Revisiting the crime scenes featured in season 1 of ‘Serial’

It’s a true crime story that captivated a nation, and even though its final episode aired in December, season one of the podcast “Serial” continues to make news. At the heart of the story is Adnan Syed, convicted in 1999 of killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Last month, Syed found out he’ll have another day in court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals remanded Syed’s case to a circuit court in order to hear testimony from a potential alibi witness, Asia McClain.

McClain has signed two affidavits saying she saw Syed at the Woodlawn Public Library at the time of the murder of fellow classmate Hae Min Lee in January 1999, but Syed’s original attorney never called McClain to testify. Syed’s defense team hopes that these court proceedings will eventually result in a new trial, where they’ll have another chance to argue his innocence.

Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing Lee, who was his high school girlfriend. Since then he’s been serving a life sentence, but his defense team has argued that he had ineffective counsel in the original trial 16 years ago.

Syed’s case was documented in the popular NPR podcast, where reporter Sarah Koenig reexamined the evidence and conducted new interviews with witnesses. The podcast was incredibly popular, and has been downloaded more than 5 million times on iTunes with an average of 1.5 million listeners per episode.

Justin George, a Baltimore Sun reporter who was featured on the podcast, took NewsHour’s William Brangham on a tour of the spots in Woodlawn, Maryland, that were featured in Serial, including:

  • The Best Buy parking lot, where the prosecution alleges Syed took Lee to murder her in her car
  • Leakin Park, where Lee’s body was found buried behind a log
  • Woodlawn Public Library, where McClain says she saw Syed during the time the prosecution said Lee was being murdered

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