Now that the body of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev has finally been claimed by his family, his relatives are desperately searching for a cemetery willing to bury the villain’s corpse — while planning a funeral that will be a lightning rod for the ire of Bostonians.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. His Body Was Collected by the Same Uncle Who Called Him a “Loser”
The blood relative of Tsarnaev’s who claimed the Boston terrorist’s body from the medical examiner’s office is his uncle, Ruslan Tsarni from Maryland, who famously called his nephews “losers” when it was revealed that they were suspects in the Boston bombings, reports the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Previously, several national outlets reported that a different uncle collected the body.
Initially Tsarnaev’s widow, Katherine Russell, had the right to claim his body, a right she waived that right and insisted a Tsarnaev blood relative should collect his body and arrange his burial.
2. His Body is Being Handled by a Funeral Home in Worcester
Graham and Putnam Funeral Parlors is handling arrangements. The funeral home has been based in Worcester, Massachusetts, since 1864. Worcester is about an hour from Boston. Owner Peter Stefan told WBZ-TV:
We take care of a lot of Muslim funerals here, throughout the state, and this was no different, except for the circumstances…
…Normally, with Muslims it’s usually done sometimes as the same day, but no later than the following day, but we don’t have that option with this
One Google Plus review commented on the home’s decision to take care of Tsarnaev’s body:
3. Protests Are Planned for His Funeral
Last night, Tsarnaev’s body was first brought to another funeral home, Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, something that was done in error according to Peter Stefan. About 20 protesters gathered there to make their anger known that Tsarnaev is being afforded a traditional burial. Local resident Pamela Michaud told CBS News:
Leave him where he was, let his family come and claim him. Take him back to Russia. Do what you need to do with him but don’t bring him through our town.
Stefan remains defiant:
You’re always going to get a certain amount of people that are probably going to complain about what you do,
I go back to the time when Lee Harvey Oswald died, somebody buried him. Timothy McVeigh, somebody handled that. Jeffery Dahmer, somebody handled that. Ted Bundy, somebody handled that. I mean, we bury the dead. Can I control what the circumstances are around their death? No. Can I pick and choose? No.
Would you criticize the medical people who saved the life of the other guy? (Tsarnaev’s brother Dzhokhar)
Stefan is known as a political activist in the area who often provides shelter to homeless people and aids drug addicts.
4. Cemeteries in Three States Have Rejected Tamerlan’s Body
According to CBS News, numerous cemeteries in three different states have refused to provide a resting place for Tamerlan’s corpse. It’s noted by Fox News that his uncle has reached out to mosques in the Massachusetts area searching for someone to conduct a funeral service.
Tsarnaev’s funeral will likely take place graveside at his burial site, wherever that may be.
5. His Cause of Death Has Been Released
It was unclear whether Tamerlan was killed by police gunfire or the vehicle his brother used to drive over him. The official determination is that it was a bit of both, gunshot wounds combined with blunt force trauma to the torso and head, caused by Dzohkhar Tsarnaev running him over in a stolen SUV.