Although it’s been almost over a week since the carnage of the Boston Marathon Bombings and the related manhunt and shootout came to a close, but there are still a lot more questions than answers about what happened and why.
A new report from Boston.com, though, has filled in some of the blanks in regards to the three hours on April 18th in which the Tsarnaev brothers carjacked a Mercedes driven by a 26-year-old Chinese man… and it looks like an iPhone app helped save his life.
It was around 11 p.m. last Tursday when Danny, a 26 year old Chinese entrepreneur driving his leased Mercedes down Brighton Avenue — was accosted by a man in dark clothes who put his hand through the window, unlocked the door, pointed a handgun at Danny and told him, “Don’t be stupid. I’m the guy who did the Boston Marathon Bombings, and I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.”
For the next three hours, until he managed to make a daring escape at a Shell Station, Danny drove the two Tsarnaev brothers around, in terror for his life.
According to the Metro Desk report, though, one of Danny’s closest shaves came when his roommate texted him in Chinese on his iPhone, wondering where he was.
Suddenly, Danny’s iPhone buzzed. A text from his roommate, wondering in Chinese where he was. Barking at Danny for instructions, Tamerlan used an English-to-Chinese app to text a clunky reply. “I am sick. I am sleeping in a friend’s place tonight.” In a moment, another text, then a call. No one answered. Seconds later, the phone rang again.
“If you say a single word in Chinese, I will kill you right now,” Tamerlan said. Danny understood. His roommate’s boyfriend was on the other end, speaking Mandarin. “I’m sleeping in my friend’s home tonight,” Danny replied in English. “I have to go.”
“Good boy,” Tamerlan said. “Good job.”
It’s a small detail, and probably doesn’t count for much in the grand scheme of things, but who knows how Danny’s car ride with the Tsarnaev brothers would have panned out if he hadn’t had an iPhone on him, or if that free English-to-Chinese app hadn’t happened to be installed on his phone? Every story — even a tragedy like this one — is filled with a thousand different variables, and sometimes, an iPhone and a free translation app are two of them.