Tsarnaev Carjacking Victim’s Escape Video a Microcosm of Why a Closer Look Is Warranted

Dun “Danny” Meng makes his escape from the Tsarnaev brothers.
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Dun “Danny” Meng makes his escape from the Tsarnaev brothers.

Dun “Danny” Meng makes his escape from the Tsarnaev brothers.

The video of Dun “Danny” Meng’s escape is a perfect microcosm of what is frustrating about the Boston bombing trial: It features cherry-picked evidence by the prosecution, inconsistencies with information that has been uncovered pre-trial and a defense that is solely interested in trying to avoid the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

As a result, the video ends up raising as many questions as it is supposed to answer and these questions are not being asked. What the jury saw is Meng’s daring escape from his SUV at a gas station in Cambridge.

It is reasonable to assume that the video’s main purpose is to show, indisputably, that the prosecution’s version of events happened exactly as they say it did.

They should even be given some license for attempting to dramatize things a little, as long as that first condition is met as much as possible.

However, what is represented in the video does not necessarily jibe with what the prosecution says happened.

The editing choices that were made have unnecessarily obscured and confused key details about just exactly how Meng’s escape played out (for a detailed discussion of the carjacking victim’s conflicting accounts of how he escaped, see here and here).

Thanks to this video, we can add another question to the list of confusion: Who was sitting where in the SUV?

***

Officially, by the time the Mercedes SUV can be seen pulling into the Shell station on the video in question, Tamerlan was driving, Danny was in the passenger seat, and Dzhokhar was sitting in the backseat.

In the video, we see the SUV pull up to one of the gas pumps and stop. Strangely, we see Dzhokhar emerge from behind the gas pump, obscuring the front passenger door before he makes his way into the store.

Strange because we were told he was sitting in the backseat. Yet we don’t see Dzhokhar get out of the rear door. Neither do we see him walk from the other side of the SUV.

Did they edit that out? Why?

Or did he climb over the carjacking victim’s lap to exit the front passenger door?

It’s of course possible that editing was done for the sake of time constraints, but if that’s the case, then why so much video of Dzhokhar wandering around the convenient store scratching his chin. Why not edit some of that out?

And why all the “cut to” scene editing? Again, it certainly adds to the drama, but it doesn’t give us an accurate portrayal of the most critical events and how they happened relative to time.

Why not let us see the camera trained on the SUV, for the entire time, so that we can see the whole sequence of events from one angle, uninterrupted? That particular portion could have been shown after all the cut and spliced scene changes.

And what happened to the timestamp? Was that edited out?

***

None of this is to suggest that Meng is not a victim. But real questions persist about his telling of exactly how he got away from the brothers. This video could’ve done a lot better in clearing some of that up.

Even a little cross-examination by the defense would have gone a long way in clearing some of the fog, but alas, Tsarnaev’s lawyers are focused on saving their client’s life, not ironing out inconsistencies.

For those of us that care to know the details, this stands as another frustrating example of the government opting for drama over substance like we’ve seen in this case since the start.

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31 responses to “Tsarnaev Carjacking Victim’s Escape Video a Microcosm of Why a Closer Look Is Warranted”

  1. Jm5150 says:

    There’s an obvious edit right before Jahar appears behind the pump: you see car lights approaching, SUV headlights and tail lights on, then sudden no more approaching car, and SUV head and tail lights are off. OBVIOUS cut.. why? WHO CARES. he got out of the back, went to the passenger window then went in the store. there was a witness to the entire thing.Danny. I’m extremely likely to believe anything he says as opposed to a bad film edit. It was cut, who cares. why try to cast doubt on an open and shut case? All the footage inside was to prove it was him beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  2. What about this Boston Globe article stating that the “mass casualty drill” was an annual event? April 21, 2008 in Boston dot com “Marathon as dry-run disaster” By Arnold Bogis
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/04/21/marathon_as_dry_run_disaster
    Excerpt: “TODAY thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators are unwittingly taking part in a planned disaster. Yet, they are not just safe from harm (except for the variety brought on by running 26.2 miles), they also are participants in an event that will make the citizens of Greater Boston safer in case of a natural catastrophe or terrorist attack. Primary responsibility for the health and well-being of both runners and spectators in Boston rests with Boston Emergency
    Medical Service (BEMS), along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Emergency Management Agency. According to BEMS chief Richard Serino, his department considers events like the marathon and the Fourth of July celebration as “planned disasters” – safe, controlled environments that present “an opportunity to test some things you would never want to
    test in a real disaster.”

  3. Lynn says:

    Unlike the Mobile station’s or Whole Food’s video, the cameras at the shell seem to show only 2 to 3 positions per second frame of the people moving in the film (sometimes 3-4 positions per second for the fleeing Danny). This accounts for the jerkiness of the video(s), but it doesn’t account for absence of someone opening the back door of the SUV, getting out, closing it and moving to the area behind the pump. If this action did occur, it would have to be the result of further editing. But one would have to wonder why the pros would edit the video, for any reason, in such a way that undermines their witness’s testimony.

  4. archer says:

    Is the defense just trying to save his life, or trying to help convict him. I find it hard to believe that the Johnny Cochin’s and F.Lee Baileys of the world would be so passive.

  5. ra wo says:

    Danny has a problem. In the police complaint he is hijacked at Third Street in Cambridge. In the indictment he is jacked at 60 Brighton Street in Boston. That’s miles away, on the other side of of the Charles River bridge. Not even close. So who is lying? This would be the easiest way for the defense to pull Dun Meng’s testimony apart. Is the FBI coaching his story to fit the circumstances? Also, as this site noted, in one version Tamerlan is in the driver’s seat fiddling with the GPS when Danny makes his brrak. In another both brothers are outside the car when he escapes. Ask Danny to reconcile these on cross. Danny may have been a victim but if he is lying about those things, he may also be lying about hearing Tamerlan confess.

    The defense here is almost criminally complicit in the railroading of this kid. They should know these questions will stay around long after the trial is over, like 9/11, and they will go down in history as the most corrupt lawyers ever, by not asking these obvious questions. They say they want to save DT from the death penalty. But the best way to do this is to cast doubt on the entire credibility of the government narrative. The jury will know that something was going on, but not what the government says.

    “Tsarnaev defense fails to ask hardest questions”
    http://warisacrime.org/content/tsarnaev-defense-fails-ask-hardest-questions

    Question which must be asked in Tsarnaev trial — Were they alone?
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/op-ed-question-which-must-be-asked-in-tsarnaev-trial-were-they-alone/article/428439

    “Tsarnaev Trial: Police Court Documents Contradict on Location of Carjack Victim”
    https://marathontrial.wordpress.com/

    • Lynn says:

      The defense could also bring up the fact that the intial reported location of the carjacking was at Richie’s Shell in Cambridge, which is on Cambridge Street at the corner of Windsor, about 10 blocks west of 3rd.

      On the Boston PD scanner, the Cambridge PD, who first responded to the Shell and the Mobile, calls Boston at 12:20:16 :

      00:16 [inaudible] over at Cambridge calling Central
      00:18 go ahead Cambridge
      00:20 – carjacking occurred at Ritchie’s Shell – 1001 Cambridge street, the victim fled the car at the Mobile on Memorial Drive.

      [dead air for 18 seconds]

      00:38 They have that, thank you Cambridge

      “They have that” sounds like it may have been first called in by the off-duty police officer who engaged Danny over the phone after the 911 call, then followed by on-the duty officer who responded to the Mobile. He was in court. The defense missed a chance to bring this up with him and Danny as well.

  6. Alan8 says:

    There are MANY unanswered questions about these events!

    Why is there no longer any discussion of the men in military garb photographed with similar backpacks in the crowd? Why did the FBI execute a key witness, then rush another witness out of the country, where they couldn’t be questioned?

    I smell a rat.

    • archer says:

      I feel the same way, I think more than one associate of the brothers was deported, and the killing of a friend by firing about 7 bullets into the victim has never been adequately explained. The men in Khakis carrying backpacks has all but been erased from the inquiry, Info wars had their pictures featured prominently for several days after the bombing and yet we don’t know who they were or what they were doing there.

  7. fredd says:

    so the brothers detonate a bomb that killed X amount of people supposedly killed a cop and left this dany guy alive after confessing to him killing the cop an the bomb?
    i would have killed him and stuffed his body in the trunk.this story stinks

  8. The Interrogator says:

    It’s just pathetic, but that DANNY is lying through his teeth. The truth is the truth, and individuals who lie ALWAYS have more than one version which is what he does. No doubt the FBI got to him to “change” his story.

    I can imagine, though! What if Tamerlan & Dzhokhar told him the TRUTH, and he is hiding it out of fear for his own life. What if Tamerlan & Dzhokhar said they were 100% innocent and Tamerlan may have spilled the beans about his involvement about the CIA, that he was just told to attend the Boston Marathon & didn’t know what would happen, and that his kid brother just came along that day and had nothing to do with what happened.

    The TRUTH has a funny way of “ringing true” to those who hear it. My bet is that Danny heard it but kept it to himself out of fear. He was not hurt nor was he stopped from leaving the vehicle. They had no intention of hurting him or anybody else that day from the looks of it all. Dzhokhar was in the store & probably saw his face pop up on the TV screen so quickly put the food on the counter & motioned he had to leave and left the food. He didn’t steal a thing. He didn’t threaten the employee with a gun. Nope, nothing. Furthermore, Tamerlan could have told him that they would drop his car off down the road, and leave his keys on the tire for him. Who knows but—

    THAT is what should have been pointed out to the jury!

  9. The Interrogator says:

    Yeh, that’s too bad. There is no reason on GOD’s green earth why Dzhokhar’s defense attorneys should be so silent and non-responsive. In fact, they SHOULD be asking all kinds of questions to get to the root of the truth about everything. Heck, I could do better than they could. Why bother “saving his life”? What kind of “life” would this young guy have anyway in a Super Max prison in a concrete cell with no contact inside or outside?

    No, why don’t they want to DEFEND Dzhokhar? They are so very wrong to take this stupid & villifying approach. If they don’t come to his defense, the jury will not see the truth as they should. So far, I am ashamed of these people who should NOT call themselves “lawyers”.

  10. JayGoldenBeach says:

    To my eyes, it looked like “Danny” exited the passenger side and bolted. He appeared to be initally between the vehicle and gas pumps before breaking into a run.

  11. Andrew Macgregor says:

    Boston Show Trial: The Opinion of an Attorney at Law

    A former law professor explains the backpacks of the accused were the wrong ones.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/03/24/boston-show-trial-the-opinion-of-an-attorney-at-law/

  12. Andrew Macgregor says:

    Just like the 9/11 Pentagon video. Outrageous in-your-face bullshit, now as then.

  13. John Cathy says:

    “None of this is to suggest that Meng is not a victim” What? Do you understand that the rules of evidence do not allow you to play an edited video to the jury because of time constraints, This is a fake. The only way an edited video gets to the jury is if the defense is completely incompetent, or they are in on it. That is the only 2 options.

    • Macon Richardson says:

      Thank you Mr. Cathy for pointing out this clear point of law. Edited tapes are not evidence unless stipulated to by all parties to the action. If the defense attorney were so incompetent as to allow them, the trial is void due to lack of competent counsel.

      In my estimation this was a show trial as trials in 1930s Soviet Union were called. One does not challenge it because the next show trial might be–yours.

      Darkness at noon!

  14. John Cathy says:

    Who took the video. custody of the tape.

    No questions. It comes into evidence by agreement of the attorneys.

  15. John Cathy says:

    ABC defense would be to look at the WHOLE tape, not edited versions, These are supposed to be the top defense attorneys in the country. A complete joke. Parts of videos strung together are not just played to a jury. they have to be authenticated.

    • JayGoldenBeach says:

      Clarke is mostly lauded for her skills in death penalty mitigation, a more narrow specialty in criminal defense. However, she may also be quite skilled at general criminal defense, e.g., establishing reasonable doubt to win an acquittal. If so, that option seemed to be off the menu back when he was recovering in the hospital.

  16. John Cathy says:

    The defense is not interested in avoiding the death penalty. That just allows them not to challenge the actual evidence that this happened the way they say. There has been no challenge to any of the facts.

    Just one off the top. He is armed with a BB gun. He is in a car and runs over his brother. The police have him surrounded. 200 plus rounds are discharged and he gets away. Can that possibly happen? This whole thing is total BS and the Defense is in on it. it can’t be anything else.

  17. OCCUPY FEARRINGTON says:

    After the FBI drill, and the bomb-sniffing dogs and the bombs going off, was the search for the “actors” in this practice session part of the written script? Since these FBI-Home Security-Craft Scripts are very detailed like a movie script, are these “actors” still doing what the script demanded, in the same way Oswald went to the movie theater to wait for the next scene in the JFK assassination script- drill?

    • oh_look says:

      It was all created by the Government to distract the masses with “it was a hoax” nonsense. That way they link the real issues and questions by those paying attention, such as the brother’s involvement (at least the older one) with government entities, with the silly “hoax” theory. Anyone spreading the hoax theory is really part of the psy-ops on this case, whether they are aware of it or not.

  18. sfulmer says:

    That is one strange video.

    Question: The image at the top of this webpage, captioned with “Dun “Danny” Meng makes his escape from the Tsarnaev brothers.” does not match anything from the video. From where was that image taken? It’s clearly not the same store.

  19. Ralph Hornsby says:

    His car keys are dangling out of his pocket. Did he give Tamerlan his spare, or was this filmed on a different day? Notice all the evidence videos the brothers are wearing same clothes. Like they were all made on the same day. The marathon, the gym, the ATM, the gun range. And the paper trail of receipts. The brothers only keep receipts that link them to bombing. No other receipts. Who are they waiting for to reimburse them? And how many people cruise around town with their college course schedule from 5 years ago and their high school diploma? And no evidence at all on Tamerlan’s cell phone or computer admitted.

    • JayGoldenBeach says:

      J. Edna Hoover’s G-men have learned they don’t have to work too hard to convince gullible Americans. They are like zoo animals that await their meals delivered to them and have forgotten how to hunt prey for food.

    • nygrump says:

      I think they’ve even forgotten what it means when the little door opens and the tray slides in – they need someone to put the food on a fork and chew it for them and THEN place it in their mouths.

  20. oh_look says:

    So happy you are talking about this strange video they are using as evidence. There is a guy at Twitter, who seems like a truth seeker who thinks (just an opinion) that maybe Meng had a more important role as in the brother’s “handler”.

    Also, Meng graduated from Northeastern U, a university that seems to keep popping up in this case. There’s been 3 professors from Northeastern, including Meng’s so-called “adviser” who have been calling this young man guilty even before the trial started, including a Journalism professor who was on a tv show openly stating Tsarnaev’s guilt.

    • Ralph Hornsby says:

      His professor handler was there in the second row on day of Danny’s testimony.

    • Doomsday Diva says:

      There are a couple of interesting facts about NEU. Firstly, BPD recruits actors for drills from the police academy and Northeastern. Then there’s the Security research facility at Northeastern which is subsidsed and overseen by the DHS….

    • oh_look says:

      That this is a “hoax” according to some people, is part of the Psy-ops. By spreading the disinformation that it’s a hoax, people are simply playing into the hand of the prosecution and those who are behind this crime. Those that spread the disinformation were the law enforcement people themselves.