Tamerlan Tsarnaev wanted to be an American citizen so badly, he killed for it. Maximum Harm is a three-year investigation into the roll of the CIA and FBI in the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon attacks. Slated to beacon a documentary series.
Best-selling author, Emmy-nominated investigative journalist, and award-winning columnist.
A veteran investigative journalist, she is the best-selling author of six true crime titles: Maximum Harm; A Professor's Rage, A Date With Death, Heartless — The True Story of Neil Entwistle
and the Brutal Murder of His Wife and Baby,
When Evil Rules, and A Mob Story. She is a Boston based investigative producer for the ABC News Ross Investigative Unit and a contribtor to Newsweek, Boston and other national magazines. She lives in East Boston.
Listen to Michele McPhee's Podcast on WBUR in Boston discussing the 'Unanswered Questions About Tamerlan Tsarnaev' HERE
What Critic's Are Saying:
"No single reporter has covered the Boston bombing as thoroughly as Michele McPhee. She knows Boston—its streets, its cops and its corridors of power. Maximum Harm is riveting—a tribute to the first responders, and, even more startling, a troubling expose of the FBI's botched handling of the Tsarnaev brothers. You may think you know this story, but until you read this book, you don't."
—T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Where the Bodies Were Buried and The Westies
“Michele McPhee’s 'MAXIMUM HARM’ is a riveting and eye-opening page turner that takes you into the real world of international terrorism, the difficulties for local, state and federal law enforcement; and the reality that the attack isn’t if, but when; and raises the question: Are we prepared?”
-Bernard B. Kerik, Police Commissioner (Retired) City of of New York
“On a routine gorgeous Spring Day, terror strikes Boston again. Similar to tragic events of the past, every person remembers what they were doing when the cowardly terrorists struck the symbolic event of the Boston Marathon. As she has done with her previous writings, author Michele McPhee nails it. Happiness, fear, tragedy, anger, heroism, hope are all on display in this riveting new book about terror in Boston. A must read, so we never forget and learn from the lessons of that historic day."
-- Former Massachusetts US Senator Scott Brown, author of Against All Odds: My Life of Hard Times, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances.
“In Maximum Harm, Michele McPhee uncovers shocking new truths about the Boston Marathon Bombers and those in government, law enforcement and inside their own community who gave them free reign to plot and execute one of the most vicious terror attacks ever carried out on American soil. This book will grab you, shake you and will not let you go!"
—Casey Sherman, New York Times bestselling author of The Finest Hours and Boston Strong
“While the government quietly closed their case against the lone terrorist brought to trial in the Boston marathon bombing, Michele McPhee continued to work behind the scenes developing investigative leads through her cadre of sources. Maximum Harm is the latest example of McPhee’s investigative excellence and exposes many of the details kept secret from the public, leaving the reader questioning if justice was truly served.
—Thomas Pasquarello, former Somerville, MA Police Chief and retired Special Agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
Investigative reporter Michele McPhee digs deeper than anyone else and rewrites the Boston Marathon bombing narrative. This isn't some crackpot conspiracy story but an extraordinary piece of fact-based journalism. McPhee names names and reveals official documents not made public before. Federal prosecutors acknowledged the Tsarnaev brothers lacked the skills and materials to make the explosives. So who did and why didn't the Feds go after the bomb maker? Senator Grassley wrote to the FBI asking if the bureau tried to recruit Tamerlane and "if not, why not?" McPhee has done her work, now it's time for Congress to reopen the Marathon bombing investigation.
-- Bruce Gellerman Senior Correspondent and Investigative Reporter WBUR Boston
“The journalistic integrity and investigative skills of Michele R. McPhee have once again proven to be a rare commodity. Her reporting in Maximum Harm clearly proves the government at best lied or covered up, at worse falsified, the facts of a terrorist attack on American soil. Yet McPhee not only dug up the truth through her innumerable law enforcement sources, she exploited the fact that justice has yet to be served. A great read for those of us who are fascinated with the truth.”
-- Jerry Flynn, Executive Director New England Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, retired Lowell, MA police officer
“Michele, like all great investigators, well understands one of the keys to unraveling a major case is the ability to recover unseen and seemingly irretrievable facts through the use of well placed sources. Michele's tenacious investigative acumen and virtuous reporting, on display for years in New York City and Boston, have culminated in a thoroughly engrossing account of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the in-depth investigation which followed. Michele's chronicling of the staggering details surrounding this act of terror is light years ahead of the standard Hollywood crime drama and what she has uncovered is truly fascinating.”
-- Sean Foley retired NYPD detective first grade
"As a US army Green Beret, I've spent most of my adult life on foreign soil fighting Islamist Violent Extremists in the war on terror. Now these radical jihadists have come to America. Michelle McPhee chronicles the arrival of this dark terror capability in her book, "Maximum Harm." Our nation's leaders would do well to wise up and pay attention to the lessons Michele teaches us about the Boston bombing and the serious gaps in intelligence and law-enforcement collaboration. Time is not on our side, but Michele McPhee sure is!"
-Scott Mann Former Green Beret and Author of the #1 International Best Seller, Game Changers; Going Local to Defeat Violent Extremists
If you're from Boston, April 15, 2013 is a day you will never, ever forget. So it's only fitting that one of our own would write a book about it. Investigative Reporter Michele McPhee is that person and her groundbreaking book is Maximum Harm. What you will learn will infuriate you and just might break your heart all over again, but we all owe it to ourselves to find out. Thank you, Michele for being a seeker of the truth.
-Candy O'Terry, 2015-2016 Massachusetts Broadcaster of the Year, Co-Founder & President, Boston Women in Media & Entertainment.
'Maximum Harm' in the Press:
The Boston Globe: HERE
FOX 25 Boston: HERE
My Daily News: HERE
Huffington Post: HERE
NY Journal of Books: HERE
The Somerville News: HERE
The Observer: HERE
Project Muse: HERE
Check out the pictures from our 'Maximum Harm' book release Party: FULL GALLERY HERE
By Dianna Dilworth on January 5, 2015
Author/ABC News producer Michele McPhee has landed a book deal with for World English rights with University Press of New England for a new book which will explore the Boston Marathon bombing.
McPhee covered the event and the court proceedings of the accused bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and will also attend his trial which begins today. Maximum Harm will examine the family history of the accused bomber brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’; the dangers of Islamic extremism, as well as the role U.S. intelligence played in the bombing.
Stephen P. Hull was the acquiring editor. Sharlene Martin represented McPhee.
A portion of the book sales will be donated to the Martin Richard Foundation, which honors an 8-year-old boy who was killed on that tragic day.
By Caleb Nelson Thursday, February 26, 2015
It began with the Steak Tips Massacre. 1995, four men dead, one wounded, an argument that escalated into a gunfight at the 99 Restaurant in Charlestown landed Michele McPhee at New York Daily News.
“I worked at The Mass Media, when I first started,” McPhee said. “That was my very first job, in journalism, and loved it.”
As a student at UMass Boston McPhee got a six-month writing co-op at the Boston Globe, which she was able to extend by commandeering a disused desk in their newsroom, and writing incessantly.
“I urge everyone at UMass, especially people who are in journalism, to write. Write often. Write for free,” McPhee said. Read More
Beatrice Munyenyezi claimed she was a refugee from the Rwandan genocide. Federal agent Brian Andersen suspected she was someone far more sinister.
Howe Street on the east side of Manchester, New Hampshire, is part of a tight-knit community of working-class families where neighbors commonly show up unannounced for a favor. So nothing seemed unusual to LoriAnn Silver when her new next-door neighbor walked onto her porch in the summer of 2004 and pressed the buzzer.
The woman at the door wore an African caftan, braided hair extensions, and a friendly smile. “I’m Bea,’’ she said. In a mix of French, Kinyarwandan, and American accents, she explained that she’d just moved into the adjacent home, a three-bedroom ranch with a fenced-in backyard and an above-ground swimming pool that was perfect for her three young daughters: Charlene, then 11, and twins Simbi and Saro, 10. The pool, however, was giving her trouble. LoriAnn happily sent her husband, Scott, over to help. Read More
A federal appeals court calls the story of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s role in the Rwandan genocide ‘bone chilling.’
By Michele McPhee March 27, 2015
Following a Boston magazine investigation into the case of fraudster Beatrice Munyenyezi, a federal appeals court upheld her 10-year prison sentence, calling testimony in the case of the Rwandan native who lied to immigration officials about her involvement in the 1994 genocide “a bone-chilling read.”
In a harshly worded ruling, the First Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Munyenyezi’s conviction was justified, writing, “A rational jury could conclude that Munyenyezi lied on her [immigration form]—using “no” answers to hide her Interahamwe membership, her role in persecuting Tutsis, and her penchant for peddling untruths to get into America.” Read More
Defense Attorneys For Accused Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Have Publicly Blamed His Older Brother Tamerlan's "Corrupting Influence" In Connection with the 2013 Attack. But What About His Mama?
A Look Into The Women Tsarnaeva - By Michele McPhee
October 16, 2014
“Regardless of how much good you do for evil, it is still evil,” Ruslan Tsarni snarls over the phone. ”That’s these Tsarnaev bastards, these evil pieces of shit.”
Tsarni can’t control himself. Ask the Maryland attorney about his brother’s kids, accused Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and their sisters, Bella and Ailina, and a rage consumes him, which usually leads to a loud, profane rant, most of it aimed at the family matriarch, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. “If I saw her now,” Tsarni says. “I would simply smash her face.” Read More
November 29, 2014
On the night of the Boston Marathon attacks, Tamerlan Tsarnaev watched his handiwork on television—and laughed.
It was the evening of April 15, 2013, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a happy man. At a messy, third-floor apartment on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, the 26-year-old was in his living room alongside his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, watching the news on TV. Nearly every channel was running nonstop coverage of the chaos and carnage on Boylston Street: the smoke, the screaming, the severed limbs scattered in the street. Blood was everywhere. In the apartment, a laptop streaming CNN also played the endless chaos and heroic rescue efforts. Spectators used their belts, shirts, and shoelaces as tourniquets to tie off the mangled limbs of strangers; doctors who ran the marathon sprinted to operating rooms; former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi carried an injured woman to safety. Read More
"There is a sacredness in tears....They are the messengers of overwhelming grief... and of unspeakable love."
That unspeakable love was epitomized in our city this week by the firefighters from around the world who came to honor the ultimate sacrifice made by Lt. Ed Walsh and FF Mike Kennedy. There is no city like Boston in the world, and the men of Ladder 15/Engine 33 truly epitomized the phrase Boston Strong as they said goodbye to their brothers this week.
One veteran Boston firefighter said the blaze that claimed the lives of two brave men was the worst he’d seen in 30 years. But will investigators bring charges?
The run came in at 2:43 p.m. on March 26, just as a dark cloud of smoke began to rise over the Back Bay. It was a nasty day—16 degrees and with gusts whipping off the Charles River at up to 50 miles per hour. A fire had started on Beacon Street near Exeter and now the wind was pushing the smoke across the neighborhood, darkening the area. Read more
A new image shows the bullet-riddled anti-American rant allegedly scrawled by suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the inside wall of a boat as he hid from a police manhunt last year.
“The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians, but most of you already know that… I can’t stand to see such [bullet hole] go unpunished,” says the handwriting captured in the image obtained by ABC News from a law enforcement official in Massachusetts. “We Muslims are one body. You kill one of us, you hurt [bullet hole] us all.” Read More
The handgun used by one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers in a violent firefight with police and to allegedly murder an MIT police officer was given to the Tsarnaev brothers by a local alleged heroin dealer who was taken into custody late Monday, several law enforcement sources told ABC News. Read More
Months before the 2013 terror attack on the Boston Marathon, accused bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed in front of a black flag often associated with jihad with a fellow worshiper at a Boston-area mosque, according to an FBI report obtained by ABC News.
The FBI report, which did not include the photo, describes Tsarnaev and his friend Khairullozhon Matanov as “seated in front of a black flag with a sword and a shadada phrase,” referring to the Muslim statement of faith, and adds that the photo was taken “at the mosque.” Similar flags have become symbols of jihad, used by al Qaeda and al Qaeda-linked extremist groups. Read More
Among the many unanswered questions about the two Tsarnaev brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing is why, days after the attack, they were heading to the suburb of Watertown and its manicured lawns and tulips when police picked up their trail and began a chase. Read More
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