Boston Marathon Conspiracy Theories: The Shooting of Sean Collier

This post originally appeared on Houdini's Revenge

The post-bombing activities of April 18-19 were strange. Deeply weird. The actions of the Tsarnaev brothers, when verifiable, made no sense and the shooting of MIT police officer Sean Collier made so little sense that is has fueled a lot of speculation that the Tsarnaev brothers were not responsible for his murder at all.  The narrative of the murder of Sean Collier feeds a lot of “Dzhokhar Was Framed” theories and is almost a wholly separate conspiracy theory unto itself.

Increasingly, with the exception of the usual conspiracy theory suspects, I really do think the cause of all of the conspiracies created about the Boston bombings and the subsequent mayhem can be summed up in two statements:

1)  The FBI has yet again permitted an act of terrorism to occur in the USA due to another complete breakdown in intelligence gathering and sharing, and their investigative choices after the Boston bombing have raised more questions than they have answered.  I suspect the FBI has always been this much a mess but before the Internet it was harder for the average citizen to analyze their various errors.

2)  The mainstream media in the English-speaking world is mostly a disgrace.  I suspect that mainstream journalism has always been this much a mess but before the Internet it was harder for the average citizen to analyze their various errors.

Any analysis of how Sean Collier was shot to death can only come about by exploring the story with those two statements in mind.  Worse, given that this is yet another instance wherein the American public has to take the FBI’s word for it that there is proof the Tsarnaev brothers were involved in an atrocious activity, the discussion of Sean Collier has an unfortunate “second verse, same as the first” ring to it.   The FBI says they have proof, and more on that in a bit, but even if they have proof, the path to such proof is filled with detours that make it hard to put much faith in the idea that we will ever see anything about this case clearly.  As much as I urge everyone to have patience, to wait to see what the prosecution has in store for Dzhokhar, to wait to see what the FBI or the US Attorney General’s Office may eventually choose to share with us, I can see all too clearly why it is so many people are unwilling to wait.  Just the media idiocy with the Collier case alone is conspiracy fodder.

Before we begin to discuss the horrific murder of Sean Collier and the completely bizarre narratives the press printed before a final story was determined, there are a couple of questions we need to ask.  Many wonder why, if guilty, the two brothers made no attempt to leave the Boston area. Why did they not prepare before the bombing and have on hand the necessary money and guns to make a getaway?  That they stayed in place until the FBI revealed them as persons of interest, to many, is grounds enough to question the Tsarnaev brothers’ guilt.  For me, not every one who commits a horrific crime is a criminal genius and there are many reasons why the two brothers would remain in the Boston area other than actual innocence.  But it still is strange that if they were guilty, they did not leave and at least make preparations for leaving by having on hand money and if they planned to go down in blaze of glory, why did they not arm themselves?

The “arm themselves” part is easy enough to explain. In Massachusetts, one has to have a license to legally purchase a handgun. In order to get that license, one has to be a 21-year-old citizen. That eliminates both brothers – Dzhokhar was too young at 19 and Tamerlan was not a citizen of the USA. If he had been a citizen, Tamerlan might have been disqualified from gun ownership for his domestic violence/assault arrests. Though lots of speculation has gone into claiming that Tamerlan was convicted of assault or domestic battery, I can find nothing that shows such a conviction exists. Most reports say, as this one does, that they are “seeking confirmation of a conviction” but I could never find the results of their confirmation attempts. (It must be said that these articles discussing in depth Tamerlan’s arrest and possible conviction are looking at it from the perspective of whether or not he should have been deported for the arrest or conviction.) But even if Tamerlan was not convicted of a felony, his status as a legal resident prevented him from legally purchasing a gun in Massachusetts.

It would appear that the brothers, despite early initial reports of a mini-arsenal collected after the shootout in Watertown, had only a single 9mm pistol, with the serial number scratched off during the shootout, on the evening on April 18.. Defacing the serial number on a gun is a felony violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and no law-abiding gun seller would sell a gun with the serial number scratched off. Therefore it’s reasonable to assume the brothers came across this gun in a less than legal manner.

Why did they not obtain more illegal firearms in anticipation of a potential flight after the Boston bombing? I don’t have the answer but if the Tsarnaev brothers committed the Boston bombing, their later activities make it seem like the efficacy of the bombs was a stroke of luck. Any fool with time to experiment can make a pressure cooker bomb. That doesn’t mean those same bomb-makers understand that they will be identified via security cameras, witnesses and amateur photographs and will need to flee in a timely manner. If the Tsarnaev brothers indeed executed the Boston bombings, the real horror of it will be that two young men who seem like embodiments of Moe Howard and Cheech Marin managed to injure so many people without blowing themselves up first. Sure, you and I would have planned our getaway before we bombed innocent people, we think, but I often find it folly to think we really know what is going on in the minds of people who engage in such radical acts. We aren’t young male (suspected) bombers from Chechnya.  We don’t know what these guys were thinking.

And just as we don’t know exactly what was going on in their brains when they allegedly murdered Officer Collier, it’s almost as hard to know exactly what happened that night on the MIT campus.  We know the Tsarnaev’s pictures had been released by the FBI as Persons of Interest a few hours before Officer Collier was killed.  Initial reports of the shooting were completely useless and filled with misinformation because almost all initial reports of any significant news events are completely useless and filled with misinformation.  Just one example, from Huffington Post, reported the following late on 4/18:

The officer was responding to a report of a disturbance when he was shot multiple times, Middlesex Acting District Attorney Michael Pelgro and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas stated.

That link in the HuffPo quote above goes to this entry on the Cambridge Massachusetts city page, wherein there is no mention that Collier was responding to a report of a disturbance.  I can only assume that the site changed the story, but that’s a mighty big assumption for me to make since the  Wayback Machine’s first snapshot of the entry shows it as it stands now, with no mention of an officer responding to a disturbance.  Tracing it all back is a nightmare and I am unsure if it matters, because so many of the early reports reference that Collier was responding to a disturbance.  This particular narrative endured in force for days after the murder and is still available online with nary an edit to show that the official story has since changed.

But wait!  There’s another completely erroneous narrative!  Other news sources indicated Collier was shot to death in front of the convenience store that it was alleged that the Tsarnaevs robbed (another misreport – as I will discuss in a later entry, they did not hold up a 7-11 or any other convenience-type store).   Take this NY Daily News article, posted in the morning on the 19th and updated very early in the morning on the 20th:

Collier, a beloved campus officer of two years, didn’t even have a chance to draw his gun before he was killed. He was shot as bombers robbed a 7-Eleven Thursday night.

The snippet I quote above is a title subheading of the article itself.  The article itself bears no resemblance to the title (asserting that Collier volunteered at the gym where Tamerlan boxed) or the subheading.  I dare you to read this mess of an article and not feel like maybe, just maybe, the average house cat could do a better job of reporting the news.

A slightly more coherent Los Angeles Times article from April 23 also touts the convenience store narrative:

They came upon Collier outside a gas station and convenience store near the MIT campus in Cambridge. He was apparently shot multiple times, but had left a safety device on his holster that the suspects could not unlock to retrieve the weapon.

The misreports of Collier being shot to death outside a convenience store lost steam but the stories of Collier being shot to death as he investigated a disturbance on the MIT campus has, for many, become the official narrative.  But there’s another narrative out there that on its face makes sense and is borne out by what the scene actually portrayed.

We do know the Tsarnaevs had only the one 9mm gun.  It has been posited that they wanted another gun.  Shooting a cop for his gun is the sole motivation anyone can attribute to them for the alleged murder of Sean Collier.  It’s all the more speculative because the “interrogation” with Dzhokhar either did not discuss Collier or yielded no useful information about his murder.

“The original question is they walked up to that car and appeared they shot the officer in the head unprovoked, that it was an assassination. But why? How did that fit into their plan? The operating theory now in the investigation is they were short one gun. The older brother had a gun. They wanted to get a gun for the younger brother and the fastest and most efficient way they could think of doing it was a surprise attack on a cop, to take his weapon and go. Officer Collier had a locking holster, it’s like a three-way lock. If you don’t know how to remove the gun, you’re not going to get it out. There was apparently an attempt to yank it and they couldn’t get it and left. “

This quote above is from John Miller, CBS News Senior Correspondent.  The article also says:

Tsarnaev is communicating with authorities in writing.  According to CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, he can say about one word at a time.  Investigators went through public safety questions with him and tried to find out if he is part of a group.

It also says:

Miller said there are still several unanswered questions about the murder of MIT police office Sean Collier.

This is a record-scratch moment.  Why is this information being attributed to a reporter?  Why would a reporter’s version of events be worth a tinker’s damn? Why are we not being told who it is that John Miller obtained this information from, this information he is touting as if he is an on-the-scene authority.  I don’t know.  But I can tell you I am made very uneasy by this because even if it seems like the shooting-a-cop-for-a-gun narrative makes sense, John Miller is the the former Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the FBI.

It would appear that this narrative reported from CBS was one of the first of the “shooting-a-cop-for-a-gun” narratives, if not the first.  It makes me very uneasy that a former public affairs director of the FBI is the one who reported this story and that all the information is quoted from him and not the actual agents who spoke to Dzhokhar or investigated the shooting.  Even if this is utterly innocuous, how can anyone with an eye to critical examination of the media feel comfortable knowing that a former public affairs director from the FBI now working for CBS is now on record with numerous media outlets as the source for what was and wasn’t said during Dzhokhar’s interrogation?  This is some sloppy reporting and a simple “sources told Miller” could have eliminated a lot of uneasiness about Miller’s role in this.

While the story of the brothers shooting a police officer to grab his gun makes the most sense, in a way, as they only had the single gun and perhaps may have needed another, it’s still a strange theory.  Collier was sitting in his squad car when the shooting occurred, as reported by the Boston Globe, among others:

About 9:30 p.m., Collier was on routine patrol. He was parked by the corner of Vassar and Main streets. It was a spot where motorists would sometimes take a chance, making an illegal shortcut through campus to avoid a red light.

“We ask patrols to sit there,’’ DiFava explained. It prevents the forbidden cut-throughs and it provides a high-profile presence for the MIT community.

He was sitting at a place wherein the traffic was high enough that people running red lights was such a problem that an officer would need to to sit there to discourage it.  So shooting him in such a place seems a bad decision, but then again, the whole of the Boston bombing, if the Tsarnaev brothers are guilty, has been nothing but bad decisions and strange behavior.

But a question that immediately was raised with me was how it was the brothers thought they would be able to get the gun in a timely manner in a high traffic area if Collier was still sitting in the car.  And indeed, they failed to get his gun.  Various news sources report that Collier’s gun was in a locked holster or a retention holster:

The suspects allegedly tried to take Collier’s gun but were unable to unlock it.

‘The retention holster does its job well, so perhaps they didn’t get the gun because of that holster,’’ DiFava said. ‘Maybe that’s what thwarted them from getting the gun, because the gun was not removed from the holster.’

How did they try?  Did they open up the door and pull his body out and then realize they could not get his gun?  Did they lean in through the window, or attempt entry in the front passenger door?  Unsure, but anecdotally it seems like it would have been so much easier to have lured the officer from his car with an actual disturbance, as was initially reported, than to kill him in his own car and then try to recover his gun.  But then again, had they lured him out of his squad car, he would have called in to dispatch, alerting them to his movement.  Moreover, had the brothers shot him as he stepped out of his car, his body on the road in such a high traffic area would have drawn attention to them even quicker.  Any way they went about it, shooting a police officer for his gun was a risky, stupid move.  But as I said earlier, just being able to make a pressure cooker bomb does not make one a criminal genius.

But none of this answers the biggest question in the Collier shooting:  how did the investigation link the Tsarnaev brothers to the murder of Collier?  It’s sort of shaky at the beginning.  Most of the language used in early news accounts is of the “hedge your bets” variety.  From the Boston Globe, emphasis mine:

Then, near the end of his shift Thursday night, Collier, 26, was shot multiple times in a late-night confrontation with, law enforcement officials believe, the two young men responsible for the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. Collier was later declared dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Later, verbiage became more exact because once again there is allegedly a video that shows Collier’s murder and that the brothers were indeed responsible.  From the Boston Globe, emphasis mine:

In the fog of what would become a deadly and dangerous night, there were initial reports that Collier had been responding to a disturbance. That turned out to be wrong.

What actually happened was more cold-blooded, authorities said. Police officials have called it an assassination, an execution.

Authorities say video from a surveillance camera shows the suspects approaching Collier’s car from the rear as he sat in his cruiser. Collier was shot five times, including twice in the head, officials said.

This mega-article from the Boston Globe ran on April 28. The information about the surveillance video gets a bit more specific in later news reports.  From NBC News on May 8, we get the following:

In recent days, police appear to be using the bullet-riddled Honda to try to build a murder case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Last week police towed the car — recovered hours after the murder on the same street in Watertown where the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly engaged police in a bloody shootout and where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed — to Cambridge and then staged a re-enactment at the scene of the Collier murder, law enforcement officials tell NBC News.   

One source who participated in the re-enactment said police drove the car to a spot near where Collier’s body and squad car were found on an off-street plaza. They also drove it around a block of the MIT campus three times – raising the possibility, according to the source, that they could be trying to match the vehicle to surveillance camera footage from the night of the killing.

It would appear that the video that shows the suspects approaching Collier’s car from the rear may not be as clear as earlier reports led us to believe if the re-enactment of the crime involved driving Dzhokhar’s green Honda around so they can compare it to cars that were recorded on the surveillance video that evening when Collier was killed.  That seems far more tenuous to me than video that shows two suspects creeping up on Collier.

Who knows what the video the officials say they have really shows? And it is irrational to expect the investigators to show us the video for a number of reasons.  But until the people are permitted to see the evidence, either by media disclosure or during an actual trial, there is literally nothing else to prove the brothers killed Sean Collier.

But even as I reviewed all of the media one very important question was left unanswered: why were the Tsarnaev brothers on the MIT campus in the first place?  Why, in a quest to get a gun, would they go to the MIT campus?   It makes little sense unless the red light trap Collier was performing was so well-known in the community that the brothers somehow knew a cop would be sitting there.

Additionally, what seems to me to be the easiest way to show an immediate, though shallow, link between the Tsarnaevs and Collier is the caliber of the weapon used to kill him.  If he was killed with a 9mm handgun, then at least that small question is answered, as that was the only weapon recovered from the Tsarnaev “shootout” in Watertown, the only weapon they can associate with the brothers.  Of course, ballistics tests would have to show if it was the same 9mm, but even the weapon used to kill Collier has not been revealed.

I have read assertions that it was proven that the gun used to kill Collier was stolen from the crime scene of three Jewish men Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev are accused of killing in 2011.  As of this posting on 6/12/13, I can find zero information about ballistics being back in the Collier murder.   The most concrete statements about the gun being the same are along the lines of this statement from The Daily Mail:

It is believed that Mess’s missing gun was the same weapon Tsarnaev used when he shot MIT police Officer Sean Collier dead on the night of April 18 and wounded other officers shortly afterwards in the shoot-out in Watertown, Boston.

This is based on the statement of one of the girlfriends of one of the three slain Jewish men telling police that a gun belonging to her boyfriend was never recovered from the crime scene, assuming the killers stole it.  In none of the articles is the caliber of the allegedly stolen gun mentioned at all.  It’s rank speculation and the concrete belief of some who believe it has been proven beyond a doubt that a gun stolen from a crime scene was used to kill Collier seem to be getting the bulk of their information from the execrable and racist site, Atlas Shrugs, which has completely misrepresented the situation as being settled when forensics are not even back in the Collier case.  Pamela Geller’s ridiculous article is so full of half-baked assertions and incendiary rhetoric I may debunk her all salacious posts about the Boston bombing once I have finished the rest of my work on the theories.

So I can’t debunk anyone who thinks that the Tsarnaev brothers have been framed in the killing of officer Sean Collier and I can’t debunk those who think the brothers did kill Sean Collier.  There isn’t enough information either way and the bizarre media narratives have not helped those of a skeptical nature.  As I was researching, I again came across the site WhoWhatWhy and an excellent media analysis of the narratives spun about Sean Collier.  Writer Russ Baker has an interesting theory about how, perhaps, there was an attempt to spin Collier’s death as a man who died confronting the bombers into a sort of J.D. Tippit narrative, making Collier a sort of hero who was slain in the line of duty directly battling the brothers.  There are elements to the article I am less impressed with, but the more I read the site, the more impressed I am with their media analysis.  The Tippit correlation is nothing I would have thought to analyze and it is a very interesting way to look at the initial reporting in the Collier investigation.  The article, however, led me to wonder if the narrative changed when video evidence was found that Collier did not die in the course of confronting the bombers, that perhaps there really is actual evidence.  But in order to reach that conclusion, I would have to believe that the FBI, which has been sorely unable to get much right at all in this investigation, had the canny foresight to create a hero narrative for a fallen officer and plant it in the media.  But with John Miller’s work reporting the “shot for his gun” theory, it’s impossible to dismiss WhoWhatWhy’s speculation, and since that section was indeed media analysis and not an actual theory, you may not even need to dismiss it because on several levels, the comparisons are apt.  At any rate, it’s a very well-researched and interesting article and is very much worth a read.

As of right now, there is no answer to those who believe that the murder of Sean Collier is just another attempt by the government to railroad the Tsarnaev brothers into being patsies for the Boston bombing.  Once the surveillance video is released and once the ballistics information about the gun used in Collier’s murder is released we can know, but for now, all there is is speculation and me asking increasingly suspicious people to wait for the final data to become available.

I will update this article as needed and I will be tackling next the carjacking of “Danny” and the wild ride to ATMs and convenience stores.  Anyone has anything specific you are interested in having me discuss or debunk, let me know.  I also want to warn some of the Free Jahar folks who have started reading this site that this site is not dedicated to vindicating Dzhokhar.  Being unable to debunk some of the theories wherein people speculate that he was framed is not even close to exonerating him or declaring him innocent.  With that in mind, see you when I’ve read several hundred articles about a black Mercedes SUV and the surveillance systems at Shell service stations.

33 thoughts on “Boston Marathon Conspiracy Theories: The Shooting of Sean Collier

  1. ummmmmm………………I know you think he’s a douchebag, but have you read the rest of McGowan’s articles? He’s up to 11 now, and he is showing every single picture and analyzing it frame by frame. I have to say, he seems to be correct.

    The only way for you to debunk it is to show the same photos yourself, but I don’t see how you can. When all the pictures are seen and compared to the accepted accounts of the events, nothing adds up.

    So, IF the bombing itself was indeed staged, then the entire post-bombing rampage was also somewhat staged, and several people, including the MIT officer, the two Feds who fell out of the helicopter, the unarmed witness who was shot twice in the back of the head in “self-defense”, and one of the brothers were all murdered by an unseen hand.

    Again, as I’ve said, I really don’t want to get into this, but I have to say – this one is even more suspicious than the Kennedy assassination!

    You are being far too naive in your reasoning. I would rather explain it in terms of Franklin or something else I’m better versed on, as I have no time for homework right now, lol, but please believe me. Your mind is far too brilliant for you to allow it to think in terms of a false reality where the cops tell the truth, the media is not paid to intentionally distort stories, and your government cares about keeping you safe.

    1. Ugh! We clearly have the security set too tight if your comments are getting filtered! You’re basically one of ten people I actually want to hear from. Sorry about that, Dave.

      I haven’t been back so I haven’t read anything else he has to say. I don’t know if douchebag is the correct word but I do think he and truth have an interesting relationship and that he is curiously thin skinned.

      The problem here is this: The Thorndike pictures make it clear that there could not possibly have been a staged scene at the first bomb site. Ben Thorndike was in a building that overlooked the bomb site and showed the building that anyone involved in a staged event would have had to have rushed out from. He began to take pictures seconds after the first bomb went off, 25 in total. The pictures reflect the smoke but several essential players are clearly visible, from Karen Rand to Krystle Campbell, from Jeff Bauman to the Brannock-Gross sisters. They were there when the bomb went off and they hit the ground when the bomb hit. The pictures show that no one entered the scene from any direction and that the people who fell are those represented in crowd photos taken minutes before the bomb went off. We can discuss gurneys versus wheelchairs, the way bombs are supposed to go off, blood spatter and lack thereof but until anyone can show how it is actors managed to get onto the scene with Thorndike taking those pictures, none of the rest matters. The staging theory hinges on whether or not it could have been staged. The Thorndike pictures show it didn’t happen and I will remain quite adamant that staging could not have happened until someone explains how those pictures don’t show what they show.

      You’ll note that not a single person who came over here to school me addresses that issue. They wanna talk about the real way pressure cooker bombs go off, whether or not shrapnel can be self-cauterizing, how many wounded people there can possibly be, erroneous narratives wherein I get depersoned because I just can’t be a Pflugerville housewife and so much more. But not a single one will discuss the Thorndike pictures. I find that interesting, to say the least.

      Thorndike is not a media photographer. In many ways, his evidence is some of the purest in terms of media influence. And those pictures make it clear no one crept into the scene when the bomb went off.

      McGowan’s theory requires actors and his own evidence, which he misunderstood or lied about, only he knows, disproves his own theory. At this point, after I showed that he had no awareness that he was using the Thorndike pictures, that he used crops of them without realizing it, that he used them out of sequence, that he didn’t understand the time frame involved, or that he knew and he lied about it in order to make his case, how can you take seriously any of his picture analyses. His response to me was to call me a liar when anyone can go and find the Thorndike pictures themselves and look at them and see the many errors he made. Why would you take more picture analysis from a man whose work was that shoddy or that misleading? Because even if it was an honest mistake on his part, his hyperbolic response makes it clear he is at least lying in reply because any honest person would have looked at the Thorndike pictures, realized the error and corrected it. He doubled down on the mistake. Once someone has shown that level of dishonesty, why bother with them?

      But I’ll have to take your word for it that there is anything worth reading. I’ve never seen such a case of butthurt in my life. McGowan’s had at least one other tantrum (incoming links from wherein people were disgusted at his response to me and the behavior of some of his fans showed me he’s got some issues to work through) because someone dared debunk him. McGowan’s just too… weird even for me to bother with.

      And I don’t think I am being too naive. I don’t believe McGowan any further than I can throw him but that doesn’t mean I am innocently buying the media and government lines on the bombing. There is a world of difference between seeing McGowan’s shoddy research and pointing out his theory is crap and thinking the whole investigation is A-Okay.

      Sorry Dave, I know you respect him, but it’s unlikely I will ever read anything else he has to say. There’s way too much interesting conspiracy theory out there to discuss to waste time on such an energy suck. Just dealing with the abuse from his fans who think I am here solely to debunk him has sucked up way too much time as it is. 🙁

      1. McGowan does a wonderful job of disassociating emotion from acts of scantless business. You Ms Dalton, like to manipulate the reader by making one feel guilty for disputing a liars claim. That is disgusting on YOUR part. The job of any detective is to systematically eliminate all possible outcomes until the truth is established. This includes questioning alleged “victims”. Its funny how everyone ELSE is ignorant, crazy, or just angry in your little world. If YOU did not have an agenda to get across, this situation wouldnt matter to you. Where exactly do you get your funding for this disinformation site?

        1. Your paranoia is painful to behold. Seriously. You need to look into that.

          But before you do, I have to wonder about the financial well-being of people who ask me who is funding this site, as if hosting a WordPress blog is somehow so expensive that there has to be someone, some frightening shadow force behind this site, Dun dun dun. Dude, it’s $20 a month at most. Go recycle some cans and you too can host your own site.

          But back on topic – whenever someone disagrees with you, do you immediately assume that the person is backed by some nefarious agent bent on disproving you? Hahahaha, why the hell am I asking this? Of course you do.

          This is old and boring. Insinuate again that I am anything but a Texas housewife who finds staging theories detestable and I’ll do the most sociopathic thing possible to a shallow-thinking paranoiac – I’ll ban you. Go unperson some one else. I don’t find it entertaining.

          And how come you’re whargarbling about McGowan on the entry dealing with Sean Collier’s murder? Did you sneeze and lose your place? Do you need directions? Let me know. I’m here to help.

      2. 1) Use language of civility. I will enforce this as needed.

        2) Do not refer to human beings as “sheep.” Do not ever use the word “sheeple” on this site. If the only response you have to an idea you dislike is to tell the person he or she has been brainwashed, you don’t need to be discussing anything on my site.

        3) Do not curse at other people who may comment here. Don’t curse at me, either. Profanity happens but it should never happen as we address each other.

        4) Engage in good faith. If you can’t be bothered to explain yourself as you condemn my research or the research of others, don’t comment.

        5) If you are going to attack my integrity or the integrity of anyone who comments here, you best have actual data to back up your claims or I will edit your comment in a manner amusing to me and I may ban you on first offense.

        6) Don’t evade bans. You get caught and look desperate.

        7) Trolls, whom I define liberally because it’s my site and I can, will be dealt with however I feel like dealing with them when I discover them.


        1. How shocking that I have a comment policy on my own site. Will no one think of the children as I run amok setting rules on my own site? Oh the humanity!

          I am truly history’s greatest monster. Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways. I’ll take that down ASAP and let random trolls crap all over my blog. How can I ever thank you?

      3. Hi, just found your site. I can answer your question: the staging took place on 2 different days, which explains why Carlos Arredondo had on bloody jeans in some shots and not in others. Betsy McGee’s YT video of Arrendondo is a brilliant piece of detective work. It’s the bible on this hoax, as far as I am concerned. There are so many vids on this hoax out there — some of them showing people taking their places on the pavement to act hurt. One guys photo shots may raise some questions, but they cannot erase the mountain of evidence provided in other places.

      1. If the mere concept of “sheeple” (which is rather hard to deny, historically) isn’t allowed on this site, why is unintelligent drivel like this permitted?

        Also, to the author, why should any of us need reasons to think the Tsarnaev brothers are innocent? Why do you make excuses for the problems in the official narrative by opining about the ? I thought we were supposed to assume Dzokhar’s innocence until the state gave us hard evidence. Seems presumption of innocence is almost a distant memory now, with the continual parade of “lone nuts” convicted without trial by the fourth estate.

        1. People who engage in calling other people sheeple or who say others drank the Koolaid are invariably condescending. I’ve yet to encounter an online discussion wherein such labels were thrown about wherein the person throwing wasn’t a pompous jerk, refusing to explain his or her own point but rather choosing to demean others. I find infinitely more value in being told to fuck off by someone with an interesting grasp of syntax. Seriously.

          As for why anyone should believe that the Tsarnaev brothers are innocent – this site isn’t attempting to prove innocence or guilt. I don’t know what happened but I seriously lean toward both having been involved in some manner, but that I need to wait on as well because I don’t know that the prosecutors have in their evidence arsenal. I’m not asserting guilt or innocence. What I am doing is looking at the (often irrational and very strange) theories people have created online about the bombing and subsequent shoot-outs and seeing if there is merit in them.

          Show me the excuses I make about the “official narrative” and I can address them but I am unsure what you are talking about.

          Moreover, this is a website wherein one woman is looking at various theories from all over the map and discussing them. While it is flattering, I don’t really think this site qualifies for a fourth estate label. The best I think this site can be labeled is to call it a site that looks at reactions others have had to the fourth estate, while sometimes looking at the fourth estate herself.

          And yeah, of course Dzhokhar is innocent until proven guilty. His presumption of innocence, however, is in the realm of the second estate. He doesn’t lose that presumption when I look at the conspiracy theories from people who desperately want to believe that no one was actually killed in Boston, that everyone was an actor, that the brothers didn’t kill Collier, etc. Speculation as to what happened and my speculation to those reactions doesn’t strip Tsarnaev of his constitutional rights.

          And again, sorry your comment got hung up to be approved. We had a fun little orc invasion over here and I am still unsure how it is my security labels some comments as suspicious. I apologize.

  2. Overall, a very thought provoking piece, but perhaps your intuition is correct.
    “Perhaps there really is actual evidence”…
    Perhaps “so many of the early reports reference that Collier was responding to a disturbance” because these reports were researched before the official story line was provided…
    Perhaps dispatch WAS called about shots fired outside of a convenience store…
    Perhaps a more resourceful individual than myself could recover a recording of such a call…
    Perhaps even if this call was totally unrelated, one would still be able to request public records of this 7-11 altercation…
    Perhaps I’m the only one who recalls early reports that the carjacking victim was a female who escaped from an SUV of a different make…
    Perhaps that altercation, carjacking, and dispatch call were related to the story relayed here:
    Perhaps someone with greater geographical knowledge than I, or someone with more intimate knowledge of Massachusetts’s scanner radios could confirm or deny this as a possibility…
    This all leaves lots of questions, and plenty of time to massage the evidence has elapsed. Will we ever know the truth? Trial by media has thus far been a resounding success! But perhaps a few too many people witnessed a few to many things keep everything under wraps…

    1. Comments with links get filtered – sorry about that, Curious.

      The media stories have become so muddled that I also wonder if we will ever know the truth. I’ve been struggling to develop a coherent time line on the night of 4/18-19 because every official story is slightly different. I tend to believe that Collier was shot in his car because of the 911 call about the incident, which I plan to add to this article as soon as my mental dust clears (but then again, IIRC, that call indicated an Hispanic male, 5’5″ tall, wearing a cowboy hat was involved).

      The best source for scanner reports, the Reddit FIND BOSTON BOMBER subreddit, has been deleted but surely there is another place out there that has the scanner reports. But that also has a caveat because the scanner chatter was what caused Sunil Trepathi and Mike Mulagetta to be implicated in the bombing. It’s all such a mess.

      Thanks for this comment. I think searching for scanner reports is a pretty good idea and will look into it.

  3. Interesting info. I’m not a huge conspiracy theorist, but live in the area and followed the developments very closely via some media folk. There was an odd feeling to the scene. The press is pretty aggressive in the Boston area, and the local police are used to that and they can work together and collaborate. When the feds hit the scene things changed. From what I understand the press following the police through the streets in pursuit were at one point basically locked down in one place while a gun battle took place at a house that turned out to be empty. At around the same time the local police stopped talking. And many things initially reported were said to be false, such as that they were a part of a group, what car they were in, how the older brother was killed. And what was with the incident at the JFK museum? I find it hard to believe that was a coincidence. People there said there was an explosion. Then it was an “electrical fire” unrelated? Then I heard rumors of there being a “drill” planned that day… It just seems there is a lot of information not being shared.

  4. Nice Article. The death of Officer Collier is one in many suspicious events that happened surrounding the bombings. I was listening to the police scanners when I saw Local 7 was reporting a shooting at MIT. I knew this somehow related to the previous events, too big of a coincidence. The scanner reported a stolen State Police SUV, not too long before that the police were reporting explosions, specifically mentions “grenades”(One Grenades is very hard to obtain, let alone multiple ones).I’m wondering what equipment the highly militaried police of Boston, Massachusetts, and the Federal Government were using. I personally saw National Guard with M16’s in front of every signifigant Boston building for days, so State police grenades aren’t out of the question(see what I’m getting at…). The previous reports of the store robbery was proven false, there was video of the younger brother at a store, but that’s it. There is also word on the street around the Boston area…things about Police shooting at police vehicles with their red and blue lights on. The Transit Officer was definitely shot by friendly fire there are many articles about it. What was going on in that shootout?

    Why was there live video of someone who looked exactly like Tamerlan Tsarnaev being detained naked?

    Why did the CIA, FBI, DHS, JTTF all ignore warnings from Russian intelligence? The government is claiming a breakdown of intelligence and lack of continuity of government. Sound familiar? The 9/11 Commission was written all about a lack of continuity. They revamped the “continuity” post 9/11, that was the whole purpose for the commission. Seems that Russia was creating a paper trail. The older brother was visiting regions of war with high amounts of CIA activity. America backed the country of Georgia during the Georgia-Ossetian war in 2008, during the Bejing olympics. Georgia obtained 25% of the region of conflicted. This war was American backed side versus a Russian backed side…Getting the picture?

    The Caucus region is a very important region. Intelligence leaks have suggested that the CIA has been arming/training Chechen rebels in order to create instability to fulfill U.S. interests in the region(ie less Russian control). Lookup the name Doku Umarov, a Chechen rebel with ties to the CIA. Chechen rebels are fighting in Syria(which is in proximity to the Caucusus via NATO aligned Turkey), they’re fighting along the FSA the anti-Assad fighters. These fighters are suspected of being CIA trained, they’re employing serious para-military tactics and have surface to air missles and M4A1 rifles (U.S. made rifle).

    Izvestia a big Russian newspaper reported that, via a leaked Georgia Intelligence report, said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was at a CIA sponsored workshop in Georgia, put on by the Fund for Caucusus and the Jamestown Foundation, a known CIA front. Whether or not this is true will to be seen, but what one can’t deny is the connection between the CIA and the Tsarnaev family. Uncle Ruslan Tsarni (Tsarnaev) worked for and headed a Foundation for Chechnya. This foundation’s address was Graham Fuller’s home, this was his Father in law. Graham Fuller was a higher up in the CIA. Uncle Ruslan was the only family member to come out immediately and speak badly about his nephews. Why was he responsible for the body that seemed to disaapear out of a Worcester funeral home. Very suspicious…

    The FBI lied from the beginning about not knowing who the brothers were. They lie all the time. I refuse to believe a Trillion dollar security state “failed” that day. Couple that with the track record of the FBI in the recent years. They’ve created a policy and method of using patsies, pointing them to the target, supplying materials, and foiling their own plot. This has become common place in the past recent years. They started this type of “investigations” since the 93 World Trade Bombings…look it up. Elad Salem…FBI Informant recorded the FBI proved they were complicit in the attack.

    There were MORE than 2 bombs that day. JFK Library seems to be an “incendiary device” which burned the electrical room and the ARCHIVE Section of the library. I’ll repeat that again…the Archive section of a Presidential Library with very important GOVERNMENT Documents. Word is also that there were other “devices”(scanner) found and exploded…some as far away as Harvard Stadium in Brighton(near Cambridge). These two brothers couldn’t possibly have planted all of those also…

    The Media seemed to immediately gear up to blame it on a right-wing domestic terrorist, referencing McVeigh multiple times, even after the brothers were suspects. Patriot’s Day…Tax Day…20th anniversary of Waco, anniversary of OKC bombing. Department of Homeland security were running a drill with first responders simultaneously as the bombing occurred…the plot was that a “Free Citizen Group” were planting bombs in backpacks and at various locations around the city. The Boston Globe reported on these drills. Most of the Bomb experts that spoke about the explosives signatures all stated that the bombs were “high explosives” due to smoke,size, and reported smell….High explosives like amonium nitrate. What was up with the, off the DHS radar, fertilizer plant with stock piles of ammonium nitrate on hand that exploded in West Texas outside of Waco; weird coincidence. Before the brothers were suspects the AP, half the media, and Mayor’s office all reported of someone in custody at the court house. Then there was a bomb threat on the courthouse and Homeland security was seen going into the courthouse when everyone was being evacuated. Who was in custody? Then no press conference that day…canceled…the next day…”only look at these pictures…these two brothers are the suspects”…very weird.

    If…and I’m saying IF this was some sort of intelligence operation, either gone wrong or worse…, there WOULD BE a cover up. There would be tying up of loose ends, like an intelligence asset (Tamerlan possibly seen alive, now dead, body missing). But the question still remains why MIT…Why did officer Collier have to die? The answer might lie in the fact that MIT is the number 1 nonprofit Department of Defense contrator, they work directly with the likes of the CIA, FBI, Lockhead Martin, Raytheon. You might say…that’s loose connection speculation. But wait.

    In 2012 the DHS in conjunction with 11 municipalities, local and state police, and Federal officials, the BAA(Boston Athletic Association), and all first-responders, there was a system implemented called N.I.C.S. (Next-Generation Incident Command System). This was a cloud-based application that allowed first responders to report any incident at the event into a centralized system of tables and maps. This system was developed by MIT. MIT also has research programs in Computer Science called BigData, with a lot of research into cloud technologies. Dr. Calvin Andrus spoke at a lecture months before the bombing. The theme of the lecture was Cloud Computing in a Classified Environment. Dr. Andrus is a CIA employee of the intelligence branch of the Agency specializing in computing. Dr. Andrus is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    My question is: Was the N.I.C.S. system used in 2013 also? And if so, what information was recorded that day and does this information still exist? Also the most important question, where is the data stored for this cloud-based system? The Lincoln Labs created N.I.C.S. and this facility is a few miles outside of Boston. But it is very possible that the N.I.C.S. program was being run in conjunction with cloud-computing research that was being done at MIT’s Main campus through its “BigData” program. Research at MIT very often is run in conjunction with other programs at the school.
    What was this “disturbance” that was reported almost instantly…then retracted? The BigData program is run out of the Computer Science department at MIT…This department is housed at the Stata Center…The building where Officer Collier was found dead, having been executed.

    Why was it that very building? The coincidences keep adding up…I gave this info to every media source in Boston that was covering the event a week after the bombings, no one covered this important connection. One CNN producer said to me “I hope you’re protecting yourself”…what ever that supposed to mean…

    Nothing adds up, there are coincidences all over…many leading back to intelligence circles, prior knowledge, similarly eerie “drills” at the same time, government archives destroyed in a suspicious fire, corporate media bias, unarmed suspect was executed in Florida, Uncle with CIA ties, coincidence after coincidence after coincidence…this whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    The Truth is not obtained easily. We must ASK QUESTIONS, DEMAND ANSWERS…
    Seems that the evidence is pointing to stand down/false flag operation used in order to increase the police state…a police state which had been increased exponentially since 9/11…More of the same just a different enemy…Americans.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

  5. Anna, you simply must check out what McGowan has been up to. He needs to be debunked. I can’t do it. You seem to be very good at digging for the truth. Please. If a fake bombing becomes a meme we are in deep trouble.


    1. Gonna be blunt with you Jimbo. Two issues are at work:

      First, I think McGowan is unhinged. In comparison, Alex Jones is a paragon of self-control and David Icke makes perfect sense. I genuinely think that discussing him fed into an ego trip, because it seems very clear that the man had long wanted someone to clash with him. His declaration that this site was created just to dog him shows that, I think. He really wants a nemesis to give him legitimacy and has been doing his level best to start crap with everyone who discusses him. His behavior with the people on mirrors his tantrum with me.

      So if I think he is unhinged, desperately salivating for conflict and behaving like a prima donna, why mess with him? Why give him the fight he wants. He doesn’t want discussion. He doesn’t even permit commits on his site. Why reward his lunacy with legitimate analysis? Legitimate analysis gives him legitimacy. I’d rather save it for those who are genuinely interested in finding the truth rather than waste it on a man like McGowan.

      Second, I think McGowan has far less influence than people who read him may think. His readership is pretty loyal, I gotta give him that, but it’s not nearly as large as anyone would think. When he threw his temper tantrum at my expense, a handful of his followers came over here to voice their opinions, and it was startling given the newness of my site, but the proof of the pudding is in the web stats. Since his tantrum, less than 600 people have come to this site from the link from his “fucktard” entry. It’s been almost two months and as of this moment, 582 people have come to HRev as a result of his hyperbolic reaction.

      By way of comparison, my odd books site got over 400 unique hits yesterday from a knitting site that was amused by one of my older book reviews. Yep, the off-topic section on a knitting site yielded more hits on a three-year-old book discussion than McGowan was able to refer to me on a recent, very topical entry over the course of several weeks. This is a man with three books under his belt and the reputation of being a strong thinker and investigator with a strong reader base and that was the best he could do. He doesn’t have the power to create a meme.

      But it has to be said that the staged attack theory is a meme and it was a meme within hours of the attack. I will definitely address some of those theories when I get the time.

      But I would not put any more worry into Dave McGowan’s theory. He’s weird, he isn’t as influential as he and others may think, and I intend to keep to my promise and not discuss him in any depth.

      1. Mr. Hrev here.

        Reading your reply, something else comes to mind: McGowan’s linking to you, constantly referring to you in his article, and his reader’s comments here altered the Google rank for searches like “dave mcgowan boston bombing” so that Houdini’s Revenge now ranks higher than Dave’s own site. You don’t see that happening much with sites that have a high readership or lots of online influence.

        1. Yeah, from the search strings we’ve been getting, I noticed that was happening. I just now tested it and on my machine comes up first, then three links to this site, then down at hit seven McGowan’s site shows up. So people, unfamiliar with the topic, see four separate links debunking McGowan’s theory on the top of page one before they ever find McGowan. Similar stories on bing and Yahoo!. Someone has squandered his influence capital with needless online tantrums.

          1. Are these drive-bys that add nothing to the conversation part of a larger trolling scheme or is that you cannot help yourself? Either way, if you can’t step it up and add something of worth to the conversation, you need to go away. Seriously. If you can’t do better than this, you need to bugger off.

      2. McGowan has so far written 15 installments making a case that the Boston bombing was a hoax. I don’t really understand your reluctance to debunk McGowan further but that is your choice to make. What I do, however, after reading each installment, for they are compelling, is to Google “debunking mcgowan boston” and after all this time still your site comes up on top and then there is no one else. I see your point that McGowan has little influence, that his followers are few, but still … I don’t want to believe the bombing was a hoax but I am easily swayed. If a good counter argument is made I will heed it. In the meantime, please reconsider and use your analytical prowess to finish this guy off.

        1. Apologies. I just read your new site opening statement where you basically say you are swamped and don’t wish to dwell on one topic. I understand you better. Keep up all the good work and I look forward to your further explorations.

      3. Jones is paid to disinform, his game is rage. Icke is also paid to disinform to spread fear, and continuously contradicts himself in doing so. McGowan isn’t as rehearsed as the others. He comes off like an investigator, not a talking head. Notice how Jones and Icke continuously suggest rebellion, whereas McGowan just gives information obtained through investigation? Thats the tell when it comes to “conspiracy theorists”- a term used to hide acts of scantless business. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS UNHINGED. YOU ARE A CLASSIC SOCIOPATH. You have NO concept for self control, made apparent by your continuous insults. If youre not just calling someone a liar, youre trying to manipulate your reader based off emotion and prior experience. I also find it cute that you have to justify yourself by replying to EVERY comment, as would any adolecent sociopath seeking negative attention. Cut the BS, youre getting paid to promote psychological terrorism upon your own people.

        1. Oh man, I just saw all of your other comments. See ya, Mork. People like you drag down the conversation to an unbearably vulgar level. You can’t even clear your mind enough to comment on McGowan in the actual entry about McGowan. You have nothing to add to the discussion. I’m sorry. It’s all very sad and realizing how many like you there are has been a sobering experience but not even pity will persuade me to let you continue on. Off you go.

      4. BWAHAHA You just violated two of your own rules? How come all of your posts have to do with conspiracy theory and slandering Dave McGowan. Youve written NOTHING ELSE. You have other categories with NOTHING WRITTEN ABOUT THEM!! No paranormal stories to pass along in your sociopathic mind?

      5. This psychonalysis of McGowan would have slightly more legitimacy, methinks, if you and SOTT hadn’t fired the first shots. You can’t really fault him for choosing to respond.

        1. What psychoanalysis are you talking about? I’m not psychoanalyzing him. I’m debunking a theory. In fact, prior to his epic butthurt tantrum, I thought he had some interesting, if outlandish, theories. I don’t know enough about the dude even to attempt a psychoanalysis. If that’s not what you mean, feel free to clarify.

          And your comment got caught up in spam because we have to have extra security on this site because reasons – sorry about that.

  6. Thank you for following this story. On the night of the gun fight in Watertown, there was a report of a State Police SUV stolen. I don’t know if it’s related, but
    the same night, a Boston Police officer, Kenneth Conley was riding patrol along with a State Policeman, Dan Walsh. They came under gunfire from a car behind then, that turned out to be another State Policeman. This is said to be under investigation by the DA. I would love to find out details of that investigation, if it’s possible.
    In an unrelated story, I read about a Boston policeman called Kenny Conley, who got in trouble a few years ago and served some time, then got his job back and is still with the BPD. I think it might be the same guy as Kenneth Conley, but I’m not sure. Just kind of intriguing if it’s the same one.

  7. Thank you for a well balanced, well thought out article. Just to clarify, Tamerlan was charged with domestic violence but the charges were later dropped and no conviction recorded. The scratched serial number on the gun definitely indicates that it is from dodgy sources, but it could just as easilyhave come from the police evidence room in that case. Since this was written, Collier’s cruiser has been destroyed, along with any evidence it may have yielded. We are now solely reliant on forensic reports regarding his murder. Also, as far as I recall, police radio indicated that Collier’s weapon was missing and there was a search for the weapon. Someone here may be able to confirm that. In any case, once again the story changed. It’s also worth pointing out that if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev accepts a plea deal, none of this ‘evidence’ will come to light and will be buried, along with the accused, in the dark recesses of ppl’s memories. To date, he has pleaded not guilty to all 30 counts. If he continues to do so, this case will most certainly go to trial and I, along with many others, will be waiting to see the Prosecution’s evidence with great interest.

    1. Sorry your comment got caught up. Because TOR exists, this site has to be tighter than I would like. My apologies.

      I spent several days on this entry and could never find any proof that Tamerlan was ever convicted of domestic violence. I tuned out of the Boston case just because of time constraints and did not know the cruiser was destroyed. I don’t even understand the rationale behind such a decision. I never heard the report that Collier’s weapon went missing and will try to find more about that when I am able to concentrate on the Boston Bombing again.

      I still tend to assign all of the varying reports to crappy media coverage of the case, taking Internet stories and half-baked analysis and running with it, but increasingly it’s hard to see how this keeps happening if it is just incompetence.

      Thanks for this comment, Druscilla!

  8. Have just found this interesting reading..Far to many coincidences,contradictions for their 2 be no basis.I followed at time and was left with many unanswered questions.?extremes at both ends operating some medieval puppet show.A bad act followed by a weird side show (smoke screen)as a means of ‘conditioning ‘ the masses…what’s new ? Must be some way out there objective..anyway a bit over the top

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