EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More on Adnan Possibly Requesting a Ride From Hae After Track Practice

Yesterday, I posted an entry speculating about whether the ride that Adnan requested from Hae on January 13, 1999 could have been a ride from track practice to his house or his car. This ride would have been similar to the rides that Hae used to give Adnan from football practice. Given that Hae apparently would give Adnan rides to track practice even after their final breakup, such a scenario seemed within the realm of possibility. That said, it was claim without much support...until an hour or so later.

Soon after my post, the trial transcript from February 24, 2000 was posted. On page 32, Detective Ritz gave the following testimony:

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.13.47 AM
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Unfortunately, as with seemingly everything else in this case, Detective Ritz's testimony is confusing. At first, he says that Adnan indicated that Hae "was going to give him a ride home after track practice." Then, later, he testifies that Adnan said that Hae "was going to give him a ride home," but "[s]he didn't show up, so he went on to track practice."

Going to the source material doesn't help. Here's the only report we have from Adcock. It says, "Mr. Syed advised that victim Lee was supposed to give him a ride home, after school, but he was running late and he felt that Victim Lee probably left after waiting a short while." There is no reference at all to track practice and whether the ride was supposed to take place before or after track practice.

This leaves three possibilities: (1) Ritz's testimony was based upon some undisclosed notes or report by Adcock; (2) Ritz's testimony was based upon an unrecorded conversation with Adcock (or possibly someone else, such as Aisha, O'Shea, or Adnan himself); or (3) Ritz was simply mistaken about there being any reference to track practice in connection with the ride request.

I don't know which of these possibilities is the likeliest. What I do know is that there is now at least a reasonable possibility that someone said that Adnan was requesting a ride from Hae after track practice. And that's interesting because no one besides Jay ever places the ride before track practice.

Not at first, of course. In his first recorded interview (pg. 27), Jay says that he has no idea how Adnan got inside Hae's vehicle on January 13, 1999. It's not until his second recorded interview that Jay says Adnan requested a ride from Hae. Interestingly enough, however, in his recent Intercept interview, Jay says that Adnan killed Hae after he went to track practice, placing the ride either after or during track practice. 

Who else was asked about the ride? In between Jay's first and second recorded interviews, Krista was interviewed on March 1, 1999. According to the notes from that interview:

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So, as in Adcock's report about his conversation with Adnan, the ride is described as a "ride home," with no mention of going to track practice. In every subsequent statement that Krista has given about the ride request, including her statement on this blog, she hasn't said whether the ride was supposed to occur before or after track practice.

Debbie was later interviewed on March 26th. She did not recall Adnan asking Hae for a ride on January 13th (pg. 21), said that "Takera" asked Hae for a ride after school (pg. 32), and remembered Hae saying she couldn't give a ride because she had to pick up her cousin (pg. 32).

Becky was interviewed on April 4th. She recalled hearing about the ride request at lunch and Hae telling Adnan at the end of school that she couldn't give him a ride because she had "something else" to do (pg. 30). She didn't mention when the ride was supposed to occur. Finally, Stephanie was interviewed on April 7th. She did not recall Adnan saying he would get a ride on January 13, 1999 but did recall that Adnan's car had been in the shop, meaning that it was not unusual for him to catch a "ride home" (pg. 94). 

So, where does that leave us? I've speculated for a while that the ride requested by Adnan on January 13, 1999 could have been a "ride home," just as written in Adcock's report and the notes from Krista's first interview. That said, my speculation had always been that this was a ride before track practice.

Now, however, based on Ritz's testimony and Jay's statements to The Intercept, there's seems to be a decent chance that Adnan was never supposed to get a ride from Hae until after track practice. And, given that Hae ostensibly was apprehended before track practice and before she was supposed to pick up her cousin at 3:15 P.M., such a scenario would make the ride request irrelevant.



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Simple question. Why has Adnan never said the ride was for after track?

Posted by: Theghostoftomlandry | Aug 12, 2015 7:57:55 AM

Please be patient, Seamus is going to need a little more time to think how to blame this on Rabia.

Posted by: shameless_drunken | Aug 12, 2015 8:00:03 AM

Theghostoftomlandry: If Ritz's initial testimony was correct, Adnan likely did tell Adcock or someone that he requested a ride after track practice from Hae. Later, when he denied asking for a ride, maybe he had forgotten the request because he never got the ride. Or not.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 8:15:50 AM

But why request a ride after track when he could call Jay and ask for his own car back. It doesn't take 7hrs to buy a birthday gift.

Posted by: Anonynon | Aug 12, 2015 8:21:52 AM

Anonynon: If Hae was supposed to be at school, maybe that was easier than calling Jay and waiting him for him to arrive. Maybe Adnan just wanted to hang out with Hae. Maybe Jay asked to borrow the car until 6:30 to do [insert reasons]. There are plenty of seemingly plausible reasons.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 8:25:23 AM

According to Serial, “if a girl gave Adnan a ride home, she’d have to drop him off down the block so his parents wouldn’t see who was at the wheel.” Why would Adnan ask Hae for a ride home after track when his own car was sitting in the parking lot?

Posted by: Seamus Duncan | Aug 12, 2015 8:28:44 AM

Looks obvious to me that Ritz misspoke in lines 8-9 and was paraphrasing Adcock's report. They wouldn't meet after school for a ride "after" track - he meant they would meet after school for a ride but this would be before track. I can see him getting a little confused but he's clearly thinking of Adcock's report.

Posted by: dWakawaka | Aug 12, 2015 8:35:58 AM

Isn't it clear that Ritz is testifying from his memory of Off. Adcock's missing persons report? And we have that report, made on 1/13. Since we know (per Adnan and Jay) that Jay picked Adnan up after track practice, how could Adnan have been simultaneously waiting around for Hae to drive him home?

Since you have seen the entire defense file, are there any notes in there reflecting that Adnan told CG or her clerks that he had requested a ride from Hae after track practice? I would think this would be information he'd have provided to them since they knew the ride request would be key.

Posted by: Jane | Aug 12, 2015 8:38:59 AM

Seamus: The Secretary at Woodlawn said she would see Hae picking Adnan up from football practice, with Hae always driving. Were these rides to Adnan's car, which was parked somewhere else at Woodlawn? Were they rides in which she dropped him off a few blocks from his house? Or were they rides in which she dropped him off at his house? I don't know, but I do trust the secretary that Hae used to pick Adnan up at track practice, and I do trust Becky that Hae used to give Adnan rides even after their final breakup.

dWakawaka and Jane: Here is Adock's report:


I don't see any mention of track practice, period. So, Ritz was either inserting track practice into the narrative without any mention by Adcock or he was relying on some other source of information.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 8:39:08 AM

Were those rides before or after Adnan got his license and car?

Posted by: Seamus Duncan | Aug 12, 2015 8:50:35 AM

Seamus: Adnan had his license as of October 2, 1998, which is right around the time that Hae got her license and car.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 8:54:45 AM

The whole bit about Adnan asking for a ride is such a pumped up narrative by the Baltimore fraternity. Its more like a game of telephone, where no one is sure where the rumor even started. It sounds much more like it was just some girls saying, after the fact, didn't Adnan sometimes get a ride from Hae, maybe he knows.

Adcocks report wasn't even written on the 13th. A lot of rumors were going around, between the 13th, and whenever the report was actually written. there is zero strong evidence that we are talking about the same day, or that such a thing ever occurred.

As we know, people's memories of that day are all over the map, and completely inaccurate. Why should this be any different. It never happened.

Posted by: shameless_drunken | Aug 12, 2015 9:11:49 AM

What date did Hae get her license and car?

Also, at what point do we stop talking about what is theoretically possible and start focusing on what is likely? The scenario you’ve described here is one in which Adnan’s car is sitting in the parking lot first period, but he asks his ex-girlfriend to come back to school after dropping off her cousin in the middle of all the other stuff she has going on, so she can pick him up and drop him off . . . down the block, so his mom doesn’t see her. At that point, Adnan is home without his car, so he has to explain to his parents that he loaned it to his smoking buddy, but he’s bringing it back shortly. How likely is this? I mean my parents were nowhere near as strict as Adnan’s and they would have grounded me if I loaned my car to some burnout for no reason.

Posted by: Seamus Duncan | Aug 12, 2015 9:24:10 AM

Seamus: I believe that Hae got her car in October 1998, right when Adnan got his car. Her brother testified that she was expected to pick up their cousin on a daily basis once she got her car. The secretary said in her statement that Hae would frequently pick Adnan up from football practice. Becky said that Hae gave Adnan rides to track practice both while they were dating and after their final breakup in mid-December.

Unless you think that Becky and the secretary are lying or mistaken, there would be nothing unusual about Hae giving Adnan a ride from track practice, regardless of whether his car was at Woodlawn.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 9:29:55 AM

Are you sure? I thought Hae actually got her car in September, meaning there were several weeks during football season where she could have given him a ride before he got his car.

Posted by: Seamus Duncan | Aug 12, 2015 9:57:09 AM

I'm trying to determine when exactly Hae got her car. Do you have a citation?

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 10:08:22 AM

Re asking Hae for a ride: Maybe Adnan realised he'd made no plans with Jay about getting his car back, and as he'd left his phone in his car he couldn't call him with that (and would he know his own number by heart that quickly to call him from a payphone? And wouldn't Adnan just assume the phone was still in his glove box and not actually with Jay?). If he wasn't sure if the car would be back on time, he may have asked Hae just in case - he may have been worrying about getting home late (given it was Ramadan) – and perhaps getting dropped off down the road a bit was a lesser evil than not getting dropped off at all.

At the end of the day we can guess all we want – I’m not sure we can decide whether one or the other is more or less likely, given the scanty evidence.

(And who knows when officer Adcock’s report was really written (and therefore how much we can trust the precision of the content), given the report on Don is also signed off by the same two officers on January 13th, even though it states in the text it didn’t happen 'til the 14th? It looks like they were filling out several sections of the forms well before writing the actual reports. It also seems strange that he blended the write-up of his discussions with Aisha and Adnan when they were two separate events.)

Posted by: Cupcake | Aug 12, 2015 10:37:32 AM

I'm confused - I never before realized Jay was claiming that the ride where Adnan got into Hae's car and killed her came after track - even if started at 3:30, Hae would've long since been on her way to pick up and drop off her cousin by that point - how could a post-track ride from Hae for Adnan possibly result in her death that caused her to miss picking up her cousin an hour and a half earlier?

Surely, I'm missing something or I'm confused.

Posted by: Justin | Aug 12, 2015 10:52:45 AM

Justin: From Jay's Intercept interview:


"No. I didn’t know that he planned to murder her that day. I didn’t think he was going to go kill her. We were in the car together during last period—he was ditching the last period. And I said, ‘Hey, I need to run to the mall ’cause I need to get a gift for Stephanie.’

He said then, ‘No, I gotta go do something. I’m going to be late for practice, so just drop me off. Take my car, take my cellphone. I’ll call you from someone else’s phone when I’m done.’

I said, ‘Alright, cool.’ I dropped him off at school, went to the mall, then when I was done, I go back to my friend Jenn’s house, where I normally go, sit and smoke with my friend.

Then he calls me and says, ‘Come pick me up.’

So I go to pick him up, and when I get there he says, ‘Oh shit, I did it.’ I say, ‘Did what?’ He says, ‘I killed Hae.’"

So, Adnan has Jay dop him off at track practice because he's going to be late, Jay then shops for Stephanie's gift, goes to Jenn's house, and smokes with her before getting the Best Buy call.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 10:57:41 AM

An auto parts receipt was found in her car, dated 9/19/98. http://www.splitthemoon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Screenshot-2014-12-21-at-7.22.55-PM.png

Also, weren't they dating during football season?

Posted by: Seamus Duncan | Aug 12, 2015 11:10:28 AM

Theory -- what if the 2:36 pm call to Jay was from Adnan saying he asked Hae for a ride and she couldn't bring him home after practice so Jay needed to get Adnan's car to the high school sometime before track was over. He has Jeff G follow him to drop it off but then decides to tell Jeff G he's going to hitch a ride from Stephanie or whoever. Jay sees Hae and due to his jealousy of her and Adnan's friendship and the fact that Hae was going to tell Stephanie about Jay cheating on her, Jay asks Hae for a ride and commits the murder. Calls Jen for a ride back to the school to get Adnan's car and then just picks up Adnan after track. Adnan is unaware of anything. They spend the evening going to Kathy's and smoking weed and then Jay buries the body at midnight.

Posted by: Amber | Aug 12, 2015 11:17:08 AM

Seamus: "What date did Hae get her license and car?"

[Colin answers]

Seamus: "Are you sure? I thought Hae actually got her car in September, meaning there were several weeks during football season where she could have given him a ride before he got his car."

Seamus, if you already knew the answer, why did you ask the question? Does that little trick ever get old for you?

Posted by: anon E Moose | Aug 12, 2015 11:19:26 AM

Seamus: Okay, this seems to settle it:


It looks like Hae's mom got title to the car on September 28, 1998.

Amber: That's a good theory and fits in with Jay's pre-interview statements.

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 11:24:19 AM

That's not possible - Track started at either 3:30 or 4, which is not enough time for Jay to even drive to Jenn's house before the 3:40 come and get me" supposedly occurred.

Jay couldn't have dropped off Adnan at track practice - by that time Hae had already been intercepted.

Posted by: Justin | Aug 12, 2015 11:26:49 AM

Justin: Right. Under the Intercept theory, Hae is still alive when Adnan goes to track practice, and Jay is making up the part about Adnan subsequently killing her.

(Note: This is the 25th comment. Due to a problem with the comments on this website, later comments will not appear).

Posted by: Colin | Aug 12, 2015 11:32:25 AM

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