Rolling Stone magazine is drawing fire for putting Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, in a glam shot that critics say continues to blur the line between fame and infamy.
The picture, which accompanies a story titled “Jahar’s World,” shows the accused murderer with his long, curly hair tousled and the hint of a goatee, reminiscent of the magazine’s iconic shots of rock ‘n’ roll royalty like The Doors’ Jim Morrison. The cover could send a dangerous message to Tsarnaev’s warped supporters, according to one critic.
“If they want to become famous, kill somebody,” Northeastern University criminologist Jack Levin told MyFoxBoston.com.
“If they want to become famous, kill somebody.”
- Jack Levin, Northeastern University criminologist
The issue, which hits newsstands Friday, depicts an unsmiling Tsarnaev, 19, above a boldface headline, “The Bomber.” The story, which features interviews from childhood friends, teachers and law enforcement agents, promises to reveal how a “popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam, and became a monster.”
In a blog posting late Tuesday, Rolling Stone detailed “five revelations” in the story by contributing editor Janet Reitman, including Tsarnaev’s increasing devotion to Islam while still in high school, as well as his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible mental illness, which the boys’ mother decided would be better treated by Islam than by a psychiatrist.
“Around 2008, Jahar’s older brother Tamerlan confided to his mother that he felt like ‘two people’ were inside him,” the blog posting reads. “She confided this to a close friend who felt he might need a psychiatrist, but Zubeidat believed that religion would be the cure for her son’s inner demons and growing mental instability, and pushed him deeper into Islam.”
Rolling Stone issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying their hearts go out to the victims.
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