Monday, March 18, 2019
Part of last night's second episode of HBO's "The Case Against Adnan Syed" focused upon Hae's car. In this post, I will discuss the significance of what was discussed.
Jay's story is that after Adnan and he buried Hae's body in Leakin Park, Adnan and he ditched Hae's car in a grassy area behind row houses in west Baltimore:
Jay claims that Adnan threw the keys to Hae's car in the dumpster that same night, with Jay checking on the location of Hae's car on multiple subsequent occasions, with the latest being February 24th (4 days before Jay's February 28th interview):
The State's claim is that, on the night of Jay's first police interview, Jay led the police to Hae's car, corroborating his story about (1) Adnan and he ditching the car behind the row houses; (2) Adnan tossing the keys in the dumpster; and (3) Jay confirming that the car was in the same location on multiple occasions.
Here is a drawing by Detective Forrester of the location of the car:
And here is one of the photos of the car before it was moved on the night/morning of Jay's interview:
Last night's episode raises two questions about this story. First, two guys from QRI spoke of a resident of one of the row houses since 1973. She was pretty adamant that (1) she and another long term resident (both of whom we might affectionately call busybodies) would have noticed a car sitting in the same spot in the grassy area for six months weeks; and (2) one of them would have called the authorities if the car remained there that long, which would have led the city to tag and toe tow it.
Second, the QRI guys brought in Erik Ervin, PhD, turf physiologist to determine whether the grass would have remained green under a car that sat there for six weeks in January/February (as shown in the photo). Dr. Ervin took a sample of the grass -- perennial rye grass -- with the promise to do an experiment to test this hypothesis. I assume we'll see the results in Episode 3 or 4.
So, let's say that Dr. Ervin's experiment shows that Hae's car couldn't have sat there for six straight weeks. What does that mean? Well, once again, it would mean that Jay's story is fundamentally flawed. Simply put, his whole story about Adnan dumping Hae's car and keys on January 13th and Jay periodically returning to the car thereafter wouldn't hold water. In other words, it would mean that one of the strongest parts of the State's case -- Jay leading the police to Hae's car -- would now be a weakness.