In 1999, 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee went missing and was later found dead. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of her murder and before the case became more widely publicized in the Serial podcast in 2014, he sought a new trial to overturn his original guilty verdict. Now, the HBO docuseries The Case Against Adnan Syed further explores the case and its aftermath. But there are already some alternative theories for Hae Min Lee’s murder that take things further than The Case Against Adnan Syed.
Due to the evidence of cell phone call logs and the testimonies of two individuals, Syed was found guilty of first degree murder, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and robbery after a six week trial. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. Syed was denied two appeals before he was granted permission in 2015 to appeal his conviction. On Nov. 29, 2018, an appeals panel of seven different judges heard pleas on both sides to either uphold Syed’s conviction or overturn his original murder conviction based on newly presented evidence and a witness testimony that placed him miles from where the prosecutor had said Syed killed Lee.
Right now, Syed is still awaiting the result of that panel meeting, but HBO’s documentary will dive deeper into Lee’s disappearance and murder, the case, and the aftermath. Before the docuseries premieres, however, some people who have followed the case have theories of their own.
Syed Had Help With The Crime
Some of those who have followed the case and developed their own theories based on expert internet sleuthing might still believe Syed killed Lee. However, on Twitter someone wrote that he might have had help from Jay Wilds, who was a friend and key witness in the trial. This isn't a brand new theory, especially since most theories have exhausted all of the options, accusing nearly everyone even a little bit involved in the case of being guilty in some way. But given the fact that Wilds was so open with his testimony and numerous police interviews, he may have been trying to cover himself by placing all of the blame on Syed.
Jay Wilds Was An Informant
Another popular theory that says more than Serial might have states that Jay Wilds was a police informant. It’s common knowledge now that Wilds was known for dealing weed around town and that it was part of what sparked his friendship with Syed. On Reddit, aeslehcssim pointed out that despite admitting that he knew about Syed’s involvement in Lee’s murder, he walked away from the case with no punishment after potentially feeding the police a ton of information. It could be, the Redditor wrote, why he was provided a free attorney from the prosecution and why his story was so believable to most.
Another Murderer Killed Lee
One theory that doesn't have much case-related evidence to back it up is that Lee was murdered by someone totally uninvolved in her or Syed’s lives. On Reddit, Irkeley pointed out that there was no physical evidence to link either Syed or Wilds to Lee’s murder. Seven months earlier, an 18-year-old girl’s body was found in a stream in northeast Baltimore. Like Lee, she had neck trauma. There were details relating the two cases that were similar enough, though the suspect in that case, Roy Sharonnie Davis III, wasn't found guilty of the crime until 2002 so he wasn't considered a suspect for Lee’s murder.
Syed Did Kill Lee But He Doesn't Remember
A Redditor who deleted their account after posting a theory about Syed being technically guilty but unaware of his actions could have been onto something. Unfortunately, there isn't much to back up the theory that Syed might have suffered from dissociative identity disorder and killed Lee with no memory of the crime afterward. But like others who have followed the case and continue to find alternative theories to Syed being totally guilty, it offers a different perspective.
When The Case Against Adnan Syed premieres on HBO on March 10 at 9 p.m. ET, the case and events surrounding it will be re-examined. But until then, there are already enough alternative theories about Lee’s murder to keep the true crime buff inside of you thinking about the details.