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Old 12-04-2014, 08:57 PM
Lamia is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 13,350
I'm a latecomer to Serial, but am now mostly caught up with the podcast and this thread. (I haven't listened to Episode 10 yet, and so skipped the recent posts about it.)

Listening to Episodes 8 and 9 today, it occurred to me that if this were a fictional mystery then my guess as to whodunnit would be...Stephanie!

Since this is a real life mystery and not fiction I'm not seriously suggesting Stephanie as an alternate suspect. Nothing in the podcast so far indicates that she would have any reason to want to harm Hae. I don't know if she even had any opportunity to kill Hae on January 13. Since it was her birthday, her friends were presumably paying extra attention to her and probably would have noticed if she'd disappeared for a few hours or even just seemed upset. But in a work of fiction I think it would be significant that Stephanie is such a central figure in this story.

Stephanie was dating Jay, a close friend of Adnan's, and it seems like their relationships with her was the main reason why Jay and Adnan became casual friends in the first place. (Stephanie also presumably knew Hae pretty well since they were both in the magnet program, although I don't think they were described as being friends.) The stated reason for Adnan calling Jay the day of Hae's disappearance and then lending him his phone and car was because Adnan wanted to make sure Jay had bought Stephanie a birthday present. It seems far more plausible to me that Jay would be willing to help his girlfriend dispose of a body than his girlfriend's friend, and Jay's shifting story and concern about security cameras at Best Buy makes more sense if he's trying to protect someone. Jay actually said that protecting Stephanie was important to him, although he said he was afraid for her safety because Adnan had threatened her.

Stephanie also seems like one of the few people who both Jay and Adnan would want to protect from the police, so if Adnan had any suspicions about Stephanie being the killer he might have kept them to himself. Heck, since I'm just speculating then perhaps Adnan was even an accessory after the fact like Jay but is still unwilling to point the finger at Stephanie.

It also seems odd to me that Jay didn't try to call Stephanie from Adnan's cellphone on January 13. Not that odd, since Jay was a stoner who hadn't even bought Stephanie a birthday present until prompted by Adnan, but at least slightly odd considering that Jay made a number of calls to friends on Adnan's phone. According to the call log Stephanie did have a cellphone (Adnan had called her twice on it the day before), so Jay could have reached her or at least left a "Happy Birthday!" voicemail at any time. But if Jay and Stephanie were together after school or if any of the unidentified incoming calls were from her, that would explain why he didn't call her.