Fifty-nine year-old Mike Heiliger said that when he picked up his pre-race package in downtown Boston on Saturday April 13th, he observed a woman who was holding several bags telling other runners that they were going to die if they participated in the event:
“I was downtown on Saturday and you know, you see these people on the street and think it's just some nutbar,” he told The Chief from his Boston hotel on Monday. “It was a little creepy because you can identify who the runners are and I heard her say to this runner two feet away from me that, 'If you run tomorrow you're going to die.'”
At the time, Heiliger said he thought about telling the woman that the race was Monday, but decided not to correct her.
Heiliger was in the process of calling the police after his conversation with The Chief.
“I thought it was just a nut and maybe she was a nut but she was holding a couple of bags like she just got off a plane and was accosting runners on Saturday,” he said.
No details are given on the reaction he got from police when he contacted them. Of course, two days later, the two bombs exploded, extracting a toll of three dead and over 180 wounded. However, there is one additional significant development. CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reported on April 17th that authorities have identified at least one person they want to speak with, either as a witness or as a possible suspect, from surveillance video. The man sought as a possible suspect is a white male, wearing white baseball cap on backwards, a gray hoodie and a black jacket. The surveillance video taken at the Lord & Taylor store on Boylston Street indicates the man was placing a black bag at the second bomb site outside of the Forum restaurant on Boylston Street and then leaving the area before that explosion. The man also was on the phone at the second bomb site when the first bomb exploded.
CNN says there's also a second person of interest, described only as a man carrying a black backpack. CNN also provided a description of the explosive devices. One bomb was housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack; this device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings. The second bomb was in a metal container, but it was unclear whether it was in a pressure cooker as well. The pressure cooker story spawned a satirical piece published by the Pacovilla Corrections blog reporting that California lawmakers had filed bills which would require background checks on people purchasing pressure cookers as well as bills banning backpacks for all but public school students. A careful look at the Category listing under the post title includes the word SATIRE, but a few people didn't see that and were raising hell on Stormfront and AR15.com.
And finally, an Alaskan's gift to one of the Marathon runners went viral. Laura Wellington’s Facebook page, she was about half a mile from completing the marathon when the explosions at the finish line caused police to divert her away from the area. She was distraught when she found out the reason. An unidentified man who also ran in the race consoled her, giving her his medal. KTUU Channel 2 identifies this man as Sitka resident Brent Cunningham, who traveled to Boston with his wife and daughter after months of training to fulfill his lifelong dream of running the race.