NEW: Massachusetts group raising money to ship body overseas
Official: Tamerlan Tsarnaev accessed Inspire magazine on a home computer
Peter Stefan says he is struggling to find a grave for Tsarnaev
Cambridge's city manager says he won't allow Tsarnaev's burial in his city
There may not be a single cemetery in Massachusetts or in the entire country that is willing to be Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s final resting place, a funeral director told CNN on Monday.
And that has left Peter Stefan in a very difficult spot.
“I think (the cemeteries that have been asked) probably fear reprisals from people who have loved ones being buried there, people who may potentially buy lots there,” the funeral director said.
Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, are accused of setting off two deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon in April.
The funeral director says he is trying to do everything he can, but he’s struggling.
“I think a lot of the people don’t understand,” Stefan said. “And it’s an emotional problem, obviously.”
But, “We have to bury this guy,” he continued. “Whoever he is, in this country, we bury people.”
But outside the funeral home in Worcester, about 40 miles west of downtown Boston, picketers denounced plans to bury the marathon bomb suspect in their community. One held a sign that read, “Bury the garbage in the landfill.”
William Breault, chairman of a Worcester civic group, told CNN that Stefan “made a big mistake” agreeing to accept the remains, “and now we’re in a situation where nobody wants to take him.”
“I not only don’t want to see him buried in Worcester, Massachusetts, very close to where I live, I don’t think he should be buried in the state,” Breault said. He said his organization, the Main South Alliance for Public Safety, is trying to raise up to $5,000 to have Tsarnaev’s body shipped overseas.
“He’s not a citizen, he shouldn’t be given rights,” Breault said.
Meanwhile on Monday, a law enforcement official who spoke to CNN said that investigators believe that Tsarnaev accessed Inspire magazine – an English-language magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – on a computer in the apartment where he and his wife lived.
The Inspire material had instructions on bomb-making, the official said. Asked whether the computer belonged to the husband, his wife, or whether it was shared, the official said only that investigators believe the husband was accessing that material.
What are the options?
It may be possible to look to the past for guidance on how to handle the remains of notorious figures.
President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is buried in the Dallas area, where he lived before shooting Kennedy in 1963. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s ashes were scattered after his execution, though where is a mystery. The body of Abraham Lincoln’s killer, John Wilkes Booth, lies in an unmarked grave in a Baltimore cemetery where other members of his family are buried.