EvidenceProf Blog

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Information About Hae's Plans on January 13th

[Update: Please read this before reading the rest of this post.].

I have been corresponding with someone I believe to be a trustworthy source with credible  new information about Hae's plans on January 13, 1999. With good reason, this source does not want to go on the record, but the information could be helpful in triggering someone else's memory of what happened on that day. It also answers a few of the questions that many of us have had for the past year. Here are three things that I have confirmed with this source:

1. Hae picking up her cousin was a daily, prearranged task, not something she only did occasionally or as needed;

2. On January 13th, after picking up her cousin, Hae was supposed to take her cousin to her uncle's workplace, not home; and

3. On January 13th, after taking her cousin to her uncle's workplace, Hae was supposed to babysit her cousin for some period of time.

The first point might be something that most people already presumed. For me, though, it was good to get clarity that this was indeed a daily, prearranged task. As such, it really couldn't have been the "something else" that came up for Hae between lunch and the end of school on January 13th that caused her to not be able to give Adnan a ride.*

The second point was something that was new for me. Maybe there is something about it in the files, and I do feel like I have read it somewhere. That said, before getting this information, my assumption had been that Hae was supposed to take her cousin home. If someone who knew Hae is reading this, maybe this drop-off information will trigger something about Hae's plans on the 13th.

The same goes for the third point about Hae being scheduled to babysit her cousin after school. If we didn't already know that that Woodlawn had no wrestling match on January 13th, this would have been helpful information for realizing that the wrestling match timeline was likely wrong, or at least the version where Hae would return to school and catch the team bus to the match.

As I've said, without this wrestling match, there was a significant gap in Hae's day on January 13th between dropping off her cousin at about 3:30 P.M. and leaving to go to work at LensCrafters, with a shift that started at 5:30 or 6:00 P.M. We can now safely fill in that gap with babysitting. My source wasn't able to confirm the exact amount of time that Hae was supposed to babysit her cousin. My own guess is that she was supposed to babysit until the end of the average workday at 5:00 P.M., followed by getting dinner and starting her shift, but that's just a guess. Again, if someone who knew Hae is reading this, maybe this information triggers something about Hae's plans on the 13th.

This information also seemingly tells us two other important pieces of information: (1) Adnan's requested ride was supposed to take place before the cousin pickup; and (2) Hae's "something else" to do was supposed to take place before the cousin pickup. This is because we now know that Hae was already scheduled to babysit her cousin on the 13th before the day even started. So, as we continue to try to ascertain the "something else" that Hae was supposed to do, we can seemingly narrow our window to the hour after school between 2:15 and 3:15 P.M.

Now, I know that some may doubt this information because it is an anonymous source. I have left the door open for the source to go on the record and hope that this eventually happens because the source has additional helpful information unknown to the public, but I will respect the source's request to keep the information private at this point.


*As some have noted, it's possible that nothing came up for Hae and that she was simply making up an excuse not to give Adnan a ride. As I've noted before, under this scenario, for Adnan to get a ride from Hae, we have to believe that (1) Adnan later convinces Hae to give him a ride, despite Hae having made the decision to mislead him about her ability to give him a ride; and (2) this convincing takes place without anyone else noticing or remembering. I believe that Hae did have "something else" to do, but it seems clear that there are issues with Adnan getting a ride under either scenario.



| Permalink


I still wonder if the "something else to do" was deposit her check (with cash back) at the ATM that Roy Davis happened to be near. This decision could have been triggered by a page even though the killer wasn't the pager.

Posted by: Michael | Jan 14, 2016 4:15:11 AM

My gut has always told me that she was going to see Don. I remember being a teenage girl and how I hated to go without seeing my beloved. Since she had all these other commitments from 3:30-on, I would imagine she was hoping to squeeze in some Don time before 3:30.

Posted by: CeeJay | Jan 14, 2016 4:54:01 AM

How far from the school to the daycare and the daycare to the uncle's house? We may be able to narrow the problem down even further if we knew this information. She may have only had 15 minutes if the daycare and uncle's house are, say 20 minutes from each in turn. That leaves only about 20 minutes or less to go somewhere or meet someone.

Posted by: Megan Pawlak | Jan 14, 2016 7:10:24 AM

Did this person give an interview to the police or a PI, etc?

Posted by: Seamus_Duncan | Jan 14, 2016 7:11:08 AM

I don't think Adnan even asked for a ride that day. I think it is all just part of the misremembering, and after the fact memories, getting mixed up-just like all the people talking about the wrestling match.

Its all just like childhood games of telephone, where the story changes with each retelling.

Posted by: hoovill | Jan 14, 2016 7:20:48 AM

Colin, I have asked before, but I still can't shake the idea that the "something else" was Adnans ride request itself... The fact that it is used as a defense of Adnan is interesting, since the tidbit does come from Adnan-friendly sources.

Posted by: jlpsquared | Jan 14, 2016 7:26:19 AM

One thing that I've never heard mentioned is how far back on the calendar this duty to pick up her cousin goes. Was it a regular thing back in the months that Hae and Adnan were an item? If so, that would substantiate the idea that he would never ask for a ride that would take any time to speak of (such as a ride home and back). He would be well aware of her commitment. Any "ride" he might have asked for would have been more on the order of from one end of the campus to the other.

Posted by: Mudge | Jan 14, 2016 8:08:45 AM

Michael: That is certainly a possibility.

CeeJay: It’s a possibility, and Debbie says as much. Of course, Debbie places her conversation at 3:00 P.M. (first interview) or between 2:45 and 3:15 P.M. (third interview), which doesn’t seem to fit with the meeting taking place before the cousin pickup. On Serial, Sarah indicates that Hae told Debbie right after school that she was in a hurry to see Don, but I don’t know whether that’s a slight misreading of Debbie’s statements or something that Debbie told Sarah herself.

Megan: Google Maps indicates that it is 4.6 miles/9 minutes from Woodlawn to the cousin’s school. Assuming that the pickup was at about 3:15 P.M., the drop-off location shouldn’t change Hae’s timeline. Instead, the questions would be time/distance from Woodlawn to the “something else” and the time/distance from the “something else” to the cousin’s school. If we assume that both of those are 10 minutes, Hae has 30 minutes for the “something else” if she left Woodlawn right after the bus loop cleared at about 2:25 P.M. Every minute that we add or subtract from her travel times adds or subtracts a minute for her to do the “something else.”

Seamus: This person did talk to the police.

hoovill: It is certainly possible that Adnan didn’t ask for a ride on 1/13, but I tend to trust the memories of Krista, Becky, and Aisha in this regard.

jipsquared: Becky told the police that Hae said to Adnan that she couldn’t give him a ride because she had “something else” to do. Given this, I don’t see how Adnan could be the “something else.” Becky considered Hae to be her best friend, as did Aisha. I would not regard these sources as pro-Adnan.

Mudge: It is my understanding that Hae’s daily task of picking up her cousin goes back to October 1998, when she got her Sentra.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 14, 2016 8:38:46 AM

And what evidence do you have that this person's memory is any better than the person who said that she saw Hae left the campus at 2:15 pm?

Posted by: S | Jan 14, 2016 8:45:14 AM

S: I assume you are talking about Inez. The reason I trust this person is because they were notified of Hae's disappearance on January 13th, like some of the other witnesses with memories that I trust.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 14, 2016 8:50:44 AM

The police never tried to retrace Haes movements the day she went missing. The police never interviewed students who might have been in the parking lot when Hae was leaving. The police never interviewed Haes brother or Haes uncle or other family members about Haes daily actions in the days prior to her death. Police never checked if clothes and personal items were missing from Haes room to determine if the possibility she had voluntarily left was valid The police never interviewed staff at the Daycare to determine if they saw anything suspicious.

Police failed Hae and her family. The investigation was a sham.

Posted by: CLarence | Jan 14, 2016 9:04:23 AM

The fact that Hae was expected to return with her cousin to another location and babysit directly contradicts Inez's testimony about going to a wrestling match. But of course we also know the States claim of a match at Randlestown that day to be entirely false.

It's terribly sad that CG failed to identify these falsehoods by the prosecutors at the trial

Posted by: CLarence | Jan 14, 2016 9:12:10 AM

How far in advance was the babysitting pre-arranged? Was that also a standard thing for Hae to do? Just thinking out loud: a ride request could have involved a lift elsewhere AND later a lift back to school/track-meat/work/wherever (post-cousin pick-up), but a last-minute baby-sitting request, which could qualify as something else to do, would prohibit a lift back, and therefore a lift elsewhere might no longer be helpful, hence the whole package refused.

Posted by: Cupcake | Jan 14, 2016 10:23:25 AM

There is nothing in the "new" information that should have been news to the investigators looking for a missing 18-year old high school student. Although we know now that there's nothing they might have done in those first few days to save Hae, the lack of basic information in the missing person investigation is heartbreaking and frustrating.

Posted by: boo | Jan 14, 2016 11:19:12 AM

A lot of folks seem to think Don was the "something else". I think if one believes that Adnan did not kill Hae, then Don is the obvious alternative.

But what I still don't hear people discussing, at least in any of the blogs or podcasts that have discussed Don, is what his motive would be for killing Hae.

I have my theory, what's yours?

Posted by: Jake | Jan 14, 2016 1:41:11 PM

I guess I don't see why it's so hard to believe that Adnan and Hae couldn't have crossed paths if "something else to do" was merely a way for Hae to avoid giving Adnan a ride.

And really, why should anyone take particular note of them crossing paths if it was such a common occurrence for them to be seen together?

Posted by: brgulker | Jan 14, 2016 1:54:44 PM

Colin, do you think Don killed Hae?

Posted by: Kevin | Jan 14, 2016 2:44:19 PM

Can anyone remind me how we can be confident that Hae's cousin was not picked up from Campfield? Prosecution (2nd trial) said that Hae's family thought/realised she was missing because she was not "home" with relative (assume = cousin) circa/after 3pm. I don't recall reading evidence from Campfield staff e.g. calling anyone to say 'Your daughter/cousin/sister is still at the centre, what time can we expect you?', but I haven't specifically searched for it.

Posted by: WLJ | Jan 14, 2016 3:00:53 PM

I don't understand why Don wasn't looked at more closely??? I've listened to every episode and it seems his whereabouts are just glossed over. His alibi was fishy.

Posted by: Mica | Jan 14, 2016 3:26:32 PM

But Adnan on the 13th told Adcock that he asked for a ride and Hae was going to give him a ride, but he was running late and she must have gotten tired of waiting for him?
So Hae must have changed her mind on the ride?

Posted by: ben | Jan 14, 2016 4:24:40 PM

"Instead, the questions would be time/distance from Woodlawn to the “something else” and the time/distance from the “something else” to the cousin’s school...as we continue to try to ascertain the "something else" that Hae was supposed to do, we can seemingly narrow our window to the hour after school between 2:15 and 3:15 P.M."

By my assessment, this makes it possible to discern a radius in which Hae could have travelled during that timeframe, and consider possible locations where she may have stopped. (Assuming she actually did have "something else" to do.) It wouldn't be difficult to use the estimated travel time from the school to each point on the radius, and back to her cousin's daycare, and then determine a.) why she would have a reason to visit a particular location and b.) who she may have crossed paths with. I'm a little surprised this wasn't something anyone considered, knowing that Hae said she had "something else" to do, and knowing the time frame in which she had to do it.

Posted by: Tina | Jan 14, 2016 5:20:46 PM

This information was available to police in the day of Haes disappearance. It probably wouldn't have saved her life if they had obtained and used it, but I think they would have caught the right person, and quickly.

Posted by: Katie | Jan 14, 2016 5:40:37 PM

Has anyone checked all the phone records that were pulled in addition to Adnan's to see if any of those people called Hae's pager on January 13?

Posted by: Rachel | Jan 14, 2016 6:22:07 PM

Was it even possible to deposit a check in an ATM in 1999? It's possible now, but I recall only being able to withdraw cash from an ATM before the ability to make a withdrawal was introduced.

Posted by: Katie | Jan 14, 2016 7:30:02 PM

Note: This is, unfortunately, the 25th and final comment that can appear on this post. Thanks for the other comments submitted. I have read them all.

Clarence: Yes, this seems to completely rule out Inez’s testimony.

Cupcake: This would have been arranged before January 13th, so it wouldn’t seem to be something that caused Hae to change her plans on the afternoon of the 13th.

boo: The frustrating thing is that the police seemingly did have this information.

Jake: I have no idea. Assuming that Adnan’s conviction is thrown out, I hope that the police do a full and fair investigation into all possible suspects. I don’t think we know enough now to speculate on anyone else’s possible motive.

brgulker: I have no problem with the idea that Adnan and Hae later crossed paths. In this scenario, however, Hae had either turned Adnan down for a ride because she had something else to do and didn’t have time to give him a ride or made up an excuse because she really didn’t want to give him a ride. In either case, you have to imagine that it would have taken some serious cajoling for Adnan to convince Hae to give him a ride again in a crowded parking lot. That’s what I think would have been memorable for other students.

WLJ: I think that Campfield did make a call, but I’m not sure where it was referenced.

Mica: I think that Don was glossed over precisely because of his alibi. When the defense PI tried to look into him, her was told that he had an airtight alibi, which is why there wasn’t more investigation into him by either side. Now, the question is whether we can come to any firm conclusions about his alibi 16 years later.

ben: There are a few possibilities: (1) A high Adnan didn’t relay the facts with 100% accuracy; (2) something was slightly lost in translation from Adnan to Adcock; (3) Adcock didn’t put things quite accurately in his notes; (4) Adnan told Hae he had to do something (like go the GC office) before the ride, and Hae said she’d (likely) have to leave before she was done because she had something else to do; (5) Becky’s trial testimony was right in that Adnan wasn’t present when Hae said she had “something else” to do.

Tina: Yes. This does seem to narrow the possibilities.

Katie: It’s amazing to imagine how much could have gone differently in this investigation if they realized there was no wrestling match that day.

Rachel: We don’t even know Hae’s pager number with any certainty.

Katie: Good question. I don’t know.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 15, 2016 5:07:08 AM

Post a comment