Update: The Lee family have released another statement, in light of last week's proceedings, including the testimony of Asia McClain. Speaking through Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah, they say:
"The events of this past week have reopened wounds few can imagine. It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae. She stood up for what was right, regardless of popular opinion. Unlike those who learn about this case on the internet, we sat and watched every day of both trials — so many witnesses, so much evidence. We wish Ms. Asia McClain had watched, too, because then she would not do what she is doing. Whatever her personal motives, we forgive her, but we hope she will not use Hae's name in public, which hurts us when we hear it from her. She did not know Hae and because of Adnan, she never will." Baltimore Sun crime reporter Justin Fenton posted a transcript of the full statement on Twitter yesterday evening.
Adan Syed's hearing is expected to be extended through at least today and tomorrow. We will continue to update as the story develops.
This post was originally published on February 4, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.
Adnan Syed's new hearing began in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday. As expected, Syed's high school friend — and alibi — Asia McClain, took the stand to testify with information previously heard on Serial. Since the captivating podcast took off in 2014, all eyes have been on Syed, who has long maintained his innocence in the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. But the vicitm's own family has thus far remained silent and seemingly impossible to locate. But after yesterday's proceedings, they released a statement for the first time.
"Our family has lived without a heart for over 17 years. And we continue to grieve every day in private. "The immediate family members have decided not to attend this hearing. But we are grateful to all the people who are there and will be there to support us and to give Hae a voice. She is the true victim. "Although this has made us relive a nightmare we thought was behind us, we thank the State for standing up for us and continuing to seek justice. We believe justice was done when Adnan was convicted in 2000, and we look forward to bringing this chapter to an end so we can celebrate the memory of Hae instead of celebrating the man who killed her. "We ask that you keep Hae in your thoughts and prayers."
It's a sobering reminder to the millions of listeners who've formed a rabid fandom around Serial. While the show is, on the one hand, a wildly compelling story, it is also the very real history of a life-shattering tragedy — not only for the Syed family, but, of course, for the Lees. Regardless of Syed's fate, Hae Min Lee will never be returned to her family. And, as her family says, she too deserves a voice.