Marathon: Historiography and the Bombing

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Historiography and the Bombing

Historian and fellow investigator Eric Bowsfield joins Heather to talk about historiography. We discuss how the discipline gives us the tools to study the Marathon Bombing and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s court case as a historical event. We also share our own firsthand knowledge of living through the bombing and the lockdown of Boston four days later, demonstrating how we ourselves are primary sources of these moments in history.

Episode Extras

Heather’s interview on The Young Jurks

More information on:
Historiography
Bias
Confirmation bias
Historian’s fallacy
Presentism
Moral Relativism
Hindsight bias
Hanlon’s razor
Occam’s razor

Heather as a Guest on Boston Radio Show The Young Jurks

Just putting out a quick post in case you missed my announcements on Twitter and Facebook: on Saturday night I was featured as a guest on the Boston radio show The Young Jurks.

You can listen to the interview archived on Facebook by clicking the image below (I could not for the life of me get the embed option to work with Facebook video, sorry):

theyoungjurks

Thanks very much to host Mike and the whole crew for such a thoughtful conversation! I hope it sheds light on the details of the court case and Dzhokhar’s chances on appeal. We also discuss some of the behind the scenes stuff with my blog and podcast and a bit about what readers/listeners can expect coming up. 

You can also check out The Young Jurks on WEMF Radio and all the usual podcast sites, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and IHeartRadio.

Marathon: Bonus #1 – Audience Questions

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Bonus #1 – Audience Questions

Attorney Tom Frizzell returns to dive into submitted questions about the Boston Marathon bombing and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s case. He and Heather sink their teeth into constitutional law as they tackle the impact the case has had on the American legal system, and discuss how many times Dzhokhar may have had his constitutional rights violated.

Episode Extras

Wicked Local Southborough:
Meltzer: Tsarnaev Should Have Been Tried Under Massachusetts Law

Marathon: The Narrative of the Case, Part 2

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The Narrative of the Case, Part 2

Heather tackles some “alternative facts” about the note found in the boat after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture. Then attorney Tom Frizzell returns to finish up our discussion about the narratives presented about the case in court: what we do and don’t believe, our current theories about the events in question, and what can be expected for Dzhokhar’s case on appeal.

Episode Extras

Wicked Local Plymouth:
LETTER: Revolt against false leaders

Exhibit photos of the note found in the boat:
one | two | three | four

Relevant blog posts:
Who Killed Sean Collier? The Bike Man – regarding the eyewitness placing Dzhokhar at Collier’s car
Who Killed Sean Collier? The Gun, parts one and two – regarding the origin of Collier’s murder weapon
What’s in an Appeal? – regarding the Johnson II Supreme Court ruling

Trial transcript:
March 2, 2015 – Hearing on motion in limine regarding the use of Tamerlan during the guilt phase

Court document:
Defense Motion (10/30/15) – regarding Johnson II and statements indicating Dzhokhar did not have a bomb detonator

Podcast: Marathon, Episode 1

At long last, the podcast is here. It’s called Marathon.

How to Listen

• right here on the blog, with the embedded player
• on its host page, Spreaker
• on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to get new episodes

If you use iTunes, please take a minute to rate and review. It will help the podcast gain visibility in the iTunes store, which will create more awareness for the case.


Podcast Description

On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two years later, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in federal court for his involvement in the attacks. During the penalty phase, I was in the courtroom. I walked in wanting to understand his story. I left unsure he was even guilty, let alone deserving to die. Since that day, I have been researching and writing about the case, trying to understand what really happened. His is the tale of an immigrant, a Muslim, an American, a kid I almost knew and certainly would have liked. Marathon explores that story and its legal, historical, and political context, all for a singular purpose: to save a life.

Episode One: The Narrative of the Case, Part 1

How important is the accuracy of a story? When it’s a matter of life and death, it turns out the details matter quite a bit. Heather is joined by “Attorney Dad” Tom Frizzell to talk about the four narratives of the case: the one told by the media, the one told by the prosecution, the one told by the defense, and the one that went unspoken. Continued in Part 2.

Continue reading “Podcast: Marathon, Episode 1”

Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka Contributed to the Tsarnaev Case, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Lied About It

gorkafoxnews
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, left, has been accused of anti-Muslim rhetoric and is now advising the White House, but that’s not the most alarming thing I’ve learned about him.

Update 2/22/17: Due to some concerns about the validity of the U.S. Attorney’s statement as reported in the Fusion article, I have reached out to the article’s author to see if I can obtain any clarification about what was said. I will update this post if I receive a reply.

It’s not exactly news that the last few weeks of American politics have been chaotic ever since the Republican administration took office. From the discriminatory Muslim travel ban that is being repeatedly struck down in court, to combative White House spokespeople and fast-developing scandals, it’s been the least organized time in government since perhaps the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

However, I’m not here to talk about the new president or his policies. Instead, I need to tackle something that has been flying more or less under the radar until a few days ago: the appointment of a man named Dr. Sebastian Gorka to the White House’s National Security Council.

Continue reading “Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka Contributed to the Tsarnaev Case, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Lied About It”

You Owe Silence to No One: the Boston Women’s March

signs
Inspirational picket signs lined a block of Boylston Street at the end of the Women’s March on Saturday.

 

As you may have heard on the news, this past Saturday, millions of people in cities, towns, and countries around the globe gathered for the Women’s March, organized to protest the presidency of Donald Trump and the hateful rhetoric that paved his way to power. Although crowd sizes are often difficult to estimate, I have seen from various sources that the overall turnout worldwide was somewhere between 3.3 and 5 million people, whereas Trump’s inauguration only drew a couple hundred thousand at best.

I was at the one in Boston. You would not have been able to keep me away under any circumstances, but the weather could not have been more beautiful. Unseasonably warm (proof, as someone joked, that climate change is real), the overcast gloom gave way to a brilliantly blue sky as we stood on the Boston Common, which quickly became so crowded I could not see an end to the sea of people. The crowd seemed never-ending, full of thoughtful, peaceful dissenters. Many had signs with phrases more clever than I could have devised. There was a stage set up, but it was so far away its speakers cast a distant echo that although audible, revealed a startling truth: they did not plan for this many people. Later news reports said the organizers planned for a crowd size of 25 thousand. We exceeded that by about 100 thousand.

Continue reading “You Owe Silence to No One: the Boston Women’s March”