This week the team at Before I Die looks at the controversial case of Hae Min Lee, who was murdered in Maryland in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Masud Syed was convicted of the murder, but the verdict remains controversial.
Hae Min Lee was an 18-year-old high school student from Baltimore, Md., when she vanished one day in January 1999.
Her strangled body was discovered partially buried by a walker in a city park three weeks later.
Detectives were puzzled by this murder mystery until they were left an anonymous tip urging them to take a look at Lee’s ex-boyfriend, 17-year-old Adnan Masud Syed.
Based on a key witness and cellphone records, he was arrested and charged with the murder. There was very little physical evidence against Syed, and the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of a former classmate.
Witness said he helped Syed bury Lee’s body
Jay Wilds testified that he helped Syed dig a hole for Lee’s body; however, he seemed to struggle with remembering the exact location of the hole they dug.
At his trial, Syed’s character was called into question; he had been an honor student who played football and regularly attended mosque; however, he was also known to drink alcohol and smoke weed. He had even disobeyed his parents by having a relationship with Hae Min Lee.
In 2000, he was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to life in prison plus 30-years.
In March 2018, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ordered that Syed be given a retrial; however, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision a year later, reinstating his conviction.
The Court of Appeals referenced the “totality of evidence” against Syed to maintain the original conviction.
More from Before I Die
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In 1986 Deputy Sgt. Floyd Moore of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office was shot dead while he was moonlighting as a security guard at an apartment complex. But Moore managed to convict his killer from beyond the grave; just before he was shot dead, he had managed to pocket the murderer’s driving license.
If I Should Die airs Thursday at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.