Rolling Stone cover featuring Boston Marathon bombing suspect stirs online backlash

In this cropped magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of "Rolling Stone." ( AP Photo/Wenner Media

In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of "Rolling Stone."
AP Photo/Wenner Media

Updated 12:54 p.m. ET

Rolling Stone has triggered a firestorm with its new cover featuring Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The August issue of the music magazine features a story and photo of Tsarnaev and is titled: "The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster."

The magazine says the story was drawn from interviews with Tsarnaev's friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement officials. According to Rolling Stone, the story, written by contributing editor Janet Reitman, delivers "a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster."

Following a flurry of negative comments online, CVS Pharmacy announced it won't be selling this month's issue of Rolling Stone in their stores. " As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones," it said on a statement on Facebook.

Rolling Stone's Facebook page attracted much criticism, with one commenter accusing the magazine of "glamorizing terrorism" and another called it a "slap in the face to the great city of Boston."

Among the comments:

  • "Is this for real?! Why don't the VICTIMS get the cover instead? It's sick that no one cares that people died, real people with lives and families, they just care about whatever will sell."
  • "Maybe a pic of the little 8 year old boy that was killed by this piece of garbage would have made a better cover. Cancel my subscription to you publication."
  • "I will NEVER buy a Rolling Stone ever again. Disgraceful."

A separate Facebook page was created overnight - Boycott Rolling Stone Magazine For Their Latest Cover. It had generated more than 40,000 "likes" by late Wednesday morning.

"This is unacceptable and a slap in the face for those he killed and maimed," the Facebook page reads.

After the cover story came out, "Rolling Stone" began to trend on Twitter in the New England area.

Rolling Stone has put controversial figures on its cover before. Convicted serial killer Charles Manson was on the cover of the June 25, 1970 issue.

Dzhokhar, and his brother Tamerlan, allegedly put two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April. Three people were killed and hundreds were injured when the bombs detonated seconds apart.

Authorities also say the Tsarnaevs killed MIT police officer Sean Collier days after the bombings. Tamerlan died after a gunfight with police officers in Watertown.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

He could face the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue it.

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