UPDATE - VIDEO DOES NOT SHOW SUICIDE ATTEMPT
I wanted to be the first to admit we got it wrong. As stated in the original piece, we were skeptical of the official story that the suspect had attempted suicide in the boat, but it was this video that changed our minds. Then last night a military IR video analyst with 3 years of experience (thanks Rick), analyzed the video and explained the images and sequence in question. Look in comments on page 2 for his detailed analysis. It is a fascinating read.
This story hit the wires a few hour ago. It hasn't been confirmed at this point and is directly contradicted by statements from the Boston Police Chief. I'm sure we will hear more on this tomorrow. Police are going to have a hard time explaining why they riddled the boat with bullets if the suspect was in fact unarmed.
So that readers can see our original analysis, we are leaving it posted below.
We spent several hours today examining the police footage including showing it to a trained video analyst and professor at Indiana University.
PUT CLIP ON FULL SCREEN
Video Of Boston Bomber Suicide Attempt
Start watching at 2:40. Look for the thermal blood spot to appear behind his head at 2:55 after he puts the gun up to his head and pulls the trigger.
After hours of careful observation of the police infrared video, we believe the Boston suspect shoots himself at exactly 2:53 into this clip. He lifts his right hand and shoots himself in the right side of the neck or mouth. His body goes limp and his head falls back and to the left, with the thermal image of blood appearing behind him. Watch on full screen at 2:49 and you will see the gun is on the left side of his chest in his left hand. You will then see the the gun as he slides it over his chest to his right hand.
Watch the last 5 seconds again. At 2:54 there is no thermal spot. At 2:55 the thermal spot behind his head begins to appear. At 2:56 the thermal spot is quite visible. And at 2:57 it starts to grow as the blood spreads. You can stop the youtube video and go frame by frame within each second for more detail.
To the left of his head just above where his left ear would be, you will see a small circular thermal spot appear after the shot. This image only appears after he is seen raising his right hand to the right side of his neck to pull the trigger. As his head starts to fall towards the left and back, you will see the small round thermal spot appear. You will not see it any other time before that.
If you watch the last 5 seconds of the clip closely you see that the thermal blood spot actually spreads or grows in size. It decreases in intensity very slightly as the blood cools, but it also increases in size pretty noticeably as the blood spreads out.
Also, after the shot when his body goes limp, he leans back and the blood-thermal spot is still below and separate from his head, and growing. Watch it a few times. You will see the thermal image morph. That was one of our biggest clues it had to be a warm liquid of some sort. So the only possibilities were blood and vomit.
Scroll down for important photos.
Photo of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev walking away from the blast.
PHOTO - Suspect climbs out of the boat
PHOTO - Suspect in ambulance after capture
You can see the bullet exit wound above his left ear.
PHOTO - Boat where suspect hid from police
Photo showing massive blood spills and bullet holes in the side of the boat. For those who say he wasn't shot and bleeding when he got out of the boat, here's your proof that he was. Look closely at the step up on the trailer below.
All criticism should be confined to our analysis of the video.
Do not question our intent or motives. We seek the truth, and nothing else.
We are examining all facts objectively in this case. We generally criticize the government all day every day on this site. But we also seek the truth in every situation above all else. And that includes allegiance to any preconceived narratives about the bombing. We were one of the first to report on the presence of the Navy SEAL para-military security group 'The Craft' at the Boston Marathon. We profiled the college track coach who was alarmed by the police-training exercises and bomb-sniffing dogs. And we hammered the Boston Police Chief over the possibility of an advance bomb threat. Our coverage has been critical, but objective and fair in all cases.
And we correct our stories when we are wrong.