New Documentary Examines Whether Boston Marathon Bombings Were Preventable

A book by Susan Zalkind, "The Waltham Murders," is set to be published in 2023

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What if the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon was preventable?

A new three-part docuseries set to premier on Labor Day on Hulu, "The Murders Before the Marathon," will examine the connection between the bombings and a triple homicide in Waltham in 2011 that remains unsolved -- a case which, if properly vetted, it's argued, could have taken one of the principles of the marathon bombings off the street.

The docuseries is the work of investigative journalist Susan Zalkind, who believes there's a common denominator between the killings: Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of convicted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was killed during a shootout with police in the aftermath of the bombing in April 2013. But the following month, a colleague of Tamerlan's, Ibragim Todashev, confessed to being with him during the triple murder in 2011 while in FBI custody in Orlando, Florida.

Zalkind, who was friends with one of the victims of the Waltham killings, examines the connection between the incidents -- and the chance that Tamerlan Tsarnaev -- an early suspect in the Waltham slayings -- "slipped through the fingers" of local law enforcement nearly 20 months before the marathon bombing.

"What happened at Waltham has just been a gaping hole in the story of the Boston Marathon bombing,” Zalkind told the Boston Globe. “My job was to fill that hole. This [series] is not an essay on policing. It’s not my lane to say how law enforcement should be held accountable, though I think there should be some form of accountability here.”

Zalkind has written extensively about both cases. She worked alongside director Jesse Sweet, a Massachusetts native, on the "Murders Before the Marathon" documentary. Sweet and Zalkind hope the Waltham case will finally get the attention it deserves, they told the Globe.

"I hope that some answers come out of this and that it puts pressure on law enforcement to take action,” Sweet told the Globe. “The families are owed some sort of closure that they haven’t gotten.”

A book by Zalkind, "The Waltham Murders," is set to be published in 2023.

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