true crime

Everything we learned about Don Clinedinst from The Case Against Adnan Syed.


Since Serial hit the podcast charts in December 2014, Don Clinedinst has remained largely an enigma.

Now, a new four-part documentary, The Case Against Adnan Syed, has shed some light on the man who was dating Hae Min Lee when she was murdered in 1999.

Don, who was 22-years-old at the time of Hae’s disappearance, was never thoroughly investigated by police as he had an alibi for the day of her murder.

However, Don’s alibi and his behaviour around the time of Hae’s disappearance are now being called into question.

Watch the full trailer for The Case Against Adnan Syed here. Post continues below…

Here’s everything we learned about Don Clinedinst from The Case Against Adnan Syed:

1. Don’s mum was his alibi

In Serial, we discovered that Don had an alibi for the time period in which Hae disappeared. He was working at a local LensCrafter store and his manager confirmed his whereabouts.

However, in The Case Against Adnan Syed, we learn that the manager who confirmed Don’s alibi was actually his mother.


It’s for this reason that Rabia Chaudry, Adnan’s family friend and the lawyer who first brought the case to Sarah Koenig, believes Don should be re-investigated.

“Don Clinedinst—his investigation was completely flawed. We have absolutely no idea where he was that day. I’m not saying that I think he’s guilty. I just think that he deserves another look,” she told The Washingtonian.

2. Don had scratches and bandages on his arm.

In episode one we learn that Don, who was four years older than Hae, was acting suspiciously around the time of her disappearance.

Someone who worked with Don at LensCrafters, said the then 22-year-old had scratch marks and bandages on his forearms when he was telling them about Hae’s disappearance.

Don said the injuries occurred while he was working on his car, and detectives didn’t question him about Hae’s disappearance until three weeks later.

3. Don hit on Hae’s friend.

In the documentary Hae’s friend, Debbie Warren, shared that she had a seven-hour long conversation with Don following Hae’s disappearance.

“I just tried to find out how much he cared about her, what he knew about her disappearance, and I don’t recall what it was we had that seven-hour conversation [about], but we did,” she said.

During the conversation, Don allegedly told Debbie he was interested in her romantically.

“How that all ended up playing out, I just — my mind just completely blocks it off after that. I don’t have much recollection. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to recapture what he had with Hae in some way.”

the case against adnan syed episode 1
Don now. Image: Facebook.

4. Don is now married with a kid.

Don is now living in North Carolina with his wife and child.

Don had an accident when he was 23, he is now living with a disability and undergoes regular physical therapy. Don believes he won't live much past 50.

"My next 12 years is basically making sure that my wife and kids are taken care of. Not worrying about whether anybody believes my alibi," Don told the filmmakers.