true crime

Everything we learned from Hae Min Lee's diary entries in The Case Against Adnan Syed.


If you listened to Serial (and let’s face it, with more than 175 million downloads, it’s likely you did), you will know all about Adnan Syed.

You’ll know about how he led prayers at his local mosque and about how he was one of the stars of his high school track team. You’ll know that he was an honours student, the homecoming prince and, according to Rabia Chaudry “the golden child of the community”.

But what did the podcast tell us about his ex-girlfriend and alleged victim, Hae Min Lee? Not nearly as much.

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

And that’s something the new four-part HBO documentary, The Case Against Adnan Syed, manages to rectify.

The director of the series, Amy Berg, told E News :”One of the main goals for the series was to bring Hae Min Lee to life. I spoke to many of her friends, a family friend of her mother’s and the journals and just really tried to build this picture of Hae Min Lee for the film”.


The journals are read out by an actor alongside beautiful animated reenactments of some of the moments she shares.

According to the first episode of the docu-series, Hae Min Lee wrote a long entry in her diary after prom, which she attended with Adnan:

“I swear he’s the sweetest guy. Let me tell you why. He was prom prince and Stephanie was prom princess and traditionally they’re supposed to dance together, to my song, K-Ci & JoJo’s ‘All My Life.’ I tried to act natural and unjealous, but it did kinda bother me. Ten seconds later, guess who danced with me, and not with Stephanie? Adnan! Now how can I not fall in love with this guy?”

She also wrote about Don Clinedinst, who she began dating very soon after breaking up with Adnan. She met him at the Lenscrafters store where they both worked and she wrote:

“I love you Don. I think I have found my soul mate. I love you so much. I fell in love with you the moment I opened my eyes to see you in the breakroom for the first time.”

Clearly, Hae’s diary entries cannot prove guilt or innocence, or tell us the whole truth about what happened on January 13, 1999.

But her words certainly do humanise her, as Berg intended.

You can watch all four episodes of The Case Against Adnan Syed on SBS on Demand now.