Tag Archives: Boston

Some of the best Boston Marathon and Watertown Manhunt coverage

While the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the week of confusion that followed spawned some of the worst journalism in recent memory, it also gave some very talented journalists and writers an opportunity to shine.

Here is a roundup of some of the best stories, chosen by readers and myself, about the week’s events:

In an instant, a perfect day had morphed into something viscerally evil.

The location and timing of the bombs was sinister beyond belief, done purposely to maximize death and destruction. Among those who watched in horror as a fireball belched out across the sidewalk on Boylston were the parents of the schoolkids murdered in Newtown, Conn. The ­Atlantic reported they were sitting in a VIP section at the finish line, across the street from the explosion.

One nurse told me she remembered EMTs running out to the site of the explosion the moment the bombs burst. “They were off before I could blink,” she said. Many physicians followed. “After I saw a guy in a wheelchair coming into the tent with a head wound,” Rouzier said, “I decided to go to the scene.” He texted his wife what might be a good-bye message: There’s a bomb at the finish line and we have to help. “I didn’t want to die,” he said, “but there were people out there.”

Talking to people about that day, I was struck by how ready and almost rehearsed they were for this event. A decade earlier, nothing approaching their level of collaboration and efficiency would have occurred. We have, as one colleague put it to me, replaced our pre-9/11 naïveté with post-9/11 sobriety. Where before we’d have been struck dumb with shock about such events, now we are almost calculating about them. When ball bearings and nails were found in the wounds of the victims, everyone understood the bombs had been packed with them as projectiles. At every hospital, clinicians considered the possibility of chemical or radiation contamination, a second wave of attacks, or a direct attack on a hospital. Even nonmedical friends e-mailed and texted me to warn people about secondary and tertiary explosive devices aimed at responders. Everyone’s imaginations have come to encompass these once unimaginable events.

  •  4:09:43, Interactive Graphic, The New York Times

One week ago — at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Monday, just over four hours into the race — the first of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. This image, taken from the NBC broadcast of the race, shows the flash of the explosion and the final split-second of normalcy before the area turned into what witnesses described as a war zone. Here are the stories of the runners and spectators seen in this image.

The story of how Boston resident Carlos Arredondo helped save the life of a man severely wounded in the Marathon bombings began nearly nine years ago.

Arredondo, now known worldwide as the man in a cowboy hat photographed wheeling an injured bombing victim on April 15, saw his life change dramatically — on his 44th birthday, Aug. 25, 2004. On that day, Marine officers in a government van arrived at the driveway of his home in Florida.

“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.

The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times. The goal was to construct a timeline of images, following possible suspects as they moved along the sidewalks, building a narrative out of a random jumble of pictures from thousands of different phones and cameras.

“We were off scene and at the hospital in three minutes,” he said. “Overall we might have got the call, picked up Donohue and arrived at the hospital in eight minutes. I didn’t find out my brother was the one driving until we got to the hospital.”

It was over. The jubilation began to spread. A slow procession of emergency vehicles made their way through a gauntlet formed by the growing crowd. The ambulances, the cop cars, even the Watertown utility truck whose giant flood lights had illuminated Tsarnaev’s final hiding place were ushered through with grateful cheers. “You can set us back, but you can’t knock us down!” screamed the man in the sleeveless T-shirt.

Disclosure: Jeff Howe, who wrote “Captured in Watertown,” is a professor at Northeastern University who I work with on some stories. I didn’t participate in any aspect of the reporting, writing or editing of “Captured in Watertown.”

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PHOTOS: Confusion at the Boston Marathon

At least two people were killed and more than 20 were injured today in a pair of explosions near the finish line for the Boston Marathon. The area was dense with spectators and the runners who had finished the race. I heard the crowd’s cheers of encouragement from my apartment blocks away. There were two loud booming noises and I saw on Twitter that there had been some sort of explosion near the finish line, so I grabbed my camera and ran out the door.

UPDATE: You can find more of my photos, as well as an essay (of sorts) about the day at Medium.

A runner left the scene crying as scores of police officers ran toward the finish line.

A runner left the scene crying as scores of police officers ran toward the finish line.

Boston Police answered questions as they moved crowds away from the scene.

Boston Police answered questions as they moved crowds away from the scene.

A spectator runs away from the scene of the explosions along the marathon route.

A spectator ran away from the scene of the explosions along the marathon route.

An SUV with U.S. Government plates and a roof-mounted satellite arrives at the scene. It was waved through toward the marathon finish line.

An SUV with U.S. Government plates and a roof-mounted satellite arrived at the scene. It was waved through toward the marathon finish line.

One of the first ambulances moves down Boylston Street toward the finish line.

One of the first ambulances moved down Boylston Street toward the finish line.

Hundreds of runners were stopped on Commonwealth Avenue, just short of the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.

Hundreds of runners were stopped on Commonwealth Avenue, just short of the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.

A runner who was stopped before she could finish the marathon reunites with loved ones on Commonwealth Ave.

A runner who was stopped before she could finish the marathon reunited with loved ones on Commonwealth Ave.

A Boston Police officer maintaining a security perimeter around the blast site.

A Boston Police officer maintained a security perimeter around the blast site.

A family reunites with a runner after the explosion.

A family reunited with a runner after the explosion.

Leonardo Medina applauds as the runners who were unable to finish before the race's supension pass along the marathon route after about an hour of waiting. They were never allowed to finish.

Leonardo Medina applauded as the runners who were unable to finish before the race’s suspension walked and jogged along the marathon route after about an hour of waiting. They were never allowed to finish.

Metro SWAT officers maintain a security perimeter around a group of about 100 members of the National Guard.

Metro SWAT officers maintained a security perimeter around a group of about 100 members of the National Guard.

A group of Metro SWAT officers gather for a briefing in Boston Common.

A group of Metro SWAT officers gathered for a briefing in Boston Common.

A person who appears to be handcuffed is watched over by Boston Police officers on Boston Common.

A person who appeared to be handcuffed was watched over by Boston Police officers on Boston Common.

A member of the Metro SWAT team on Charles Street between Boston Common and Boston Gardens.

A member of the Metro SWAT team on Charles Street between Boston Common and Boston Gardens.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security were dispatched and could be seen on Commonwealth Ave.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security were dispatched and could be seen on Commonwealth Ave.

A law enforcement officer responds to questions.

A law enforcement officer responded to questions.

A law enforcement officer on Charles Street near Boston Common.

A law enforcement officer on Charles Street near Boston Common.

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