By JAY LINDSAY
BOSTON — After a week of chaos, the suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings emerged from his hiding spot bloodied and seemingly exhausted — the red dot of a sniper’s rifle lighting his forehead. Photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev released by a state police officer give a long-awaited glimpse into the end of an episode that kept the city and its suburbs on edge.
The images, the first of Tsarnaev from that night in April, were released to Boston Magazine on Thursday by a state police photographer angry about a Rolling Stone cover shot of Tsarnaev and hoping to counter what he said was the music magazine’s glamorization of the terror suspect.
The release was unauthorized, and Sgt. Sean Murphy faces an internal investigation and possible suspension.
Murphy’s 14 photos show the 19-year-old Tsarnaev emerging from his hiding spot in a drydocked boat in Watertown, just west of Boston, his right hand up in surrender in one, his head buried in his arms in another. In every picture of Tsarnaev, the red dot of a sniper’s rifle sight is trained on his head.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges related to the April 15 bombing, which killed 3 and injured more than 260 others near the marathon’s finish line.
He was captured April 19 after escaping during a shootout with police in Watertown the night before, running over his older brother and fellow suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in the process. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following the shootout.
The Rolling Stone cover story on Tsarnaev was released online this week, a few days after his public court appearance. Critics blasted the magazine, saying the cover shot of Tsarnaev was reminiscent of the magazine’s flattering portrayals or rock legends such as Jim Morrison. Rolling Stone says the story was part of its commitment to “serious and thoughtful coverage” of important political and cultural issues.
Murphy, in his statement to Boston Magazine, said his photos show “the face of evil” and “the real Boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.”
Defense attorney Peter Elikann, who’s not involved in the case, said that Tsarnaev’s attorney could try to use Murphy’s statement to try to show the investigation was biased against her client.
“If he expressed that he released those because of anger or because of hatred, that’s never good to do in a criminal investigation,” Elikann said.