In several places online I have seen people postulate that they think that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is dead. With one sickening exception, the Dzhokhar Is Dead rumors are benign and based on assumptions that are easy to understand. But even as they are easy to understand, there’s not much to back the theories because they are all fueled by the fact that we haven’t seen Dzhokhar moving since he stepped out of the boat in Watertown on April 19. An uncredited and unverified picture of him, presumably after surgery, was leaked, and in it he looks pretty bad. Since then, the public has not seen him. He was taken from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where he was rushed on April 19, and transferred to a federal prison hospital, Federal Medical Center Devens and at no time did anyone in the public witness the transfer.
Though no one in the public has seen Dzhokhar, there are pretty clear signs that he is alive. He recently was permitted to speak to his mother on the telephone, and told her he was recovering, among other things. There is always the possibility that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was listening to someone else on the phone, as Zubeidat reports that the call was very quiet and it was hard for them to hear each other. However, this situation is different from Maret Tsarnaeva insisting the man in the Naked Guy video is her nephew despite not having seen him in over five years. One presumes a mother will know her son’s voice, even if she has been away from him for a while. Given how vocal Zubeidat has been about her suspicions about staging and false flags, and that the police killed Tamerlan after taking him into custody peacefully, had she any suspicion that the boy on the phone was not her son, she would have shouted it from the rooftops.
Some people find Zubeidat Tsarnaeva a bit odd but there are other people who have had access to Dzhokhar. He has a defense team that has seen him and fought for and won permission to photograph him. Evidently Dzhokhar is in such bad shape that his physical state could be used in his favor in court (and if he is so debilitated weeks after the shootout that it is remarkable enough that it needs to be introduced in court, it points to the notion that perhaps he was in no state to have been interrogated after surgery, but more on that in another entry). That a defense team is going to photograph him should give lie to the idea he is dead. Moreover, from a place of anecdote, the presence of Judy Clarke on Dzhokhar’s defense team should calm suspicions about Dzhokhar’s death. An independent thinker, Clarke is one of the last people I can think of who would participate in a conspiracy wherein she would have to cover up the death of a client or defend a doppelganger. Raised by John Birchers, she became rabidly anti-death penalty and has long been an advocate for people the government and private citizens would genuinely like to see dead, like child murderer Susan Smith. Judy Clarke’s presence on Dzhokhar’s defense team should comfort those who think him dead or fear for his long-term safety pre-trial.
I am of the opinion that much is odd about the accusations against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and I worry that he is being treated harshly or that the we have been misled about the state of his injuries after the shootout. I am not the only one. A rumor that I have not been able to prove through any legitimate source insists that Dzhokhar also has a broken arm that he received either during prison mistreatment or as the result of the shootout at the boat. That such a rumor didn’t immediate strike me as unlikely says something about the quality of reporting that has accompanied Tsarnaev throughout this case (it appears to have originated from a faked transcription of the phone call Zubiedat had with Dzhokhar, since removed from the VK account where I first saw it). We were told weeks after the boat in Watertown was searched that a note had been found so it’s not unlikely Dzhokhar could have broken his arm before or in custody and the news not have filtered out. I would not be surprised if Dzhokhar’s physical state is far worse than the public has been led to believe but the call with his mother and the defense team’s presence, especially now that they can photograph him, should dispel most of the rumors. Hardline conspiracy theorists who believe the whole world is in on the conspiracy cannot be swayed but for the rest of us, I think we can rest assured he is at least alive.
But even as most of the “he’s dead” theories about Dzhokhar are largely benign, there is a theory that verges into the malignant. I am not sure if the video in question was created by StillSpeakingOut but his or her YouTube channel is the first place I have seen this video and every single share of it I have seen originated from that channel. There are other channels that have uploaded this video but they don’t come close to the view numbers that StillSpeakingOut has. Therefore I will, for rhetorical purposes, attribute the video to StillSpeakingOut and will be only too happy to edit this text if another creator is revealed. The “Free Jahar” fandom of young women who have no idea what “Zionist” may mean in this context have been a boon to this video, sharing it without much thought as they scare each other with vapid rumor. For them this video is like a campfire story that ends with a car door and a hook except this time the hook is anti-semitism.