Splitting Hairs, Not the moon

Information about Adnan Syed’s last appeal suggest that one of the central points of the appeal is that he wanted to cop a plea.

A plea bargain (had it been solicited or offered) would have required Adnan to admit in court, under oath, that he had killed Hae Min Lee.

He would have plead guilty to a reduced charge (like 2nd degree murder, perhaps) and in exchange he would have received a reduced sentence.

No SK. No Serial. No lingering questions.

And no justice for Hae, her broken family, her community, peers, and loved ones.

So when the most truculent and vociferous proponents of the “Free Adnan” movement speak exclusively of the collateral damage to Adnan and his supports, I have to wonder if they have lost sight of the heart of this story–the agony of a lost daughter, a lost girl, a broken-hearted family, and the physical reality of a young woman brutalized and murdered.

I would ask these people how can the bay and croon over a man accused of murder and stay so conspicuously indifferent to the real and only true victim in this story–Hae Min Lee.

A Letter to the Guilty

I was struck by a stranger’s assertion–a totally innocent person.

There are no totally innocent people. No one is that good. We ride our bicycles in the darkness without a light, go places and do things we simply should not. Not go. Not be. Not do.

It seems to me that putting two teenagers on display for a gruesome, heartless murder is a little like putting them into an ancient coliseum, only our lions are as digital as our judgement.

We say none of the things we should say. We are afraid of the truth. Simple, awful truth.

Truth: a young girl’s sexual partner can harm her. Irrevocably harm her.

Truth: there are great, tragic gaps in the story of Hae Min’s murder that should have been filled by adults–mentoring, listening, intervening, protecting.

People can be dangerous, prone to violence and heartbreak.


All our empty words cannot bring back the dead.

It is difficult for me to believe that Jay fabricated his story whole cloth. It makes more sense that he found himself trapped inside a story of violence and death and told parts of a terrible truth.

But “part of the truth” is not enough for any of us to survive. What we all need is naked truth, but naked truth is excoriating–tearing families, communities, faith, and assumptions.

Naked truth requires a Savior–

Our single and only Totally Innocent Man.

He died surrounded by the guilty

He died to pay for the last choking lonely terrible life of a girl who fell into the hands of violence.

He died for us, the broken.

Not just for the terrible secrets of two boys involved in a crime. But all of us as well.

All cries for justice and truth lead inexorably to the Cross…

Speaking Up for the Lee Women

Hae Min Lee’s mother spoke so eloquently in court that no further comment is necessary.

Every last soul with hands in the air lamenting the injustice of Adnan
Syed’s trial(s) should have her statement memorized…in the original Korean.


Because any sort of temporal acknowledgement of the merciless nature of grief does nothing to assuage that grief.

So you are obsessed with Serial? So you are already wondering how you will face life if they take a hiatus?

There is no hiatus for Hae’s mother. Her life is a daily, hourly, quotidian sweep of pain. Fifteen years will not have dulled that pain because her daughter will not be brought back.

What right do we have to approach that kind of pain with speculation and theories?

As though this real tragedy were a scripted drama.

It may truly be unconscionable to find diversion in the unending tragedy of murder if that contemplation objectifies both the victim and her family.

Her family as in–a murdered girl-child still does not afford the legal status as a male murder suspect.

Her family as in–the Korean American community is thriving and active in Baltimore but Sarah Koenig could not find a single voice to represent their loss.

Not even Hae’s own voice. Sarah has conspicuously neglected Hae’s own voice.

A voice silenced, choked out: unrequited.

I have not heard a word to suggest that was ever about restoring justice to the victim at the heart of this story.