Key 'Serial' Witness Jay Wilds Breaks Silence But Confuses Us Even More

serial"Have you been listening to Serial?" That's probably one of the most popular questions you've heard from the holiday season, and it's pretty crazy, considering it's a podcast about a murder conviction from 1999 -- but it has certainly taken the country by storm. You'll probably be hearing even more about it too, as fans of the popular podcast are now able to add a missing puzzle piece to this addicting murder mystery. Adnan Syed, then 17, was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, and the key witness in the case, Jay Wilds, hadn't opened up since the podcast hit the airwaves -- until now.

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In December 2000, Syed was found guilty of Lee's murder and is currently serving a life sentence. Wilds says he helped get rid of Lee's body but did not get formally interviewed by This American Life or  Serial host and producer, Sarah Koenig. His testimony was key in convicting Syed. So of course what he had to say will divide opinions even more than they already are.

Here's a quick summary of Wilds' version of events, thanks to a summary from USA Today:

  • “We (Adnan and I) were in the car together during last period (and he said) ‘I gotta go do something. I’m going to be late for practice, so just drop me off. Take my car, take my cellphone. I’ll call you from someone else’s phone when I’m done.’
  • Jay drops Adnan off, goes to the mall to get his girlfriend a gift, goes to his friend Jenn’s to smoke, gets a call to pick Adnan up at Best Buy
  • “So I go to pick him up, and when I get there he says, ‘Oh (crap), I did it.’ I say, ‘Did what?’ He says, ‘I killed Hae.’”
  • “He said, ‘You’ve gotta help me, or I’m gonna tell the cops about you and the weed and all that (crap).’ And then he popped the trunk and I saw Hae’s body.”
  • Jay agrees to help bury Hae, because he’s worried about being sent to jail for dealing weed at his grandmother’s house
  • The two dig Hae’s grave in Leakin Park for about 40 minutes
  • Jay drops Adnan at his car, Adnan drives to Hae’s car, which has Hae’s body
  • Adnan buries Hae and leaves her car behind some row houses
  • Adnan gets into his own car and takes Jay home
  • When questioned, Jay stonewalled police as much as possible “until they told me they weren’t trying to prosecute me for selling weed, or trying to get any of my friends in trouble”

And as USA Today also pointed out, this made Reddit essentially explode with people zeroing in on all the inconsistences of Wilds' story. It's definitely different than what he said in his testimony, and his story has seemed to change rather frequently on what should have most likely been quite a memorable day for him.

Needless to say, perhaps Syed did kill Lee, but considering the prosecution leaned so heavily upon Wilds' testimony, Syed's life sentence could be undeserved if there wasn't enough evidence to convict him without Wilds' version of events. No wonder this podcast is so damn thought-provoking. But with Koenig bringing to light all this new information and all the inconsistences from the time this case was first opened, fans can't help but wonder: Will anything good or constructive come out of all of this? Will Syed be freed and who actually committed the murder if it weren't him? Will the mystery surrounding Lee's killer finally be solved?

It certainly is fascinating and addicting stuff, but we can't forget that a family is still grieving the loss of a young, beautiful woman, and that they may not have been prepared for the onslaught of national attention her case has sparked, and that a man is in jail for her murder for the rest of his life. It's real and heartbreaking and should be treated as sensitively as possible.

In light of this interview, are you more or less convinced of Syed's guilt?

 

Image via Serial

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