Ever since 9/11 there has been speculation that terrorism would strike a major sporting event attended by thousands of people. But most people thought of something like the Super Bowl or the World Series. So when two explosions ripped through the crowds at the Boston Marathon on Monday, the attack shocked as well as horrified us. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 150 were injured, some of them critically.
For the next three days, authorities were mostly silent, and the void was filled with intense speculation. Was it a homegrown lone wolf or an international conspiracy? What was the motivation? Were police not saying anything because they didn't want to alert the bombers or because they didn't know anything?
Then on Thursday, the FBI gave a startling presentation and made an extraordinary request: Here are photos videos of two suspects; these are being distributed worldwide, and we want to hear from anybody who knows anything.
The two – Suspect No. 1 (in the dark cap) and Suspect No. 2 (in the white cap) – were later identified as brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, from Chechnya.
After fatally shooting a campus police officer and hijacking a car, the two late Thursday and early Friday led police on a wild chase that involved throwing improved explosive devices from their speeding car. In the ensuing shootout, police killed Tamerlan, but Dzhokhar eluded them. A massive manhunt all but shut Boston down, and Friday the wounded suspect was finally captured.
From tragic start to rapidly unfolding denouement, it was a stunning week.