Beyoncé has never been one to stick to tradition or to announce when she's about to drop something, so it's really no surprise that she just released a 40-track live album called Homecoming in conjunction with her new Netflix documentary.

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé | Official Trailer | Netflix

The album, which dropped at 10 AM on Wednesday morning, is a collection of the singer's greatest hits, ranging from "Single Ladies" to Destiny's Child's "Say My Name." It also includes rarities such as two covers of the hymn often called the Black national anthem—"Lift Every Voice and Sing"—first sung a cappella by an emotional Beyoncé as a lead-in to "Formation," and later by Bey and Jay-Z's daughter, Blue Ivy.

Blue, who recorded the track in the audience at one of her mom's rehearsals, has obviously inherited some of her parents' love of the spotlight; at the end of the song she exclaims, "I wanna do that again because it feels good!"

Lift Every Voice and Sing (Blue's Version - Homecoming Live)

B7 also features Jay-Z and J Balvin and concludes with a new studio track—a cover of the song "Before I Let Go" by Frankie Beverly and Maze, originally released in 1981 and first covered by Destiny's Child in 1997.

As if the album alone wasn't enough of a gift, it's available on all streaming platforms. On it, you can hear Beyoncé's vocals—silky and flawless as ever—layered over complicated new brass-heavy arrangements and the distant screams of the infatuated crowd. Supercharged with electric energy, it's a straight shot of the empowerment and magnetism that has gained Beyoncé her well-deserved status as an inimitable icon of our times.

June's Diary performs "Lift Every Voice and Sing" live at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore

The album comes as a surprise companion piece to Beyoncé's Netflix documentary, which debuted last night at Howard University and Houston's Southern Texas University—appropriate venues, as her Coachella performance featured a massive marching band and sets inspired by the aesthetics of historically black colleges. It follows her 2018 performance from conceptualization to fruition and features interviews and intimate behind-the-scenes footage.

Beyonce Coachella hot Image via Society19

The critically lauded set marked the first time in the festival's 11-year history that an African American woman headlined it, and 2018 will forever be marked in history as the year of Beychella. But then again, every year is Bey's year—she's been steadily creating extraordinary multimedia works of art for the past decade, with each event—from the Super Bowl to Lemonade—further fortifying her legacy as music's eternal queen, one surprise release at a time.

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

POP⚡DUST |

BTS' New Album "Map of the Soul: Persona" is Algorithm-Friendly Nothingness

Anderson .Paak's "Ventura" is Scripture in the Age of Anxiety

RELEASE RADAR: Best New Music for April 12

The new trial that Adnan Syed, subject of the famed podcast, Serial has been waiting so many years for, is facing even more delays as the state intends to appeal the ruling in June that overturned his 2000 murder conviction.

As Popdust previously reported, the Adnan Syed case garnered world wide attention after it was featured on NPR reporter, Sarah Koenig's uber-successful podcast, Serial.

Now possibly one of the most famous inmates in the country, Syed is currently serving life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Syed, now 35, was 19-years old when he was convicted of murdering Lee, back in 1999, and he has always maintained his innocence. A follow up podcast to Serial, Undisclosed dug into the case in way more depth and from more of a legal standpoint than Koenig's episodes. The Undisclosed team of lawyers were led by Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer whose brother is a close friend of Syed. Together, the team pulled apart the state's case, uncovered a whole heap of evidence and a potential alibi witness, as well as totally debunking the prosecution's timeline of the day of the murder.

They discovered a crucial fax cover sheet from AT&T which undermined the reliability of cell phone records that placed Syed in the area where Lee's body was discovered—something that was a key factor in the prosecutor's case. The prosecution's own cell phone expert was unaware of the document and signed sworn affidavits stating he was concerned about his testimony during the trial in the light of the fax cover sheet.

adnan syed new trialThe affidavit signed by the state's expert who testified at the original trial.


Adnan Syed Alibi Witness Testifies At Hearing For New Trial
Undisclosed—New Evidence Blows Apart State's Case Against Adnan Syed Yet Further
411 On Baltimore City PD Corruption, Racism, Witness Coercion And Coaching

Despite a hearing in 2014 where a request for a new trial was denied, Syed's lawyer, Justin Brown has been working tirelessly to get his conviction overturned. The new evidence, together with a ruling by Judge Martin P Welch that Syed's original defense attorney Cristina Gutierrez provided ineffective counsel, meant that on June 29 Syed was finally granted what he has waited so long for—a new trial.

However, it now appears that Adnan may have to wait up to ANOTHER year before his case is re-heard, as Maryland's attorney general has asked that the new trial be delayed pending their appeal of the June ruling.

They have until August 1 to file that appeal, and the process could take months, with the losing side then having the right to appeal further to the state's highest court for intervention. It is only at the end of that process, if Judge Welch's decision is affirmed, that a new trial date would be set.

The Maryland AG's office said that it would "defend what it believes is a valid conviction."

The thing is, if they are so utterly convinced that Adnan is guilty, why aren't they confident that they would get another conviction at a new trial? They are totally blinkered (as they have been from the start) and won't even begin to entertain the possibility that a series of seemingly unlikely events conspired and meant that they got it wrong.

At this point defending their office, the cops and their reputations is more important to them than a flawed conviction and a potentially innocent man in jail.

But hey, Adnan's been in prison for 16 years now, what's another couple of years right?

baltimore cop slit throat dog Baltimore Cop Who Slit Throat Of Tethered Dog Awarded $45k

A Baltimore cop who decided to mix things up by killing a dog—instead of the usual defenseless black kid—has been awarded $45,000 for his efforts.

Because, Baltimore.

411 On Baltimore City PD Corruption, Racism, Witness Coercion And Coaching

Tethered to control pole baltimore cop slit throat dog

Back in June 2014, Officer Jeffrey G. Bolger, slit the throat of 7-year-old Shar-Pei, Nala, while she was tethered to a “dog-control pole” —and presumably not presenting a danger to anyone.

The Baltimore Sun reports, the incident occurred after Bolger and Officer Thomas Schmidt, responded to a 911 call from a woman claiming she had been bitten by a dog.

Undisclosed: State Vs Adnan Syed—Murder Case Fabrication, Baltimore Style

Superficial wound baltimore cop slit throat dog

According to the Sun, Nala caused a “superficial wound” to the woman’s hand, after escaping from her owners’ yard.

Charging documents claim the two cops tethered Nala to a control pole, then Schmidt held the dog down while Bolger slit her throat.

Ex-Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader, 47, Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old Boy

Gut this thing baltimore cop slit throat dog

Witnesses reported hearing Bolger vow, “I’m going to fucking gut this thing” prior to killing her.

The 50-year-old was placed on un-paid leave for 10 months while he was investigated on charges of mutilating an animal, animal cruelty and misconduct in office.

Despite police commanders branding the killing "outrageous and unacceptable" Bolger was found not guilty on all charges, last November.

Making A Murderer—The Movie—Who Should Play Steven Avery?

Not criminally responsible baltimore cop slit throat dog

Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa M. Phinn determined prosecutors had failed to prove Bolger was criminally responsible for the dog’s death.

Judge Phinn ruled that she believed Bolger’s claim he was acting in the interest of safety, and that he thought he was putting the dog out of its misery.

Company Makes Bulletproof Blankets For School Children

$45,000 pay day baltimore cop slit throat dog

And, yesterday in court, he was awarded $45,000 from city government, to cover the months of non-payment during his suspension.

Bolger has since left the BPD, after, his attorney claims, he was forced to retire early.

For more entertainment, world, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter


How could Adnan Syed be found guilty of murder, and be sentenced to life plus thirty, if he really had nothing to do with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Lee? If he really is totally innocent?

Makes no sense right?

It certainly makes no sense if you have any faith in the American justice system—if you believe witnesses who testify in court abide by that whole “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" thing.

And, it certainly makes no sense at all if you believe that the police are dedicated to uncovering the truth, serving their community, putting away the "bad guys," and ensuring true justice for victims.

Now, chances are, if you are an educated, employed, white person, who lives in a state with an honest and seemingly incorruptible police force that is held accountable for their actions—you abide by the laws of the land, and, if you do break any of those laws, you have the financial means to pay for a top flight lawyer to defend you in court—then, that's going to be your experience in life.

But, if you don't meet all those criteria, there's a high chance that you may have a decidedly lower level of faith in the justice system—and, you may then be able to understand how a completely innocent person can be put away for life—or, even worse, be sentenced to death, for a crime they did not commit.

As Popdust previously reported, Syed has spent the past 15 years behind bars, after being found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend back in 1999—the 34-year-old vehemently maintains his innocence.

The case garnered national attention last year after NPR reporter, and This American Life producer, Sarah Koenig, covered it in great depth, on Serial, her weekly podcast series.

However, after twelve gripping episodes, listeners were left no clearer as to Syed's innocence or guilt.

Rabia Chaudry, the lawyer who first alerted Koenig to the case, along with fellow attorneys, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, are giving their all in an attempt to remedy that—working tirelessly to tear apart the State's case against Syed—and they are broadcasting their findings every two weeks on their podcast series, Undisclosed: The State Vs Adnan Syed.

During the first four episodes of Undisclosed, the team dissected the State's version of what occurred on January 13, 1999, the day Hae was murdered—pulling to pieces many of the witness statements, and turning up two shocking new accounts of what allegedly went down that day.

They shredded vital, key pieces of the prosecution's case against Syed; presented the revelation that Hae kept a second diary, which, if found, could possibly hold the key to Adnan proving his innocence; and presented a solid case that Baltimore PD may have coached their star witness, Jay Wilds, and even perhaps coerced him into giving false testimony.

However, many people following the case are still unable to entertain the idea that Syed was not involved in the murder in some way, shape or form.

Even if he didn't actually murder Hae, he had to have played a part—right?

Otherwise, why would two witnesses stand up in court and testify, in great detail, about him strangling her to death?

How would one of those witnesses know where Hae's car was, if Syed hadn't told them?

How would that witness know where Hae's body was dumped, if Syed hadn't “scared" them into helping him bury her?

What about the State's damning timeline, seemingly matching Syed's cell phone records from that day to the supposed scene of the crime?

What about all those Baltimore Police Department interviews with witnesses, backing up the State's argument of what went down?

Let's face it—how could he NOT have been involved? How could the whole case against Syed been fabricated?

WHY would the case have been fabricated?

Well, perhaps if you aren't one of those white, employed, affluent folks living in a state with an incorruptible and accountable police force—or, you work in the justice system with folks who aren't—you'd understand that quandary only too well.

Popdust spoke with Deputy District Public Defender, Edie Cimino, who worked in the Baltimore City Public Defender's office for 11 years and was a felony trial lawyer for 7.

She offers up some shocking insight into the Baltimore “justice" system.

Why would witnesses lie?

Here's the deal.... the police in Baltimore City, when they're investigating crimes, the witnesses they're talking to typically, and the people they are talking to typically, they're somehow ensnared in the criminal justice system...and many times they have something to be gained by currying favor with law enforcement. So, when they pull people in to interview them, it's not like a tax payer, who, you know, has nothing to fear....and, is coming to them, because, you know, it's their duty as a citizen to report a crime.....and tell them what they, you know, to answer your question, I think that often times, the police, when they're investigating, they're interviewing witnesses, they have this really undue influence and they exert incredible power and pressure on the people that they're talking to. So, I think this creates an environment where, the statements that they get, that they extract from people sometimes, are not necessarily reliable. And, a lot of times, people make agreements that are written, that are a wink and a nod, that, if they testify a certain way, you know, they make a certain type of statement, that, good things will happen to them. And the other thing is that, different times—and I've seen this play out a number of different times—people, and I think this is probably not uncommon, not just unique to Baltimore... but I know that in Baltimore City this happens a lot—people will use the criminal justice system as a way to seek vengeance against other people. So, if you want to get back at somebody, or you have somebody you want punished... you can just say they did something that they didn't do, and set the wheels in motion right? So, I've had that happen. One of my clients that comes to mind, was charged with attempted murder, and neutral eye witnesses described the person who shot at the alleged victim as someone who had dreadlocks, and as someone who is tall in stature, and thin.... and my client was very short, with very short hair and a very visible tattoo on his face... and that was not described. Oh, and my client had a solid alibi... a very solid alibi... but, the person who was the alleged victim, came to the police and said, 'oh yeah, [Edie's client] did it, gave his name, all this information and my client gets charged, and held without bond for a very lengthy period of time, pre trial, before finally I brought his alibi witnesses into the State's Attorney's office to talk to her—which is really unconventional, I would usually never do that, but she talked to them and decided they were truthful and that she wasn't going to prosecute my client, and she dismissed the case.

Why do cops coerce witnesses?

I think that what passes for—how should I say it—I think the police department, unfortunately, is under a lot of pressure to make arrests, and they're under a lot of pressure to close cases, and, their cases become closed the moment they charge someone—whereas, the State's Attorney's office, they can't really call their work done until a sentence is handed down.
But, the cops are done once they charge someone—and either a commissioner, or a State Attorney, or, what have you, rushes their charges and says there's probable cause, what have you, and they can go ahead and arrest someone, then they're done with their job. So, I think, a lot of the time, the pressure they are under.... they do succumb to it... and so, I don't know if that can be blamed entirely, or, other motives that might develop over the course of their career... but, I do think a lot of the time, they do play fast with ethics and with, you know, not tampering with evidence.
There's a lot of evidence that shows, the way that identifications have been conducted over the years, with the photo array, with the person presenting the photo array to the witness knowing who the target is—included in a recent report that the DOJ issued was that Maryland has to have laws in place where everyone in law enforcement has to adopt policies that are consistent with the DOJ recommendations—which include, you can not have the person presenting the array know who the target is...they should do double blind presentations.

Is witness coercion a common occurrence in Baltimore?

Sometimes I think the police coerce confessions, sometimes I think the police coerce witness statements, sometime I think the police coerce identifications of unsuspecting people—in other words, I think they give potential witnesses a hint or a clue to who they think the suspect is, and then, a witness that's not quite sure can be pushed in to a certain direction….
There was a case where a detective brought in a witness to look at a photo array, and the witness said, “No, he doesn't look like that, he has less hair…" so then the detective took the photo array back, took the picture of the target, the person that they thought committed the crime, and the detective took some scissors and cut off some of the hair from the target's photo and then put the picture back in the photo array, and presented it again to the witness for identification. And that detective is still employed by the Baltimore PD, and, he's still working cases.

Do cops get reprimanded if it's found they have acted unethically, or even criminally?

The funny thing is, it was [another detective] who outed [the photo tampering one], and he gave testimony that that had happened in circuit court during a motion hearing, and [that other detective] was transferred—and I don't know if it was a direct result of his testimony, or what, but, the detective that [he] testified against was never reprimanded, to my knowledge.
There's a cop in Baltimore City who is still employed by the force, there's two of them that I know of, that are employed, and still making arrests, that were accused of stealing $11,000 from the trunk of someone's car. They failed lie detector tests regarding the incident...and, they're still employed, and the State's Attorney's Office chose not to prosecute them for the theft.

What's your view on the integrity of the Baltimore P.D.? Why is there so much corruption?

The integrity issues of the Baltimore City Police Department are out of control. And, you know, I don't know which is worse—that the integrity issues occur, that the crimes really happen, or whether, it's worse that that happens in of itself, or, that the police themselves are not subject to the criminal process.
Because, if you're a police officer, and you're working, and you steal money from somebody, or you beat the heck out of somebody, or, you lie on a report, and you commit perjury, you're not going to get arrested and charged—you're going to go in front of the Internal Investigations Division—and, you know, the worst I've ever seen was somebody get docked a couple of days vacation….
Of course, that's just in my personal experience—media reports of course show that there have been firings and things, but, in my personal experience, in my practice, when I've seen transgressions on the witnesses in my cases, you don't really learn about them being punished, you learn about the State's Attorney's Office not deciding to charge them..
And then, the other thing is that, not only do they escape the criminal process, but, the things they do that are unethical, that are clearly impeachment evidence for any defense attorney to use in trial, are not always disclosed to us...and we have to fight tooth and nail to get those things disclosed to us.
Now, that would really put a chilling effect on their crimes, if their crimes would be subject to cross examination in the trials in which they do work, they make arrests, they do investigations.
So, I think the heart of it, is that they don't really face any repercussions, they don't face criminal penalties, and their careers don't suffer because of their lies and crimes.

How much of the corruption is racially motivated?

I feel like, whenever, look...the fact that a well dressed, white defendant does better in court—I mean, does better in court AND does better on the street level, with apprehension and investigation, and the rush to charge—I think that probably, that's just reality. I think the judges try really hard not to be biased, but I think unconsciously those things occur, because.. look, it's like this... if you've got a great job, and you have a lot of family support then you just have a lot of, when you arrive in court, you have a lot of things to say, and it just so happens that African Americans, because of years of oppression and the badges and incidents of slavery, are lower economically situated. So, on street level encounters, I think that when you're not white, and you don't have the appearance of economic stability, you're going to get a harder, you're not going to get a fair shake.
I think the racism is really on a street level though. So, when the police are doing their job, and they see a white person, if that white person looks like, you know, someone who's not a criminal out to use—meaning, they don't have neck tattoos, grubby shirts with concert names on them..... you know what I'm saying.... if they don't look like someone that's out and about looking to cop drugs, and they're white... then, they're not going to get bothered. But, if you're black—even if you're well dressed—you're a potential target. You're definitely going to have an increased risk of police encounter if you're black on the street.
Now, when it comes to the time of the adjudication of your case, and you're in court....I have to say, I don't think that race, necessarily plays a part. And, I'll tell you, I think it's because the judges are very sensitive to unequal treatment and that if you see a white face in court, you're careful not to give special treatment as a jurist.

Why do innocent people plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit? Is race an issue?

Because African Americans face this economic hardship, and the over-policing of their neighborhoods, generally speaking they don't have as good bail outcomes, and so, they're more likely to be incarcerated when it comes to court—and if you're incarcerated when you come to court, there's a lot of evidence that your trial outcome is going to be worse. And, you're more likely to plead guilty, when you didn't do it…when you're innocent. Because, you're incarcerated, and often times, you're going to get a deal that gets you out.... that gets you home....if you take a guilty plea.
And, the speedy trial problem is insane in Baltimore. When I worked there, I told my clients that if they were on trial, in a felony case, that they can expect to wait in jail for, well, the low end of the average wait time would be a year.
So, you say to your client, 'OK, you want a trial, I see how viable your defense is…and I will pursue it in trial, but, you need to know that if you want that, you're going to sit and wait... and the State Attorney's offering, or the judge is offering, right now, a suspended sentence. So, you can plead guilty, to something you didn't do, put this felony conviction on your record, and get out of jail...go home... go back to your job...go back to your life... be able to pay rent, and be with your loved ones and your children.'
That's the choice they have to make. So, it's no wonder that people who are locked up, take deals for stuff they didn't do, then they get these astronomical criminal records. It's the civil rights issue of our time I think.

The State argued that Adnan Syed's motive for killing his ex-girlfriend was “honor killing"—yet, at the time, he wasn't a devout Muslim… he dated non-Muslims, he smoked weed, he was known to drink alcohol on occasion, and he attended mosque only on holidays….so, do you think there was a racial element to his conviction?

I think it's more cultural sensitivity, or cultural bias rather than racism...I've had a Muslim client who, you know, he was a kid, he was a child, he was 16, or 17, and he was charged as an adult. I mean, yeah, that just felt like I was climbing up hill, and I was trying to push this giant rock up this hill, and that judge wasn't really listening to anything I was saying, he wasn't very friendly to our arguments, and I can't help but think that some of that had to do with the cultural bias, and that was, like, you know, 2013.
But then again, I often feel like the judges are not really patient, and listening, so I don't really know. My personal feeling, in that case, is that it was motivated, at least in part, by xenophobia, but, you know, I couldn't point to any comment that was made, no smoking gun, or anything like that.

If defense can prove on appeal that cops coerced, and or, coached witnesses, would that mean the conviction would be overturned?

The legal standard for appeal is whether there were mistakes made at the trial court level that had an affect on the verdict. And, in order to lose an appeal, the State would have to prove that the mistakes did not have an affect beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, that's appeal... when there are deadlines for appeals to be heard, and they're denied, and when you're done with all that... then.... you're basically left with different sorts of remedies that are in the interests of justice and there are other standards... such as, is it enough?
I think, generally speaking, you can boil it down to, it's enough if the judge feels the impropriety affected the verdict. If the Judge feels it didn't, like, they think, 'OK, the cop lied about the time of sunset that day, or what he was wearing, or what he eats for breakfast,' well, that doesn't necessarily matter—but, if the cops coerced a witness statement that was instrumental in getting a conviction, then that defendant should get relief or a new trial. But, that's kind of outside the field of what I do, because I'm on the trial court level, and there are lawyers whose practice is dedicated solely to post conviction, and helping people who are well past the normal pipeline of the process.
Keep Reading Show less

Undisclosed: State Vs Adnan Syed—Murder Case Fabrication, Baltimore Style

NOTE: Post has been updated to correct previous error regarding DNA testing of Hae's shirt.

You know that whole innocent until proven guilty nonsense that some people think so important to ensure justice is served and those silly human rights protected?

Well, turns out it's not all that important at all—at least, not when you're Baltimore PD, and you just KNOW inherently that someone's guilty of a crime—or, perhaps, you're Baltimore PD and you just want to close some homicide case quickly and easily, without having to go through all that annoying, time consuming, pesky detective work palaver….

Adnan Syed Alibi Witness Testifies At Hearing For New Trial

Charm City law enforcement has been dogged by reports of racism, brutality, corruption and questionable ethics for years—with a slew of supposedly air tight convictions ultimately being overturned after evidence of police, and or, prosecutorial misconduct comes to light.

And, it's looking more and more likely that another case is about to join the list—that of the State Vs Adnan Syed.

As Popdust previously reported, Syed has spent the past 15 years behind bars, after being sentenced to life plus 30, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, back in 1999—the 34-year-old vehemently maintains his innocence.

Serial—Bowe Bergdahl Taliban Capture Story Is Like Adnan Syed's....But On Steroids

The case garnered national attention last year after NPR reporter, and This American Life producer, Sarah Koenig, covered it in great depth, on Serial, her weekly podcast series. However, after twelve gripping episodes, listeners were left no clearer as to Syed's innocence or guilt.

Rabia Chaudry, the lawyer who first alerted Koenig to the case, along with fellow attorneys, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, are giving their all in an attempt to remedy that—working tirelessly to tear apart the State's case against Syed—and they are broadcasting their findings every two weeks on their podcast series, Undisclosed: The State Vs Adnan Syed.

Adnan Syed Attorney Says New Phone Evidence Should Overturn Murder Conviction

During the first three episodes of Undisclosed, the team has dissected the State's version of what occurred on January 13, 1999, the day Hae was murdered—pulling to pieces many of the witness statements, and turning up two shocking new accounts of what allegedly went down that day—shredded vital, key pieces of the prosecution's case against Syed; presented the revelation that Hae kept a second diary, which, if found, could possibly hold the key to Adnan proving his innocence; and presented a solid case that Baltimore PD may have coached their star witness, Jay Wilds, and even perhaps coerced him into giving false testimony.

This week's podcast, titled, 28 Days, breaks down the actions of Baltimore PD from the day Hae went missing, through to the day her body was discovered—and, Goddammit, if you don't already have serious doubts about the validity of the State's case against Syed, you will after this—and, if you don't, I seriously do not know what's wrong with you.

Adnan Syed Case Dissected—What ACTUALLY Happened The Day Hae Lee Was Murdered?

Tuesday January 13, 1999:

Hae leaves school soon after 2.20pm, after telling Becky she had somewhere else to be. She is due to pick up her cousin from the Campfield Early Learning Center at about 3.15 pm…but she never shows up. Around 5.15 pm Hae's family contacts the police to report her missing, and Officer Adcock is dispatched to their home at approximately 5.30 pm. Thereafter, Adcock calls both Adnan and Aisha, who was Hae's best friend.

NOTE: So—why would cops respond so quickly? Usually a call about an 18-year-old who's gone AWOL would take a significantly longer amount of time than mere hours in order to launch a police investigation....

Undisclosed—So THIS Is Why Jay Kept Lying His Ass Off About That Day With Adnan

Well, turns out that just six months before Hae disappeared, there was another Woodlawn High student—by the name of Jada Denita Lambert—who had also disappeared. Lambert's body was subsequently discovered in the woods—she had been strangled to death.

Sound familiar? Seems it certainly did to the cops, which is why they were so quick to respond to the call about another missing teenage female student.

At the time of Hae's disappearance, the identity of Lambert's murderer was still unknown—it took three years for police to identify the killer as Roy Davis, following a DNA match from another crime scene. Davis is one of the individuals the Innocence Project is claiming could be the source of previously untested DNA from Hae's crime scene.

Could Hae's Secret Diary Hold The Key To Adnan's Innocence?

Adcock calls the Owings Mills Mall Lenscrafters, and they inform him that Hae has failed to show up to work that day.

Adcock then attempts to contact Don, Hae's current boyfriend, and Lenscrafters co-worker—but is unable to connect with him until around 1.30 am on Jan 14—Don tells Adcock he hasn't seen, or spoken, to Hae since January 12. Don goes on to tell Adcock that he'd been working at the Hunt Valley Lenscrafters that day, as he was covering for a staff member, that he finished around 6pm, and got home around 7. Don says that shortly after arriving home, he got a call from the Owings Mills Lenscrafters, where he usually worked, asking about Hae as she hadn't turned up to work.

411 On Baltimore City PD Corruption, Racism, Witness Coercion And Coaching

Which, as Chaudry points out, is kind of weird, don't you think? Hae was Don's girlfriend, they supposedly had plans to hang out after her shift that day—she was going to call him around 10—yet, Lenscrafters call Don and tell him she never showed up to work; he doesn't hear from her when he's supposed to; they don't meet up…. but, he doesn't call her, or page her, or email her, to find out what's up?

NOTE: Interestingly, during all of Adcock's interviews, nobody makes even a single mention of the supposed wrestling match the State claimed Hae was planning to attend that night.

Thursday January 14:

An ice storm moves in around 3 or 4 am, making road travel conditions very hazardous, and causing schools to shut down for the day.

Did Jay Lie About Adnan Killing Hae, Purely To Save His Own Ass?

Baltimore PD contacts Hae's family to follow up, and they say they still haven't heard from Hae, and they still don't know where she is.

NOTE: This is also the day, according to Jen, that she gets off work and goes to pick up Jay, before helping him dispose of the clothes he was wearing the day before, when he had buried Hae (Jay testified to it being the day before). Jen also claims in her police statement that she remembers it was raining on that day…. which is weird, as there was actually a big winter storm.

Regardless of that, January 14, definitely WAS one of the last days of Ramadan—and, according to three different witnesses, Adnan gave a talk and led prayers at the Mosque that night.

Undisclosed Breaks Down Hae's Last Day, Casts More Doubt On Adnan Syed's Guilt

One of the witnesses even tells cops that he remembers going over notes relating to the presentation, with Adnan, at the Mosque, the night before on Jan 13, the day of Hae's murder—but, he never got to testify to this at trial, so the jury had no idea.

Adnan's father also vividly remembers Adnan's presentation and talk at the Mosque that day, because, he told cops, it was “a very proud moment" for him.

Friday January 15:

School is canceled again, road travel is still hazardous, and the power is out in many places. It's also the 18th birthday of Krista…..Adnan and Hae's friend.

Serial—Bowe Bergdahl, Cowardly Deserter Or Brave Whistleblower?

Krista's parents throw her a party, and a lot of Woodlawn students attend—including Jay, Adnan and Stephanie, who arrive together in the same car.

NOTE: This totally throws into dispute what Jay testified to at trial (GASP!! Noooo! Jay lied about something else? Say it isn't so!!)—that he had only seen Adnan twice since January 13—the first of those times being a couple of days after Hae's murder, when Adnan dropped Stephanie off from school—but, they weren't back in school again until the following Tuesday, for Stephanie, and Wednesday for Adnan), and Jay makes no mention—in any of his seven different accounts of events—of them all going to a party together.

And, let's face it, Jay and Jen going to a party with Adnan, of their own free, happy will, really sort of throws out the whole “Jay was terrified of Adnan" prosecution claim…. along with the “Adnan was threatening Stephanie" bullshit.

Tuesday January 19:

It's MLK Day, and the first day back at school post snow storm. Adnan is not at school however, as it is a religious holiday. People are noticing that Hae is missing, but nobody is really thinking it's a big deal, and the general consensus is that she's probably just run off to be with Don.

Wednesday January 20:

The first day Adnan is back at school since the 13th, and exactly one week since Hae vanished. But, nobody seems particularly bothered still. It's exam time and a half day at school, so the students are not really noticing Hae's absence.

Friday January 22:

It's semester break, and there's no school. Detective O'Shea has taken over the case, and he talks to Don—likely over the phone, but, not one hundred percent certain, as his notes are ambiguous.

Don repeats the testimony he gave to Adcock—that he last saw Hae on January 12—and that she seemed to be happy, but that she was fighting with her mom over phone privileges and breaking curfew.

NOTE: This is also the date the social work seminar occurred, that Cathy-not-her-real-name-actual-name-Kristy referred to in her testimony—so, it's speculated, the actual, real, date that Jay and Adnan went to Cathy-not-her-real-name-actual-name-Kristy's apartment, rather than January 13, as the State claims.

So, it's further possible, the Adnan phone call that Cathy-not-her-real-name-actual-name-Kristy testified to, actually also happened on January 22, and was from O'Shea, ringing around and introducing himself to people involved with the case.

Saturday January 23:

Jay, Adnan and Stephanie all attend another party together, according to Yaser, a family friend of Adnan's, who is also close to a pal of Jay's.

Monday January 25:

The first day of the third school trimester—so everyone is back in school. O'Shea visits Adnan's house and talks to his mom, Adnan is at school, but, according to O'Shea, Adnan calls him later that afternoon. Adnan tells him he was in class, with Hae, up until about 2.15 pm…but he didn't see Hae out of class, till after school, and thereafter he went to track practice

People don't seem too concerned about Hae's disappearance still…One teacher, Mr. Terry, notes Hae wasn't at school on the 25th—and, on the 27th, when she is still absent, Terry writes a note to the attendance office and calls Hae' parents; no-one seems to be treating it like a serious matter though at this point, and the general consensus still, amongst students, is that Hae's run off to be with Don, or to see family in California. Teachers note in records that Hae didn't attend school, but, as one teacher noted, she had a high GPA, so could afford to skip a few days of school without having her grades affected. Students were, in the words of Hae and Adnan's English teacher, Miss Effron, “remarkably unconcerned" about Hae's disappearance—an observation echoed by two other teachers in their police interviews.

In fact, it wasn't until three weeks after Hae's disappearance that a faculty meeting was called to discuss it.

NOTE: There's no cell phone record of Adnan actually making that call to O'Shea, on that date…so, perhaps it happened on another day?

An important part of Adnan's appeal request is ineffective counsel at trial, as nobody contacted Asia McClain, a potential alibi witness, to talk about her claim that she saw Adnan in the library, at the exact time he was supposedly strangling his ex-girlfriend to death.

The State has always shot this down, insisting Asia's claim is incorrect—citing O'Shea's report that Adnan told him he had stayed in school until track practice, so there's no way he could be at the library.

But, hey…. actually READ the report dudes!!! Adnan doesn't actually say that he stayed on the school campus, just that he saw Haw after school.

Oh, and, according to O'Shea's report, he doesn't bother to ask Adnan if he he had asked Hae for a ride after school….. a kinda important part of the investigation, one would think.

Wednesday January 27:

Aisha speaks to O'Shea about January 13—the first record of anyone, aside from Adnan and Don, being officially interviewed by cops.

O'Shea's notes on the interview are glaringly short and concise in detail—noting just two things: Aisha said Hae had told her she was in trouble with her mom, but nothing so significant as to make her want to skip town. And, Aisha said she last saw Hae at the end of class, at 2.15pm, that she was in good spirits, and didn't mention any problems.

Oh, BTW...O'Shea's notes on the interview aren't actually written up until February 14.

NOTE: So, one HUGE question here, what did Aisha tell O'Shea that didn't show up in the February 14 note version of the interview?

Well, you may remember that during the first Undisclosed podcast, Krista said that Aisha told her she had heard from Hae's brother and they couldn't find Hae. Krista asked if anyone had spoken to Adnan, as she had heard him ask Hae for a ride during first period class…. and Aisha said, no, because Hae told her during psychology class, last period of school, that something had come up so she couldn't give Adnan a ride anymore, and therefore she didn't think it actually happened.

Chaudhry shares, “Something that's bothered me about the files from the Baltimore PD, is that almost all the files are dated February 14, that's after Hae was found, and after Adnan was identified as the suspect. Which means, all of this is written in hindsight, meaning the police think they know who the culprit is—you can see the notes kind of reflect that. They are so terse, so devoid of any details…. they basically just say, 'yep, Hae was happy, she wasn't running away, nothing of note to see here.'

“There had to be more than she seemed happy, wasn't planning to run away to California…..there had to be more that would be important to the investigation.. but it's never included in the report."

Thursday January 28:

O'Shea talks to Debbie, who becomes the first major witness in the case—before later being written out of the prosecution's case due to her testimony not fitting with the State's time line of events.

Debbie says she saw Hae at school around 3pm on Jan 13—a claim that cops initially circulate as being factual, and the time that all news reports run with as a fact.

NOTE: This could be why Adnan initially overlooked the importance of Asia McClain as an alibi witness—because he knew Debbie claimed to have seen Hae, still alive, at 3—whilst the State claimed she was dead sometime before 2.40 pm.

On a side note, Debbie seemed to think Don knew where Hae was—and, in some bizarre Nancy Drew attempted maneuver, set up a secret email account to contact him anonymously, and ask if he knew anything about Hae's disappearance. Debbie claims this eventually led to a seven hour long phone conversation between her and Don—during which, they discussed Hae and where she may be. However, by the end of the alleged call, Debbie says that she was convinced Don didn't know where Hae was…and that Don thought maybe Adnan had been responsible for her disappearance.

And, that's when students start to rethink the theory that Hae's probably just hiding out with Don.

Monday February 1:

O'Shea conducts a series of further interviews. He speaks to Hae's French teacher, Ms. Schab, who, according to O'Shea's report, had nothing of much significance to say.

NOTE: According to Schab, she then becomes a go-between for Woodlawn high and the cops, after O'Shea gives her a list of questions to ask students, including ones like, "do you know where Hae and Adnan used to hook-up?"

O'Shea also talks to another teacher, Inez Butler, who tells him Hae was NOT going to a wrestling match that day, and that when she talked to Hae on the 13th, she told her she was having problems at home, and wanted to contact her family in California.

O'Shea also talks to the manager at the Owings Mills Lenscrafters….. who confirms Don was working at the Hunt Valley store that day, but doesn't say how they know that.

NOTE: Is it possible it was just that Don told her that? Well, we'll never know, as cops didn't bother to interview anybody at the other store..and no attempts were made to verify Don's story that he was working there.

Most significantly, O'Shea also talks to Adnan on the phone, for the second time, officially. According to O'Shea's notes—which, once again weren't written up until February 14, after Hae's body had been discovered and Adnan had become a suspect—he quizzes Syed over Adcock's account of their conversation on Jan 13….during which, Adcock claims, Adnan told him Hae was supposed to give him a ride home after school, but he was running late, so, Hae probably left after waiting a short while.

Adnan corrects O'Shea, and says, 'nope didn't say that, I had my own car that day'….this is later used at trial to show Adnan was lying….

As Chaudry points out, “What's interesting is that O'Shea waited till February 1 [to ask about the ride]. O'Shea's report of his interviews with Adnan, were, like the rest of his records, written on February 14. So, again, they're written with hindsight.

"They're written after the body has been found, and after Adnan has been identified as a suspect in Hae's murder. And, this is the first time the ride has been mentioned since Adcock's report…. and, it does raise the question, why didn't he ask on the 25th about it, but, does ask on the 1st?

“Between those two interviews he talked to Aisha, and according to Krista, Aisha knew about the ride request… which raises the possibility that's where O'Shea learned about it."

Tuesday February 2:

O'Shea interviews Yoon Sin—Hae's mom's ex-boyfriend who lives in California. He tells O'Shea that he and Hae's mother were never married, but lived together for a time in 1996, along with Hae and her brother, and that he hasn't seen or heard from Hae since before her disappearance.

Wednesday February 3:

Three weeks since Hae disappeared and there's just one note in the police record for that date—a print out from the database cops use to pull criminal records on individuals. And, the only record they pull is Adnan's.

“What's startling to me about the fact that on Feb 3 they are only pulling Adnan's records," Simpson says, “is that this is before there's any anonymous call made, before [Adnan's] cell phone records are pulled—especially as they have a witness saying the last time she saw Hae, she said 'I'm going to go see Don.' It would make sense that at least Don's records would be pulled too… so, it's really odd that only Adnan's records would be pulled at this time."

Thursday February 4:

The Baltimore Sun issues a request for information on a missing woman—Hae Min Lee. Their subsequent report notes that according to cops, Hae was last seen around 3pm at Woodlawn High. She was supposed to pick up her 6-year-old niece and go to work, but she did not do either.

NOTE: Once again, no mention of the wrestling match….

Also, the date of the first TV report about Hae going missing, something Jen references remembering in her first official police interview on February 26—as, she bizarrely tells cops, Jay came up her whilst she was drinking with her friend Nicole in a bar and said “they just said Hae's body is missing, I just saw it on the TV."

The cops ask Jen what she means by this, and she quickly corrects herself, saying, “Oh, I mean, she's missing…"

Meanwhile, Jen goes on to tell cops that she told Nicole she knew who had murdered the girl they were taking about on TV….however, cops don't bother to talk to Nicole—at least, according to records.

Saturday February 6:

Cops use dogs to search the woods surrounding Woodlawn High. A map of the search area, included in police records, shows they suspected a possible link to the [at this time still unsolved] Lambert murder case from six months prior.

Monday February 8:

Adnan makes a cellphone call to O'Shea, but, no details of what that call was about are included in his records.

O'Shea seizes Hae's computer to examine it for evidence. Detective John Rau, of the Computer Crimes Unit, requests computer records from AOL in reference to Hae's email account. However, a week later Rau informs Detective MacGillivary that he was asked to cease his investigation after the case was turned from that of a missing person to homicide, and transferred from Baltimore County to Baltimore City.

From that point on, there is no mention of the computer, or Hae's email account and any other online records, being searched. And, that's also the time when Hae's computer, along with her floppy disc secret diary, mysteriously disappeared out of police evidence, forever, never to be found again.

Tuesday February 9:

We conclude with the discovery of Hae's body. Baltimore PD gets a call from the mysterious Mr. S, who claims that he was desperate to pee while driving through Leakin Park, so he pulled over, walked into a wooded area and discovered the partially buried body of a young Asian female. The PD thinks his story weird, and he quickly becomes a suspect. They pick him up from his work, drive him to the park, he takes them to the body and haul him off to be interviewed.

There's scant evidence available for examination when it comes to Hae's body and the crime scene, however—as, bizarrely, the on-scene coroners didn't make any written notes at the time, by order of the State.

Actually, scrap that… not quite so bizarrely, it turns out—because, if there's no written reports then the State doesn't have to turn them over to the defense during pre-trial discovery.

There is one brief note of the coroners findings though, which was written up at a later date by a third party.

It reads:

Body partially buried. Body partially exposed. Could not see from street. They found two pieces of trace evidence—bright orange fiber towards shoulder area and another fiber that was fluorescent blue. The orange fiber was synthetic and on top of body, the other was underneath. Fiber does not belong to the victim's clothing.
Rocks piled on her. Area had been dug out. Dirt over it. Large rocks on body, one on hand. Keep animals from dragging body off. Way body is exposed, animal activity.
Soil samples, typical of wooded area, highly organic. Collected plants, green plant material, couldn't tell if tool used.

Meanwhile, despite a ton of debris scattered all around the roadside, surrounding the area—only three items were actually taken into evidence—and, they were all found in the immediate proximity of Hae's body.

ONE: Feathers—or a feather (referred to in both singular and plural in reports)—found two feet away from Hae's body on a log. There are no pictures of the feathers however, no descriptions, nothing… so, no idea if they were bird feathers, or from a down jacket.

TWO: A rope—or a section of clothes line—or a section of insulated wire (depending on which report you are reading)—found 5 inches from Hae's body, which was never tested for DNA, and has since gone missing from evidence….. which is insane, when you think the victim was STRANGLED…. so, it's conceivable it could have actually been the murder weapon—and, as noted in the autopsy report, there were marks on Hae's neck that were consistent with the killer either wearing gloves or using a ROPE.

THREE: A brandy bottle—found 8 inches from Hae's body, that contained human skin cells which were successfully retrieved from the neck of the bottle—BUT, never tested for DNA!!!!

Hmmm….. wonder why?

Well, by that time, the cops had already quizzed all of Adnan's friends about whether he drank, to which the majority replied no, and a few said he had had a drink on New Year's Eve recently, but that's it. So, it's highly unlikely Adnan would have been suddenly chugging down bottles of brandy in the woods as he's burying his ex-girlfriend's body….

So, hey, let's NOT test it, just in case somebody else's DNA shows up, and just confuses our nicely put together case, yeah?

According to reports around that time, this was pretty standard practice for Baltimore PD—don't send for DNA testing if you think the results will “complicate" the investigation…. i.e.: let the suspect you've fingered for the crime off the hook.

One piece of evidence that was tested for DNA though in September/October of 1999, was a shirt with a blood stain that was discovered in Hae's car—it came back as a match only for Hae's blood.

Oh, and get this…. the examiner noted in their report that the seal on the container that held Jay's blood sample was intact upon arrival at his office, but the seals on both Adnan's and Hae's had been broken…. So, had DNA testing actually been carried out on other evidence previous to the shirt, but was subsequently buried and never disclosed?

So, here's a summary of murder case fabrication 101, Baltimore PD style:

Pick your suspect, totally fabricate a time line to fit with your theory of how the murder went down, coerce witnesses into giving testimony backing that up, coach them into giving details that fit, get them to change their testimony time and time again as the pesky facts of what actually happened start contradicting your fabricated time line, remove any witness accounts or statements that conflict with your theory from public record, don't interview any witnesses you suspect may back up your suspect's testimony, don't bother interviewing any witnesses that could potentially provide an alibi for your suspect, and, pick and chose what evidence to DNA test (or which test results to disclose) in order to seal your fabricated murder case tightly closed.

Nice work guys!

One of the main questions people who have been following the case against Adnan Syed always ask, is—why on earth would the State's star witness, Jay Wilds, completely lie through his teeth when it came to his testimony that Syed strangled a girl to death?

I mean, who would ever do that? And, if they did, why would they do that?!! Surely, nobody would invent a story like that, and send an innocent person to jail, for the rest of their life?

What could their motivation possibly be to spur them to commit such a heinous act?

Well, perhaps they would lie if the motivation to do so was strong enough—if, perhaps, that motivation was to save their own ass from jail.

As Popdust previously reported, Syed has spent the past 15 years behind bars, after being sentenced to life plus 30, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, back in 1999—the 34-year-old vehemently maintains his innocence.

The case garnered national attention last year after NPR reporter, and This American Life producer, Sarah Koenig, covered it in great depth, on Serial, her weekly podcast series. However, after twelve gripping episodes, listeners were left no clearer as to Syed's innocence or guilt.

Rabia Chaudry, the lawyer who first alerted Koenig to the case, along with fellow attorneys, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, are giving their all in an attempt to remedy that—working tirelessly to tear apart the State's case against Syed—and they are broadcasting their findings every two weeks on their podcast series, Undisclosed: The State Vs Adnan Syed.

During the first episode of Undisclosed, the team dissected the State's version of what occurred on January 13, 1999, the day Hae was murdered—pulling to pieces many of the witness statements, and turning up two shocking new accounts of what allegedly went down that day, that were never presented at either the first trial (which ended in a mistrial), or the second, which resulted in Syed's conviction.

In a follow-up special broadcast a week later, titled, Addendum 1: New Information About The Trip To Cathy's, Chaudry, Simpson and Miller shredded another vital, key piece of the prosecution's case against Syed—what purportedly went down January 13 (post murder, pre-body dump), at the apartment of "Cathy" [real name Christy], a close friend of Wilds'.

The second installment of Undisclosed, focused on Hae's movements that fateful day—and, as became evident very early on in Serial, the prosecution's version of events appears to be more than a little “off."

Then, in a second special, titled Addendum 2: More information on Takera, and on Hae's other diary—they presented the revelation that Hae kept a second diary, which, if found, could possibly hold the key to Adnan proving his innocence.

The last podcast, covering the purported events of Jay's day on January 13, proved to be the real Kryptonite when it comes to the State's case against Syed—as the Undisclosed team presented a solid case arguing that the Baltimore Police Department may have coached their star witness, and even perhaps coerced him into giving false testimony.

This week though, shit got even more real, with a special podcast titled, Addendum 3: When Did Jay First Talk To The Cops—which seemed to present a clear cut motivation for Jay Wilds to go along with cops' wishes and totally invent his testimony against Syed.

The Undisclosed team puts forth a really good argument that Wilds actually met with cops several times before his official "first" interview of February 28—they also throw some very serious doubt on how they were led to Wilds as a witness in the first place.

But, the real bombshell, is the revelation that Wilds had a stet entered by the State's prosecutor, on March 5, just a week after he gave his first "official" interview—basically relinquishing him of his pending criminal charges.

“On January 27, Jay was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest," Chaudry explains. "Jay was never prosecuted on those charges however, because,on March 5, a stet was entered.

"A stet is kind of like a pause button on a criminal charge. It doesn't dismiss the charge, but it does suspend it, and, as long as the defendant complies with any conditions that are imposed by the prosecutor entering the stet it will be dismissed at a later date. "

Whoa! seriously? You catch that?!!! Is that motivation enough for somebody to lie through their fucking teeth?!!!

Oh, and, know what? The States other star witness, Jenn, met with the prosecutor the goddamn day before......

411 On Baltimore City PD Corruption, Racism, Witness Coercion And Coaching

I'm telling you—this is just personal speculation, but, I have a really strong gut instinct that tells me the Baltimore cops just wanted to clear this murder case off their books really quick—they looked to the "Muslim" ex-boyfriend as their prime suspect and then just fitted the whole case accordingly.

Only time will tell I guess......

Meanwhile, keep checking back on Popdust for more updates on the story—and head over to audioboom for more Undisclosed: The state Vs Adnan Syed.