Boston Marathon Bombing: what happened in attack featured in Netflix documentary American Manhunt?

American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing is a new Netflix true crime series that revisits the deadly Patriots' Day terror attack

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10 years on from the deadly Boston Marathon bombing and the major manhunt that followed, a new Netflix true crime documentary, American Manhunt, follows how those responsible for the terror attack were tracked down.

Tens of thousands of runners take part in the event every year, but when two bombs were detonated along the finish line at the event in 2013, the marathon became synonymous with tragedy.

The three-part series begins with the devastating attack itself, and the emergency response to the carnage as hundreds were wounded by two homemade bombs planted at the finish line.

The second episode sees the manhunt heat up as images of the suspects are released, and the terrorists take drastic action in an attempt to evade the authorities and continue their killing spree. The final episode follows the final standoff with the one remaining suspect and explores how the city of Boston recovered from the shocking attack.

This is what happened at the Boston Marathon bombing, and what became of the terrorist brothers involved in the terrible crime:

The Boston Marathon Bombing killed three peopleThe Boston Marathon Bombing killed three people
The Boston Marathon Bombing killed three people

What happened in the Boston Marathon bombing?

The Boston Marathon took place on Patriots' Day, 15 April 2013, a holiday celebrated by six US states which commemorates the early battles of the American Revolution. More than 25,000 runners took part in the marathon which starts in Hopkinton and ends in Boston.

At 2.49pm on the day of the marathon, two bombs were detonated at the finish line 14 seconds apart - at the time of the explosions, more than 5,000 runners were still taking part in the race.   

In the chaos following the blasts, runners continued to cross the finish line for almost 10 minutes. A major emergency response took place, with hundreds of injured people transported to dozens of local hospitals for treatment, nearby buildings were evacuated, a 15-block area around the site was closed off, and airspace over Boston was restricted over fears of further attacks.

A manhunt was launched to find those responsible for the attack which led to a shootout days after the bombing. The following year, in spite of the attack, the 2014 Boston Marathon saw a huge upsurge in participation, with more than 35,000 runners involved - it is the second-highest participation in the event’s history.

10 years on, the 127th Boston Marathon was run on 17 April with around 30,000 runners starting the race, showing that they would not bow to terror.

How many people died in the Boston Marathon bombing?

Three civilians were killed by the bombs and 281 people were treated for their injuries. Of those who received hospital treatment, at least 14 required amputations. Additionally, several others suffered traumatic amputations in the blast itself.

The Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombingThe Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing
The Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing

Who was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing?

Following an investigation aided by witness reports, a manhunt was launched to capture the Tsarnaev brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, a pair of Kyrgyz-American terrorists who had been seen at the site of the bombing walking away casually following the explosions.

After their images had been released in a public appeal for information, the brothers killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer before stealing a car and planning to travel to New York to bomb Times Square.

The brothers were tracked down to Watertown, less than 10 miles from Boston and a seven-minute shootout between police and the terrorists took place, in which more than 200 shots were fired.

Tamerlan was eventually detained by police, but Dzhokhar, thinking that the police were performing CPR on another officer, drove into him, causing his brother serious injuries. Dzhokar fled the scene and was later apprehended on a boat in Watertown. One police officer died from injuries sustained in the shootout in 2014. 

Tamerlan died of his injuries shortly after being taken into custody and Dzhokhar was convicted of 30 charges including carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing. He was sentenced to death - his sentence was later reversed by an appeals court but reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Tamerlan is currently incarcerated at ADX Florence, a maximum security federal prison in Colorado, which is also home to other infamous terrorists including ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid, and other members of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Tamerlan is confined to a cell 23 hours a day. His lawyers continue to issue appeals of his death sentence. 

When is American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing on TV?

American Manhunt is a three-part series - all episodes are available to watch now on Netflix. Episodes are between 50 and 62 minutes long.