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Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families.The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and ’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.

On the other hand, there were a million skinny kids with vaguely ethnic features and light-gray hoodies in the Boston area, and half the city was probably thinking they recognized the suspect.

Payack, who'd been near the marathon finish line on the day of the bombing and had lost half of his hearing from the blast, had hardly slept in four days. Later that morning, he received a telephone call from his son. "Dad, that's Jahar." "I felt like a bullet went through my heart," the coach recalls.

"To think that a kid we mentored and loved like a son could have been responsible for all this death. It was like an alternative reality." People in Cambridge thought of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – "Jahar" to his friends – as a beautiful, tousle-haired boy with a gentle demeanor, soulful brown eyes and the kind of shy, laid-back manner that "made him that dude you could always just vibe with," one friend says.

He had been a captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin wrestling team for two years and a promising student.

Yet none did until that hazy afternoon of April 15th, 2013, when two pressure-cooker­ bombs exploded near the marathon finish line on Boylston Street, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy.

Last modified 17-Jan-2016 11:22