Adnan's story The search for truth and justice after Serial

Rabia Chaudry

Book - 2016

"In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan's story. In 2014, Koenig's invest...igation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating that after Hae was killed her body was kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that refutes the cell phone evidence--among many other points. And she shows how fans of Serial joined an amazing crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also gives a sense of Adnan's life in prison and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice has yet to be achieved in this much-examined case."--Dust jacket.

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2016.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
410 pages : facsimiles ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250087102
1250087104
Main Author
Rabia Chaudry (author)
  • Star-crossed lovers
  • Vanished : missing Hae
  • A body
  • Living the lie
  • Murder in the first
  • Witness for the prosecution
  • Life plus thirty
  • Sarah Koenig
  • Fifth column
  • Serial
  • It takes a village
  • Undisclosed
  • Truth and justice.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Nothing about this case is normal, learns Chaudry, who spent more than a decade advocating for Adnan Syed, her brother's best friend, before bringing his case to the attention of journalist Sarah Koenig. In 2014, Koenig narrated Syed's story via the popular podcast Serial, a spin-off of the radio program This American Life. Recounted is the racial and religious profiling that occurred as Syed was convicted of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend in 1999, denied bail, given a life sentence, and refused multiple appeals—all while enduring a negligent lawyer who was later disbarred. In building their case against Syed, Chaudry maintains, the state of Maryland followed no other leads; ignored crime scene evidence; engaged in witness tampering, including offering rewards; and arrested Syed's only alibi. Chaudry, a lawyer who hosts the podcast Undisclosed, also reveals inconsistencies in cell phone evidence among other key records. Interspersed among detailed court proceedings are reflections from Syed. Most haunting are depictions of his family members, who each grieve in their own way. VERDICT A skillfully written account of injustice that will have wide appeal to fans of Serial and readers of human interest stories, and is especially timely as Syed's conviction was vacated in July 2016 and a new trial granted.—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal [Page 108]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Launched into the collective consciousness by the podcast Serial, the investigation into Adnan Syed's involvement in the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend continues to fascinate in this gripping account from attorney Chaudry, a friend of Syed's family, who first brought the case to the attention of the podcast creators. Chaudry uses her unique perspective to craft a gripping and meticulously detailed account of the case including letters, court transcripts, and documentary evidence that fill in the show's gaps and provide the latest updates. Readers new to the story will have no trouble following—the narrative is outlined extensively from the beginning—and podcast listeners will find plenty of previously undisclosed material. Chaudry explains what Serial missed, including a lack of legal perspective, and she argues that host Sarah Koenig failed to convey the enormity of Syed's (later disbarred) attorney's incompetence. She strongly makes the case for cultural and religious bias in the investigation and conviction and presents damaging evidence of police misconduct, including tampering with evidence and a witness. She also examines other suspects and their possible motives and alibis. Syed provides running commentary that creates a depiction of the damage inflicted on a person when the system fails. Chaudry's version of a story of "justice, bigotry, faith, community, devastation, healing, and hope" points to an intentional, systematic framing of Syed by investigators, allegations that will surely spark controversy as his legal ordeal continues. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Chaudry was a law student when her younger brother's good friend Adnan Syed was arrested for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Back in 2000, the case made local headlines, but nothing could be compared to the national attention it attracted when Sarah Koenig decided to produce the podcast Serial for This American Life in 2013. Thanks to the national publicity of Serial , the following podcast Undisclosed , and the hours of work by Chaudry and other prominent lawyers and friends, Syed was granted a new trial in June 2016. Chaudry, with Syed's approval, details even more mistakes and travesties of the murder investigation and the trial. As recently as August 2016, controversies over Syed's alibi have been in the news, and many high school students listen to the podcast in class. While the book is a bit clunky toward the end, readers will still want to acquire all the facts to decide for themselves if Syed is guilty or innocent. VERDICT Fans of Serial will eagerly read more about the case, and true crime enthusiasts will download the podcast after reading this title.—Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A full-length account of the story investigated by the award-winning Serial podcast draws on some 170 documents and letters to trace the experiences of Adnan Syed, who in 2000 was sentenced to life for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and who the author and other supporters are certain is innocent.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A full-length account of the story investigated by the "Serial" podcast traces the experiences of Adnan Syed, who in 2000 was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, and who the author and other supporters believe to be innocent.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Now a New York Times bestseller and a major docuseriesThe 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus FoundationA Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016A Goodreads Best of 2016 Nonfiction FinalistA Kobo Best Book of 2016Includes an update from Rabia on Adnan's vacated murder conviction in summer 2016Serial only told part of the story…In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listenersBut Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence -- among many other points -- and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

With intimate details and newly-uncovered evidence Adnan's Story goes beyond what the hit podcast Serial covered in it's investigation of Adnan Syed's case.