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I will say that this week had one oddly good outcome, at least to my lights. While the lockdown in Watertown wasn't a bad idea (overzealous in its breadth, I think, but certainly well-intentioned), the biggest concentration of police ever seen in this region didn't manage to catch Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Instead, it was after the lockdown was lifted that an alert citizen noticed something amiss, brought the authorities onto the scene, and things finished up fairly quickly.

If that ain't symbolism, I don't know what is.

We often forget that a healthy community requires appropriate *cooperation* between the citizens and authorities. That means that folks should keep an eye on the authorities, but also respect that they are usually doing their best, and are generally good at their jobs. But it also means that the authorities need to respect their citizens, and recognize that they are not, by and large, dumb, careless or easily panicked.

We're all trying to keep everybody safe. That works best when *everybody* is helping out.

(There are limits to that, of course -- some jobs need to be left to the specialists, and some folks really are kind of thick. But generally, a million eyes can accomplish a lot more than a thousand, even when that thousand are well-trained. Sometimes, informing and trusting the citizenry is a good idea...)

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Yes-- though I still think that following the blood trail to your boat when you know there's a dangerous terrorist on the loose and then *opening* said boat up to check rather than snagging some of that concentration of police to do the opening-the-boat part was perhaps not the greatest idea.

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Quoting The Atlantic, "Henneberry and his wife stepped into their backyard to get some fresh air. David had a smoke and took the dog for a walk around the yard while his wife relaxed in a chair in the sun. It was a beautiful day in Watertown yesterday, and a shame that it had to be spent inside. But the wind picked up, and the tarp that covered the boat flapped in the wind. This wasn't normal. Henneberry approached the boat and noticed the cord tying it down was cut. Using a stepladder, he looked into the boat and noticed a pool of blood. Without saying anything, he retreated to call the police."

So it appears to be somewhere in between. Noticed the flapping tarp, no ladder mentioned (until the owner brought one to the boat), but did look under the tarp where he saw the blood. Again, this is what was reported, and your informant may have better information than the boat owner's son.

Probably a poor plan. He may not have suspected anyone was inside (or still inside) until he saw the blood. Before then he may have just thought something got loose. Maybe he thought he was checking for squirrels. Regardless of the thought process, he did quickly back off and call in the experts. It could have gone worse though.

Edited at 2013-04-22 05:26 pm (UTC)

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Which is why I acknowledged you may have a better source. The media reports all seem to come from the son, who wasn't even at the scene, so the game of 'telephone' does exist.

But I wouldn't underestimated what an adrenaline fueled teenager can accomplish. The images I've seen show that the edge of the boat is up at about 8-9 feet, low enough to reach without jumping, but high enough that you'd need to pull yourself up, which most people can't normally do. Not saying there wasn't a ladder involved, just that I don't think there had to be.

One of the pictures I saw looked like blood on the fairing of the wheels of the boat trailer, which would be 2-3 feet off the ground, and a handy leg up to someone trying to get into the boat itself, so possibly no ladder needed by Suspect #2.

I was under the impression that the blood you referenced came about as a result of the suspect leaving the boat, not entering. But you are correct, that would, indeed, give him a... leg up.

Of course this is all wild speculation on my part, but I don't think he emerged over the wheels. Hard to say:

I'd say he came right out over the wheels, looking at this picture of the boat and the cut away portion of the tarp, and comparing it to the above image.

Aha - and there does not appear to be blood over the wheels at this stage.

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Yes. The boat owner used a ladder to climb up and look inside. I'd presumed that was the ladder seen, as no photos would have been taken before the owner used the ladder.

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Actually, I don't really disagree -- it seems clear that cordoning Watertown was necessary, and the lockdown was a reasonably expedient way to do that.

My point is mainly that the lockdown wasn't *sufficient* on its own -- it required a joint effort of authorities and citizens to get the job done...

Well, the problem is you lead with "that was overzealous and it wasn't the authorities who found him", so the first impression is less about cooperation, and more about how the authorities were wrong.

It's all about the nuance, you know.

Hmm. Fair point -- I communicated poorly. The "overzealous" was referring to the *breadth* of the lockdown. I thought it actually made sense in Watertown, where there was an active manhunt; somewhat less so in the adjoining communities; and it really wasn't clear to me why it was happening in Boston proper at all...

I wondered why they bothered to lockdown my campus, but enjoyed the day off.

it seems like he was lightly wounded and then tried to shoot himself in the mouth while hiding

That doesn't seem too likely to me: it sort of requires the police to have been incompetent - they routinely use shot spotter tech these days, and gunfire should pretty much have located him. (http://www.shotspotter.com/news-and-events/news/shotspotter-technology-keeps-boston-mass-police-one-step-ahead). Now I don't know if there was any gunfire after the guy who spotted the boat inconsistency called the cops or not, so it could have happened there, but if that was the case, it's hard to think of him as "lightly wounded" - the guy who investigated noticed a fair bit of blood, after all.

There was an exchange of gunfire after the.police arrived near the boat so if he tried to shoot himself, it could have been then.

If you haven't yet seen siderea's similar post, I commend it to your attention.

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