A story of murder and an unlikely alibi witness as featured in This American Life's hit podcast Serial.
In 1999 Adnan Syed was arrested for murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. But at the same time he was accused of the crime, Asia McClain claims she saw Syed at the local library.
When McClain hears of Syed’s arrest, she wrote to him to let him know that she might be his alibi. In spite of the opportunity to have him proven innocent, Syed’s attorney did not take any action. Later, his attorney was disbarred due to numerous health problems including multiple sclerosis. She died in 2004.
Over a decade after Syed’s arrest, This American Life’s Sarah Koenig investigates the old case. Her interviews with McClain become the first subject of Koenig’s hugely successful podcast Serial and the story became an international internet phenomenon.
Determined to set the record straight and the truth free, McClain reaches out to Syed’s new defense attorney and on November 6, 2015, the court ordered an investigation to determine whether Syed’s case be re-opened "in the interests of justice for all parties.” Finally, McClain can become the key alibi witness that she was always meant to be.
Now, in Confessions of a Serial Alibi, Asia McClain tells her story for the very first time.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Intriguing and Insightful
This book delivers exactly what it promises, a first person narrative told by Asia. As someone who is intrigued by all things related to this case, I was excited by Undisclosed's version of Asia's testimony and even more excited to read her version. It's light hearted and conversational. A quick and easy read with additional insights. Thankful for people like Asia Chapman that stand up and tell the truth! A must read for anyone interested in the case, looking for Asia's version.
Perhaps I misunderstood the title and thought
it would give far more insight and info regarding the murder. Instead one receives
a potential witnesses's self- guilt or
self analysis of why her testimony was not
presented at the defendants trials.
The reader is presented with the authors life story intermixed with her explanation for not offering her testimony years earlier.
If one is seeking more substantive info regarding the case this is not the book. One can read the description of the book and get the the gist that the author has had info that
was not presented at the trials of the defendant and the reasons why. Very little new info is revealed.
I was disappointed, however, perhaps I had other expectations.
Serial Alibi: Fact or Fiction
This memoir contains so many eyebrow-raising moments it's hard to know where to begin. What parts of it are fact; and what parts of it are fiction?
Let's start with the fact that Asia McClain was the subject of the first episode of "Serial: The Alibi". This eventually led to the reopening of the already denied post conviction relief hearing of Adnan Syed. Ms McClain did testify in February of 2016 in a proceeding in Maryland. The judge's revised ruling has not even been rendered yet. However, as strange as it may seem, Ms McClain has a book, not only ready for publication but already published, less than four months later. Ms McClain has noted in the preface of the book: "My lawyer Gary Proctor says it's better to not add fuel to the fire ...". One cannot help but agree. Any alibi Ms McClain may have been for Adnan Syed has now been tarnished ... forever.
This review will not address the truth or fallacy and all the inconsistencies of Ms McClain's alibi regarding the Adnan Syed case. That has been addressed elsewhere ad nauseum; and the prosecutor at the PCR hearing certainly did an amazing job of calling her entire story into question. What this review does address is the content of the 272 pages of McClain-Chapman's book. It is truly impossible to cull the fact from the fiction when the author can't even seem to do so herself.
During her dialog on "Serial", Ms McClain refers to a time in 2010 when an investigator for Adnan Syed came to her door to ask her to testify at the first PCR hearing. In that dialog, she says that her fiance answered the door and relayed her message that she did not want to speak with them. Strangely enough in the book Ms McClain says that she married her husband in 2009. How can a man be her husband in 2009 and her fiance in 2010?
Ms McClain writes about the Magnet Program at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore. Adnan Syed was a part of the program; but Asia McClain refers to herself as an "honorary magnet kid." Is there such a thing as an honorary magnet kid?
In Chapter Five: The Recommitment, Ms McClain discusses a time when she was visited by the ghost of the murder victim: “Slowly I felt the temperature change in my bedroom.” And then: “There, floating in midair, about four feet directly above me, was Hae Min Lee." Really?
There are a ton of other questionable statements in the book which leaves this reviewer unable to separate what is true and what isn't. If you are interested in reading about the birthday party of a nine year old or the antics of a teenager in late 20th century Baltimore, this book may be for you. For myself, and likely most others, I wish I could get my money back.