Waltham police have stepped up their investigation of a 2011 triple homicide where a friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was brutally murdered, according to a relative of one of the victims who was interviewed by the Globe.
The relative said Sunday that police have renewed the investigation at the request of victims’ relatives who believe Tamerlan, and perhaps his younger brother, Dzhokhar, played a role in the homicides. Authorities have said the victims all had their throats slit.
Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, said, “We’re eager to pursue any new leads of information. It has been reported he knew one of the deceased victims. It remains an open and active investigation.’’
Previously, investigators had said that Brendan Mess, 25, along with Erik Weissman, 25, and Raphael Teken, 37, were killed on Sept. 12, 2011, in Mess’s apartment on Harding Street, a quiet residential street in Waltham. They also said they believed drugs were involved.
But the relative interviewed by the Globe said the murders took place the evening before, on Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The relative said he knew this because he was texting one of the victims about a Sunday night football game between the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys when communication with the victims suddenly stopped at about 8:15 that evening.
“The three of them were definitely killed on Sept. 11,’’ the relative said. “They all stopped using their cellphones at about eight o’clock that night.’’
Tamerlan had become radicalized in his religious and political beliefs shortly before the murder and was an accomplished amateur heavyweight boxer, while Dzhokhar was a former captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin wrestling team and was also known as an adept boxer.
Investigators probing the Marathon bombings have said Tamerlan visited Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan for six months following the date of the Waltham murders.
The Globe reported Saturday that Tamerlan had introduced Mess to John Allan, owner of Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts in Allston, describing him as his “best friend.’’
Records show that the Tsarnaev family and at least one member of the Mess family were neighbors in their Cambridge neighborhood.
Two years ago, the Globe reported that each of the victims had their throats slit. And friends of the victims have said their bodies were left covered with marijuana, according to the relative who was interviewed by the Globe.
Waltham police today referred questions from the Globe to the Middlesex district attorney’s office.