Many oddities surround the death of Ibragim Todashev, friend to one of the Boston bombers. As you probably already know, Todashev was shot in his Florida home by an FBI agent. Perhaps the day will come when the FBI can offer a convincing explanation for these mysteries; right now, the case looks "curiouser and curiouser" the closer one examines it.
First and foremost is the "best evidence" -- the body. If you have the stomach for it, you should study these photos of Todashev's corpse
. (I've decided not to embed the gruesome images here.) Scroll down and you will see what appears to be a bullet entrance wound in the top of his head, to the side. There is no exit wound visible. (Entrance wounds are usually small; exit wounds tend to be large and messy.)
I'm hardly an expert in forensic science -- and I would certainly love to hear from someone who is
an expert -- but to this layman's eyes, it seems probable that someone shot Todashev in the head at fairly close range.
Is this a classic coup-de-grace...? Not quite; the angle suggests otherwise. A coup-de-grace delivered to the head of a prone figure should leave a large exit defect on the other side of the skull. It seems more likely that the head shot occurred as Todashev fell forward, toward the shooter. But with so many bullet holes riddling his body, why would he fall toward
Maybe he was shot from two
directions -- both from the front and from behind. That theory would explain the positioning of those wounds. But if two men fired, why were we told that only one agent discharged a weapon?
Although the above-linked page is in Russian, I've read the commentary via Google's translation service. The long and the short of it comes down to this: The readers of that site feel a lot
of hatred toward Americans. (It's a little odd to see my fellow Americans accused of "hating Caucasians.") Nobody seems to believe that Todashev might have had any link to the three murders under investigation. Although the commenters all seem to think that the FBI committed cold-blooded murder, they cannot offer a theory as to motive. We have plenty of outrage, but no logical scenarios.
And now for a little history.
I've never visited this right-wing blog
before, and judging from the list of links, I'm unlikely to show up on a regular basis. Nevertheless, I must congratulate writer Steve Sailor, who offers an interesting (though not conclusive) argument that Todashev's family did not
sympathize with the Chechens during their great battle with the Russian government. The family avoided the fight altogether by moving to Russia proper, where they lived throughout the conflict. The elder Todashev now works for the pro-Russian mayor of Grozny (capital of Chechnya).
Why is this of interest? Because we've all heard that the Tsarnaevs and the late Ibragim Todashev were ardent Chechen nationalists.
A CBS report
gives still another version of events:
John Miller of CBS News has a few extra details this morning that add to the Times account. According to his sources, one of the Massachusetts state troopers in the room became concerned that Todashev might try something, but rather that speak up and provoke him, he sent a text to the FBI agent. When the agent looked down to read the text, that's when Todashev attacked, again with an unknown object. The other officers in the room never pulled their guns.
With a lot of squinting and squeezing and hemming and hawing, one may be able to reconcile the earlier versions of the event with the "text message" version. But common sense tells us that these differing accounts don't work well together.
Obviously, the "text message" story is impossible to square with the account in which Todashev was alone with the FBI man who shot him. As noted above, the "lone gunman" hypothesis doesn't really fit the wounds visible on Todashev's body.
Some evidence indicates that Todashev had been under surveillance
for some time.
I'd like to ask a couple of simple questions:
1. If, as claimed, Todashev was about to "sign a confession" -- who wrote the confession?
A document of that sort takes time to write. It was always my understanding that written confessions are usually written and signed in the police station
. Did the agents and the cops arrive at the apartment with a confession in hand? If the authorities already knew who did what on the night of the triple homicide, why didn't they simply arrest Todashev?
2. What was Todashev's motive for participating in the Waltham triple homicide?
It is said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a serious falling out -- over "moral" issues -- with one of the victims, a fellow mixed martial arts fighter named Brendan Mess (25). But so far, no-one has given any reason for Tsarnaev to kill the other two victims, Eric Weissman (31, a bodybuilder) and Rapheal Teken (37, a personal trainer). And nobody has explained why Todashev would care enough about these people to murder them.
The three victims (who all happened to be Jewish) had their throats slit Jack-the-Ripper style. The slices were so forceful that the men were nearly decapitated. The murders took place in Mess' apartment on the night of September 11, 2011 -- the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
The fairly wide range of ages suggests that these three worked together, as opposed to being purely social acquaintances. People who knew Mess suspected him of dealing drugs
; the bodies were found covered in cash and copious amounts of marijuana.
So it seems very possible that the killings involved a dispute over drugs. But why leave so much money behind?
Well, my update is more of an embarrassed confession. In a comment appended to a preceding story, a reader excerpted a story which gave the names of the FBI agents and cops in the room. I was, naturally, very interested in this news. But you had to follow the link and read through to the end to discover that article was a bizarre hoax. With much scarlet in my cheeks, I've snipped and re-written this post accordingly.