The Search for Truth and Justice
“Chaudry’s book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how media—particularly social media—came to play such a powerful role in this case . . . But it’s the mix of media skills and legal education that makes her book such an illuminating firsthand report from the front lines of social media change.”—The
In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentences to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys cell phone evidence—among many other points—and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.
Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a national security fellow at the New America Foundation. She is the co-host of Undisclosed, one of the top-ranked podcasts in the iTunes store. She is a frequent public speaker, and her writing has appeared in numerous outlets including Time, The Huffington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times.