With the release of Netflix’s American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing, the events of April 15, 2013, are once again in the public eye. The series chronicles the manhunt that ensued after the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured hundreds more. One of the most dramatic moments of the manhunt was when law enforcement officers discovered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts. The owner of that boat was David Henneberry, a Watertown resident who passed away in September 2017 at the age of 70.
Who was David Henneberry?
Henneberry was an unassuming man who worked as a self-employed plumber. He lived in the same house in Watertown for over 40 years and was known as a friendly and helpful neighbor. On the night of April 18, 2013, he had gone to bed early, as he had an early morning appointment the next day. However, when he heard that police were conducting a manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in his neighborhood, he couldn’t sleep. He went outside to have a cigarette and noticed that the tarp covering his boat had been disturbed.
— Trends Zone (@Trends_Zone) September 30, 2017
At first, Henneberry thought it might be the wind, but then he noticed blood on the boat’s exterior. He realized that someone might be hiding inside and called the police. Law enforcement officers responded quickly and surrounded the house. They used thermal imaging technology to confirm that there was a person inside the boat and then engaged in a standoff that lasted several hours. Finally, they were able to apprehend Tsarnaev, who was hiding inside the boat.
Henneberry became a hero to many Americans, who were grateful for his help in bringing the Boston Marathon bomber to justice. He was praised by law enforcement officials and even met President Barack Obama, who thanked him for his bravery. Henneberry, however, was modest about his role in the manhunt. He told reporters that he was just doing what he thought was right and that he was glad he could help in some small way.
David Henneberry says of the boat: "I say it did its job. It held a bad guy and is going away like a Viking ship." Love this guy.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) April 24, 2013
After the manhunt, Henneberry received numerous offers to buy his boat, which had become a symbol of the Boston Marathon bombings. He declined all the offers and instead had the boat repaired and returned to his backyard. He said that he wanted to continue to use the boat for fishing and that he didn’t want to profit from a tragedy.
In the years following the Boston Marathon bombings, Henneberry continued to live a quiet life in Watertown. He enjoyed spending time with his family and his dog, Suzie. He passed away in September 2017, leaving behind a legacy of bravery and selflessness. Although he is no longer with us, his actions on that fateful night in April 2013 will be remembered as a shining example of how ordinary Americans can rise to the occasion in times of crisis.