Those of us who were hanging out on Twitter on Christmas Eve instead of waiting up for Santa may have seen writer Kelly Oxford’s tweet about Jay Wilds of Serial fame: “Jay from @serial posted on FB that he wants to give an interview. Also? He’s Team Hae (even though he buried her.)” Oxford has since deleted the tweet and the image the accompanied it:
Wilds had deleted this from his Facebook page within a couple hours of allegedly posting it (and also, supposedly, put it back up and took it back down again), and as far as we can tell, he hasn’t made any other moves to suggest he wants to talk to Serial host Sarah Koenig or anybody else. But of course, Redditors and other Serial obsessives have taken to the Internet to discuss the possible ramifications of this alleged Facebook post. Many Serial listeners and supporters of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murdering ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, believe that Wilds is the more likely suspect in this case, and they’re hungry for a confessional interview. Wilds admitted during the legal proceedings that he helped bury Lee, but denies any involvement in the murder itself; one of the most fascinating and troubling aspects of this case is that nobody seems to have a clear motive for murder, and when Wilds refused an on-record interview with Koenig, many listeners seized it as an implication of his guilt. If that Facebook post is real, it seems that Wilds is, understandably, fed up with the unwanted attention it’s brought him, and believes that the podcast used murder victim Hae Min Lee as a source for entertainment. He’s not the first to make that complaint, and Koenig responded on NPR’s Fresh Air last week:
I wasn’t—and we weren’t—trying to create problems where there were none … Obviously I don’t want anyone to suffer because of the work I’m doing, but I also feel like there’s a strong tradition of doing these kinds of investigative stories. And we weren’t doing anything differently than we would do in any other story.
Anybody who downloaded the new Serial episode as soon as they woke up on Thursday morning knows how addictive it was, and the fact that it was a real story made it unusually compelling. But for many people, it’s real life, not just a podcast. Rabia Chaudry, the family friend of Adnan Syed who initially brought the case to Koenig, sees some good in Serial, even though it’s been a bumpy road for her and many others tangentially involved in the case. In an op-ed for Time, Chaudry wrote that Koenig “[blew] wide open the idea of a fair criminal justice process.” You can listen to The A.V. Club’s interview with Chaudry on The Serial Serial.
UPDATED: Perhaps all that secrecy was not the result of Wilds changing his mind about giving an interview, but to protect the interview he already gave. The Intercept has published an exclusive interview with Wilds where he talks publicly about Hae Min Lee’s death for the first time since Syed’s trial. Wilds apparently gave the interview because he felt Serial and Sarah Koenig depicted him unfairly on the podcast. The first part of what will be a three-part interview can be found here.