Adnan Syed was jailed after being found guilty of killing his girlfriend in high school in 1999. He has had his conviction overturned by a Baltimore judge just this week, after over two decades in prison.

After multiple attempts in recent years to free Mr Syed failed, the 41-year-old was finally released on Monday and placed on home detention until a decision is made on whether to set a new trial date or dismiss the case.

Fans of the true crime genre are likely to find Mr Syed's name and case to be familiar as it was down to a podcast that reopened his case and eventually led to his release.

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Here's what you need to know about Adnan Syed and the Serial podcast that explored his case.

Who is Adnan Syed?

Adnan Syed was a student at Woodlawn High School in 1999 when his 18-year-old girlfriend Hae Min Lee went missing after school one day.

Six weeks later, 17-year-old Syed was arrested for killing the popular high school senior, facing his first trial the same year.

After his first trial ended in a mistrial, he was tried again in 2000 where a jury found him guilty of strangling Ms Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.

He was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison.

Mr Syed, now 41, has spent over two decades behind bars but has always maintained his innocence. On Monday, he finally walked free.

What is the Serial podcast?

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Serial was a 2014 true-crime series created by longtime radio producer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Koenig.

Koenig spent more than a year digging into Adnan Syed's case, reporting her findings across 12 one-hour episodes of the podcast.

The podcast, which captured the attention of millions, not only popularised the true crime genre but more importantly cast doubt over the conviction and some of the evidence the prosecutors had used in Mr Syed's case.

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Serial spurred various other media investigations into looking at his file, including HBO documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed, the podcast Undisclosed and a book titled Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial.

All of the media attention ultimately led to the reopening of the case, which eventually led to Mr Syed's conviction being overturned.

During the hearing, Ms Lee's brother Young Lee told the court he thought the case had been settled and that he felt betrayed by the prosecutors.


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