7 Of The Internet's Most Intriguing Theories About 'Serial' & The Murder Of Hae Min Lee

November 20, 2014
By: Ami Angelowicz

You’re hardly alone in your “Serial” obsession. Since the podcast debuted in October of 2014, it’s received a record number of downloads.

Below is a very brief description of the show, for those of you who haven’t listened or followed the “Serial” aftermath in the form of exclusive interviews, follow up podcasts and subsequent hearing for Adnan Syed:

After journalist Sarah Koenig got an email from attorney, Rabia Chaudry, about the alleged innocence of the man convicted of killing Baltimore high school student, Hae Min Lee, Koenig was hooked and decided to investigate the case herself.

Lee was murdered in January 1999, and her body was found in Baltimore’s Leakin Park a month later. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of Lee’s murder after his friend Jay Wilds, a former classmate of Hae’s and Adnan’s, went to the police. Adnan and his family insist that, despite the conviction, he’s innocent. Koenig explores the possibility of Adnan’s innocence, focusing on a different aspect of the case each week.

Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed

Naturally, the Internet (namely, Reddit) was swarming with theories — some of them logically sound, and some of them way out there — about whodunnit, (supposing Adnan is not guilty as charged). We dug around and found a few theories you might not have considered:

Theory #1: Hae was pregnant.

In a note that was admitted as evidence during Adnan’s trial, Hae’s friend Aisha testified that the words “I’m going to kill” were a mysterious addition to a note passed around class. While some took this to mean that Adnan intended to kill Hae, others seem to think that this was an admission that Hae was pregnant and planned to get an abortion. If Hae was pregnant, this adds another layer of complexity to the already mind-boggling case, and possibly, a motive.

In May 1998, six months before Hae was killed, an 18-year-old girl from Woodlawn was murdered by the same method. According to a Baltimore Sun article, Roy Sharonnie Davis III was convicted of the murder of Jada Denita Lambert in 2003. At the time of Hae’s murder, Davis was living right nearby. Could there be a link?

Very thorough Redditor, justforserial, painstakingly put together a theory that Hae’s murder was orchestrated by Jay and his friend Jenn, the other person who seems to believe Adnan was acting strange on the day of Hae’s disappearance. The motive? Jay and Jen were having an affair behind Stephanie's (Jay’s girlfriend) back and Hae knew about it. Plausible or impossible?

We waited with bated breath to find out The Deal With Jay. We came away not really knowing anything definitive — just that he looked like Dennis Rodman in high school and sometimes he lies, but never about anything as important as murder. Well. Gee.Thanks. According to some self-appointed sleuthers, the deal with Jay is that he’s a criminal informant for the police department for a good number of reasons detailed here. That would explain those missing hours of interrogation…

In a five-part theory, Redditor miketetzu proposes that “Adnan murdered Hae, and Adnan’s plan was to set Jay up for the murder. However, something happened: perhaps Jay got nervous, perhaps Adnan let something slip, or they had a falling out of sorts. Jay decided to sell Adnan out before Adnan sold him out, hence Adnan’s ‘you’re pathetic. aside at trial.”

File this theory under the “very far-fetched” category. Redditor SudsiestPanda seems to believe that Adnan hired a hitman to kill Hae and the reason Jay knew so many details about the murder was that the hitman blabbed about it to Jay, which seems very irresponsible for a hitman.

When you wake up first thing in the morning and have a revelation about “Serial,” what do you do? Post your thoughts on Reddit, of course. That’s what iam_w0man did. Although she hadn’t quite figured out a motive, she woke up one morning pretty certain that Jay’s girlfriend Stephanie offed Hae and asked the two men she trusted most — Jay and Adnan to clean up her mess.

For exclusive interviews, new evidence and more from alibi witness Asia McClain, watch Adnan Syed: Innocent Or Guilty? Tuesday, July 5 at 7/6c on Investigation Discovery.

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