I am discussing on the show today how weird it is that we have not seen a single photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev since his arrest in April, other than the three photos posted below. He is not animated in these pictures and I started to wonder if he was even alive! Even his lawyer was not permitted to have him photographed.
I first noticed this, and posted about it, on May 31 and eagerly awaited the first sighting of Dzhokhar alive and well. Naturally, when I heard he was to be arraigned on July 10, I was eager to see my doubts resolved. Well, they weren’t. Despite a long line of journalists and photographers recording sirens and fanfare as Tsarnaev’s prison van approached, not one photograph of the alleged bomber was captured. In addition, reporters described Tsarnaev as looking bloated and distorted, as taller than expected, and somewhat defensively, as having “shaggy hair consistent with photos.” A friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s who was in the courtroom said, “He wasn’t the same guy. He was a changed person, I guess. The way he looked. The way he kept moving his body. His posture and all that.” Another said the Boston prep-school educated teenager never had the Russian accent they heard him speak with in court.
I realize the suggestion that the man who appeared in court on July 10 was not really Dzhokhar plunges us down a rabbit hole we would rather not even look down much less fall into, but I can’t help but want more proof that the uncharacteristically smug man in court who claimed to be Tsarnaev, pleaded not guilty in a heavy Russian accent, smirked at victims and blew a kiss to his family, is who he is presented to be.
The thing that really got me wondering if Dzhokhar was even alive is the photo, taken apparently in a surgical environment, in which he seems to be resting comfortably. The only problem is that the day after this photo was leaked (it was posted April 21, within 48 hours of his apprehension), he is reported in the media as being on a ventilator and sedated so as not to pull the tubes out. He is shown here with no tubes, though. How can that be, especially with a throat wound that at the time was thought to keep him from ever speaking again?