By: Mike Scollins
Sarah Koenig’s highly addictive Serial podcast has thousands of listeners trying to collectively solve the murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee. Every Thursday we’re presented more clues pertaining to the guilt or innocence of Hae’s convicted boyfriend, Adnan Syed.
But here’s the thing: I don’t wanna wait till Thursday. I’m in pretty deep with this podcast and gotta know now. If Sarah Koenig isn’t gonna tell me, then I’m just gonna take matters in my own hands.
Today I solve the case of Hae Min Lee.
Now the key to solving a murder mystery is remembering that everyone’s a suspect. Koenig has already extensively interviewed Adnan, Jay, Asia, and the rest of those crazy kids. So I decided to interview some folks she didn’t have a chance to question yet. Namely folks around the office.
I tried to be casual about it. “Oh, man, TGIF, am I right?! Oh, say, I’ve got a good game: Let’s all go around the room and say where we were January 13th, 1999 at 3:21 p.m.!”
Here’s where it gets interesting. Not a single person could tell me where they were. This is what I got:
“Why the hell are you asking me this?”
“I thought HR told you not to talk to me.”
“Mike, stop saying TGIF. It’s Monday.” (That one was from my boss.)
Not a single person in the Funny Or Die Office could say with any certainty where they were. I decided to dig deeper.
“Um, Zack ‘ where did you say you were from again?”
I dialed 9-1-1 on my phone and hovered over the Call button.
“Uh, huh. And have you ever been naked before?”
THAT’S IT! CASE CLOSED! THIS GUY IS THE STREAKER FROM LEAKEN PARK! I finished dialing.
“Hi, I’d like you to arrest Zack Poitras for murder of Hae Min Lee.”
HERE’S WHERE THE STORY GETS CRAZY. When Zack heard me call the police and say that he killed a girl he FREAKED OUT. He was like, “What the fuck are you doing?!” I’m sorry but those are only the actions of someone who does NOT want to be suspected of murder.
After the cops came, they decided that there was not enough evidence to arrest Zack. I made a mental note to check Zack’s financial records and see if he paid them off. They DID, however, give me a citation for falsifying a police report, which Zack said he’s NOT helping me pay. So even if he’s not a murderer he’s definitely guilty of being kinda cheap. Anyways, now that I’m out $400, this case just got personal.
I moved my questioning to a new suspect. Jenny. Jenny’s really cool but, then again, so’s Phil Spector. I decided to try a different approach this time ‘ the ol’ good cop/ bad cop routine. Unfortunately, since I was working this case alone, I had to play both parts.
“Hey, Jenny. I’m getting some coffee, can I get you some?” (Good Cop!)
As Bad Cop, I immediately threw the hot coffee in her face.
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HAE, YOU MONSTER?!” This is where Sarah Koenig would take a dramatic pause to let you know it’s about to get interesting ‘everyone in the office helped Jenny tend to her burns. (If you’re assuming everyone had a hand in this murder and they’re all in cahoots, trust me, you’re not alone.)
After it was explained to me that Jenny was only seven in 1999 and incapable of driving a car from San Francisco to Baltimore, I begrudgingly crossed her off the suspect list.
It was around this time that I got called into my boss, Dan’s, office.
“I know what you’re gonna say. You don’t believe Jenny’s story about being seven either.”
“No, Mike, that’s not what I was gonna say. “
“Oh my God. Are you seriously suggesting I go undercover and kill some people thereby gaining the trust of fellow murderers and pump them for information?! Sounds risky, chief ‘”
“Stop calling me, chief. I’m not a chief. And no.”
Dan takes off his glasses and starts cleaning them. And that’s when I knew.
“Um, Dan, where did you get those glasses?”
LensCrafters. AKA THE SAME PLACE HAE’S BOYFRIEND DON WORKS. I start puking everywhere, which is something I do when I’m excited.
“What the fuck, are you OK?!”
I try to play it cool.
“Yeah I’m fine. I just have this thing where I barf when I have no idea who killed a person ‘”
I think he buys it.
“Um, OK. Ya know what, let’s just clean this up and we can talk about your future at Funny Or Die later.”
The way he said “Die,” though ‘ this guy knew that I knew and was basically taunting me with his crimes.
Since the cops said I wasn’t allowed to call them anymore, I do what any detective without police assistance would do.
“PUT YOUR FUCKING HANDS IN THE AIR, NEEDLEDICK! THIS IS A CITIZEN’S ARREST!”
I can’t say for sure what happened next but five weeks later I finally wake up in the hospital. Apparently my boss is really strong when he wants to be.
When I try running my insurance card, I’m informed that my employment at Funny Or Die was long since terminated and I’m into this hospital for $56,000. When added to the earlier $400 citation, this is a MAJOR bummer. I walk home in one of those hospital gowns where everyone can see your butt.
I’ll be honest, this detective stuff is way harder than I expected. Much respect to Sarah Koenig. And, listen, I know I said I was gonna solve this today but right now I’m just really fucking tired. Let’s just say it was ‘ oh I don’t friggen know ‘ Chucky. Yeah, that’s good. Chucky killed her. Case closed.