Boston Remembers - Boston Marathon 1 Year Anniversary special reports from 7News Boston. [more]
BOSTON (WHDH) -
The moment the explosions happened on Boylston Street, local and national law enforcement opened a massive manhunt for those responsible.
The man in the middle of all the action was former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Rick DesLauriers.
He ran the investigation from the beginning and has since retired.
DesLaurier said he vowed to find suspect and while within days they had pictures, they didn’t know who the men were until one of them was dead.
“That was our greatest fear; that a third bomb would go off somewhere in Boston before we could identify and apprehend them, that was a tremendous fear. What drove us that week was the urgent need to identify and apprehend the individuals before they could create more carnage in Boston,” DesLauriers said.
Investigators spent several days deconstructing the crime scene at the Boston Marathon finish line.
“It was a very large crime scene spanning multiple blocks along Boylston Street. Evidence could be anywhere, it could be on rooftops, it could be on windowsills, it could be on cars, it could be in the streets, it could be in the windows that were blown out by the attacks,” he said.
The FBI and other agencies involved had pictures and video from many cameras in the area, but they didn’t have anything positive for two days.
“It was painstaking work. It took hundreds and hundreds of reviews of a variety of video evidence. The key video was acquired and I viewed it for the first time it on Wednesday morning April 17. It was a video that very dramatically depicted the individual who has been charged in the investigation walking into the view of the camera, placing down a backpack, mingling with the crowd for several minutes, making a cell phone call to his brother. Then you see him standing there and you hear the first bomb go off and 15-20 seconds later in this video you see the second bomb go off. It is a horrible and disturbing video to watch,” DesLauriers said.
The pictures weren’t enough to identify the suspects though.
“We did not know who those individuals were until we fingerprinted Tamerlan Tsarnaev on the streets of Watertown on the evening of the 18th going into the morning 19th. Then we were able determine he had a brother, Dzhokhar, who matched the photographs we had acquired earlier that week,” he said.
Dzhokhar was captured alive less than 24 hours later; in all the investigation took less than one week.
“That was one of the most moving experiences of my 26-year FBI career and I will never forget that,” he said.
DesLauriers said it wasn’t just police that did their jobs so well that week. EMS and medical officials at the scene had taken every victim to the hospital within 22 minutes of the explosions.
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