For the past few days, Reddit's quest to ferret out the Boston bombing culprits with the powers of the internet has come across as juvenile at best, embarrassingly paranoid at worst. But it turns out that those ambitious toy detectives might finally be on to something.
The photo above, submitted by user Fransbauer, is currently at the top of the subreddit r/findbostonbombers. If speculation is to be believed, it depicts the FBI's "Suspect #2" casually turning onto Boston's Fairfield St. as chaos ensues behind him. Whereas he was once videotaped carrying a backpack, in the image above, his backpack appears to be missing.
Already the photo is making the rounds on Twitter, where its authenticity became a subject of immediate dispute. After CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted this:
New York Times content strategist Jeremy Zilar responded with his own assessment of the picture as being a poorly done Photoshop.
If you'd like to take your own guess at the image's veracity, you can see it in its full resolution here. If it does turn out to be fake, that will be proof positive that the FBI has a whole new layer of problems to consider in the Boston bombing case: internet trolls looking to fuck with people.
Update: The picture's real. According to the New York Times, it was taken by 49-year-old David Green, who had run the marathon before the bombs went off. When he saw the explosions, he snapped a quick photo on his iPhone and posted it to his Facebook page, having no idea at the time the image would become evidence.