Man offers burial plot in Connecticut to bomber's family - KCTV5 News

Man offers burial plot in Connecticut to bomber's family

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The following photo of Chaz is from the WPLR 99.1 FM website The following photo of Chaz is from the WPLR 99.1 FM website
People opposing the offer to bury suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. People opposing the offer to bury suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

A Vermont man that graduated from the Yale Divinity School is offering up a burial plot in Hamden to the family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Local residents and one Connecticut disc jockey voiced their opposition to his burial in Connecticut and are trying to stop it from happening in state.

The family of the Boston bombing suspect has been having a difficult time finding a cemetery willing to bury him. A cemetery in Enfield said no, but now the Yale Divinity School graduate is offering a plot in Hamden.

Paul Keane said he would offer the plot inside the Mount Carmel Burial Ground under one condition - that it's done in memory of his mother, Barbara, who passed away in 1985.

She taught Sunday School for 20 years at the Mount Carmel Church. He said he wants to do this because she taught him "love thine enemy," even if the enemy is a terrorist.

"This person, no matter how much of a pariah. No matter how despicable. No matter what a leper he is," Keane told our CBS affiliate station WCAX in Vermont.

Mount Carmel cemetery is the oldest in Hamden and owned by a society. Each plot is owned individually.

In his blog Keane writes, "I own the plot and no one can refuse me access," but that isn't sitting well with local residents and those that have loved one buried there.

But, Connecticut residents disagree with Keane.

"He did an act of terrorism against this country, and I don't think he should be buried on this soil," said Sandra Marenholz of Cheshire.

People, who have loved ones at the Mount Carmel cemetery, gathered Tuesday as a group to voice their concerns about having the known killer buried in Hamden.

"To have this person who has no connection to town to city to state, sort of unceremoniously dumped here because no one else wants him is a concern," said Franz Douskey of Hamden.

Eyewitness News tracked down the man who runs the Mount Carmel burying ground society, who only said no comment and hung up.

The point person for the society's fundraising told Eyewitness News it appears the plot owner can give it to whoever they chose and there was no clear rule in the bylaws.

The funeral director for the suspect's family is striking out despite getting more than 150 offers of plots because officials in the cities and town where the gravesites are located don't want his body there.

"It has to be accepted," said Funeral Director Peter Stefan. "A Muslim cemetery would be much more acceptable to the people there. Most of the cemeteries we have here are nonsectarian with a section set aside for Muslims. The only true Muslim cemetery is in Connecticut."

In Enfield, the leader of the Islamic Center of Connecticut said his mosque is not willing to take his body, either.

"The town of Cambridge have to deal with it," said Imam Mohamed Haidara. "The local Muslim community over there have to deal with it, the family has to deal with it. I don't know why it would come to us here."

The Tsarnaev family said they will not fly his body back to Russia, but a private group has opened a bank account to send his body back there.

One radio DJ said in a release Tuesday that he is personally willing to purchase a burial plot for Tsarnaev as long as it was not in Connecticut or Massachusetts, where the bombings occurred.

"We've been through enough in this state, I can speak for most Connecticut residents when I say we REALLY don't want him here" said Chaz of Chaz and AJ in the Morning. "We've had some historically horrible things happen recently, we don't want Connecticut to be known as a final resting place of a terrorist."

The people, who oppose the body being buried in the Hamden burial ground, were considered to hire an attorney. 

Chaz and colleague AJ said they have asked attorney Norman Pattis to represent families.

"This is where I draw the line. Not in my backyard," said Chaz, who would pay up to $1,000 for the plot.

Opposition to the idea of Tsarnaev being buried in Connecticut was very clear.

"It's a disgrace," Cheshire resident Sandra Morenholz said. "A lot of people who are here, including my father, fought for freedom for their country. My father was a war hero and people who are terrorists in this country should not be in this cemetery."

People told Eyewitness News that they are concerned about people coming in Mount Carmel cemetery and damaging the headstones in protest.

Keane said he is doing it for one reason.

"I am not going to judge what other people are doing," he said. "This is what I am doing. This is what my mother would do."

Keane also told Eyewitness News if you knew his mother, you would understand his decision.

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