Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took a pencil to the side of a boat in a Watertown, Massachuetts, backyard as he hid from police after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, scrawling messages into the paint as he reflected on the violence.
Jurors in Tsarnaev’s trial were shown photographs of the notes on Tuesday, written on the bloodied inside of a boat riddled with bullet holes. The notes offer a window into Tsarnaev’s mind in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line that left three dead and dozens wounded.
“I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive,” he wrote. “God has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in (t)his boat and shed some light on our actions.”
Images of the notes show Tsarnaev’s tight, neat handwriting covered in lines of blood streaked through the text. Information on Tsarnaev’s messages first emerged in 2013, after they were leaked by an official. However, this is the first time they have been seen in their entirety.
“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians but most of you already know that. As a M (bullet hole) I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished, we Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all,” read a portion of the message. “Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (bullet hole) it is allowed.”
Tsarnaev was discovered in the boat, located in a backyard, on April 19 after he and his older brother, Tamerlan, murdered an MIT policeman the previous day before a shootout with police. Tamerlan was fatally wounded when he was shot and Dzhokhar drove over him while fleeing.
During cross-examination of a Boston police officer who described finding the writing, Tsarnaev’s lawyer established that all the bullet holes were from shots coming into the boat from the outside. The officer said no bombs, guns or weapons of any kind were found inside the boat.
Todd Brown, a Boston police bomb technician, testified that he saw the writing inside the boat when he was sent to check it to make sure there were no explosives or booby traps on board.
Several FBI agents also testified Tuesday about the collection of bomb components and other evidence from the scene of the two bombings. One agent said shrapnel from the two pressure-cooker bombs was found on the ground, inside buildings and the rooftops of buildings, including a four-story hotel.
Tsarnaev’s lawyer said that he participated in the bombings during the opening statements of the trial last week, but alleged that his older brother planned the attack and was the driving force behind his involvement.