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April 23, 2013

Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev kill his Jewish friends?

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/did_tamarlan_tsarnaev_kill_his_jewish_friends/

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Brendan Mess

Did Tamarlan Tsarnaev kill three of his Jewish friends?

The Boston Globe is reporting that the former friends of the man assumed responsible for the Boston marathon bombings now wonder if Tamarlan Tsarnaev, who died after the bombings in a shootout with police,  was the perpetrator in a grisly unsolved murder that took place in 2011.

On September 12, 2011, Brendan Mess,  Raphael Teken, 37, and Erik Weissman, 31 were found stabbed to death in an apartment in nearby Waltham. The men had deep wounds to their necks, their bodies were strewn with thousands of dollars worth of marijuana, and police recovered $5,000 in cash at the scene.  There was no sign of forced entry. Police said they  believe the murders were "targeted and not a random act of violence."

Mess, who was Jewish, was a close friend  of Tsarnaev.  So friends thought it was especially strange when Tsarnaev did not show up at Mess's funeral.  

"Tam wasn't there at the memorial service, he wasn't at the funeral, he wasn't around at all," a friend of the murdered men told the Globe. "And he was really close with Brendan. That's why it's so weird when he said, 'I don't have any American friends.'"

"He was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a daily basis. Anybody like that, you would think they would have been around," Ray said.

Mess and Tsarnaev met at a Jiu Jitsu gym, and trained together regularly.

According to multple reports, Mess, Teken and Weissman were Jewish.   Teken had attended  Brandeis University, and Weissman took a active role in his synagogue. The murder took place about two and a half miles from the Brandeis campus.

Their murder, which a Waltham police officer called, "the worst bloodbath I have ever seen in a long law enforcement career," came on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 World Trade Center terror attack by Muslim extremists.

The Boston Globe first reported that police are now reinvestigating the case, which has so far gone unsolved.  Former friends of the deceased say once they heard Tsarnaev's name mentioned in conjunction with the Marathon bombings, their suspicion grew.  

"A few of my friends, without even speaking about it beforehand, have all been thinking this," said one former acquaintance.

The online newspaper WickedLocal.com carried more detailed news of the murdered men after their brutal deaths sent shockwaves through the community.  According to the website:

Former CRLS teacher Larry Aaronson who attended the Mess and Weissman funeral services this week said hundreds of friends, neighbors and classmatesturned out to pay tribute.

“For me the greatest pain and deepest grief of these ghastly murders is the tragic mystery of why and how these two gifted and talented social geniuses, intellectsthat engendered so much love and generated so much generosity, nevertheless made certain choices that led to this death trap,” he said.

Weissman was Aaronson’s student in the now defunct The Pilot School at CRLS, where he enjoyed the vibrant culture but failed to grow academically, Aaronson said. Weissman enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the urban nightlife, he said, but was also a “ voracious reader” with a “creative mind” that he used to “challenge conventional wisdom.”

Read more at WickedLocal.com.

Despite its tragic and mysterious nature, the homicide of the three young men received little national attention.  That's clearly about to change.

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