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Many Offers, But No OKs For Burial Of Boston Bombing Suspect

The Massachusetts funeral director who is trying to find a cemetery that's willing to bury the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says he has gotten 120 offers from graveyards around the U.S. and Canada.

But when Peter Stefan "calls officials of the cities or towns involved, nobody wants the body," The Associated Press reports.

We wrote Monday about the rejections Stefan had gotten from private cemeteries in Massachusetts and the statement from the city manager in Cambridge, Mass., who said Tsarnaev's body wasn't welcome at the public graveyard there.

NPR.org's Alan Greenblatt follows up today with a look at an ancient story: The notion "that some individuals may have been so villainous as not to deserve burial."

Where might Tsarnaev's body end up? The AP adds that the suspect's mother wants the remains to be taken to the family's native land, Russia. Funeral director Stefan, though, has told the wire service that "he made calls to Russia, but that it was hard to get anyone to respond. He said he is working on other arrangements, but declined to be more specific." Cremation is not an option for Tsarnaev's Muslim family.

The April 15 bombings killed three people and wounded more than 250. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, are the main suspects. Authorities say they also killed an MIT police officer four days later. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gun battle with police on April 19. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured later that day. He is being held at a federal prison hospital facility in Massachusetts. The younger brother faces a charge of using a weapon of mass destruction.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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