There's Something Very Wrong with the Official Story About the Boston Bombings
An exclusive WhoWhatWhy investigation has found serious factual inconsistencies in accounts provided by the only witness to the alleged confession of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Why does this matter? Because this witness is the sole source for the entire publicly accepted narrative of who was behind the bombing and its aftermath—and why these events occurred.
In case we’ve forgotten how convoluted and murky the story initially seemed, let’s recall how:
-Tamerlan Tsarnaev, on a US security watch list since 2011 after the Russians provide a warning to American intelligence, goes overseas and allegedly exhibits further problematic behavior.
-In April, 2013, a savage attack is unleashed at the Boston Marathon, disrupting an iconic American event. Innocent people lose limbs and lives, America is traumatized anew, and a large American city is “locked” down” while normal processes and procedures are abandoned. We are told that Tsarnaev and his younger brother are responsible for all this–and for the cold-blooded execution of a campus police officer several days later.
Yet our sense of certainty that the Tsarnaevs did this—and did it alone, with no one else, including America’s security apparatus, knowing a thing—is actually dependent largely on the say-so of one person, one witness.
Thus, the problems we have uncovered with the witness’s testimony (as represented by law enforcement) now raise questions about almost everything concerning what has been described as the largest terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.
Truth and Its Pants
As the classic saying goes, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” That is perhaps even more true in these days of Twitter and Facebook and instant blogging. When a big news story breaks, the first reports are often rife with misinformation based on a combination of innocent mistakes, sloppiness, conjecture, and poor communication. Yet it’s also true that during those first 24 hours pieces of inconvenient truth may emerge that will soon be denied or even suppressed as the messy facts get neatly fashioned into an “official story.”
Such was the case with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy: sheriff’s deputies converging on the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas reported finding an entirely different type of gun than the one ultimately said to have been the murder weapon. And doctors at Parkland Hospital claimed initially that a shot had hit President Kennedy from the front, before they were told in no uncertain terms that they were mistaken, and a narrative formed around all the shots coming from behind—and only from the Depository.
Truth seekers know, from experience, to pay close attention to how a narrative changes in the first hours, days and weeks following an event of significance. And nowhere would that be truer than when the source of the changing story is the principal witness.
The identification of the alleged Boston bombers, now a virtually unchallenged “fact,” is based largely on a single event: the supposed carjacking of a young man whose identity is still masked from public scrutiny. The public’s understanding of what took place is based on this anonymous person’s oft-cited claims to have witnessed a dual confession from Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who boasted of having committed both the bombing and a later murder of an MIT police officer.
According to the widely accepted story of the horrific events of April 15-19, 2013, three days after the Marathon bombing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer was shot and within minutes, a young man in a Mercedes SUV was carjacked, across the river in the Brighton section of Boston. Police and media accounts have Tamerlan Tsarnaev abducting a young Chinese national (known publicly only by the pseudonymous first name “Danny”). In these accounts, Tsarnaev tells Danny that he was responsible for both the Boston bombing and the MIT shooting.
The alleged carjacking led to a law enforcement shutdown of the greater Boston area, a huge manhunt, and subsequent confrontations in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was seriously wounded by multiple gunshots while hidden in a boat, before being apprehended by police.
In the current “official” narrative, the Tsarnaev brothers took Danny on a wild 90-minute ride that traversed the Boston area and involved stops to extract money from Danny’s bank account and then to buy gas for the brothers’ planned escape from the Boston metro area.
It was during a stop at a gas station, the story goes, that the younger brother went inside to pay for the gas. While the older brother was momentarily preoccupied with a GPS device, Danny made his escape and was soon sharing with law enforcement his claim that he had heard the crucial confession.
But a 10-month investigation by WhoWhatWhy has found major inconsistencies in Danny’s story — inconsistencies that call into question whether the authorities now prosecuting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for murder are leveling with the American people.
The Consensus Narrative
The consensus narrative of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, which began appearing in the media as early as the morning of April 19, goes something like this:
That is the generally established narrative. But after studying the various accounts provided by “Danny” to the media and law enforcement, WhoWhatWhy has found substantial inconsistencies on a range of points.
Taken together, those inconsistencies demonstrate at minimum essential unreliability, and perhaps something much more troubling…from a key witness offering damning life-or-death evidence in the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.
Is Danny some pathological liar seeking fame? Or is he someone more sympathetic and perhaps vulnerable—a foreign-national entrepreneur, with an uncertain immigration status, being squeezed by law enforcement to help quickly tidy up a messy disaster that caught our multi-billion-dollar-a-year national security apparatus off guard?
Where was Danny Carjacked?
How Long Was Danny Held Hostage?
How Did Danny Gain His Freedom?
Tamerlan’s Location When Danny Escapes?
Note: the conversation below includes paraphrasing of Danny’s comments in an ABC (WMUR) interview with Nick Spinetto, April 22, 2013. We replaced the paraphrases with Danny’s actual comments whenever they were flashed on the screen—presumably from a transcript of Spinetto’s interview with Danny. While they are very similar to Spinetto’s paraphrasing, we used the on-screen comments from Danny for greater precision.
First Report of a Confession—and to One or Both Crimes?
The first “dual confession” report we could find, from the Associated Press, came early on the afternoon of April 19, from Edward Deveau, police chief of Watertown, the scene of a wild car chase during which Tamerlan Tsarnaev allegedly lobbed explosives at his pursuers before being gunned down.
Later that night, NBC also reported the dual confession, attributing it to “sources”:
However, the Criminal Complaint, filed on the 21st, which states that Tamerlan admitted to Danny their role in the bombing, notably says nothing about an admission to having killed Collier.
On April 22, Nick Spinetto interviews Danny for WMUR and ABC. Interestingly, Spinetto has Tamerlan admitting to the Marathon bombing, but, as with the Criminal Complaint, there is no mention of killing Officer Collier. This omission seems highly newsworthy on its own.
On April 25, late in the evening, the Boston Globe published on boston.com an article based on an interview with Danny by its reporter Eric Moskowitz, the most detailed account to date—an account that has subsequently become the “official” carjacking narrative. It characterizes Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s actions as follows:
In interviews a few days after the Globe article, Danny’s story had gelled. His account to CBS’s John Miller is substantially similar to a contemporaneous interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer.
The question is, what happened between Danny’s first interview and the subsequent ones that led to the changed narrative?
Research assistance: James Henry
Coming up in Part II: A closer look at Danny and his story