Friends wonder if Boston suspect was linked to 2011 murders

Friends wonder if Boston suspect was linked to 2011 murders

Two victims in unsolved case were Jewish; the third was said to have been alleged Boston bomber’s best friend

Erik Weissman (photo credit: Facebook)
Erik Weissman (photo credit: Facebook)

Acquaintances of the Boston bombing suspect killed in a shoot-out with police Friday speculated Monday that he may have been involved with the murder of three Boston men in an unsolved case that dates to 2011.

Raphael Teken (photo credit: Facebook)
Raphael Teken (photo credit: Facebook)

At least two of the murdered men — Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman — were Jewish. (Friends of both Teken, 37, and Weissman, 31, maintain Facebook memorial pages in their honor.) The third victim in the September 2011 triple-homicide, Brendan Mess, was said by Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s acquaintances to have been his closest American friend.

The three men were found dead at Mess’s apartment in the Waltham suburb of Boston, having been stabbed in what was reported as a drug-related killing. The case remains open, and no suspects have ever been named, though investigators believed the killer knew his victims.

Local investigating authorities on Monday refused comment on any connection between the cases.

“At the time none of [us] would have thought it was Tam,” a man identified as Ray, who was said to have been friendly with both Tsarnaev and Mess, told the website Buzzfeed of the 2011 killings. (The site said it knew Ray’s full name, but had been asked by him not to publish it.) “It was just so emotional, and we thought we had someone else who had done it. Tam’s name wasn’t coming up at all.”

But since the Boston bombings, added Ray, “a few of my friends, without even speaking about it beforehand, have all been thinking” that Tsarnaev could have been involved in the triple 2011 killings.

FBI photo of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed on Friday, April 19 (photo credit: AP/FBI)
FBI photo of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed on Friday, April 19. (photo credit: AP/FBI)

Mutual friends said they were surprised that Tsarnaev didn’t show up at his best friend Mess’s funeral, Buzzfeed reported, but now saw his absence as a clue.

“Tam wasn’t there at the memorial service, he wasn’t at the funeral, he wasn’t around at all,” Ray said. “And he was really close with Brendan.”

Ray said he’d had no further contact with Tsarnaev since the 2011 murders. “Those three guys all had their throats cut, and they had marijuana dumped all over their bodies,” Ray said. “It’s really gruesome how they were killed. It’s not something typical you’d see in Waltham. Not some home invasion gone wrong or something.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: