As we’ve all seen and heard, the Tsarnaev trial has been chock full of horrifying testimony and agonizing, gut-wrenching stories. It’s been a difficult trial to follow and the testimony regarding MIT Officer Collier’s murder was no different when it resounded throughout the courtroom. On April 18, 2013, Collier was found in his police cruiser with multiple gunshot wounds to the head. He lay dying as his blood pooled around him. Ultimately, medics could not save Officer Collier and on April 8, 2015, Jahar Tsarnaev was found guilty of taking his life.
But what happened after the police arrived on scene and found Collier? First of all, Cambridge police had already received a 911 call from someone in the Koch Institute, the building adjacent to Collier’s cruiser, complaining of “loud noises” and something that sounded like large trash can lids being banged together. Yet, when this case went to trial and the prosecution hauled in their witnesses, the resounding answer on the stand was that no witnesses to Collier’s murder were found that night. Here are some tweets from Day 6 of trial during the testimony of Detective Grassi of the Cambridge Police Department:
So how many witnesses did they have from that night? Right, zero. But in October, 2013, Watertown Chief Ed Deveau spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service and had something very different to say.
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Did he just say, “One of my officers had to transport a Watertown resident over to Cambridge that was a witness to Sean Collier’s murder?” Yeah. That just happened. Well, in October, 2013 it did. I know what ya’ll are thinking—he’s talking about the guy who rode his bike by the Collier murder scene and testified to it in court. Nathan Harman. But Harman gave the MIT newspaper, The Tech, an interview after which they posted it to their online edition which stated:
“Harman’s interest was piqued the next day when he saw a news article about the murder. “Once I knew it was on that corner, at around that time, then the memory sparked,” Harman told The Tech. “I had seen this person leaning into the car,” he said.
Having made the connection, Harman realized what an unlikely position he was in and conveyed his shock to his friends.
A few days after the shooting, MIT’s police department sent out an email asking for anyone who may have information to come forward. Harman left a message, and MIT Police got back to him quickly — the fact that he had mentioned riding his bike past the scene had caught their attention.”
So who is this mystery witness that left the MIT campus after witnessing Officer Sean Collier’s murder, headed to Watertown and then apparently called the Watertown police? No worries. We won’t get any answers. Don’t even think about dwelling on this.