'The Case Against Adnan Syed' Reveals New Intel & Insight Into the 'Serial' Murder

Ingela Ratledge
Preview HBO

Millions listened to the wildly popular 2014 true-crime podcast Serial — and HBO’s The Case Against Adnan Syed puts faces to the names.

Revealing freshly unearthed clues and information, the four-part docuseries revisits the 1999 murder of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee and sheds new light on how her ex-boyfriend, fellow high school senior Adnan Syed (above), came to be convicted — many believe wrongfully — and sentenced to life in prison.

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“It’s important to understand the evidence — or lack thereof,” director Amy Berg says.

Here’s what’s on the docket.

NEW INTEL

Berg and her team, which included private investigators, began the project in 2015 and continued filming through this February. “A lot has happened since Serial,” Berg says.

Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed (HBO)

Among the developments: Syed’s potential alibi sets the record straight, and the testimony of the state’s key witness, Jay Wilds, gets further debunked. Remember those cell phone records that seemed to implicate Syed? We’ll see how they were discredited thanks to Susan Simpson, an attorney who volunteered her services after tuning in to the podcast. (As a result of her findings, Syed’s original conviction has been vacated and he is currently awaiting another trial.)

Says Berg, “We were able to prove that a lot of the statements made about Adnan in the courthouse couldn’t have actually been possible.”

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The hit docuseries puts its audience to the task.

NEW INSIGHTS

The series also puts the events surrounding Lee’s death into a larger context, raising issues about race, religion and the justice system. Moreover, it provides a heartrending portrait of Lee via interviews with friends as well as passages excerpted from her journal — a reminder to focus on the humanity behind the headlines.

“Hae would have been 38 years old now,” Berg says. “For me, one of the most important things was to show people this young woman with a bright future whose life was taken away.”

The Case Against Adnan Syed, Series Premiere, Sunday, March 10, 9/8c, HBO