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Asked and (un)answered: The Todashev saga continues.

Posted by Hilary Sargent  October 24, 2013 09:07 AM

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Ibrahim Todashev was shot and killed on May 22 by law enforcement while being questioned at his Orlando apartment. Todashev was a friend of accused (and deceased) Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. At the time, law enforcement offered little (really almost no) information, stating only that a "violent confrontation" occurred and that the matter was under internal investigation. But leaks from law enforcement sources indicated that prior to being shot, Todashev had confessed to having participated in a 2011 Waltham triple homicide and had also implicated Tsarnaev in the murders.

Todashev was back in the news this week when attorneys prosecuting the younger Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed court papers stating what we were already pretty sure we knew -- that prior to being shot by law enforcement Ibrahim Todashev told investigators that "Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in the Waltham homicides." But that's it. No additional information has been released about what happened in that Orlando apartment.

How many more articles and editorials have to ask, and ask, and ask, and ask the same questions before we get any answers?

A summary, below, of who isn't answering the questions being asked, and what they are saying in the meantime:


  • FBI: The New York Times reported that a Boston-based FBI agent shot Todashev after questioning him alongside detectives from the Massachusetts State Police. On May 29, a week after Todashev's death, the FBI released a statement saying that the agency was "conducting a review" of the May 22nd shooting in Orlando. The FBI's statement promised that no "comment regarding investigative details" would be offered until the review is complete. Up to this point, that's a promise the agency has kept. Five months after the shooting, no additional details have been released by the agency. Just this week, the FBI told the Orlando Sentinel that the "agency's internal review of the shooting is ongoing and no other details will be released."

  • Massachusetts State Police: Anonymous law enforcement sources told the New York Times that Todashev was shot after being questioned by an FBI agent and two Massachusetts State Police detectives. And sources have indicated that at least one of the two detectives was in the room when Todashev was shot. But the State Police have offered no explanation of what happened inside that Orlando apartment.

  • Middlesex District Attorney's Office A spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney's Office declined to comment, explaining only that the 2011 triple homicide is an "ongoing and active investigation."

  • Florida State Attorney: In August, Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton said his office was investigating conducting an independent review of the circumstances that led to the Todashev shooting. But media reports stated that "no timetable was given for the completion of either review."

  • Florida Medical Examiner: Florida officials have declined to release autopsy results, telling the Boston Globe that they were ordered not to do so by the FBI despite having completed the report and calling it "ready for release."

  • Massachusetts Attorney General: Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley said that lack of jurisdiction prevents her from opening up her own investigation. Coakley told WGBH News: "I simply don't have the authority or jurisdiction." But she added that if "people are not satisfied with the results" of the reviews currently underway by the FBI and the Florida State Attorney, "then we'll see what other options we have."

  • Massachusetts Governor: Interviewed this week on WGBH's Boston Public Radio, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was asked whether or not Massachusetts State Troopers could offer additional information as to what happened in the Orlando apartment that led to Todashev's death. Patrick refused to elaborate beyond this bewildering statement: "As they say in court, question’s been asked and answered." Which is interesting in that while the question has been asked, it definitely has not been answered.

Oh, and as if having a friend of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev shot by law enforcement weeks after the bombing wasn't cause enough for conspiracy theories, there's also the matter of what's gone on with respect to Todashev's friend and girlfriend in recent weeks:

And so the neverending Todashev saga continues, as the unanswered questions continue to pile up.


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This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Hilary Sargent is the founder of ChartGirl.com, where she makes charts to describe complicated news stories. Her site was recently called one of the 50 Best Websites of 2013 by More »

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