MIAMI, FL., March 13, 2019 – HBO presents an interesting look at an ongoing investigation in an attempt to piece together the acts that led to a 1999 homicide and subsequent conviction of the alleged murderer in THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED. The four part documentary series premieres on Sunday, March 17 at 20:45hs AST* with subsequent episodes each Sunday, only on HBO and HBO GO.
On January 13, 1999, Hae Min Lee, an 18 year-old high school student from Baltimore, Maryland (U.S.) suddenly disappeared, only for her body to be found almost two weeks later. The suspect, her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
The case was brought to global attention in 2014 through the hugely popular podcast “Serial.” The investigative reporting podcast shared specific details of the case, impacting pop culture in the United States and gaining the attention of millions of listeners around the world.
In production since 2015, THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED reviews the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, from high school romance, forbidden love and cultural conflict, to the aftermath of her disappearance, the original police investigation and the present day, as Syed awaits the outcome of a lengthy appeals process.
Director Amy Berg brings a fresh eye to the case and offers interviews with key players, many of whom were not featured in the original podcast. Bringing the story to life visually, she revisits the crime and follows unfolding developments from 2014 to today. The series presents new information that questions the state’s case, and draws on exclusive access to essential characters, including new audio recordings of Syed from prison, the defense team, the Syed family, friends and teachers of Hae Min Lee, private investigators and members of Baltimore City law enforcement, examining how Syed’s trial and subsequent conviction in 2000 raised as many questions as they answered.
In Feb. 2016, Syed’s post-conviction relief proceedings commenced and continued for five days. In June 2016, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch granted Syed’s request for a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cellphone tower data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness, Asia McClain, finally had her day in court.
The State of Maryland appealed the lower court judge’s ruling, but on March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and grant him the retrial he has been waiting for. The state appealed once again, to the highest court in Maryland, to review the decision to overturn Syed’s conviction. An appeals panel of seven judges heard oral arguments in Nov. 2018, and all parties are awaiting their decision later this year.
THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED is produced by Working Title TV and Instinct Productions and is a production of HBO Documentary Films in association with Sky. Directed by Amy Berg.
Part 1: “Forbidden Love” (March 17, 2019)
Family and friends of Adnan Syed, who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee, recall their blossoming high-school romance, their emotional breakup, Lee’s mysterious disappearance and the discovery of her body, and the events that led to Syed’s arrest. After the podcast phenomenon “Serial” resurrects the cold case for millions, Syed’s family prepares for his appeal in Feb. 2016, and a chance to discover the truth after nearly 20 years.