Was Marathon bombing suspect involved in 2011 killings?

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, is pictured in 2010. Credit: FBI
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, is pictured in 2010. Credit: FBI

Authorities are investigating whether Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in an unsolved 2011 triple murder.

“We’re eager to pursue any new leads or information,” Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, told the Boston Globe. “It has been reported that [Tsarnaev] knew one of the deceased victims. It remains an open investigation.”

Tsarnaev was killed in a violent police chase and shootout Thursday night, three days after the bombings killed three people. An MIT police officer was also killed Thursday.

His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

The bodies of Brendan H. Mess, 25, Erik Weissman, 31, and Rafael M. Teken, 37, were found on Sept. 12, 2011, in a Waltham apartment. Each of the men had their throats slit.

A family member who didn’t want to be identified told the Globe the men were killed the night before — on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

At the time, robbery did not appear to be a motive in the killings, since $5,000 was found at the crime scene. The bodies were also covered with marijuana.

Tsarnaev and Mess were both boxers. The owner of the gym here they trained said Tsarnaev introduced Mess as his “best friend.”

However, Tsarnaev did not attend Mess’s funeral, which a friend of the victim considered dubious.

“If they were best friends, you would think [Tamerlan] would have been absolutely devastated and would have reached out to someone,” Mess’s friend told the Globe. “That confirms my suspicions that something was up.”

2011 was the year the Russian government asked the U.S. for information about Tsarnaev, a native of Chechnya, concerned that he was a possible Islamist radical. The FBI said its investigation “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.”

In 2009, Tsarnaev was charged with domestic violence for hitting a former girlfriend, according to the Globe. The charge was dismissed after a jury trial.

Mass. State Police said Tsarnaev was fined $100 in 2008 for speeding on Interstate 93.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


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