May 6th, 2013
06:44 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Where should an accused terrorist be buried?

More than two weeks after Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gun battle with police, there's no clear indication where he will be buried. The alleged Boston Marathon bomber needs a final resting place, but the funeral home that's currently in possession of his body is facing a dilemma.

Peter Stefan, the director of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, Mass., can't find a cemetery willing to bury the 26 year old accused of plotting the attack, with his brother, that killed three and injured 264people on April 15. Tsarnaev is Muslim, which means cremation would conflict with his religious beliefs.

Today Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told a reporter that the final outcome will be determined by Tsarnaev's family. "I assume they will make a decision soon. I hope they do. I think everybody is feeling upset about what happened."

Stefan wants the U.S. State Department to get involved and send the body to the suspect's family in Russia. Demonstrators outside the funeral home support that plan and are trying to raise money to pay for it.

But, Stefan will not agree to that if he isn't certain the person receiving the body will properly care for and bury it. In an interview with Anderson Cooper airing tonight, he says he is still trying to make that connection in Russia.

What's most important to him is that every person under his supervision, regardless of how they lived their life, is treated equally in death. That principle has guided Stefan through out his career. He considers it an American ideal. "You have to bury people in this country," he says.

Watch the interview to find out how Stefan plans to deal with the controversial problem at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

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Filed under: Boston Marathon Attack
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Connie Avila

    make his family come get him we shouldnt waste our money on sending him back, and if they dont come get him throw him in the ocean.

    May 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  2. S Qualls

    As tragic as the bombing was, think back and remember, Lee Harvey Oswald killed our nations' President in Dallas yet he was still buried in a cemetery right there in Texas! So just bury him in an anominous cementery in an unmarked grave!

    May 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  3. diane greene

    i agree with the folks who say bury him at sea, its fitting, if it was good enough for bin laden then it should be good enough for him, whatever just get him away from the city...

    May 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  4. Thampil Pankaj

    Bury him in Guantanamo Bay premises, if all other options fail! He will be buried near his other terrorist comrades
    , and there will not be much popular protest!

    May 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Susan SJG

    My first thought is to have a public burning of the body like they would in his home country if it was one of our's over there. But since we are not that sort of country I would say send him back. Better that he not be buried here.

    May 7, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  6. Kathleen Kitchen

    I think he should be buried in Watertown! His brother, when he gets the death penalty right next to him. This is a part of Watertown history. I listened to the terrorist attack via police scanner that night and I have to tell you there were real hero's that night. Hey terrorist, you come to Watertown, this is were you will end up!

    May 7, 2013 at 3:17 am |
  7. Sandee Pierce

    Bury him at sea.

    May 7, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  8. Linda Dooleu

    By all means, we as American's should respect his family wishes. But if the cemetery management fears the repercussions of what may happen at his grave sight, then the family needs to respect that decision. Let's be done with this, cremation is my answer. His ashes don't have to be buried & can be taken anywhere. (Privately)

    May 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  9. brenda LaFrance

    If the family does not come forward with a plan, then a burial at sea would be the next logical choice. I do understand the funeral director's dilemma and I agree that he should not release it until he knows who will be accepting the body and proceeds properly. The only thing is that I am struggling with is the fact that there are killers buried here in Mass, what about Albert Desalvo, the boston strangler? I'm almost positive he's buried here, where do we draw the line? Lot of grey area here. but I would personally like him to hit the road and go home to mother.

    May 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  10. mona

    Why can't he be buried at sea like Osama Bin Laden?

    May 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

    We do burials at sea. If the family will not bring him back to their country, then have a burial at sea..

    May 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  12. Evan Clark

    Why can't he be buried on a Correctional facilities cemetery?

    May 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm |

      this is a good idea , as well as burial at sea.

      May 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  13. Joye Dunlop

    Bury the Boston terrorist like Osama was......in International Waters...dropped from a ship or a helicopter! Let the fish get indigestion from feasting.

    May 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • jenne sindoni

      i was thinking the same thing...to bury him the way of bin laden. I was also thinking the same way, in that, we cannot act as they do-like animals- and we should bury him.
      However, I wonder why we feel as though we need to adhere to his religion (and NOT cremate him)- when he did not adhere to his own religion??

      May 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • diane greene

      I totally agree with you, bury him at sea, with his buddy osama

      May 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  14. Gina

    Creamate him and send him home to his family.

    May 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  15. Marylee Bruneau

    I am sure someone would willingly come up with the money to have him shipped back to his mother.

    May 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  16. joanne leigh

    Burial at sea, just like Bin Laden. No trace of him then.

    May 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  17. Gregory Davis

    I am a American Veteran, and I believe we should Burry the Man where ever his Family wants, if it is here in USA, Then do it ! We go to other Countries and Kill people there in War and if we were killed and left there, I would atleast Pray They would Burry my Body in a Cemetery and Respect the Dead. We Have to Let GOD deal with the Man Now ! We are not Animals !!!!!!!

    May 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  18. Karen Miller

    Please, bury him at sea in International waters. Best for all. Sad, but he took so much away from us in Boston and in America. I realize it is up to God to handle his soul, but this would at least neutrilize the dilemma of his remains. Or, deliver him to the Embassy of the Country where he was a citizen.

    May 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  19. jeffreybeauchamp

    I haven't heard anyone discussing a burial at sea. No protests; no pilgrimages; acceptable to Islam.

    May 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  20. Audrey Gaia

    I don't mean to sound cruel-but bury him at sea and he can mingle with the fishes.....and Osama Bin Laden.

    May 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  21. Pat Fitzwater

    Cremate him , or take him out to sea, and dump him, like they did Bin Laden

    May 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |