“It’s a total disgrace, that cover of Rolling Stone,” Boston’s Mayor, Thomas Menino told reporters. “It should have been about survivors or first responders. Why are we glorifying a guy who created mayhem in the city of Boston? I am going to be in touch with the publishers and tell them how I feel about it.”
19-year-old Jahar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan were accused of killing three people and injuring more than 260 at the Boson Marathon on April 15 with two homemade pressure cooker bombs.
The Rolling Stone cover features Tsarnaev sporting long disheveled hair, light facial growth and the headline: “The bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” They claim their article offers “a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster”.
The story calls on supposed “friends” of Tsarnaev, who shed new light on the accused, who “took religion seriously” and thought that terrorist attacks could be justified in some instances.
Rolling Stone’s two-month investigation in the leadup to publishing the story found that Tamerlan once confided to his mother that he sometimes felt as though “two people” were inside him.
Tsarnaev pleaded non guilty to all charges in court last week. He faces the death penalty if found guilty.
The cover is an off-kilter choice for the magazine, which is famous for starring high profile musicians and actors on its cover over its 45-year history.