The Airplane Journey of Justifying Adnan’s Innocence

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Adnan Syed’s Yearbook Picture


The purpose of this blog is to investigate the Serial podcast, and how the host, Sarah, uses features in her podcast to change the way how the audience might interpret the message. Also, I will be stating my opinion on whether Adnan is guilty or not, and backing my opinion with logical evidence.

The Story

The host of the Serial podcast investigates a story of a gorgeous couple in Woodlawn High School, Baltimore City, in 1999, their names are: Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. One day, Hae was supposed to pick up he little cousins from a different school, unfortunately, she never arrived, and from that day on, she was nowhere to be found, this was six weeks after she broke up with Adnan. After some time, Hae’s dead body was found in a forest. Who was arrested for all of this? None other than her ex-boyfriend: Adnan Syed. Adnan has been in jail ever since 1999, and to this day, he still claims that he did not kill anyone.


Air plane - Line Drawn Vector
Airplane Journey Through the Reasons of Why Adnan is Innocent

Powerful Reasons Why Adnan is Innocent


Welcome aboard readers,! I am your pilot, Abdullah, make sure you place your luggage in the overhead compartment, adjust your seats, and fasten your seatbelts. Let me take you on this long flight to identify all reasons of why Adnan is innocent.


First Layover: The “Jay’s Falsehood” Airport

The main cause of why the police arrested Adnan is because of Jay’s testimony in court, where Jay “explained” the whole situation. I believe that Adnan should not be arrested only because of one person’s statement. Either way, Jay’s perspective of the story is a total lie, almost nothing Jay said matched up with logic. For example, there was never a phone booth at the sidewalk beside Best Buy, his claims of the calls did not match the cell tower’s call record, and the list goes on. Not only that, there is a strong evidence of why Jay is a liar. First of all, why would Jay lie in the first place? Jay’s girlfriend’s name is Steph, and according to Adnan, him and Steph were “good friends”. Naturally, Jay would feel jealous towards Adnan, since him and Steph have a connection. Therefore, Jay used the testimony to fire back at Adnan. Making a decision based off of one testimony blatantly false, yet, there are a substantial number of reasons of why Jay is lying.

Second Layover: The “Lack of Logic” Airport

The whole issue seems to be a cluster of uncertain stories, no one in the testimony can back up their stories with valid reasons, however, there is still a logical evidence. If Adnan and really buried Hae, his hair and DNA would appear somewhere, and the soil of the forest would match the soil on his shoes. Luckily, Koenig says: “As for physical evidence, there was none– nothing. Apart from some fingerprints in Hae’s car, which Adnan had been in many times, there was nothing linking him to the crime– no DNA, no fibers, no hairs, no matching soil from the bottom of his boots”. This quote proves that Adnan is innocent through logical evidence. Since there is large number of distrustful stories, it would only make perfect sense to investigate this issue through logic, in that case, Adnan is entirely innocent.

Adnan Syed (left) and his Ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee

Final Layover: The “Wrongfully Convicted” Airport

False convictions are extremely common in the United States, and this might be why Adnan is arrested. An article about false convictions in America claims that: “wrongful conviction rate of 1 percent (of 2,000,000 prisoners) would translate to 20,000 people punished for crimes they didn’t commit” (Ferner, A Record Number Of People Were Exonerated In 2015 For Crimes They Didn’t Commit).  For 20,000 people to be falsely locked up is a tremendous number, it is an immense possibility for Adnan to be part of that statistic. It is evident that the police wants to purposely arrest Adnan. Don is also one of Hae’s boyfriends who also met Adnan, when he was at his testimony, he told the podcast something the police did that was very suspicious. After his testimony, Don says: “when I testified, they pulled me in a back room and let me tell you how fun that was, to have the prosecutor afterwards yelling at me because I did not make Adnan sound creepy,” he said, “they wanted me to make him sound creepy””. It is common for police to intentionally arrest someone for something they did not commit, by the police wanting Don to make Adnan sound vicious, this indicates that they do want him in jail, even though he is innocent.

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Adnan Syed’s Most Recent Photograph

How Koenig Takes Advantage of a Podcast

Podcasts have many features, such as: adding music, adding different voice tones, speaking bias, and so on, and all these features can change the way the audience might interpret the message. The host of the Serial podcast, Sarah Koenig, uses the features of the podcast in support for Adnan’s case, where she makes him look innocent. Specifically, Sarah provokes bias for Adnan, by using emotional appeal to the audience and the implementation of sad music. Sarah triggers the emotions of the audience by claiming: “I mean most of the time I think he didn’t do it. For big reasons, like the utter lack of evidence but also small reasons, things he said to me just off the cuff or moments when he’s cried on the phone and tried to stifle it so I wouldn’t hear”. This quote demonstrates the sadness that Adnan suffers, by Sarah expressing the sadness of Adnan, the audience would feel sorry for him, and alternate their opinions on him. Music has a great impact on the audience, by adding sad music, the audience’s mood would shift so swiftly and quickly, to the point where they have a different belief on Adnan. Furthermore, Sarah uses sad music at: 48:55, while Adnan was crying, I even have to admit that the sad music impacted my thinking. I could a hear a voice in the back of my mind saying: “Hmm what if Adnan is really not the killer? I mean, look at him, he’s so sad”. Sarah did the right thing by using the features of a podcast to create bias for Adnan, because after all, it even looks like Sarah believes that he is innocent.

Final Thoughts

I am glad that the Serial podcast is the first podcast that I listened to, I enjoyed researching about Adnan Syed, if he is out of jail, and what his new trial is about. Since I am so interested in the whole story, in the past few weeks, I started to talk about Adnan’s issue to my friends and family. The Serial podcast is a podcast that I recommend to anyone! Since websites are considered media text, it is most appropriate to credit a website through a Work Cited page (MLA). Below, I will be citing the Serial podcast, and websites used in this blog for pictures and information.


Works Cited

“Serial Podcast – Episode 1: The Alibi.” Genius. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Serial Podcast – Episode 12: What We Know.” Genius. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017

Ferner, Matt. “A Record Number Of People Were Exonerated In 2015 For Crimes They        Didn’t Commit.” The Huffington Post,, 3 Feb. 2016,        

Ferron/TNS, Karl Merton. “Serial’s Adnan Syed Has Been Granted New Trial.” Vulture, 29 Mar. 2018,

Heller, Corinne. “Serial’s Adnan Syed to Get New Trial?” E! Online, E! News, 29 Mar. 2018,

Heller, Corinne. “Serial’s Adnan Syed to Get New Trial?” E! Online, E! News, 29 Mar. 2018,

“Illustration of Air Plane on White Background, Cartoon Vector..” 123RF Stock Photos,

Patterson, Ashton. “Lets Discuss.” Adnan Syed: Innocent Until Proven Guilty?, Blogger, 30 Mar. 2018,


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