Could police have prevented the Boston Marathon bombings by arresting Tamerlan Tsarnaev for an earlier triple-homicide? That's the tantalizing question raised by a piece in today's New York Times , which reveals that relatives and friends of three men murdered in Waltham in 2011 have long argued that police too quickly dismissed the incident as a professional drug hit. One of the targets, pot dealer Brendan Mess, 25, was a close friend of Tsarnaev's, but police never questioned him, either as a suspect or an information source.
Friends say they urged police to look into Tsarnaev, noting that he failed to show up to Mess' funeral or show any grief over his death. "We did mention Tamerlan again to the police after he was not there for Brendan's services," says one friend. "I felt that the police were not really looking in the right places." The owner of a gym where both men worked out said Tsarnaev "laughed off" the murder, which "really shocked me." The gym owner told police to look into Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev. Police questioned Todashev after the bombing, and he reportedly confessed before FBI agents shot him. For the full piece, click here. (Read more Tamerlan Tsarnaev stories.)