What was supposed to be a peaceful day and a day of triumph for fitness advocates and running enthusiasts turned into a day of horror in a blink of an eye. Two bombs exploded within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon held on April 15, 2013. Three people were killed in the bombings, including an 8 year old boy, a Chinese graduate student of Boston University and a 29 year old restaurant manager. Many more were injured in the bombing; some had to undergo leg amputations.

At first there were no clues as to who were the masterminds of this gruesome plot. The online community was alive with speculations of possible suspects. Photographs of men carrying backpacks and other suspicious looking people were circulated on social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter, online forums, and other websites. These efforts turned out to be futile however, an act that was regretted by those who participated in the online manhunt. The clue that led to the arrest of the perpetrators was video surveillance footage, and the testimony of the survivors.

The FBI then released photographs of the two suspects identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers who were originally from the Russian region of Chechnya. The whole area of Boston was locked out in the subsequent manhunt, even declaring the area as a no-fly zone. The bothers were eventually located and in the ensuing gunfight, one of the brothers died from multiple gunshot and abrasive wounds, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The two brothers were found to be secret followers of a radical brand of Islam. Their friends and relatives were in total shock as to how they could have done such a horrible deed.

Without video surveillance the FBI, Police and the CIA would have gone on for months or even years searching for suspects, and they may even have never found the perpetrators. In this day and age the world demands swift justice, as evidenced by the large number of online users who wished to participate in the identification of suspects. This is a dangerous exercise that should not be done by amateurs and those with no formal training in the art of investigation. The lives of innocent men can be ruined if they are wrongly accused by many who think they caught the “bad guy”. Police and federal investigations are never easy however in this case they did a great job identifying the perpetrators in the Boston marathon bombings so quickly.  Praise to those involved in the manhunt and sympathy for those harmed.