DiscoverSerialS01 Episode 11: Rumors
S01 Episode 11: Rumors

S01 Episode 11: Rumors

Update: 2014-12-1171
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Almost everyone describes the 17-year-old Adnan the same way: good kid, helpful at the mosque, respectful to his elders. But a couple of months ago, Sarah started getting phone calls from people who knew Adnan back then, and told her stories of a different kind of boy.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

previously Ontario the the the shipper are extremely wrong in that way he was like the communities golden child I think the odds of you getting the charming sociopath you're just not that lucky you don't think that I know the great person and a nice person had only talked more about the global Julie may call from the innate the Maryland Correctional Facility on the American Life and WBC Chicago it's cereal one story told week by week and Sarah clinic for two months now I've been grappling with rumors about in on people telling me their stuff you don't know about it non stop he need to know understand you're dealing with these communications came in the form of phone calls many phone calls sometimes one on one sometimes conference calls also texts and nervous emails I can tell this one I've spoken to that one and then that one gets worried that if broken my word which I promise I haven't one person two dozen confirmed the thing person one told me and I report that back to person one person one often tells me person too is lying to me all these rumors are coming from people in I knew growing up in the mosque community the South Asian families who attend Islamic Society of Baltimore some of these people I'd already talked to during my first round of reporting for the story but then once the series started and they heard how I was being portrayed a new round of phone calls began the rumors themselves are nothing to dastardly nobody is saying I saw him do it or I have proof none of it is directly connected to the crime but likely there are a great many things I don't know about a nun and some other things I was hearing were giving me pause so I check them out as best I could not every single one and some of them are so small that I initially was confused by the telling waiting for the punchline a Tory slid by such as he took a piece of my clothing piece of designer sportswear and then over explained claiming it wasn't mine or that he didn't know is mine and then apologize profusely I Sarah Kay dig going to confess something right now I have done exactly the same thing more than once I'd wager on the other end of the scale was a story so incriminating that we thought well this one is true then we're done our stories over the home this was the biggie and I worked every angle I could discuss it out I heard secondhand that someone said something about it non party fifteen years back I spent weeks trying to learn first the name and the location of that someone then trying to contact that someone then finally driving several hours to question that someone in person and nervously knocked the door nice guy comes out we chat he tells me what I've spent all these weeks and hours waiting for you he says I remember an on base kid I remember he seems sad when his girlfriend broke up and so I promised him I heard this saying is true for anything else you wanna tell me the guy looks blank but I had for me imagine I have a file on my desk about this rumor and I just stamped it with my big cartoon stamp unsubstantiated across to the fullest the The the the the there's one more rumor I'll tell you about a minute but first I want to talk about why relatively few people from the Mass community are willing to talk on tape or on the record about a nine to give you a sense of what I'm talking about here's Ollie not his real name and this is also not his real voice why the secrecy that the Senate say you use nightly news might interact and play on NPR radio whatever and it immediately came back and ballot at a community and it is like a fad he probably knows being at the now is not a blogger he gets an A ally doing that and that's how they died their irrational thinking as I now have a rational thinking and if that is to educate kids knocking my back the rather them I mean you're you're you're basically saying I'm succumbing to this irrational yet I think they must believe in others told me that their community is judgmental right and wrong is drummed into you early and often adults judge kids' behavior which then gets reflected back on to their parents this is certainly not unique to their community and the other thing that isn't unique is how close knitted as information and gossip travel swiftly and you don't want to be the one who goes against the grain or says something that could hurt an honor his parents no one wants to end up in hot water I live in a small town I understand that but what I hadn't totally understood I think is how scared people were wooden on get arrested I got an anonymous text recently that said quote The Muslim male who attends the Baltimore mosque my father and Anne's father good friends I've known each other for years a non story has always been an urban legend to us kids growing up in the Muslim community clouded in mystery and used as a cautionary tale some people did speak out on tape I mean Robbie inside chowder obviously dead and there are others too but there's also a significant faction of people including Ollie who are scared Lee said his parents were especially protective like a ten on the protective scale so that after John was arrested they were frantic about his safety his own life change because of it that reality and got a mail back the dead likely selling these areas that really happened really happened and I in your mailbox was like at the end of a drive where the AL lineup at my house until he felt that the bright light I waited only a day together today think and I gave our ride today and he picked the right with a gun and I that I use to tie together the mining know that he and I think that's the main candidate I think that's going on and had an early baby my dad kept her cool and quite okay i think im really happy now that I can of bug I get a very naive and become can just hear that and that's how it even out the The Mighty and tied atop the mountain cave of Elijah gets cry the Gators didn't do it or not that I like it and it got shot at it again in the the the the people I talked to told me they feel guilty towards him and that they let him down because they led astray or to protect and to mentor him or didn't shop enough a trial or didn't visit him in jail even ones are on the fence about his innocence said Please tell it not I love him or please tell him I'm sorry and I often sit back you told yourself you can write to him you know and then sometimes comes a pause the reason only agree to go on tape was that he wanted me to know this about a non mean and the session the school and elementary school that when you get a black eye while Atlanta The Atlanta looking kind of like Jacqueline out of my child the choice of the E U know i never also I never made me feel that you like nature I get paid for the team made fun of me on my mind and I can share it I think I can do except find here at my back and tell them that there are kind of like Stephanie Haile the next never forget the music I think it would stand up and your parents came into the room he said the parties or events he be the first one to ask How can I help you and T T need help setting of those tables uncle this was what Ali disguised an anonymous had to say The The I probably wouldn't pursue rumors that on their face aren't connected to the crime at hand but in this case I decided it was worthwhile because of where these rumors come from I think these rumors are coming from a feeling that handful of people have for this for about four people people who knew him growing up that none was capable of committing this crime I think they believe they saw things in his personality that they think I am not seeing namely that his duplicitous the term psychopath gets thrown in sometimes people told me he used his charm and his smarts to deflect suspicion or weasel out of things we got caught pretty much what the judge said to him at his sentencing which brings me to the only I heard that at least partly checked out it was this non stole money from the mosque donation money I heard various versions of how this happened or could have happened but from what I can tell the basic story is people who come to pray on Fridays and it's a lot of people many hundreds some of them put donation money into boxes and that's what it non scammed two people told me they saw him do it one person told me he'd seen it several times he would go on tape but the other guy did she was the from the mosque every Friday this is a guy I can't name whose voice we've also changed see explanation above we want to vomit the golden child and her dad was very religious and community would go out on missionary work and so on so you use them and not very good religious family and he knew he was collecting money parting of the nation Baltimore on Friday at the prayer you know he wanted or he was in charge basically of you know getting all the boxes together in county money and pulling it all up to a new apartment and thousands of dollars every week and no one to question you know good little kid to move on are you serious can you imagine you saw him actually take money in our Arab who saw him taking it all done it the state estimated that a non stolen many thousands of dollars over time tens of thousands maybe hundred thousand dollars This sounded fantastical to me so I checked with my cool Patel he was president of the Islamic Society of Baltimore the time he said he'd never heard of it non taking donation money but that it does happen from time to time someone stealing are trying to they're people who take shoes he added my own brand new shoes were stolen twice he said that happened once in New York a once in Baltimore that if a nun did take money he said there's no way it was a big amount he said on average people donated about twenty five hundred dollars at Friday prayers may be up to three thousand dollars if it was a special occasion that money was used to pay the bills he said keep the electricity and heat on if they were even a hundred dollar short on any given week I've noticed so sure maybe twenty bucks or forty bucks here or there but not hundreds and thousands out of the question the nun says it's true he did take donation money when first asked him about it he was unhappy I've asked him so many frankly insulting things are so many nosy and inappropriate questions and he's never given me push back but this was the last straw what does it have to do with the case he wanted to know he's never claimed that he's innocent of killing hay because he's a perfect or even a good person he said so why talk about this and why the double standard why was I going to everyone else's cars and pulling out skeletons that made them look bad why do I protect other people and call him out on everything he's endured other stuff in my reporting that he didn't think was fair to him so much leverage my executioner on it just slaps a lot like me probably now you sticking up from self he said he seemed pissed and hurt and I understand it I mean it's a very uncomfortable thing for me to talk about that is a very shameful thing that I did notice that I've never denied I've never seen I don't understand I just think it's really unfair if this so if you want to talk about those that surprised it is like I can force you to talk about if you don't want to talk about the awful happy to hear it mentioned the only thing I don't talk about me in a predicament like Elijah prays publicly shaming me for something that I have never denied that I did anyway and has nothing to do it again but she won't put other people those ideas like but alas been called out on most of the suitcase onto to know what else well adios to the the couple of days and phone calls later all was calm and he told me his stealing story it was during the summer maybe the summer before eighth grade he said are like Friday prayers a lot of what else he would get like four or five kits together and say Look what you got to go around to collect money from people or stand there to have a different data with different ways those usually anywhere from like four or five of us have little boxes or something and people would come and they would put money in a juicy like me and I felt like Ocean's eleven or whatever but it was like thousands of dollars in cash like one five ten twenty maybe like two or three thousand dollars in cash in through the river who say it was me and say it wasn't me the idea came up like a man we could take like six or eight dollars go to the movies go to the mall play arcade like stuff like that so eventually be a thing where like we're two pockets point out though and this White House and another three or you know two or three of us would do it another to college what it was it was wrong very wrong nothing I'm proud of his very ashamed of it you know at all I don't say that we would try to put it in context of making she's in the womb maybe I am right but it's just you know I mean what me and you really what made you stop the what made you realize it was wrong I mean I wish I could say that it was like you know some feeling of religion or something or feeling of wrong but it was an Emmy and was caught red handed so to speak none says he was caught red handed by she mean his mother he says she found some money in his pants pocket and asked where it came from and the truth came out he says she was horrified it was the classic I'm not angry and disappointed more disappointed than she'd ever been in him he says the suspect then he didn't think he was hurting anyone they spent so much time at the mosque and they shoveled snow and they help set up events and clean up at him it was akin to taking twenty bucks from the till of the family store at the end of the night he says of course as an adult he knows how wrong that is but back then in eighth grade him fully get it in on telling of the silly episode is a much more Boys Will Be Boys version than what I'd heard from other people who told me they saw on his actions something more malignant a couple people I talked to from the mosque community said this was so low to take the hard earned cash hard working people at the mosque of all places this is a terrible thing other people said Mr. Patel then president of the mosque was thoroughly and ruffled by the whole thing was they didn't condone it Marla said so what it certainly does not a murderer make it to him he said if a young person does something like this it's not even necessarily a sign of bad character other mosque friends agreed they didn't see how it's connected to the crime and also some people told me they'd shop lifted before they'd broken the rules so people in glass houses man and in the Andes guys all said what most of animes old friends say he didn't have it in him to kill someone it wasn't in his DNA to me this question is the hard center of an arms case can you tell really can you tell if someone has a crime like this and him I think most of us think if we know someone well week and how we act as detectives all the time gathering evidence certain scenes the look on someone's face or that thing he said when he got mad and then we act as judge of character is just a human thing but course it's slippery because it's so subjective one person's evidence of good character is another person's evidence of questionable character case in point I heard from many people that had nine was the opposite of violent that he was someone who would take the heat out of ten situations never even seen him in the spy even see him mad at anybody this is art if you fall in you in on from the mosque that's his real name and his real voice as badly if I need Him like I later told me that he said something about me in some other person or something Allen updated content and anyone that came out of nowhere ending I know that meant that you have something like that ball out of getting all rowdy up and he did came and kept the lady that is like if you need a complete and nine I I miss that he kissed you and your cheeks you just feel legit like it is I completely like if you'd like I can even be angry anymore so I mean that's I can even fathom the thought and way out and killing I mean killing somebody and investors will buy even know how to say it out of his personality I was so hot if that kiss on the cheek to tell the real and non for that other guy he said non stolen his things and I might be guilty of the crime is in prison for that same peace maker quality was something he brought up to me as evidence that nine was full of shit enough attention on the situation by worker and I and I knew that whatever the hell happened in time to adjust or if you talk or to take these away and Harvard majority rule of law the the and the the just a curious thing though the same people who tell me they think of none was capable of killing hay or the ceiling from the mosque was a great evil or that nine was a pathological liar they also tell me to a man that none was a great guy the earth this is the same anonymous person he thought it not taken many thousands from the donation boxes are the the the only positive thing in at that and the don'ts feels fake to you like that part feels real to start the year that go far and hope for and carrying on that yet using colors and conservative contain both those things inside their personality I think it's the I think they view the corner anybody and on the phone and and in people's lives only in most of the hundreds killers and evaluating have been pretty ordinary people this is Charles Ewing he's a forensic psychologist and a lawyer he teaches at the SUNY Buffalo Law School he taught me is evaluated several thousand criminal defendants testified in more than seven hundred trials as an expert witness mostly lately homicides committed by people in intimate relationships and homicides committed by young people Ewing had listened to about half the episodes of the show obviously can't weigh in on a non psychological health and be ridiculous but I went in to find out what's a valid way to try to understand what's going on when someone kills someone else with a range of options here Ewing said most the time he's doing in sanity evaluations or evaluations for extreme emotional disturbance and usually in cases where there's not a question of whether the defendant at more question of why and again most the people he's evaluating a pretty ordinary some are extraordinary there's some serial killers or spree killers some really awful psychopathic individuals or for the most part people kill not in a premeditated way they're not evil or not sociopathic and psychopathic they kill because something happens that pushes them over the edge in other words murder isn't usually strictly speaking a plan of at a lot of people who know id nine they can get their heads around the idea that a non planned to kill hey I hear it all the time here's old with my classmate Peter Billingsley still the whole idea of pre meditation just doesn't fit for on or not doesn't fit all but I don't this doesn't fit not one bit with the person I knew cos there are some planned matters but I'm sure this was not a plan that and that's Jane F run he tot hey in a non English it was on her father was a cop car went by that because that destroys everything that I feel about these kids so I absolutely I think it was a passion an overdose of emotion of love jealousy resentment or love those things it sneaks in on you and it dominates your thinking and UConn get away from and that's what I'm comfortable thinking planned premeditated murder a landlord know oh oh oh ISU ing in an otherwise seemingly normal kid up and do something like this plan something like this or even do it impulsively is snapping of thing because people say that all the time also like many snapped or maybe you know the staff got people sometimes lose it in when they lose it it's not always ones I've seen a lot of cases in which people have over a relatively short period of time nursed feelings of rejection or anger or hostility and they slowly risen to the point in which individual decides to kill somebody those feelings simmer for a while and with the thought is maybe I should kill this person I'm not going to kill this person I don't want to kill this person but what if I did and the person thinks about it and then maybe confronts the other person the person who's the object of the frustration the anger and then at that point the victim or would be victim says or does something that triggers it provokes the ultimate killing how the law looks at that as premeditated I'm not sure there really is premeditated in the sense that we normally think of it it doesn't have to be like a sudden impulse to violence so that was news to me that there's a sort of Limon a phase a simmering contemplation but if I kill this person and that can take the place of actual cognizant planning but end up in the same result the other thing I've considered in my more Ricci moments is whether it on did it but doesn't know he did not the only persons entertain that one here's a non friend Laura I mean I remember the phone means they have murderers standing with the knife in their hand next to the body's saying to them that they didn't do it because your brain goes into the shock and shot them maybe that happened maybe is an ass and maybe get mad I mean we give that maybe maybe he lost it for a moment and it was an accident apparently this is not as outlandish as it might sound people can go it was called to do so should stay where they're really psychologically not where they are physically probably half of the people have evaluated have killed other human beings have some degree of amnesia for what they've done did you say half half the people yet about half and it's it's not total of forcing some people who have complete amnesia four for killing but he can be partly I don't really recall the details I don't recall doing this because literally like the memory isn't in their brain or her or it never was in their brain er yeah I don't think we know the mechanism by which this kind of denial or amnesia or combination works but on the cases that I've been involved with people it had some kind of amnesia or partial amnesia or denial it doesn't last forever it's very difficult to maintain that kind a facade of what I find is that over time people do recover traces of what happened and then they know what happened but I've also seen people who are genuinely snapped and who are committing homicide and then they realize what they've done in the immediate reaction for most people his home my guide look what I've done and what am I gonna do about it I got to figure out someway to cover this up do you think it is there another scenario you it starts out as a lie as Acer cognizant lie like I didn't do this had nothing to do with us and then over time you truly believe that lie like you you kind of erase erase the fact that you're lying in it just becomes the truth of it for you I think that happens I haven't seen that happen in homicide cases but I certainly see it happen in ordinary life less often in homicides yeah I haven't I haven't seen and it's probably just because of you in most homicide cases the evidence is pretty overwhelming and that you take the top of my head I can think of five different people in the story who other people have told me they think are either pathological liars are psychopaths addition trust anything they say this term psychopath gets thrown around so easily become a catch all term for cold hearted and calculating killer if it none did this and if he did it the way Jay tells it he is so cold hearted mean Jay tells the cops that a non says to him quote all the other mother fuckers referring to like hoods and thugs and stuff think the hardcore but he just killed a person with his bare hands and quote the nun said that does that mean the fifteen years since has been this very very long con that is calculating enough to only pretend to be the normal sounding person he is with me on the phone untill me a psychopath usually means a person who has little or no conscience is glib can empathize or relate to other people's feelings they can read other people very well but they don't have genuine empathy another factor to be sure or is this what's known in the profession is superficial charm these are people who come across very smoothly and effectively manipulate other people to manipulate them without them knowing it very often now I'm reading through my head everything is a sad thing
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S01 Episode 11: Rumors

S01 Episode 11: Rumors

This American Life