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Sunday, June 02, 2013

A further thought on a mysterious shooting

Before you read this post, you should read the preceding one on the strange death of Ibragim Todashev, who was shot in his apartment by FBI agents. We've received strangely varying accounts as to how that shooting occurred.

In one commonly heard version, Todashev was about to sign a confession stipulating that he, acting with the deceased Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had killed three men in 2011. We've been told that Tamerlan had a personal (and religious) dispute with one of the three, Brendan Mess (25). Previously, Tamerlan and Mess had been close friends with a shared interest in boxing and the martial arts.

But why would Todashev help Tamerlan settle a purely personal score? And why were three men (all Jewish bodybuilders, a point which may or may not be relevant) killed in such a bizarre, ritualistic fashion?

The three victims were Mess, Eric Weissman (31) and Rapheal Teken (37). Their throats were sliced ear to ear, and the knife wounds went in so deep as to cause near-decapitation. The bodies were covered in money (about $5000 worth) and marijuana.

People who knew Mess claimed that he was involved in drug dealing.

Most of the later articles on the Boston bombing conveyed the impression that Tamerlan was somewhat down-at-heels. Why, then, would he leave money at the scene of the crime?

(Earlier news stories indicated that Tamerlan had access to a mysterious source of funding.)

The logistics of the triple homicide are a little difficult to visualize. How could two men slit the throats of three? Remember, the three victims were bodybuilders -- formidable individuals. Even if Mess, Weissman and Teken were held at gunpoint, you would think that, after the first throat-slitting, the other two would bolt.

Let's be blunt. This triple killing reeks of drugs. I can see how a competing drug ring might instruct hit men to "leave a message" by arranging such a horrific, ritualized crime scene.

That scenario would mean that Tsarnaev -- and possibly Todashev -- were the hired help. The idea makes some sense. Do you remember the beginning of Rocky? Our hero, Rocky Balboa, is a failed wanna-be boxer who acts as paid muscle for the local loan shark. To that extent, the film reflects real life: If you want to hire a tough dude, you look for potential recruits at gyms where guys learn how to hit other guys. Tsarnaev and Todashev knew a lot about hitting other guys.

Presuming this theory to be correct, we have to ask a few further questions.

1. Who hired Tamerlan and Todashev (presuming they were, indeed, the guys responsible for the triple homicide)?

2. Why have the authorities been so hesitant to mention or look into a potential drug angle?

3. Why did the authorities adopt a "shoot first; ask questions later" attitude toward Todashev and the Tsarnaevs?
I have read one to many accounts now - including the below - that are leading me to believe Tamerlan may have talked to much.

He confided to Mess a week before about the FBI following him. If I was Mess or anyone in this circle, I would have ceased all contact at that point. Why didnt they?

Both Tamerlan and Ibragim Todashev came from the same part of the world, with family with curious deep connections. What might they have shared between each other that may be reason the later was silenced?

I read somewhere (sorry cant recall) that when he had visited Russia in 2012 he met with two others who had ties to the same "seminars" he was attending. (Candadians?) Who where killed shortly after he left.

Tamerlan and his brother spoke with their parents days after the bombings. According to the parents, Tamerlan confided that the FBI had called him and told him they suspected him.

Mess's girlfriend is fairly clear that there was not a "falling out" between Mess and Tamerlan.
It's starting to feel like one of FBI "terrorist stings" that went sideways fast and furiously.
I sometimes wonder if there's a deliberate program to induce "conspiracy fatigue" in the general population as time and time again the government gives us stories we can not believe. The natural reaction after a time is just to say "Enough! OK, there's questions! I understand! But it's not my job to police the police! Look, the sun is shining, and I'm finally making enough to put a down payment on that new Audi! So things are not so bad, they're not coming after me, and I don't have to be a government watchdog if I don't want to be. Get a life!"
SnugBug, I think you hit the nail on the head. Though honestly, many of my coworkers seem to have no curiosity whatsoever about these things and seem to have complete trust that the "officials" will always do their best to present the true picture of events (along with "media"). All while complaining about taxes and corrupt government. Cognitive dissonance and suspending of disbelief seem to be something our programmers have mastered.
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