What motivated the murderous acts allegedly committed by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarvaev is the question on everyone’s mind. We would be surprised if it were not.
But will people remain interested in the motive if they don’t like what they hear?
Judging by the recent past, the answer might well be no. After 9/11, people wondered why anyone would kill indiscriminately by flying airplanes into buildings. The Bush administration and others leapt to an unlikely conclusion: the hijackers “hated our freedom.” That seemed to satisfy most people. But it made little sense, and based on previous incidents, we already had ample reason to believe the answer lay elsewhere.