Tamerlan Tsarnaev revelation upsets kin of victims

Friends and relatives of three young men who were slashed to death in a Waltham apartment in 2011 said Wednesday that they remain dissatisfied with the information they have received from public safety officials. They made their comments after federal officials for the first time disclosed publicly in a court filing that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been implicated in the triple homicide.

“The fact that they’re not being more forthcoming with us makes you wonder whether there’s more information out there,” said a friend of Rafael M. Teken, a 37-year-old Brandeis graduate who was visiting the Waltham apartment on the evening of the homicides.

“It upset me, obviously,” said a friend of Brendan H. Mess, a former Cambridge resident, referring to the court filing. “I think there’s way more to it.”


Federal prosecutors in a court filing said Monday that Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tsarnaev’s, told investigators that Tsarnaev participated in the Waltham triple homicide, which took place on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

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Prosecutors provided the information in a single sentence near the end of a routine 23-page court filing in the case against Tsarnaev’s brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Todashev was shot to death in his Orlando apartment during a May interview with an FBI agent under circumstances that remain under investigation by federal authorities.

Also slain in the triple homicide was Erik H. Weissman, 31, a local entrepreneur. All three of the young men were known drug dealers who were found in a second-floor Harding Avenue apartment with their throats slashed and their torsos covered with marijuana.

Mess, who attended Cambridge Rindge & Latin School with Tsarnaev, was a mixed martial arts fighter who often worked out with Tsarnaev.


The possibility that Tsarnaev played a role in the triple homicides began to be investigated in the immediate aftermath of the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon in April.

All of the victims’ friends and relatives contacted by the Globe asked for anonymity, because they fear there may be additional persons who played a role in the grisly murders who may still be at large.

Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with law enforcement officers days after two makeshift bombs exploded near the finish line of the Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and is facing a potential death sentence.

Law enforcement authorities have repeatedly declined to answer questions about the triple homicide or Todashev’s death. And Florida authorities, at the behest of the FBI, have declined to release Todashev’s autopsy.

According to unnamed sources interviewed by the Globe, two Massachusetts state troopers assigned to investigate the Waltham triple homicide were on or near the scene in Orlando when an FBI agent shot and killed Todashev.


But Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has declined to open her own investigation into Todashev’s death, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

And Governor Deval Patrick, during a Tuesday interview with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH-radio, declined to say whether the troopers could provide an explanation for Todashev’s death.

“As they say in court, question’s been asked and answered,” Patrick said.

Michael Rezendes can be reached at michael.rezendes@
. Follow him on Twitter @RezGlobe.