One of the murder victims was the terrorist's best friend, but according to a young man who knew the two during that period, "Tamerlan didn't even go to the funeral."
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The Boston Globe quoted on Tuesday a relative of the victim, Brendan Mess, who said that the investigation into his death was reopened at the request of the relatives, who now believe that Tamerlan and perhaps his younger brother, Dzhokhar, are behind the crime.
"Tam wasn’t there at the memorial service, he wasn’t at the funeral, he wasn’t around at all," a friend of the two, Ray told BuzzFeed. "And he was really close with Brendan. That’s why it’s so weird when he said, 'I don’t have any American friends.'"
Mess's body was found in his home on September 12, 2011, alongside the bodies of two additional friends. Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman. The Jewish Daily Forward reported that all three victims were Jewish.
"The triple murder was originally considered to be drug related because the men’s bodies were found covered with marijuana. The crime was particularly brutal and all three victims’ throats were slashed."
Tsarnaev and Mess lived in the same neighborhood and worked out together in a nearby gym. "Back then, none of us thought that it could be Tam," said Ray.
"Everything was so emotional and we simply thought that someone else did it. Tam's name was not even mentioned."
However, Tsarnaev's recent exposure changed the picture for them. "Even without talking about it in advance, some of my friends and I started thinking that maybe Tamerlan was connected to it."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police a few days after the terror attack at the Boston Marathon finish line, where three people were killed and 180 were injured.
Bedside ProceedingsHis brother, Dzhokhar, was arrested 24 hours later. He sustained gunshot wounds to his neck and leg and police estimate that he tried to commit suicide prior to being caught.
On Monday, Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler arrived at Dzhokhar's hospital bedside and read him the two counts attributed to him: using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. If convicted, he is likely to face the death penalty.
Meanwhile, police began interrogating the younger brother – in writing, as his injury prevents him from speaking – and according to US sources, he relayed that while the two Muslim brothers were religiously-motivated but that they had no connection to Islamic terror organizations.
In addition, US authorities are now investigating a Russian intelligence report according to which Tamerlan met with a suspicious figure during his six-month stay in the country in 2012. Information on the possible connection between the two was transferred to the Americans slightly after the terror attack.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Committee on Armed Services, said on Monday that the FBI did not know that Tamerlan Tsarnaev went to Russia in January 2012 and stayed there for six months, since his name was spelled differently.
In an interview with Fox, the South Carolinian senator said, "when he entered the Aeroflot plane, they misspelled his name and this is the reason it wasn't updated in the US intelligence system that Tsarnaev traveled to Russia."
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