Tuesday: “I Was There, But I Didn’t Do The Murders”

Ibragim Todashev and Reni Manukyan (courtesy of The Guardian)

Ibragim Todashev and Reni Manukyan (courtesy of The Guardian)

Good Morning!!

This morning public radio station WBUR in Boston broadcast a detailed report about the killing of Ibragim Todashev in his apartment in Orlando, Florida, on May 22, 2013, reportedly by an agent from the FBI office in Boston.

Todashev was a friend of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The FBI claims that before he died, Todashev confessed that he and Tsarnaev had participated in a grisly triple murder that took place on September 11, 2011 in Waltham Massachusetts. For some more background, here is a post I wrote about the case on May 30 of last year.

The WBUR report by David Boeri provides the most detail yet on this confusing and frustrating story. You can listen to the 13-minute broadcast here and/or read the written report, Interrogation Turned Deadly: Questions Remain In Todashev Shooting. Until now, the FBI has stubbornly stonewalled the media and Congress, even refusing to allow the release of Todashev’s autopsy.

According to the report, WBUR learned the names of the FBI agents and Massachusetts State troopers who were present in Todashev’s apartment at the time of the shooting, but agreed not to reveal the names because it would put the agents and troopers in danger.

Todashev’s widow Reni Manukyan, from whom he was separated, was also interviewed for the story.

If you’re at all interested, I highly recommend reading the whole article at WBUR, because it is too long and detailed to summarize, and excerpts won’t do it justice.

But here are some new details about how the shooting happened. Keep in mind that for weeks leading up to the final day of Todashev’s life he had repeatedly been interviewed by FBI agents, called on the phone by them, and tailed by them everywhere he went. Todashev’s girlfriend had was also being held on immigration charges and was being pressured to inform on him.

Inside the condominium unit, I have learned from law enforcement sources, Todashev faced an agent assigned to the Boston office of the FBI and two Massachusetts State Police troopers — one of them assigned to the Middlesex district attorney. Middlesex County has responsibility for investigating the unsolved triple murder in Waltham in 2011. With the troopers’ arrival, it appears the focus of interest was changing from terrorism to murder….

In Orlando, the interrogation of Todashev was extraordinarily long.

“The fact that there were multiple officers present there questioning him for a period of hours clearly indicated that Mr. Todashev did not feel that he was free to leave,” said Thomas Nolan, who chairs the criminal justice department at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Nolan was also a Boston police officer for 27 years.

“Mr. Todashev was obviously not free to leave if he chose so,” Nolan added. “So he was in effect in custody here.”

At this point the agent(s) should have read Todashev his Miranda rights, but the FBI won’t say whether that happened. They may have decided that since Todashev had “invited” them into his home, they could continue questioning him until he told them to stop or asked for an attorney. If so, they apparently made the wrong decision.

“If you’re beginning to accuse somebody of a triple murder back in Massachusetts, that’s going to generate stress and crisis and conflict,” said Tom Shamshak, a police trainer, instructor in investigations at Boston University and former Massachusetts police chief.

There was a challenge and a danger in being in Todashev’s home, because it was his home— where he was most comfortable, and where, if there were any weapons, he knew where they were and the police did not. The one place police would know there were weapons was the one place they are told in training to avoid when making accusations and where they dread going when responding to calls of domestic disputes: the kitchen, which has knives….

“The accusatory tone in an interrogation … it’s hot,” Shamshak said. “So you have a hot, volatile back-and-forth with the officers: ‘I don’t want to hear that. I know you did it.’ It’s like a volcano.”

And, at some point in the long night of a very long interrogation, Todashev broke, according to law enforcement sources familiar with accounts of what happened who requested anonymity because they do not have permission to speak publicly.

“I was there, but I didn’t do the murders,” Todashev said, according to those sources. Under the heat, they say, Todashev blamed Tsarnaev for the murders.

That was what the agents had been waiting for. Next, they tried to get Todashev to write out a confession and sign it; but they claim Todashev lost control, flipped over the table, knocked the agent down, “came at him with a ‘pipe,’” and according to the agent, “would have split his skull.” And so,

Sources say the FBI agent fired in two bursts. With a burst of three bullets, Todashev went down, according to this account. Then, to the amazement of the agent and the trooper, the ultimate fighter Todashev came up again. The agent fired four more. It was 12:15, the official time of death, Manukyan says.

I’ve already quoted too much from the story, so please go read the whole thing if you’re interested–it’s absolutely riveting. Congratulations to David Boeri and WBUR for getting so much detail–apparently from sources who were present at the scene of Todashev’s shooting. Perhaps this will put enough pressure on the FBI for them to release their own report.

I have a few more news items for you, but I’ll post them in the comment thread. I’ve already had a horrible WordPress glitch today that made me have to rewrite part of this post, and I’m way behind in my real-world schedule. So, please join me in the comments!

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53 Comments on “Tuesday: “I Was There, But I Didn’t Do The Murders””

  1. bostonboomer says:

    To calm me down, some emergency kitty pics:

    17 Cats Who Are All Like, ‘Can I Help You?’

  2. bostonboomer says:

    National Journal:

    No, Edward Snowden Did Not Blow the Lid Off the Alien Conspiracy

    What do Adolph Hitler, Edward Snowden, and extraterrestrials have in common?

    Who knows. But FARS is a semi-official news agency of the Iranian government, reportedly affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, which suggests that someone in Tehran thinks this new report alleging that Washington is secretly run by a malevolent race of extraterrestrials known as “Tall Whites”—who also, by the way, engineered Hitler’s rise to power—will boost their country’s geopolitical posture vis a vis the United States.

    The FARS report, which is almost entirely plagiarized word-for-word from a crackpot conspiracy blog that claims to be the “World’s Largest English Language News Services,” brings the astonishing revelation that a Russian security-agency report on documents leaked by Edward Snowden provides “‘incontrovertible proof’ that an “alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda” is driving U.S. domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since at least 1945.”

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Federal Probe of Chris Christie’s Tourism Ads Could Make Bridgegate Look Like an Afterthought

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/federal-probe-of-chris-christie-s-tourism-ads-could-make-bridgegate-look-like-an-afterthought-20140113

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Roll Call:

    With His BFF Leaving, Is Boehner Eyeing the Exit, Too?

    http://blogs.rollcall.com/hawkings/with-his-bff-leaving-is-boehner-eyeing-the-exit-too/

  5. Wow, that is a lot of big men in such a small space…

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know no one will be interested, but I’m actually still shaking. I can’t believe how important this story is to me. I hope this will be a breakthrough.

    • Some struggle? I mean…Were those walls repainted and repaired? I’ve got holes and bump marks in my drywall all over the place and that is just from everyday living, not a brawl where a table is thrown around and shit.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yeah, I don’t buy it. It’s so convenient that one of the troopers left the room and the agent was alone with Todashev.

    • I find it offensive that they posted this photo rather than the photos of his blood splattered apartment after the murder, with gobs of brains in front of the front door, making it obvious he was trying to escape his home when he was assassinated by the FBI.

      • bostonboomer says:

        How do you know about the “gobs of brains?” We all agree he was assassinated. That isn’t in question. Be sure to leave a comment about this at the WBUR website. There’s nothing I can do about it.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Chad Oulson, Slain Moviegoer, Was Texting Toddler Daughter Before Curtis Reeves Shot Him

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/chad-oulson-movie-text_n_4594450.html

    Pasco County Sheriff’s officials said the shooting happened when Reeves asked 43-year-old Chad Oulson to stop texting at the theater in Wesley Chapel, a suburb about a half hour north of downtown Tampa.

    Reeves and his wife were sitting behind Oulson and his wife. Oulson told Reeves he was texting with his 3-year-old daughter, Cummings said.

    “It ended almost as quickly as it started,” said sheriff’s spokesman Doug Tobin. The sheriff’s office says an off-duty Sumter County deputy detained Reeves until police arrived.

    Cummings and his son Alex — who both had blood on their clothes as they walked out of the theater — told a group of reporters Monday afternoon the show was still in previews when the two couples started arguing

    He shot him for texting during the freaking previews?

  7. It’s a disgrace that David Boeri NEGLECTED to mention that Ibrahim Todashev was in Atlanta at the time of the Waltham murders (FACT), so the entire question of whether he was a witness has already been answered. This is REALLY bad reporting.

    What is good news is that WBUR has gotten the name of the FBI assassin. That’s great news because we as the public are waiting for that FBI agent to be prosecuted! By withholding information about his identity you are obstructing justice.

    The story about the Massachusetts State Troopers also needs a lot more work. Why would they show up at Todashev’s house without being in uniform? Were they trying to hide their identity? Why did they tell his friend that they were all FBI agents from Boston?

    The American people deserve answers. And for the sake of ALL of our security, those rogue FBI agents need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I recommend the death penalty to serve as an example to other FBI agents who would murder a potential witness.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Karin,

      1. David Boeri doesn’t claim to know where Todashev was. He simply reported what he was told. If Reni had proof that Todashev was in Atlanta at the time of the murders, she certainly could have showed it to him.

      2. You’re very young. The FBI has been “rogue” ever since it was established. That’s not likely to change, unfortunately.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s the Traffic “Study” Chris Christie Wasn’t Sure Existed

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/traffic-study-chris-christie-bridge

    • RalphB says:

      Fear of a smart phone? Fucking asshole indeed!

    • dakinikat says:

      I suppose if you’re paranoid enough to walk around with a concealed weapon you suppose every one has them and is going to shoot you at any minute.

      • RalphB says:

        That’s what bothers me about concealed carry. Not that a normal person will use it in a crazy way but that someone who’s afraid of their shadow is most likely to carry a weapon. Cowards with pistols are a genuine worry.

    • NW Luna says:

      One of the stories I read mentioned the texter allegedly threw a bag of popcorn at him. So the ex-cop shooter was afraid of that?

      Shootings in the schools, shootings at the cinema. I think I need to get a bulletproof vest to go anywhere.

  9. Fannie says:

    Great followup BB….seems like the FBI were exerting influence on this case, and they need to be outed, and US get more involved.. I’m just not crazy about the way this story has been handled. Bunch of cowards or what?

    • Fannie says:

      This should be called the LAST NEANDERTHAL or the Man who couldn’t MENUSTRUATE. Call it what you will, but I bet the women who go to work on FOX news go to battle every freaking waking day, trying to prove themselves to these freaks.

      I guess Brit Hume and those like him from the “OLD SCHOOL” think they are the masters of world, and men like Chris are considered to be rough and mannish, BOSSMAN. What a way to degrade us and put us down, and try to keep us in our place. The job of being a governor is for the masculine man, that is the norm we should expect?

      This atmosphere of menustruating and menopausal women should be more placating, realized that as women you are inferior, you should be kept in your place by the masculine macho asshole. Isn’t that what he is cheering on? Macho Bully Asshole.

      When you see that big greasy ass guy named Chris Christie, you should know that he is from the old school and compelled to become a bully, and women you are in the submissive role of slaves. Is that what makes them so fucking secure and powerful? I guess I didn’t learn to appreciate the man chockfull of big and plentiful nuts. I guess I never learned to be subordinating to them.

      This here is the 2lst century ladies, and we won’t forget the American Dream, and women’s rights. Matter of fact we stand up and fight men like you on Jan 20, 2014 for HUMAN RIGHTS all across the country. We are NOT lesser than you Man.

      Trying to make females feel guilty, and citing Christ as a real Man, just makes me want to throw a rock at Brit’s head, and scream out loud, leave us women alone. We have sheer joy in being females, in Herstory.

      You Brit Hume needs to give up Viagra for some Valium. The old fashion asshole.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Court strikes down internet neutrality. The internet is dying.

    A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a far-reaching government effort to protect competition on the Web, allowing Internet providers to sell faster download speeds to the highest corporate bidder — even if access to other Web sites slows to a crawl.

    Ultimately, the ruling may limit consumer choices on the Internet, critics warned. Deep-pocketed, entrenched companies such as Google, Netflix and Facebook could buy better access to American businesses and homes, while new or less affluent rivals could see their content load more slowly.

    The decision is “alarming for all Internet users,” said Harvey Anderson, senior vice president of legal affairs for Mozilla, the nonprofit organization that created the Firefox Web browser. “Essential protections for user choice and online innovation are gone.”

    Consumer advocates warned that if control of the Internet were to become concentrated in the hands of a few giant Internet providers, such as Time Warner Cable or Verizon, those firms could become gatekeepers of political speech and other content online.

    It’s another Citizen’s United. Corporations are people, my friend, and you’re not.

    • NW Luna says:

      “One thing is for sure: Today’s decision will not change consumers’ ability to access and use the Internet as they do now,” said Randal Milch, Verizon’s executive vice president of public policy.

      Bullshit.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    FBI will look into the beating death of a homeless CA man after the cops who killed him were acquitted.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/15/us-usa-beating-police-idUSBREA0D1FA20140115

  12. RalphB says:

    This did almost as much for my mood as BB’s cat pic link ;-) From Wendy Davis on FB:

    We’re thrilled to announce that Team Wendy has raised more than $12.2 million from 71,843 individual contributors so far. They said it couldn’t be done, but thanks to your incredible support we outraised our opponent by $700K!