No One Wants To Bury Tsarnaev

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 4 2013 1:07 PM

No One Wants To Bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev

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Cemeteries in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have refused to accept Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body

Photo by Glenn DePriest/Getty Images

A funeral home owner in Worcester, Mass. is struggling to find a burial plot for one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. Four cemeteries in three states have refused to accept Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body, according to the New York Daily News. Tsarnaev’s family wanted his body to go to a funeral home with experience doing Muslim rituals and that’s how the body ended up in the care of Peter Stefan. He may have experience with some of the less desirable members of society but has never seen anything like this. “I’ve had murderers here, people that murder their kids, people that murder their parents,” he said, according to the New York Times. Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni requested a simple graveside service after his body is washed according to Muslim tradition.

But so far, no cemetery has agreed to take the 26-year-old who died from "gunshot wounds of torso and extremities" and blunt trauma to his head and torso, according to his death certificate that lists his time of death as 1:35 a.m. on April 19. "My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don't want to do it. They don't want to be involved with this," Stefan tells the Associated Press. A group of protesters has gathered outside his funeral home but Stefan is adamant that everyone deserves to be buried. "I keep bringing up the point of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. Somebody had to do those, too."

Stefan has said he will have to ask for help from the FBI or state authorities if he continues to be rejected.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.