Boston Marathon Bombing

The Witness series brings together the men and women of  Law Enforcement who were instrumental in landmark events in American history. For information about upcoming programs please visit the Museums Events pages.



On April 15, 2013, two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon shook the United States and changed the lives everyone involved. The National Law Enforcement Museum hosted a panel discussion on the investigation which ultimately identified and captured the two perpetrators. Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office Richard DesLauriers joined US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz and Sergeant John MacLellan of the Watertown (MA) Police Department to speak about their experiences around the bombing. Ortiz remembered, “news of the explosions just spread like wildfire.” A joint task force was quickly pulled together, and the FBI was named as the lead agency. DesLaurier recalled the amount of photographic and video evidence that came in was “overwhelming,” but by focusing on videos of the finish line at Boylston Street, they were able to spot the Tsarnaev brothers. The brothers were confronted by law enforcement in Watertown, Massachusetts. Sgt. MacLellan said, “This was something you couldn’t train for in our department. It was more like a war zone than a street fight.”


This program was generously sponsored by Target