As a docuseries we can only describe as perfectly gripping, ‘The Murders Before the Marathon’ examines the connection between the Waltham triple killing and the Boston Marathon bombings. Thus, of course, the sudden demise of a lead suspect in the former 2011 case, Ibragim Todashev, plays a significant role in the entire narrative of this three-part Hulu original production as well. So now, if you wish to learn more about the same — with a specific focus on the events that transpired, its ensuing investigations, and its aftermath — we’ve got all the essential details for you.
How Did Ibragim Todashev Die?
Although born in the capital city of Grozny in Chechnya as the eldest of 12 siblings and half-siblings back on September 22, 1985, Ibragim Todashev spent most of his growing years in Russia. The entire family actually resided in Saratov Oblast before returning to their homeland in the mid-to-late 2000s, only for him to soon relocate to the US as a part of a college exchange program. He hence arrived on a non-immigrant visa and then worked hard to receive asylum in 2008, followed by a permanent residency in March 2013 — but alas, he was never able to enjoy the latter.
That’s because Ibragim had been directly linked to the 2011 triple homicide through his association with Marathon bomber Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev by the time spring 2013 rolled around. The FBI had been questioning the former mixed martial arts fighter in connection to the explosions for nearly a month, yet things took a turn once agents arrived at his Orlando home on May 22. This time two Massachusetts Troopers were also in company since the intent was to cover the slayings, just for the subsequent 8-hour interrogation to result in the immigrant being shot to death.
Who Killed Ibragim Todashev?
According to initial reports, the process of asking Ibragim queries regarding the bombing, his friendship with Tamerlan, as well as the murders was standard, eventually leading him to confess. He purportedly implicated both himself and his former Wai Kru Gym (Boston) training associate Tamerlan in the latter shortly after midnight, following which he began writing his formal statement. However, he paused within moments, asked to take a break, and then suddenly moved to attack the officials, leading agent Aaron McFarlane (then-unidentified) to open fire in fear of their lives.
There was controversy here, though, because the authorities actually inadvertently changed the most crucial facet of this entire narrative quite often in the days, weeks, and months that passed. While it was originally declared the deceased had grabbed a knife or attempted to pick up the samurai sword he kept in the living room, it was later claimed he had a pipe of some kind in his hands. But several media outlets asserted they’d received information indicating Ibragim was utterly unarmed; it was just his unique skillset as a trained mixed martial artist and boxer that raised the threat.
Two separate investigations into this shooting incident were conducted — by the Justice Department as well as the State of Florida — and they both found Aaron McFarlane’s actions justifiable. Per their review, Ibragim did begin to pen down his confession, yet his demeanor shifted so drastically in mere minutes that a state trooper felt the need to text a warning to his colleagues. It read, “Be on guard. He is in vulnerable position to do something bad. Be on guard now. I see him looking around at times.” Approximately a minute later, Ibragim stopped writing, sparking the defensive offense.
The reports reveal the 27-year-old had flipped his coffee table to hurt the FBI agent before moving towards a trooper holding a broomstick “in the style of a javelin,” causing the latter to open fire. Aaron only shot Ibragim thrice at first, but he pulled the trigger four more times after he got back up, with one bullet hitting him right at the top of his head and the other three piercing his back. The examination teams ultimately ascertained the official acted without any degree of malice or misconduct, which is why he will not face any charges at any point in connection to this matter.
We should mention that Ibragim’s estate did accuse the parties involved of excessive use of force and violation of his civil rights, but almost all claims against them were dismissed for good. It’s also imperative to note that even though Aaron McFarlane has not been indicted in this case, he has previously been the subject of two police brutality lawsuits and four internal-affairs investigations while with the Oakland Police Department. He’d retired from the force at the age of 31 in 2004 following injuries to his legs as well as ankles, allowing him to receive a life-long pension from them ($52,000+) while also serving as an FBI agent.