Ronald Lee Moore was the killer named in the last episode of the Serial podcast as the suspect in Hae Min Lee’s death. His DNA may prove Adnan Syed’s innocence.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Was Released From Jail 2 Weeks Before Hae’s Murder
Ronald Lee Moore, who would now be 47, had a long and troubled history with the law. He was a crack addict, was a known burglar, and we now know his burglaries usually included rape should a female victim be home.
According to the Serial podcast posted today, Moore was released from jail in Baltimore County on January 1, 1999.
Hae Min Lee was murdered on January 13, 1999.
He was arrested again later on burglary and sexual assault charges in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The sexual assault included the use of a cattle prod.
2. He Was Accidentally Released in 2007
Moore was in jail until November 21, 2007, when he was accidentally released due to a clerical error.
Moore had been on the run since Nov. 21, , when he was released from the Baltimore City Correctional Center after serving about seven years of a 13-year sentence for assault and burglary. Officials had been instructed to move Moore to the Anne Arundel County Detention Center but released him because of a clerical error.
Moore escaped to Louisiana.
3. He Killed Himself in Louisiana
After escaping to Louisiana, Moore returned to a life of crime. He was even featured on America’s Most Wanted.
He broke into a home on Christmas Eve and was soon picked up in Destrehan, on the outskirts of New Orleans.
Cops identified him through fingerprints despite his giving a fake name.
He was intended to be transferred back to Maryland to face charges including “first- and second-degree sex offense, unnatural or perverted practice, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, possession of a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary,” but Moore hanged himself while awaiting transfer at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center.
According to a sheriff’s release, Moore was found hanging in his cell by deputies passing out dinner trays to inmates around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Moore was hanging by the drawstring of a mesh laundry bag tied to the air-conditioning vent over a toilet in his jail cell.
4. New DNA Evidence Links Him to Murder in 1999
In July 2014, a cold case in Baltimore County was solved when new DNA evidence was tested.
In 1999, Annelise Hyang Suk Lee, a 27-year-old female of Asian descent, was found raped, beaten, and strangled to death in her apartment bedroom.
In 1999 Lee had been found dead in her apartment bedroom from blunt force trauma and strangulation, police said. Her employer had called police because she did not show up for work or answer her phone.
Police reexamined evidence from the case in March 2013, and a DNA profile was developed from one of the items and matched Moore’s profile.
As Sarah Koenig pointed out in the last episode of the Serial season one podcast, Annelise Hyang Suk Lee’s murder occurred in Moore’s tiny window out of jail — the same period when Hae Min Lee was murdered.
5. DNA Evidence Might be Tested for Hae Min Lee
As Sarah Koenig reported in the last episode, Deirdre Enright, a lawyer with The Innocence Project, has filed an appeal to test the DNA evidence found on Hae Min Lee when her body was discovered. This would include DNA found under her fingernails and hairs found on her body.
There is no word on whether Enright’s request has been granted.
However, it still begs the question: How did Jay, the man who helped police build their case against Adnan Syed, know where Hae’s abandoned car was?
A strange case indeed.