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
James Ramey busted into the home of ex-girlfriend Amanda Mangas and shot her dead in Ohio in 2017. He then kidnapped their son Winston along with the child’s grandmother Deborah Mangas. Police then launched a desperate bid to find the trio before it was too late.
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.
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