As a documentary series living up to its title in every way imaginable, Netflix’s ‘American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing’ can only be described as baffling, gripping, and haunting. That’s because it comprises not just archival footage as well as chilling reenactments but also exclusive interviews with those close to the matter to really shine a light upon the events of April 2013. Amongst those to thus feature in this original to help move the narrative along were Karen and Kevin McWatters — so now, if you wish to learn more about them, we’ve got the details for you.
Who Are Karen and Kevin McWatters?
Although Maine native Karen had been attending the Boston Marathon alongside a group of friends every year since the early 2000s to watch her partner run, 2013 was different for two reasons. The 53-year-old had gotten engaged to long-time beau Kevin only a short while prior, plus she’d surprisingly managed to find a spot right near the finish line with 29-year-old Krystal Campbell. The truth is her other friends did urge them to meet a little further away, but the two women decided to stay right there because the former thought she could get a great picture of Kevin finishing.
Though little did either of them realize this simple choice would soon turn everything upside down as two bombs detonated near the completion line merely 14 seconds apart and 190 miles away. The first one actually went off a few feet behind Karen as well as Krystal at 2:49 pm, resulting in them getting blown to the ground before BB, debris, and shrapnel came raining down on everyone. “I remember waking up on the sidewalk,” the former said in the Netflix production. “There was a horrendous smell. My ears were rining so bad, in that I couldn’t really hear. At that point, it was just chaos.”
Karen doesn’t really remember the ensuing moments or days owing to her injuries, but she can still recall Krystal laying like a “rag doll” right beside her and their phones/identities getting exchanged. This was around the same time Kevin learned what’d truly transpired; he was approaching the finish line as the bombs exploded, yet he’d initially thought it was just a manhole cover that blew up. He hence did his best to employ his correctional officer training in the subsequent, frantic search for his love across all major city hospitals, which honestly took almost the entire day due to the ID mix-up.
Karen had been at Massachusetts General Hospital this entire time, yet the shrapnel had caused such damage to her left leg that it had to be amputated from below the knee to give her mobility. As for Krystal, the strong, young woman had unfortunately passed away at the scene, something her friend knew in her heart the moment she regained consciousness because of what she’d seen. Kevin was the one to break this news upon being asked, but it wasn’t before he took the opportunity as the sole person to be around when she awoke to reiterate he loves her and everything would be okay.
Where Are Karen and Kevin McWatters Now?
It obviously took Karen months to recover, relearn how to walk, and function in everyday life, but she managed to do so without any major hurdles, thanks to the unwavering support of her loved ones. Kevin in particular admittedly never left her side, driving them to decide not to waste any more time by tying the knot in a beautiful ceremony to honor all their experiences on March 27, 2014. The loss of her leg as well as Krystal is something the former still struggles with from time to time, yet she’s determined to focus on the positives — it’s the reason she chose to partake in the Beach to Beacon race in 2015 and supports Melissa Estefania Salinas.
Coming to Kevin, apart from continually supporting his wife, traveling with her, and simply leading their best possible lives at the moment, he seemingly struggles with a bit of trauma too. In fact, he ran his last Boston Marathon, his 12th, in 2014 itself in an attempt to beat it and prove he as well as Karen are much more than their fears as they wish to simply move on with their lives to the best of their abilities. As for the couple’s current standing, while we know they’re still happily married and gaining inspiration from others like them, their exact whereabouts are a little unclear since they prefer to keep their private lives well away from the spotlight.
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