Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen fabricates details of Marathon bombing

Kyle DaLuz
April 19, 2018 - 1:02 pm

“I can smell Patriots Day, 2013. I can hear it. God, can I hear it, whenever multiple fire engines or ambulances are racing to a scene.”

That was part of the lede from longtime Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen’s piece this past Saturday on the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, titled “Five years later, we feel the grief like a sixth sense.”

Cullen was part of the Globe team that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news during the Marathon bombings. In his column last weekend, which relives the horrific scenes on Boylston Street and across the city that fateful day in 2013, Cullen writes that he has had instances where he is often reminded of the explosions outside of Marathon Sports and the Forum five years ago.

“I happened upon a house fire recently, in Mattapan, and the smell reminded me of Boylston Street five years ago, when so many lost their lives and their limbs and their sense of security,” Cullen wrote in his weekend piece.

As confirmed by WEEI morning host Kirk Minihane Thursday on Kirk & Callahan, Cullen was not at the scene when the bombs went off, which his piece two days after the bombings would appear to indicate. When asked to elaborate, he did not have comment.

Cullen was interviewed via phone days after the bombings by the BBC, detailing a story that is wildly inaccurate. 

He says Bill Richard, the father of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who tragically lost his life in the bombings, ran the Marathon in 2013. According to Cullen, Martin Richard greeted Bill Richard at the finish line and returned to the barriers behind the sidewalk while his father registered his time.

Only that Bill Richard did not run the Marathon that day, and you don’t have to register your time at the finish line. 

Worse, Cullen details that his friend, a firefighter "Sean," was the one who saved Bill’s daughter Jane, who lost her leg during the bombings. That was in fact Matt Patterson, an off-duty firefighter from Lynn who carried Jane Richard to an ambulance. Patterson says he has never spoken to Kevin Cullen in his life. 

Cullen told the BBC "Sean" was crawling on the ground in the midst of the chaos in an attempt to find Jane Richard’s leg, because he did not know whether she had lost it. Patterson said the first thing you realize when saving someone in that situation is if they lost an extremity, due to severe gushing of blood.

“This guy has inserted himself as a character into a tragedy because he wants to seem like more of a reporter,” Minihane said. 

Boston Herald columnist Borges was duped by a fake source this winter and fell victim to poor reporting. Former Globe columnist Mike Barnicle cooked a story about cancer patients that hospital records couldn't prove in 1995 to enhance his work before being forced to resign from the Globe. But Cullen, who appears to have misled readers by making himself a part of a horrific tragedy, seems to be the worst of all.

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