Serial: A Comparison of Adnan’s Cell Phone Records and the Witness Statements Provided by Adnan, Jay, Jenn, and Cathy

[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.

Call 1.
Time: 10:45 a.m., January 13, 1999
To: Jay
Duration: 0:28


Call pings L651A.

Adnan Calls Jay to Ask if Jay Has Gotten a Present for Stephanie

Prosecution’s Story:

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.

Adnan’s Story:

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’s Stories:

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.)

Call 2.
Time: 12:07 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Duration: 0:21.


Call pings L688A (tower L688, which is located to the east at I-70 and Rte. 29, is not pictured).

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.

Prosecution’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 3.
Time: 12:41 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Duration: 01:29.

Call pings L652A.

Call pings L652A.

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.

Prosecution’s Story:

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’s Story:

Adnan is back at Woodlawn.

Jay’s Story:

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.

Jenn’s Story:

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.

Call 4.
Time: 12:43 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 0:24.

Call pings L652A.

Call pings L652A.

 Jay Still Has the Cell phone, and is Not at Jenn’s House

Prosecution’s Story:

Same as Call 3.

Adnan’s Story:

Same as Call 3.

Jay’s Story:

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?
Jay: Yes.

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?
Jay: 3.
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: Yes.
Detective: Inaudible.
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’s Story:

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.

Call 5.
Time: 2:36 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 0:05.

Call pings L651B.

Call pings L651B.

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.)

Adnan’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.)

Jay’s Story:

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?
Jay: Yeah.
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]?
Jay: Um-hum.
[. . .]
Detective: Do you have any idea what t ime that was?
Jay: About 3:40.
Detective: 3:40?
Jay: Yeah.
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.

Call 6.
Time: 3:15 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 0:20.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

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’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 7.
Time: 3:21 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Duration: 0:42.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

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’s Story:

Adnan says he was still at Woodlawn or at the library, waiting for track practice to begin.

Jay’s Stories:

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.
Prosecutor: Oh.
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’s Story:

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.

Call 8.
Time: 3:32 p.m.
To: Nisha
Duration: 02:22

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

“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’s Story:

Adnan says he is at track practice and does not have the phone.

Jay’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 9.
Time: 3:48 p.m.
To: Phil
Duration: 01:25.

Call pings L651A.

Call pings L651A.

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’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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.

Call 10.
Time: 3:59 p.m.
To: Patrick
Duration: 0:25.

Call pings L651A.

Call pings L651A.

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’s Story:

Adnan would be at track practice, which starts either at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.

Jay’s Stories:

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.

Call 11.
Time: 4:12 p.m.
To: Jenn Home
Duration: 0:28.

Call pings L689A.

Call pings L689A.

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’s Story:

Adnan says he is still at track practice.

Jay’s Stories:

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.

Jenn’s Story:

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:

  1. 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,
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Call 12.
Time: 4:27 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 02:56.


Call pings L654C.

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’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.
Jay: Yeah.
Detective: You smoke another blunt?
Jay: Right.
Detective: Ah, after you smoke a blunt you go to Cathy and Jeff’s?
Jay: Yes.
Detective: Was anyone there?
Jay: Yes.
Detective: Who?
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.

Jenn’s Story:

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.

Cathy’s Story:

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.

Call 13.
Time: 4:58 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 0:19.

Call pings L654C.

Call pings L654C.

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.

Adnan’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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.

Call 14.
Time: 5:14 p.m.
To: Incoming/Voicemail message left
Duration: 01:07.

Incoming calls to voicemail do not provide location data.

Incoming calls to voicemail do not provide location data.

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.

Call 15.
Time: 5:38 p.m.
To: Krista
Duration: 0:02.

Call pings L653C.

Call pings L653C.

Adnan and Jay Drive to “Cathy’s”

Prosecution’s Story:

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.

Adnan’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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.”

Call 16.
Time: 6:07 p.m.
To: Incoming [Likely Hae’s brother (see Episode 6)]
Duration: 0:56.

Call pings L655A..

Call pings L655A..

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.

Prosecution’s Story:

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.

Adnan’s Story:

After Jay picked Adnan up from track, they smoke some pot, and then Jay takes them to Cathy’s apartment.

Cathy’s Story:

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?

Call 17.
Time: 6:09 p.m.
To: Incoming [possibly from Aisha (see Episode 9)]
Duration: 0:53.

Call pings L608C..

Call pings L608C.

Adnan and Jay Continue to Smoke Weed at “Cathy’s”

Cathy’s Story:

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.

Call 18.
Time: 6:24 p.m.
To: Incoming [likely the call from Detective Adcock to Adnan (see Episode 6)]
Duration: 04:15.

Call pings L608C.

Call pings L608C.

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’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 19.
Time: 6:59 p.m.
To: Yaser Cell
Duration: 0:27

Call pings L651A.

Call pings L651A.

The Cell Phone Returns to the Woodlawn Area

Yaser’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 20.
Time: 7:00 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
Duration: 0:23

Call pings L651A.

Call pings L651A.

The Cell Phone Is Still in Woodlawn Area

Adnan’s Story:

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.

Jay’s Story:

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.

Jenn’s Story:

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.

Call 21.
Time: 7:09 p.m.
To: Incoming [possibly Jenn returning the call to her pager]
Duration: 0:33.

Call pings L689B.

Call pings L689B.

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’s Story:

Adnan is at mosque.

Jay’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 22.
Time: 7:16 p.m.
To: Incoming
Duration: 0:32.

Call pings L689B.

Call pings L689B.

The Cell Phone Is Still in Leakin Park

Adnan’s Story:

Adnan says he is at mosque.

Jay’s Story:

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.

Call 23.
Time: 8:04 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
Duration: 0:32.

Call pings L653A.

Call pings L653A.

Cell Phone Is on Edmondson Avenue/Jenn and Jay Give Untruthful Statements

Jenn’s Stories:

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.)

Jay’s Story:

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.)

Call 24.
Time: 8:05 p.m.
To: Jenn Pager
Duration: 0:13.

Call pings L653C.

Call pings L653C.

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.

Call 25.
Time: 9:01 p.m.
To: Nisha
Duration: 01:24.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

The Cell Phone and Car Are Returned to Adnan, and Adnan Goes Home

Adnan’s Story:

Adnan does not have clear memories of what happened that night after he went to mosque.

Jenn’s Stories:

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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’s Story:

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?

Jay’s Story:

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’s Story:

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.

Call 26.
Time: 9:03 p.m.
To: Krista
Duration: 05:28.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

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.

Call 27.
Time: 9:10 p.m.
To: Krista
Duration: 08:41

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House

What the Cell Phone Records Show:

Same as Call 26.

Call 28.
Time: 9:57 p.m.
To: Nisha
Duration: 0:24.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House

What the Cell Phone Records Show:

Same as Calls 26 and 27.

Call 29.
Time: 10:02 p.m.
To: Yaser cell
Duration: 0:06.

Call pings L698B.

Call pings L698B.

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).
To: Saad/Ann.
Duration: 0:18/01:44.

Call pings L651C.

Call pings L651C.

The Cell Phone is at Adnan’s House

What the Cell Phone Records Show:

Same as Calls 26-29.


315 thoughts on “Serial: A Comparison of Adnan’s Cell Phone Records and the Witness Statements Provided by Adnan, Jay, Jenn, and Cathy

  1. I love your timeline and it makes complete sense! Listening to serial I couldnt say that Adnan was guilty – there was too much reasonable doubt. I would have no problem convicting Jay based on your timeline alone. Thank you for putting the pieces of the puzzle together for me. Adnan and I my have completely different beliefs when it comes to religion but I am praying for his release and exoneration!

  2. Hi Susan,

    I’m just wondering if you’ve posted elsewhere your new opinions on the “narrative” as you describe in your opening edit. I’ve read through everything on your blog (I think), and I’m just wondering if maybe I’ve read it and not identified it as such or missed it altogether!


  3. It took me ages to read this, but compelling story. It really does suddenly feel like Jay MUST have done it, because no other scenario (including a n other third person we don’t know about) makes sense or fits the time frames.

    Is the answer in being able to prove that jay knew hae?

  4. We really need to know more from the Neighbor Boy. He obviously knows something and isn’t talking. But even if we can’t get him to talk, can’t we look into whether he could’ve known Adnan at all? They say he only knew Jay, but is that for sure? Could we get his usual whereabouts for that day? When and where could he have seen Jay or Adnan? I feel like that was glossed over too lightly.

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  10. I really wanted to believe Adnan’s story of innocence but here is what I think happened. I think Adnan convinced Jay to Killed Hae. He did then tried to pin it on Adnan once he realized the severity of the situation. His entire story is centered around trying to limit his involvement, and implicate Adnan. This would explain Adnan’s seemingly passive attitude toward Jay, and I am sure that he assumed there would be some physical evidence of the crime that would incriminate Jay so he was rather nonchalant. I know we have no way of knowing what he may or may not have said over the past 15 years, but calling him ” pathetic” in the court room would suggest that he was let down by Jay, not angry with him for a false accusation. Once Jay knew there was no physical evidence it was easy for him to say that it was Adnan who actually committed the crime, Jay knows that if Adnan comes clean they both go down, but if Adnan says nothing then it becomes Jay’s story against his.

    This is just a theory but I am convinced this is what happened.

    • This is what I thought at one time too, he paid Jay to kill her, but Hae told people Adnan asked for a ride home and phone records show he called her at 12:30 am the previous night, sort of suggests he was setting it up.

      Jay should have been charged with accessory but I’m sure you have to go to hell for witnesses to get the devil as they say.

  11. In his statement “[Adnan] called me and we took …. we were going to the Mall.” It sounds like he was about to name a third party. i.e. “[Adnan] called me and we took “MY COUSIN” to the mall.

  12. Have they released the cell phone record for Jan. 14th, 1999? Can anyone verify there were no calls made past 10:30pm?

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  14. Apologies if this was resolved or verified a long time ago, but I can’t find an answer to this after lurking for awhile. Why is it that the incoming calls in Adnan’s cell phone records were not able to be matched up to the call history on his device if the police had confiscated his phone? Wouldn’t this be the obvious way to identify the callers’ numbers? Does the record mention the device call history having been deleted, or were those incoming callers’ numbers blocked or unavailable?

      • Are you kidding me? I thought the technology simply wasn’t available at that time. Why didn’t the defense counsel get that info? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

  15. This is great read but let’s adress the elephant in the room here…what would be Jay’s motive to kill Hae? There is no motive. Not a hint. I don’t think Jay did it, and I don’t buy Adnan school-track-mosque alibi.

  16. Did police ever obtain Adnan’s call log from the day before the murder? I’d be interested to know if Jay’s claims that he spoke with Adnan the night before the murder can be corroborated or debunked by that night’s call log.

    Some observations about the calls:

    12:07 p.m. Duration :21 – This could have been an answering machine message. If we speculate that Jenn was going to stop at her house after work to change clothes before dropping by Jay’s house to pick him up, this could be how he relayed the fact that she no longer needed to pick him up as he had borrowed Adnan’s car. This call could illustrate the vehicle in which he “got back in touch with her.”

    12:43 p.m. Duration :24 – I don’t think it’s a stretch to speculate that Adnan may have actually called his own cell phone at this time to indeed make sure that he had left it on, regardless of whether or not you buy into the scenario I will present next, but simply to make sure he could get a hold of Jay when he needed to be picked up from track practice.

    Possible scenario: Perhaps Adnan, very innocently, lent his car to Jay that morning because he did, in fact, want to get a ride from Hae after school. Obviously, not to kill her, but just to talk to her, perhaps to discuss the breakup or to tell her he had moved on with Nisha or whatever. By this time (12:43 p.m.), he knows Hae cannot give him a ride, so he calls his cell phone to make sure he can get in touch with Jay to pick him up from track practice. This would explain why Jay said Adnan was “trying to get into Hae’s car” albeit not for the nefarious reasons Jay suggests. It also explains why others stated they overheard Adnan asking Hae for a ride and equally heard her decline. It also explains why Adnan stated (during the Adcock call) that he had asked Hae for a ride that day. Now stay with me here, you may not like this part, but it also gives Adnan a very good reason for changing this part of his story. By this time, he has to know he is under suspicion for Hae’s murder (due to the mere fact that he is Hae’s ex-boyfriend), so why fuel the flame of suspicion by confirming that he was actually trying to get a ride from Hae that day? It’s also something that would disappoint his parents since they told him he wasn’t to see her anymore at the dance. As a 17 year old, imagine thinking, “I have nothing to do with this murder, I never got the ride anyway, so why should I even mention that I asked her for one?”

    4:21 p.m. Duration :28 – This also could have been an answering machine message or Jay could have actually spoken to Mark. Wouldn’t it have been nice if anyone had actually taken a statement from Mark?


    How is it freaking possible that neither the investigators nor the defense counsel ever retrieved Adnan’s Hotmail records? Clearly, this would have been the easiest way to corroborate Adnan’s alibi that he was at the library after school. SMH

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  21. I constantly volley back and forth over Adnan’s guilt or innocence…there’s compelling arguments to be made for both which is why I simply feel that the element of reasonable doubt truly exists for him…guilty or innocent. As I hear and read more and more details of the story, I try to imagine that I’m gathering the evidence much like a juror would have done, albeit, I’m not sitting in the court room, but I try to hear the information with as little bias as possible. I’m still new to the “Serial” community, but I’ve listened intensely to the entire podcast as well as to Episode 1 of “Undisclosed”…I’m desperate, like the rest of the intrigued listeners, for “the missing piece(s).”

    I do have one consideration that I haven’t stumbled upon in any of the blogs / transcripts which I have come across so far…it’s more of a perplexing observation to me which I don’t believe has been addressed, so perhaps someone would care to share their insight.

    It revolves around the “Nisha Call,” the possibly real Nisha call on 02/14/99 in which she distinctly recalls speaking to Adnan and then to Jay while Jay was at his new place of employment at the adult store, in the evening…My question is this: why were Adnan and Jay even together at that time? I can’t seem to wrap my brain around if either or both of them were guilty of Hae’s murder and her body had just been discovered 5 days beforehand, why they would be together, so nonchalantly, under any circumstances? This is relevant to me because investigating their relationship going forward after the murder could shed some light on some facts that were never really explored…I think it’s just as important to understand their behavior after the crime. And also, it just begs understanding the true character of both Adnan and Jay.

    Right off the bat, it wreaks of insensitivity on the part of Adnan regardless of his involvement in the murder…his ex-girlfriend/good friend has been found in a shallow grave within the past week and he’s visiting his “just acquaintance,” Jay, at a porn shop while talking to his latest romantic interest, Nisha. Now, it could just be that he was taking a break from his bereavement, as, no doubt, the news of Hae’s discovery must have really sent shockwaves through the community and school — so it’s reasonable to believe that that kind of intensity would need to be escaped from time to time in the following days/weeks — but it still seems to me like a peculiar place to be. It also seems peculiar to me that Jay would have the slightest interest in being seen with Adnan. I realize Jay wouldn’t be questioned and Adnan arrested until the 28th, neither of which either boy could foresee at that point, but when you realize the extent of the day that either or both of them had on January 13th, you have to wonder why they would risk being together at all anytime after that day. Wouldn’t you think Jay, at the very least, would make a mental note to lay low where Adnan is concerned, because Jay, for certain, is involved and any association with Adnan could be seen as suspicious? Surely at this point (2/14) Jay’s not prepared to incriminate himself.

    If they’re both in on it, maybe they thought they were in the clear? Maybe Adnan had absolutely zero clue that Jay was remotely involved in Hae’s murder so he wouldn’t think anything of it…he’s just stopping by the store, possibly picking up some weed…maybe he caught Jay by surprise by stopping by? Maybe they are more than friends and actually true associates with neither of them giving a rat’s ass about what they did to Hae so they continue on their callous, cold-hearted way with no realization of what’s truly in store for them? I don’t know and it drives me crazy! It’s so perplexing because when you fast forward to the 28th and Jay’s first of MANY interviews and you begin to get the sense of panic he had the actual day of the murder and the sheer lengths he goes to not only to throw Adnan under the bus, but himself as well, you have to imagine that he’d want as little or nothing to do with Adnan, period. Because by Jay’s own account, he had plenty to do with Hae’s murder/burial and she’s just been found. I think even if he had one respite from panic in the past month, he’d be back on high alert with her discovery and even less inclined to being associated with Adnan at all (and with a witness, Nisha, nonetheless). It’s seriously a bee in my bonnet and I can’t really rationalize why it bothers/intrigues me so much. It just seems far too casual in light of all that had transpired over the past month. Does this bother anyone else? Am I off track here (if so, feel free to bring me back)?

    As an aside, two weeks after this encounter the beans are spilled…you have to wonder why the authorities collecting all of the data and info stopped only at the phone records surrounding Jan.13th (we know by now that unbeknownst to Adnan he’s already the prime suspect because the authorities are already prepared to issue subpoenas on 2/16 for his records)? If you’re a detective and you now have corroboration that the person you suspect (Adnan) has now been directly implicated in HML’s murder why wouldn’t you seek out all of his friends’/associates’ phone records/whereabouts/bank records just to put together the most comprehensive evaluation of what was going on in the days leading up to her disappearance and in the month between her discovery? It would at least be able to tell you just how “close” Adnan and Jay really were and who in their circle potentially knew more than he (Phil, Patrick)/she (Jenn, “Cathy,” Stephanie) let on. All of those relationships (before and after) are important…there may be valuable pieces to the puzzle surrounding each one. Everyone should have been a suspect at that point…lord knows there were enough players. I think skipping all of those details is truly lackluster “detective work,” at best. The whole arrest and timeline evaluation just seemed so rushed and unthoughtful…the holes and inconsistencies alone beg for a more thorough evaluation. How any decent detective/prosecutor could put his name on that type of work is mind boggling (let alone a team of them).

    Anyway…I’m still on the fence. But the facts (or lack there of) of this entire crime are truly amazing…frustrating, but amazing! Thanks, Susan, for your unique and exquisite composites of the details. It gets lost sometimes, but it truly is tragic that a young woman so senselessly lost her life in the prime of her youth with so much still to look forward to in life. I hope that Adnan’s appeal is heard because, at the very least, it may shed more light on the truth and potentially exonerate him if, indeed, he’s truly innocent. It does appear that the investigation/trial was not solid by any stretch of the imagination. And that’s not true justice for Hae, because had it been, we most likely would not be discussing the details today.

  22. On the first episode of Undisclosed it is revealed that a trip to “Cathy”‘s house likely did not happen on Jan. 13.

    Then how do we explain incoming calls between 6:00 and 6:30 pinging towers near her apartment? Does this mean incoming call data is not accurate for location? Why do all calls go to the same area?

  23. The other question is, given the condition of the livor mortis. Remember–HML could not have been buried before 11:22 PM if she was killed at 3:22. this timeline no longer quite follows in terms of the evening schedule for the cell phone log–at least in terms of going to leakin park. As SK noted it seems like the road would have been too busy during evening rush hour, and it would have been too dark to arrange the rocks properly without drawing attention.

    However, if some combination of perpetrators went back to complete the burial in the early morning of the following day, especially given the ice storm it could have been possible for them to avoid detection, as well as have the breaking light give them the ability to crawl down to the streambed to collect the rocks.

    Concretely, what I imagine is this, regardless of the initial perpetrator:

    Jay drops adnan off at the mosque. He drives to the 70 park and ride, pages jenn. Jay leaves the Adnan’s car at the park and ride. He pages jenn to come pick him up. She picks him up and drops him off at the Hae’s car, and move her car to the park and ride. Jay then goes to pick up adnan at 9, and then adnan is reunited with his cell.

    Later that night, outside of the cell phone records jay goes back to the park and ride, grabs the car and performs the burial . Or perhaps on another night.

    • and no one but Adnans father see adnan at the mosque?? Come on…people trying WAY too hard…For Jay to carry this lie he would have to know that Adnan would be able to come up with any eyewitnesses putting him elsewhere…What if something memorable happened at the mosque between Adnan & sum1 else that everyone there remembered & adnan had 20 witnesses putting him at the mosque…same with after school…then Jays stories go out the window

      but no…every time things line up & make Adnan look guilty…he can’t remember…&/or people start creating alternate scenarios

      & while we can’t say sum1 is guilty solely by their actions…so many of Adnans are that of s guilty man…especially not trying to contact Hae as soon as he was aware she was missing…I mean she was the 1st person the dude called to give out his cell# a day prior…& THEN he finds out she’s missing & is just “meh….her mom is gonna be mad at her…” come on people…Adnan Killed her…Jay is shady…U want Susan Simpson working for your team if you’re trying to beat a case…more than one thing can be true at one time

  24. Hey, Susan,

    I would be very curious to see you update this post, given the facts you know right now, especially the forensic evidence (lividity). I mean : the burial must have taken place hours after 7-8 pm. Maybe even days after. The big question then is : what was Jay doing taking the cell records into account ? Hae’s body must have been frontal down for at least 8-12 hours. That should change the story quite a bit, right ? Or do you think she was frontal down 8-12 hours after she was in the trunk for hours as well ? Very confused

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  26. I think that Adnan did call Nisha that day – but that does not make him guilty. I believe that Jay fetched him after he was in the library, to take him to track practice. Either the incoming call at 2:36 or 3:15 could have been Adnan telling Jay when and where to fetch him for track practice. That means Adnan was probably in the car with Jay just before track practice (as Jay says) and could have called Nisha and spoken to her before he went off to track practice.

    I find it disgusting that either Jay killed Hae and lied, and/or the cops prompted Jay to lie in order to push for the convinction of an innocent 17 year old. I feel very badly for Adnan. What happened to him was a grave injustice.

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  28. Pingback: Giving Adnan Syed the Benefit of the Doubt – Yen's Speech Bubble.

  29. Pingback: My Change of Opinion for Adnan Syed’s Innocence: Synthesis on Serial by Sarah Koenig – Daily Dose of Sabrina

  30. Pingback: Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Adnan Syed – Minna's English Corner

  31. Pingback: Hae – Curious Turk

  32. You know what’s sad
    1.Adnan didn’t kill Hae
    2. Jay Killed Hae
    3. Adnan will never be free because then the They have to admit that police had the killer in their hands and made a deal with him to frame Adnan.
    4. Corrupt police
    5. Corrupt lawyers
    6. Corupt System
    7.Corupt judges. All this evidence and they still didn’t give him a new trial.

    Well done for writing this it’s makes easier to see what actually happened.

    • if Jay were making up this story about Adnan he would have to know that other witnesses wouldn’t discredit his story…How does Jay know Adnan is eating a burger a/friends after school? Jay would have to be the luckiest liar in the world to nail every detail of Armand day w/o Adnan being able to say…oh I was with so & so

      And don’t come at me with Asia and the library…2 classmates remember a debate in class where Asia insisted Adnan couldn’t have killed her & that she would “Make up a lie” to help his case

      Adnan was a popular student & popular at the mosque…& no one saw him but his father(at mosque)

      The 7pm calls from Jenn & Jenn seeing Adnan & Jay in Adnan car when she picked up Jay after they buried the body are the witness lynch pins to this case

      the other is motive…the only motives anyone in Adnan’s defense ever come up with are completely conjecture…maybe Hae knew about Jay’s infidelity,etc…anything to put the focus on Jay…even though Adban’s motive is stupid…it’s still the only person close to having one…its also unfair to accuse Don of Murder with no evidence…

      Jays stories were a mishmash of trying to not come off like a snitch & keeping his friends and family as far away from the law as possible…but as sum of the irrelevant details were proven untrue…your still sitting with the 7pm calls…Adnans lack of any sort of credible alibi…the Nisha call…

      Even if the prosecution timeline isn’t perfect…even if the lividity of the blood in Haes dead body(I think she was just put in the trunk in a strange way & levidity began then)…the only other person that could have committed the crime would be a sum rando serial killer…but then everyone’s story would be completely wack

      The defenders of Adnan cut him every break possible while questioning every other detail, memory etc with the tightest scrutiny…I’m sure Susan & Justin could poke holes in most murder cases…they’re always messy…eye witness testimony has been proven to be weak & informants are usually at least partly unreliable…it dosent work like a 42 minute TV drama in real life.Adnan is Guilty & right where he should be.

      Hopefully Hae can RIP & her family can attempt to live their lives w/o being forced to relive these horrific events of their past

  33. Pingback: The Case Against An Innocent Man: Adnan Syed – Eman’s Blog

  34. i find it interesting that the people actually trying to remember back to the days gets scrutinized to the letter but yet Adnan can just say “I don’t remember” & he’s given a pass…if Adnan was at the Mosque he would have more witnesses than just his father….& if he was really at school during the murder he would have more witnesses than Asia at Library.

    Let’s not forget…for Jay (and the cops for that matter)to come up with a story to frame Adnan, he would have to know Adnan had no Alibi witnesses. So Jay murders Hae and then makes up this crazy story that the cops help him with, and luckily Adnan didn’t have a air tight alibi? He could’ve went to talk to a coach, teacher, group of friends somewhere after school. But no…Adnan conveniently forgets

    Also this always has bothered me…Adnan calls Hae late the night he gets cell phone to give her his new number…but then he NEVER tries to contact her when she’s missing? They say Don didn’t try either but they had only been dating a few weeks, & Don wasn’t in the high school social scene Hae and Adnan were. The first few days…ok(however it seems like the 1st thing someone would do that has a new cell phone, after hearing someone is MISSING would be to try to be the one to solve the mystery by calling her?)but after many days after students have all reconvened and Hae is now a topic of conversation…& her pager # is on your favorites list….come on? Maybe I’d believe that if they hadn’t been talking and/or Hae wasn’t the 1st person Adnan thought to give his new # to a few day prior

  35. This is the best breakdown of the timeline that I’ve ever read and very much supports my intuition that says Jay acted alone in killing Hae for reasons we don’t know

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