What Happened to Adnan Syed in 'Serial'? Everything You Need to Know Ahead of HBO's Documentary

Adnan Syed is currently serving life in prison, plus 30 years, for the murder of Hae Min Lee, his high school girlfriend. Syed says he didn't commit the crime, and those closest to him believe it. His story is one that unfolded publically, years later, in podcast form, and now its reach is only growing.

Syed is the subject of Serial Season 1, where the facts about his case, as well as discrepancies, were spotlighted enough to let listeners form their own opinions on Syed's said guilt. Now, HBO is picking up where the podcast left off to lead viewers into the current movements in Syed's case in The Case Against Adnan Syed, a documentary series.

The Cast Against Adnan Syed will pick up where Serial left off. It will touch on the basic facts about Syed's case, listed in Serial, but here's what you missed if you haven't heard the viral podcast, or if you need a refresher on everything that could eventually free Syed.

Syed was convicted by a few major pieces of evidence: cell phone records, a friend's testimony, and his lack of alibi. There are arguments, however, that all three of these things are incorrect.

Cell Phone Evidence

Cell phone evidence was largely responsible for putting Syed behind bars, but the first episode of Serial outlined why, maybe, they shouldn't be taken too seriously. Rabia Chaudry, who is a lawyer and friend of the Syed family, explained a discovery that could advocate for Syed's release. The cell phone records, which worked to convict Syed, are records of incoming calls, not of cell towers. The sheet, which was used as evidence in his trial, explicitly states they should not be considered reliable to determine location.

Jay Wild's Testimony

Much of the information given to police was from Syed's acquaintance Jay Wild, who many called a pathological liar. Since Syed's conviction, there have been conversations about investigators coercing Wild's testimony. Serial explained how Wild's story changed as investigators questioned him, and as he appeared in the trial. Wild told investigators first he had not helped Syed bury the body, but later said he did help dig a hole.

Syed's Alibi

Syed also couldn't provide an alibi for himself the day Lee disappeared, but a classmate of Syed's provided one years later. She said she saw Syed in the school library that day, which threw off the entire argument of when and where Syed killed Lee.

The Case Against Adnan Syed recaps these crucial parts, as well as dives deeper into the meaning of each, why they're important and how they could free Syed in the future.

What Happened to Adnan Syed in 'Serial'? Everything You Need to Know Ahead of HBO's Documentary | Culture