Heather Frizzell is a writer and former college professor who lived in the Boston area for over ten years. She holds an MA in International Studies from the University of Washington, as well as a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. In May 2019, she completed her Master’s thesis on Orientalism and Islamophobia present in the official response to the Boston Marathon bombing and the policing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a Muslim suspect.

Her interest in this project arose from not only personally witnessing the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, but being professionally familiar with many aspects of the case. As a professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College, she learned the ins and outs of the experiences of immigrant families in Boston and Cambridge. In April and May 2015, she sat in on the penalty phase of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial so that she could weigh the presented facts firsthand. Her other areas of scholarly interest include post-Soviet politics, mainly in Chechnya; Islam in Russia;  and Orientalism’s effects on American foreign policy.

Legal Consultant

Thomas R. Frizzell, Esq. (also known as Attorney Dad) has over 35 years’ worth of experience practicing law in the state of Connecticut, many of it criminal defense work. He has a BS in Finance from the University of Connecticut, a JD degree from Wake Forest University School of Law, and has almost completed his LLM in Law, Psychiatry and Criminology from George Washington University School of Law. He was licensed to practice law in the states of Connecticut and North Carolina, and was admitted to practice before all federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He has since retired to the warmer climate of New Mexico, but his daughter’s interest in the Marathon Bombing case renewed his passion for the law and the imperative that it be applied fairly and equally to all citizens. He provides many legal insights, definitions, analyses, and much needed moral support.

Death Penalty Scholar

Margo Schulter is a lifelong opponent of the death penalty with a BA from Tufts University and an MA in Sociology from Boston College. Since 1977, she has been interested in legal and constitutional issues and challenges, and has contributed research and drafted arguments in support of capital appeals by the Florida Public Defender’s Office and the California State Public Defender. She takes an interest in various historical aspects of capital punishment and efforts to abolish it through the centuries. Her current special focus is on the 18th-century doctrine that the death penalty can be justified only if “absolutely necessary,” and its relevance to the constitutionality of the death penalty today under the Eighth Amendment.


Josée Lépine has tirelessly provided us with all relevant court documents, transcripts, and exhibits since August 2015. Her diligence, attention to detail and generosity are appreciated beyond words, making a monumental task that much easier.

Field Investigator

Eric Bowsfield a self-described “big history geek who hates injustice.” He holds a BA in History from East Stroudsburg University, where he is also half a thesis away from completing an MA, also in History. Though often working behind the scenes, his research background and knowledge of Boston as a longtime resident lends a hand to many an investigation.

And many, many thanks to the readers, colleagues and friends who have lent ears, eyes, and expertise in the interest of justice over the last few years. You are too numerous to name, but you have my eternal gratitude.