Although evidence continues to mount against the two brothers suspected of plotting last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, police were referring to a gruesome 2011 triple-homicide – and not the recent bombings – when discussing the Tsarnaev brothers with media outlets Friday.
Earlier in the day, ABC News reported “mounting evidence” is leading investigators to suspect both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have played a role in an unsolved triple-homicide that took place in Waltham, Massachusetts – just minutes away from where the brothers had most recently lived.
In that case, three of Tamerlan’s former friends – Brendan Mess, Raphael Teken, and Erik Weissman - were all found dead in Mess’ Waltham apartment on September 12, 2011, their throats slit and bodies covered in approximately seven pounds of marijuana.
According to the Atlantic Wire, police also seized $5,000 from the scene.
In the immediate aftermath of the discovery, police stated there were no signs of forced entry and that it appeared the murders were “targeted and not a random act of violence.”
Although the elder Tsarnaev was never labeled a suspect by police, investigators reopened the cold case after learning of Tamerlan’s role in last month’s Boston Marathon bombings.
And now, things that weren’t particularly suspicious appear highly relevant in regards to the 2011 case.
For one, Tsarnaev described Mess – who, like Tek and Weissman, was Jewish - as his “best friend.” Odd, given the fact he failed to appear at his “best friend’s” memorial service and funeral – something that raised eyebrows with those who knew the elder Tsarnaev.
"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 Boston 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,” the man said.
Tamerlan wasn’t even around the general area for very long following the murders. Just several months later he took off on his now-infamous trip to Russia.
Additionally, the grisly murders – which one Waltham police officer described as “the worst bloodbath I have ever seen in a long law enforcement career” – occurred on the night of September 11, the tenth anniversary of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks.
Further, several media outlets were reporting that forensic evidence taken from the crime scene was a match for both Tsarnaev brothers while cell phone records also placed them in the area of Mess’ apartment that same day.
Although it’s all speculation at this stage, many are now second-guessing whether the brothers could have been wreaking havoc before April’s infamous bombings.