Tom Lonergan, author of the novel Heartbreak Hill: The Boston Marathon Thriller, is claiming he predicted the bombing at the marathon 11 years before it happened.
Lonergan’s novel, which was published in 2002, is about a terrorist plot to set off a number of bombs during the race. The terrorists, who are right-wing American extremists, have their plan foiled by a homicide detective. The author said he got the idea for the novel while running the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. “I feared a bomb would be triggered at any time that day,” he said.
Lonergan emailed The Huffington Post Tuesday after learning of the actual bombing, writing, “I had an instant, visceral reaction to the events. ‘Oh my God, just as I predicted.'” He said he wrote the novel, just one year after 9/11, because he “thought the message ought to be told.” Lonergan added that he had no intention of withdrawing his book from sale because it “represents my finest feelings for the marathon, the city of Boston and the sport of running.”
Lonergan said the news of the bombing was even more disturbing because “I could not help feeling as I saw the news reports on Monday that someone, somehow may have been inspired by my fiction.” He acknowledged, however, that it was unlikely who ever staged the attack on the marathon got the idea from his novel since it was self-published and didn’t sell very many copies.
After receiving a flood of comments about Tom Lonergan possibly using the marathon bombing as an excuse for publicity, The Huffington Post clarified that they reached out to him after reading about the book on Slate. They invited him to answer their questions as well as write a blog post about his prediction.
One of the theories that emerged shortly after the bombing was similar to the novel’s plot. There was speculation that the attack was staged by domestic right-wing extremists. One reason behind this theory is that the attack took place on Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War.
The fact that Monday was also Tax Day, which in recent years has been used a rallying date for members of the Tea Party, has also been cited as supporting the theory.
However, at this point in time, there is no way to know who orchestrated the bombing. While there have been reports about a suspect being identified and arrested, the FBI has issued a statement saying that information is false.
“Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate,” the bureau said. “Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”
What do you think of Tom Lonergan’s claim that he predicted the Boston Marathon bombing?