New Book Looks at Triple Murder in Waltham, and Ties to Marathon Bombing & Watertown

Print More

A triple murder in Waltham in 2011, just half a mile from the Watertown line, has ties to the Boston Marathon Bombing, and to Watertown, author Susan Clare Zalkind discovered.

The Newton resident began to follow the investigation, and has produced stories about the murders and the investigation — which remain open to this day — for Boston magazine and NPR’s This American Life, and wrote and produced the 2022 Hulu docuseries The Murders Before the Marathon. She also covered the Boston Marathon Bomber trial for the Daily Beast. In March, her book “The Waltham Murders: One Woman’s Pursuit to Expose the Truth and a National Tragedy” was published by Little A.

Zalkind has a personal connection to one of the victims. She was working for NECN when a story came across the wire about three dead bodies being found in Waltham. She later found out one of those people was her friend, Erik Weissman, who she met when she was 19.

“I knew one of the victims, I liked one of the victims, but that’s not why I spent 11 years of my life devoted to this story,” Zalkind told Watertown News. “This story raises serious questions about public safety.”

In her book, Zalkind makes the case that one of the Marathon Bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his gym associate Ibragim Todashev (later killed after attacking law enforcement regarding the Bombings) murdered Weissman, Raphael Teken, and Brendan Mess, and “dumped a pound and a half of marijuana on two of the bodies, and left $5,000 cash at the scene of the crime,” on Sept. 11, 2011.

“The evidence is overwhelming, but officials have yet to be held to account as there has been no reckoning regarding Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s involvement in this earlier crime,” Zalkind said.

Among the ties to Watertown are an April 2011 bust of an “alleged plumber turned local kingpin of the semiorganized Waltham- and Watertown-based cartel” for trafficking marijuana over the Canadian border. A then-Watertown Police officer was charged with impeding the investigation and lying to federal agents.

The book looks at the involvement in the investigation by the police departments in Waltham, Watertown and elsewhere, as well as the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.

Zalkind found records showing that Todashev lived in a home in Watertown a few years before the murders. And, the victim ordered delivery from a pizza and sub place in Watertown on the night that they died.

In the book, she presents allegations, based on her research and interviews, that the woman who found the dead bodies in Waltham has a connection to the murders.

Zalkind will read from “The Waltham Murders” at Newtonville Books, 10 Langley Road, Newton Centre, on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *