A new podcast that features the story of Adnan Syed, a man serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend when he was a teenager, kicked off today with a 40-minute episode. “Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed” seeks to further investigate Syed’s case, which was presented in the wildly popular podcast “Serial,” narrated by Sarah Koenig.
“Undisclosed” explores what happened to Hae Min Lee, the teenager who was murdered outside of Baltimore in 1999. Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and family friend of Syed’s, produces and narrates the podcast, along with two other lawyers, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller. While Serial’s style was largely narrative, Chaudry said Undisclosed’s style will be more investigative and will feature some evidence “Serial” did not present.
Since Syed’s original trial more than a decade ago, Asia McClain, his former classmate, has come forward with a potential alibi for Syed. Christina Gutierrez, Syed’s lawyer who has since died, did not bring in McClain for testimony. That’s one of the reasons Syed is claiming he had ineffective counsel in his original case. Chaudry has also said that evidence gathered from cell phone records, which “Serial” used to try to pinpoint Syed’s whereabouts on the day of the murder, is not reliable and should be reexamined.
The podcast is funded by the Adnan Syed Trust, which is a legal defense fund established by friends of Syed to pay for his legal costs and efforts that aim to exonerate Syed. Chaudry said she hopes this continuation of Syed’s story will help keep the public interested in his case, since more scrutiny of his conviction might help lead to exoneration.
Lee’s family never appeared on “Serial.” In November, a man claiming to be Lee’s brother blasted fans of the podcast for being insensitive to his family’s grief. “To me it’s real life,” he wrote.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals currently is considering a petition to allow Syed a new trial.
The first episode deals the day of the murder. Chaudry, Miller and and Simpson examine testimony from witnesses and Syed, as well as other evidence, to try to determine exactly where Syed was on the day Lee was murdered. Listen to the full episode below: