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Monday, February 3, 2014


18 HOURS PART ONE:  Lingering Questions Surround Circumstances Of Watertown Shootout

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When explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line six months ago today, it was hard to imagine the world would ever be the same. Since then, WGBH News has been taking a closer look at the events of that memorable and deadly Friday in Cambridge and Watertown. This is the first of four stories in an ongoing series.

Just past midnight on Friday, April 19, Watertown police spotted the Mercedes and green sedan driven by the Tsarnaev brothers in the vicinity of Dexter Avenue. They chased both cars as improvised bombs are being thrown. By 12:38 a.m., Watertown police engaged in a furious shootout with the suspects near the intersection of Dexter and Laurel Street. Eight minutes later, Watertown resident Andrew Kitzenberg was watching the shootout from the third floor of 62 Laurel Street.

"I saw two men taking cover behind a dark SUV and they were shooting down Laurel Street towards officers and I couldn’t make out any true details because it was complete darkness out, but I could see two individuals kind of crouching and firing down the street, and I also had the vantage point of seeing at the end of the block the officers and there looked like there were about four or five vehicles at the end of Laurel Street,” Kitzenberg said of that night.


18 HOURS PART TWO: 'Self-Deployment' May Have Caused Confusion During Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt

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photo by Andrew Kitzenberg
As part of an ongoing series, WGBH News explores the unanswered questions that surround the massive manhunt in Watertown, Mass. on Friday, April 18 and the ultimate capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This is the second story of a four part series.

At 10:31 p.m. on April 18, MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was fighting for his life after being shot multiple times while sitting in his cruiser. Fellow officers rushed to his side trying to stem the bleeding.

Lt. Jeremy Walsh, of the Cambridge Fire Department, was among the first to respond at Vasser and Main Streets.   "I was in the firehouse when the call came in, roughly 10:20, 10:30," Walsh said.

"There were some police officers in the scene who had started care and we relieved them. It was our job to get him on a gurney; on a board into the ambulance."

Within two hours of treating officer Collier in Cambridge, Jeremy Walsh would be called to Watertown in response to the shooting of another officer — MBTA Police Officer Richard Donohue.

18 HOURS PART THREE:  How Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Elude Police For So Long In Watertown?

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As part of an ongoing series, WGBH News explores the unanswered questions that surround the massive manhunt in Watertown, Mass. on Friday, April 18 and the ultimate capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This is the third story of the four part series.

How did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev elude police during the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt in Watertown in April?

Several eyewitnesses gave us the same account of Tsarnaev’s escape. Tsarnaev, driving a stolen SUV, ran over his brother and then rammed the SUV directly into two police cars that were blocking the road. He took off at least one door and mirrors as he barreled through. He was chased by officers on foot, but it’s not clear if any police officers pursued him in their vehicles.

From his porch, David LaRocca, a local sculptor, saw the blue police lights two blocks away and a fast moving vehicle heading in his direction.

"It seemed to me, whatever activity was going on down there was coming this way," he said. "So I literally dove back into my front door, and at that point I heard my building get hit by gunfire. I came out the door after my gunfire was done. The street was covered by SWAT people. And there was a SWAT officer in full armor. And I opened my door and I realized he didn't see me. And I said to him to try to reassure him, 'I live here.'"

Police swept past LaRocca’s building in the direction taken by Tsarnaev. But the 19-year-old bombing suspect had a head start.


18 HOURS PART FOUR:  Watertown Manhunt For Tsarnaevs Offers Lessons For Law Enforcement

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This is the fourth of four stories in an ongoing series.

Minutes after news went out that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been flushed out of the boat where he was hiding, Watertown exhaled.
“Go Watertown!” crowds shouted.

Police forces from Winchester, Westford, Woburn, the National Guard, Billerica, the Massachusetts State Police, Watertown, Boston, Cambridge and elsewhere were celebrated like war heroes. And that evening, Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau hailed the 18-hour manhunt as a model for the nation.

However, six months later, Deveau is more circumspect, preferring to view the Watertown shootout, lockdown and arrest as a case study rather than a model.

"Some of the local colleges have already been reaching out to people to find the lessons learned," he said. "I know the state is in the process of putting together the beginnings of an after-action report, so we can look at that and have it professionally looked at. That's going to take a while, because there are so many things that happened, and so many different agencies. You can't do this and just clean up afterwards and just wait for the next time. We have to study it. We have to look at it."

Still, Deveau says that if there is one example of excellence that can be gleaned from the 18 hours that began with the killing of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier in Cambridge, it is the way that law enforcement banded together to track down the suspects.

"Boston, Cambridge, the State Police, the surrounding communities, and the federal agencies that were able to come in and support us — no one, no one, worked outside of the group," he said. "That day, all law enforcement worked together in just an incredible way. It'll always be the highlight of my career, the proudest I've ever been."

And exactly who was in charge that night?


WGBH , PRI and BBC Announce a World-Wide Reporting Initiative Focused on Color

WGBH Radio, Public Radio International and the BBC have announced the launch of “The Color Initiative”, a landmark journalism project that will examine complex global issues of politics, culture, history and society through the framework of human perceptions and experiences related to color. Once complete, this on-going project will air on The World, broadcasting on WGBH 89.7, Mon-Fri at 4pm and 7pm. Feature Color Initiative stories reported from around the globe will be produced by Lifted Veils Productions, a Boston-based non-profit radio journalism organization dedicated to exploring issues that divide society. Former NPR supervising senior editor and NPR’s former Race Relations Correspondent, Phillip Martin, will serve as lead correspondent. He is also the Executive Producer of Lifted Veils Productions. Anthony Brooks, The World’s former senior producer and former national correspondent for NPR, is the Color Initiative series editor. The World’s Executive Producer is Bob Ferrante. The project is made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. “The establishment of an international editorial beat dedicated to covering color worldwide is the first of its kind, and places The World in a unique position in public radio in the United States and Britain,” says Marita Rivero, General Manager for WGBH Radio and Television. Among the topics that will be explored by the Color Initiative are: • COLOR AND IMMIGRATION: A FOUR PART SERIES • IRAQ’S WAR DEAD, AMERICA’S RESPONSE AND THE ROLE OF COLOR • CASTE, COLOR AND EDUCATION IN INDIA The first report in the year-long project looks at the on-going marketing campaign by Benetton, which mixes business with socially conscious messages focusing on diversity of all sorts, including color. Those messages are now coming up against growing anti-immigrant realities in Europe, including the dominant presence of the Northern League in the very Italian city where Benetton is headquartered: Treviso. That report airs in early November. About The World Winner of the 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for Broadcast News, The World with anchor Lisa Mullins has been bringing daily international news to local audiences for the past 10 years. Monday through Friday at 4pm on WGBH 89.7, the international staff of The World presents a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. The World is the first international radio news program developed specifically for an American audience, giving listeners an upbeat and informed take on the day's events. Co-produced by WGBH, the BBC World Service, and Public Radio International, The World is heard on more than 200 public radio stations across the country. About WGBH Listener-supported WGBH 89.7 is Boston's NPR® arts and culture station. Bringing you the best for more than 50 years, 89.7 serves its wide-ranging audience with a menu of classical music, NPR news, jazz, blues, folk, and spoken-word programs. The station is an active participant in New England's vibrant music community, presenting more than 300 performances every year, including live broadcasts and remote recordings from such diverse venues as Tanglewood, the Lowell Folk Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, and WGBH's own studios. WGBH 89.7 can be heard online anywhere in the world at, and can be heard on Nantucket at WNCK 89.5.