After the celebrations fade away, Boston and its suburb of Watertown can sleep in peace tonight. One of the men suspected of planting the Boston Marathon bombs is dead, and the other is in police custody after an almost 24-hour manhunt.
Much of the credit for the timing of the arrest goes to the homeowner who called 911 this evening to say someone was in the boat in his backyard. Contrast that with high school classmate of the younger suspect who told a reporter this afternoon that he thought he recognized the man in the FBI photos, but did not call authorities because he didn’t want to ruin his classmate’s life if he was wrong. This young man did not say when he first saw the FBI photos and video – if it was soon after the pictures were released, would a phone tip from him have possibly saved the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was shot and killed by the alleged bombers last night?
I was rather awed by the massive law enforcement presence that responded immediately to events last night, and by the precise, methodical way they searched for the second suspect in Watertown. It certainly helped that the FBI was already in the area investigating the bombing. And the possible terrorism connection caused more concern about solving the crime quickly. But if that kind of manpower was deployed whenever a specific criminal was on the loose, fewer criminals would escape capture.
Investigators and prosecutors will now do their work. I have faith in the US justice system. The dead and wounded can become our focus again. I am not using the names of the bombing suspects – their names and photos have been all over the television and Internet. But I want to add to the cyber-immortality of the victims:
Martin Richard, 8 years old
Krystle Campbell, 29 years old
Lu Lingzi, 23-year old graduate student from China
Sean Collier, MIT police officer, 26 years old
I pray that there will be justice for them.