Bleats

After Hours Of Listening And Years Of Investigation, Serial’s Adnan Is Going Nowhere

He's spent nearly twenty years in prison so far.

Serial season one feels like a lifetime ago, but it actually came out just five years ago. I doubt you have, but in case you’ve forgotten: Adnan Syed was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 2000, but the case only received national (and international) attention following Serial‘s coverage of the case in 2014.

Two years after Serial, a judge vacated Syed’s conviction and ordered a new trial. In 2018, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the decision to grant Syed a new trial.

Now, the Maryland Court of Appeals has announced that Syed will not be getting a second trial after all.

This is a reversal of the 2018 decision, when the Court of Special Appeals ruled that Syed’s “Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel was violated” because of the failure to interview a potential alibi witness, Asia McClain, who said she saw Syed in the school library at the time Lee was murdered.

According to Syed’s lawyer, the Court of Appeals decided that McClain’s testimony “would not have affected the outcome of the proceeding.” He added:

“Unfortunately we live in a binary criminal justice system in which you either win or you lose. Today we lost by a 4-3 vote.”

Asia McClain took to Twitter to express herself following the decision. In the live video, she’s visibly emotional, and says she doesn’t “know how to process this right now, because it doesn’t make sense” to her. She says that the argument that her testimony wouldn’t have made a difference “makes no sense” , and calls the decision “such b.s.”.

Syed has served 19 years of a life sentence. A documentary on the case, called The Case Against Adnan Syed, will be premiering on HBO in the US this weekend.

In all of this, I worry that it’s easy to lose sight of Hae Min Lee and her family, who have consistently avoided the spotlight since Serial‘s release.

In a rare statement released in 2016, the family said:

“It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae.”

The director of the HBO documentary, Amy Berg, said that she felt it was important to incorporate Lee’s life into the documentary in ways Serial hadn’t.

“That was one of my first goals, to be honest: to bring the real Hae to life through her friend’s accountings, and hopefully, through the journal entries. I really wanted to make sure that she wasn’t just another victim. Hae was this beautiful young woman who had many things to look forward to in life. I wanted to make sure that we really, really felt her.”

Whatever happens next, remembering the victim at the heart of all of this is paramount.

This British Teen Wanted To Ride Around The World, But Some Cheeky Queenslanders Stole His Bike

Sorry, mate.

British teen Charlie Condell was happily spending his gap year riding his bicycle around the world, documenting his adventures on Instagram. That is, until he came to Australia. That’s when tragedy struck.

After 102 days on the road, Charlie’s bike was stolen in Townsville earlier this week, and it has yet to be recovered, despite his pleas in the media for its safe return.

Displaying a classic British stiff upper lip, he told the ABC,  “The bike does mean a lot to me.”

His passport, camping and cycling gear were also stolen, which just seems like rubbing salt in the wound. All of these were stolen from the garage of a Townsville hostel, and Condell said it was the first time he’d locked up his bike during his whole trip, which has seen him ride through 20 countries in Europe and Asia, racking up more than 11,000 kilometres.

You read that right: Queenslanders managed to steal his bike from a locked garage where people across Asia and Europe left his bike alone despite him taking no security precautions whatsoever. This is really helping us shed that convict reputation overseas, guys.

He’s hoping to break the world record for youngest person to cycle around the world.

Currently, the record is held by Tom Davies, a 19-year-old Brit who did it in six months. What’s up with Brits and cycling around the world?

Condell supplied the ABC with a map of his planned route, which sees him heading to New Zealand and the United States after he departs our fair shores, assuming he gets his bike back, or finds a replacement.

Not to nitpick, but his route doesn’t include Russia, South America or Africa (or Antarctica but I’ll let that one slide). How does that count as around the world?!

IMO, anyone who wants to wear the title of ‘youngest person to cycle around the world solo’ should have to conquer the Sahara, the Amazon, and Siberia at the least. Only then will I be truly impressed by their cycling skills. Obviously, as a nonentity who can’t actually ride a bike, my opinion holds a lot of weight here.

If you’ve seen his bike, give it back so he can continue on his journey and finish his trip by March like he planned. Let the kid live out his dreams while he’s still young and idealistic.

A Woman Who Wrote An Essay Called 'How To Murder Your Husband' Is Arrested For Murdering Her Husband

Did nobody consider it a red flag?

A woman in Portland was arrested last week after being accused of killing her husband, seven years after she published an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband.” Talk about foreshadowing.

68-year-old Nancy Crampton Brophy allegedly fatally shot her husband of 27 years, Daniel Brophy, in June. He was an instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute, and was found dead in one of their kitchens early in the morning of June 2.

In her essay from 2011, Brophy wrote:

“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure.”

The 700-word essay outlines several potential motives one might have for murdering their spouse, and they include infidelity, abuse, and greed.

Under a section labelled financial motives, she wrote:

“Divorce is expensive, and do you really want to split your possessions?”

That’s what prenups are for, dude. Not murder.

She also goes through several options for carrying out the deed, including hitmen, guns, poison, and knives.

The creepiest part of the essay, which is no longer available online except through archives, is where she muses:

“What if killing didn’t produce the right results? Would they do it again? Could they do it again? What if they liked it?”

Hopefully we never have to find out if she could do it again or if she liked it. Yikes.

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