Talk:2011 Waltham triple murder

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WP:POV and WP:COATRACK Issue[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I am retracting my complaints I do feel though that this would be better presented in the main article - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:29, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Okay I have a few issues with this article:

1. Where does any reliable source come out and say this is connected to the bombings or the suspects?

2. If it is connected to the suspects why is it not in one of the main articles? (WP:COATRACK)

3. Where is the evidence that the brothers killed these three people? (WP:BLPCRIME)

Responses would be helpful. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:09, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I think the creation of this article was a tad premature. Merge a sentence or 2 to the suspects' article. Ribbet32 (talk) 01:19, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Take a look at the pre-2013 material online. This was a triple murder that attracted continuing attention in Massachusetts. And is attracting mega-attention tonight. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Winfield22 (talkcontribs) 01:23, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Okay you still have not answered how this does not go against WP:BLPCRIME (Innocent until proven guilty) or how this is not a media WP:POVFORK. Nothing has been proven it's all up in the air now and we as editors of Wikipedia shouldn't jump to conclusions. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:26, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I am simply quoting and citing reputable news sources like ABC television and the Boston Globe. I do not see that this is unusual or illegitimate. I'm on a learning curve here. I am sure that there will be more details in the morning papers. And we can add that as it comes out. But the speculation about a link to the marathon bomber is part of the story about these murders.Winfield22 (talk) 01:36, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
The most obvious reason why it doesn't go against WP:BLPCRIME is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is now dead. StAnselm (talk) 02:17, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Date of murder[edit]

Here is what Boston Globe says: "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"

Wikipedia should here either go with the official version (12) or as unsure (11 or 12). Wikipedia should note state that the murders were committed on September 11 before officials change their date from 12 to 11. Also, the anniversary for the 9/11 attacks shouldn't be mentioned first thing in the lede. The connection is not established yet. Iselilja (talk) 14:46, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

The article has a lot of internal inconsistencies about the date. All of the references to the date, within the article, should be consistent. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:49, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I changed it to Sep 12, per the officially reported date, other than to emphasize the statement by the relative that it was Sep 11. Per the quote, that only appears to be backed up by his speculation based on when they stopped using their phones...which is needlessly circumstantial given the official date. – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 16:26, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
The only thing that is clear is that Mess's girlfriend discovered the bodies on Sept 12 and she went screaming from the house. One vic's death cert says 11th and 2 say 12th for date of death according to sources. The relative actually said that he confirmed with other people who knew them and everyone states an 8 p.m. or so end to cell phone use. Ya, hearsay, but still. Legacypac (talk) 16:46, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense. Best to keep it as Sep 11 or 12 for now, then, especially with the death certificates conflicting. – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 17:24, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Do you have a link to the source that says one death certificate states death occured 11 Sept? Boston Globe says they have obtained two of the death certificates and both state the death occurred on 12 September. They were unable to obtain the third certificate. I believe that when a body is found within a day after death, the time of death can often be fairly accurately estimated based on body temperature. Iselilja (talk) 18:38, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I went back in my browser history and I now retract the statement about the death cert saying Sept 11. Instead i read it was obits and/or a FB memorial page/headstone shot stating Sept 11. I had found a page[1] with these links: Initials are those of the victims.
"In going through the FB memorial page for Erik (EW), there is a pic of his headstone which has the DoD as September 11, 2011:
EW's obit reads Sept 12 (but see headstone photo)
RT's obit reads Sept 11
BM's obit reads Sept 12 (but source quoted in article now saying he stopped texting at 8:15 pm on Sept 11.)
The idea the family thinks they died on Sept 11 is definitely NOT a new idea. Legacypac (talk) 19:55, 23 April 2013 (UTC)


The intro now after edit by Epeefleche sayts: "the relatives of the victims noted that "the killings took place on a highly symbolic date for Islamic extremists: the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." This is misleading, as it may appears that the family is just noting that 11 September is a symbolic day, and does not mention that the family's belief that the three persons were killed on September 11 differ from the police's which is probably based on a forensic analysis. The fact that the police is now investigation the case again, don't nessecarily mean that they have changed their mind about the date; and at least the official dates of deaths are still 12 September. Iselilja (talk) 06:14, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Evidence for Sept 11 is very clear and police now agree. Article now reflects this. Legacypac (talk) 21:26, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Age of victims[edit]

I have seen victim Erik Weissman listed as age 25 in some sources and as age 31 in others. Does anyone know for sure? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:52, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

This Boston Globe article [1] is the only reliable one I found stating 25 instead of 31...most other refs seem to list 31, including all the earlier ones as well as multiple other Globe refs ([2] [3]). There's also a TPM article [4], but it just references the Globe. It appears that the Globe accidentally used 25 in that single article, since another victim was 25 and mentioned in the same sentence... Are there earlier refs also saying 25? – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 16:34, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

His memorial Facebook page says Weissman was born on June 19, 1980 in Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts 7.6 LB 21" long 2 hugh dimples Adorable. There is a photo of him as baby too.[1] June 1980-Sept 2011 = 31 years old at death. Legacypac (talk) 16:41, 23 April 2013 (UTC)


The Globe reporter clarified via email that Weissman was 31, after I pointed out the inconsistency. That article hasn't been corrected yet, but it seems fine to just ignore that reference since we have other reliable data stating 31. – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 17:03, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

High school[edit]

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Mess were approximately the same age, and attended the same high school. Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School/ Has anyone seen an article that both mentions: a) that Tamerlan went to the high school, and b) in the same article mentions that Mess went there, so it can be added to this article without being synth? Also, can anyone find when they graduated the high school? Thanks.--Epeefleche (talk) 07:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Not very specific as to the older brother but "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who graduated from the school in 2011" and "the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had attended their high school." [1] "Tamerlan, the older brother, cycled through only briefly. He was an athlete, but also played in the jazz ensemble, a smiling, benign presence out of the boxing ring." [2] Tam applied to U of Boston so he must have finished high school. Still looking.Legacypac (talk) 23:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


Various reports [1] say "Tamerlan met Mess at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts gym in 2010" so even if they both went to the same public school they may not have known each other there. Legacypac (talk) 23:51, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


Right. Thanks. From what I've seen, the better reports make it seem as though Tam brought Mess (a martial artist) to the gym in the first place. They also appear to be close in age, if my reading of the sources is correct. I'm not sure I've seen a graduation date for Mess, however.--Epeefleche (talk) 02:40, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Street number[edit]

I took the street number out of the infobox - there are some people who are concerned about privacy and victimization. If we are willing to give the exact address of where Tamerlan lived, and where his wife is staying with her parents now, then it would be fair to include it, and I'd actually prefer that as a status quo, but so far as I know people have been claiming WP:BLP#Avoid victimization and keeping these things out. Wnt (talk) 17:04, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi Wnt. I think it is appropriate to include it. The template certainly allows for it, as indicating that a specific building may be appropriate.
And, of course, BLP does not apply. The people who lived there are not living people.
And the article is all focused on an event, which happened at that location.--Epeefleche (talk) 20:57, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'm not really motivated to defend my position - I won't revert you if you revert it. Still, if their relatives live there, or even if there's some random guy tired of getting thrill-seekers looking at his apartment, it might matter to them. Wnt (talk) 21:01, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll wait to see if there are any other comments, first. I found it of interest, for appropriate purposes ... it allowed me to access photos of the apartment online. As to their relatives living there -- I've not seen any indication of that at all.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
The "avoid victimization" rule seems to make sense for more general information...but, the house at this address is the focus of the article. It also appears in several reliable sources; if you Google the address itself, within the first few hits are several articles about the murder. As far as the Internet is concerned, this address is permanently tied to being the site of a murder, so I don't think we're disclosing anything unreasonable. Thus, I agree that it makes sense to include the address since it is certainly encyclopedic, particularly when it's been a year and a half since the events.(Interestingly, it appears that disclosing a murder is not required when selling a home in MA: [5]. Apparently in some states, it is.) – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 23:59, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
The address is actually a small apartment building or at least a house with multiple suites according the various reports - ie interviews with people in other suites. I read that the apartment sat empty for about 6 months but was eventually re-rented. If the current occupant does not know about the murders he/she is living under a rock. We show the exact address of the bombings and other locations. I don't think privacy is an issue - it is just an address of an event. We could even list GPS coords. Legacypac (talk) 21:32, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Drug Dealing Past[edit]

I've read that some or all of the vics have a past history of drug dealing. Most specifically I found a report (dated back at the time) of Mess being arrested with two other people riding together in NH for pot. Since they had pot sprinkled over their bodies, this seems pretty relevant. Also, this is partly why the police felt the crime was drug related. With all the current stories it is hard to find the older sources - but possible. Does anyone object to including well sourced info on past drug connections for the vics? Legacypac (talk) 21:37, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Police cover-up?[edit]

First of all: I'm not usually a conspiracy loony. That said, I find it very hard to believe that the police really thought the murders were commited on the 12th. That when all telephone and other communication of the trio stopped in the evening of the 11th. Food were ordered on that evening, but not delived because no one opened the door. Another creepy detail. Why the police initally believed it was taking place on the 12th, is beyond me. That all victims were jews butchered in al-queda style, should also make some alarm bells ring.
It seems that this is a cover up from the police to me, to hide the fact the muslim terror did occur on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11-attacks to aviod public panic or something.
One policeman is quoted in the article saying that the trio was butchered in al-queda style. Did he say that to the press in 2011 or is this something he has said in 2013 in heinzeit? The article is a little unclear on this.

Bjarnulf, Oslo — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

That was a comment made by an investigator in 2013.

In my personal opinion, it sounds like a "cover-up" to me too. The police probably didn't want a media storm or public overreaction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

"their heads were nearly decapitated"[edit]

Since to decapitate means to remove the head, it's clearly a gross illiteracy to write that "their heads were nearly decapitated", whether it occurs in a source or not. William Avery (talk) 12:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

That's not clear to me. The source, as you point out, says "their heads were nearly decapitated." And then we have other examples of decapitated used in the same manner.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] It seems as though the original entry, consistent with the source, was perfectly appropriate.--Epeefleche (talk) 20:06, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with William Avery. We're not obligated to use the same exact phrasing that a cited source uses unless we're directly quoting, and once you notice it, the "heads were nearly decapitated" phrase seems rather poor. Probably the phrase comes about from the fear that some people may not know what 'decapitated' means, but it seems grammatically better to either say "their heads were nearly separated from their bodies" or "they were nearly decapitated". Perhaps an analogous situation is the phrase "the plug was unplugged". It's better to say "the appliance was unplugged" or "the plug was pulled out". —BarrelProof (talk) 22:20, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
You are correct that we are not obligated to. But it tends to be a wonderful starting point. The assertion that it is "illiteracy" seems unfounded. It is commonly used as such -- I just noted ten instances, many from top publishing firms. There are many, many more. I see no evidence that it is illiterate or incorrect. This seems more like an IDONTLIKEIT situation, with marked exaggeration as to the propriety of the original edit. And at wp, where more than one format is acceptable, we usually accept the original and avoid edit warring. BTW -- there is nothing at all wrong with saying "he unscrewed the screw." That's normal, as well.--Epeefleche (talk) 04:04, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I wasn't edit warring. I saw the comment by Avery on the Talk page, agreed with it, and thought probably the article had already been changed to fix the perceived problem. Then I looked at the article and found the original wording that seemed defective, so I changed it. I failed to check whether there had been a revert, so it wasn't actually (intentional) warring. Also, no one said there was anything wrong with "he unscrewed the screw" – that seems OK to me – to me it seems a bit different from "the plug was unplugged". But anyhow, that doesn't really matter at the moment – perhaps my example wasn't perfectly analogous – it was just the best I could come up with at the time. —BarrelProof (talk) 04:35, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't defective, though. See the use of the phrase vis-a-vis this case. As well as the other refs above. Perform a simply google search on the phrase. Look at the publishers of books that use the phrase. This is quite the same as "he unscrewed the screw" (a far better analogy, IMHO) ... one doesn't argue that it is redundant there. Same with decapitating a head. Of course one unscrews screws, just as one decapitates heads. There is nothing redundant in the usage at all -- it is accepted and common. The normal course at wp is that where usage is accepted and common, one doesn't revert its usage just because one has an (equally?) acceptable usage.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:52, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
It's utterly wrong. One can find reliable secondary sources (called style guides and textbooks) that say it's wrong. Abductive (reasoning) 03:31, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Ice pick or knife[edit]

The infobox and the article itself both refer to the near-decapitation as being from either an ice pick or a knife: "slit from ear-to-ear with either an ice pick or knife". This seems rather dubious. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I don't think you can "slit" anything with an ice pick. The quoted sentence in the article references three sources. I checked all of them and did not find any mention of the ice pick possibility. For that matter, I don't recall seeing any of them explicitly mention a knife either, although that seems rather obvious. I did see the word "slit". I suggest to change "slit from ear-to-ear with either an ice pick or knife" to just "slit from ear-to-ear" (and to remove the ice pick from the infobox). —BarrelProof (talk) 18:59, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

After looking at more references, I found the "ice pick or knife" phrase in the April 22, 2013 article by Erik Ortiz of NY Daily News. That source was not cited at the location in the article for that phrase. If we keep the phrase, it should be cited. But I still find the ice pick idea highly dubious. Also, in other references, I found a quote from the police saying "their throats were slashed". You can slash with a knife, but I don't think you can slash with an ice pick. —BarrelProof (talk) 05:06, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I understand that you may question it. But it has been reported by RSs. We reflect what RSs report -- our goal is verifiability, not truth. And this has been reflected by, at minimum, the New York Daily News (three times), MSNBC, Daily Mail (twice), and Daily Record. I'm fairly certain the ref was there when the text was added -- don't know off-hand who was fixing the refs by deleting it, no doubt inadvertently.--Epeefleche (talk) 22:02, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Citation referencing cleanup[edit]

I don't know whether it was vandalism or some kind of repeated copy/paste problem, but I just found a lot of incorrect dates in the article. Lots of references that were obviously published in 2013 were dated with article dates of Sept. 11, 2011 or Sept. 12, 2011. I also found what looked like some duplicated references or incorrect links & titles. I tried to fix the problems that seemed readily apparent. Probably some more cleanup is needed, and I invite others to check what I did and to check the dates on the remaining references. —BarrelProof (talk) 05:51, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Probably a refserve problem. I've seen it sometimes grab dates from the body of the article, rather than the date of the article. Also, as to dupes, sometimes that occurs when people link to different pages of multi-page articles; otherwise, refserv usually catches it. Good work, cleaning it.--Epeefleche (talk) 22:04, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

"Thousands of dollars of marijuana"[edit]

Another wording issue – apparently, some source used the phrase "Thousands of dollars of marijuana". (Most of them didn't use that phrase, but apparently one of them did.) The exact sentence in the article was "Thousands of dollars of marijuana and money were left covering their mutilated bodies, and $5,000 was left at the scene." My highly non-expert understanding is that the dollar is a unit of measurement for quantities of money rather than quantities of marijuana (which I would expect to be measured in ounces or pounds or cubic centimetres). Also, I strongly suspect that saying "Thousands of dollars of ... money ... and $5,000 was left at the scene" is referring to the same money twice. Also, I noticed that most sources only referred to the bodies being covered with marijuana, and said that the cash was nearby rather than being part of what covered the bodies. Also, I thought the subjective adjective "mutilated" was unnecessary and redundant when following the sentence saying that "All had their throats slit from ear to ear, with such great force that they were nearly decapitated."

So I changed the sentence that was saying "Thousands of dollars of marijuana and money were left covering their mutilated bodies, and $5,000 was left at the scene." to instead say "Their bodies were left covered with marijuana, and $5,000 was left at the scene." My impression is that the latter version is better supported by most reliable sources and is less subjective. My change was rapidly reverted with the comment "this was in a supplied ref", so I'm bringing it up here for discussion. Remarks are hereby solicited.

BarrelProof (talk) 01:37, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

We go with RSs. Over editors' opinions. And RSs routinely refer to "x dollars of marijuana." And that was the case here. The original language was accurate, and directly supported by an RS, and not at odds with other less specific RSs. You really have to cut back on your tendency to engage in OR.--Epeefleche (talk) 05:32, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
See this.--Epeefleche (talk) 01:16, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

New investigation details[edit]

In the New investigation details section, it states: After the Marathon bombing, a Planet Aid driver found discarded fireworks in the Planet Aid donation bin in the parking lot of a restaurant, Gerry's Italian Kitchen. Police investigators told ABC News that "the gunpowder had been emptied from the fireworks and the shells discarded in a shopping bag inside the bin". I am confused. What does this have to do with the murders? If anything, it seems like that info should be in the Boston Marathon bombings article ... no? I don't see how or why it is relevant in this article. How is this relevant to the 2011 murders? If there is indeed some relevance (and I am simply missing it), the article should clarify that as well. Any thoughts? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:43, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

That seems too unrelated to me as well. I suggest to delete it. —BarrelProof (talk) 03:19, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not completely convinced of whether this is related, and was not the one to add it, but do believe I saw mention of it in coverage of the Mess killing ... the restaurant being connected to both the fireworks and the Mess killing ... and fireworks being possibly connected to Tam ... etc. But let's let the editor who added it speak up. Best.--Epeefleche (talk) 05:35, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
The wording of the article does not mention any connection between the location of the fireworks and the killings. Personally, I didn't notice that the name of the restaurant appeared twice in the article until you pointed it out. The reader should not be forced to figure out that connection for themselves. (Most readers simply won't notice it, as written.) —BarrelProof (talk) 07:09, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that is exactly my point. If there is indeed some connection, the article needs to clarify that. The statement (quoted above) needs to have some context, so that the reader understands the connection. As it stands now – alone, without any context – it seems out of place in the article. It reads like just some random statement thrown into the article. If anyone knows the connection (better than I do), please add in some clarification. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:02, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I added a mention of the connection, as discussed in a May 10, 2013 article by ABC News. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:31, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:13, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Erik Weissman incorrectly mentioned as being active in a synagogue in several sources, and this error is continued on this page.[edit]

I am a member of Erik's family. He was never a member of a synagogue, and we have no idea how that mistake first appeared in any reports. The problem is, I keep getting rejected when I attempt to correct this error, but because the mistake has been published, it is considered more accurate than actual personal and familial knowledge. Sad state of affairs, that. Anyway, we all care about facts, and continuing to keep this blatant misstatement on the page is a real problem. Please remove it- the original sources for this quote are incorrect and, indeed, there is no reliable source for it. Mind you, Erik was proud of his jewish and his israeli heritage, but he was not observant.

Always a problem proving a negative, eh? It's also a problem when an inaccuracy gets published and no-one bothers to retract it.

Opsono Yonferal 16:53, 14 May 2013 (UTC) Wade Smith — Preceding unsigned comment added by Opsono (talkcontribs)

Please see wp:or and wp:rs. Thanks.Epeefleche (talk) 23:50, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
What a douche. He's not asking to insert uncited information. He simply wants to remove incorrect information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:53, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Create an article on Ibragim Todashev, his FBI interviews, and his death?[edit]

It appears that Todashev's death at the hands of the FBI is sufficiently notable for him to deserve his own article, with the name to be determined. (The article would be about his encounter with the FBI specifically, rather than a "biographical" article about him.) There are two reasons I think so.

  1. The (very mainstream) USA Today's article "Father of man FBI shot claims his son was executed" is currently at the top of Google news. The article is about the father holding a press conference in Moscow at which he shows photographs of his son's corpse which he says indicate that he was shot 7 times, once in the head. An American Muslim organization held a press conference in Orlando yesterday at which it said the same thing. The mainstream media has definitely picked up this story: in addition to USA Today, the Washington Post and the LA Times have run pieces on it. The FBI has so far not commented on the photos or the father's claims. That's strange, because it is hard to see why an unarmed man would need to be shot seven times (with standard issue hollow point .40 S&W rounds presumably, which do quite a bit of damage).
  2. It is awkward to put this story that is notable in itself into an article on the 2011 Waltham murders, given that the two people who are alleged by law enforcement authorities to have committed the crimes were both shot dead by law enforcement. The only reason we have to believe that there is any connection between Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Ibragim Todashev, and the Waltham murders is that the FBI alleges that Todashev was about to sign a confession implicating himself and Todashev in the murders, and then, instead of doing so, lunged at his interrogators. Given that, as the Atlantic—a rather staid publication—points out, the FBI's story on how and why Todashev was killed has repeatedly changed, I am not sure that this allegation by the FBI is a sufficient basis for Wikipedia to determine where it treats Todashev's death. (The FBI has never suggested that Todashev was involved in the Boston Marathon bombings.) This is especially the case since (1) according to the Orlando Sentinel, Todashev's widow says she has records proving her husband was with her in Atlanta on the day of the Waltham murders; (2) it is one thing to talk to the FBI if you don't think you are a suspect, but why would anyone make a confession without asking for a lawyer first?

A model for the proposed article could be the Rodney King article. As is the case with Todashev, the only thing that made King notable was his treatment by US law enforcement. – Herzen (talk) 21:31, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

See Category:Unarmed people shot by police which has a number of similar articles you can model it after. CarolMooreDC - talkie talkie🗽 23:46, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I personally have no objection. Others at wp may ... and I'm not saying that they should.--Epeefleche (talk) 23:51, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, since my original post, the Wash Post has written an editorial about this. The arguments made by the editorial alone make an article on Todashev justified, in my opinion. It turns out that Ibragim Todashev already redirects to 2011 Waltham murders. So I've just taken the material from the section on Tadashev in the Waltham article and copied it to the Todashev article, to begin with. Thanks to Carolmooredc. – Herzen (talk) 00:39, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I concur, an article is needed. Let me know if anybody tries to redirect or delete it. Abductive (reasoning) 03:35, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Bellerophon5685 has changed the name of the article to "Death of Ibragim Todashev" in "accord with wiki policy". Makes sense to me, although I'm not familiar with the policy. Hopefully that will be the end of it, and the article will be stable from now on. – Herzen (talk) 04:30, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move to 2011 Waltham triple murder. It's a shame there wasn't more participation, but the thread about "homicide" vs. "murder" seemed to more reasonably conclude that "murder" is appropriate here, as that's what reliable sources call the event. That's enough to move the article. But I should add that it also seems hard to believe that there wasn't intent to kill when "all had their throats slit from ear to ear, with such great force that they were nearly decapitated." -- tariqabjotu 13:19, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

2011 Waltham murders2011 Waltham triple homicide – The current title doesn't seem sufficiently clear or disambiguating. I would consider doing this as a WP:BOLD move, but the topic seems sensitive and is the subject of a lot of recent attention, and perhaps a better suggestion can be found through discussion. Relisted. BDD (talk) 23:58, 19 June 2013 (UTC) BarrelProof (talk) 05:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the name you suggest is more descriptive and precise. I myself would have no problem with your doing a WP:BOLD move. I'm not sure why you say this topic seems sensitive: just seems like a cold case to me (which the police made colder by killing the two people they suspected of the murders). – Herzen (talk) 05:18, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's a cold case that didn't get much attention for a while, but I think any case connected to Tamerlan Tsarnaev (legitimately or otherwise) can't be considered very cold right now. (To me, it's kind of amazing that such a horrific killing escaped widespread attention until the Boston Marathon bombings. Perhaps if it had gotten more attention, that could have been prevented.) —BarrelProof (talk) 05:56, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. Have there been any other notable muders in Waltham? If not then I believe the current title is succint and precise enough. Zarcadia (talk) 22:53, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
To me, the current title sounds like it belongs to multiple events connected only by a regional location and span of time. It seems like it is a description of all the murders in the Waltham area in 2011 (notable and non-notable ones), or a discussion of the general phenomenon of murders occurring there that year. This article is about a single event, and it should have a name that makes that clear. Even if these were the only murders in Waltham in 2011, the current title does not seem appropriate. The article does not actually say whether there were any other murders in Waltham in 2011 or what other article the reader might want to consult to learn about that topic. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:40, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I'm conservative about renaming articles, but I also believe that the name of an article should give one as precise an impression of what the article is about as possible, and the present title certainly doesn't do that. – Herzen (talk) 03:42, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Murders are rare in Waltham (averages about 1.2/100,000/year), and often goes several years in a row with no murders. The current title is fine. Apteva (talk) 02:13, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree in Part and Disagree in Part: I agree that the title needs revision; I disagree with the proposed revision. The current title seems to imply that this is an article about all of the murders that have taken place in Waltham during the year 2011. I assume that the town had more than one murder that year? I doubt that they had several "triple homicides". However, why use the wording "triple homicide"? What is wrong with "triple murder"? Using the word homicide implies that these were not, in fact, murders (but, merely, deaths). A better title is needed. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:26, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
To me, the word 'homicide' seems more encyclopedic and less judgmental/POV than 'murder'. But I have no objection if others prefer 'murder'. —BarrelProof (talk) 17:46, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
The word "murder" is not judgmental, nor does it violate POV. Also, it is entirely encyclopedic. The police (and the reliable sources) are calling this a murder. To use the term "homicide" implies that it is a non-murder (homicidal) death. If anything, that term would be POV. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:31, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Properly speaking, 'homicide' does not imply a lack of murder. I just looked up the word in several dictionaries. Murder is homicide. Manslaughter is also homicide. A killing committed by a non-culpable (temporarily or permanently) insane person is also homicide. A killing committed to protect oneself or someone else is also homicide. There will probably never be a court ruling that convicts anyone of murder for these killings. But, as I said before, I do not object to using "murder" in the title of this article if that is the general preference of others. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:18, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, we are essentially saying the same thing. "Homicide" is a very broad and general category; it covers any situation in which one human causes the death of another human. This includes murder, as well as the several other variations that you listed. "Murder", however, is more specific (i.e., less broad and less general). Therefore, if something is indeed a "murder", it makes no sense to post it under the broader category of "homicide". By doing so, it implies that the death was not a murder (otherwise, the more specific term of "murder" would have been applied). Also, there does not need to be a court ruling or a conviction to determine that a murder occurred. In this case (or any other), we can have the police and the proper authorities and reliable sources that deem it a murder; that is sufficient. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:17, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I know it's lame, but I googled "homicide v murder". The reason I did so is that "Waltham triple homicides" sounds better to me, and I wanted to find out why. This is one thing that came up:
The easiest way to describe the differences between murder and homicide is that homicide is the killing of another human being, while murder requires the intent to kill another human being. Homicide can be used to describe any death where another person is at fault, but there are mitigating circumstances that can influence the charge of homicide. When someone is convicted of murder, however, they are not only convicted of a homicide, but also the malicious intent to kill.
That makes it sound to me like the police can determine whether a given death is a homicide, but not whether it is a murder: to determine that, you need a trial. (That probably explains why there is a police show called "Homicide", but not one called "Murder".) In the case of the Waltham homicides, there are two reasons why a court might rule them not to be murders: (1) according to the initial account we got about Tsarnaev's involvement, Tsarnaev and his accomplice(s) only realized that they would have to kill the three men once they had ripped them off, which means there was no premeditation, something usually required for a murder charge. (It is besides the point that this sounds silly, like much else that has come out about this case.) (2) Since marijuana was involved, it is conceivable that a court would find that the killer(s) were not guilty of murder, due to temporary insanity resulting from intoxication. For these reasons, and the fact that the police killed the two alleged perpetrators, so that there will never be a trial unless new suspects are found, it would be incorrect to call these homicides "murders". – Herzen (talk) 02:38, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with much of what you say. Quite frankly, much (most) of what you state is flat out incorrect. To sum it up, I stated this in my post above: Also, there does not need to be a court ruling or a conviction to determine that a murder occurred. In this case (or any other), we can have the police and the proper authorities and reliable sources that deem it a murder; that is sufficient. So, if the police and the proper authorities and the reliable sources are calling this a murder, then that is "good enough" for Wikipedia. Again, there is no requirement that there be a trial or a conviction in court. Many murders go unsolved (e.g., the Black Dahlia case; the Jack the Ripper case; the Zodiac Killer case; etc.). Just because there is no trial and/or no conviction does not preclude the fact that a murder took place. Another example is a murder-suicide case. For example, in the Columbine school shooting, there was never a trial or a conviction (since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed suicide). The fact that there was no trial and no conviction does not mean that no murder occurred on that day. If your position in the above post were indeed correct, then it would be totally impossible to have an "unsolved murder" or a "murder-suicide" (since you are equating the term "murder" with the necessity of a trial and a conviction). And, clearly, unsolved murders and murder-suicides happen every day of the week. So, your theory/understanding is flawed. There was never a murder conviction in the case of O. J. Simpson's wife, Nicole Simpson. (See O. J. Simpson murder case.) Does that mean that Nicole Simpson was never murdered? Obviously not. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:34, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
You're citing yourself to support your position. Yes, the Black Dahlia is usually referred to as having been murdered, but the word is being used colloquially. The colloquial usage has become sufficiently established, because the killing occurred long ago, that it is acceptable for Wikipedia to follow it. My dictionary (Concise OED) defines murder as "the unlawful premeditated killing of one person by another" (emphasis added). As I said, but you ignored, the story that the police gave was that the killers did not initially intend to kill the victims, which makes these killings not murders even by your standards. The killings only happened two years ago, so there is still a possibility, though remote, that they will be solved. Thus, it would be premature, and unencyclopedic, to jump to conclusions and declare these killings murders. The case is still open, as far as I know. Yes, there can be murder-suicides, but those are determined by a coroner, I imagine.
I am puzzled by why you have an axe to grind in this matter, instead of keeping to the restrained, detached manner appropriate to an encyclopedia.
Consider the latest article about this event by the Boston Globe. The word "murder" appears in the headline (headlines are often sensationalistic and misleading), but only once in the body of the article, when it is used in a direct quote of a city councilor (not a police official or prosecutor). Otherwise, the word "homicide" is used exclusively. Wikipedia should maintain at least the same standards as a newspaper such as the Boston Globe.
Please desist from your efforts to turn Wikipedia into a tabloid. – Herzen (talk) 04:22, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
You are missing my point entirely. If the police, the authorities, and the reliable sources indicate it to be a murder, that is sufficient for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a court of law that uses the term "murder" in its legal sense (which is different than in its vulgar sense). That is the gist of my position. If the police in Waltham are calling this a murder, and the reliable sources are reporting that, then it can be called a murder. One does not need a final court, trial, and conviction to "officially" deem it a murder. As to your other points: you mention the Black Dahlia and state that it may be called a murder, because it happened so long ago. Yet, you completely ignored the more recent cases: O. J. Simpson (no murder conviction); Columbine school shooting (murder-suicide); and Zodiac Killer (unsolved murder). Are you claiming that in those three cases, there were no murders committed? Do you not see how silly that argument is? Again, by your definition, it is totally impossible to ever have a murder-suicide; and it is also impossible to ever have an unsolved murder. Finally, you do not understand the concept of premeditation. Premeditation does not mean that they had to intend it before they entered the house; premeditation can occur in an instant. It does not have to be a long, drawn-out, pre-planned thing. Premeditation can occur in the 1 or 2 seconds that a guy raises a gun. You do not understand the concept of premeditation. So, your statement ("the story that the police gave was that the killers did not initially intend to kill the victims, which makes these killings not murders even by your standards") is 100% incorrect. They did not have to form intent before they entered the house. They could have formed the requisite intent, after entering the house, in the 1 or 2 seconds before they actually commenced with the killing. In fact, in your statement, police said that the killers did not initially have intent; in other words, the police are saying that the intent came about later, albeit not initially. But, they still had intent at some point (i.e., later on) and, thus, with that intent, it is a murder. Also, you claim that a coroner can deem a crime to be a murder-suicide. If that's the case, why can't the police do so? A coroner is a governmental authority (as are police); a coroner is not a "court of law" that renders a trial verdict. Your positions defy logic. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with User:Joseph A. Spadaro on this. Wikipedia is not a legal dictionary, and if these events are described as murder by the local police and media, and ergo reliable sources, then that is satisfactory for calling it such here. Zarcadia (talk) 02:52, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the input ... and for being a voice of reason. Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:39, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not about winningHerzen (talk) 05:04, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Who (other than you) said anything about "winning"? I had referred to "reasoning" (i.e., presenting reasonable arguments), not "winning". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:12, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

External links to videos[edit]

There are currently three external links to videos of one of the victims. I find them grotesque, something utterly inappropriate for an encyclopedia. All three links in the external links section are to pages on YouTube. This is the first time I have seen a Wikipedia article making direct links to YouTube. Any objections to deleting the whole External Links section of this article? – Herzen (talk) 07:58, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I mostly agree. I looked at two "tribute" videos and a Facebook tribute page. I don't think they add any encyclopedic value. I'm less sure about the news report video, but basically don't see a justification for that either. —BarrelProof (talk) 18:41, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

I may be missing something. But, what is the "big deal" if the crime was committed on September 11 or on September 12? It seems that this article makes an effort to point out that initial reports were September 12; then, further evidence came about to change that to September 11. Either way, what's the big deal? As I said, I may be missing something. Also, I presume that these murders occurred at night. So, if the killers did the killing prior to 11:59 PM, then the correct date is September 11. If the killers did the killing after 12:00 AM, then the correct date is September 12. So, in the end, who cares? And what's the big deal? And why is the distinction (seemingly) so important in this case? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:24, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Because September 11 has special meaning in relation to terrorism motivated by Islamic extremism, and therefore it seems like a date that Tamerlan Tsarnaev might choose for an act of mayhem. —BarrelProof (talk) 11:50, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I understand the "connection" to the 9/11 attacks. My point is: do we really think that Tsarnaev cared if he committed the murders before 11:59 PM (when it was technically September 11) or after 12:01 AM (when it was technically September 12)? He (they) went to the house that night to kill their victims. I am sure they were not saying "we have to make sure this is done by midnight, otherwise it's not 9/11 anymore and our plan is ruined". Makes no sense. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:20, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose we will never really know what he and Todashev were thinking that night. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
True. But, I am wondering about the police, investigators, media, etc. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:58, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems clear to me that the police, investigators, media, etc. do think that the date might have some special significance in the motivation for the crime. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:09, 26 May 2017 (UTC)