Serial fans have started keeping an eye on The Intercept after the publication scored a coveted interview with Jay Wilds, the key witness in Maryland’s case against Adnan Syed for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee. The reporter who interviewed Wilds, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, told the New York Observer that she may have even more people to interview, people whom Serial host Sarah Koenig never spoke with.
“It hasn’t been 100% confirmed, but I do have like two more interviews of people who refused to speak with Sarah who are very big players,” said Vargas-Cooper. “It looks like the prosecutor is going to talk to me, and he said he wants to talk about the questions that he would have asked Adnan had he taken the stand.”
Koenig mentioned prosecutor Kevin Urick several times in the podcast and in the finale Don, Lee’s boyfriend at the time of her death, even claimed the state attorney yelled at him for not making Adnan sound “creepy” enough. Urick, like Wilds, did not talk to Koenig for the podcast.
The Intercept is already mimicking Serial‘s style of releasing information a little bit at a time, ending their Jay Wilds interviews with teases for the next one. If Vargas-Cooper begins scoring interviews with people who refused to be interviewed by Koenig, it will really start to seem like Serial part two, from the prosecution’s viewpoint.
Vargas-Cooper said she had never listened to Serial prior to Wilds and his lawyer reaching out to her asking her to do an interview with him. “So I listened to Serial to see if there was something there and if it’s something I wanted to get involved with, and I saw some really huge. … I mean just some stuff that I was, like — I mean problems, and I don’t mean that necessarily in the ethical sense but it was like … If I were to come to you at The Observer and say I want to write about a case and I don’t have the star witness, I don’t have the victim’s family, I don’t have the detectives, I don’t think you would run it, you know?” Vargas-Cooper explained to Observer reporter Ken Kurson. Kurson said he absolutely would have run it, based on his assumption that Koenig made great efforts to contact these people in an attempt to conduct interviews, which he believes she did.
“Oh, totally. I don’t want this to be like I am trying to blow up Sarah Koenig. I don’t want to sling mud at her,” replied Vargas-Cooper. “She presented a very compelling story with characters who I really wanted to hear from.”
The Intercept’s third interview with Wilds is expected on Wednesday.