Thursday, December 3, 2015
In Natasha Vargas Cooper's interview with Jay for The Intercept, there was the following exchange:
Where was Hae’s car? Was it in the Best Buy parking lot?
Hae’s car could have been in the parking lot, but I didn’t know what it looked like so I don’t remember. When I pick him up at Best Buy, he’s telling me her car is somewhere there, and that he did this in the parking lot. But that, according to what I learned later, is probably not what happened.
Regrettably, there was no follow-up question asking what Jay later learned, and I had kind of put this response aside until I recently reviewed what Jenn told Sarah Koenig during Serial.
According to Sarah Koenig:
Then there’s Jenn Pusateri. Of all the people Jay told about this crime, I wondered most about Jenn. If she ever thought Jay was lying about that night. I spoke to her briefly at her work, she works at a discount store. She wasn’t rude, but she was totally uninterested in talking to me. She had nothing to hide, she said, she just did not want to talk about that time in her life, period. She did answer my one big question, though, and her answer was yes. She believed Jay then, and that hasn’t changed in the intervening years. I said, yeah, but he did lie to you somewhat back then. Remember, he tells Jenn that night that he doesn’t know where Adnan put Hae’s body. That they don’t know enough to go to the police. Jenn told me she could understand that kind of lie. That anyone in his position forced into something he wanted no part of, anyone might have told the same kind of lie. It didn’t shake her trust in his overall story. Then she added, there was one thing she never believed. She said she never believed the murder happened at Best Buy, because she thought there would have been security footage, and that never came out. I told her it seems like maybe there really weren’t security cameras at Best Buy back then, and she kind of shrugged and said: "Oh well, see, I don’t know."
That's weird, right? The one thing that Jenn doesn't believe, after all these years, is that the murder happened at Best Buy. It's weird because Jenn is the first one who tells the police about the murder taking place at Best Buy. After denying any knowledge of the murder in her first police interview, Jenn returns the next day and tells the detectives, on February 26, 1999, that Jay told her that Adnan killed Hae in the Best Buy parking lot although he didn't know how Adnan got in Hae's car.
On February 28th, of course, Jay's story is different; he says that the trunk pop happened at a strip off of Edmondson Avenue and makes no mention of Best Buy. He also says that he has no idea of how Adnan got into Hae's car. Jay, however, later changes his story and tells the detectives in his March 15th interview that Adnan killed Hae in the Best Buy parking lot and may have done so because that's where they used to have sex. He also now says that Adnan got into Hae's car by lying to her about his car being broken down.*
This raises a lot of questions, including why Jay didn't mention Best Buy in his first interview. Of course, we know the reason given by Jay, and it kind of meshes with what Jenn told Sarah Koenig; according to Jay, he didn't mention Best Buy because he "figured there was cameras there or somebody had spotted him during what he was doing."
And then, there's also the other odd confluence. As noted, the one thing that Jenn highlights fifteen years later is that she never thought the murder happened at Best Buy. The same kind of holds for Jay. Of course, the biggest change in his story in The Intercept interview is that the burial took place "closer to midnight." But that's merely the last domino to fall. Jay starts by saying the trunk pop was not at Best Buy and that he no longer believes that the murder occurred there. This leads to the trunk pop taking place later in the evening outside his grandmother's house. And this leads to the burial taking place closer to midnight.
So, what are we to make of Jay's statement that he learned later that the murder didn't take place at Best Buy? Is it a lie? If so, it seems like a strange one. How does this unprompted response in December 2014 make Jay look any better?
Is Jay mistaken? It seems like an odd mistake to make. And, again, the answer is unprompted. It's him basically going off on a tangent in his response to the question asked.
Is he telling the truth? If so, what does it mean? What could Jay have later learned? Clearly, he had no contact with Adnan after he was arrested, so it's not a statement made by Adnan to Jay. Is it possible that Adnan told someone else that the murder occurred elsewhere, with this person then telling Jay or the police/prosecutors (who then told Jay)? I guess that anything is possible, but it's hard to imagine Jay or the State sitting on this evidence and only making a cryptic reference to it during Serial and its aftermath.
Is it possible that State official(s) eventually uncovered information establishing that the murder likely couldn't have occurred at Best Buy and/or likely occurred somewhere else? If so, what is this information, and does it point toward another person committing the crime?
Did someone else confess to committing the crime somewhere else? If so, who? And, if so, is the State sitting on information that could prove Adnan's innocence?
As with so many questions in this case, this one doesn't have an answer. But I am pretty convinced that Jay did later learn that the murder didn't occur at Best Buy.** I'm also pretty convinced that the information Jay learned is helpful, rather than harmful, for Adnan.
*This comes after Krista's March 1st interview, in which Adnan's ride request is first mentioned.
**Of course, I doubt that he ever had reason to believe that anything relevant happened in the Best Buy parking lot.