The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings: Rundown of the Facts

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To coincide with the new Netflix documentary, American Manhunt, here is a rundown of the facts surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombings and the impact it had on the city and the world.

On 15th April 2013, the annual Boston Marathon took an unexpected and horrifying turn when two bombs exploded near the finish line.

The tragic event claimed the lives of three people and injured more than 260 others, forever changing the city and the lives of those involved.

The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings: Rundown of the Facts

The Bombers

The bombers were two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, originally from Kyrgyzstan. Tamerlan, the elder of the two, was killed in a confrontation with police just days after the attack, while Dzhokhar was captured, tried, and later sentenced to death. The brothers were said to have been motivated by extremist beliefs, but their exact motives remain unclear.

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The Bombings

The bombs, concealed in pressure cookers and hidden inside backpacks, were placed approximately 200 metres apart on the pavement along the marathon route. The first explosion occurred at 2:49 pm, with the second following just 12 seconds later. The force of the blasts shattered windows, tore through crowds of spectators, and caused chaos in the streets.

The Victims

The three victims who lost their lives in the bombings were 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, and 8-year-old Martin Richard. Another 260 people were injured. Many of whom sustained life-altering injuries, including the loss of limbs.

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The First Responders

In the midst of the chaos and devastation caused by the bombings, countless acts of heroism and selflessness emerged. First responders, medical professionals, and ordinary citizens alike rushed to the aid of the injured, providing crucial assistance in the moments following the explosions. Many marathon runners, despite having just completed the gruelling 26.2-mile race, continued to run to nearby hospitals to donate blood for the wounded.

The Manhunt

In the days following the attack, a massive manhunt was launched to track down the bombers. The search led to a dramatic confrontation in the Boston suburb of Watertown, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed, and Dzhokhar was later found hiding in a boat. The manhunt effectively shut down the entire city of Boston, as residents were urged to stay indoors while law enforcement searched for the suspects.

The Trial and Sentencing

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother, was apprehended and faced trial for his role in the bombings. In April 2015, he was found guilty on all 30 counts brought against him, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.

A month later, the jury unanimously voted for the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s defence team had argued that he was under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan, and should not be held fully responsible for the attack. However, the jury ultimately decided that the severity of the crime warranted the death sentence.

The One Fund Boston

In response to the bombings, then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick established The One Fund Boston, a charity designed to assist the victims and their families. The fund raised more than $61 million in the first 75 days, with donations pouring in from across the globe. The One Fund Boston has since disbursed the funds to those affected by the attack, providing financial support for medical bills, prosthetics, and other needs.

2013 Boston Marathon bombings map. Credit: Anna Frodesiak (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Aftermath

The Boston Marathon Bombings sparked an outpouring of support and solidarity from around the world. The phrase ‘Boston Strong’ became a rallying cry for the city and its residents, symbolising resilience in the face of tragedy. The marathon has continued to be held annually, with increased security measures in place to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.

The Legacy

While the events of 15th April 2013 will forever be etched in the memories of those affected, the legacy of the Boston Marathon Bombings extends beyond the tragedy itself. The resilience and unity demonstrated by the people of Boston, as well as the acts of heroism and compassion displayed by countless individuals, serve as a powerful reminder of our capacity for kindness and strength in the face of adversity.

Watch the trailer for the new Netflix documentary about the Boston Marathon Bombings.

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