|Katherine Russell, the widow of Boston bomb suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was ‘an all-American girl who was brainwashed’ by her extremist husband according to one schoolfriend.
Today MailOnline has gained the first glimpse and pictures of the early life of the woman who, according to those who knew her best, was ‘totally transformed’ by Tsarnaev.
At high school her personal motto was ‘Do something about it or stop complaining’. She dreamed of going to college and joining the Peace Corps.
She urged her friends to ‘lighten up and enjoy the small things,’ in life.
Transformed: Katherine Russell, the American wife of marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is pictured left in her school book and, right, leaving the house she shared with her husband in Cambridge
Instead she met Tsarneav, 26, a disenfranchised man who came to America from his troubled homeland of Chechnya who rapidly had her in his thrall.
By the time she was 21 she had married him and borne his child, Zahara, now three. She had converted to Islam, hidden her tumble of chestnut hair beneath the hijab and undergone a change so profound that today few friends profess to truly understand it.