Friends of Tamerlan Tsarnaev now believe that the Boston bombing suspect could have been behind the 2011 triple homicide that resulted in the death of his presumed best friend, Brendan Mess.
Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham; Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge; and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, were all members of the same social circle as Tsarnaev before the 2011 murder according to reports. Friends and others who knew the two men described Tsarnaev and Mess as "best friends."
"Tsarnaev and Mess used to work out [the] gym together but Tsarnaev stopped coming after Mess was murdered," Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center owner John Allan told Daily Mail.
After more than a 2-year break, Tsarnaev returned to the same gym last week, the owner claimed. But he was not civil to other gym members, prompting at least one email complaint, Allan told DM.
During the 2011 crime, which remains unsolved, police said the victims appeared to have been targeted. All three men were killed with a slit to their throat.
"At the time none of would have thought it was Tam. It was just so emotional, and we thought we had someone else who had done it. Tam's name wasn't coming up at all," a mutual friend of the group, who asked to be identified as Ray, told BuzzFeed.
Ray went on to state that Tsarnaev kept a distance after Mess' death and did not attend the funeral.
"Tam wasn't there at the memorial service, he wasn't at the funeral, he wasn't around at all," Ray said. "And he was really close with Brendan. That's why it's so weird when he said, 'I don't have any American friends.'"
"He was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a daily basis," he added.
Waltham Police and Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office said in 2011, "Based on the present state of the investigation, it is believed that the victims knew the assailant or assailants, and the attacks were not random."
Other reports also suggested that Tamerlan may have had a temper. In 2009, Tamerlan was arrested for beating his girlfriend, according to Slate.com.
A congregation member at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center where Tsarnaev had attended also told the The Los Angeles Times that the suspect was thrown out three months ago for claiming that Martin Luther King Jr. was not a man Muslims should look up to.