Reddit Surfaces Tamerlan Tsarnaev Death Photo [WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC]

    April 19, 2013
    Chris Crum

What appears to be a death photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has surfaced on reddit.

The extremely graphic and unsettling image comes from user nfieldflyer under the title: “Suspect #1 … in the morgue. NSFW.” It’s actually being hosted on imgur, as is standard for images on reddit.

At one point, it managed to reach the front page of reddit, but appears to have been moved off. Interestingly, as you can see from the following screen cap, reddit was apparently hit with a DDoS attack as well.

Reddit front page

The image is still on the site in the WTF subreddit.

Naturally, the authenticity is called into question, and we have no hard confirmation, but TMZ reports: “Law enforcement sources tell TMZ it’s 100% authentic.”

TMZ doesn’t actually show the image, but describes it in a manner that matches the image in question:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev death photo

Much has been made over the last day or so about reddit’s role in the coverage of the Boston Marathon aftermath, and in journalism in general. Frankly, it has taken a lot of flack, but Matthew Ingram at Paid Content makes some great points about how the mistakes that have come along with reddit’s “coverage” are really no worse than the mistakes made by mainstream media.

In the comments thread of the reddit post for the death photo, others have been working on trying to determine if the photo is real or not. One person, for example, linked to the TMZ article referenced above.

User kyeraider commented, “The ear is dead on,” linking to this photograph of Tsarnaev that has surfaced:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Then, user donwilson contributed this comparison gif:


TMZ reports that officials are trying to find out who leaked the picture, but also reports that the reddit poster indicated it was obtained “by a ‘friend’ who works downtown.”

We’ve not seen this particular explanation. It’s possible that someone posted it before the poster mentioned above.

As you’ve probably read by now, Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police early in the morning, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect, remains at large.

In related news, a redditor who lives in Watertown did a redddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Here are some highlights.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.