Quiz: Can You Tell Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Aaron Hernandez Apart?

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June 27 2013 1:50 PM

Quiz: Can You Tell Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Aaron Hernandez Apart?

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, and Aaron Hernandez
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, and Aaron Hernandez, right.

Photo by Glenn DePriest/Getty Images; Photo by Mike George/Pool/Reuters

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On Thursday morning a Boston television station reported that Aaron Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end who has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, is also being investigated in connection with an unsolved July 2012 double murder in Boston’s South End. This calls to mind another infamous Bostonian who was first connected to one horrible crime and then subsequently tied to another. That would be Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston marathon bombing suspect who also may be a suspect in an unsolved triple murder in Waltham, Mass., in 2011.


What else do Hernandez and Tsarnaev have in common? More than you’d think. Both were decorated athletes with alleged attitude problems. Both men apparently enjoyed smoking marijuana. Both were said to have fallen in with the wrong sort of people.

Can you tell Hernandez and Tsarnaev apart? In the quiz below, I’ve collected 10 quotes, each of which refers to either the Patriots tight end or the former amateur boxer. Good luck!

1. "For a big man, he was very agile. He moved like a gazelle and was strong like a horse."

2. “He would rebel. It was very, very hard, and he was very, very angry. He wasn't the same kid, the way he spoke to me.”

3. “He was arrested as a 17-year-old juvenile after an altercation at [a] local campus hangout known as The Swamp.”

4. "He had liked to party. But there was always the sense that he felt a little guilty that he was having too much fun, maybe."

5. “Self-esteem is quite low; not well-adjusted emotionally, not happy, moods unpredictable, not stable, doesn’t take much to set him off, but not an especially jumpy guy.”

6. “I never talk about other guys, but I will say I have never embraced—never believed in—anything [this person] stood for.”

7. “We’d smoke a jay and he’d come out and pray.”

8. “He’s a machine. A clean, clear, technique, knows what he needs to do and just does it.”

9. "Freddura, known by the stage name SebNyce, or Mr. Nyce, described [this person] as a boisterous member of a large circle of male friends who ... often gathered to play stick hockey, visit downtown nightclubs, or watch Freddura record hip-hop tunes."

10. "[This person]—sadly—has shown himself to be a thug with alligator arms."

Tsarnaev: 1, 4, 7, 8, 9

Hernandez: 2, 3, 5, 6, 10

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at justintrevett@fastmail.fm.


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