(Two years ago today the Boston Marathon bombing event occurred. Major media still maintain that at least 260 individuals suffered injuries as a result of the incident, most recently as the implied rationale behind the curious prosecution and conviction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the crime. This article originally appeared on May 11, 2013. Additional research and analysis of the Boston bombing is available here.-JFT)

Exactly how many people were injured as a result of the April 15 Boston Marathon Bombing (BMB)? An official tally from the Boston Public Health Commission puts the number at an incredible 282 injured and four killed, including MIT police officer Sean Collier. “Only two patients wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings remained in critical condition” on April 22, the Boston Globe reported, “but the count of injured people who were treated in area hospitals has risen sharply to 282, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That is far higher than the initial estimate of 170.”

According to the Globe,

The number rose because dozens of victims delayed seeking medical care for minor wounds or symptoms that they thought would go away on their own, said Nick Martin, a spokesman for the health commission. He said the latest data … show patients were seen at 27 hospitals in Greater Boston.

The threshold for allegedly having sustained a bomb-related injury is not high.

“One of the best examples is hearing issues,” Martin said. “People might have first thought their hearing problems would be temporary.” Instead, hearing loss or continuous ringing or buzzing in their ears remained. Others sought delayed care for minor shrapnel wounds.[1]

On the same day Reuters reported 264 people injured.[2] Each of the exorbitant figures trumpeted by these organs differs sharply with the tallies provided by the New York Times-owned Boston Globe and listed on the popular Globe-owned website Boston.com. Here one finds only 55 victims out of the purported 268 (Reuters) or 286 (City of Boston and Boston Globe) injured and deceased.

“This is a list of confirmed deceased and injured victims of the Marathon explosions and their aftermath,” the website reads.

“We will continue to update this list. If you have some information, please click here … If you would like to donate to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, please visit onefundboston.org.

The 55 victims listed on Boston.com are categorized below by name, age, hometown, injury description, and the news source where initial reportage of their injuries or deaths appeared.[3]

Name Age Hometown Injury News Source
Krystle Campbell 29 Arlington Fatal injury Boston.com
Martin William 8 Dorchester Fatal injury Boston.com
Lingzi Lu 23 China Fatal injury The Boston Globe
Sean Collier 26 Wilmington Fatal injury Boston.com
Sydney Corcoran 17 Lowell, Lowell High School Senior [sic] The Boston Globe
Richard H. Donohue Jr. 33 Woburn Severe injury Boston.com
Kaitlynn Cates 25 Boston Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Heather Abbott 38 Newport, R.I. Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Jeff Bauman Jr. 27 Chelmsford Severe leg injury [sic] The Boston Globe
Roseann Sdoia 45 Dracut Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
David Yepez 15 Andover Head and arm injuries The Boston Globe
Jarrod Clowery 35 Stoneham Hearing loss, leg injuries The Boston Globe
Aaron Hern 11 Martinez, Calif. Leg injury The Boston Globe
Remy Lawler 25 Amesbury Upper leg injuries The Boston Globe
JP Norden 31 Wakefield Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Paul Norden 33 Stoneham Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Beth Rothe 59 Highland, Ind. Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Marc Fucarile 34 Stoneham Severe leg, chest injuries The Boston Globe
Michelle Connolly 52 South Boston Head injuries The Boston Globe
Nicholas Yanni 32 Boston Temporary hearing loss The Boston Globe
Ascer Barlatier 35 Boston Wounded in chest and leg The Boston Globe
Jenny Chung Shrapnel wounds The Boston Globe
Dan Soleau 36 Hearing loss The Boston Globe
Unidentified female 9 Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Zhou Danling China Chinese student studying actuarial sciences [sic] The Boston Globe
Gillian Reny 17 Boston Senior at Buckingham Brown & Nichols School in Cambridge [sic] The Boston Globe
Marilyn Kight 63 Redding, Calif. Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Erika Brannock NA Towson, Md. Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Darrel Folkert 42 Redondo Beach, Calif. Leg injuries The Boston Globe
Unidentified male 5 No longer in critical condition, severe injuries, The Boston Globe
Celeste Corcoran, 47 Lowell, Sydney’s mother Severe leg injury The Boston Globe
Denise Richard Dorchester Severe upper body injury, Martin Richard’s mother [sic] The Boston Globe
Jane Richard 7 Dorchester Severe leg injury, Martin Richard’s sister [sic] The Boston Globe
Lee Ann Yanni 31 Severe leg injury Boston.com
John Odom NA Boston.com
J.P. Craven 24 Hingham Head injuries Boston.com
Patrick Downes 30 Cambridge, BC alumnus [sic] Severe leg injuries Boston.com
Jessica Downes 32 MGH nurse [sic] Severe leg injuries Boston.com
Brittany Loring 29 Ayer Boston College JD/MBA student Severe head, leg and arm injuries Boston College
Liza Cherney Boston College MBA student was a spectator [sic] Boston College
Jacqui Webb Severe leg injury Fundraising website
Ryan C. McMahon 33 Longmeadow Back and arm injuries MassLive
William White Bolton Severe leg injury Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Mary Jo White Bolton Hand injury Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Kevin White Bolton Moderate injuries [sic] Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Nicole Gross 31 Charlotte, N.C. Leg injuries Charlotte Observer
Michael Gross 38 Charlotte, N.C. Head injuries Charlotte Observer
Eric Whalley 65 Charlestown Severe head injury, other wounds Eagle-Tribune
Ann Whalley 65 Charlestown Severe flesh wounds Eagle-Tribune
Kevin Corcoran Lowell, Sydney’s father [sic] Minor injuries The Lowell Sun
Denise Spenard Manchester, N.H. Abdominal injury GreenwichTime.com
Victoria McGrath 20 Northeastern student Severe leg injuries Connecticut Post
Sarah Girouard, 20 Falmouth, Maine Injuries to lower extremities, received surgery Portland Press Herald
Michelle L’Heureux NA Quincy Severe arm and leg injuries Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal
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As indicated in the above table, The Boston Globe and Boston.com are responsible for the initial and in many cases only reportage on 37 of the 55 victims, with Boston.com otherwise referring readers to either Boston College’s website, eight local or regional newspapers’ sites, and in one instance a donation page, for information on the remaining 18 injured.

The 231 added to the overall City of Boston count of April 23 appear to be phantom victims who might have sought care for modest injuries in the week following the incident but for which no records have been made publicly available. Even Boston.com’s list of 55 has numerous informational gaps. For example, eleven of the 55 have no age recorded, an especially glaring oversight for medical authorities administering care, while five have no injury listed.

Boston.com provides an online form for victims to submit a description of their injuries and the hospital where they are being treated. When I contacted Boston Globe newsroom via telephone on May 11, 2013 to clarify why the injury list had not been updated in accord with the City of Boston’s figures, or whether entire names and injury descriptions might still remain unpublished, a reporter identifying herself as Mary Covlu [4] responded that the website “is just for people with serious injuries.” When I inquired whether “temporary hearing loss,” listed as the medical condition of 32-year old Nicholas Yanni of Boston could be considered a “serious injury,” the reporter expressed astonishment and could not respond.

Repeated email inquiries by Memory Hole to Boston Globe’s chief and associate editors asking whether the newspapers have obtained autopsies or death certificates for the four decedents remain unanswered.

If temporary hearing loss can indeed be counted as a demonstrable injury and the figures provided by Boston’s Commission on Public Health are comprised primarily of those complaining of such minor problems, then roughly eighty percent of the BMB-related injuries might be negligible.

The 248/286 figures stand in even greater contrast with the original injury count in the immediate wake of the BMB, which was reported as a much less sensational 23 injured and two deaths—figures in rough accord with the number of individuals whose images were recorded on CCTV and surveillance cameras involved in and around the initial blast that exhibited ostensible injuries.

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This estimate of injured also conforms with arguably excessive eyewitness accounts, such as those of Roupen Bastajian, an off-duty Rhode Island State Trooper who told the Associated Press that he just completed the race when he heard the first detonation. “I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” Bastajian recalls. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. … At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”

Early reports lend further credence to the event’s drill-like qualities, with acknowledgment from “a senior U.S. intelligence official” who said “on condition of anonymity” that “two other explosive devices found nearby were being dismantled.” According to the AP,

A third explosion was heard about an hour after the first two after authorities warned spectators to expect a loud noise from a water cannon that police apparently were using to destroy one of the devices.[5]

This account closely conforms with reports in alternative media outlets that drills were being carried out around the Marathon.

In sum, the photos, videos, stories and figures comprising the mediated BMB do not add up and suggest elements of a manufactured event. The inflated injury count provided by the City of Boston is not readily supported by existing visual documentation of the two bombings, where at most several dozen individuals may have been seriously impacted. Nor are the calculations supported by the information made publicly available through the primary news outlet reporting on the event.

The Boston Globe has played an inordinately powerful and arguably suspect role in framing the BMB narrative. The outlet’s distribution of information concerning victims—information that remains inconsistent or sorely lacking in important details–clearly diverges from the dubious and unusually high “official” casualty counts so heavily propagated in corporate media.


[1] Deborah Kotz, “Injury Toll From Marathon Bombing Rises,” Boston Globe, April 23, 2013.

[2] “Boston Officials Say 264 Injured in Boston Marathon,” Reuters, April 23, 2013.

[3] “Victims of the Marathon Bombings,” Boston.com, n.d. Accessed on May 11, 2013

[4] In a May 14 blog post, “FAU’s James Tracy’s Mistakenly Yells at Boston Globe Intern,” a New Times writer rightly notes that the Boston Globe employee’s name is Mary Pavlu, yet erroneously posits that Pavlu is an intern. At the conclusion of my May 11 early afternoon conversation, correctly recounted above, I asked for the spelling of Pavlu’s name and repeated the spelling of the last name to her–c-o-v-l-u–which she confirmed before we concluded our conversation. Pavlu identified herself as a Boston Globe reporter at the outset of our conversation and again midway through. Indeed, Pavlu’s Twitter profiles, @GlobeMaryPavlu, and @MaryPavlu both indicate that she is a Globe reporter, as do numerous Globe stories with Pavlu’s byline and job description.-JFT, 5-17-13.

[5] “RI State Trooper at Boston Marathon Says Blast Tore Limbs Off Dozens,” Associated Press/Providence Journal, April 15, 2013.

Professor James F. Tracy is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. James Tracy’s work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.

The article The Boston Marathon Bombing’s Inflated Injury Tallies published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics

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