Editor’s Note: The graphic photo circulating on the Web claiming to show the body of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has not been officially confirmed. We have blurred the image completely but link to the Reddit thread where the photo is posted, which is extremely graphic.
The website TMZ and Twitter users are spreading a photo allegedly showing the corpse of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police in Watertown, Massachusetts, Thursday night.
The image purporting to show body of Tsarnaev, whose brother, the other suspect in the bombings, is still at large, is reported by TMZ to be “100 percent authentic,” according to its law enforcement sources. Its sources said they would be investigating who leaked the photo.
The image shows a bloody body with what appears to be gunshot wounds. The body also has a large gaping hole in the left rib cage, which Redditors speculate was the result of a thoracotomy. According to the Surgery Encyclopedia, a thoracotomy can be performed for various reasons to gain access to lungs, ribs, heart or other organs in the chest cavity. Although lung cancer is the most common reason for such a procedure, a resuscitative thoracotomy could be performed to “control injury-related bleeding from the heart, cardiac compressions to restore a normal heart rhythm, or to relieve pressure on the heart…”.
Another Redditor, HeyItsTheChad, claims that a “doctor friend” said the red on the body’s face is not blood but “bruising,” which would be consistent with someone being run over by a car. CNN reported that Tsarnaev exited the car stolen by he and his brother, engaged in gunfire with authorities and was run over by Dzhokar who drove away and was being hunted by police Friday.
TMZ went on to report the image first surfaced on Reddit from a user of the social news site who said they obtained the copy from a “friend.”
Got this from a friend downtown. Haven’t seen it anywhere else yet. Not sure of validity. He would not tell me where he got it from
UncleLeosEyebrows went on to say he has tried to confirm the source.
We should note too that after the death of a high-profile person fake, doctored photos showing the alleged body have a tendency to surface. There were similar photos that came out after the shooting of Osama bin Laden claiming to show his corpse.
It should also be noted that TMZ’s law enforcement sources might not be associated with the Boston case specifically.
There is another Reddit thread that began with the same image here.
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Update: The Smoking Gun reported the chief of the hospital’s emergency medicine department, Dr. Richard Wolfe, who said he had seen the photo circulating and noted that it “was not taken during the medical procedures or when the medical team had control of the body.”
Wolfe explained after Tsnarnaev was pronounced dead at the hospital, the body was taken to a “non-clinical area” where law enforcement took custody.