Remarkable in Boston

Procedural crime dramas have been dominating the Nielsen ratings for years, but none of them could compete with the compelling real life coverage late Thursday and Friday of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The FBI?and Boston Police released images of the two suspects on Wednesday, after combing through terabytes of digital images to identify those who left the homemade bombs in the crowd. It wasn’t long before the suspects were identified as a pair of brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Chechnyan natives who have been living in the country more than a decade. It forced the brothers into flight. They robbed a 7-11, had a shootout with MIT campus police, killing one, carjacked an SUV, and led police on a high-speed chase, throwing explosives out of the car along the way. When Tamarlan was killed in a shootout with police, the manhunt for Dzhokhar on Friday drew the nations attention.

When he was captured Friday evening and taken alive, it capped a remarkable, unprecedented manhunt that shut down a major city and mobilized thousands of police.

The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody alive is even more amazing. It gives authorities a chance now to prosecute, to hear firsthand the motives for this dreadful terrorist attack, and to find out of the brothers were acting alone or as part of some larger conspiracy.

Congratulations to all the law enforcement agencies involved.