‘The Killings Before the Marathon’ covers the 2011 triple murder in Waltham


Hulu’s new documentary asks, “If police had solved a horrific triple homicide in Waltham, Massachusetts, would they have prevented the Boston Marathon bombing?”

Police believe Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlane was involved in a horrific triple murder two years before his involvement in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed a 2020 brief to the Supreme Court stating that the appeals court was correct to point to the trial court’s decision to block evidence of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s potential involvement in other crimes . This evidence, the lawyers said, “went to the heart of the respondent’s mitigation case as it showed Tamerlan’s planning of extreme violence and his ability to influence others to join him in such acts. “.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty by a Boston federal jury of numerous bombing charges. Tamerlan was never tried as he died in a shootout with police on April 19, 2013 in Watertown.

In the documentary, journalist Suzan Zalkind “unpacks the murder that claimed her friend’s life, the national tragedy that shook her city, and the haunting connection between the two events.”

Here’s what you need to know about the unsolved homicide and the documentary:

Triple Murder in Waltham, September 11, 2011

Erik Weissman, 31, Brendan Mess, 25, Raphael Teken, 37, were killed on September 11, 2011. All three were found with their throats cut and marijuana strewn over their bodies.

Ibragim Todashev, who was reportedly another mixed martial arts fighter with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, allegedly admitted to authorities in May 2013 that he and Tsarnaev killed the three Cambridge natives in a flat in Waltham on September 11, 2011.

Previous cover:Community mourns Brookline HS alumnus killed in Waltham homicide

The victims were Brandon Mess, Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman

Erik Weissman, 31, Brendan Mess, 25, Raphael Teken, 37 were found dead on September 12, 2011. According to the FBI, Ibragim Todashev admitted to the murders in an interview and also named Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an accomplice.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Brendan Mess are said to have known each other through mixed martial arts fights and were “very close friends”.

12 Harding Avenue, Waltham, Massachusetts

The house was built in 1920 according to Zillow and still stands. It last sold in 2006 for $410,000 and last went on sale in 2015, according to Zillow.

Why do they think it had to do with the Boston Marathon and the Tsarnaev brothers?

Tamerlan, the eldest of the Tsarnaev brothers, is said to have been friends with Brendan Mess, whom he met through mixed martial arts.

According to the FBI, Ibragim Todashev admitted to the murders in an interview and also implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He allegedly told the FBI that it started as a robbery but turned into murder when Tamerlan suggested getting rid of the witnesses.

Todashev was shot by an FBI agent when he allegedly became violent during interrogation in May 2013.

How was it inside Watertown? :Inside the Watertown Perimeter

The Boston Marathon sister bombings detonated two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line seconds apart, killing three people and injuring more than two hundred people on April 15, 2013.

The Tsarnaev brothers also shot and killed Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, who spotted them outside an area-wide shelter as police went door to door looking for Dzhokhar in Watertown.

How to watch “The Murders Before the Marathon”?

“The Killings Before the Marathon” will be available to stream on Hulu on September 5, 2022.

Susan Zalkind: Journalist, narrator, investigator

Susan Zalkind is producer of the new Hulu docuseries “The Murders Before the Marathon.” She is also among the New England journalists who covered the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

She is currently writing a book called “The Waltham Murders” which is expected to be published in 2023, according to her website.

How to watch, learn about the Tsarnaev brothers and Waltham’s triple murder

A film starring Mark Wahlberg titled “Patriots Day” was released in 2016. It is available to rent on several streaming platforms, including AppleTV and Amazon Prime Video.

It was based on the book “Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy” written by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge.


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