Hanna Rosin examines the possibility that the still-living Boston bomber is getting sympathy from some women because of "the fact that Dzhokhar is cute." "Fact" is the word she uses. But she leans more strongly towards the possibility that certain women feel "maternal" towards the 19-year-old (is it paternal when men notice the looks of a 19-year-old woman?), or that still other women are crazies who are turned on by murderers. (To be distinguished from: who are able to say objectively that some murderers are more physically attractive than others, and to analyze how this impacts their coverage, without swooning over people who've committed heinous crimes, let alone swooning over them because they've done so.)
In the world of real people, many non-white and "ethnic"-looking men have plenty of admirers, of all races and of both sexes. But we-as-a-society are not (yet) used to discussing beauty as something found in a) men and b) the not-entirely-white-looking. This Dzhokhar, whatever he looks like, doesn't look like a Victoria's Secret Angel. Our thoughts don't immediately turn to how this latest menace might be receiving a different treatment in popular opinion than he would if he looked like he'd been hatching conspiracy theories and living off Twinkies in his parents' basement for the last 40 years.
And that's what this is about. It's not about devastatingly handsome - as in, Harry Styles, the rare 19-year-old dude whose appeal to grown women is legendary - but within-normal-limits. To me, from the photos we've seen, Dzhokhar looks utterly normal, like some kind of amalgam of guys I knew in high school or college. (Also a lot like Aaron Swartz - perhaps among the women Rosin spoke with, there's some subconscious conflation of a murderer with someone who is, for many, a tragic hero.) And young plus within normal limits is, in this context, attractive enough for that to potentially impact the coverage.