Family of Adnan Syed Reacts to ‘Serial’ Podcast

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Millions have become obsessed with a 15-year-old murder case thanks to NPR’s “Serial,” a podcast from the team behind “This American Life” that explores a real-life mystery week-by-week. At the center of the case is Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when he was still in high school, and has been in prison ever since.

Though Adnan plays an important role on the podcast and is interviewed in almost every episode, his family has refrained from publicly commenting on the show, until now. Adnan’s brother, Yusef Syed, spoke to CBS This Morning about Serial for the first time Thursday.

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“I wake up as soon as they put it on,” he said. “Some days I’ll be like, ‘This is a really great episode,’ and some days I’ll feel down and depressed.” Yusef Syed, who with the help of a lawyer friend, originally reached out to “This American Life” journalist and “Serial” host Sarah Koening about his brother’s story, said he’s glad that the show has brought new attention to his brother’s conviction. The Innocence Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, has since taken on Adnan’s case.

But Yusef also was careful to remind rabid fans of the show who are sharing theories on Reddit and attempting to solve the mystery themselves that “there’s a real girl who died.”

Hae Min Lee’s family has not responded to Koenig’s request for interviews on the show and has yet to comment on the podcast publicly. One man on Reddit, claiming to be Lee’s brother, said that he has not told his parents about the podcast.


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