April 15 marks the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Within days of the horrific attack, our news site, WhoWhatWhy, concerned about a growing list of anomalies in the face of a rapidly forming (and unvetted) media narrative, began investigating. In the weeks and months that followed, we produced dozens of articles and podcasts scrutinizing and establishing the facts.
Conflicting particulars emerged at the time — and much remains unclear. But according to American Manhunt, a recent Netflix documentary featuring key law enforcement figures, the following is a timeline of events after the explosions.
Per standard practice, the early investigation quickly focused on closed-circuit footage from local businesses. As FBI agents pored repeatedly over the video without success, the bureau got a lucky break when a member of the public reached out with still photos showing a bag on the ground near where the explosion would take place. The FBI matched those photos to a young man in a white hat, and later to a seemingly related man in a black hat.
What followed in rapid succession was a manhunt, the shooting of a police officer, and a climactic scene in which the two suspects, brothers from a Muslim immigrant family from Chechnya, were cornered in a firefight. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died when the younger one, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accidentally drove over him while escaping. Dzhokhar was eventually found hiding in a boat in a neighborhood backyard.
After a trial in which he did not testify, nor asked why he had committed the act of which he was accused, he was convicted and is on death row in a federal maximum security prison.