A vigil was held Wednesday night outside Trinity Church in Back Bay to mark the two year anniversary of a triple homicide in Waltham.

The unsolved murders of three men in 2011 was thrust into the national spotlight after police began investigating a link to the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and another Chechen man, Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed by an FBI agent.

Brendan Mess, Raphael Teken and Erik Weissman were friends who had gotten together the night of Sept. 11, 2011 to watch a football game, as they often did. Their bodies were found covered in marijuana. A wad of cash — about $5,000 — was left in the open.

Who killed them, and why, remains a mystery. But that is not why 40 or more of their friends came together in the shadow of the Trinity Church on a windy but humid night. Vigil participants said they wanted to give broader definition to three individuals whom many in the crowd believe have been unfairly maligned by news media descriptions that flow naturally from any crime described by law enforcement as possibly drug-related.

"That's how it goes," said Kelly Griffen, a lifelong friend of Erik Weissman. "That's what's interesting, that's what makes people want to hear the news story. They were related to drugs. It's drugs, it's bad, it's something negative, that's our society. It's more interesting to talk about this drug dealer rather than to really look at his history, the person he was. He was a jokester and whenever he laughed, you would follow suit. He was a really fun, interesting intelligent person."

Craig Etheridge knew all three men well: Weissman, Mess and Teken.

"Grew up with Brendan, I lived with Raph at one time, Brendan and I went to college together and we lived together," Etheridge said. "He was the brother I never had."

The FBI shooting of Todashev in Florida several months ago just moments after he allegedly confessed to the Waltham murders and implicating Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has triggered even more questions about an already mysterious case from vigil participants like Griffen.

"It leaves people to try to connect the dots on their own, rather than to get information that would provide some sort of real understanding. This is just kind of speculation. Let's just try to see how we can figure it out. One day we're feeling this way, the next we're feeling a different way. We hear something else, it's like gossip that comes to you, rather than real information, and it's unfortunate that there hasn't been a real investigation in this. It makes you wonder: What is really behind it, and why?

The FBI says the shooting of Todashev is still being reviewed by the agency, but the ACLU in Florida has called for an independent state audit of the case.

Meanwhile, WGBH has learned that the Middlesex prosecutor working on the Waltham triple murder was reassigned over the summer, and a new assistant district attorney is now investigating this unsolved crime in cooperation with state police and the FBI.

One of the vigil participants had walked from Harvard Square to the Trinity Church in Back Bay taking the pathway along Storrow Drive. He said looking back over his shoulder on the pathway he noticed that someone had spray pained a grafitti tribute to Brendan Mess on the train bridge on the Cambridge side of the Charles River that reads: "RIP. B Mess," or rest in peace, Brendan Mess.