Wednesday, September 2, 2015
On Monday's Addendum Episode, we talked about the notes from the ride-along that Jay did with detectives on March 18, 1999. Here are the notes in which Jay explains how he dropped Adnan off (late) for track practice on January 13, 1999:
I described the listed phone call as "The Mom Call."
This isn't the first time that Jay referenced The Mom Call. In his second recorded interview on March 15th (page 20), Jay indicated that he believed Adnan received a phone call from his mother when he was dropping him off at track practice. This also wouldn't be the last time that Jay referenced The Mom Call. As Sarah Koenig reported on Episode 5 of Serial:
At trial, Jay says Adnan gets another call as he was dropping Adnan off at school for track. "Before he left the car, he received a phone call, or placed a phone call. It was in Arabic. I don’t know who he was talking to. I don’t know what it entailed. I believe it was his mother." Adnan and his family say he doesn’t speak Arabic, or Pashto, or Urdu. But maybe Jay could hear a foreign sounding accent on the other end of the call. And there is a 4:27 call in the log. Maybe that’s the one. But again, the cell tower it pings isn’t near Woodlawn High School.
As I noted on the Addendum, Sarah was right. The cell tower pinged was L654C, whose expected range of coverage didn't include Woodlawn High School. Now, given that AT&T itself said that incoming calls are not reliable for determining location, this doesn't really mean much to me. Conversely, if you do believe that incoming calls are reliable for determining location, Jay's story obviously doesn't add up.
Putting the ping aside, however, Jay's story still doesn't add up. Even assuming that Adnan's mother would call him in the middle of track practice, why would Adnan answer the call and talk for about 3 minutes if he were trying to create an alibi and already late for track practice?
You might also recall that Coach Sye indicated that track practice was outside on a day that only could have been January 13th, the same day that he recalled talking to Adnan about Ramadan. According to Jay, he dropped Adnan off at the gym. That means that Adnan was dropped off at the gym at about 4:30 P.M. (end of The Mom Call), presumably went into the locker room to change, and then walked out to the outdoor track. You can see what this would have entailed by looking at Krista's sketch of Woodlawn and this page from Google Maps.
Basically, if Adnan was lucky, he got to the outdoor track by 4:45 P.M. This is when he would have talked to Coach Sye. The only call that make senses for the "come and get me from practice" call is the 4:58 P.M. call.* Unless this was made from a teammate's cell phone, Adnan likely had to walk back to the school to make the call from a pay phone.
So, what would Jay's story mean? Adnan likely arrives at track practice at 4:45 P.M., immediately goes up to Coach Sye to talk about Ramadan, practice ends about 5 minutes later, and Adnan calls Jay after walking back to school. Does this make any sense?
The other alternative, of course, is that Jay is mistaken or lying about The Mom Call. This seems like a strange lie to tell, however, given that it doesn't minimize Jay's role or work with the cell phone/tower evidence. As for the claim being a mistake, this seems to be a pretty distinctive call that Jay relays several times: A call in a foreign language that Jay is able to deduce comes from Adnan's mother.
This makes me think that there was a Mom Call, but it was very likely on a different day and quite possibly at a different time.
*A call that Jay claims he received at Cathy and Jeff's place after smoking up with them, despite Cathy saying she didn't arrive home until about 5:00 P.M. and Jay claiming that he arrived at Cathy and Jeff's between 5:20 and 5:30 P.M., which would rip a hole in the space time continuum if you tried to make that timeline work.