Jay Wilds—the man who effectively put Adnan Syed in prison and spawned the wildly popular Serial podcast—has broken his silence after initially refusing to be interviewed for the show by host Sarah Koenig.

Speaking with The Intercept in a multi-part interview, Wilds began to discuss his involvement in the disappearance of Hae Min Lee and why he wasn’t especially helpful or consistent during the investigation. While it’s certainly a start, there are still a lot of unanswered questions after this first part.

Here is a quick summary of Jay’s comments:

  • Adnan and he were not terribly close: “There was never a real friendship. I only smoked with him two or three times…We were friendly, we were cool. I might have sat next to him in a class, and joked or something. But he didn’t call me unless he needed something.”
  • He says that Adnan mentioned killing Hae Min Lee well before the crime occurred: “It was at least a week before she died, when he found out she was either cheating on him or leaving him…he just started opening up...just normal conversation like, ‘I think she’s fucking around. I’m gonna kill that bitch, man.’”
  • He thinks Adnan did it because he couldn’t handle how people perceived him: “From the way he carried himself, at least, it looked like he had never lost anything before. And it was really hard for him to deal with being on the losing end. In that situation, he was the loser. And people were starting to find out he was a loser, ‘Oh, you and Hae aren’t together anymore. She got a new boyfriend?’ And he didn’t know how to deal with that…he just couldn’t come to grips with being a loser and failing.”
  • Jay says he lied to the police in part to protect his family: “I didn’t tell the cops it was in front of my house because I didn’t want to involve my grandmother. I believe I told them it was in front of ‘Cathy’s [not her real name] house, but it was in front of my grandmother’s house. I know it didn’t happen anywhere other than my grandmother’s house.”
  • He says he helped Adnan bury Hae to save himself: “at the time I was convinced that I would be going to jail for a long time if he turned me in for drug dealing, especially to high school kids. I was also running [drug] operations from my grandmother’s house. So that would ruin her life too. I was also around a bunch of people earlier the day [at Cathy’s], and I didn’t want them to get fucked up with homicide.”
  • Jay’s current story is radically different from the version he told police in 1999 because he was concerned cops were trying to bust him too: “Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.”

Part 2 of the interview has just gone live. Here are the highlights from Jay's comments on Koenig, the supposed "new evidence," and and why he's speaking out:

  • He says that the "anonymous call" that tipped police off to investigate Adnan did not come from him: "I know that during the grand jury there was a spiritual leader of the mosque–I don’t know how to pronounce his name. Something with a B...he spoke with the police during the investigation. But when he was called to the grand jury, he pled the fifth [amendment, against self incrimination through testimony]. So that whatever he knew about Adnan, he knew that if he said it in court he could also be in trouble."
  • He thought Koenig was being deceptive when she first met with him at his house: "I could also tell that she was uncomfortable talking to me. Her lips were quivering, and I just felt like she was lying. They were in the love seat over there [points across the room], and their body language was just making me really uncomfortable."
  • He didn't care if Koenig had new evidence on the case: "She said there was new evidence, and I said there’s no new evidence that’s gonna change what I saw: I saw Hae dead in the trunk of his car. If Adnan wants to take the stand now and explain that away, let him. But there’s no evidence that’s gonna change what I saw."
  • He doesn't have any information that would exonerate Adnan: "Hae was dead before she got to my house. Anything that makes Adnan innocent doesn’t involve me."
  • He doesn't think much of the NPR team: "[Koenig] came to my house and frightened me and my wife. Then [Julie Snyder] came out and said that I had ‘animal rage.’"
  • He is speaking out now to tell people the truth: "I’m trying to clear my name. I’m worried for the safety of my family. I think the truth is important, and I’m trying to tell it–not for entertainment value."
9kZTZxcTrRnFWW1acARgdtL-lRZHTKwu

[via The Intercept]