With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in custody, speculation has swirled about who might receive the $50,000 reward offered for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the people who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings.
Could it be David Henneberry, the Watertown resident who called 911 after spotting a body in the boat in his backyard? The body turned out to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Could the reward money go to “Danny,” the entrepreneur who was allegedly carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers and immediately called 911 after his escape — alerting police that his Mercedes could be tracked by the car’s built-in satellite system in his iPhone, which he had left in the vehicle?
Or is there some deserving marathongoer who gave a tip about suspicious people with backpacks? Or someone who recognized the Tsarnaev brothers from the surveillance photos released by the FBI?
But the Boston public safety unions that offered the reward say it’s premature to say who may ultimately wind up with the money because Tsarnaev has yet to be convicted and the FBI and police have yet to complete their investigation and release the full details of how they identified him.
“We have to do our diligence in distributing the reward, which requires us to wait until the federal authorities release exactly how the investigation unfolded,” said Edward Kelly, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, one of the five unions that co-sponsored the reward. “We would not want someone deserving of the reward [to] miss out.”
The head of another union that offered the reward said it should be clearer which tips — if any — were key to capturing the suspect, once the court case is wrapped up and investigators are freer to talk. The FBI has repeatedly said it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
“My guess is it will go to someone at some point,” said Gerry Sanfilippo, president of the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society. “We are certainly not looking to duck this at all.”
In Los Angeles Tuesday, police announced that three parties would split the $1 million reward for tips on rogue former cop Christopher Dorner. A judicial panel decided that most of the money, $800,000, will go to the couple who he tied up in their mountain cabin; the couple later broke free and called police.
Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, allegedly planted the two bombs that ripped through the crowds at the Marathon finish line on April 15. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured. Police say the brothers also assassinated an MIT police officer. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is facing federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a confrontation with police in Watertown on April 19 as the brothers tried to escape the area, police said. Police said they were subduing him after a shootout when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran him over in a desperate bid for freedom. The younger brother was captured later the same day in Watertown.