06 Mar 2022

The bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013 was a shocking event and one that changed the city forever. 

In what can only be described as a barbaric attack, many people were injured or left baffled by the events which took place. Many families lost loved ones and had their lives changed irrevocably following that day.

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As a way to seek some solace, a lot of people took to the internet in a bid to fit the events of the day together and learn more about what happened. This work online led to the swift apprehension of the involved parties and the eventual confirmation of the identity of the bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the brave witnesses coming forwards and evidence that was provided by locals, including the local waste management service.

An Attempt To Dispose Of Evidence Caught On CCTV

Once the bombing suspect had been named, the FBI could focus their attention on his whereabouts and movements around the event.

This is where CCTV and eyewitness accounts came into play to identify Tsarnaev behaving strangely following the bombing. This same material was used to identify associates of the bombing suspect, as multiple people were caught removing evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth following the event.

Using this footage, it was clear that the suspect and associates had removed vital evidence from his dorm room which included a laptop, backpack, and other incriminating items.

These items had been disposed of by the group in a bid to remove any ties between the suspect and the bombings. 

But luckily, all was not lost as the Boston Waste Department acted quickly.

Searching The Local Landfill

Following further investigation, it was discovered that this evidence had been disposed of in a nearby Boston area dumpster. Due to the efficiency of the Boston waste department, this dumpster had already been cleared by the time the discovery was made by the FBI, but the evidence was eventually traced to the Crapo Hill Landfill.

A fully-fledged search took place in this landfill, which saw the FBI and waste management officials searching through 36 acres for the evidence. The Crapo Hill Landfill is a large site that sees 100,000 tons of waste every year, making the search difficult to complete.

Although landfills in Boston are capped daily, law enforcement was able to capture some of the disposed evidence that would be used to prosecute the involved associates and main bombing suspect.

Amid the tons of trash in the landfill, officers retrieved Tsarnaev’s, which had been hidden inside a black garbage bag. This backpack was the key evidence for the Boston bombings trial as it included multiple fireworks which had been emptied of their gunpowder.

Authorities believe that it was this gunpowder that was used to make the bombs that created the deadly attack during the Boston Marathon.

Waste Removal Provides Essential Evidence

It was a tragic day for the waste management industry to find that its services had been used for such negative events. 

In an attempt to remove himself from the blame and avoid capture by the FBI, Tsarnaev relied on the regular waste management services in Boston to dispose of incriminating evidence. The efficiency of the Boston waste services could have almost made things difficult for the FBI during this time, as the dumpsters had been cleared during the investigation, but luckily a connection was made to local landfills.

The evidence that was retrieved during this search of landfills would later be used in court against Tsarnaev. 

The trial began on March 4, 2015, which was two years following the initial pre-trial hearing, and saw Tsarnaev being convicted of all 30 counts. He has been sentenced to death by lethal injection for his crimes.

There was a lot of evidence against Tsarnaev and his associates during the trial, many of which came from local CCTV, eyewitnesses as well as the physical evidence found in local landfills in Boston.

With this, it was reported that there were few of the claims against Tsarnaev which could be disputed in court, and this led to justice being served.

The attack on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, killed three people and injured hundreds. An MIT officer was also murdered by the suspect days following the bombing.

Following the trial and the evidence shown in the court, including the items retrieved from the Boston landfill, Tsarnaev was convicted on all 30 counts. These included the usage of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, as well as aiding and abetting.

These counts made Tsarnaev eligible for the death penalty.

Tsarnaev, now 28, continues to be held in ADX Florence, which is considered to be one of the most secure prisons in the United States. He is locked in a cell for 23 hours a day along with many other criminals in the secure facility, awaiting his death penalty.

Every year, there continues to be memorial services held for the victims of the Boston bombings.

While the city has recovered physically since the attack in 2013, there continues to be a sense of trepidation when the Boston Marathon takes place every year. The FBI and Boston law officials continue to work to secure the city and ensure that everyone is safe at all times.