If we were to group information submissions into the most requested categories, this one would take the cake. In the last week we've received quite a few anonymous submissions with links, photographs, statistical analysis, and independent opinion as to what may or may not have been in the two backpacks.
Picture
Photograph: The Campus Companion
The majority of submissions regarding the backpacks have questioned the weight of a pressure cooker, it’s dimensions, and if it would be feasible to carry it around at ease as some images have have depicted. Could a standard run-of-the-mill backpack containing the explosive device (should we dare call it an IED*??) be manageable enough to maneuver in such a crowded area without appearing too suspicious? 

Many of us remember, or are still experiencing, the necessity of lugging a book bag (do they still call them that these days?) around the school campus everyday. Some of us jammed enough books in the bag that we’ll be sure to have chronic back problems in our later years and the rest used it for nothing more than a binder, some unsharpened pencils, and a sack lunch. 
While the photo comparisons remind our editorial team of the “does the glove fit” spectacle during OJ Simpson’s trial in 1995, it’s important not to dismiss them as potential evidence that may or may not be presented by the defense should Dzhokhar go to trial. Given the amount of photographs of backpacks before, during, and after the event, we’re confident both the prosecutor and the defense attorney are going to become experts on the subject very quickly.

How do you feel the defense could present analytical data (e.g. size, weight, etc.) to help their case? How do you feel the prosecution can and should respond? Do the case for the backpack carry any weight?

*Improvised Explosive Device
Ghazal
5/17/2013 04:20:50 am

Personally I carry a backpack to college and it’s pretty heavy because I have to bring my laptop with me every day. I could never carry it on one shoulder without having my back or shoulder hurt. In the pictures, Dzhokhar is seen carrying his bag on one shoulder. He may be a wrestler but he doesn’t look like he could carry a pressure cooker bomb on one shoulder. And judging by the shape of his backpack and also how light is looks, it doesn’t look like there is anything heavy in there. A pressure cooker is big, even the smallest size pressure cooker is 2 quarts, and if it were filled with nails and explosives, it would be even very heavy.

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Prudence
5/17/2013 04:38:13 am

I would imagine that during trial, there would be a re-enactment of the backpack. Perhaps putting the same brand pressure cooker with the same weight of objects inside would be the best bet as far as seeing exactly how someone of his build would be able to handle it.

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anon
5/17/2013 05:09:38 am

also let's question the supposed detonator - his cellphone apparently? Someone explain how that works - they are accused of assembling an unsophisticated device. What did he do make a phone call to detonate the device? So someone else detonated it ? He clearly had his cellphone afterwards !! I am trying to understand.

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Ghazal
5/17/2013 05:25:34 am

The FBI said the bomb was denotated by remote controls used for toy cars

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J
5/17/2013 06:17:28 am

This is bothering me too. It is clearly stated in complaint how he used his phone, but it's been confirmed that it was a remote control for a toy car. Dzhokhar was still standing in front of the Forum when the first explosion went off, and like the complaint said, all he had was his phone. That means that he literally is not the person who detonated them, correct? (Maybe Tamerlan was responsible for that part? Although they haven't released any information about finding such remote.) Does anyone know what that means in terms of the case against him if they cannot prove he detonated it?

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anon
5/17/2013 06:02:53 am

My daughter is a skinny little thing. She is still in the double digits (under 100lbs) yet she's been lugging around a backpack weighing 20-30 lbs. -plus an instrument, plus a binder! - for years. She wears the backpack on one shoulder.
From what I have seen in the photographs of the Tsarnaev brothers, one uses both straps and the other is carrying the pack very low (as if something heavy is weighing it down)*
*purely an observation...not a declaration of guilt. I am remaining impartial

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Iris
5/19/2013 06:02:49 am

Yes, sad how much our kids have carry wound these days. But regardless of one or two straps, look how far the straps cuts into her shoulders(s) when it is heavy. Jahar's strap seems pretty to sit pretty "fluffy", indicating it is not carrying the weight of a pressure cooker to me.

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Marie
5/17/2013 06:36:06 am

If he did have something heavy in his bag, wouldn't it have cut into his shoulder more clearly? There really doesn't look to be any tension in the strap of his bag, in my opinion, so I don't see him having lugged around something heavy.

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Iris
5/19/2013 06:00:22 am

Yes, exactly. When staring at the backpack pictures I looked at how far the straps cut into his shoulder and that seemed to indicate not much weight was in the backpack. Similarly on 1st inspection with Tamerlan's pack, though I did not look as closely.

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anonymous
5/17/2013 06:49:09 am

we have to envision a "six litre pressure cooker" (according to some reports) in Dzhokhar's backpack. When I think abt the ridiculous shape of a pressure cooker and only because you can't make out the shape of Jahar's backpack, I can see it in some photos in others not so much. Then there is the very valid argument abt him carrying such a heavy thing on one shoulder. If you pack a six litre pressure cooker to the max with metallic objects, how much would it weigh? 30 lbs according to some sources.

With Tamerlan on the other hand, I can't seem to mentally fit an unwieldy pressure cooker inside his backpack without it being ridiculously conspicuous. This is especially so because Tamerlan has both his shoulder straps on also his backpack is/looks frameless. Do all pressure cookers have that nozzle on the top. Which way do you think Tamerlan was holding the pressure cooker in his pack, if at all ?

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anon
5/17/2013 07:35:55 am

a photo showing Jahar standing close to little Martin encircles a backpack lying on the ground, that in my opinion, does not match Jahar's backpack. Someone please ID the backpack .. it's not Jansport or Northface .. must be something else common to college kids these days.

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J
5/17/2013 01:53:20 pm

I personally didn't think they looked like the same backpack either- the one setting on the ground that is supposedly Dzhokhar's. However, it's confirmed in the complaint that is his backpack he sat down.
Also, I personally DO see something in their backpacks. I don't think they looked empty. There is a side view of Dzhokhar walking with his backpack and I think it looks pretty bulky. I would really like to see what a replica of the pressure cookers they used to gauge the size.

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Anonymous
5/17/2013 07:12:07 pm

You can argue whether the backpacks are the same or not, but the evident fact that you guys are overlooking is the fact that the backpack is not on the ground in that picture. If you examine the picture and compare it to images around it (i.e. one of the girls legs that is in front of the backpack) you can see that the backpack is suspended off the ground. So, in that picture Dzhokhar is clearly still carrying the backpack (the left strap in his left hand). To me, that picture doesn't show anything.

Francesca Rogi
5/17/2013 04:44:40 pm

Please post this and share! Thank you!
http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/massachusetts-federal-public-defenders-please-defend-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-with-a-plea-of-not-guilty#share

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Anon2
5/19/2013 07:16:59 pm

If you zoom into the backpack,(until you can see the pixels) on JT's (Jahar Tsarnaev) back, you will see that the main colour of the bag is light and the lines are dark. When you do this to the bag that is at his feet, the main colour is dark and the lines are light. Not the same bag

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anon
5/19/2013 09:16:12 pm

i didn't even bother zooming in it is plain to sight.

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anon
5/21/2013 03:00:15 am

I saw another picture of a shredded backpack (different than the one circulating). This one had a piece that looked very light in color.

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also anon
5/24/2013 10:05:37 pm

really? pls share it with us.

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DanielleKristine
5/24/2013 03:24:51 pm

There is an article about the weight issue:

http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/05/20/official-story-has-odd-wrinkles-a-pack-of-questions-about-the-boston-bombing-backpacks/

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