Split the Moon

Rabia Chaudry

Month: November 2014 (page 3 of 6)

Serial Episode 6: The Worst of It

*This post first appeared in Patheos.com on October 31, 2014

Its no mystery why he can't remember

Its no mystery why he can’t remember

You may think that today was a particularly bad day for those of us on #TeamAdnan. You would be wrong.

While episode 6 promised to bring the most damning evidence against Adnan, none of it was new to me – I already knew about Neighbor Boy, “Kathy” and Nisha. Here is how I break them down:

  • “Kathy”: neutral to the case
  • Nisha: potentially damaging to Adnan
  • Neighbor Boy: potentially damaging to Jay

“KATHY”

Let’s start with “Kathy” and why I think her testimony is benign and rather meaningless. What we have here is essentially her description of a stoned-out-of-his-mind Adnan, literally slumped over from being high, and acting weird and paranoid on the phone. Not having the requisite experience myself to be able to confirm that smoking pot leads to paranoia and memory loss, I present exhibit A and exhibit B. Continue reading

Not Totally “Loosey Goosey”

If you’re following #Serial, you’ll know what I’m referencing.  I’ll take the hit for confusing prom king with homecoming king, but in my defence I wasn’t going to high school with these kids. Volunteer EMT and star track runner FTW:

Volunteer EMT? Apparently so

 

Star runner on track team? Kind of sounds like it

Serial Episode 5: Let’s Talk About Cells, Baby

*This post originally appeared on Patheos.com on October 24, 2014 

Cell tower L689, aka the "Leakin Park tower". Credit to Redditor Anjin who says the radius goes up to 20 miles.

Cell tower L689, aka the “Leakin Park tower”. Credit to Redditor Anjin who says the radius goes up to 20 miles.

“On May 28th, Lisa Marie Roberts, of Portland, Oregon, was released from prison after serving nine and a half years for a murder she didn’t commit. A key piece of overturned evidence was cell-phone records that allegedly put her at the scene.” This comes from this story featured in the New Yorker earlier this year.

This piece and others describes how the cell phone technology, pre-GPS, is in fact “junk science”.  It is nearly impossible to pinpoint a cell phone’s location using the tower that it “pings”.  According to the New Yorker article, “(R)ather than pinpoint a suspect’s whereabouts, cell-tower records can put someone within an area of several hundred square miles or, in a congested urban area, several square miles.”

In this well-cited study, published in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, the researcher concludes the following:

“Cell site data can track the location of cellular phones if enough information is available to perform triangulation. However, the
accuracy of triangulation depends on multiple factors, from the duration of the call to the geography of the region. The interpretation of historical cell site data can prove a useful investigative tool, if law enforcement properly recognizes its limits. From such information, law enforcement can determine the general coverage area from which a phone call was placed, but not the precise location within that area. Historical cell site data can also show that a call was not made from a certain area.”

Not only do experts debunk the idea that a cell phone’s location can be determined from assuming the tower it “pings” is closest to it, courts have actually excluded cell tower evidence, finding it unreliable as to the location of the phone at the call.  Across the country, cell phone evidence based on mapping the towers being hit is now under legal attack and scrutiny: Continue reading

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