1. Wear a backwards hat and no sunglasses. Unlike his older brother, Dzhokhar made little effort to prevent cameras from capturing his face, making him easier to identify.
2. Not react to the explosions. Dzhokhar's reaction to the first explosion is a giveaway; he glanced in the direction of the first blast only briefly.
3. Leave the car in the shop. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dzhokhar stopped by an auto-body shop in Watertown on Tuesday to pick up the Mercedes he'd brought in for repairs.
4. Stay in Boston. The second bomb exploded at 2:49 p.m. last Monday. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan carjacked a Mercedes at 10:39 p.m.* on Thursday. What did they do in the interim three days? Go to the gym, check in on their busted car, and, in Dzhokhar's case, go to a party on the UMass–Dartmouth campus. During the three-day window in which their involvement was unknown, they made no attempt to flee.
5. Kill an MIT police officer. Why did the brothers shoot 26-year-old Sean Collier? The murder at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday set in motion the events that would ultimately lead to their capture.
6. Run out of cash. When Dzhokhar carjacked a Mercedes on Thursday night, he and his brother had one thing in mind: Get cash, and fast. They emptied $800 from an ATM using their victim's PIN number, before they reached the account limit. Holding up a stranger for money suggests a woeful lack of planning on their part (they hadn't budgeted) that helped alert them to the authorities.
7. Not understand how ATMs work. After reaching the daily withdrawal limit at one ATM, the Tsarnaevs, apparently not realizing that the machines are part of an interconnected system, decided to try their luck at two different machines.
8. Confess to the hostage. When Dzhokhar got into the Mercedes, he immediately told the driver, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that." That meant their cover would be immediately blown if the driver escaped. Which brings us to…
9. Stop for snacks. The hostage escaped after the brothers stopped at a gas station to buy snacks.
10. Keep the hostage's phone. The Tsarnaevs continued on without their hostage—but they did have his phone, which allowed police to track their location via GPS.
11. Bring a BB gun. The weapons used by the two suspects, according to police: a pressure-cooker bomb, seven IEDs, an M4 carbine, two handguns, and a BB gun. Why a BB gun?
“Killing and maiming people” suspiciously missing from this list