After we'd let last Thursday’s installment of Serial digest, my friends and I jumped right into the post-episode analysis fire. We texted about our latest theories, asked questions (I really wanted to know if either of them had ever heard of a rat-eating frog), and concluded that we believed everyone and no one at the same time. At some point during the discussion, one name came up that I frequently forget about: Don, Hae Min Lee's boyfriend. Ah, right. What about Don?
Don's alibi is pretty airtight: He was at work at the time of Hae's murder. His name rarely comes up during the podcast, and I assume that means one of two things: 1) He legitimately had nothing to do with the murder and his name will continue to rarely come up during the podcast, or 2) Sarah Koenig is going to hit the audience with a major twist in a later episode.
I just don't know, y'all. I just don't know.
If you dare to dive into the Serial tweets and Serial threads on Reddit, you'll find no shortage of in-depth discussion about whether or not he was in any way involved with what transpired on January 13, 1999. Here are some of the Don-related theories that are making their way around the Internet:
Theory #1: Don Was Not Involved
After episode 7, Reddit user PancakeTree posted the following in the "Episode 7 - Short and Sweet" thread:
Don was ruled out, his manager said he was working at the time, and he hasn't been mentioned again in any detail. I'm guessing where he worked would have had a record of time in/out for pay reasons and the cops/manager checked it. Seems like a pretty legitimate excuse.
In the aforementioned thread, Reddit userwhydontyouaskher explained why it doesn't seem like Don was involved:
But Jay had to have been involved, since he knew where Hae's car was and that she was strangled. Jen also reportedly knew Hae was strangled before that info was made public because Jay told her. So far we haven't heard anything about Jay knowing Don. Why would Don reach out to Jay to help him or vice versa?
Or let's say Jen knew about the strangulation because she was involved, she told Jay, and Jay framed Adnan to protect her. How does Don fit into that scenario? It doesn't seem like he and Jen knew each other. Jay's narrative has problems, but he was definitely involved in some way, either as an accomplice, a witness, or covering up afterwards. Unless SK has held back information tying Don to Jay it seems highly unlikely that he was involved.
That said, I do really want to hear from Don, just for perspective on Hae and what he thinks happened. Maybe he could shed some light on where she might have gone after school.
Theory #2: Don and Jay Might've Known Each Other
In Reddit thread "Ep. 7: Was every lawyer on this board like 'THANK GOD!'?", user justsomemammal throws the following out into the e-world:
Maybe Don and Jay are connected somehow? Just speculating.
Though it really doesn't seem like Don and Jay knew each other, I guess that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't know each other.
Theory #3: Don Might've Done Something After Work
Reddit user Akbrown19 still has questions about Don's alibi (pulled from the aforementioned "Short and Sweet" thread):
Yes! Don's alibi may in fact be ironclad for those few hours he was at work, but what if he had someone helping him? What if he killed Hae after work? No one looked into him at all because he didn't fit into Jay's narrative, which seems crazy to me.
Theory #4: Something Happened When Hae Met Don After School
Theory #5: Koenig is Punking us
In episode 7, Deirdre Enright of the Innocent Project comments that it's odd Don wasn't a bigger part of the investigation. In the aforementioned "Was every lawyer..." Reddit thread, user geaujeaux posited the following:
I'm betting though that SK just left that Don remark in there as a juicy red herring.
Theory #6: Don Looks Like This