Redacted and unredacted photos of the confession law enforcement agents say Ibragim Todashev was writing before he was killed in an altercation with the FBI. (FBI, redacted; Boston Magazine, unredacted)
Here is what we knew about the gruesome murders of three young men in Waltham, Massachusetts before this week.
We knew the three victims were found in separate rooms. They were positioned face down. We knew their bodies were covered in marijuana. We knew their throats were “slashed with such force that their heads were nearly decapitated.” We knew that two of the victims had wounds suggesting that they had attempted to fight off their attackers. We knew there was no sign of forced entry into that home on a dead-end street in Waltham and we knew that the killer or killers left $5,000 at the scene. We also knew who discovered the bodies. It was the girlfriend of one of the victims who reportedly ran from the house screaming: “They’re all dead!”
What no one had ever heard before this week, before we had this, was that the victims’ hands were “taped” before they were killed.
If this is the un-redacted confession to those murders by Ibragim Todashev then he wrote: “we put them on the ground and then we…taped their hands up”
The witness who discovered the bodies, though, the one who shouted “they’re all dead”, she told Boston Magazine that what she saw at the crime scene does not match Todashev’s confession:
“None of their hands were tied as I recall,” she said.
That detail is also seemingly new to the family of one of the victims:
Aria Weissman, Erik’s sister, said she’d never heard mention of any of the victims having their hands taped, either. “That was the first time hearing anything about it being him tied up, that’s really bizarre,” she said.
According to Boston Magazine, there are other discrepancies between what Todashev had started to write down and what was left at the scene of the crime.
Of course, Ibragim Todashev was shot and killed by law enforcement agents just after he confessed to that triple murder.
The Florida state attorney who investigated the shooting death of Todashev says that his confession to those murders is also recorded on tape.
Maybe one day those tapes will be made public. What we have so far is, as Boston Magazine notes, so very incomplete:
Of course, by all accounts, the confession was incomplete. And because of the difficulty in deciphering the document, it’s impossible to say for sure that the note is inconsistent with reports of the crime scene. “Put them on the ground,” for example, might have been Todashev’s way of describing a physical fight. The note ends abruptly; there was almost certainly more to the story, but Todashev never finished it.