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Photograph shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in police custody with no injuries?

Published Apr 23, 2013

Claim:   Photograph shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in police custody with no injuries.


Example:   [Collected on the Internet, April 2013]

Suspect 1 Being escorted Away

How Suspect 1 ended up


Origins:   As described in multiple news accounts, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died from injuries sustained in a gun battle with police in the early morning hours of Friday, 19 April 2013:

A doctor involved in treating the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died in a gunbattle with police says he had injuries head to toe and all limbs intact when he arrived at the hospital.

Dr. David Schoenfeld said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unconscious and had so many penetrating wounds when he arrived at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center early

Friday that it isn't clear which ones killed him, and a medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death.

"From head to toe, every region of his body had injuries," he said. "His legs and arms were intact — he wasn't blown into a million pieces" — but he lost a pulse and was in cardiac arrest, meaning his heart and circulation had stopped, so CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, was started.

Schoenfeld did not address police's assertion that Tsarnaev was run over by a car driven by his brother as he fled the gunfire.

The doctor said he couldn't discuss specific treatments in the case except to say what is usually done in such circumstances, including putting a needle in the chest to relieve pressure that can damage blood vessels, and cutting open the chest and using rib-spreaders to let doctors drain blood in the sac around the heart that can put pressure on the heart and keep it from beating.

The images shown above purportedly provide evidence contradicting these accounts, apparently showing Tamerlan Tsarnaev in police custody alive, uninjured, and standing and walking under his own power, in stark contrast to a claimed post-mortem photograph displaying his body with many signs of external trauma. However, the man in the first image is not Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but rather a bystander who was temporarily taken into custody near the scene of the shootout, then questioned and released:

On Thursday night while police were hunting in Watertown, Mass. for bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, at one point they arrested a naked man who looks a lot like Tamerlan.

Police say the naked man is not Tamerlan, despite various conspiracy theories going around the Internet.

According to the official account, Tamerlan died after a shootout with cops, riddled with bullets and shrapnel before being run over by his brother who was fleeing the scene in an

The Watertown police department got back to us via email just to say that the naked man was not Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers occurred on Laurel Street. Naked man [was] captured near Nichols and Dexter, literally down the street from the shootout.

Naked man was apparently stripped, questioned, clothed, questioned some more, and reportedly let go. It's likely police stripped him because they were under citywide bomb threat and wanted to make sure he didn't have a suicide vest, but the police did not comment on that.

The following video features an interview with a journalist who witnessed police taking "naked man" into custody:

Last updated:   23 April 2013


    Ingersoll, Geoffrey.   "Police Say the Naked Man Arrested in Boston Was Not Tamerlan Tsarnaev."

    Business Insider.   22 April 2013.

    Marchione, Marilynn.   "Tamerlan Tsarnaev Injuries."

    The Huffington Post.   20 April 2013.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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