Countdowns and Contradictions – The Boston Marathon Bombings

Recently, a friend suggested it would be a good idea to arrange the photos of Jahar Tsarnaev at the Boston Marathon in chronological order. In doing so, they wondered if we might not find some information we had previously missed. It seemed like a good idea, if for no other reason than to gather my thoughts about what happened, where and when.

I decided to work off the Criminal Complaint and the photos released by the FBI of Jahar Tsarnaev at blast site two. I still have included other photos and videos to support a theory or opinion, but for the most part I have used FBI official sources for my information.


This is the 10-page criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. article. This article takes its reference from pages 4-6 of the Criminal Complaint. You can read them below:




This photo of Jahar standing alone was taken @ 2.44, 2 mins after the Criminal Complaint alleges Tamerlan leaves Jahar and walks toward the finish line and 5 mins before the first bomb went off at 2.49.The CC then states that Jahar broke away from the crowd and walked towards the finish line at 2.45. one minute after this photo was taken. Note the person in a white cap similar to Jahar’s further up the picture outside the Forum restaurant. Looks to be quite tall too.


According to the criminal complaint, Jahar, upon reaching the Forum, positioned himself near the barriers. The photo below clearly shows his position in relation to the barriers and the mailbox as well as some significant spectators.


After reaching this spot, the CC states that Jahar slips his backpack to the ground. I’ll repeat that. He reaches a position near the barrier and slips his backpack to the ground. He then remains in the one spot for 4 minutes, checking his phone and taking a photo, then messes around with his phone (checking the pic? Trying to post the pic to twitter? Checking messages?) About 30 seconds before the first explosion he lifts the phone to his ear for approx 18 seconds as if speaking/listening.

If we use the Criminal Complaint as our guide, we must conclude that this photo was taken at the place Jahar is alleged to have dropped his backpack and remained for 4 minutes until the first blast. Therefore, the photo above was taken after the backpack had been placed on the ground. This then presents a problem with the photo the FBI claim shows Jahar dropping his backpack on the ground.

In the right hand photo below , Jahar can be seen walking in a westerly direction away from the finish line. He is behind a tree and nowhere near the barriers or the mailbox. There is a bag in the vicinity of the tree but its position does not match that of Jahar’s backpack as stated in the Criminal Complaint, which clearly says Jahar placed his bag on the ground next to him whilst standing near the barriers , stating that a photograph from across the street shows the bag at Jahar’s feet. Let’s take a look at Jahar’s position as demonstrated by the first photo and the position of the bag in the second photo. When examining the photos side by side, it becomes evident that the bag is not, in fact, at Jahar’s feet but is at least a couple of feet away near the tree. At no time does the CC mention Jahar dropping his bag then moving close to the barrier, or moving away from the barrier and dropping the bag, either of which would explain its position in relation to where Jahar was standing until the first blast. Therefore, the position of the bag to Jahar as shown in the photos does not agree with the allegation in the Criminal Complaint.

This brings us to another dilemma. Well, more than one, really.


When we place the two photos side by side, some very interesting observations can be made.

Firstly, I’m sure you’re curious about the circles. Jahar can clearly be seen in the first pic, compliments of FBI highlighting. The rest is rather shadowy, but the figure circled in blue is clearly the man in the blue shirt near the mailbox at the barrier. The figure circled in yellow is a man in a grey cap with something white on it standing behind Jahar. The second photo shows the position of these people relative to their movements. The blue man is still in the same spot.

Jahar has left his position and is walking west away from the finish line. Yellow man has also moved from his original position and appears to be following Jahar in a westerly direction. Of course, we can’t know from this photo if he was actually following Jahar or merely moving to a better vantage point. However the first pic does show him looking down while Jahar is on the phone. He doesn’t appear too interested in the marathon.

The second photo of Jahar walking away raises a serious problem.

Let’s quickly recap. According to the Criminal Complaint, Jahar positioned himself near the barrier and dropped his bag beside him. He then remained in the one spot for four minutes until, 30 seconds before the first blast, he raises his phone to his ear for about 18 seconds. Therefore, the first photo is taken 30 – 12 seconds approx before the first blast. A few seconds after he ends his call, the first blast causes everyone to turn their heads. Everyone except Jahar, who, according to Agent Genck, seems unperturbed. He glances to the east then “walks calmly and rapidly away” without his backpack, leaving it “on the ground where he had been standing.”

Here’s the problem. Apart from the fact the backpack is nowhere near where he was standing, the second photo appears to show Jahar walking away before the first blast. Everybody is still watching the race and no one looks or seems alarmed. Nor is anyone looking in the direction of the finish line. It may have been only seconds before the first blast but, nonetheless, it is before the first blast, again contradicting the allegations made in the Criminal Complaint.

The position of the backpack raises another problem. If the bomb exploded from that position, why was the front of the mailbox blown off onto the barriers in front of the Forum restaurant? From its position near the tree, the alleged bomb would be very unlikely to have enough force to blow the mailbox door off on that trajectory or bend the barrier underneath and around the mailbox. The blast point looks more likely to have been somewhere on the left hand side of the mailbox, either under it or just in front of it. If the pressure cooker were laying on its side, the trajectory of the blast would be entirely different to if it were upright. Bearing this in mind, it would then explain the trajectory of the ammunition reaching the Richards family as well as injuring and killing those near the mailbox.

Which brings us to the most important question. If Jahar didn’t plant the bomb, who did? There can be no doubt that Jahar was standing in the vicinity of the blast point but his alleged bag was 3-4 people away from where he was standing. Who else was standing near the mailbox just before the blast?

You may be surprised by the answer.


Brown bag lady.

Yes, that’s right, the woman noticed almost immediately after the bombing for her suspicious behavior by sharp eyed internet sleuths and every day people just wanting to help. This woman, with dark hair and wearing sunglasses, a cowl neck top, a jacket, jeans and runners, stood at the barrier near the mailbox approximately one hour before the blasts and placed her brown handbag on top of a large, round object contained in a plastic bag that had been pushed from behind the barrier to in front of the barrier, on the road side. When she had placed the bag, she raised her sunglasses and then vanished, leaving both the brown handbag and the other object behind. There are no other photos to show what happened to the bag and object.

The woman, however, reappears in the same photo of Jahar and the Richards family. In the Criminal Complaint, Agent Genck claims he could not see any other suspicious bags in the vicinity of the blast point. It seems he couldn’t see any other suspicious people either, as he clearly didn’t find the brown bag woman’s lack of interest in the marathon to be any cause for concern, nor her preoccupation with something in her hands,  hidden behind the mailbox, that may well have been a mobile phone. The same FBI disinterest was not shown to Dzhokhar.

If we enlarge the photo, it is possible to see an object just beneath and in front of the mailbox, next to the left front support. It’s very difficult to make out due to poor picture quality, but it appears to be white with some sort of markings and a splash of camel brown similar to the color of the abandoned handbag. I can’t say for sure that’s what the object is but it is definitely a possibilty. In my opinion, after close examination the position of the object seems to be very close to the blast point. A bomb in this position would likely bend the barrier up and under the mailbox whilst the force of a blast at this location could very well blow the front of the mailbox onto the Forum barriers. The trajectory, as suggested earlier, would be altered depending on whether or not the pressure cooker was upright. It is, however, impossible at this point to conclusively say this is the same object and bag left behind earlier by brown bag lady without better quality enlargement. Nonetheless, it is a possibilty, given the woman’s reappearance.

Why do I believe it’s the same woman? Same build, hair, sunglasses and clothing. The clincher is her jeans. If you look at the middle picture in the top row, you will clearly see a white mark on her jeans. Two white marks actually, one above the knee and one just below it. If you compare these jeans to the ones the woman behind the mailbox in Jahar’s photo is wearing, you will see the same white mark on the same knee. It’s on the knee now, as she has her leg raised and resting on the barrier, but if her leg was straightened, the mark would be in the same position as the middle photograph in the top row.

Adding further weight to this theory is the strange actions of a man with a blue motor bike helmet shortly after the second blast. The short video shows blue helmet man walking past the mailbox near the victims and bending to pick up an object from beneath the mailbox. You can see him do this at 0.49. He does this quickly and smoothly then continues to walk out of shot. Whilst this was suspicious, I initially thought he might be a heartless douchebag looting victims in the middle of the chaos. However, I then came across the full version of the video which told a very different story. In that video, blue helmet man approaches the blast site from across the street. He can be seen wearing his helmet and walking purposefully and directly to the mailbox. I no longer seem to have the video on my playlist and have scoured the net for it without success. Fortunately, Woody Box has a still image from the video in his excellent article on the blue helmet man


The nature of the object blue helmet man is retrieving is difficult to discern but the image below, again from Woody’s article, is the clearest enlargement I’ve been able to find and certainly clearer than any I can get.


Agent Genck states in the Criminal Complaint that he could see no other bag in the vicinity that could have contained a bomb. Maybe he missed this bag, placed on the ground near the tuft girls and not far from victim Roseann Sdoia.


It appears to be a black duffle bag, something like this


The black duffle bag photographed above was seized during a raid on one Daniel Morley, one month after the bombings. The bag contained this


Daniel Morley claimed to have a friend who boxed with Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He told his mother that this ‘friend’ wanted him to do bad things. At the time of his arrest, Daniel told his mother “I’m sorry for what I have done . . . and I will have to answer only to God”. More information on Daniel Morley and the raid can be found here—a-troubled-intellect-is-there-a-connection-to-the-boston-marathon-bombings-part-1-by-b-blake.html

While we’re on the subject of Daniel, I was studying the CCTV photos of the armed robbery suspect on the night of Sean Collier’s shooting. The robbery occurred approximately 15 mins walk away from the spot Collier parked his patrol car on that fateful night. Below is a picture of the robbery suspect. Early communication over police radio after Collier’s shooting gave the description of a suspect wearing a ‘black bucket hat’. I remember it clearly because I had no idea what a bucket hat was and had to google it. The description was then changed to a ‘black cowboy hat’.

This is a bucket hat.


What struck me was the uncanny resemblence between Daniel Morley and the bucket hat robbery suspect. The top photo in particular kept drawing me back. On top of that, Morley was also arrested with a handgun in his possession. The convenience store robber above was armed with a silver handgun. Intrigued, I finally decided to put together a comparison.

I’ll let you decide.


All of this doesn’t tell us what really went on. What it does tell us is that the allegations and statements made in the Criminal Complaint are not corroborated by photos presented to us by the FBI. It also puts forward a far more likely candidate for the bombing which, in itself, only invites further questions which seem unlikely to be answered by anyone in authority.