Boston Marathon bombings

Boat where Boston suspect hid becomes macabre tourist attraction

Owner goes into hiding as visitors flock to see bullet-riddled vessel where suspect was found

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 April, 2013, 5:06am

A 30-year-old boat riddled with bullet holes and smeared with blood has become a major attraction as Boston recovers from the trauma of the deadly bomb attack on its marathon.

Freed from a police order to stay in their homes, people from Watertown and further away went to see where marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid and was caught.

They have been heading for Dave Henneberry's house on Franklin Street. Television crews from around the world, tourists and onlookers have been pressing against the yellow tape proclaiming "Police Line Do Not Cross" which bars access.

Henneberry has gone into hiding and the boat he is so proud of is being kept under wraps by police as they collect evidence against Tsarnaev.

Neighbour George Pizzuto said that Henneberry was "in shock" and "totally distraught" at the events of Friday night.

Henneberry left his house when police hunting Tsarnaev ended a stay-at-home order which affected hundreds of thousands of people in the Boston region.

"He looked and noticed something was off about his boat, so he got his ladder and he put his ladder up on the side of the boat and climbed up," Pizzuto said. "Then he saw blood on it, and he thought he saw what was a body laying in the boat. So he got out of the boat fast and called police."

Tsarnaev surrendered after a gun battle. The teenager accused of planting bombs which killed three people and wounded about 180 is now in hospital. His brother died in an another gun battle in a nearby street that has also become a macabre attraction.

Local television showed a picture of the boat with dozens of bullet holes and blood smeared on the side.

US police released thermal image pictures showing the wounded Tsarnaev, 19, who can be seen slumped on the bottom of the boat before his capture.

Dave Lawrence went to Boston from New York for a convention. "I just had to come here, " he said. "Dave Henneberry is a hero for what he did. I would like to shake his hand."

Watertown resident Greg Turner was out jogging and decided to divert to Franklin Street. "The bombs were already shocking. But what has happened here is unbelievable," he said. Other neighbours went out onto the street to tell their stories.

"We looked out the window and down in our driveway and realised there was a SWAT team in our driveway with their guns pointed," said Rebecca Heavey, whose home in Birch Road is at the back of Henneberry's.

"All of a sudden shots were fired and we just hit the ground and didn't know what was happening," she added.

"I looked out the window. I saw police on top of my car holding their guns over it taking cover behind it.

"Then the police officer saw us in the window and told us to grab our shoes and run, and so that's what we did. It was just terrifying."

Heavey had spoken with her mother by phone earlier saying how much she wanted Boston's nightmare to end.

She said: "To know he was hiding out here not even five hours later is just chilling and frightening. I still feel very shaky and weak."

Henneberry may be a hero but he is not happy about the damage to his prized boat.

"That boat's his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn't believe. And they told him it's all shot up," Pizzuto said. "He's going to be heartbroken."

A Facebook campaign has already been launched to help Henneberry buy a new boat.