Archives For Boston Marathon Bombing

A year ago today I was planting in my garden While music from my iPhone played in the background.  I heard the ding of a news alert and grabbed my phone to see what it was.  My mouth hung open and tears ran down my face as I read alert that a bomb had gone off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My heart began to race and my thoughts were frantic. I ran in the house to let my daughters know what had happened because I didn’t want them channel flipping and stumbling upon the news without me. They were frightened, but seemingly calm.  We were all worried about our friends who had gone into town with their mother who was visiting from France. We were scheduled to have dinner and a sleepover that evening. The girls went back to enjoying their moviethon while waiting for their friends to arrive.  I went back to gardening and listening to music hoping to hear from our friends sooner than later.  Approximately an hour later we heard from one of our friends who told me that they were in the Cambridge Side Galleria when they heard the blasting of the bombs, but didn’t know at the time what they were.  They told us that they tried to head home via the green line, but were told that all the trains had been shut down due to the bombing.  They became frantic and worried about how and when they would be able to get home. Our plans for the evening were of course canceled as they couldn’t guarantee when they would return and were all shaken up about what happened.  I let the girls know.  They were disappointed, but completely understood because they too were scared.

So it was sort of sad that everyone was supposed to be enjoying finishing the marathon and the fact that they are on April vacation.  Instead, people were helping those that were injured, trying to find a way home, wondering where the bombers were and whether or not anything else was going to happen. As the week progressed anxiety rose in everyone. Worried for the lives lost and the lives that were changed forever.  You didn’t have to be there to be affected by what happened.

Fear was all around us, we had to remain as calm as possible and be as strong as we could. We had to move on and deal with what had happened.  But first, the bombers had to be caught.  On April 19th in the wee hours of the morning Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev was mortally wounded by what may have been friendly fire.  His brother Dzhokhar Anzorovich “Jahar” Tsarnaev was wounded but escaped and a manhunt ensued.  Thankfully, later that evening, he was found unarmed and severely wounded hiding underneath a boat in Watertown, MA and was arrested. He is now awaiting his trial.

On April 30, 2013, I posted a story “Do you know who your neighbors are?”. A year later, Nadine Ascencao, who was the former girlfriend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has since moved out of her apartment here.  It was more like her roommates asked her to leave because they didn’t like the constant attention from the press.  She wasn’t there most of the time and her roommates grew tired of visits from news reporters. I’m certainly more than happy not to be dealing with it as well.  The Reporters frequented our house even more because they knew that Nadine and I were acquainted and therefore felt I had to know where she was and what she was doing, but of course I didn’t. In fact I didn’t know her well enough in that way.  I’m just a friendly outgoing neighbor who makes it a point to make sure that the female neighbors know that they always have a safe place if they need it.  As well as someone who is willing to help when and if they need it.

I’m happy to say now that a year has gone by things have calmed down.  The tragedy will never be forgotten, but I think we are all trying to get to know our neighbors a little bit more and hope that down the line nothing like this will ever happen again.

The focus is now purely on staying safe and honoring those that lost loved ones and those that were injured during the events of that day.  Business suffered too and hopefully, everyone is on the road to recovery and enjoying all the events given in their honor.

Boston remains strong. Hopefully, this years running of the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 will be the success that it deserves to be. Visit some of your local news stations to view their tributes and happenings.

Boston’s Channel 7 – Boston Remembers

Channel 5 – Boston Strong



Russia failed to tell FBI about Islamic jihad call, report says

WASHINGTON — The Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years before the attack that might have prompted more extensive scrutiny of him, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Watch the full report here

The information is contained in an inspector general’s review of how American intelligence and law enforcement agencies could have thwarted the bombing.

Russian officials had told the F.B.I. in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer,” the New York Times reported, and that Tsarnaev had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to Russia.

But after an initial investigation by F.B.I. agents in Boston, the Russians declined several bureau requests for additional information they had about him, the newspaper reported.

The report found that it was only after the bombing occurred last April that the Russians shared with the F.B.I. the additional intelligence, including information from a telephone conversation the Russian authorities had intercepted between Tsarnaev and his mother in which they discussed Islamic jihad.

Concord department holds memorial for Charik

Wicked Local/John Walker

CONCORD, Mass. — He’s been her partner since he was just a puppy and has worked with her on countless cases, but now Concord Police Officer Sylvia Toumayan is saying goodbye to her German shepherd, Charik.

Suffering from canine degenerative myelopathy — a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs — Charik, 8 ½, had to be euthanized, and a memorial service is being held for the dog Friday.

Through his years with the department, Toumayan said Charik has built up an extensive resume. He has assisted Toumayan and the department with cases involving house and car break-ins, narcotics and finding missing people. He’s also responded to many calls from surrounding towns requesting mutual aid.

Most recently, Charik and Toumayan assisted Boston police after the Red Sox won the World Series in October, as members of the Concord Police Department are part of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

They also assisted in Boston after the Marathon bombings last April and in Watertown when suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended.

Toumayan, who was been with the department for 17 years, spoke to Wicked Local about her partner’s health earlier this year.

“It’s just really hard,” she said. “The hard part about it is there is nothing I can do.”

Toumayan thanked all the veterinarians who have taken care of Charik since he was young, including Wignall Animal Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn and a retired veterinarian dentist, Dr. Laura LeVan, from Concord.

FBI debated release of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev photos at finish line

Suspect 2 is highlighted

BOSTON — FBI officials say they debated whether to release photos that led to the capture of a suspect in last year’s bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured hundreds of others.

Stephanie Douglas, executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Division, said in a “60 Minutes” interview aired Sunday that releasing images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  was the right thing to do even though an MIT police officer was killed soon after.

Watch report from show

Prosecutors say Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, killed officer Sean Collier while on the run.

Douglas says law enforcement “really had no choice” but to release the photos.

She says an argument against releasing the security camera images was that they could have provided an incentive for the still unidentified suspects to escape.

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Siblings running to keep Sean Collier’s legacy alive 

BOSTON — Rob Rogers and his sister, Jenn, hit the pavement training for a 26.2-mile emotional journey with their brother, Sean Collier, in their hearts and on their minds.

Watch the full report here

They’re the founders of Team Collier Strong, and the team is training for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

“Collier Strong to me means just to be the best person that you can, live life to the fullest, push through and enjoy the people who matter most to you,” said Rob Rogers.

Jenn Rogers spoke about the emotional toll Collier’s death has had on their family.

“We have some good days and some bad days. It’s hard when you come from such a huge family and you notice the weight of one missing, especially him,” she said.

Team Collier Strong was born in the wake of tragedy after MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed on April 18, 2013, allegedly at the hands of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

It’s the team’s mission to keep his legacy alive and to raise money to send one self-sponsored police recruit through the Lowell Police Academy each year. The team’s training runs bring them to the banks of the Charles River overlooking the city and close to the campus Collier loved and patrolled.

“I just want them to remember, remember his sacrifice, remember our family in their prayers,” Jenn Rogers said.

For some, the long runs are a way to cope and reflect.

Rob Rogers said he often thinks about his last conversation with his brother. When he heard about the bombs at the marathon finish line on Boylston Street he checked to see if Collier was OK.

“I just sent a text and said, ‘Are you cool?’ He said, ‘Yeah,’ and that was the last thing I said to him, and I think about what I would say now. Tell him I’m proud of him. I miss him. He was just the best guy, the best man, the best brother, the best son, he truly mean so much to so many people,” he said.

Collier always gave 100 percent and on marathon day Team Collier Strong will make him proud. The team’s rallying cry is, “How strong? Collier STRONG!” When Rob Rogers crosses the marathon finish line this year his words to his brother will be, “We did it buddy!”

All proceeds donated to Team Collier Strong’s marathon run will support the Sean Collier Self-Sponsorship Scholarship.

For more information, click here.

Paul Norden, Jacqui Webb to be married

STONEHAM, Mass. —Paul Norden, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, said his greatest fear was that his longtime girlfriend, Jacqui Webb, would not stick with him.

“Paul looked over at me and said ‘Mom, Jacqui isn’t going to want me with one leg,’” wrote his mother, Liz Norden, in remembering the moments after Paul woke up from a coma in the hospital.

Norden, 31, and his brother JP, 33, both of Stoneham, were at the finish line with friends waiting for another friend to finish the race when the first explosion went off. Both brothers lost a leg in the blast.

“I remember fighting back tears and feeling so awful for him and saying ‘Paul are you kidding me?’” Liz Norden said.

She was right.  Thursday night, Liz Norden shared the happy news that Paul and Jacqui, who also suffered shrapnel wounds in the blast, were engaged.

“Paul asked Jacqui to marry him tonight in front of a wedding themed Christmas tree!!!,” Liz Norden wrote in a Facebook post.

The proposal came after three months of planning by both families.

“I will be so PROUD to see my son WALK down the aisle with the girl of his dreams,” she wrote.

James Costello met Krista D’Agostino at Spaulding

Kristina D’Agostino holds her engagement ring in front of the carousel in Lyon, France

James Costello/Facebook

LYON, France —From heartbreak comes the heart-warming story of love in one man’s recovery from grievous injuries suffered in the Boston Marathon bombings.

“April 15 was one of the worst days of my life,” James Costello, of Malden, writes in a Facebook post. “I soon wondered why and for what reason this had happened.”

Eight months later, Costello would find the answer.

Costello, who was with friends near the Boston Marathon finish line, was captured in photos in the minutes after the bombings with his jeans shredded and blackened, his body so burned that he was left needing pig skin grafts on most of his right arm and right leg.

Three of Costello’s friends lost a leg, including brothers Paul Norden, 31, and J.P. Norden, 33. Other friends suffered serious burns and shrapnel injuries after the second bomb exploded outside Forum restaurant on Boylston Street.

But after about two weeks at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries and was among patients who met President Barack Obama, Costello was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

“A few days later I saw a nurse in passing, this would turn out to be Krista, who had shared a few mutual friends, but we had never crossed paths before,” Costello, known to his friends as “Bim,” wrote about nurse Krista D’Agostino.

“After sharing a handful of conversations I realized not only how beautiful she was but also what a kind heart she had. I somehow convinced her to attend a benefit with me, which turned into a few dates, which turned into a few inseparable months,” wrote Costello.

Photos:  Marathon victim engaged to hospital nurse

Costello and D’Agostino are spending part of December in Europe with other victims and first responders on an all-expenses-paid “Heroes Cruise.”

In the French city of Lyon, Costello popped the question.

“I’m happy to announce that we will spend the rest of our lives together. I now realized why I was involved in the tragedy. It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”

A Facebook photo of D’Agostino showing her engagement ring in front of Lyon’s famed carousel is a remarkable contrast to the images of Costello staggering away from the devastation on Boylston Street.

Boston Red Sox World Series Duck Boats Marathon Bombing


TV host criticizes way Red Sox honored Boston Marathon victims


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April 19, 2013 in the early hours of the morning I was in my living room working on my wii Fit since sleep wasn’t my friend. I kept noticing cars circling out in front of the house and noticed a car park across my driveway. Upon looking out the window, I noticed a number of FBI agents on the sidewalk and porch of my next door neighbor. At first I assumed something may have happened to one of the students because they are always partying too much and the police get called due to the noise level. Detectives have been in and out of the two student buildings on a regular basis during the night as well as the morning. So back to my story, after an hour passed and the agents were all still there, I was starting to get really nervous. Being that I was the only one in the house, I felt I had to wake my husband. I felt really bad since it was the Friday of the vacation week before the Monday return to school, and he was supposed to be able to sleep until 8am. Not this time, it was 7:15am when I leaned over and was desperately trying to wake him up to explain everything. Poor Joe was so tired, it took a few minutes before the information actually registered in his head. He had to have his coffee first before he could comprehend anything. Once that was done, he went outside to see what was going on. He returned shortly after to say that the FBI was questioning all the roommates with the Marathon Bombings. Our neighbor, Nadine Ascencao, apparently dated Tamerlan Tsarnaev for 3 years ending their relationship back in 2009 with a restraining order due to his abuse of her. I Didn’t learn this piece of information immediately. Joe was only told that their was a connection between a phone number found in either Nadine’s phone or Tamerlan’s, which opened the investigation. The pair of brothers were on the run and the FBI needed to exhaust any and all leads as to where they might be and what their connections are to others that may have helped them with the terrible events which occurred on Marathon Monday. By 9:15 am the FBI agents in a single line turned around to leave in the direction that they came in. They returned two more times that same day.

Throughout the day, we continued to try to stay updated on events as they occurred. We were all nervous that these brothers had been out there somewhere wanting to do only god knows what and to whom. We knew that the night before the brothers were cornered in Watertown after carjacking a car. The driver was smart enough to get away. The car itself ran out of gas. Gunfire erupted through the streets. Tamerlan was shot multiple times and ultimately died from those wounds. Dzhokhar, His younger brother frantically plowed over his corpse in his prompt get away. The search would continue for him into the night. By the early hours of the morning many streets had been shut down, others followed shortly afterwards. Many neighborhoods resembled ghost towns. Thankfully, residents were to scared to beckon their doorsteps. Who wants to live that way? No one. After killing 3 and wounding 206 completely innocent victims, it all ended on the residential streets underneath a boat where Dzhokhar finally surrendered. Sporting gun shot wounds among other things, he had hit a brick wall. No one left to guide him. He now has to answer for his crimes.

Dzhokhar lays in a state facility longing for earlier days. He’s lucky though, he has landed himself San Diego lawyer Judy Clark ( His parents are back home denying the guilt of both their sons. A mother who herself committed shoplifting prior to her return home to her country. Tamerlan’s wife has changed her last name hoping to erase her past with a killer.

For the residents of Brook street, news reporters still linger about hoping to bend the ear of Nadine, Tamerlan’s former girlfriend. Nadine recently shared her story ( outlining their destructive relationship which ended in 2009. Some reporters want to offer her an opportunity to clear her name proving that she had no knowledge or part in the horrific events on Marathon Monday. Others just want to hear more about what it was really like to be the girlfriend of a killer, and a terrorist.

When I go to bed at night now I wonder what I don’t know and what I should know about others that live here on such a quiet, family oriented street. Do you know who lives next door to you?


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