would think he would have wanted to check on her?
I absolutely agree with you on this point. In other forums people have mentioned the fact of Hae’s parents and the difficulty they had calling each other as a reason for Adnan not calling Hae. Serial mentions that Adnan called Hae 3x the previous day to give her his new cell phone number. Did he call her parent’s house or did she have a pager – what did he call? I feel like if he was able to call her 3x the day before, then he should have been able to call her once time to see if she was okay. Unless he knows that there is no point.
Someone on Reddit said Hae did have a pager. And that Adnan paged her on the 14th, but police never bothered to get records for any days other than the 13th for Adnan’s phone. Similarly police, prosecutors, defense attorney never subpoenaed records of Hae, Jay, or Jenn’s pagers for the 13th or any other days surrounding it! Which is so puzzling to me as that could have answered some serious questions. Not sure if it’s possible to get those records 15 years later or not? They also never looked into Don’s cell or pager records for the 13th or any other days.
Also, Adnan said severel times he was with friends who called Hae/paged her after her disappearance and multiple friends confirmed to police this occurred, including Krista, Stephanie, Aisha…
Susan – I have a theory regarding the “Nisha Call”. This likely has been brought up somewhere else already, but… What if it was Hae? Bear with me:
Nisha was on speed dial in Adnan’s phone, in the first slot. Further, the model of phone isn’t a flip phone. It is an old school phone with plasticy buttons outward. If Jay is struggling with Hae, strangling her, isn’t it entirely possible that the speed dial was activated during that struggle? Intentionally (by Hae, unable to even get a “911” off and so just jamming a button) or unintentionally (by Jay or Hae)?Other sources have pointed out that strangling someone to death is a long process, taking 4-5 minutes. Several sources point out that Hae was relatively athletic and strong, perhaps capable of mounting a decent defense. Also, there are two basic “steps” to strangulation as I understand it: first a loss of consciousness (can be relatively quick, i.e. ~10-20 seconds), followed by enough choking that the airway is blocked long enough to kill the victim. If the killer was not “practiced” in strangulation (a fair assumption, I mean how many people are experienced or even knowledgeable about the practical details of strangulation – most probably think of cartoony hijinks like Homer going at Bart), then the killer may have caused unconsciousness but not death, started to do something else thinking the deed was done, only to have Hae wake back up and attempt the Nisha call before the strangling continued.
In this theory the call either goes to VM or just keeps ringing (both of which start the cell’s time meter running). Heck, Nishant could have picked up and listened and simply heard nothing out of the ordinary but some scuffling sounds. We’ve all gotten presumed butt dials before and listened to the scuffle of the inside of a pocket for a couple mins before hanging up, just to eavesdrop. Particularly in the pre “locked” iPhone era of big phones with big mushy buttons this was common enough to be unremarkable — i.e. It might not even stand out in Nisha’s mind when questioned later.
Last point: the timing matches up. Assuming Jay and Jenn used that 3:45pm time story as an alibi because the murder happened at or just before that time, the timing of the “Nisha Call” might suggest a “struggle dial” immediately preceding or concurrent with Hae’s exact time of death. Thoughts?
I had wondered the same thing…
I’m so happy to hear someone else saying this. For me, the whole thing seems fairly clear, except that people react to the Nisha call as though its simply impossible to explain. It is impossible for us to know for sure, but I can think of any number of explanations that make more sense that this absurdity that is Jay’s testimony and the one that makes the most sense is that it was Hae herself.
I thought this too. Maybe she speed dialed #1 bc it’s all she could do, or thought #1 may reach his house or her house or someone who could help.
“I also can’t get over Adnan’s lack of hostility/anger/confusion/determination toward a clearly guilty Jay, which would clearly be the case of Adnan were innocent, as he would know for certain that Jay was guilty.”
This may be tough for a lot of us, but you can’t judge someone suspicious or guilty just because they appear to have inner peace / acceptance / resignation. Some people even manage to forgive. I think it speaks volumes to the notion that love and light is more powerful than hate. It’s a noble example.
How do you explain the locations of the cell tower pings to Hae’s phone on the 12th? http://www.reddit.com/r/serialpodcast/comments/2kocvz/cell_records_from_jan_12th_midnight_of_the_13th/
Wouldn’t they seem to indicate that the records are unreliable? Or do you really think Adnan was out cruising baltimore at midnight on a school night and his parents just didn’t mention it?
Adnan’s activities on the night of January 12th have never been discussed anywhere, to the best of my knowledge. The calls are consistent with him being out somewhere closer to downtown Baltimore that night, then returning home around 12:30 p.m. — nothing about that seems inherently implausible to me, and we just don’t have any evidence about whether Adnan was or was not downtown that night.
I would love to have more information about his activities on the 12th, but we simply don’t. Any assessment of the cell phone records has to be based on the data we actually possess, not speculation on facts we have no knowledge of.
I’m sure you have access to Adnan’s cell phone records for the next day, Jan 14. Where are those records? I’d like to see if there was activity documented after midnight. It’s entirely plausible there would be and that he was driving around after midnight on the 13th, since records seem to show he did that on the 12th. I know there was an icy rain storm that started at 3:30am that night, but I’m curious as to what his call records show between midnight-3am 1/14.
thanks for all of your dilligence, Susan!
I used to work with mobile phone networks. It was European 3G network so I’m not 100% familiar with Us 1999 technology however here my 2pence:
Celltowers in mobile networks are organised so that there cells that cover large areas that including areas where not a lot customer are as well as areas with lots of customers. The latter could be malls, stadiums or commuter roads. Since tower have capacity limits a large area cell may not be handle all the traffic from all areas with lots of customers. Therefore additional smaller area cell are added within the large area cell coverage area at malls, stadiums etc.
Now Note the numbering at the cells for the mysterious nighttime tour of Baltimore, they are 60x and compare to the higher numbers such as 651. I can’t now for sure but I suspect, knowing engineer, that there is a non random numbering scheme here and the 60x towers are large area cells and the others have smaller coverage. Therefore there were no nightime tour, and Adnans house was simply covered by these cells.
Thank you for all of your hard work helping to piece this puzzle together. You have offered by far the most plausible explanation of events. I’m wondering though if you could further speculate as to the nature of call #21. Assuming it is Jenn returning Jay’s page, that Adnan is at the mosque, and that Jay is in the middle if burying the body, who do you think Jenn spoke to? I agree that involving an unknown 3rd party accomplice makes little sense. But Jenn doesn’t seem to be lying about speaking to someone other than Jay at that point.
How do you account for Jay going back to get Adnan’s car after walking to the mall to meet Jen? Maybe I missed something, but I didn’t notice an explanation for that.
What would be more meaningful to the cell phone data is if we knew what base station was being used. Those are more localized and consistent than their tower counterparts.
Wow. Great read. You mam, have issues. LOL. I mean that as a compliment. lol
Thanks for the great post. I do think you’re being too dismissive of the people who point out that Adnan has said very little about Jay as a suspect. Yes, he apparently said one thing to one of his attorney’s staffers. Once. Even on the show, Adnan says his response when he heard Jay turned him in was basically, “Jay? I’m not close with him at all. It made no sense.” Not, “Jay said something because he had something to hide — he could have done it.” One little note in a gigantic attorney’s file doesn’t mean very much compared to Adnan to this day saying he was shocked and confused by what Jay did, because they weren’t close friends, and that he has no idea why he would do or say that. Again, you and others are (in my opinion) making way too much of a single note in a file. Adnan’s statements that he wasn’t close to Jay just beg the question of why he’d loan the guy his car and his phone, and then not remember doing so in the evening (since he claims to have had his phone with him when the phone was apparently by the park). Adnan’s stories just don’t make sense. To me the most likely scenario by far is that Adnan and Jay did this together somehow, and Adnan got his legs cut out from him when Jay turned him in. Adnan’s choices at that point were to tell the truth (and implicate himself), or claim he had no idea where any of this came from. “Jay? We’re just casual acquaintances. I have no idea why he would ever say stuff like this.” That’s the only explanation that makes sense to me, because it’s just too big a coincidence that they were getting high together the very day she died only an hour before she was buried. How could Adnan not remember they were together that day? Makes no sense. Anyway, I know you disagree, but you’re making way too much of a tiny note in a file, and Adnan himself has never said a thing (at least on the show) suggesting he thought Jay had a reason to do it.
You’ve listened to a few carefully edited episodes of a podcast, and you know what Adnan has said in his defense over the past 15 years?
Adnan was asked this question directly. Get over yourself. You think you have it all figured out but you don’t.
Holy hostility Batman. He was asked that question 15 years after he’s had time to come to terms with what’s happened to him. Like Susan has said, you don’t know what else he has said in the past 15 years regarding Jay and his involvement just by listening to a couple of podcast episodes. The one weird thing I will give you is that it’s odd that he acts like he wasn’t really friends with Jay.
Agree that we can’t judge his emotions and reactions over 15 years on a podcast. Re: downplaying friendship with Jay… I can’t help but think to episode 9 maybe where police were questioning Adnon with his parents present and he was downplaying his relationship with Hae too, but more to save face and not let his parents down due to their customs and beliefs. Girlfriends and drug dealer friends would be a big no no in his household.
I think in the very early stages, he was trying to protect himself from his parents finding out about these things – not worrying about defending himself from a murder charge. From his point of view (If he really had no involvement), he may have thought the police would figure it out and get to the real truth of the matter, and was more concerned with his parents at the time.
hi susan. what strikes me from the timeline is the simplicity of adnan response wrt the web weaved by jay….the story and cross story and recants. a liar needs more words. the story he tells just doesn’t make any sense and i have a real hard time just following what he says happened. it is so confusing. again….where and what is the tangible evidence that adnan did it? and also was there any evidence that jay could have been the killer? another thing that comes to mind…and granted it is only one bleep….but…his comment to his friend about experiencing pain and his readiness to inflict it on him…the frog thing is weird too. seems like jay has all the information about the murder…..and the scapegoat is adnan.
Adnan isn’t going to implicate Jay because he wasn’t there and doesn’t know what happened and he’s not going to point fingers at somebody without evidence. I’m sure he has suspicions but he’s choosing to focus on other things.
Sarah may have gotten him to open up about those suspicions but hasn’t played that piece of tape.
Exactly! Thank you! Sarah even said that she has her own theory of what happened but it wouldn’t be ethical to put it in the podcast without supporting evidence.
Yeah I thought about this too but frankly – if Adnan is a psychopath he would simply want to be out of prison.
If he confessed, showed remorse – said “hey she humiliated me and I lost my temper” or “it was a matter of honour” or “I was worried about my parents honour” etc, he would not be in prison now right ? Second degree murder, heat of the moment attack, he would be out on parole.
If he implicated Jay his sentence would have been reduced further right ?
So in reality Adnan is hurting himself by NOT confessing (I think)
I don’t see why he should have said Jay did it. He doesn’t know much more than the rest of us. He told the police that he didn’t know who would want to hurt her.
His mention of a motive for Jay to have done it was a suggestion to look into. His reaction, ‘we’re not even close’ fits someone surprised by being targeted, not an accomplice turning you on.
Why are you surprised that Adnan hasn’t staked him innocence on proving Jay did it?
Even if Adnan is innocent he is still self-interested enough to want his freedom. If he is innocent there are only two possibilities. (A) Jay did it. (B) Someone who is not Jay or Adnan did it. Why put your chance of freedom all on A. What if some evidence or testimony (real or fake) comes out to suggest Jay definately did not do it. If Adnan is innocent this isn’t a case of two people robbing a bank and arguing over which one was the shooter. This is an innocent guy suddenly finding out that a guy you lent your car is testifying that you murdered someone.
Before I read Jays testimony about the body I was actually unsure that Jay was involved at all… Afterall the smoking gun in the podcast is that Jay lead them to the car six weeks after it was found which sounds pretty farfetched. I think part of the reason I have reasonable doubt about Adnans guilt is beacause I have reasonable doubt about Jays invovlement… I don’t have to have a strong theory about what happened to be unsure that Adnan is guilty. Clearly, this strategy hasn’t worked yet (as he is still in jail) but it’s a valid strategy nonetheless.
You also need to understand that he is, and has been, in the middle of a very long legal battle/appeals process. He can’t just go out on a podcast that he knows is going to be heard by millions of people, and start voicing all sorts of opinions or yelling or cursing or accusing Jay, even if that is what he really feels. It would HURT him in the legal sense through his appeals process. He has to be very, very careful what he says. Maybe he is boiling inside, maybe he has just learned over the past 15 years to accept the things he can’t know or change, and made peace with his situation. But whichever way it goes, he has to keep a poker face on these interviews because of his appeals process. He knows that, Sarah knows that, his lawyers know that.
There is a Super Fresh directly next to Westview Mall, across Ingelside. There is another, west, in Ellicott City past a different part of patapsco than where the cliffs are. Just to clarify for you.
That’s a Safeway.
I’d just like to state that the evidence against Adnan is strong but not conclusive and it’s mostly, not entirely, based on Jay’s involvement. The only way in my mind Adnan is innocent is if Jay is the killer or Jay acted with someone else that was not Adnan and then pinned it one him. I’d need more motive then Hae confronting him over accusations of cheating, it’s not very strong motive, but people have been known to commit murder over fear of losing relationships so who knows and that be honest Hae had been dating Don for several weeks, Adnan had not come across as particularly upset in an out of the norm kind of way and as a matter of fact girls have come forward saying yeah I hooked up with him after the breakup, so I have my doubts about his motive. If Adnan is in fact the murderer he’d have to be a psychopath due to his lack of emotion towards killing Hae. Psychopaths are very charming and very good at manipulating real emotion i.e. His reaction when finding out Hae is dead is very typical grieving symptoms, however listening to him in interviews there are telltale signs that he does in fact feel emotions in the normal range of human behaviour, in ways that would be very hard to fake. Further more I don’t think he’d kill Hae over hurt feelings if he was a psychopath, because at best his ego would be a little bruised but no real angry would have been felt. The Nisha phone call in the middle of the day could be a cover up. After all the number was saved in the phone and it was nisha’s home number. Jay could have called to devert suspicion, and another family member may have answered and forgetting about the call by time the Nisha call come to light. We just don’t know. It may not seem plausible but it’s certainly not impossible. As for the lack of people to positively account for adnan’s where abouts in the time of the murder and burial of the body. If you asked me who was at work 6 weeks ago on the Friday I could not same for certain if all my work colleagues had been present or not. A wittness who’s not sure is as good as no witness, it can even be damaging. I was had to give police statements a number of times for various reasons and there really pressure amount how certain you were to the point you start to doubt your mind. I was attacked last year, the incident took place over a few minutes before I was able to fight of the attacker. I was asked that many times what he was wearing over a 48hr period straight after it happened, when first asked I thought he was wearing track suit pants by the last time I was asked I remembered the martial I bite on (I bite his courch to get away) was thick like cargo pants. Now if they’d caught that guy and he he could prove he wasn’t wearing the clothes I described that would work against me. So if a witness can not say with certainty they knew something it can hurt a case. If you’re use to seeing someone somewhere ie school, library, track practice, the mosque, then it becomes very easy not to recall with clarity if someone was there because you expect then to be there. What most witnesses have said was ‘I think he was there, I’m sure I’d notice if he wasn’t’ and when something becomes granted it becomes far more noticeable when that thing taken for granted isn’t happening eg if Adnan had not been where he normally should have been is actually far more noticeable and suspicious. If Adnan had strict muslim parents, just me they’d notice if he wasn’t home when he ought to be, unless he stuck out after making himself known. Of course his parents might cover for him regarding vouching his whereabouts but he’d have got in trouble before the discovery of Hae’d body and his friends would have known he was grounded etc. As for the 6:59 call that last only a few seconds, which could have been voicemail picked up (yass we was the only cell to be called?) could have been ‘hay yasser, you at the mosque?’ ‘Nah man not tonight’ ‘ok well I’m here see ya’. The contents of the conversation have not been bought up so it’s had to speculate, as for it not being investigated/bought up as alibi in the testimony for Adnan, it may be the police did investigate it but could not prove its value for their case and the defence again could not use it as reliable (if Adnan simply told yasser he was at the mosque but yasser was not there to verify this, then it is useless to the case, it’s heresay) Jay could have easily made a phone within 30/60 seconds after dropping Adnan off. its not remotely implausible or unlikely. The biggest hole in this theory is ihow did Adnan get back his car and phone and why would he not have remembered lending it to Jay for longer? If we are to mostly believe Jenn only lies to give Jay a stronger alibi and not because she is involved or her whole story is a lie, then how does Jay get the car/phone back to Adnan by 9? Wouldn’t you think if Jay was picked up by himself by Jenn at a strip and driving to where he left Adnans car and then they drove to drop off Adnan’s car that, even if Jay told Jenn Adnan killed Hae and that he [jay] was now involved but needed an alibi so that he didn’t get hit with more than his part in it, that she might have gotten really ais at the fact that Jay had ad and car later, without Adnan and that he had to drop it off? Idk seems unlikely. I guess another theory, which also has major holes in it is that Jay didn’t have Adnan’s car after Adnan went to the mosque but did have his phone? That maybe Jay left his door unlocked, took the phone without Adnan knowing and returned it later (you wouldn’t be allowed to have a phone in a mosque, even on vibrate) and that Jay used adnan’s phone while buring Hae, because a) it would implicate Adnan and b) because Jay needed to arrange a lift with Jenn and didn’t have his own phone. Now the holed there are, how’d Jay get back to Hae’s car and if Jenn isn’t lying about someone other then Jay answering the phone then who else was there? Maybe the same person who helped get Jay earlier in the day? Who left Jay after helping bury the body but didn’t take him home? But why and how did Jay get a hold of them? Was it prearranged that mystery person would get Jay from the mosque at 7? If so had would they know that Adnan would want to go there? A few other things to remember is that note that said I will kill her on it, the fact that Jay even had Adnan’s car and phone the same day Hae was murdered is unlikely to be a coincidence, its strange that Jay and Adnan were not very good friends but that Adnan lent his car and phone to Jay just to get his good friend a present, last point, even if Jay might sell and do drugs that wouldn’t make he a good candidate to help you cover up a murder – seems suss Adnan would want his help. Jays story has many holes in that make no sense, Jenn lied a number of times (trust me I was pissed at my ex on 2 of my birthdays and our anniversary and I remember all 3 occasions very well, if steph says she didn’t hear from her bf till 11:30, she’s remember it being that it was her bday and why would she lie? so Jenn and Jay are lying about his so what were they really doing in this time? while Jay wasn’t friends with nisha, Hae, etc his gf was friends with them and he’d have known them so it’s not entirely unreasonable that Jay would see Nisha’s number in the phone and call. Also if Jay had cheated on steph in the past he might be a bit of a player, he might of though Nisha was hot and wanted to hit on her, he may have come onto Hae and she rejected him. Man there are endless possibilities, what I do know is there is too many suspicious circumstances that point to a high likelihood that Adnan did it but not enough to not caused reasonable doubt and Jay’s story is riddle with lies and holes to the point it is extremely suspicious.
Pro-tip: Use page breaks
I’m doing this from my mobile phone, not the easierst format to type in. Paragraphing is the least of my concerns.
Cheers anyway buddy
I found the article on “white reporter privilege” by Kang to be a very interesting response to this set of podcasts. I’ve heard all of them this last week, and the thing that bothered me was indeed how Koenig seemed to imply several times that certain incidents between Adnan and Have were “just normal teenage stuff.” In certain episodes she mentioned that several times. I believe the fall dance was a pivotal moment and, for my money, is the motive. Hae’s diary suggest that she saw the interference of Adnan’s parent to retrieve him from the dance as a bunch of craziness she didn’t need to be involved with. To Adnan this was likely a very humiliating experience punctuated by Hae’s public response (a diss) at that moment. My upbringing parallels this scenario at Woodlawn almost to a “t”…..small magnet high school of geeky immigrant kids within a large black high school. Its one thing for Adnan to do things behind their back (such as dating/smoking weed/etc), its another thing to be publicly humiliated by and with your parents. Anyway, the fact that he never calls Hae’s number after the 13th of Jan speaks volumes…
I absolutely agree and by the way I’m a white girl with strict, authoritarian immigrant parents and me and my siblings grew up with the exact same problems as Adnan and Hae. Same problems – how to be somewhat “normal” while not disappointing family expectations, culture and traditions. For me the dance and the parents showing up is huge. Also Serial does mention that there is a note from Hae to Adnan telling him to get over the break up so it was way more of a big deal to him than he is saying now. I also find the fact he didn’t call her after or the night she went missing is very telling since he called her 3x the day before.
Jae and Adnan could also have used pagers to communicate with each other and with any other parties involved. Explains how they got a hokd of each other if there was no pay phone at Best Buy. Also possible that the call from Best Buy came from either a phone for sale inside Best Buy or maybe a phone borrowed from a customer at Best Buy.
It was stated somewhere in someone’s testimony or documents that Jay did not have a pager. Sorry, I don’t remember where I saw this, otherwise I’d reference it. Also, Jay’s statement to police said Adnan used the payphone outside the front of the Best Buy store to call him, though of course we know that most of what Jay has said is unreliable…
If he didn’t have a pager:
Lamest. Dealer. Ever.
Paragraphing might not be the least of your concerns but readability should be. Why are you making long posts if you don’t want anybody to be able to to read it? I was literally reading your post with interest but I couldn’t follow past the middle because of your lack of page breaks.
One thing about the Nisha call I don’t find it incriminating. What if Jay comes back to the H.S. and visit Adnan after calling Jenn at 3:21. Explains he needs the car for a little longer and that he will pick up Adnan after practice. If practice is at 4pm then Adnan could be at the library till 3:30, Jay stops by they smoke weed in the car either at school or more likely at the Best Buy, Adnan calls Nisha, then Jay drives Adnan back to practice. No evidence of Adnan calling anyone he knows till 3:30, and after that we don’t see him calling some he knows till 5:38 so that tells me that Jay had the phone till 3:30 that day, Adnan has it back briefly makes a call he has been waiting to make, then gives the phone back to Jay and doesn’t get the phone back till at least 5:15, this seems like track practice to me.
Problem is Adnan claimed vociferously to the cops that he didn’t get his phone back until after track practice. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
He says he didn’t have the phone until after track practice, and then he did have it. When he supposedly didn’t have the phone, only someone he knew was called (Nisha). Directly AFTER he admits having the phone, and had several phone conversations with multiple witnesses, the phone pings in the park where the body is buried.
Is it enough to convict him? Absolutely not. Is it very, very strong circumstantial evidence? Yes. Adnan’s supporters just gloss over these things, or come up with wild theories (such as yours above) that don’t match what Adnan said to police.
They REALLY smoke a lot of weed. Smoking before you kill someone, smoking after you kill someone, smoking before you have track practice??? Who the hell smokes weed before track practice??? That’s one of things I find most ridiculous about Jay’s story – Adnan killed someone, got high, then went to track practice. My there track team is terrible – but if it’s any decent program and Adnan was not thrower then the coach would definately remember him for his terrible performance that day.
I ran track in high school (4×100, hurdles and long jump) and don’t consider this to be far fetched at all. Track is an easy sport to participate in. Usually a big group warm up, stretching, etc for the first 15-30 mins. Then break into smaller groups by specialty. It’s very easy blend in and/or avoid conversing with people.
Adnan’s coach said he recalled a conversation they had that day about fasting because Adnan was fasting so he went easy on him at track practice. Which means he couldn’t have been smoking weed as that invalidates the fast so again Jay is lying.
I loved this! Such a great summary of what has been presented so far!!
Any theories on why Hae or Stephanie were never called that day with that phone?
Hae was called three times from the phone the night/early morning before her murder. I also thought it was odd that neither Jay or Adnan called Stephanie — tho it seems that Adnan might have just talked to her in school as they were close — no need for a phone. I could be wrong but I don’t recall cell phones being something that teenagers had easy access to in early 1999. I think I bought my first cell phone in 2,000 — but I was older than them.
This blog is the first one to lay out a theory that made me start to have real doubt about Adnan’s guilt. Then again, I was only working off of the edited clips and sound bytes from Serial.
The big problem for Adnan, for me, is that Adnan called Hae several times the night before the murder, but the night of the murder he never tries to call her once. He supposedly doesn’t know what has happened to Hae at this point, although he knows she was missing and the police talked to him so it could be serious, yet he doesn’t try to call her when he gets home? I can buy that he didn’t try in later days because his friends were doing that and they all talked so no need, but that night, I would think he would have wanted to check on her?
It would be mighty silly of him to think he will solve what the police couldn’t by a mere phone call. Don’t you think her family tried her phone!? Nor were they close at that point.
What is there to solve at this point? he did call her 3x the day before – they were still close. All they know the evening of the 13th is that Hae didn’t pick up her cousin. Most people would call once.
It might be that he’d called her only the night before to give her his new cell number. I can imagine that being an awkward call to make to the girl who’s just dumped you. “Oh hey. Just wanted you to give you my new cellphone number…[pause for her to be impressed that you’re a teenager with a cellphone, in 1999]…so, uh, you know. Give a call if you need anything.”
You’d feel pathetic enough, without also calling her the next day, “uh…you know…just to check you’re okay and stuff.” Strong incentive to let someone else do the checking.
He called her 3x the day before to give her his new cell phone number
A few people all just bought up the fact that Adnan called Hae 3 times the night before but not the day she went missing, first look at how long those calls lasted. Only one I believe was of significant time. The others might have been hang ups because the family answered.
Second, does Hae have a cell phone? Not many people did back then, it was most likely her home phone. Remember it was mentioned that they would message each other (I think via Internet messanger/maybe a pager) to let the other know it was ok the call, I’d say that’s a good indicator Hae did not have a cell phone and what’s the point in calling her HOUSE if she’s not there? Do we know she had a pager? If she did, do you think her ex knowing her family, friends and police were looking for her, knowing she has a new boyfriend, would think he’d have anymore luck? Like Adnan would be thinking ‘Won’t respond to best friends contact attempts but might response to mine?’ Please people be realistic! It does make sense.
Thirdly: if I just killed someone and there were reported missing and I was someone who was likely to contact them I would! I would call every bloody day so when the cops show up on my door asking questions I can say I had no way to know they were dead that’s why i KEEP calling in hope…and trust me when I say i was the opposite of an honour students so if I can think that intelligently don’t you think Adnan would have?
Hae’s pager was lost. Since that was their usual method of communication how do we know he didn’t. In the serial interview he said he doesn’t remember he must have. When people are grieving they don’t remember anything during that period. Someone very close to me passed away. My mother years later told me that I stopped eating anything for 6 weeks. I have no recollection of this.
It’s all subjective.
Yep, I agree
Take yourself back in time 16 years to the time when most phone calls were to places, not to people. Why would Adnan call the land line to her home that night? That’s the one place he knows that she isn’t. Nobody thinks she’s dead. Why would he do that? Hae is never going to pick up that phone. His mother doesn’t know him. What is he supposed to say? Of course he’s getting his information from Hae’s friends who are in touch with his mother. He cannot call her directly. And before you fuss, the calls the day before all happened midnight, at a time he knew she would be there, probably using the system with call waiting, and the repetitions are probably because it took a few times to coordinate properly.
She didn’t have a phone, only a pager and a home phone, so he knew she would never answer unless she was already safely at home.
Adnan doesn’t remember if he called. He does remember friends calling when they were all together. His phone records for after the 13th were not pulled. His home phone records weren’t either (the number she would have actually recognized on her pager). Her pager records were not pulled. Did Adnan call her? We don’t know. We know he didn’t call her on his cell that day, but he was super high and then had to go to Mosque. That he didn’t call after could be suspicious, but proof of guilt? If Jay could tell a consistent story without the help of cell records maybe something conclusive could be determined about Adnan.
You have to remember, this is 1999. She didn’t have a cell phone. He would have to had called her house. If she’s missing, why would you call someone’s house to see if they are there? They obviously aren’t home, or their parents wouldn’t have the police out looking for them! Her parents didn’t know about Adnan, so calling and talking to her parents about what’s going on wouldn’t have been something he would have done. I don’t find it suspicious at all. And, afterwards, mutual friends of both Adnan and Hae’s were paging her, with no response. Adnan knew about all of this because they had the same friends. If she wasn’t returning her friends pages, he probably didn’t think she’d return his.
You have to remember Hae’s family didn’t want Hae dating. If Adnan would have called her house that night to see if she was home, how do you think that would have gone? Either if she had returned home and he called, let alone if he had called and she wasn’t home. Probably not good!
interesting question about stephanie… when was her birthday? why wasn’t jay with her? wasn’t it her birthday?
Her birthday was Jan. 13, the day of the murder. She was at school all day so Jay couldn’t be with her, and then I think it was said she had a basketball game after school and then a dinner with her family. Supposedly Jay was not someone the family approved of, so don’t think he was invited, though Jay and Jenn say that Jay stopped by Stephanie’s house later that night (11 pmish) after the burial so that he could say happy birthday to her, chat with her a bit and also presumably warn her to not talk to Adnan anymore.
It was Jay’s birthday on 12th Jan (day before the murder). The detectives confirm this with Jenn and Jay in their first statements as a date of reference. I wonder if they all hung out the night before
I’m of the opinion that Jay is guilty as sin, and this fantastic post only supports this. This is the most detailed, useful post of any Serial-related site.
With that said, there are two questions that need to be mentioned, (and have already been asked here). Do we have any answers to these:
1) Only Adnan’s dad testified that he was at mosque? Or was it that we just don’t have any record of others’ testimonies about this?
2) Adnan knowing Jay was guilty of something is just so obvious, let alone the feelings of shock and betrayal – this is assuming that Adnan is innocent, of course. I don’t think the podcast covers this question much at all. Is there more info about Adnan’s feelings about Jay that have just not made it into the podcast yet?
These two points, I feel, are quite significant. Neither erases the complete lie-fest that Jay is involved in, but without some answer to these questions, I feel it is hard to understand Adnan’s version of this story.
Adnan’s version makes no sense. And the fact that he was with Jay an hour before the body was buried (even according to the timelime above) is pretty damning circumstantial evidence.
I don’t think Adnan should have been convicted, and I also believe Jay was involved in the murder. But I personally believe there’s no other explanation that makes sense given all the facts except that he was involved.
Apparently you’re not allowed to have that opinion here or you’ll get attacked and talked to like you are an idiot. Oh well. That’s what people do when they don’t have answers.
When you say “except that he was involved” is “he” referring to Adnan?
Remember that when you say “all the facts” it’s more likely that you mean “Jay’s story”.
Jay’s story makes no sense, either, and he had the benefit of cell phone records to adjust his story over time, and the benefit of detectives who humored his inability to tell a consistent story in order to get the guy they believe really did it, in spite of a serious lack of evidence.
This blog seems to be a exercise in logic, and the author even says Adnan isn’t necessarily innocent, but that the evidence isn’t enough to prove anything. Namely, the things we do know for a fact are slim, but conclusive: that jay was involved, that jay already borrowed adnan’s car that day, that jay called his alibi several times when he was supposed to be at her house and also while Hae was likely killed, and that Jay and Jenn cannot get their stories straight at all.
If you read her other posts it all makes so much sense. Maybe, just maybe, Adnan did it. But the “coincidences” connecting Adnan are not nearly as far fetched as they seem, especially when you look at the chain of events after Hae’s body was found. In fact, Jay started out lucky in that the police already suspected Adnan, and that when they called in Jenn (because of all the calls at that key time when Hae disappeared) she had the presence of mind to deny until she could talk to Jay and lawyer up. Only then did she mention Jay, and then Jay accuses Adnan.
Plenty of people were willing to testify that Adnan was at mosque. Neither CG or the State were interested in the standing, presumably this was because it was uncontested that he was at mosque (it was Adnan’s alibi and it was weaved into Jay’s story).
I appreciate this analysis and comments. After immersing myself in the details, I have now taken a step back to get a wide-angle view. Here is my thought: Adnan’s story is simple; Jay’s is complicated. From Adnan’s perspective at the time (we have to remember to consider their statements in context, not with the benefit of hindsight) was all about normalcy: library, track, hang-out/get high, [not normal calls about police inquiries and call with cop], mosque, home. Jay’s perspective, at least from about 2:30pm on, is all about freaking out: he had to concoct a story, then constantly re-arrange it as other things arose. The fraught, complex nature of his story is telling; the dull, simplistic nature of Adnan’s is also telling (and good reason for not remembering stuff except for the call from the cop–that stood out). Susan’s timeline presented here works. The State’s (Jay’s) timeline–the myriad versions contradicted by facts and testimony–does not.
One small detailed comment about Adnan’s normal day: it wasn’t completely normal, in that he had just gotten a cell phone. This would’ve been pretty cool, I would think. Him lending it to Jay is in keeping with his character, especially in combination with the reason given. He was so nice–enabling his bf’s boyfriend to get her a present would have a been a great use of that new phone, from his perspective. (I will say, I think the real reason he initially reached out to Jay wasn’t about the present, it was to buy weed. Then when they met up, the topic of Steph’s bday came up, and he was like, hey, take my car–get her something. I don’t think he was close enough to Jay to call him up and be like, You gotta get her a present… that doesn’t work for me.)
Not that it’s related to the murder case one way or another, but that’s what I assume to. Adnan was calling Jay so that he could go smoke during his free period, and during all that he was like, “By the way, dude, go get your girlfriend a birthday present.”
In several of Jay’s versions of events on the day of Hae’s murder he has Adnan and himself stopping to get food at various locations: The mall, McDonalds, etc. Adnan claimed he was fasting all day for religious reasons. Did police ever check to see if any of these were true? ATM receipts? What about the charm bracelet Jay bought for Stephanie — surely there was a receipt; camera in a jewelry store, etc.
Seems odd that Adnan would be fasting and smoking weed AND also running track on an empty stomach — but it’s all possible. The last class Hae had on the day she died was a class she shared with Adnan. It ended at 2:15pm. Where did Adnan tell Hae he needed a ride to? Did he give Jay his car so the need for a ride would be more believable?
Someone please solve this murder — I have a ton of work to do and this case is too distracting.
PS – MAIL CHIMP!
I don’t know about smoking weed and doing track on an empty stomach but I do know that there is a famous Australian football player who would play games/go to practise whilst fasting. That being said being stone dries your thoart, makes you thirsty and gives you the munchies. Now I’ve know muslims who will fast all day but go out drinking and having pre-married sex at night but idk seems pointless to get stone during Ramadan if you’re going to bother with the fasting.
I didn’t get the impression that Adnan was fasting but that his father was, that’s why Adnan brought him food from home for after his prayers. I could be wrong, but that’s what I remember…
This was a fascinating read. Thanks for taking the time and energy to put this together!
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Your Nisha call red herring is the same one Sarah Koenig seems to be referring to, but after reading your timeline I’m wondering if the following speculation isn’t valid?
From other’s comments to Serial, we know that Hae was seen alive around 3pm. We also know from the cell records the phone was near Woodlawn at that time.
The Nisha (3:32pm) call actually was a “butt dial” of sorts….it happened during the struggle and Hae’s strangulation.
It happened during the murder, possibly during the struggle the phone was bumped, pressed or was grabbed by Hae, etc. and it rang for an extended period of time and was not answered while she was being strangled to death. A lot has been made of Nisha as the first saved number on the phone and the most likely to be accidentally dialed.
But it being a 2:22 butt dial seems unlikely, while also the butt dial itself seems unlikely unless it was during a struggle. The timing for it being during the murder would be about spot on, perhaps she saw Jay or recognized Adnan’s car and may have confronted him about the supposed cheating or something else.
I now believe the Nisha call was an unanswered butt dial. Surprised SK did not find this info: http://www.reddit.com/r/serialpodcast/comments/2nkcwa/could_the_nisha_call_have_been_a_buttdial_even_if/
It just seems that Jay and Jenn are awfully close friends and I got a feeling they are a lot closer than that. Was Hae close friends with Stephanie? Could Hae have told Jay that unless he ended the relationship with Jenn she was going to tell to Stephanie? Maybe Stephanie was a source of income to Jay or maybe he feared that Stephanie would out his drug dealing to the police if she became aware of his “steppin’ out”? Jay is at Jenn’s around 1:30 pm. Maybe the 2:36 call was Hae calling Jay to say “meet me at Best Buy we have something to talk about”. Hae makes the threat and Jay loses it and strangles her to death.
So with Hae dead and her body in the trunk of the car, Jay stashes the car at the park-n-ride. He calls Phil. They talk for awhile and Phil agrees to help bury the body. However Phil can’t give him a ride. He next calls Patrick’s and gets a ride back to Best Buy to pick up Adnan’s car. There’s likely a drug deal involved so Patrick’s memory of this ride is it never happened. Jay picks Adnan up from track practice at 5 pm.
Jay calls Jenn and she is home so he goes over to hang out. Jay gets the call to pick up Adnan from track and leaves to get him. Next Jay and Adnan show up at Cathy’s and all happens as Cathy describes it.
Adnan and Jay go to the Mosque at 6:59 pm. Jay has already killed Hae earlier in the day and the body is in Hae’s car’s trunk with shovels he previously picked up using Adnan’s car Earlier Jay has arranged for Jenn to pick him up at the park near the mosque because Adnan needs to be there at around 7 pm. After arriving at the Mosque. Adnan calls Yasir and then hands the phone to Jay. Jay pages Jenn at 7:00 pm ( I’m presuming that Jenn’s pager receives text and/or voice messages) as says “I’m on the way. Jay keeps the phone but Adnan’s car stays at the mosque. Jenn is already at the park near the Mosque.
Jenn picks up Jay and takes him to Hae’s car. Jay jumps in and heads to Leakin Park. Jenn calls at 7:16 to ask what’s going on. Phil answers and then hands the phone to Jay. Jay says sorry I can’t talk now but I need to be picked up at Westview Mall around 8 pm. Jay buries the body in Leakin park and then drives Hae’s car over to Westview mall. Jay ditches the shovels there but forgets to wipe the handles clean. Jay pages at 8:04 and says come get in front of X store. A minute later another page “sorry make it Y store”. Jay arrives in Hae’s car. Jay says that Adnan had killed Hae but he had to take care of the body out of fear for this drug dealing being outed. Jenn (in her car) and Jay take Hae’s car over to Edmunson. They drop Hae’s car there. On the way back Jay remembers he forgot to wipe the handles of the shovels and they stop by Westview mall to take care of that. They next swing by the Mosque and leave the phone in the car (Jay has a spare set of keys?). Jenn takes Jay home. Adnan doesn’t remember the phone being out of his control. Services end around 9 pm and Adnan calls Nisha.
This makes as much sense as the prosecution’s story.
Jay was very protective of steph, he could have been cheating and still wanted to be with steph so he didn’t need to be using her for something for the cheating/afraid of losing her scenario to play out. Also possibility that Jay did hit on Hae and she rebuffed him.
It also strikes me as VERY strange that Jay called Jenn at home four times that day between 12:00PM and 4:12PM, yet during the critical hour when he was supposedly burying Hae with Adnan, and Jenn was supposedly at home, Jay PAGED Jenn three times:
12:07 – Call to Jenn’s house (0m21s)
12:41 – Call to Jenn’s house (1m29s)
03:21 – Call to Jenn’s house (0m42s)
04:12 – Call to Jenn’s house (0m28s)
07:00 – Call to Jenn’s PAGER (0m23s)
08:04 – Call to Jenn’s PAGER (0m32s)
08:05 – Call to Jenn’s PAGER (0m13s)
It’s almost as if Jenn is *not at home* and Jay *knows* Jenn is *not at home*.
And FWIW, and Susan’s Additional Note at the end of her discussion of Call 24 notwithstanding, even in the best light, by her own admission Jenn knowingly helped Jay destroy evidence (clothes and boots, though it is also easy to argue that she knew she was helping Jay destroy evidence when she drove “Jay back to Westview Mall to the dumpsters back there so that Jay can retrieve the shovels and wipe the handles clean in case of fingerprints”) of her friend’s (or at least her acquaintance’s) murder. I’m not sure giving Jenn any kind of benefit of the doubt–by assuming she was just trying to help her innocent friend–is warranted. It should have been clear to everyone involved at the time of Jenn’s police interviews that she had committed at LEAST one very serious felony, and since that time, it has become clear (see http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquirySearch.jis for details) that Jenn is anything but a sympathetic character. It’s also clear that Jenn’s association with Jay runs far deeper than just being Jay’s friend (see http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=112052011&loc=69&detailLoc=DSK8 and http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=112052012&loc=69&detailLoc=DSK8).
This suggests to me Jenn may have been more substantially involved in the burial than she admitted to, and may have even participated directly in the burial, if not the murder itself. This would also explain why Jenn lawyered up immediately.
Thank you; this is what my instincts have told me all along. Jenn is up to her neck in all this, and has lived an underachieving life since as a result. Why has there not been more focus on Jenn, by Serial or anyone else, I wonder?
Those links to the cases are all brocken suddenly. I guess no one wants us to know the truth about Jenn.
I can pull up the list of her criminal offenses, but not look at each individual case …
Since Jay drove Adnan to the mosque it was he who would park the car. The phone was left in the car. If Jay decided to run off with the car knowing Adnan won’t be looking for it, Adnan still had no idea that someone else had the phone.
From one sound bite of the trial it seems that the lawyer was trying to pry out of Jay that he was afraid messing up his relationship. I noticed that when questioned about his fright of being caught cheating, he fumbled a bit before answering.
I have a real hard time understanding how we convict a person based on availability for motive. In fact, being that Adnan, a recent x boyfriend is such an easy target, that alone makes it less believable and only more likely that after choosing him they tried filling in the blanks.
Adnan and Jay could have driven to the park near the Mosque. They make the 6:59 and 7:00 phone calls and Jay keeps the phone. Adnan drives the car to the mosque. Or as you point out Jay basically steals the car from the mosque and he already has the phone or he gets lucky and the phone is in the car. Jay stealing the car might make more sense than Jenn driving Jay to Hae’s car as it would require less involvement and required lying on Jenn’s part.
Or maybe Haes car is just there, across the street, in the best buy parking lot? Jay gives “the so stoned he can’t drive” Adnan his cars keys, but doesn’t lock his car. He takes the phone, calls Jenn to make sure he has a pickup and then of he goes. We will never know, but there are so many option when you leave out everything Jay says.
Would have been easy enough for Jay to make a copy of the keys and then take the car, knowing that Adnan would be in mosque and not looking for it. That would explain why Adnan says he did not give Jay the car or phone at that time.
This makes so much sense. I think this is the closest to the truth we will get. Very well done, it must have taken ages!
Adnan called Hae several times the night before the murder, but after she is murdered he doesn’t call once? He didn’t call that night after the mosque to find out if she is OK despite the fact he knew she was missing in the day and talking to the police about it?
That is the troublesome fact that makes me question Adnan.
He called Hae twice the night before, first time she was busy, second time to give her his number. Between being stoned and going to the mosque he may have forgotten and thought she’d returned home by that stage, or as everyone mentioned that she’d ran away. Don’t forget none of her friends thought much of Hae being missing for 3 weeks. Also if Adnan is as bright and cunning as some might paint him, the best alibi for murdering someone that you’re not meant to know is dead, would be to call them. Maybe if Adnan had tried calling Hae no one would suppect anything and of his smart he’d know that so he’d call even though he knew she wouldn’t pick up.
It would actually be very silly of him to think he would solve it all with a phone call. Don’t you think her family and police would think of trying her phone?
Hae didn’t have a cellphone (or correct me if I’m wrong). It’s repeated several times that cellphones weren’t a big thing yet and Adnan’s phone was brand new, that he would call her when she was already on the line, etc.
Calling Hae would amount to calling her parents — why would you do that when you know that she’s missing, and clearly not hiding somewhere in her own home?
Her boyfriend Don never calls her either.
You would think a guilty Adnan WOULD have a detailed story of the events of that day. If you did kill someone you would think you’d come up with some kind of story. He can’t fabricate an alibi without someone else’s help, but you would think he would have come up with something, or you would think he would have clung on more to Asia’s library story, though you would have also expected an innocent Adnan to jump on that as well.
I love the timeline and most of it seems to tell a far more likely scenario than any of the witnesses. Here are a couple things that still trouble me:
1) What is Jay’s motive? I don’t believe that “she’s going to tell my girlfriend I’m cheating” is the link to murder. There’s a lot more avenues that he more than likely would have taken, such as telling his girlfriend that Hae was lying to be spiteful, or that she was trying to hurt Adnan, or any other teenage reason that kids gossip. Even if Hae and Jay end up in the same place at the same time on Jan 13th between 2:30 and 3:15 and she says, “well hey there you POS, I’m telling your girlfriend your cheating”, one thing is clear, it’s broad daylight, the killer was more than likely in her car (why would Hae let him in her car?) and he’s a black man who doesn’t flee the scene, but either drives her car to a place and puts her in the trunk, or does it wherever he kills her. I don’t know, man. All of Jay’s testimony and behavior is weird but I can’t get murder from it. Every Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours,etc., you always here a defense attorney say, “Yes my client is having an affair, and coincidentally bought life insurance on his wife, and has search results on his computer mapping the location the body was found, but that doesn’t mean he’s a murderer!” Of course you roll your eyes and laugh at the defense attorney’s weak attempt to explain that. But motive for Jay…there wasn’t a pattern of dislike or confrontations between Hae and Jay. His girlfriend was a good friend of Hae and he’d have no way of knowing if she had already dropped hints, or warned her about his shady character, or, for that matter if Hae even cared at all. I need a sleuth better than I to tell me WHY Jay killed Hae. Seems like everyone has been quick to yada, yada, yada their affiliation into motive.
2) Has anyone considered the fact that as time drug on and Hae hadn’t come home, her brother could have been the one to call police anonymously to say, “please take a closer look at her ex-boyfriend.” What if Hae had confided to him that Adnan seemed jealous (not saying he was or that he’s guilty)? No one knows what the nature of the accent was, correct? What if it was just her brother hoping it lead somewhere? He knew Adnan’s friend’s names, surely. Just seems likely to me, and because it lead to Adnan’s eventual conviction, why would he ever talk about it again?
First we find out who did, then we worry about why. Not the other way around.
If you want a glimpse at Jay’s motive, like all his other statements, switch ‘Adnan’ for ‘me’. He says that he asked Adnan that even though he didn’t like her but why did she deserve to die. And Adnan supposedly answered that to stand there so cold hearted she deserved it.
That is not a description of Adnan’s supposed feelings. Not the ‘didn’t like her’ and not standing cold hearted. It would match a threat to reveal something Jay wouldn’t want her to.
Great read, I can’t get enough of this case!
Here are my 2 cents on why the mosque theory makes sense. It was Ramadan so Adnan would have likely been to the mosque everyday that week (which is why no one specifically alibi’s him bc it would have been the norm). I think the 7:16 call was Adnan to Jay telling Jay that he wanted to be picked up from the mosque (maybe he was only dropping off food for his dad and not supposed to be there long), which also could explain the foreign arabic-like voice Jay describes because it could have been in the background of a call from the Mosque. And then later, Jay picks Adnan up and Adnan drops Jay off at the mall with Jenn waiting, explaining why Adnan was calm and friendly to Jenn in the mall parking lot only an hour after Hae’s body was buried.
Forgive me if I’m showing a lack of knowledge about Arabic, but supposedly Adnan can’t speak “Arabic or any similar languages”, but he wrote this letter to Rabia from prison:
Is that not Arabic, or similar language, writing? If it is, either he can write it and not speak it (seems unlikely), he has since learned it in prison, or he was lying when he said he couldn’t speak it.
It could be Urdu, the native language of Pakistani. Urdu isn’t arabic but to someone who didn’t know what they were looking at it could be mistaken for Arabic. As for the way it sounds, well I’m not certain I’ve every heard either spoken to know but again it might be mistaken as the same language as parts of Urdu are based on Arabic words. I did find it hard to believe that Adnan would not know Urdu or pushton as his parents would have spoken it but not being from an non English speaking back ground I don’t know the likelihood that someone wouldn’t know their parents navie tongue. Despite that it could be Arabic because as its been mentioned several times since being improsioned he has committed himself to Allah, which means being well advesre in the quran which can only ever truely be appreciated in its full beauty when in Arabic so it makes sense that Adnan would later learn Arabic though his conversational Arabic is probably not that crash hot because basically they learn the verses of the Quran by memory, so also very possible he still doesn’t know Arabic but knows the verses of the Quran well enough to write it and know what it means (the letter is a vested of the Quran btw). Also I don’t even think it’s imcrimnating if he did speak Arabic/Urdu because Jay was actually racial profiling by his statement, oh there is a muslim he must know Arabic, if he’d know Adnan well he’d know Pakistanis don’t soeak arabic, so sounds more like bs but if it’s not bs and Jay heard adman speak a foreign language on the day of Hae’s murder, look at the call logs, when was that call likely to have happened? Not in leakin park, when I believe was the time Jay claimed this, because all those calls were Jay related, it would have been in the time Adnan admits to being with Jay.
Just to comment on your thought above – “I did find it hard to believe that Adnan would not know Urdu or pushton as his parents would have spoken it but not being from an non English speaking back ground I don’t know the likelihood that someone wouldn’t know their parents navie tongue.”
– I think that would completely depend on the parents. My dad grew up with two parents from China, who spoke Chinese exclusively to each other, but did not speak Chinese to any three of their children. Subsequently, despite being raised by them, my dad does not speak or read a lick of Chinese, except for a few food-related words and holiday-related words (like Happy New Year, etc.). So, that wasn’t surprising to me at all.
Urdu uses Arabic script but does not sound like Arabic. Just as Romanian is written with Latin (‘English’) letters but sounds nothing like English.
Unless Adnan was a devout Muslim and attended Koranic school since childhood, it’s quite unlikely that he would speak any Arabic; attendance at Koranic school would likely only have developed his reading (and maybe writing) skills in Arabic. Spoken Arabic would have been limited to reciting verses, but not enough to carry a conversation.
As for Pashtu or Urdu or any other ‘Arabic-sounding’ language (see paragraph 1, also), Adnan may or may not speak any language from Pakistan, depending (as another commenter mentioned) on his parents’ preferences.
Either way, without specific evidence to confirm, I bet it’s unlikely that the language in question – assuming Jay is telling the truth, which is a HUGE assumption at this point – was Arabic. In fact, I’d bet that tidbit of information was made up to further ‘foreignize’ poor Adnan and says more about his accuser’s bias (and ignorance) than it does about anything else.
It is Arabic, Adnan memorized the Qur’an while in prison (according to Rabia’s blog). A lot of Muslims will attempt to memorize portions of the Qur’an but that does not mean that they speak Arabic.
Actually, most practicing non-arab muslims CAN read arabic but CAN’T speak or understand it. It sounds weird, but is similar to Japanese. You can learn the letter system and understand the sounds each letter makes without knowing what words they spell out. Also, you can tell by how the letters have pronunciation vowels on top that he is not a native speaker and he simply copied the verse from the Quran he was looking at. It’s just like tracing a drawing.
There are a few mistakes in the writing of the note that show that he is copying it straight out of the Qur’an and not completely understanding what he is writing. Anyone who has written Arabic script more than a few times will know that certain letters are connected together that are not connected above (the ain should connect to the alif in the second word, for example). It looks a lot like how my colleagues and I would write in Arabic after a month or so of studying it.
That’s arabic, but it’s a quote from the quran that he most likely just copied.
The Quran that all Muslims study is written in Arabic. All Muslims learn that Arabic to whatever degree their devotion to the religion is. It’s not a modern commonly used version of Arabic that is used today. Many many Muslims can quote, read and write passages from the Quran, much the same way Christians do with the King James version of the Bible, and not be able to speak or understand modern Arabic fluently.
Muslims pray in the Arabic language. Many Muslims can write and read and recite Arabic, but not necessarily speak it, except a few phrases here or there. I am one of them.
However, Muslims greet each other in common Arabic phrases they know and practice daily. However, that does not mean they are conversant in Arabic – Arabic is a pretty tough language to learn.
The above seems to be a verse from the Quran that was copied with the English translation below. Most Muslims can do that, but they cannot necessarily speak Arabic.
That’s a verse from the Quran that he probably copied with the translation. Most immigrants from Pakistan learn to read it but don’t need to speak it.
Also Rabia choudry mentioned that he has found religion in prison which happens to also of in mates.
Great post! One question that you did not address, that I’m curious to hear your opinion on: what did Adnan need a ride for? Given that multiple sources, including Adnan himself at some point, said that he asked for a ride – yet, he didn’t seem to go anywhere after school before track – what was this ride for? Why did he no longer need it?
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This was exhaustive I can’t imagine the work that was put into it! The only problem is a bit of blinders as far as Jay = the only suspect. You can’t weigh a situation as evenly if you leave out the possibility of Adnan’s guilt. Sure you said ‘he could be guilty’ but it doesn’t seem like the overall approach actually believes this.
I say that because from Jay’s multiple inconsistencies I’ve taken a few things away: 1) he knew beforehand of Adnan’s intentions and agreed to help- just not with the actual crime- he wouldn’t touch her car or her body 2) he was acting strangely at Jen’s waiting for that call because he knew what was planned 3) he left immediately to go and help Adnan dispose of the car and body only the two of them bumbled about half the day trying to figure it out. It’s possible Adnan went to mosque then they buried the body even later, since Jay said ‘back’ to Leakin Park it doesn’t really matter if Adnan was there or not to be guilty. Remember they drove around all afternoon scouting out places to hide the body.
Jay’s story changes so much because who can keep track of two cars and two people who were together much more often then he has to let on to stay as innocent of a crime as possible? The only thing Jenn has done is agreed to say Jay was at her house when he wasn’t.
Can I sum up your post for you:
“Wow this was so great! I’m just bothered that it undermines Jay’s credibility and makes him look suspicious. I mean, why should we question Jay’s credibility? The entire case rests on what he says. Look at the things he says! I believe him.”
Jay’s credibility is awful of course, but it’s worth looking at like there is truth to pull out of it because most people lie with a grain of truth to make a believable story. What I should have said is there are certain consistencies within the inconsistencies that could point to what really happened.
Why question Jay’s credibility?? Cos he lied over and over and over again even admitted that in each trial.
And so far he is the only one admitting to seeing Hae’s dead body, and disposing of shovels and incriminating evidence belonging to him alone
Put these two facts together, and what do you get? Jay was actually at Jenn’s house from 4:12pm to 5pm, and the reason Jay was acting strangely was because he knew that Hae had just been murdered.
That also explains why Jenn’s little brother was home and playing video games with Jay, like Jay claims. The little brother would have been at school if Jay had gone over to Jenn’s house at 12:30, like he testified at trial.
This was excellent and strongly implies that Jay murdered Hae and when, and Jenn creating an alibi for him.
Jay looks to have been a police informant before this case, he knew how the game was played (the cops would provide him the story to convict Adnan) and the police providing him a lawyer and then no jail time.
Adnan immediately blamed Jay, the podcast is edited snippets of a long case.
After reading the transcript of Jenn’s taped statement to the police I have to say I have sympathy for her. Jay sucked her in to this for the sole purpose of attempting to corroborate his story. If Adnan and Jay have Adnan’s car at the time of the burial why was there any need for Jenn to be involved? – they do not have transportation problems!!! So Jenn’s presence that night at Westview mall is for the sole purpose of Jay involving Jenn to corroborate his story – the best defense is a good offense. Was Adnan really at Westview mall? maybe, maybe not. If he was actually there that’s potentially a big problem for Adnan unless Jay drug him there just to be seen by Jenn. Per her testimony Jenn is very close to Jay. She loved him as a friend to the point in her words that she would trust him with her life. Would she lie about Adnan being there especially after Jay does a run through to get their stories straight the day after??? In her statement she says that Adnan answered the phone when she calls at 7:16 (probable burial in Leakin park. But in her trial testimony she says that it was an older man with a deeper voice. In two occasions she says that she never talked to Jay on that call. But in another she says that was when Jay said he would need a ride from Westview Mall. Jay says he didn’t help bury Hae. But he has to return to Westview mall to wipe Adnan’s fingerprints from the shovels??? Jenn tells Jay that there were camera’s on the roof at Best Buy. Jay’s first statement to the police is the murder took place elsewhere. But when that timeline doesn’t hold up he says the murder was at Best Buy. Asked why he says he was worried about camera’s – was worried they saw the murder. Why would he worry about camera’s if they saw Adnan and Hae there??? But a huge problem if it shows Jay and Hae there. At some point in Jenn’s statement she says that Jay told her he never wanted Stephanie to talk to Adnan again or Adnan to Stephanie again. Did he feel this way before or after the murder? He tells Jenn multiple times that Adnan is going to get caught. Life plus 30 solves the Adnan/Stephanie problem.
Nevertheless is there a possibility Adnan is really guilty – sure. But seems like there is lots of room for reasonable doubt.
Here’s the thing, Adnan has no real alibi from after school to track practice, and he’s not at mosque til 7:30, with the burial presumably happening right after 7. Plenty of time to be involved in that. Also, Jay says at some point that Adnan is very late to practice(40 minutes I think), and that Adnan says he had to run extra, out of anything that has to be true, right? Because that is something that is potentially verifiable by other people. What was Adnan doing for over two hours here? And why would he be late if he wasn’t doing much of anything but hanging around. That’s a big chunk of time. This doesn’t prove anything, but it is worth mentioning. This information proves Jay is lying about things but doesn’t do much for Adnan otherwise. It looks like they were probably doing something together during the time that Hae went missing.
His being late has nothing to do with anything. Hae was seen after that and he wasn’t with Jay according to anyone’s testimony, at that time.
If I would be suspect every time I’m late I would be in Riker’s island now.
Susan, this is such exceptional analysis. Thank you for taking time to compile this thoughtful post! Have you, or anyone else looking here, uncovered any details about Hae’s car? I’m very curious whether she may have had tinted windows, which might have obscured the view inside the car… this could have allowed the killer to pull off the murder in a more public area. I also saw other posts mentioning that her car model had trunk access through the back seat, which could have further helped to conceal movement of the body to the trunk. Thanks!
Does anyone else find it weird that the day of Hae’s murder, no one at Woodlawn reported seeing Adnan in Hae’s car? A few people saw Hae leaving and they did not recall Adnan being with her. The only person that did say he saw Adnan leaving with Hae in her car at Woodlawn was Jay. This would mean Jay was at Woodlawn watching Hae’s car as she left.
Well Adnan could have just told Jay later, Jay didn’t necessarily have to be there to witness it. But when Jay claims something, you know its probably not the truth anyway
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This timeline seems so much more plausible.
How this for a thought….Jay goes to Woodlawn high to surprise Stephanie for her birthday, or for some other reason, runs into Hae. Hae confronts Jay about him cheating on Stephanie, they get into argument he hits her on the back of the head (accidentally?) throws her in the car. Takes off in Hae’s car and ends up a Best Buy by chance perhaps Hae is waking up? Strangles her in the parking lot and then drives to the park and ride to hide car. Has Patrick pick him up and gives him a ride back to the school where he drops him off. Patrick probably wouldn’t think twice about dropping him off here. He then drives to Jen’s house.
There is a passage in Jay’s second statement to the police where he for one second gets lost in his story. He forgets that in his story, they are in two separate cars. From the statement (misspellings are the police’s, not mine):
Jay: “Um, hum, we drive to Westwiew on, I told him take me home. And on the way going home we pass Westview and he says I better get rid of this stuff”.
Police: “you got 2 cars?”
Jay: “Oh, I’m sorry, I apologize. Um, I’m missing”
Jay: “Top spots. Om, yes, I’m sorry. We leave, we still do have 2 cars. Um, he he ah, motion for me to follow him. I follow him, we’re driving around all in the city. I asked him were in the hell are we going and um, he says were’s a good strip at, I need a strip.”
It’s obvious to me he’s lying about this, and this is the one passage where he slips his tongue, but he is quick to correct it, as he makes up the new story on the go “um, he he ah, motions for me to follow him”. Like someone wrote earlier, substitute Adnan for “me” and you get a pretty good picture.
Ahh I’m so glad I found a link to this blog, I’ve been amazed at how few people are disturbed by Jay’s frequent and creepy slips into subjective first person narrative about the murder of Hae. The Patapsco Park story in particular really bothers me, because he keeps wanting to tell it, and it strikes me as some kind of fond, nostalgic remembrance, a reverie, a savoring of how it all went down. And the second Sara brought that into the picture my gut instinct was: that dude did it. At the very least he was there in the moment of her death.
But amongst all his other lies and inconsistencies I feel like it get’s glossed over and lost in the shuffle, when the needle in my brain completely slipped off the record when I heard that Patapsco story. To see even more evidence of this subjective slipping in his statements as you’ve highlighted makes me even more certain that he was the one to kill her. And hearing him get even more weirdly specific about the RED GLOVES (he had on RED gloves!) pinged me hard again as super creepy, “they were wool, with leather palms” is almost Buffalo Bill in it’s creep factor.
Now I have to go back and read your archives on the show/case.
The red gloves really stood out to me too. I read somewhere red or orange fibers were found with the body. Sounds like a set-up by Jay to me. Who describes picking someone up at Best Buy as wearing red gloves?
I am still unclear on how Adnan’s car gets back to the Mosque. If Jay is acting alone and thus he has a 2 car problem, somehow the car gets back to the Mosque, but you theorize that Jay walks to the strip mall from where Hae’s car gets dumped. Am I missing something?
Your question may be able to provide an answer as to why Jay making so many phone calls to the same person that evening.
Wouldn’t that further implicate Jenn? You make sure to say you don’t think Jenn knew of Hae’s murder, but for the car to get back to the Mosque, Jenn would have to pick him up from the strip mall and he would have to tell her to take him back to where Adnan’s car is (Park & Ride, perhaps?) and then follow him to drop off Adnan’s car there, and then continue the rest of their evening.
I have no idea if Jenn knew about Hae’s murder until after everything was over (although I lean towards not), but I do not think Jenn’s story about what happened that night is a reliable description of events. Jenn and Jay: (1) cannot agree on where they met up after Hae was buried; (2) cannot agree on when they met up after; (3) cannot agree on where Jay’s clothes and shovel(s) were discarded; (4) cannot agree on what they did from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm; and (5) cannot agree on whether Jay or Adnan drove to the location where Jenn picked Jay up. And Jenn’s story is full of inconsistencies and dubious sequences of events, so it is not a simple matter of Jenn’s story being true and Jay’s story being false.
I think it’s also significant that the initial meeting place Jenn and Jay planned on was a three minute walk from Adnan’s mosque.
Excellent points all around. It almost makes me think there was someone helping Jay, be it “Phil” or “Patrick”. But I am finally convinced that Adnan is truly innocent. This post laid it all out so well.
This is incredible, it’s like judge Judy say sk if you tell the truth toy don’t have to have a good memory, adnans story is truthful but can’t be corroborated. Jays changes as he makes it up as he goes along. My theory is that Hae was killed by someone jay works with, a drugs dealer or something, because she saw something she wasn’t supposed to see. Jay had adnans phone and framed him. The person with tbhe deep voice Jenn spoke to was the actual killer, who threatened jay to make it go away, or else.
Did Jay not have a car? Interesting that he describes himself as a big time pot dealer but doesn’t have a car? I still think Hae/Stephanie either knew or saw something they shouldn’t have – other than cheating – and that is what prompted Jay’s actions. The statements that he wanted to see if Stephanie was “OK” are odd and telling to me? I wish Stephanie would talk. Also, why is Jenn so involved?! Her relationship to Jay is curious to me – it seems to go beyond ‘friends.’ All in all the more I read about Jay’s behavior the more I believe Adnan’s innocent. Thank you for compiling this!
The only reason to consider that explanation of the Nisha call far fetched is you are following this like a novel where every detail is put in by the author on purpose. Real life doesn’t work that way.
Being Adnan’s age, I can say that when I got my first cellphone hardly a day went by without hearing, “Hello! Hello?” coming out of my pocket. And that wasn’t before 2000.
Thank you Susan–I just found out about your timeline and its so helpful. Cleared up a lot of confusion about the phone calls.
At 6.59 Adnan was talking to Yaser on his phone. They were in the school area at the time. 9 minutes later they are in Leakin Park. 9 minutes is enough time to pick up Hae’s car and drive to Leakin Park.
But if we want to assume that Jay was acting alone or with someone else, we have a time problem. Jay would have to get the shovel/s first. And then there is the problem with the 3rd man. Where does he come from all of a sudden?
yes! exactly! My theory is that Adnan got freaked out by the call from the police officer, so he and Jay left Cathy’s right around 6:30. Drove straight towards the Woodlawn area where Hae’s car still was, and Adnan got into Hae’s car and Jay followed him to Leakin Park. I always thought Adnan went to the mosque that night, but now I’m doubting it based on the phone evidence showing the calls he made between 8-10pm.
Very well constructed, a great amalgamation of all the call data. With regards to the afternoon timeline and when Jay was actually at Jenn’s house, it seems plausible that he was at her house multiple times. He could have met Jenn at her house around 1:30 as they both initially state and played video games, meanwhile Jay is waiting for “the call” (from whomever) and acting very strange, per Jenn’s description. At 2:36pm he receives a call from someone at the school telling him that Hae has not left yet (Adnan, mystery accomplice?) and she is going to the gym where she talks to Summer about not taking the bus to the wrestling match. When she finally emerges from school and gets in her car to go pick up her cousin, Jay receives the “go” call (at 3:15) and leaves Jenn’s house – fitting very well with Jenn’s original timeline (Jay left around 3:30 and she went to pick up her parents). He could have then called back to Jenn’s house for a million different reasons right after he left (3:21pm).
At this point how, when, etc… Jay meets up with Hae is pure speculation, but he would have time to intersect with her (either she’s driving alone or Adnan / mystery accomplice is with her), commit the crime, emergency call from Hae or butt dial to Nisha at 3:32, calls to Phil and Pat for a ride, assistance, etc.. at 3:59 / 4:12 pm. Jay gets back to Adnan’s car and then calls Jenn’s house (4:21pm) to see if she has returned from picking up her parents at work. Jay heads back to Jenn’s house by 4:30 and receives a call from Adnon to go pick him up from track practice at 4:58pm.
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I read that and found it really interesting. However it was late and tired but i dont remember her explaining how Adnan got his car and phone back from Jay after Jay had finished using them. Presumably Adnan was at mosque/home at this point?
What does Adnan do? Call Jay at 10:45am, or go round his house and ask him? He definitely calls him as per call logs, but Adnan is quoted as saying,
“I kind of had a feeling that maybe he didn’t get her a gift… So I went to his house. And I asked him, did you happen to get a present for Stephanie?”
If Adnan rang Jay first to ask about a gift then the above quote makes no sense.
If Adnan went to Jay’s house to ask him then what relevance does the phone call have?
If we acknowledge that Adnan’s father’s alibi of Adnan being at Mosque from 7:30PM – 10:00PM is wrong and is just a father trying to protect his son, then couldn’t Adnan and Jay be together longer, till around 8ish before Adnan drops Jay off, explain both of them using the phone during that time?
If Adnan really killed Hae, I can’t comprehend him just calling his other friends like Nisha and Krista just to chat and socialize in the evening.
Many things are possible. Where were you on that day?
Brilliant. I’ve read other timelines less detailed which implicate Jay.
Thing is his story changed 6 times maybe (or more cos there is no record of the conversations Jay had with the police prior to them recording his statement), yet Adnan’s story never changed. Even though it had holes – hello smoking weed does that!
All I hope for at this point is that we get some resolution.
Amazes me there was no forensics.
They didn’t test the bottles around her body for DNA. The hand print around her neck, why Jay ditched his clothes and not Adnan’s too if Adnan actually murdered her as Jay said. was there soil in Adnan’s car that matches Leakin Park soil if the shovels were transported in Adnan’s car?
And I read elsewhere that Jay may have had a motive for killing Hae, from another witness who later said Hae was going to confront Stephanie about Jay’s infidelity which is interesting.
No matter which way u look at it even if Adnan DID murder Hae, Jay played a much bigger role than he was attributed.
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Like most of the world, I have been following the podcast “Serial.” The timeline is the hardest part of the story to nail down, but this article breaks it down.
Would it be possible to add Roy Davis’s house to these maps? Also, the gas station where the $1.70 charge on HML’s credit card?
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Truly excellent analysis that makes clear this case cannot be made on the inconsistent testimony of Jay alone.
The only error I see in your analysis is with regards to call 5 the incoming 2:36pm call, you state in that section that, “Because the phone records also show that Jay was not at Jenn’s house from 12pm to 3:40pm” but isn’t the Woodlawn tower close enough to Jenn’s house that it is *possible* Jay was at Jenn’s at that time? Not that it changes much, just that particular call doesn’t preclude Jay being at Jenn’s as he’s claimed.
The part about “the phone records also show that Jay was not at Jenn’s house from 12pm to 3:40pm” was about Jay’s claim that he was at Jenn’s during that entire time period, and not specifically about whether he was at Jenn’s house at 2:36 p.m. During the 12 – 3:40 p.m. time period, the phone is pinging east-facing antennas on towers near downtown Baltimore, and north-facing antennas on towers near Woodlawn, but not one ping comes from the tower and antenna we would expect it to if it were at Jenn’s. (Also, three of those calls were made to Jenn’s home number, which is pretty damning circumstantial evidence that the phone was not actually at Jenn’s home.)
So while it is possible that the phone was at Jenn’s as of 2:36 p.m., it is not possible that Jay was with the phone at Jenn’s house for the entire time period that he and Jenn have claimed.
Susan – this blog is an incredible piece of work – well done! There are so many things about this case that just don’t add up.
My comment is with respect to Call #2, which your explanatory note states could be an example of the cell signal pinging off a tower somewhat more distant from the phone. It strikes me that there are certain things in Jay’s testimony that he returns to even though they don’t seem to make sense with the timeline (or the prompting from detectives) – one of them being Patapsco State Park. It appears from the map associated with Call #2 that the northwestern corner of the park is covered by tower 688A (the green area of the map between Adnan’s house and tower 688 is part of the park, although the tag is located to the south). This may not be the area of the park where “the cliffs” are, but it is accessible from Johnnycake Road, which is in turn very accessible from Security Square Mall’s parking area – one of the malls at which Jay had claimed to shop for Stephanie’s present. There are two parking areas in the park near the end of Johnnycake Road, one of which appears to overlook the river. It seems possible that he could have gone to the park at this time of day, and then incorporated it into his story from later in the day.
The problem is that Jay identifies the place he went to as the “it’s Hilltop … no, it’s cliffs back off of River Road,” which would be the southern part of the state park. The area popularly known as “the cliffs” is near St. Mary’s, off of Hilltop, so that’s presumably what he is referring to. This part of the park is south of L688, which makes it very unlikely that a call from the cliffs would ping the A (northeast) antenna.
But then again, he lied about everything else, so maybe he lied about where along the Patapsco he and Adnan went to smoke up during the school day.
I wonder if Jay could have grabbed the keys & cell phone from the mosque and returned them before adnan left. This makes sense if people take their shoes off, and leave their personal items in a front room when entering the center of the mosque. This would account for Adnan’s claim of being at Mosque during the burial.
Please don’t hate for throwing this out there. BUT what if Adnan was paying Jay to kill Hae? This shows that they are both are involved. Jay drives around Woodlawn until he is able to connect with Hae. Jay obviously can’t say he was being paid, so he throws Adnan under the bus by saying Adnan killed Hae and he helped bury the body.
Ahhhh! I’m stretching here, sorry. But I can’t shake this theory. thoughts?
Or maybe her teacher paid him to do it.
It’s more likely that when the prosecution said to Jay if you don’t testify against Adnan well give you the chair. Jay thought since I’m the murderer if I become the witness against Adnan this is my way out of ever being prosecuted for the murder. That’s Jay’s motive. I don’t buy Adnans motive. This guy is already checking other girls out. He moved on.
Or Don did it. He was the one she was actually going to see. How do we know he didn’t ditch work and come to meet her. His mothers as motive is no motive. His clock card had been altered.
He said he was dying anyway that’s an admission of guilt.
He had behavioural issues.
Or all the evidence that actually points to Jay means Jay did do it.
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Thanks for this blog Susan, I enjoyed reading it very much! Wish I’d had time to really study all the details you did such a great job putting together. I managed to get through quite a bit though.
Please excuse the long post. I wrote it last week and had hoped to summarise further, but didn’t have the time to do anything with it. There are some things in it your readers have already mentioned, but there are at least a couple of tidbits (italicised) I haven’t seen elsewhere in my rapid online review of the case. I caught on to ’Serial’ only last week here in Berlin, and I went on a listening binge to catch up.
What I don’t really understand about the case is the following:
Why would a smart guy like Adnan tell a dealer (Jay) that he is going to kill his ex (Hae), then actually kill her and then call him to help him dispose of the body as part of some goofy pre-meditated plan. That’s not pre-meditation, that’s plain stupid. Does Jay ever agree to help? Does he try to discourage Adnan from that kind of talk. How about about warning the police, or, even better, Hae?
Jay’s claim that Adnan threatened to harm Stephanie is unlikely to carry any weight unless it is Roy (Jay’s murderous uncle, or acquaintance?) who is doing the threatening and Jay substitutes Adnan for Roy, out of fear and convenience. Roy may account for the second shovel, if there ever was one, although Jenn could too.
Adnan being guilty makes no sense to me at all. I mean what kinda guys are gonna drive around trying to score weed with a poor dead girl in the trunk? Sure, no way they are gonna get freaked out doing that!
Allegedly Adnan plans to and then actually kills Hae, a beautiful young woman whom he surely must love. He allegedly does so with his bare hands in the Best Buy parking lot and stuffs her body in the trunk (singlehandedly in broad daylight!). Great plan!
Then Adnan supposedly calls Jay from a non-existent phone booth whilst wearing red (fantasy blood?) gloves, just so Jay can come help him dig a hole in the ground?? Surely if you have done the tough parts, first the actual dirty deed, and then somehow getting the body into the trunk of the car, you must surely be capable of digging a shallow grave somewhere without further incriminating ‘help’ etc…
Jay lies throughout and Adnan sticks to his story. It is easy to imagine that Adnan did not take his being brought in for questioning too seriously, as he was innocent, and never prepared himself otherwise. Once things became did become serious and he went to court, he probably thought the facts would prove his innocence and as a kid might be expected to do, he simply followed his lawyers advice. Unfortunately his lawyer seems to have been bang smack in the middle of a major personal melt down and, although she gives it a shot, she seems to have been a major negative factor in his case.
Jay, on the other hand, uses his street smarts to shape-shift his way into a story he has since come to believe fully, to the point he wishes Adnan would just “…man up.” A seasoned liar like him would easily impress others with his believability. It’s when he let’s out little truths like his feeling “…animal rage.” that we see we are dealing with someone other than the sweet polite person he pretends to be. Remember, Jay kept his ‘knowledge’ of the whereabouts of the body and vehicle secret until he had sorted out an alternative plan with, or without, Jenn his family friend / close associate / secret lover.
In my opinion Jay is the one who is able to assume different identities – ‘Rodman’ etc. one minute and straight up ‘Co-operative Witness’ the next. That the detectives led him on in the way they did and proffered him privileged information vis a vis the call timings etc., as well as counsel, is really bizarre. He must have been pissing him self laughing at how easy it was to hoodwink the detectives.
When Jay says that Adnan claimed he is harder than other criminals because he just killed his ex with his bare hands. Why would Adnan say such a thing? Why would Adnan compare himself to other criminals when it is more likely that it is Jay would be doing the comparing, coming from the type of background that he does and living the life of a criminal element to this very day? Maybe his guilt is what makes him look so tired when S.K and Dana visit.
As for S., the streaking janitor, well there seems to be something fishy going on there. I mean, why would a guy who loves to flash his ‘thang’, head 127 feet into the Leakin Park bush… to take a leak? Surely he ain’t that shy? What’s his connection with Jay? Is he part of the tip off deal with the police in February?
The calls Jay makes to Patrick et al., seem to point in the direction of the 2 car problem. Jay has Adnan’s car, but has killed Hae in hers. He needs a ride back from wherever he has dumped the body.
People make a lot of the fact that Jay has little motive to kill Hae, but maybe his murderous and scary ‘Uncle Roy?’ did after he jumped her at the gas station near his house. Or maybe they share a few angry genes.
It could be that Hae knew Jay was cheating on Stephanie, but I think it unlikely she would confront him about such a thing on her own, unless circumstances somehow conspired to bring them together. Alternatively Jay might have tried to rape her but killed her instead.
The cell tower pings are simply coincidentally usable enough to pin something vague on Adnan. But the science was new and I can easily image the interpretation might not have been entirely accurate.
If Jay ain’t talkin’ (which is as bizarre to me as Adnan’s silence must have been to the jury) then maybe S.K. will get Roy to ‘man up’ and give up the missing pieces of the puzzle. A softer bet is Mr. S. though, as Jay’s folks sound like they are as tough as nails… Jenn, probably an accessory after the fact, might just come clean about Jay’s manipulating too though.
There are a few things that I haven’t heard Adnan say so far: i.e. how he loved Hae and could never imagine doing such a thing. Also, despite the restrictions of his Muslim faith in placing blame without certainty, I find it strange that he hasn’t yet concluded that Jay, either alone, or in collusion with somebody close to him (Roy or Jenn) must have committed the crime, if, indeed, he did not. Also, was that really Adnan’s first blunt, or was Jay his dealer?
I think Adnan is trying to be balanced about his nightmarish situation, whilst keeping in mind that the loss of Hae and the resurgence of interest in the case must be horrific for her family. I hope they understand the need for the true killer to be brought to justice, if it turns out not to be Adnan.
It’s also refreshing that despite his beliefs, Adnan has so far not resorted to any claims that ‘God willing, the truth will one day come out…”.
Just my 222 cents.
Who is Roy? Where did he come from and why are we talking about him? Feeling a bit lost.
Did Mr. S ever take that leak? Or did he suddenly lose the urge like a pre schooler? Do these detectives check ANYTHING? Seems to me Mr. S heard about the murder from Jay’s family amd went out there.
Whoops the 2 car problem would relate to where he’d dropped off the car, not the body…
Susan, how did you find Patrick’s address in 1999? Was it all of 1999 (as in Jan 13th)? Are you saying the maps that have his location up north from Leakin park are wrong?
Yes, the map I used had been labeled wrong; if I get a chance, I’m going to make a new set of maps, and make that correction, among others. (Add the mosque, Western Community Park, etc.).
Patrick lived in the vicinity of Edmondson Westside High School. If anyone is truly curious about Patrick’s old address, I’ll e-mail it to them, since he doesn’t live there anymore, but I’m not going to publish it here.
Thanks. I’m trying to figure out if the calls that pinged “Leakin park” at 7:09 and 7:16 could have been Jay and Adnan heading by Patrick’s to buy some weed, or do those pings place the phone at the actual burial site?
They could — there’s no way to rule that out based on the cell data. The timing match on Jenn’s story and the cell records suggests that there’s some kind of match up there, but the cell records alone don’t show that the phone was in Leakin (or at the Park’n’Ride).
Has there ever been an explanation for why Adnan was 37 minutes late for class?
Boy, is there an explanation for every time I’m late? This was earlier in the day and it has absolutely no bearing on anything.
But you can prepare something for 37 mins about the plan.
Phenomenal job, Susan. If I’m ever in trouble with the law, I’m contacting you!
I have an issue with Jay’s stories that I haven’t seen anywhere else. If Adnan were relying on showing up at track practice as an alibi, why would he not get there as soon as possible and make sure someone – especially his most credible witness, his coach – saw him? Why would he get high beforehand, since that could easily be noticed by said witnesses?
Thanks for your work on this very confusing case.
Wow! You are a genius!! You have nailed it. I wish Serial finished with this explaining everything. Any sensible person would know that Jay is the murderer but you’re explanation crushes any doubt. Innocent good man behind bars robbed of his youth. Sigh
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Maybe Jay dropped off Adnan at track and then Jay was supposed to wait for a ride but instead took the car again. On the call log, Jen is paged immediately after Yaser, Adnan’s friend, is called. So maybe Jay and Adnan drive to the mosque, and Jay pages Jen to pick him up from there. So, Adnan leaves Jay in his car to wait for Jen to call so Jay can ask her for a ride from the mosque. But instead, he tells her he’ll page her again when he’s ready to be picked up. He takes Adnan’s car, then pages Jen twice, an hour later.
I don’t know what their plan for key hand off would have been but stoned kids make worse decisions to leave a car unlocked with the keys in the glove box.
I think this fits. And I assume you mean ‘mosque’ instead of ‘track’ in your first sentence.
Jay doesn’t seem very bright and his inconsistent testimony was likely a result of smoking himself retarded. To those who think Adnan had no reason to implicate Jay: are we supposed to believe that an innocent Adnan remained oblivious to the circumstances after his ex-girlfriend turned up dead around the same time he lent his car to this drug-peddling “acquaintance”?
Also, if Jay had strangled Hae then leading investigators to Hae’s car was either incredibly brazen or incredibly stupid.
By the way, was the note found in Adnan’s house ever addressed on the podcast?
Susan: after the burial, Jenn says she sees Adnan in car at mall when she picks Jay up, when from your time line Adnan is at Mosque.
Is Jenn making this up? Mis-remembering?
I would say this statement makes her more an accomplice to Jay rather than just bystander, as it puts Adnan at burial part of the day most probably at Jay’s direction.
At this point, I’m not even 100% convinced that Jenn is talking about the night of Hae’s murder. It is possible to read the evidence as showing that Jenn was told about Hae’s death at a later time, and not on the date of the murder.
But for what it’s worth, her testimony that Adnan was driving the car that night is contradicted by Jay, who insists he drove Adnan’s car back to the Westview/his house that night.
Susan, thank you so much for this! I just binge-listened to Serial this week and it’s been driving me nuts because they returned to the call records so many times, but there was a general air of inconclusiveness, peering here or there but ultimately a throwing of hands up in the air about the whole thing. You’ve laid it out in a plausible way that doesn’t require acrobatics, especially as it relates to Adnan’s story. What’s most striking is how you explain the reasoning behind their calls never mixing together (other than the Nisha “distress” call), with Adnan using the cell phone when his story also supports the times he would have it: in the morning, before he turns the car/phone over to Jay; in the late afternoon, post-practice/pre-mosque 5-7pm; and in the evening, post-mosque. Particularly post-practice, it seems clear Adnan is catching up on calls and actively using his cell after being away from it for several hours, which he does again post-mosque, while as long as Jay has it, he’s actively using it for his own purposes.
I’ve been noodling two things that I couldn’t find much detail for in your later posts, though this is the post I’ve read most thoroughly. I would still like to understand better what happened between 7 and 9pm. I follow your timing but find it a bit of a loose string – if Jay had overtly secured Adnan’s permission to take the car/phone again, why doesn’t Adnan remember? I know this is unanswerable, but as you discuss, that is a bit of a backflip to say that Adnan’s statement that he dropped Jay off and had his phone incriminates him but on accident, especially when his other hazy recollections seem to check out. Knowing the purpose of his call to Yaser would greatly clarify this point in time. In my greatest leap to account for it, I wondered if Jay told Adnan he was going to take the aforeboughten present to Stephanie, which is the seed of why he and Jen insisted that he visited Stephanie at that time, even if according to Stephanie this was not true.
On the same note of the “truthiness” hidden in the fragments of Jay’s multiple explanations, as to all the pot talk, finding it, going cross-town to smoke it, I agree that the events of the afternoon and the panic of moving the car, etc. make it unlikely there was also time to tool around, score weed, blaze etc. But Jay did have pot for Adnan and him to smoke later, so I was thinking the early afternoon pings closer to Downtown Baltimore may explain Jay’s multiple accounts of his efforts to acquire pot at some point that day. He also may have conflated other instances in which he and Adnan did spend an afternoon as described, just not this afternoon in particular.
I know a lot of this doesn’t “matter” and you could go so many directions with it, but if I’m reading your larger speculation correctly, it’s that stripping out most of Jay’s accounts and Jen’s cover leaves you with a cell phone trail that supports Jay having the cell phone during the times and locations of Hae’s murder and burial, while it’s far less likely that Adnan had the cell phone during these times because he simply never used it.
I had previously speculated that possibly a third party was involved in the murder and Jay had been displacing his fears about others coming after him (via this third party) onto Adnan, but after reading through your analysis, I’m more inclined to think Jay acted alone because it seems he wouldn’t have gotten Jenn involved as he did if he didn’t have to.
“if Jay had overtly secured Adnan’s permission to take the car/phone again, why doesn’t Adnan remember?”
I’ve seen no information to indicate that Adnan parked and locked his car at the mosque. Did Adnan keep a hide-a-key in a magnetic box in a wheel well? Did he tend to keep his keep tucked up under the visor or under the mat? If so, he wouldn’t have needed to overtly give Jay permission. Further, Adnan would also still have been pretty damned stoned, and he and Jay had been in and out of the car a couple of times, so he may not have a specific recollection. Did he park in the mosque lot with Jay, call Yassir to say “I’m here with my Dad’s dinner, where are you?” and busy himself with grabbing the meal while he assumes Jay is walking off to go be picked up by Jenn?
At this moment, Adnan’s biggest concern could have been hiding the fact that he was so stoned from his father and others at the mosque, and he may have been oblivious to Jay maneuvering to get use of the car for a while longer.
“I had previously speculated that possibly a third party was involved in the murder and Jay had been displacing his fears about others coming after him (via this third party) onto Adnan, but after reading through your analysis, I’m more inclined to think Jay acted alone because it seems he wouldn’t have gotten Jenn involved as he did if he didn’t have to.”
I’ve gone in the opposite direction. I just can’t quite see Jay as a killer, and I think there’s a lot of truthiness in his fear of the murderer, his reluctance to get his hands too dirty in the burial, and the signs of his emotional conflict. If the third-party character was a real-deal thug that Jay had been tooling around with earlier in the day (some have speculated he might have used Adnan’s car to show off), and Jay was now trapped between his fear of this guy and getting blamed himself for the murder, he would logically reach out to Jenn as someone he trusted.
There’s a desperation that comes through in Jay’s testimony about that evening. The Adnan he describes as doing the murder and directing the burial is an impulsive, frightening, erratic, and not very bright character. It clearly isn’t actually Adnan, but it also doesn’t seem to be Jay, either. Jay could have been so frightened of this person that he wanted Jenn’s help, but he also wanted to keep her away from this guy, or even knowledge of this guy. And so he blamed Adnan, and convinced her to give him an alibi up to the 3:30 time of the murder, all the while hoping and expecting the crime would never be solved. And if the body hadn’t been found, it might not have been, and Adnan might never have even know what Jay was doing.
Thanks for your reply – I agree that Jay was probably taking advantage of Adnan’s incapacitated state around that time to re-secure the car, however it’s still unfortunate that of the three broad points Adnan makes — 1) I gave Jay the car and went to school/track, 2) We hung out and got high after track, and 3) I dropped Jay off and went to the mosque and had my phone on me all night — that in order to keep Adnan innocent, the last point substantially deviates from his recollection (as relayed by SK on Serial), and requires as I mentioned a little backflipping to iron out.
I think you make a great argument that Jay was being directed by someone else, and I think that part of why the cops wanted to buy that it was Adnan is that no one believes Jay capable of doing it, and Adnan’s car and phone were used in connection with the murder. I very much believe Adnan is innocent, but I do think stopping to look at the cops’ trail, if I were a cop and I found Jay telling these “truthy” stories, backing it up with Hae’s car, then I find an apparently much smarter person who owned the car and phone connected to the murder, as wrong as it is, I get why they bent over backwards trying to force these pieces to fit together, and why Jay himself may have bent over backwards to shield the third party.
At the same time, we would have to invent more points of coordination with this third party – how did they keep in touch? How did they plan to meet up later when it seems Jay may not have even known he’d have access to Adnan’s car and cell after 7pm? I’m sure we can come up with an explanation, we can invent an explanation for anything as we’ve seen Jay do! But all that his friends actually remember from that day is Jay acting weird, bringing Adnan super high to Cathy’s house, where he continued to act weird, and then calling Jenn later to help him get rid of evidence. If a third party is in charge, does this third party really leave Jay twisting in the wind like that? Jay’s obviously a dumbass. So that’s what, along with Susan’s account, makes me think Jay just did it, heat of the moment, and that his later paranoia is more about getting caught and locked up than actually having anyone come after him. But I do see how your theory plays out and definitely find it convincing as well.
One last point, in the Intercept interview released today, Jay mentions he doesn’t know if Hae’s car was at Best Buy because “I didn’t know what it looked like so I don’t remember.” In his first police interview, Jay says “It was Hae’s car, I knew it was Hae’s car. I seen her in it before” and “I seen her driving it from school, back and forth a couple of times, yeah.” This is so significant to me because it’s not just a ‘what happened on 1/13’ fabrication – he’s seen Hae’s car and he’s seen her in it before, whereas today he never knew what it looked like. If he changed his story to say “I don’t know if her car was there, I didn’t see it,” okay, fine, but he has to go farther and say he’d never seen it, couldn’t identify it, when he previously says he’d seen Hae in her car multiple times. And I’m sorry, “I seen her driving it from school” really worries me. No one saw Jay go after Hae at school, so it leaves me thinking whatever went down had him seeing Hae in her car between school and her cousin’s daycare and intercepting her. Susan has done such a great job showing, and Jay today admitted, his negotiation of facts to suit whatever best protected him while allowing his “non-plea plea” to go through, and I believe he’s again reversing his earlier statements to get as much distance as possible from that moment, the Nisha “distress” call, probably at the Best Buy parking lot at 3:32pm.
Yeah, I take your points about the issues with a third-party coordinating with Jay after the murder, and with Jay spending time with Adnan after track but before the burial. That’s a really thoughtful analysis. I’ll have to give some thought to how that might have worked, and see if I can come up with anything less that completely convoluted, but right now it’s hard to think about anything after having my mind blown by Jay’s bat-shit crazy interview.
I’m now shifting from thinking he was a quirky, shady guy who wasn’t capable of murder, to thinking he’s more than that. Somehow after that chunk of interview I feel like the third-party thing is less likely, and Jay as the actual killer is more likely. Not anything I can put my finger on, but it’s there.
I notice the 6:59 and 7:00pm calls both ping 651A. Yes, calls can be routed differently, but for them to be at the mosque, wouldn’t that be in the area that pings 651C? You argue that two calls, one after another, were both routed under that minority of calls that don’t ping the closest antenna exception? I’m totally with your theory except that 6:59 and 7:00 seems to put them more in the Best Buy/Woodlawn HS range than mosque/Adnan home range.
Also, in the neverending list of Jay absurdities, the idea that they grabbed Hae’s car at the Park n Ride and drove around aimlessly for 45 minutes, while both making/taking phone calls on the same phone in separate cars is far more absurd than being in one car around 7:00pm, at the PnR around 7:09 and in Leakin Park another 10 minutes later, considering LP is ADJACENT to PnR. I almost wonder if the call where Adnan “spoke a mix of Arabic and English” was that 6:59 call to Yaser may have contained a few words or phrases directly related to family or prayer services.
Re: the pings, yes, it is also possible that the 6:59 and 7:00 p.m. calls came from the generalized “Best Buy area” (not necessarily Best Buy, just somewhere farther north than the mosque). Jenn’s testimony seems to suggest there was a plan for Jay (and by extension presumably the phone) in the area south of I-70 at around 7:00 p.m., which may be what the cell records or showing, or possibly they were driving through some unknown area anywhere around there. We don’t have enough data on the positioning of the towers and the antennas to say definitively where the phone was when a call was made, or even if we did, where the car was headed at the time it was made. We can just see what may have been possible and compare it to the other known evidence.
But the theory about the 6:59 call may make sense. Jay heard Adnan say a couple of terms related to Muslim prayer services or whatnot, and he took it as “speaking Arabic.”
The problem with this timeline (and it’s terrific work by Susan) is right from the start jenn said “shovels” with an “s”. Why is jay brining multiple shovels to a one man job?
It seems to me that the truth is Adnan killed hae with premeditated and critical assistance from jay (and likely one other person). Jay was the premeditated alibi, driver and burial service for Adnan that day. It explains everything much more simply than “jay who had no means or motive went off the handle and killed hae and was lucky enough to perfectly frame adnan”. It explains why jay is constantly lying and changing his story (he can’t tell the truth bc the truth implicates him much further than he is already implicated). It explains why Adnan probably does have an alibi at track and at the mosque. He was delivered there by jay per their agreement to give him an alibi. It explains why Adnan seems reticent even now to point the finger at jay (getting jay convicted won’t do him any good bc jay will just flip on him). It explains why Adnan mouths “pathetic” to him in court (if someone killed my girlfriend and framed me for murder, “pathetic isn’t one of the first 1000 words that unwound choose; if my murder partner flipped on me it fits perfectly). It also may explain why they are both lying about the early day calls from downtown baltimore (somehow involved in the planning of the murder). It explains the nisha call (not some absurdly unlucky butt dial- it was Adnan with jay). It explains why Adnan buys Stephanie a birthday present (I bet all my money Stephanie never got a present from Adnan before- Adnan giving her a present creates an excuse for him to loan his car and cellphone to jay and also gives him a reason to ask hae for a ride).
Finally it also explains why Koenig, her producer and pretty much all the listeners find jay very believable when he talks of adnan’s guilt (he is guilty) but completely deceitful when discussing his own role (because he is lying).
Better explanation? Teenaged petty criminal with no violent history happens to bump into acquaintance, murder her, bury her and then bamboozle two senior detectives into framing her boyfriend with the help of some absurd bad luck for the boyfriend or jealous boyfriend hires local drug dealer to help him kill his girlfriend?
Right on the money. Adnan killed Hae with Jay abetting in a greater capacity than he or Jenn is willing to admit. Sometimes the simple answer is the right answer. Oswald killed Kennedy notwithstanding all the bloviating to the contrary. Same here.
Come on. What world do you live in? No way Adnan and Jay were in it together, or Adnan would turn on him after getting life. It must be one or the other, not both.
What is bizarre about your logic is that you believe Jay is lying to cover up his more extensive involvement. Why, in your theory, doesn’t that lead all the way to him being the murderer? That would be more extensive involvement. I think this is the same tunnel vision preventing the detectives from doing a more thorough investigation?
Actually, if you read Jenn’s first statement to the police she says “Jay mentioned to me that he knew where Adnan dumped the shovel or shovels I don’t know how many there were.”
As far as the use of pathetic is concerned, it is not reasonable to apply how you would use a particular word to someone else. You have no idea what he was thinking at the specific time or why he choose that specific word.
Exactly. I don’t believe Jenn actually *sees* any shovel or shovels. So even if she used the plural, that would just be because Jay used the plural. Which, like anything else that comes from Jay, means nothing at all.
This is exactly what I was thinking. I’ve gone over it so many times and it’s the only thing that makes sense. If Adnan is innocent and then hangs out with Jay on and off during the day, wouldn’t Adnan have noticed Jay was acting a bit strangely? Jay would have to be a complete sociopath to not behave a little off. But Adnan repeatedly says there was nothing unusual about that day.
Adnan is smart. He sticks only to points that can be alibied (but unfortunatly for him often don’t) – he was at the library, at track, at Cathy’s and at the mosque. Most other details he can’t remember. Makes it easy to stick to your story because those bits are the truth. Jay has so much more to cover up and does a terrible job because he uses lie after lie – and he is not that bright. Maybe he involved other people because he realised he was in way over his head.
I dont know who killed Hae, but Jay is a compulsive liar. Even his friends say so.
This is by far the most plausible scenario… incidentally, was there ever any DNA tests done on the brandy bottle? what were the complete results of any DNA analysis?…I also suspect Jay somehow tipped off Alonzo as to the location of Hae’s body.
Oh yeah… how does Hae’s vehicle still have dirt/sand coated tyres (tires for you Yanks) after being abandoned for 6 weeks?
What is bizarre about your logic is that you believe Jay is lying to cover up his more extensive involvement. Why, in your theory, doesn’t that lead all the way to him being the murderer? That would be more extensive involvement. I think this is the same tunnel vision preventing the detectives from doing a more thorough investigation?
It only leads us to theorize. It doesn’t lead to any evidence. Tunnel vision is the fact that they in fact did not investigate further.
It is clear that Jay can’t be convicted since there is no evidence of witness linking him directly to the actual murder. It is also clear that he didn’t fully realize this. He testified that he wad under the impression that he is in danger of getting convicted for the murder.
Susan has done an incredible with a capital “I” job of putting forth a convincing case that jay lied and continues to lie. I think she’s almost put the question to bed. Jay’s story is not true. He lied. Where i disagree completely is that ipso facto jay is the murder. That is not the logical leap for me. If you believe Adnan hired jay ahead of time to assist him with the murder then every fact falls into place. If instead you believe that jay committed the murder and framed Adnan you have to believe all of the following (at least): 1) jay somehow ran into hae in a very short window of time and got into her car despite, as far as I know, not one single person seeing him in the vicinity of hae that day and on the very same day that 2) Adnan lends him his car and cellphone and 3) Adnan asks for hae a ride despite not apparently having anywhere to go and 4) jay, with no real motive, strangles hae to death and then 5) sets out on a path to frame Adnan. Helping him in that process 6) adnan’s phone butt dials nisha for 2.5 minutes, 7) adnan’s fingerprints end up on a map in hae’s car where the page detailing her burial site is missing and 8) no one can provide him a solid alibi for the critical times of the day.
Is it impossible? Of course not. I’m not sure i could have convicted Adnan. But to conclude that jay is the murder is a massive logical leap that is simply not borne out by the facts in my personal opinion.
1) jay somehow ran into hae in a very short window of time and got into her car despite, as far as I know, not one single person seeing him in the vicinity of hae that day and on the very same day that
— the exact same thing can be said of Adnan during the crucial time Hae was murdered
2) Adnan lends him his car and cellphone
Jay had a habit of asking to borrow friend’s cars (he’s known to have borrowed at least 3 other friend’s cars). Adnan had a habit of lending out his car to friends. Adnan kept his phone in his car.
3) Adnan asks for hae a ride despite not apparently having anywhere to go
Adnan doesn’t seem to remember this, which is understandable given how stoned he got that afternoon. He may have simply wanted to go get a snack. A teenager asking another teenager for a ride is, well, a lot to hang a murder on.
4) jay, with no real motive, strangles hae to death
Adnan claims he had no motive. Ultimately, motive isn’t clear in most murders.
5) sets out on a path to frame Adnan.
Adnan was the only person he could frame.
6) adnan’s phone butt dials nisha for 2.5 minutes,
7) adnan’s fingerprints end up on a map in hae’s car where the page detailing her burial site is missing
That map page covered the majority of the area around the school. Adnan had driven with Hae in her car before. That’s the map page they would have used if they needed to go somewhere around school.
8) no one can provide him a solid alibi for the critical times of the day.
This is false.
I noticed you haven’t answered something…
What is your explanation of how and when Jay returned Adnan’s car to the mosque?? I truly believe you’re onto something here but this needs to be figured out…
Just want to point out that Krista IS Cathy. So she’s not a friend of Adnan’s, not does she know Adnan. Krista’s name was changed to Cathy in the podcast.
Krista is not Cathy. The phone records also show multiple calls to Krista on the 12th and 14th. She is clearly Adnan’s friend.
Krisa is NOT Cathy. The phone records also show multiple calls to Krista on the 12th and 14th. She is Adnan’s friend.
Thanks for such a clear outline. In reading this, there are lots of things about Jay’s info that are odd. One I just thought about is that it was Jay’s girlfriend’s birthday that day and she didn’t hear from him until 11.30pm that night
This has been explained a few different ways. One, Jay’s birthday was the day before, and apparently they spent some time together then. Two, Stephanie apparently had basketball practice after school, and she apparently never missed school or practice. Three, Stephanie’s family didn’t approve of Jay, and she was spending the evening with them. I haven’t seen verification of these things, but they seem plausible.
Thanks for this review susan. I wonder if you should add a note that the teacher made that says Adnon was late to psych (didn’t get there til 1:27, yet both contend that he was at school much earlier…). Seems like a credible bit of data that contradicts both Adnan and Jays timeline…. http://serialpodcast.org/maps/timelines-january-13-1999
It’s irrelevant info.
Hae was seen alive for sure at 2:20 but at some say up till 3pm which contradicts the prosecuter timeline. The truth is only the killer knows what time Hae was killed. It could even be possible Hae was killed and buried another day but taken that day. Based on Jay’s testimony and the cell records which are rather suggestive is the only indicator of the timeline of Hae’s death.
Both Jay and Adnan been wrong about when he was at school doesn’t destory their credibility to the point of being meaningful.
The only way it would be relevant is if the murder was premeditated with Jay and they were doing something in prep of the murder they’d later commit.
But if you are going to go through the day time by time might as well fill it in…. It supports Jay and madman being together an hour longer in the middle of the day
Madman = autocorrect Adnan
Not sure it’s totally irrelevant, but I think you’re correct it doesn’t change anything material. In one of Jay’s interviews, he says he dropped Adnan off at school between 12:30 and 1:15, and the teacher’s information is consistent with that. My guess is that Adnan remembers being back at school sooner than he was, and that Jay inadvertently told the truth about this drop off time.
I have it in my head that Jay was very adamant about never being in Hae’s car (and I’m guessing the detectives never found any trace evidence to contradict that). Wouldn’t that be somewhat dangerous to say if the police might find prints etc. in Hae’s car?
This is really long so you may need to read it in shifts. 🙂 I’m very interested in what everyone thinks especial Susan.
I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the theory that Jay planned and executed this murder pretty much on his own and here is why:
1. If Jay was pissed at Hae butting into his relationship with Stephanie he could have just told her to mind her friggin business and or ask Anan to talk to her and tell her to back off.
2. How would Jay get Hae to meet him at a secluded location and allow him in her car? She had no phone by which to receive a call from him. Also, I just don’t see her being willing to do this when she was crunched for time with having to pick up her nephew, take him home, visit Don, and make it to the wrestling match. (I can see her doing it for Adnan though)
Here’s what I think happened: Adnan planned murder and elicits help from Jay
1. Adan asked Hae in class to drop him off at BB and that Jay would pick him up, and she agreed. After all, she would only be stopping long enough for him to get out of the car then she would be on her way.
2. After school, Hae headed to the gymnasium, to get a snack and let her fellow wresting scoring partner know that she would not be sticking around to prepare for the match. The friend was not very happy about that because she had not done it before and wanted Hae to help her get ready.
3. The 2:36 call could have come from a. one of the few people who had Adnan’s new number since he had just gotten it the day before. (his friends should all be out of school by this time and his parents also know he is as well) b. It could also have been Adnan calling from school to let Jay know to head to the BB now or by a certain time. c. Perhaps Adnan did call Jay from the payphone that was in the lobby of the BB to tell him they just arrived. d. Maybe it was a wrong number. (the call was very short :05) Even though I teased this call out, I don’t really give it much weight in my theory.
3. Adnan jumps in the car with Hae and they head to the BB between 2:25 and 2:40. (remember that the reenactment on the podcast proved that Hae could have made it to BB, be killed, and Adnan place the call by 2:36) However, I am more inclined to believe that IF Adnan called Jay at this time, he placed the call from school but a call from BB also works.
4. When they arrive at BB, perhaps between 2:35 and 2:50, they park and Adnan may have ran to the payphone to let Jay know they just arrived, or begins to expresses his hurt regarding the break up and it gets nasty. (Hae is not all that concerned about the time at this point because she does not have to pick up her nephew until 3:15 which means she has about 10-25 mins to spare at this point) He then strangles her. (all a part of the plan put in place by Adnan perhaps as early as the day before which he shares with Jay who is all too willing to help out, but maybe not completely sure Adnan is going to actually do it)
5. The 3:15 incoming call was could have been from Jen because I believe that Jay was not able to keep this plot to himself and after he had dropped Adnan off at school in the early afternoon, he went to Jen’s and spilled his guts. Jen was anxious to find out what was going on. This call could have also come
6. At 3:21 Jay calls Jen and tells her it’s done. I think that this is one of the reasons why Jen talked to Jay before she talked with the police. She probably had knowledge of the murder before and shortly after it happened and she needed them to get their stories straight. She decided that she would cover for him but that she would not admit to much more than having very little after knowledge if she could help it.
7. At 3:26 Jay calls Nisha while they are traveling back to the school. They may have arrived at the school by this time.
8. The 3:48 and 3:59 calls to Phil and Patrick were probably made at the school while Adnan and Jay sat in the car. Jay was probably trying to get one of them to ride with him to BB to take Hae’s car to the park and ride and maybe arranging to pick up some weed from the other. (Jay may have headed over to one of their houses before these calls or perhaps after the first one)
9. The 4:12 call happened while Jay and either Phil or Patrick were heading to BB to pick up Hae’s car and drive it to the Park and Ride.
10. The 4:27 call was probably from Jen. Jay was probably at home.
11. The 4:58 was from Adnan telling Jay to come and get him from practice. It lasted for 19 secs way too much time to just say “Come and get me”. I think Adnan asked Jay if he was able to get the car moved and Jay quickly ran down it down.
12. The 5:15 call was clearly Adnan checking his voice mail. I don’t know if his phone had some sort of pulsating or visual notification that he had a message. I doubt that there were any messages because every call on that day was probably answered by either Jay or Adnan. However, I don’t know if the phone company bills for calls answered by the voicemail. If so, any of the incoming calls from 12:43 and 4:27 could have been a left message and not an actual conversation.
13. The 5:38 to Krista was placed by Adnan while he and Jay were discussing the murder, getting weed and heading to Krista’s. This trip would have begun around the time Adnan was checking his voicemail.
14. We know the calls that took place between 6:07 and 6:24 occurred while Jay and Adnan were at Krista and one of them was from the detective. After the call from the detective Jay and Anan realized that they needed to hide the car and bury the body.
15. At 6:59 Adnan calls Yaser to tell him that he will be at the mosque between 8 and 8:30. He is still with Jay and they have been on the move since the call from the detective.
16. Between 6:30 and 7:45 , Jay and Adnan pick up shovels and the car from the park and ride, then go to Leakin park to bury Hae. They arrive at the location that Jay and Jen agree she will pick him up. Jen probably calls during this time as well. One of Adnan’s family members might have also called.
17. The 8:04 and 8:05 pages to Jen were probably signals notifying Jen that Jay was at the pick up spot.
18. Adnan departs from Jay after Jen arrives and heads to the mosque where he stay until 9pm. I estimate that he was there for at least 45 mins. (we know he probably had two sets of clothes since he had track practice)
I guess you can see that I have spent countless hours pouring over this case.
As a Forensic Science student this case wreaks of observation bias and a coerced statement. Whether it was directly or indirectly, his statements just seem way too coached and his knowledge of events are just too….fishy.
Very interesting, thanks for all the info even though I’ve spent days going through it when I should be looking for a job!
Susan, this is such amazing, comprehensive work! I hang on every word of your Serial-related blog posts. What are your thoughts about the location data for the other incoming calls from that day (the non-Leakin Park incoming calls)? In your analysis, the location data is treated as reliable and a reflection of where Adnan’s phone is. Why would the only calls with questionable location data be the Leakin Park calls? I can see where there are incoming and outgoing calls made within minutes of each other and communicating with the same tower (12:41 and 12:43); that location data would appear to be reliable. But the 2:36, 4:27, and 4:58 incoming calls (for example) have no surrounding outgoing calls to serve as a location verifier. Isn’t it possible that the location data for those calls is also either unreliable, or actually showing the location of the caller? Thanks for all the awesome blog posts! Please keep them coming. 🙂
Don’t use this post for anything that is not directly a comparison of the witness testimony and the cellphone records! Any editorializing is now very outdated — these were my very initial thoughts on the case, based only on the evidence available at the time. I now think much of it is wrong.
In particular, I’ve lost all faith in the cellphone data. This post was written based on the assumption that the prosecution’s presentation of the evidence was worth considering. I no longer see any reason to believe that to be true, and the AT&T disclaimer about incoming calls is only a small part of that.
My highly speculative theory is that Jay may have been telling the truth when he told the police, in his second statement, that at some point during that day he went to Gelston Park to smoke a blunt. The claim that he’d really meant to say “Gilston Park” seems to have been retconning to try and correct for the lies Jay told in connection with the misplaced L654 tower.
I am also now highly skeptical, based on non-cellphone evidence, that Hae could have been buried at 7pm, as the prosecution claims. Combine that with evidence that Jay adapted his story at will to fit the investigators’ timeline, there is no longer a compelling reason for me to believe the L689B pings were a result of calls received in one tiny area of Leakin Park, as opposed to any other area within its range.
Would it be possible to mark the location where Hae was due to pick up her cousin on the map too?
It amazes me how you are almost exclusively concentrating on disproving Jay’s police interview statements as opposed to his trial testimony.
There is NO point in demonstrating that Jay lied to the police – Jay himself admitted as much at trial!
The jury did not base their guilty verdict on the INTERVIEW statements. They based it on Jay’s TRIAL testimony which they decided to believe to be the truth.
And as you said, it’s at the jury’s discretion to decide if they want to believe a witness or not. Hence any attempts at discrediting Jay’s reliability as a witness are fruitless. In order to get anywhere, you would have to demonstrate that Jay lied at trial about facts that were at the crux for establishing Adnan’s guilt in the murder of Hae.
You would have saved yourself a lot of time in doing so: Jay’s trial testimony is consistent with the call record evidence in relation to the crucial events of that day. Thank you.
I see you have yet to finish reading the rest of my blog…
Spoiler: he lies at trial.
Double spoiler: Jay admits he lied at trial.
One more spoiler: the cellphone evidence is overwhelmingly inconsistent with Jay’s testimony.
Sometimes black/African-American men are evasive with police. If you don’t understand why it’s b/c the two groups don’t exactly have the best hx together (with the police kind of doing the worst of it). So, to change his story at certain times is not something that a reasonable person who may have been coerced into abetting a murder would do if they were scared. EVen the podcast reporters said jay was believable. And the things that they can corroborate, don’t look good for adnad. I mean, adnan must have some really bad luck to lend jay his car the exact day jay was planning to murder his ex-gf. And then not to remember where you were the day the police called you to ask about it.
This is so, so great. Thank you for helping me sleep at night. x
I always struggled with Jay’s testimony about going to the mall/Adnan telling Jay the day *before* Hae went missing. The 12 January is Jay’s birthday… I just don’t think he’d get it mixed up with the next day? You remember your birthday, right? Even if you were just bumming around and got no presents from anyone…
On a similar note – did Stephanie ever receive the (“$80 or 90” chain) gift Jay said he’d bought for her? Or is it possible that the actual still-tagged-$120 gold chain (and empty gift box) that was found in Hae’s car was it…? Hmmm…
What!!?? There was a chain found in her car?? Where did you see that info.? That is very interestin.
On Rabia’s blog post ‘IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD’ (under “bravo, Natasha, bravo” gif) http://www.splitthemoon.com/its-all-in-your-head/
Thank you!! Wow!
I am starting to wonder if Jenn’s the solution to Jay’s two-car problem…