Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Boston bombing: Arrangements difficult for burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev

A funeral home in Worcester Mass., is handling the arrangements for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarvaev. A burial site has been difficult to find, and the funeral home director has faced protesters. 

By Bob Salsberg and Steve LeBlancAssociated Press / May 4, 2013

Peter Stefan, funeral director and owner of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, Mass., sits in one of the facility's rooms Friday. Stefan confirmed his funeral home will handle funeral arrangements for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Chris Christo/The Telegram & Gazette/AP

Enlarge

Boston

A funeral home director was scrambling to find a cemetery that would bury a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, ignoring protesters gathered outside his business and saying everybody deserves a dignified burial service no matter the circumstances of his or her death.

Skip to next paragraph

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died from "gunshot wounds of torso and extremities" and blunt trauma to his head and torso, said Worcester funeral home owner Peter Stefan, who has Tsarnaev's body and on Friday read details from his death certificate. The certificate lists the time of his death as 1:35 a.m. on April 19, four days after the deadly bombing, Stefan said.

Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with authorities who had launched a massive manhunt for him and his brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago. Police have said he ran out of ammunition before his younger brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing.

Tsarnaev's family was making arrangements Friday for his funeral as investigators searched the woods near a college attended by 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured less than a day after his brother's death.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body was released by the state medical examiner Thursday. It initially was taken to a North Attleborough funeral home, where it was greeted by about 20 protesters, before being taken to Stefan's Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors, which is familiar with Muslim services.

"My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don't want to do it. They don't want to be involved with this," said Stefan, who said dozens of protesters gathered outside his funeral home, upset with his decision to handle the service. "I keep bringing up the point of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. Somebody had to do those, too."

Meanwhile, two U.S. officials said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and his brother initially considered setting off their bombs on July Fourth.

Boston police said they planned to review security procedures for the Independence Day Boston Pops concert and fireworks display, which draws a crowd of more than 500,000 annually and is broadcast to a national TV audience. Authorities plan to look at security procedures for large events held in other cities, notably the massive New Year's Eve celebration held each year in New York City's Times Square, Massachusetts state police spokesman David Procopio said.

Gov. Deval Patrick said everything possible will be done to assure a safe event.

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer