Boston Magazine Publishes 14 New Photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev



Many, many, many Bostonians are enraged by the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Rolling Stone cover you’ve already seen by now. No one more so than Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police that decided to leak a series of photos that he felt more accurately captured “the bomber.” He gave them to Boston Magazine, which introduces them below. For the trouble, Murphy has been relieved from duty, but not fired.

What few people have seen, because Murphy’s photos from that day have never been made public before, is the condition Tsarnaev was in at the time of his capture—and, indeed, exactly how he was captured. Murphy wants the world to know that the Tsarnaev in the photos he took that night—defeated and barely alive, with the red dots of sniper rifles lighting up his forehead—is the real face of terrorism, not the handsome, confident young man shown on the magazine cover.

While I can’t show you the photos–click here for that–I can assure you that they’re worth it. Boston and Philly Mag are owned by the same company, and we could feel the stampede of web traffic–and occasional site crashes–from here. Murphy gave Boston hundreds more; you’ll have to procure a copy of the magazine’s September issue to see them.

For what it’s worth: Being from Boston, I wasn’t bothered by the cover and don’t know many journalists who are. In my opinion, TNR’s John Judis put it best in his defense of Rolling Stone:

The fact is that the cover picture perfectly fits the story by Janet Reitman. It is about how a kid who appeared to his friends and classmates as exotically attractive, shy and mild-mannered could have been driven, along with his older brother, to plant two deadly bombs. The story attempts to reconcile the image, depicted on the cover, with the reality of the bombing.

This is not, in other words, a grabby, exploitative cover. It’s an apt one. Oh, and by the way?

[Boston]