For Serial Fans, This Changes Everything: Jay Finally Talks

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So the hit podcast Serial finally wrapped up a couple weeks ago, with plenty of questions still unanswered. Except, it seems that the story isn’t actually over at all.

While Serial producer Sarah Koenig got interviews with many of the people who were both close and tangential to the 1999 murder case, there was one glaring omission: Jay. Jay was the accomplice and key witness in the murder trial; our whole understanding of the case hinges on his testimony. But while Koenig reached out to him multiple times, he always declined. At times during Serial, Koenig questions whether Jay may have lied about his involvement in the murder– that’s presumably why she didn’t use his last name. People on Reddit went even further, theorizing that Jay himself may have been the real murderer.

Yesterday, The Intercept published an exclusive interview with Jay himself. Who knows how journalist Natasha Vargas-Cooper got Jay to talk when Koenig couldn’t — but in any case, it’s a must-read for anyone who appreciated the podcast. Here’s what surprised me from Jay’s first interview:

+Jay didn’t know Adnan all that well. They weren’t really friends–more like casual acquaintances.

+Jay defends his decision not to cooperate with the police at first by reminding everyone that Baltimore in the 1990s was a serious stop-snitching culture. No one went to the cops, he says basically. Which rings true to me.

+According to Jay, Adnan had a lot of pressure on him from his family, and took his relationship with Hae much more seriously than the podcast presented. “I think that was his first real girlfriend, and I think that’s why his reaction was so strong,” Jay says.

+Vargas-Cooper asks Jay why his story kept changing. He says he gave the cops different stories in order to protect people:

I [first] saw [Hae’s] body later, in front of of my grandmother’s house where I was living. I didn’t tell the cops it was in front of my house because I didn’t want to involve my grandmother.

+One thing that still seems kinda fishy to me: Jay’s story about why and how he became involved with burying the body. If he and Adnan weren’t good friends, why would Adnan ask him to help? And why would Jay go along with it? I don’t get it. Jay’s explanation — that he was afraid that Adnan would report his drug-dealing to police — doesn’t seem like enough. I can’t help but think there’s something more here.

The interview is in two parts, and only the first is out right now, so there may be revelations to come.

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