The True Crime Behind Serial Is Getting The HBO Treatment

Photo: Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS/Getty Images.
The case that captivated the world on Sarah Koenig's podcast Serial is now getting the TV treatment. According to a press release, Adnan Syed will be the subject of an upcoming HBO documentary series which seeks to examine not only the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee for which Syed was convicted, but also the efforts to pursue justice for Syed by his family and friends.
Per the release from HBO, the four-hour documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed will be helmed by An Open Secret director Amy Berg and explore "new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state's case."
Syed attended high school with Lee at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, where they dated for about a year before breaking up. A month after her disappearance in January of 1999, Lee's body was found partially buried in Leakin Park, the cause of death manual strangulation. In February of 2000, Syed was convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence. But his supporters never stopped fighting, believing Syed was wrongfully convicted after an unfair trial.
The first season of Serial followed journalist Koenig as she did a deep dive into Syed's past, and the evidence that could lead to his exoneration. By the end of the podcast, however, listeners were left without any concrete answers. Each episode painted Syed's story in a different light, and evidence that seemed to prove he did not kill Lee (like the presence of an eyewitness, Asia McClain, who could put Syed in the library during the crime) came with plenty of other questions. Nothing explored in Serial could definitively prove what really happened to Lee, or whether Syed was actually involved.
Was Syed truly wrongly convicted, or had he conned his supporters into believing his innocence? There's not a listener who doesn't have their own theory... but, perhaps, the documentary series will be able to answer this question more definitively.
The legal system will also reexamine the case against Syed. In March of 2018, Syed got what he was hoping for after nearly 20 years behind bars: the promise of a new trial, granted by an appeals court in Maryland.
An official premiere date for the upcoming documentary series has not yet been released, but at least we can all keep an eye on this real world story as it develops.

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