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.

Episode Extras

Patriots Day reviews:

Trial transcripts:
Opening statement (pages 22-54) by prosecutor Bill Weinreb, guilt phase
Opening statement by defense attorney Judy Clarke, guilt phase

Do you listen to podcasts another way and have a suggestion for where I can distribute? Leave me a comment or send me a message via the contact page. Please report any trouble you might be having, too. This is my first time doing a podcast, so I’m still engaged in a lot of trial and error with production and distribution.

Thanks for being such great readers and I hope you enjoy this new project! Rest assured, more articles will also be up on the blog in between podcast episodes.

6 thoughts on “Podcast: Marathon, Episode 1”

  1. Many thanks for this podcast. This is exactly what we need to discuss the case. Your father can provide us with facts of law which will help us understand the many pre-trial disputes and what took place during the trial. I have a lot to say concerning what you and your father said in this podcast, however I need to listen to it again and sit down and collect my thoughts before I provide further comments.

    For now please know that I am extremely grateful for your implication in finding the truth about this case.

  2. Thanks Heather & Tom. Very timely too considering his counsel is still struggling to get access to sealed docs & merits briefing schedule has been filed.

  3. My emotional interest with this case started on the very first instance of the tragedy when I learned that a bombing had just happened. Emotions were high with sadness for my fellow Americans who had been hit with yet another terrorist attack. My TV set was on 24h a day as I could not stop watching. I was searching the internet for news like madness.

    What really hooked me to this case is a particular video that Richard DesLauriers, on April 18, at the Joint Law Enforcement Press Conference, asked us to view on the FBI website. I recalled what he said in his April 16 press release when he informed us that the FBI had determined earlier that morning that the IEDs were concealed in dark-colored nylon bags or backpacks.

    My emotions turned to shock and total panic. I wanted to call the FBI hot line and tell them that they were about to make a terrible mistake – yes I was innocent back then!

    Like most people I read about everything and listen to everything. I searched the web and read many blogs, visited sites that I did not even know could even exist like to conspiracy ones – you know the ones that I mean – and one day just like you Heather I decided that I needed to wait for the trial and see the evidences.

    At that time I totally believed in both brothers’ innocence and I was scared to learn during the trial that they were guilty. I learned to have confidence in my instinct and this case could prove that my instinct was failing me. At my age, things start to fail you know, but I wanted to remain confident in my instinct. So I decided to go to Boston for the last Status Conference. I wanted to see that ‘kid’ so bad and wanted to feel the energy. So I took a plane ride from Ottawa to Toronto and then from Toronto to Boston – and I stayed in a hotel within a walking distance from the Courthouse. As nervous as I was I took a taxi on the 18th of December from the Hotel to the Courthouse. I arrived at the Courthouse at 4:10 a.m. in the pouring rain and a Court US Marshall met me on the sidewalk as I was getting out of the taxi. He asked me what I was doing here and I told him I was there to attend a Status Conference. He invited me inside but I refused telling him that I rather stay outside.

    At some point and for a long time I was the only human being without a gun or a riffle or a police dog. I had the impression that I was in a movie as in my country you do not see that at all. All were there, FBI, US Marshall, Boston Police, Homeland Security, etc, etc.

    Then I heard a US Marshall say: Oh! Here he comes, and I immediately moved near the sidewalk and witnessed the parade of US Marshall vehicle with one of them transporting the ‘kid’ that I wanted to see so badly. You bet that I became extremely emotional, trying to hide my tears from all the law enforcement officers that I had been hanging with. They are not all bad. One of them bought me a coffee.

    At 7 a.m. I made sure I was very close to the front door to ensure that I would have a place in the courtroom. I did and since I am very short I made sure that no one would block my view. I was so determined. I usually don’t get up when a magistrate enters the courtroom. How do I know that he is really ‘honorable’? But this time I did, reluctantly, as I did not want to be escorted out of the courtroom. I do not respect functions, I respect people that deserve my respect.

    Well I saw the ‘kid’ and I heard his voice, I joined the protesters for a while, took a taxi to the Forum Restaurant to have lunch and see the scene (much smaller than the pictures depict) and I returned home. I was now ready for the trial and ‘inspect’ the evidence.

    I followed the trial through twitter with a bank of 79 journalists. I copied every tweets from that trial and I remember that at the end of each day having the feeling that the government had not proved its case. Was I shocked when he was found guilty? No. Why? Because a family member of Jahar had told me that the defense told them that although they knew that the brothers were innocent they were under pressure from ‘high above’ to let the government convict him, but that everything would be fixed at the Appellate level! What consoled me is what I had read in the pre-trial documents where I found out that the defense had planted many seeds for the Appellate court.

    On May 15, 2015 my eyes were invaded by a tsunami of tears. As soon as I read the first tweet sentencing the ‘kid’ to death I could no longer sustain the energy to copy and paste the tweets from journalist. Part of me died on that day.

    Having strong opinion does not mean that you are a bad person and I believe that that was the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He was acting just like the priest in the catholic religion by preaching for his own belief. He was a very intelligent man, reading anything and everything. He was from a culture that is different from our own.

    The bad ass attitude that he was attributed to was in fact, at least in my opinion, his job for which he received payment from the FBI. Yes I do believe that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an FBI informant and a provocateur for the FBI! This is probably the reason why the defense team could not mention his name or speak about his character during the guilt phase of the trial. This very ‘secret’ information needed to be protected.

    I also now believe that the bombing, if it actually took place, I mean if real active bombs exploded on Boylston Street, those bombs were placed there by someone else than the Tsarnaev brothers and that the FBI is protecting that person.

      1. Yep, I just saw the second episode! You and your father both did a great job and it still enrages me to this day how the first circuit rejected his attempt to try and get the venue moved. Kudos to Judge Juan R. Toruella for being the only man of integrity on that panel! I’m sure you read his brilliant dissent to the unjust decision of the first circuit. I am very glad that you guys both brought this issue up because it’s of the utmost importance. Thanks again for taking the time to do the podcast and share it with us.

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