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SERIAL Podcast by Sarah Koenig - "WHO KILLED HAE MIN LEE IN 1999?"
#36
AAfter listening to this week's episode, my theory is the Best Buy phone event and parking lot story didn't happen. Adnan probably took Hae to Lincoln Park and at some point got into an argument, strangling her in the heat of passion. Adnan could have called Jay for help from Lincoln Park, which would explain the timeline of events and cell phone records.

This is all pure conjecture though, and I'm probably completely off.

With that said, Koenig is really not making any kind of strong argument for Adnan's innocence, as any information that is favorable for Adnan in the podcasts has pretty much all been based on hearsay. I would be a little more open to Adnan being innocent if there was any kind of hard evidence discovered providing a shred of doubt to Jay's story.
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#37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chet Ripley View Post

With that said, Koenig is really not making any kind of strong argument for Adnan's innocence, as any information that is favorable for Adnan in the podcasts has pretty much all been based on hearsay. I would be a little more open to Adnan being innocent if there was any kind of hard evidence discovered providing a shred of doubt to Jay's story.


I feel like there's been all kinds of shreds of doubt to Jay's story. There are a ton of places where his story has changed or doesn't match up with other witnesses or cell records. What there hasn't been is any plausible alternate theory, which is why signs still point to Adnan's guilt.



Basically, all I'm convinced of so far is:



- Adnan had shitty representation. The state's case, as it's been told to us, has all sorts of problems. From what we've heard, the defense pretty much managed to attack none of those problems.


- Jay was more involved than he's saying. There are too many inconsistencies in his story.

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#38
A[quote name="SomethingClever" url="/community/t/152073/serial-podcast-by-sarah-koenig-who-killed-hae-min-lee-in-1999/30#post_3806345"]
I feel like there's been all kinds of shreds of doubt to Jay's story. There are a ton of places where his story has changed or doesn't match up with other witnesses or cell records. What there hasn't been is any plausible alternate theory, which is why signs still point to Adnan's guilt.

Basically, all I'm convinced of so far is:

- Adnan had shitty representation. The state's case, as it's been told to us, has all sorts of problems. From what we've heard, the defense pretty much managed to attack none of those problems.
- Jay was more involved than he's saying. There are too many inconsistencies in his story. 
[/quote]

Good point. I should say I'm not doubting the backbone of Jay's story, which is that Adnan committed the murder, and Jay helped him bury Hae. The more intricate details are a complete mess.

I do believe Jay played a larger part in the murder due to the inconsistencies and flaws in the timeline and cell records. I also get the feeling it was a not a planned murder, which led to all of the inconsistencies and lack of time accountability in both Adnan and Jay's statements. The lack of planning and critical thought also probably explains their decision to bury the body in a shallow grave within view of the highway.
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#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
 

  I'm one of those totally gullible guys that has a tendency to believe whatever point of view I am hearing at said time.  Hell, me and my girlfriend still argue over The Staircase (I'm still not convinced that the husband did it).


Sidetrack:  I don't think that makes you gullible.  Hell I think the counter story that the defense came up with was pretty darn good.  The prosecution's case didn't match the physical evidence.  Women could fall down the stairs around the guy every week and I'll let him off.  In fact, pull that second rate Murder She Wrote crap on me and I'll doubly aquit.  But maybe that's me.


Have you heard the owl theory?  I forget if that was in the series.  I think they laughed it off, but it's actually kind of brilliant.  Profuse bleeding from really weird lacerated head wounds.  No other real evidence of impact or defense wounds.




I will admit that they did have more to go on with that guy than they had on Adnan, just to bring it back.


It's a fascinating show. I think the ethical and racial qualms are understandable but overblown and often reaching.  The show is a model of detachment and fairness while still managing to be relatable rather than just being matter of fact.  But the discussion is worth having. This article was good;



The Backlash Against Serial—and Why It's Wrong

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#40

Ooh, a Problem With The Problem With [insert title here] article! We're into it now.

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#41
AAnd why you're WRONG.
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#42

Well indeed.  Kang's thing was the previous titleholder for most read Serial based article so I guess it's the obvious thing.  And it reaches so hard it falls over.  It sounds to me more apt to mystify and render cultural experience unknowable to the outsider than any terseness Koenig employs.  I don't think anything less than vast ethnography would satisfy, which is not what the show is about.  Give me a, perhaps slightly confused, humanistic approach any day.  If she's not adressing racism as the be all and end all of why Adnan is in prison it's because that's not what she found, as has been repeated on and off throughout the show.  She can't very well say otherwise.  That would be doing a poor job.

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#43

I side with the backlash-to-the-backlash article, though.  This type of journalism is valuable, and shouldn't be discouraged just because the reporter doesn't live up to someone's Platonic Ideal of both complete detached objectivity from and totally informed immersion with the subject of their investigation.   Kang's stance would seem to paint any form of journalism as practiced by humans a futile, somehow insulting endeavor.  Yes, writers and reporters of all stripes tend to be interlopers in the communities they portray.  That's almost the whole point.



As for the case itself, I kind of want to do an exhausting breakdown of all my "if...but...that can't's...", but where I'm at right now is that there is a decent chance Adnan did it, but he absolutely should not have been convicted for it.  However it went down, it was almost nothing like the case as presented by the state.  I don't buy that Adnan is a charismatic sociopath. Iif he were, I think he would've had a better, more convincing story.  He would've set up some sort of alibi, would've done it somewhere more remote than a Best Buy parking lot, and wouldn't have relied so heavily on someone like Jay, who everyone agrees he hung out with but was not that close to, to cover it up.  With Jay, you have the issue that his story is so full of holes, along with the new info about the collusion between his defense and prosecutor, which makes you want to just disregard it entirely.   Except that he was clearly involved pretty deeply at some point, or else none of these balls would've gotten rolling.  Which is what makes the "neat" out that this was the work of a serial killer or some other random crime not work either.  And he doesn't make a good suspect himself, either, since I can't suss out any motive for him to want to kill a girl it sounds like he only knew a little.



Which leads me to believe that the truth is probably that Adnan and Jay both have a significantly greater degree of culpability than they are admitting to, but the actual facts are so different from either of their stories that trying to guess from our (or even Koenig's) vantage would be almost pure conjecture.  It is fascinating, though.

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#44

Just binge-listened to the whole thing thus far (my sister's a complete addict) and I have to say, it leaves me feeling really slimy and gross.  Maybe that's part of the point.  I think Sarah Koenig's a compelling narrator, but unless revisiting this case brings something new to light or moves the information forward , it feels a little like white upper middle class tourism into a horrible crime involving urban kids ("So, this is where they went to get weed and smoke a blunt.") and exploitation of a lot of people's profound pain for titillation (know that's not the intention, but the end result).  The involvement of the Innocence Project is a positive result, clearly.  I really hope Ep. 12 focuses on that missing dna testing, and--God willing--brings some clarity and closure to the parties involved.

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#45
Quote:

Originally Posted by yt View Post
 

Just binge-listened to the whole thing thus far (my sister's a complete addict) and I have to say, it leaves me feeling really slimy and gross.  Maybe that's part of the point.  I think Sarah Koenig's a compelling narrator, but unless revisiting this case brings something new to light or moves the information forward , it feels a little like white upper middle class tourism into a horrible crime involving urban kids ("So, this is where they went to get weed and smoke a blunt.") and exploitation of a lot of people's profound pain for titillation (know that's not the intention, but the end result).  The involvement of the Innocence Project is a positive result, clearly.  I really hope Ep. 12 focuses on that missing dna testing, and--God willing--brings some clarity and closure to the parties involved.



The "tourism" complaint really bugs me.  For one, it's not like the kids smoking weed is treated like something salacious at all.  For another, I haven't gotten the sense of this story being told in terms of "urban" kids at all.  The high school and persons of interest all sound pretty middle class to me, and it's not like there is a big deal being made about this crime arising from a pervasive culture of crime or poverty.



But mainly, even if it actually was that sort of thing, then good.  Less upper middle class attention to urban crime is no benefit to anyone, and whinging about how reporters don't really live their stories is just completely off base, imo.  It's cultural "sensitivity" taken to such an absurd extreme that it almost becomes an anti-miscegenation argument.  Like if we just all stay in our own little boxes and don't try to engage with anyone of a different strata on even an abstract level, then we won't have to risk the most unthinkable of outcomes, that someone accidentally comes off as condescending.



Don't get me wrong, that last bit appeals to me as someone who is both afraid of conflict and deeply, deeply lazy.  But my ignorance and indifference to people who live outside my immediate eyeline is neither a credit to my character nor any kind of victory for progressive society.

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#46
Quote:

Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 


The "tourism" complaint really bugs me.  For one, it's not like the kids smoking weed is treated like something salacious at all.  For another, I haven't gotten the sense of this story being told in terms of "urban" kids at all.  The high school and persons of interest all sound pretty middle class to me, and it's not like there is a big deal being made about this crime arising from a pervasive culture of crime or poverty.



It's hard to put into words the tourism feeling.  I know what an inner-city magnet school is like because my daughter goes to them.  It's not middle class, but it's not desperate poverty either.  My daughter's schools have been very diverse in backgrounds and cultures, but one thing every family shares is no access to the best that money can buy but enough awareness to find out that magnets exist and take the necessary steps to get their kids into them.



On the weed thing and other moments, you can sense SK trying to create some common ground between her own life and the lives of these kids, which is to be expected.  I don't know anything about her background, so I don't presume this is anything but a genuine method of human connection, conscious or unconscious.  I don't feel like SK's judging these kids, but that's what the podcast audience is in a way being set up to do -who speaks eloquently, who doesn't, who is in the magnet, who is GenPop, who's buying weed, who's selling weed, who's always hanging out, who steals and shoplifts.  In other words, as interpreted by a generally white, generally middle-class or upper middle class audience,  who is credible here and who isn't.   And then we can put down our obsessive discussions and go have a nice dinner.  Meanwhile, Hae Min Lee is still murdered.  Adnan is still in prison.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post



But mainly, even if it actually was that sort of thing, then good.  Less upper middle class attention to urban crime is no benefit to anyone, and whinging about how reporters don't really live their stories is just completely off base, imo.  It's cultural "sensitivity" taken to such an absurd extreme that it almost becomes an anti-miscegenation argument.  Like if we just all stay in our own little boxes and don't try to engage with anyone of a different strata on even an abstract level, then we won't have to risk the most unthinkable of outcomes, that someone accidentally comes off as condescending.



I don't think of this as urban crime per se, and I wouldn't make the argument you're opposing here ever.  Serial is a hybrid of memoir and reportage.  It's an experiment - a great one, obviously  - but given its unexpected crazy success, I think they're probably seeing and understanding some of the unintended consequences only now.



 

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#47
AWhat precisely is the PHYSICAL evidence in this case?
The entire thing seems to be a story told by someone who is accusing someone else who denies everything...the person telling the story obviously knows MORE than he's letting on, and being led by the prosecution. At the bare minimum 'resonable doubt' should of come into play...

...but that's by-the-by... this series isn't about exonerating Adnan, or finding him guilty; it's Sarah's journey, and by extrapolation ours...
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#48
Quote:

Originally Posted by yt View Post
 


It's hard to put into words the tourism feeling.  I know what an inner-city magnet school is like because my daughter goes to them.  It's not middle class, but it's not desperate poverty either.  My daughter's schools have been very diverse in backgrounds and cultures, but one thing every family shares is no access to the best that money can buy but enough awareness to find out that magnets exist and take the necessary steps to get their kids into them.



On the weed thing and other moments, you can sense SK trying to create some common ground between her own life and the lives of these kids, which is to be expected.  I don't know anything about her background, so I don't presume this is anything but a genuine method of human connection, conscious or unconscious.  I don't feel like SK's judging these kids, but that's what the podcast audience is in a way being set up to do -who speaks eloquently, who doesn't, who is in the magnet, who is GenPop, who's buying weed, who's selling weed, who's always hanging out, who steals and shoplifts.  In other words, as interpreted by a generally white, generally middle-class or upper middle class audience, who is credible here and who isn't.   And then we can put down our obsessive discussions and go have a nice dinner.  Meanwhile, Hae Min Lee is still murdered.  Adnan is still in prison.




Serial's reason for being is not to get Adnan out of jail, though.  And judging it for not literally raising the dead is as perfect an illustration of what I'm talking about as I could possibly have come up with on my own.  A story does not have to immediately, dramatically change the world for it to have value.  I think Serial has tremendous value, despite its failure to definitively end white privilege in America in 12 weeks, in how it encourages empathy for people most of us are more comfortable leaving in a box (i.e. "you're in jail, you must deserve to be there, so eff off") and critical thinking about parts of society, our justice system, human perception and memory.  That's pretty incredible, imo, even if it falls short of turning water into wine.



But even having said all that, I do understand the part about feeling occasionally queasy for enjoying this (or any true crime story) on some level.  Particularly with the lack of endorsement by the victim's family, which makes talking about the story like a L&O episode feel kind of icky.  But the fact that people are talking about it who otherwise would never have given it a second thought is pretty incredible, imo.  That generally white, generally upper class audience that the "problem with Serial..." crowd are so concerned about?  They didn't learn to pass judgment on kids of different backgrounds from a podcast.  If anything, this one complicates their ability to do so with a large helpings of troublesome nuance and ambiguity.  If Serial makes any definitive statement I can discern about What It All Means, it's that no story or person can be neatly categorized or tied by way of a single detail.  And hey, maybe if the abstract, "tourist" nature of this narrative allows some of these appalling audience beasts (who are more privilege than man, really) to actually mull over how much bearing smoking weed or shoplifting really has on one's capacity for murder?  Just maybe their knee jerk reaction in a more fraught scenario, like say when the police try to justify shooting someone by pointing to a history of petty crime, becomes tainted by a little more nuance.



If Serial can do anything like that, it's serving a legitimately important societal purpose.  If not, it's still very interesting.

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#49

Good post, and I don't disagree a lot of it.  I never said I think Serial's reason for being is to get Adnan out of jail, and I don't judge it for not raising the dead.  I hope everything you're saying is true.  I hope it does those things.  I hope it shatters the audience's preconceptions and/or broadens their view.  I hope it's not just for entertainment.

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#50

Schwartz and YT...you SERIOULY need to point out where we need to insert the ambient music whilst reading your posts...

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#51

God, that fucking music...



ETA: nvm. Lost my train of thought and swore I wouldn't get into privilege arguments... :: sits back ::

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#52

Tomorrow's the last episode, so if there are any revelations, this could be moot, but I have to say, this theory posted to reddit sounds weirdly plausible to me.

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#53

Well, it's done...



Until we get those DNA results!!!

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#54

Great ending, and SK's conclusion really cast what came before in a different light and mitigated some of the weirdness I felt about listening.   I would love it if Serial Season 2 continued with this case, but clearly it won't.  Either way, the conversation it's hopefully started about our system of justice is worth shining a light on, and putting this particular case under a microscope illustrates a lot of what can be examined and maybe addressed.

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#55

http://time.com/3639655/serial-innocence...e-enright/



And the story continues beyond Serial...

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#56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post

What precisely is the PHYSICAL evidence in this case?
The entire thing seems to be a story told by someone who is accusing someone else who denies everything...the person telling the story obviously knows MORE than he's letting on, and being led by the prosecution. At the bare minimum 'resonable doubt' should of come into play...

...but that's by-the-by... this series isn't about exonerating Adnan, or finding him guilty; it's Sarah's journey, and by extrapolation ours...

 There's very little.  You can put Adnan in Hae's car via fingerprints.  But that's 'well duh'. Other than that it's all about the phone and Jay.    There's a couple of cell tower hits at a crucial time and place that are hard to dismiss.  But that's really not enough (although it's amazing how many think it is).  It'd be a good base to build a case on perhaps, but not the whole case.


Weirdly, in a period when Adnan and Jay both agree they swapped the phone between them during the day and Jay's testimony is all over the shop, this one questionable time of the evening Adnan could easily say  he didn't have the phone and change the whole story completely.  But he's always said he had it then and he was at home or at the mosque.



This just makes him more of a duplicitous, manipulative criminal genius to some (one who's the obvious suspect in a supposed car park murder in broad daylight  and in jail for life).  It's a tough point regardless though.




Anyway, I liked the show all up.  It went pretty much where I thought it would as a sort of very long TAL segment.  People didn't seem that disappointed that there wasn't any huge 11th hour revelation.  I'm sure you can find people who were, but in my experience people seemed pretty cognisant of what it was.  Which is good actually.  That to me softens any fears about it being exploitative entertainment and suggests people took it as journalism.  Something it instructed its audience in as it went along.  Sure many people seem poised somewhere on an opinion spectrum that wants something more lurid and kick ass (whatever the radio version is of a microphone thrusting Nick Broomfield documentary) or something more purely factual and dry and almost hoping no one actually pays any attention to it because of the moral ickiness of questioning a murder case like this at all.


When it comes to all existing styles of true crime and investigative journalism Serial didn't entirely please anyone, I don't think.  That to me is where you see that it's its own thing.  And the fact that it threw up a ton of interesting discussion about every aspect you can think of means it works well, I'd say.

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#57

SNL had a pretty great, and seasonally appropriate, parody of Serial.



"And then there's the Nisha call."



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#58

The calls to Santa could have used some more "At the end of the day..."  and "It is what it is".  I found it pretty funny and accurate.  My girlfriend, who has never listened, just looked at me funny every time I started laughing.

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#59

Cicely Strong does a spot on Sarah Koenig impression, too. Kinda scary.

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#60

WHAAAAAAAAAT????

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#61

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6ab2d45...-of-serial

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#62
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

WHAAAAAAAAAT????



Is it NOT?



All the voices were creepily spot on, especially "Kris."  Can you imagine how surreal this must be for Adnan?  Or for Hae Min Lee's family?

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#63

Oh, that was me getting a kick out of the Gutierrez impression that was in the video.

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#64

Regarding the white reporter's privilege idea, I wish we could get to a point where people could acknowledge and accept critiques like that, while still recognizing the original thing has value and importance, without having to come down on one side or the other necessarily.   I am reminded of a conversation I had recently about Jane Austen, where someone made the case that she was essentially worthless because her stories inherently upheld the kind of paradigm she was supposedly critiquing.  Well, yeah... she's of that time and place.  She can't really escape it.  It's worth examining and noting, but that doesn't mean you throw out the books entirely.



One thing that struck me was how dismissive Koenig seemed to be (when talking to his mother, of all people) with regard to the role race may have played in Syed's case.  I believe she then chimed in with V/O, saying something about prejudice or bias creeping in.  But it didn't feel like she put much thought into the possibility.  She just moved on.



But then I thought, that's not what she's doing.  She's trying to meticulously gather every shred of information about what happened that day.  She's not pulling the camera back, so to speak, and looking at the larger picture very much (at least not further than their social circle.)  As the parodies demonstrate, her primary focus is obsessively looking at the little details to see if she can even understand what happened on a single day.  I don't know if that forgives it.  But she lived this thing for a year, whereas I mainlined it in two days.  So she probably has a better perspective on it than I do.

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#65
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
 

Regarding the white reporter's privilege idea, I wish we could get to a point where people could acknowledge and accept critiques like that, while still recognizing the original thing has value and importance, without having to come down on one side or the other necessarily.   I am reminded of a conversation I had recently about Jane Austen, where someone made the case that she was essentially worthless because her stories inherently upheld the kind of paradigm she was supposedly critiquing.  Well, yeah... she's of that time and place.  She can't really escape it.  It's worth examining and noting, but that doesn't mean you throw out the books entirely.



One thing that struck me was how dismissive Koenig seemed to be (when talking to his mother, of all people) with regard to the role race may have played in Syed's case.  I believe she then chimed in with V/O, saying something about prejudice or bias creeping in.  But it didn't feel like she put much thought into the possibility.  She just moved on.



But then I thought, that's not what she's doing.  She's trying to meticulously gather every shred of information about what happened that day.  She's not pulling the camera back, so to speak, and looking at the larger picture very much (at least not further than their social circle.)  As the parodies demonstrate, her primary focus is obsessively looking at the little details to see if she can even understand what happened on a single day.  I don't know if that forgives it.  But she lived this thing for a year, whereas I mainlined it in two days.  So she probably has a better perspective on it than I do.



I think you make a good point.  I listened to it in a vacuum, having not looked into the phenomenon until later, and got a distinct feeling of white middle class tourism.  But once it ended with the particular way SK wrapped it up, I felt that in terms of creating a vivid picture of what happened and how it happened, the podcast did succeed in opening up some discussion about criminal justice for young people, specifically young people of color, which has up to this point not seemed to penetrate the overall consciousness - especially the white middle class consciousness.



In terms of white privilege, I think it's incredibly difficult for most middle class whites to even see that it is exists, even in the form you describe above.  Even here on CHUD, I see people making references to being "forced" to think about it or discuss it, when people of color (or women, for that matter, since it equally applies) don't have to think about it - you wake up to it, you go through your day with it, the consequences of it are very real and everpresent.



I do think it played a role in the jury's decision - how could you accept the motive the prosecution put forward and not see the murder in racial/cultural terms?  One thing Serial made clear was exactly how weak the prosecution's case was but also how haphazardly the defense was put together.  I guess one important theme in all of this is that those of us who can serve on juries should.

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#66
AWow. I actually heard the first two episodes when they originally aired and then promptly forgot about it. I had absolutely idea it had grown into this huge thing for people.

What I'm saying is, I heard this show when it was underground. Now? Too mainstream.
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#67
AKoenig is gonna be PISSSSSED.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/...case-pt-1/
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#68

I was thinking that the show has blown up so much that ending it on schedule might be a mistake.  People are just starting to come out of the woodwork in the last couple of weeks.


I imagine the workload was getting them down though.



I haven't looked at it yet, but he's crazy for doing this, no matter what his real role was.  He played it all very smart through the trial.  I guess the online fuss can get to anyone's ego.

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#69
AI read the whole Jay interview. I still think Adnan did it. I don't get why both of them say they weren't friends when they seem to have hung out a lot. There were certainly people in my group of friends that I wasn't all that close to. I never sat in their car with them alone and talked.
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#70

The reddit sub for this went dark for a day out of respect on the anniversary of HML's death.  Which is a nice idea.



Not that I'd recommend anyone look at it anyway.  It gets a bit intense.  There's yeoman's work being done on there though, amongst the warring authoritarian v bleedinghearts combat.  The last bombshell was all the stuff people have found about cell tower technology that does not appear to have been used in the trial.  Like how AT&Ts own documents say that incoming call information should not be used to imply location at all, on top of all the stuff to say that cell info might be questionable anyway.  One would have to get some harder data from Nortel (who probably don't keep it).  What billing gets is simply the last transmitter the phone pinged, or sometimes the next one.  A travelling phone could appear to be miles away from where it actually was thanks to this.



The two crucial calls that the prosecution used to place Adnan's phone (and him) at the burial site around 7pm are incoming calls.


Which is to say nothing of Jay giving a completely different timeline now altogether.



Meanwhile all the trial transcripts trickle out like longer and more boring episodes of Serial.

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