Jay From 'Serial': Sarah Koenig "Demonized" Me
"As soon as I opened that door, I knew that it was her, the woman who was harassing my friends in Baltimore"
The Intercept released the second part of their interview with Jay Wilds, the key witness in the Baltimore murder case featured on the Serial podcast. This installment focuses on how upset Jay is by Sarah Koenig's investigation for the This American Life spinoff.
Wilds explained how Koenig reached out to him in late August or early Sept., after first speaking with other sources in Baltimore. "As soon as I opened that door, I knew that it was her, the woman who was harassing my friends in Baltimore," said Wilds.
He said he questioned Koenig about who she'd spoken with, pointing out that (murder victim) Hae Min Lee's family and the detectives were not talking with her. "It was confusing because they also pitched this story to me as a documentary, and they wanted to put me on video. By this time my wife was getting real upset. Our kids were crying," said Wilds.
"She kept saying, 'It's going to be in your interest to talk to me,' and that just started to feel like a threat, like if I didn't talk to her it was going to be bad news for me," added Wilds, although he did explain that Koenig and producer Julie Snyder apologized for intruding on him and his family. He also shared an email Koenig sent him following their initial meeting.
Ultimately, Wilds said he didn't feel he had anything to add to Koenig's investigation into Adnan Syed's guilt or innocence. "Anything that's going to make him innocent doesn't involve me. Hae was dead before she got to my house. Anything that makes Adnan innocent doesn't involve me."
Furthermore, he's upset at how Koenig portrayed him in Serial. "Look how she's demonized me. And I feel like if I did talk to her, it would have given her twice as much ammo to twist my words," said Wilds.
The first portion of The Intercept's interview with Wilds concentrated on his memories surrounding Lee's death in 1999 and gave him a chance to explain inconsistencies. While this installment highlighted his interaction with Koenig, Wilds did provide his theory on the anonymous caller who tipped police off to Syed. He thinks it was a spiritual leader from Syed's mosque. The woman who introduced Koenig to Syed, Rabia Chaudry, denied Wilds' hypothesis and questioned how he knew about grand jury testimony in the first place.
On Wednesday, the publication will publish Wilds' quotes on how the popular podcast caused "collateral damage."