The Women Who Knew Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev Best

As the first anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing approaches, INSIDE EDITION takes a look at the women who knew bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev best.

INSIDE EDITION has the story behind the women who knew Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev better than anyone else.

Tamerlan's widow was a doctor's daughter from Rhode Island, who was raised as a Catholic but changed her religion to please the man she loved.

There was also his former girlfriend who he dumped because he resented her American lifestyle. She told INSIDE EDITION last year, “I was really, really in love with him.”

Now, as the first anniversary of the Boston bombing approaches, the women present a stark contrast in the life of the accused terrorist who was killed in a showdown with police.

The widow, Katherine Russell, recently had her own experience in a courtroom, in a case unconnected to the bombing. Wearing Muslim headgear, she appeared before a judge in Massachusetts on a speeding charge.

Russell once dressed like an everyday woman. She was a talented artist and a freshman at Suffolk University in Boston, but she dropped out and converted to Islam after she met Tamerlan. After he died, Katherine was left to raise their daughter alone.

There have been reports in the months since her husband died that Katherine was reverting to the lifestyle that he had forbidden—going to movies, wearing nail polish, listening to rock music. But there was no sign that she was any less devout when she appeared in court just a few weeks ago. In that court case, she was found guilty of speeding and fined $150.  

The other woman in Tamerlan's life was 24-year-old Nadine Ascencao. She and Tamerlan had a hot and heavy romance for three years. When Deborah Norville spoke with her last year she said they kept their relationship secret because she is not a Muslim.

She said, “He was afraid that his family would see us together.”

Norville asked, “And that would be a problem for him?”

“That would be a big problem, yeah,” she said.

Tamerlan romanced her with flowers and gifts, but he was also sinister and abusive.

Norville asked, “Was he controlling?”

Ascencao said, “Yes. Very controlling. He would control what I would wear. He wouldn't let me wear things that would be too tight on me. Said that, 'That's disgusting men would look at me like that.'”

Norville then asked, “Did he call you names?”

She said, “Yes! 'You look like a slut'!”

They split up in 2009. Four years later, she was stunned to learn that her ex went on to carry out one of the most horrific terror attacks in American history.

She said, “I just can't believe he would do something like that.”