Boston police detectives failed to fully investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the now-deceased Boston Marathon bomber, in connection to a September 2011 triple murder, the New York Times reports.
Tsarnaev and his friend and fellow boxer Ibragim Todashev may have committed an unsolved triple homicide in Waltham, Massachussetts in which three men — Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman and Raphael Teken — had their throats cut in what police originally believed was a minor dispute over marijuana.
Todashev is now deceased as well. The FBI claims that while they interrogated him about Mr. Tsarnaev’s motivations in the Boston Marathon Bombings, Todashev admitted that they had both committed the 2011 homicides, and then “flipped out” and attacked an officer, who then shot him to death.
Mr. Todashev’s alleged confession, however, is far from the only evidence of Tsarnaev’s involvement in a crime that, if solved quickly, might have prevented the Boston Bombings from ever happening. Tsarnaev was a close friend of Mess, the youngest victim, friends say, and the police would have known it.
“The police wanted to know who all the friends were in the group, and I told them about Tamerlan,” an anonymous source told the Times. Yet the police never interviewed Tamerlan, leading the source to add, “I felt that the police were not really looking in the right places.”
Friends went to the police again after the Mess’s funeral, which Tsarnaev did not attend despite their shared history. When a friend asked Tsarnaev about the murders, he seemed curiously unaffected.
“As I said something, there was kind of a smile on Tamerlan’s face, and he laughed it off,” John Allan, owner of the gym where Tsarnaev boxed, reportedly said. “He laughed off the fact that he was murdered.”
The report has profound implications given the deadly Boston Bombings that occurred nineteen months later, and also comes a day after Tamerlan’s younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared in court for the first time. The younger Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to all thirty charges against him.