Reporter Sarah Koenig pointed to several inconsistencies in Jay Wilds' statements to police.
courtesy Meredith Heuer
Reporter Sarah Koenig pointed to several inconsistencies in Jay Wilds' statements to police.

Story highlights

Final part of the three-part interview is expected to publish Wednesday

"Serial," a popular podcast, detailed an investigation into the 15-year-old murder of Hae Min Lee

Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted

Key witness in the case against Syed was Jay Wilds, who spoke to The Intercept

CNN —  

The first season of “Serial” ended this month, but the story is far from finished.

The popular podcast detailed an investigation into the 15-year-old murder of Hae Min Lee, a popular high school senior in Baltimore. Her ex-boyfriend and classmate, Adnan Syed, was tried and convicted in 2000.

A star witness in the case against Syed was fellow Woodlawn High School student Jay Wilds, who stirred debate this week in a three-part interview with The Intercept. Parts one and two were published Monday and Tuesday. The final part will publish Wednesday.

He says he was unfairly portrayed in the podcast, which revisited in-depth the investigation and trial of Syed – a key part of which was centered on Wilds’ testimony.

Over the course of the 12-episode podcast, reporter Sarah Koenig pointed to several inconsistencies in Wilds’ statements to police and testimony on the witness stand.

Some of what Wilds claims in the new interview also contradicts what he told police – a point he addressed.

“They had to chase me around before they could corner me to talk to me, and there came a point where I was just sick of talking to them. And they wouldn’t stop interviewing me or questioning me,” he said of the police, in part one of the interview. “Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.”

Lee and Syed were seniors at Woodlawn in Baltimore County, Maryland, in January 1999, when she disappeared. Her body was discovered in a city forest three weeks later.

Wilds told police that he helped Syed dig the hole where her body was buried and led police to her missing car. He did not serve time in prison after testifying for the prosecution.

In the interview, Wilds described seeing Lee, dead in the trunk of a car.

“There’s nothing that’s gonna change the fact that this guy drove up in front of my grandmother’s house, popped the trunk, and had his dead girlfriend in the trunk. Anything that’s going to make him innocent doesn’t involve me. Hae was dead before she got to my house. Anything that makes Adnan innocent doesn’t involve me,” he said.

Wilds originally told police that he saw Lee’s body in the parking lot of a Best Buy near the high school.

Rabia Chaudry, a civil rights attorney – who grew up near Syed and tipped the host of “Serial” off to the story – believes Wilds is lying. She pointed to several apparent discrepancies on Twitter.

“I think Jay’s next move should be a live televised polygraph, preferably administered by Geraldo #FreeAdnan #Serial #TheMachineWillDie,” Chaudry wrote.

In a piece for The Guardian newspaper, she argued there may be enough evidence for the state to pursue a perjury charge.

Koenig, the host of “Serial,” has not yet commented on Wilds’ interview. He declined to be formally interviewed for her broadcast., which is a spinoff of the radio program “This American Life.”

The ‘Serial’ podcast: By the numbers

CNN’s Sarah Aarthun contributed to this report.