Our View: ‘We got him’

Posted: April 22, 2013

In the finest tradition of legendary Beantown saloon-keeper Michael McGreevy, who ended barroom disputes at his Boylston Street watering hole with the words “Nuf ced” (Enough said), Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was decidedly terse — and perhaps uncharacteristically economical in his verbiage — after a swarm of police and law-enforcement officials apprehended Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspected Boston Marathon bomber, on Friday night.

“We got him,” Mr. Menino said — three simple words, and all that was necessary for a city to breathe easier.

Entire books, rich in minutia, will be devoted to these five days in Boston’s storied and tumultuous history, but the immediate afterglow, with dribs-and-drabs knowledge accumulated on the fly, speaks to the persistence and serendipity that often are the hallmarks of police investigations.

Look at it this way: The explosions that claimed the lives of three people and injured more than 170 others took place Monday afternoon at 2:50. By Friday night, two suspects in the bombings had been identified and brought to justice — one dead, the other seriously hurt. For many Bostonians, those five days seemed an eternity; in truth, barely more than 100 hours had passed.

Those of us blessedly removed from the tension that gripped Boston can only marvel at how quickly the suspects were run to ground once photos of the two were released. We marvel, too, at the way a “capture net” fell over metropolitan Boston after the younger Mr. Tsarnaev evaded capture following the prolonged chase and shootout with police Thursday night in which his brother Tamerlan sustained mortal wounds.

And still, despite the unflagging police work that followed, it took the discerning eye of a Watertown resident, who noticed a flapping tarp on a boat whose hatches had been securely battened, to bring this manhunt to a conclusion.

It all goes to show that dogged determination, when coupled with sublime serendipity, can yield desired results. “Nuf ced.”