People say it comes down to whether you believe Adnan or Jay and which one is lying.
They’re both lying.
Here’s how I think it went down, based on the established timeline.
Around Christmas 1998, Hae breaks up with Adnan. A week later on January 1 she starts to date her new boyfriend Don. On January 11, Adnan buys a new cell phone and the next day, January 12, he calls Hae three times. Why did he call her? I bet he was raging against her dating Don, which he probably just found out. His possessive behaviour is established in a letter Hae wrote him in 1998:
“I’m really getting annoyed that this situation is going the way it is … you know, people break up all the time. Your life is not going to end. You’ll move on and I’ll move on. But apparently you don’t respect me enough to accept my decision.”
He showed this letter to his friend Aisha, by the way, and wrote to her in class “I’M GOING TO KILL.”
Why the fuck do people ignore this shit? That’s called motive, proof of motive, and fucking scary ass writing saying Adnan’s going to MURDER HER.
Anyway, Hae goes and sees Don that night. The very next day she is murdered.
This is what happened:
Adnan went to Jay to get his help murdering Hae. Who is Jay? His drug dealer. Adnan was basically asking a criminal if he knows another criminal who does another type of crime - murder. And in this case, Jay volunteered himself. And this is the thing I haven’t read anywhere but I think is obvious: not only did Jay help Adnan hide the body, Jay was ACTUALLY THERE during the murder.
Afterwards, Jay, as most dumb young criminals do, told a few people Adnan killed Hae and he helped hide the body. One of the people he told anonymously went to the cops and they questioned him. He then admitted he hid the body, pointed out where the car was, editing the story he told them to extricate himself from the murder.
THIS is when his story gets convoluted turning it into Adnan contacting him randomly out of the blue to hide Hae’s body. He keeps switching the details of when Adnan revealed he was going to kill her (that day? 4 days prior?) because he was improvising how to present a timeline that pointed away from his premeditated involvement. Ultimately he wanted it to look like Adnan just ambushed him with a murder after the fact. The biggest problem I have with Jay’s version of events is why he would ever bother helping Adnan hide a body when they weren’t friends, and why would Adnan even bother to call his drug dealer to help him. In what universe do you call your drug dealer to help you out of the kindness of his heart? Why the fuck does a drug dealer do anything?
Meanwhile, Adnan has claimed he can’t remember the day of January 13 when his girlfriend got murdered. Yet he was seen hanging with Jay in his car all day after the hours of the murder, going from house to house, acting strangely. Cell phone records later show he’s in the park that Hae was buried in at the time she was buried. Cops call Adnan questioning him about Hae’s whereabouts. Afterwards, Adnan constantly calls numerous people with his new cell phone, NONE OF THEM HAE. Because the cops don’t know this yet, but Adnan knows she’s dead, so why call her, like he did just the night before three times. He also claims his cell phone was stolen for a couple hours and someone butt dialed a number that implicated him in a location other than school. Seriously why are people even listening to this asshole?
So here’s the problem for Adnan: his accomplice Jay says Adnan murdered Hae, but Jay was nowhere near the murder when it happened. What exactly can Adnan say? He can’t call Jay out and say that he was there at the crime as that would make Adnan admit he killed her. Yet he was clearly hanging with Jay the entire day of the murder. So Adnan’s stuck. His only tactic is to claim he has a faulty memory with no idea what he did, and hope some gullible NPR reporter misreads every piece of evidence and insinuate Jay killed Hae, not Adnan.