Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, heard voices, but never sought help for his mental health issues, his friends and family told the Boston Globe.
Liz Norden, a mother whose two sons both lost a leg in the bombing, says that’s no excuse. Norden says the report downplays Islamic extremism and attempts to pin the blame on poverty, bad luck, and mental health problems – all of which are considered out of the Tsarnaev’s control.
“I hope people don’t fall for this. It’s a joke. There’s no excuse for what those terrorists did,” Norden told the Boston Herald.
“Tamerlan had some form of schizophrenia,” a family friend told the Globe “That, combined with smoking marijuana and head trauma from boxing, had made him ill.”
His mother, Zubeidat, allegedly knew about the voices in her son’s head, but wouldn’t get him help.
“No, he’s fine,” the mom would say, according to a friend. “She couldn’t accept the tiniest criticism of him.”
There is no known evidence that Tamerlan was clinically diagnosed with a mental illness.
“I’m angry and I just don’t understand why they are making excuses,” Norden said. “I’m still trying to figure this all out. JP just had surgery, again, and to read this is aggravating. It really is sickening. I read the story and all I could think was, ‘Here we go again.’ People haven’t seen what my boys have gone through in these past eight months. Now come the excuses for the bombers.”
Assertions of mental illness could hold sway in the sentencing of 20-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev.
“It may be some sort of an effort to get the word out and it could be twofold to lay the seeds for the government to reconsider (death) and letting potential jurors see this stuff was going on in the background,” criminal defense attorney Robert Jubinville told the Boston Herald.
“It’s going to be interesting what Holder does,” Jubinville added. “It’s a tough decision. You’ve got people whose lives have changed forever. I’m sure they’re going to put a finger up and see which way the political winds are blowing.”