Dec 09, 2014 by James Henry
The Boston Marathon bombing is much more important than has been acknowledged, principally because it is the defining domestic national security event since 9/11—and has played a major role in expanding the power of the security state. For that reason, WhoWhatWhy is continuing to investigate troubling aspects of this story and the establishment media treatment of it. We will be exploring new elements of the story regularly as the January trial of accused co-conspirator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev approaches.
For nearly any crime requiring a “Whodunnit” answer in Boston around the time of the April 15, 2013, Marathon bombing, the authorities answered: The Tsarnaev brothers.
One egregious crime pinned on them was a grisly Sept. 11, 2011, triple murder in Waltham, Mass.
Now, prosecutors in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have delivered a shocking reversal. They admit to having no evidence that his dead brother, Tamerlan, was involved in the slayings.
That wasn’t the case right after the bombing: law enforcement fingered Tamerlan as the perpetrator, and suggested Dzokhar may have been involved. Much of the media has presented it as fact ever since.
This is a pattern we’ve seen since the bombing: The government feeds prejudicial information (usually anonymously) to the press, implying Tamerlan and Dzhokhar’s guilt, despite having flimsy or no evidence. In the most extreme example, prosecutors had to completely recant their accusation that the brothers robbed a 7-Eleven.
The Waltham triple murder case got the same treatment. Within weeks of the bombing on Boylston Street, law enforcement officials confidently proclaimed they had a “growing” amount of “forensic evidence,” along with a written confession from a now-dead friend of Tamerlan’s, that implicated Tamerlan in the Waltham slaying.
But now, the government admits that, other than the confession, it “has no evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev actually participated in the Waltham murders.” And it turns out that the damning confession has some serious holes in it too.
So, what happened? First, a little history.
Cold Case: The Waltham Murders
On Sept. 12, 2011, the bodies of Brendan Mess, 25; Erik Weissman, 31; and Raphael Teken, 37; were discovered in Mess’s Waltham apartment, their throats slashed, with pounds of marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash scattered over them.
Investigators immediately assumed that these murders in a small suburban community outside Boston likely involved some type of illicit drug dispute. But the trail to the perpetrators of the triple homicide soon went cold—until the Marathon bombing.
While the public was still riveted by wall-to-wall news coverage of the bombing, law enforcement began to speculate about the Tsarnaevs’ involvement in the slayings. Tamerlan had been friends and an occasional martial arts and boxing sparring partner with one of the three victims, officials told the media.
But the government’s own story called into question the behavior of law enforcement officials in the same case. Despite the fact that Tamerlan’s link to the murder victims was known then, it appears he was never questioned about the crime. This is just one of the many inexplicable mysteries surrounding Tamerlan’s pre-bombing relationship with authorities.
Pointing the Finger
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