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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on cover of Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, a decision that has sparked a negative reaction online.

The cover, a position normally occupied by rock stars and figures in pop culture, is set to accompany a profile of the one-time UMass Dartmouth student who went to high school in Cambridge.

An online post at RollingStone.com about the cover contained more than 1,000 comments, many of them criticizing the decision. On the magazine’s Facebook page, an image of the cover had generated over 10,000 comments, a number of them expressing outrage.


Asked by reporters for reaction to the cover, Governor Deval Patrick said he had heard the article was good journalism, but that he found the cover distasteful.

Tedeschi Food Shops, a convenience store chain with locations in Boston, announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that it will not carry the issue of Rolling Stone in its stores.

“Tedeschi Food Shops supports the need to share the news with everyone, but cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone,” said the post on the company’s page.

The cover story, “Jahar’s World,” reveals that Tsaranev played down his Muslim faith in high school, once told a friend that terrorist attacks could be justified, and may have been willing to surrender during a standoff in Watertown on April 19 because of a plea from a former wrestling coach.

Tsarnaev, who went to high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, is accused of working with his brother, Tamerlan, to explode two bombs near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street on April 15. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police in Cambridge the night of April 18.

The writer of the profile is contributing Rolling Stone editor Janet Reitman. According to The online post about the Tsarnaev profile:


“Reitman spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.”