A Tsarnaev link to an unsolved 2011 triple murder got fresh attention Friday, when ABC News reported that Massachusetts investigators are uncovering new evidence to link the brutal Sep. 11, 2011 slaying to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A local Fox news station said the same day that their reporter Bob Ward had new information about the placement of the three bodies found in a Waltham, MA apartment near Boston.
The triple murder occurred on the evening of the tenth anniversary of the 911 terror attacks in New York.
Three men, including Brendon Mess, a former roommate of older Tsarnaev brother Tamerlan, were found dead with their throats slashed. $5,000 in cash and seven pounds of what was described as high-grade marijuana had been sprinkled over their bodies.
Ever since the Boston manhunt that left Tamerlan dead and his younger brother locked behind steel doors in a Fort Devens federal prison, people have wondered about the link between the Tsarnaevs and the 2011 murders.
Fox’s Bob Ward was cautious in his new report: “According to sources, Tamerlan’s cell phone was used near the murder scene on the day of the triple homicide and his fingerprints were found inside the apartment.”
However, he reminded the public that since the two were friends, it was to be expected that his fingerprints and DNA would be found there. The use of the cell phone in a neighborhood where Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent a lot of time is also not slam-dunk evidence of much of anything.
Michele McPhee for ABC also recommended caution. Massachusetts investigators told her that they have “mounting evidence” but that it’s still too soon to indict Dzhokhar, the surviving brother, in the 2011 triple murder. They did tell her that the crime scene provided forensic evidence that both brothers, not just Tamerlan, had been in the apartment where the ritual-style murders took place.
Brendan Mess, like Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was active in martial arts and boxing, which meant he wouldn’t be an easy man to take down with a knife. In the ABC report, a friend speculated to McPhee that whoever committed the crime would have to gain entry to the apartment in the guise of coming as a friend.
McPhee and Ward both noted that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had once called Mess his best friend — yet he didn’t attend his funeral.
An unnamed source told Bob Ward that the placement of the bodies was meant to send a message.
According to Ward, Brendon Mess was some distance away from where the other two were found, suggesting that “Mess may have been killed in a life and death struggle with the killer or his body may have been moved after his death.”
With so many questions up in the air, it’s too soon to say if the Tsarnaevs were involved in the 2011 murders.
[Tsarnaev brothers images by FBI]