Marathon Suspect’s Widow In ‘Absolute Shock’ About the Bombings

Katherine Russell, widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is working with FBI investigators following the attack on April 15.


Photo via FBI

The widow of alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother who was killed after a shoot out with police in the streets of Watertown, says she was shocked to learn about her husband’s involvement in the April 15 attack.

According to a statement issued by Miriam Weizenbaum on Tuesday, on behalf of Katherine Russell, the reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, “came as an absolute shock” to her and her family. Weizenbaum said that her client is “doing everything she can to assist with the investigation,” and cooperate with federal officials in charge. “The injuries and loss of life—to people who came to celebrate a race and a holiday—has caused profound distress and sorrow to Katie and her family,” according to the statement. “As a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, Katie deeply mourns the pain and loss to innocent victims—students, law enforcement, families and our community. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she, her daughter and her family are trying to come to terms with these events.”

Russell has been relying on the support of her family, who live in Rhode Island, in the aftermath of the bombing and the allegations against her husband, which include killing three people after setting off a bomb at the Marathon finish line, and being involved in the shooting death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

Weizenbaum said her client married Tsarnaev in June 2010 after meeting in a nightclub in Boston. Soon after they married, Russell converted to Islam and began wearing a traditional garments. According to reports, Russell grew up in a Christian household and is a talented artist who attended Suffolk University after graduating from a high school in North Kingston, Rhode Island.

Leading up to the marathon bombing, Russell was living on Norfolk Street in Cambridge with her husband and their daughter, and “… working long hours, caring for people in their homes,” her lawyer said Tuesday.

Tamerlan’s brother, Dzhokhar, was arrested on Friday after he and his brother led police on a deadly chase from Cambridge to Watertown. Dzhokhar was arraigned in his hospital bed on Monday, and allegedly told investigators his bother was the mastermind behind the bombing plan.