Boston, MA – Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is having a hard time finding his final rest. A funeral home director is reportedly scrambling to find a cemetery to bury the slain 26-year-old in, but everyone is turning him down.
Worcester funeral home owner Peter Stefan has Tsarnaev’s body as well as the official death certificate, which has not yet been made public.
Stefan read from it on Friday, though it seemed not to hold many surprises. It confirmed that Tsarnaev died from his wounds sustained in a gunfight with authorities, and from being dragged under a vehicle as his brother Dzhokhar, fled police.
Tsarnaev’s body was released by the state medical examiner on Thursday, after laying there unclaimed for nearly two weeks. The body wound up at Stefan’s Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors, with current plans to submit it to a secondary, independent autopsy requested by relatives.
But Stefan’s biggest problem is finding a place to bury Tsarnaev, and he has considered turning to the government to find him a piece of land.
“My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don’t want to do it. They don’t want to be involved with this,” Stefan said. “I keep bringing up the point of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. Somebody had to do those, too.”
Three cemeteries have turned him down so far due to fear or reprisal.
“There’s a fear there,” he says. “Will people want to go to the cemetery, or will people be upset that somebody who’s a terrorist will be buried next to their Uncle Freddy.”
Stefan is experiencing reprisal of his own, with protesters gathering outside his business, upset that he has chosen to bury Tsarnaev. But it doesn’t matter, he says.
“This is what we do in a civilized society, regardless of the circumstances,” Stefan said. “As I told some of them, at the immediate moment you may fear (reprisal), but later on, when things calm down, people are going to resent you because you didn’t do it.”
What do you think should be done with Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body?