‘Serial’: Jay says mosque leader may be mystery caller

Jay Wilds, the somewhat mysterious man who blew the whistle on Adnan Syed in the murder case that spawned the podcast “Serial,” has never heard the show.

That’s about the gist of the substance from The Intercept’s second installment of its interview with him.

Wilds was the chief witness for the prosecution in the case against Adnan Syed, who is serving a life term for murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

He claimed he helped dispose of Lee’s body and claimed that Syed was motivated to kill her because she had recently broken up with him.

He didn’t talk on the record with reporter Sarah Koenig during the 12-episode “Serial” podcast, but in the first installment of the interview, he denied being the one to tip off the police about Syed.

Who did? “Serial” fans might feel a let down after the first installment, which ended with the suggestion that Jay might know. But he’s guessing.

I know that during the grand jury there was a spiritual leader of the mosque – I don’t know how to pronounce his name. Something with a B [ed. note: We’ll refer to this person as Mr. B.]. He spoke with the police during the investigation. But when he was called to the grand jury, he pled the fifth [amendment, against self incrimination through testimony]. So that whatever he knew about Adnan, he knew that if he said it in court he could also be in trouble. [Ed. note: The Intercept confirmed with two sources that ‘Mr. B.’ did plead the fifth during the grand jury testimony.]

I believe that Mr. B. had some information that we don’t have, possibly because he was a religious leader at the mosque, and Adnan talked to him like a priest taking a confession [Ed. note: this is Jay’s speculation we were not able to confirm if Mr. B served in a leadership or spiritual advisor role at the mosque]. I believe it’s possible that he’s the person who made the anonymous call to the police saying to check into Adnan.

In exchange for his testimony, Jay was given probation for his role in the murder.

During the series’ run, Reddit and a number of “Serial”-themed sites suggested Jay was more involved than he lets on, noting he changed his story to police.

In today’s interview he said Koenig didn’t reveal she was doing a podcast when she showed up at his home. But she comes off better than what you might have been led to believe on Twitter and Reddit. She didn’t cover up what she was up to, identifying herself as with “This American Life.”

At one point he asked her to leave, he said.

My wife took all our kids upstairs. And I think she started Googling Sarah and the other producer. I was downstairs and asked them if they had any business cards that said who they were. They said didn’t have any on them, and that she had to go out to her car and get one. When she came back with a card that didn’t even have her name on it, she apologized for bombarding us, and said that she felt bad that it made us uncomfortable, and that she was really sorry.

I asked hem to leave at this point because they were upsetting my wife and kids. But she said she was going to be around for another two days, and hopefully they could schedule another time to talk with me, and it wouldn’t be in our house. 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.

He says he hasn’t heard the podcast but he has been following the story on Reddit.

But on the whole, just as with the first portion of the three-part interview, Jay isn’t any more enlightening than what we already heard on “Serial.”