‘Manhunt: Boston Bombers’ to shed light on how investigators tracked down terror suspects

An ambulance containing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, departs 67 Franklin Street, where he was discovered hiding inside a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. Credit: Reuters.
An ambulance containing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, departs 67 Franklin Street, where he was discovered hiding inside a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Credit: Reuters.

A new one-hour NOVA documentary will shed light on how investigators were able to quickly crack the case of the Boston terror attack, and track down bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

In “Manhunt: Boston Bombers,” NOVA follows the hunt for the bombing suspects and examines the subsequent investigation conducted by city, state, and national law enforcement.

“From robotics to explosives to chemistry to digital and social media, NOVA demonstrates how scientific innovations were involved in this high-stakes, fast-moving criminal investigation,” said NOVA Producer Paula Apsell. “Viewers will gain a better understanding of how new technologies might help investigators in the future.”

The documentary will also explore the phenomenon of social media, which in unprecedented and chilling ways, affected the course of the investigation. Authorities were reluctant to release the pictures of the suspects as they could prompt them to panic, flee and commit more violence. But the social-media-fueled “24-second” news cycle forced investigators to release the photos sooner than they wished.

Producer Miles O’Brien hosts the two-part show. With the help of high-speed camera’s, O’Brien will demonstrate the power of a pressure cooker bomb and learn how the New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center uses their research to train first responders – including 1,500 from Boston.

The documentary is set to air next Wednesday night, 9 p.m., on PBS.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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