Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Yesterday, I posted an entry which included relevant portions of Becky's police statement and testimony from the trial of Adnan Syed for murdering Hae Min Lee. As I noted in that post, if you believe some combination of Becky's statement and testimony, you believe that, at about 2:20 P.M. on January 13, 1999, when Becky was walking toward the guidance counselor's office, (1) Adnan and Lee were walking in opposite directions when Lee told Adnan that she couldn't give him a ride because she had "something else to do"/"somewhere" she had to go; and (2) Lee then proceeded to the door that led to where her car was parked.* So, could this explanation of events be consistent with Lee proceeding to her Sentra and Adnan proceeding to the library, where he might have run into Asia McClain? Here is a map of the Woodlawn campus drawn by Krista, a friend of both Adnan and Lee (Krista's Disclaimer: This is a rough sketch not drawn to scale. Also, the top of the sketch is south while the bottom of the sketch is north):
You can compare this sketch to the real deal by clicking on this Google Maps link (keeping in mind that you'd have to rotate it 180 degrees to get the two to match).
Here is Krista's relevant commentary on her sketch:
"Counselors office was in the first floor of main building. Snack booth is outside of the gym in the open hallway facing bus loop. Students had to park in back lot and only got to park in front loop if back loop was full. Front was also for teacher parking. Locker rooms were under the gym on either side (had to go down steps). There were sidewalks on the outside of the bus loop [so] you didn't need to go out to the road to get to the library."
Moreover, according to Krista, (1) Lee usually parked in the small lot in the back; and (2) if Lee was going to pull around to the front to get a snack, it wouldn't make sense for her to hurry to her car to get it out before the buses blocked her because she would've had to wait for the front bus loop to clear anyway before she could get her car in there.
Let's now look back at Becky's statement/testimony: Lee was heading toward the door that led to where her car was parked while Adnan was walking in the opposite direction. Now, look at Krista's map. This would suggest that Lee was walking to a door on the upper (south) right of the main building while Adnan was walking down (north) in the same hallway. As you can see, this path could have led him directly to the library, and students didn't "need to go out to the road to get to the library."
Moreover, Becky's story makes sense because, unlike in the experiment done in Episode 5 of Serial, Lee didn't race out to her car at 2:15 only to get stuck behind the bus loop; instead, it was already 2:20ish when she went to the door that led to her Sentra.
This takes us to Inez Butler-Hendricks. Before, I never understood how she could claim that she saw Lee keeping her car running with the keys in the car when she visited the concession stand on January 13, 1999. Now, after reading Krista's commentary, I get it: The snack booth was outside of the gym in the open hallway facing the bus loop. Therefore, if Inez Butler-Hendricks did see Lee on January 13, 1999, she and anyone else at the stand likely had a good look at the Sentra both as Lee left it and returned to it. Now, I think there's a good chance that Inez was remembering the wrong day, but she also testified that Lee visited the stand on a regular basis.
If Becky is correct about Adnan and Lee walking in opposite directions, Adnan could have been proceeding to the library...or he could have been proceeding to the bus loop so that he could intercept Lee before she left school. But, if we believe Becky's statement/testimony, Lee was likely in the bus loop pretty soon after the busses left, meaning that her Sentra was likely visible by people milling about soon after school and using the bus loop to leave school. If Lee stopped at the concession stand, her Sentra was also visible to the people at the concession stand.
*Of course, Becky's statement and testimony aren't entirely consistent, so you might believe one over the other or think that both came close to the truth without entirely capturing it. I generally put more stock in first statements, and Becky's first statement was that Lee told Adnan she couldn't give him a ride because she had "something else to do" as they walked in opposite directions.