In episode 6 of true crime podcast Serial, Sarah Koenig breaks down The Nisha Call, or what our intrepid narrator refers to as “the smoking gun.” According call logs, someone phoned a girl named Nisha from Adnan Syed’s cell about an hour after Hae Lee was murdered, and the call lasted for two minutes. Adnan said Jay had Adnan’s car and phone at the time, and Adnan guessed Jay accidentally pocket-dialed Nisha and left her a voicemail. Jay, who did not know Nisha, said he was with Adnan when Adnan called Nisha. Nisha said she did not have voicemail and she recalled speaking to Adnan and Jay via telephone while Adnan was hanging out at the video store where Jay worked. However, Jay didn't start that job until a few weeks after the murder.
To recap: ???????????????
I'll admit, when Koenig brought up The Nisha Call, I had trouble following. So, I looked for a timeline of the events online. (I'm more of a visual person, I guess?) In addition to that detailed infographic, I also happened upon, for better or for worse, several theories about/potential explanations for The Nisha Call. Here are some of the theories:
Theory #1: Nisha Didn't Realize She Had Voicemail
Rabia Chaudry (aka the lawyer who first reached out to Sarah Koenig about the case) considers the possibility Nisha's phone actually did have voicemail, but Nisha didn't know it. Non-machine voicemail was a newer technology in '99, so there's a chance she didn't realize her phone was equipped with a voicemail inbox. Whoever had Adnan's phone could've pocket-dialed Nisha and left a two-minute voicemail.
Theory #2: Someone Answered The Phone
Chaudry also presents a scenario in which someone actually answered Nisha's phone, realized it was a pocket-dial, and listened in silence for two minutes with the intent to try to hear what was happening on the other line.
Theory #3: The Phone Rang For Two Minutes
Chaudry's third possible explanation: Perhaps whoever had Adnan's phone butt-dialed Nisha, let the landline ring for two minutes, and hung up before anyone answered. Adnan would've been billed for the two minutes the phone rang.
Theory #4: Jay Called Nisha
Abbey Stone at MentalFloss thinks there's a chance The Nisha Call might've been Jay's move. Stone's theory: After Jay committed the murder, he intentionally called someone from Adnan's phone that Jay was not friends with. That way, it would look like Adnan was with him.
Theory #5: Adnan Called Nisha And Tried To Cover It Up
Redditor miketetzu shares a theory in which Adnan accidentally called Nisha after the murder:
one is that the call was an accident by Adnan around the time of the murder. He realizes this is a potential problem for him, and so weeks later has Jay talk to Nisha from his cell phone to corroborate that Jay and Nisha once spoke from Adnan's cell phone. I don't think he thought this through all the way, but the reality is that it DOES muddle things; it doesn't have to exonerate him in order to help him.
Theory #6: Jay Called Nisha and Adnan Tried to Cover It Up
Another theory from Redditor miketetzu:
Jay makes the call intentionally on the day of the murder, since the other six calls are to people he knows, so Adnan can't say he wasn't with them. Perhaps Jay makes the call and hands the phone to Adnan, who is not at practice, or maybe Jay makes the call and pretends to be someone else. Maybe Jay pretends to be the pizza man to Nisha’s mom. Adnan realizes the problem with this later after reviewing his call log, and see above for how he deals with it.
OK. I gotta pull myself out of the theory pool before my fingers prune up.