Deceased suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev rapidly became one of the most hunted men in recent memory following the attack — but authorities in Boston have uncovered another crime with which the 26-year-old may be linked, involving a brutal triple homicide.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not survive a violent standoff at MIT Thursday night, in which a policeman was killed and his surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, may have been gravely wounded. But back in 2011, a friend of Tsarnaev and two others were viciously slain, and a culprit never identified.
Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex County District Attorney, confirmed that police were indeed examining a link between the 26-year-old dead man and a Waltham, Massachusetts and the murders of Brendan Mess, 25, Raphael Teken, 37, and Eric Weissman, 31.
Mess and Tsarnaev were both boxers, and both men trained at the same gym. The murdered man was also known to occasionally “crash” at Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s home, which was in the neighborhood in which Mess lived.
The murders, in which the three men were found sprinkled with marijuana and with their throats slashed in what an investigator called “the worst bloodbath I have ever seen in a long law enforcement career,” were not connected to Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the time.
The Waltham officer said of the possible link:
“There was no forced entry, it was clear that the victims had let the killer in. And their throats were slashed right out of an al Qaeda training video. The drugs and money on the bodies was very strange.”
One law enforcement source spoke of a possible motive for Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the 2011 triple homicide. Off the record, the investigator says that Mess may have been selling marijuana to the younger Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar, angering the elder and more strictly religious man:
“Given how religious the older brother was, and we have heard information from the college about how the younger brother was ‘a pot head’ is there a chance that Tsarnaev was angry that Brendan was selling his brother marijuana? We don’t know … But we are certainly interested in finding out.”
Guyotte confirms that police are “looking at a possible connection with the suspect in the marathon atrocity and this active and open homicide in Waltham.”