No one wants to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Saturday, May 4, 2013
A Worcester funeral home director was scrambling last night to find a cemetery that would bury the marathon bombings mastermind, as protesters jeered outside his door demanding that the bomber’s body be shipped out of the United States.
Emotions ran high outside the Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlor, which is handling the unenviable task of burying terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
“He should burn in hell,” said Ann Mink of Worcester, who was part of the sign-toting crowd.
Added Theresa Noye: “I would put him on a boat and drop him in the ocean with Osama bin Laden.”
Funeral home owner Peter Stefan told the Herald he has reached out to four cemeteries where Muslims are buried and so far all have turned him down.
Stefan said it would be impossible to send the body back to Russia and added the family wants Tsarnaev buried in Boston.
“They want to bury him here, in Boston, in a Muslim cemetery,” he said. “I’m not going to hold him too long, the federal government is involved in this. If need be I will request help from them. A person has to be buried. Period.
“If we had Hitler here, we would bury Hitler,” Stefan added.
A terrorism expert said the U.S. government should ship Tsarnaev’s body back to his parents in the Caucasus region of Russia.
“I don’t think any cemetery deserves this kind of development. I think any burial — as long as it’s known where he is — they might vandalize the cemetery,” said Edith Flynn, professor emeritus at Northeastern University and a terrorism expert. “My idea in terms of returning the body to Dagestan would be a way to get rid of the problem.”
Flynn said the U.S. government should put Tsarnaev’s body on a military cargo plane a soon as possible.
The funeral home owner also showed Tsarnaev’s death certificate, which lists the cause of death as “gunshot wounds of torso and extremities” as well as “blunt trauma to head and torso.” It has not yet been filed with the city of Boston.
Tsarnaev was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. on April 19 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The 26-year-old was shot in a firefight with police in Watertown and then dragged under a car driven by his brother, Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, 19. Dzohkhar Tsarnaev is facing federal charges in the marathon bombing and its aftermath, which killed four people and injured more than 260.
Stefan said that following an autopsy the body will be washed in the Muslim tradition, by a male using soap with no animal fat, and then it will ready for burial.
“My main thing is looking for a cemetery,” he said. “I’ve been making calls. I’ve been turned down by every one of them. All these people are petrified.”