With the international spotlight focused on Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow and the mother of his child, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber had a number of women who loved him. In 2010, he married Katherine Russell, an all-American girl from Rhode Island. She converted to Islam, and the couple now has a 3-year-old daughter. Now, her family has issued a statement saying, “We now know we never really knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev.” Nadine Ascencao, 25, of Brookline, Massachusetts, who dated Tsarnaev in high school, says he “wasn’t like that [radical] at all,” although court records indicate that Ascencao claimed Tsarnaev once slapped him. Ascencao did admit that he could sometimes act like a bully, but “in high school, everybody acts like that.” Ascencao said she was shocked by Tsarnaev’s alleged role in the bombing. And of course there’s Tsarnaev’s mother, whose other son, Dzhokhar, has also been accused in the bombing. Alyssa Lindley Kilzer describes how when she received facials from Zubeidat Tsarnaeva for years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Zubeidat always talked about her family. In recent years, Lindley Kilzer writes that Zubeidat told her 9/11 was a government conspiracy, and Zubeidat knew so because “my son knows all about it.”
Katherine Russell is not the only woman who loved him.