After weeks of controversy over the remains of the deceased Boston bombing suspect, police officials in Worcester, Massachusetts, confirmed on Thursday that the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev is "no longer in the city of Worcester and is now entombed." So he's in the ground, but he could be buried in Massachusetts, or Russia, or somewhere else in the United States where someone actually volunteered to take him and his family. But considering the existing threats, Tsarnaev's burial plot was destined to become a destination for angry American protesters, so it's probably best that nobody ever finds out — and it's likely that nobody ever will.
Though Worcester PD's statement doesn't appear to rule out that Tsarnaev ended up in another part of Massachusetts, it does make reference to "a courageous and compassionate individual" who helped bury the body. And The Boston Globe's Welsey Lowery reports that an anonymous official at the funeral home official where Tsarnaev's remains had been resting — and where protestors had been showing up in droves — insists the body has now been buried "somewhere outside of Massachusetts." And if some other gracious funeral professional has taken Tsarnaev out-of-state, the rest of the industry — and law enforcement, and religious institutions — have reason to be thankful: Mosques and cemeteries throughout the Commonwealth have wanted nothing to do with him for weeks.
Of course there have been many angry people on social media calling for burning and handcuffing and dropping in the ocean, but there have been real, on-the-ground protests, too. Indeed, in the six days that Boston's Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors had the body, emotional Bostonites and picketers showed up nearly every day with signs like "Do not bury him on U.S. soil" NBC News reported. The Associated Press added that someone drove by, screaming: "Throw him off a boat like Osama bin Laden!"
Now, imagine that reaction, zeroed-in on a permanent location, and you can see why cops and the new resting place are staying mum. In a sense, officials seem to be protecting not so much Tsarnaev's privacy as the people of whatever town holds that suspect soil from whatever media attention and protests may follow. And this isn't the first countrywide hated killer to be buried under vague circumstances: Adam Lanza, who killed 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, was reportedly cremated, and his remains have been kept in an undisclosed location — like most mass shooters, that secret is kept for eternity.
But we do know that Tsarnaev's uncle approved the location. "The burial location was approved by Ruslan Tsarni, the suspected terrorist's uncle who has represented the family as he and funeral home director Peter Stefan tried to find a cemetery willing to accept the remains for burial," The Globe reported.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.