Northeastern University criminologist Jack Levin told MyFoxBoston.com that the cover could send a dangerous message to others who might be minded to carry out violence: “If they want to become famous, kill somebody.”

Within hours, CVS announced that it would not sell the issue in its store. “As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones,” it said.

Dan Kennedy, who teaches journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University, said he shared Levin’s concern, but said that “purely as a magazine cover, it was kind of brilliant”.