How to watch ‘The Case Against Adnan Syed’, the new documentary about the subject of ‘Serial’

New HBO documentary picks up where the podcast left off

When the first series of hit podcast Serial aired in 2014, people were hooked by the “unsolved” case of teenager Hae Min Lee’s murder. With her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed sent to prison for life for her murder, the podcast’s team put doubt in the world’s minds over whether he was really guilty of the crime.

Now, HBO have followed up on that story, with director Amy Berg and lawyer Rabia Chaudry weighing up all the evidence, new and old. Here’s how to watch The Case Against Adnan Syed, plus everything you need to know about it.

Where and when can I watch The Case Against Adnan Syed?

The new four-part docu-series aired on HBO in the US on March 10. US viewers can watch it online via the HBO website and Hulu.

It will air in the UK on Sky Atlantic on April 1 and via on-demand service NOW TV from the same date.

How does it continue Adnan Syed’s story on from Serial?

Expect it to re-examine all the details and evidence in the case in the hopes of proving once and for all whether or not Syed committed the murder. According to HBO, the documentary will include “groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case” in the form of new evidence. It will also feature new interviews with Syed, his family, friends, former teachers, witnesses, Baltimore authorities, and more. 

Can I watch a trailer?

Yes, there is. The first trailer for The Case Against Adnan Syed teases the discovery of new evidence that could have a pivotal impact on the case and Syed’s conviction. Watch it below.

Will the documentary focus more on the victim, Hae Min Lee?

Yes, it will. Serial was criticised for forgetting about Hae Min Lee, the murder victim at the centre of the story, in its bid to figure out who was the real killer. While Lee’s family declined to participate in the documentary, a family friend and her high school friends spoke to the creators. They also had access to her journal, which was last updated the night before she disappeared. Her diary entries will be narrated throughout the programme, with illustrations shown on screen.

What do you need to know before watching?

If you’ve never listened to Serial, don’t worry. The documentary will go over all of the key facts you need to get to grips with the case so you won’t be left behind. That said, if you don’t want to go into it totally blind, here’s a brief recap of the story so far.

Korean-American teenager Hae Min Lee disappeared in Baltimore in January 1999. A month later, her body was found with her having been strangled. Her classmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted in the case and sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison. Cell tower records placed Syed in the area where Lee’s body was discovered on the day she disappeared and his friend Jay Wilds admitted to helping him bury her body and dispose of her car. However, Syed’s attorney failed to call Asia McClain as an alibi witness, who said she had been talking to him in the library at the time Syed was said to have attacked Lee.

What happened to Adnan Syed after the podcast series ended?

After Serial began to air, Syed’s conviction was vacated and he was granted a new trial in 2016.  That ruling was upheld in 2018 but prosecutors appealed, with a decision currently pending but expected to be published by August 2019. Syed is currently still behind bars.