The cover of the August issue of Rolling Stone magazine won’t feature a rock star or actor. Instead, on August 3, readers will find a full cover photo of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The cover image is the well-known self-taken picture of the bombing suspect that shows the youth with a mane of tousled black hair surrounding a face studded with sparse fuzz and featuring a sly, partial grin, floating above a headline that simply says “The Bomber.”
A subhead reads, “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”
The cover story is written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Janet Reitman. In the story, she reveals that “Jahar,” as his friends called him, once said that the attacks on America by Islamist terrorists on 9/11/2001 were justified.
But Dzhokhar has his fans, to be sure. A flock of smitten young women, for instance, have frequently gathered outside a U.S. District Court in Boston when the suspected bomber is there for appearances before magistrates. They’ve carried signs and worn t-shirts festooned with the suspect’s image.
Fans have also been using the hashtag “#freejahar” on Twitter to drum up support.
Peter Finocchiaro of Huffington Post noted that this isn’t the only time the music magazine featured a killer on its cover. In 1970, the magazine featured a full cover photo of the notorious Charles Manson.