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Adnan Syed's Family Speaks About the Effect the 'Serial' Podcast Has Had on Them

By Dustin Rowles | Serial | December 8, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Serial | December 8, 2014 |

Though we are not hearing much firsthand from Adnan Syed’s family on Sarah Koenig’s Serial podcast, they are around, and most of those in his immediate family are listening, with the exception of his father, who has essentially been in a depressive funk since Adnan was imprisoned 15 years ago for the murder of Hae Min Lee.

For the other members of the Syed family, however, Serial has been a mixed blessing, according to an interview The Guardian conducted with Adnan’s mother, Shamim, and brother, Yusuf. Shamim sneaks in episodes late at night after her husband has gone to bed, if only to hear her son’s voice, while Yusuf does what we all do: He absorbs episodes in his room, and spends all day thinking about them.

Yusuf and Shamim don’t have much to offer by way of new details, although both wish that Adnan’s father had been more strict with Adnan growing up, had put his foot down, and had insisted that Adnan stay away from drugs, alcohol, and girls, a combination of “vices” that put Adnan in a position to be blamed for Hae’s murder.

The podcast itself itself seems to have affected them in ways both good and bad. Yusuf, who is so obsessed that he spends hours poring over Reddit threads, is often upset with the number of people on Reddit who believe with certainty that Adnan committed the murder.

For some reason, Yusuf did find delightful one post on Facebook from the judge in Adnan’s trial, because he interprets it to mean that the judge was rattled by the podcast:

“I listened to the podcast,” the judge wrote, “and saw how this very intelligent young man manipulated the writer. The evidence was overwhelming. I can see how 16 years later he has regret that he wasted his life by planning and carrying out the murder of his girlfriend. Very sad indeed.”

On the other hand, the family that became estranged after Adnan’s conviction is bonding again.

“I haven’t told Sarah this,” Yusuf says, “but we feel Serial has brought us all back together. My older brother Tanveer - who was estranged for 15 years - he came home. When he heard my brother’s voice, it brought back all the memories. He’s visited us three or four times already.”

Meanwhile, unrelated to the interview, Joanna Robinson spotted this short interview with Hae Min Lee, which gives us a sad glimpse at the now deceased woman at the center of this story.

Source: The Guardian

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.