Two backpacks left at finish line

by Ryan Catalani / Beacon Staff • April 17, 2014

Exactly one year after two backpacks filled with pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, two backpacks were again left unattended near the finish line. Within hours, police detonated both bags for “precautionary reasons.” NECN’s general manager, Mike St. Peter, later said one of the bags belonged to an NECN news crew. The other backpack was apparently placed purposefully; the main suspect, Kevin Edson, who was seen walking down the street barefoot and yelling “Boston Strong,” claimed he was attempting some sort of performance art, according to The Boston Globe. Police said he told officers at the scene that his backpack contained a rice cooker, and specialists later determined there were no explosive contents. Edson, 25, was charged with several counts on Wednesday, including possession of a hoax explosive and threats to commit a crime. His family released a statement saying they were “emotionally overwhelmed,” and that Edson has been diagnosed with mental illnesses. “What is NOT strong,” said the statement, “is the mental health system in Boston, our state, our country, and the world.”