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Author Topic: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles  (Read 3877 times)

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RicePlateReddy

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LOS ANGELES --

An unemployed man despondent over extreme financial problems shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and then himself in an upscale home in a gated community, police said Monday.

Karthik Rajaram, 45, was found dead with a gun in hand by police officers who followed a trail of carnage from bedroom to bedroom through the big, two-story house in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley.

Investigators quickly found two suicide letters and a will, and determined that the man once worked for a major accounting firm and was at least the part-owner of a financial holding company, Deputy Chief Michel Moore said.

"We believe that he has become despondent recently over financial dealings and the financial situation of his household, and that this murder-suicide event is a direct result of that," Moore said.

The man wrote in his suicide letter that he felt he had two options -- to just kill himself or to kill himself and his family -- and decided the second option was more honorable, Moore said.
The bodies were found when officers were sent to make a check on the home Monday morning after the wife failed to show up at a neighbor's home to go to work as a pharmacy bookkeeper, Moore said.

http://www.knbc.com/news/17635113/detail.html
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LosingNow

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 05:12:45 PM »

IIT Madras 1985. Supposed to be a very smart guy.. and was doing very well.. according to people who have interacted with him.

Clearly, must have lost a lot in this turmoil.. and just lost his marbles.

What a tragedy? why take the lives of kids? SAD!!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 05:31:19 PM by winningnow »
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hastalavistababy

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 05:47:22 PM »

Death of the American Dream: Indian kills family of five, self in LA
7 Oct 2008, 1909 hrs IST, CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA,TNN     
 
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WASHINGTON: Multiple gunshots echoed in the upscale home of an Indian family in a quiet, gated, suburban Los Angeles community last weekend, echoing
the troubled times in America. 

When police turned up on Monday morning after calls from a concerned neighbour waiting for a carpool ride, they found the body of 45-year old Karthik Rajaram, an unemployed financial advisor, lying in one room with a handgun he had used to shoot himself dead.

With him lay his two youngest sons Arjuna (7) and Ganesha (12), both shot dead. In different rooms across the house they found the bodies of Karthikís wife Subasri (39), his mother-in-law Indra Ramasesham (69), and his eldest son Krishna (19). They all appeared to have been shot to death by Karthik Rajaram.

Police also found two suicide notes Ė one for the cops and one for extended family and friends -- and a will. In them, Rajaram he spoke of his financial difficulties and took responsibility for killing his family members, police said.

Police did not elaborate on the contents except to suggest that Rajaram appeared to be in dire financial straits.

''This is a perfect American family behind me that has absolutely been destroyed,'' LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore told reporters. ''It is critical to step up and recognize we are in some pretty troubled times.''

Rajaram had an MBA in finance from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and formerly worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Sony Pictures. But he had been unemployed for several months, according to local media reports citing authorities.

Investigators also determined that he was at least the part-owner of a financial holding company, SKGL LLC, which was incorporated in Nevada, ostensibly to hold his family assets.

The family appears to have been well-off at one time. According to the Los Angeles Times, they sold their home in Northridge in 2006 for $750,000, making a sizeable profit on a home they purchased in 1997 for $274,000. They had also taken out two loans for $241,400.

Rajaram once made more than $1.2 million in a London-based venture fund before he ran out of luck playing the stock market, reports said. A 2001 article in The Daily Telegraph of London, under the headline ''Bust, but big bucks for the big boys,'' called Rajaram a ''winner'' in a deal for NanoUniverse, a LA- and London-based venture fund taken public on the London Stock Exchange. For a 12,500-pound investment, Rajaram, one of the company's founders, received 875,000 pounds -- or about $1.2 million in 2001 dollars -- after a voluntary liquidation, the newspaper reported.

Although the family rented their current 2800-sq foot home, they lived a typical upper class life. They had two cars, a Chevy Suburban and a Lexus SUV and they reportedly paid their rent on time.

The incident sent shock waves through the neighbourhood, the larger Indian community and American financial world on a day the monetary world saw yet another bloodbath. Indians are widely known and recognized as the most successful ethnic community in the U.S with the highest per capita income among all segments of the population, including Whites.

But the country is now starting to hear of many hard luck stories, including among Indians, although nothing like this. And not in the City of Angels, far removed from the frenzied financial world of New York.

It wasnít immediately clear if Rajaramís extreme action stemmed from the ongoing economic turmoil, but even the police, unusually, referred to the troubled times. And as the story burnt the wires, the online community debated the incident heatedly.

''All the talk of bailouts for these big financial companies take the front page on all the papers, but the impact of the economic crisis on individuals is sometimes overlooked. This is a sad and tragic reminder of how quickly people can spiral into a horrible place,'' one blogger lamented.

Neighbours said the Rajarams were a quiet, decent family who pretty much kept to themselves and did not socialize much. The eldest son Krishna, a Fulbright scholar majoring in business economics at his fatherís alma mater UCLA, appeared to be visiting home at the time of the incident.

Local school authorities said the two younger kids were also extremely bright and the parents had been very much involved in their education. The family did not appear to be particularly troubled, although some neighbors told reporters that Rajaram was pretty intense.

According to the police, there was no evidence that Rajaram had sought help from mental health professionals. However, the context of the letters and the fact Rajaram had purchased the handgun as recently as September 16 indicated that his actions were ''premeditated,'' they said.

''He had become despondent over his financial situation,'' Deputy Chief Moore related. In one of his letters, he talked of two options: taking his own life or taking his own life and that of his family. ''He talked himself into the second strategy,'' Moore said.

One of the neighbours reported that Rajaram had spoken to her twice in the last two weeks asking whether she would be home this past weekend. He urged her to keep her side windows shut because he had heard of burglaries in the area. He seemed nervous -- shaking, pacing and taking notes on a notepad as he spoke to her, she told the LA Times.

She surmised after the bloody massacre that he was trying to have her close her windows so that she wouldn't hear anything.

Apparently, no one did, because it was not until Monday when another neighbour rang the Rajarams' bell to remind Subasri, who worked at a local pharmacy, about the carpool ride did the tragic incident come to light. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 05:49:02 PM by hastalavistababy »
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RicePlateReddy

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 06:30:03 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
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LosingNow

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 06:38:30 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior
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RicePlateReddy

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 07:09:12 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
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LosingNow

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 07:48:53 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
True!
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OldPal

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 08:08:43 PM »

What bothers me is, this seems premeditated. Usually acts like these happen in a moment of madness.
But seems there was a lot of planning that went behind this.
He left one more letter for family and friends. Not sure what is covered there.
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prfsr

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 08:45:34 PM »

What bothers me is, this seems premeditated. Usually acts like these happen in a moment of madness.
But seems there was a lot of planning that went behind this.
He left one more letter for family and friends. Not sure what is covered there.

No. Depression seems to magnify manyfold what seems to a third person to be a life-threatening problem. We Indians do not handle financial problems well. There was a professor in Kharagpur who killed himself in his office for what was from all accounts a trivial issue -- he had overspent 30-35k from his industrial grant (on equipment and such - not illegally). 
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OldPal

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2008, 01:34:28 AM »

What bothers me is, this seems premeditated. Usually acts like these happen in a moment of madness.
But seems there was a lot of planning that went behind this.
He left one more letter for family and friends. Not sure what is covered there.

No. Depression seems to magnify manyfold what seems to a third person to be a life-threatening problem. We Indians do not handle financial problems well. There was a professor in Kharagpur who killed himself in his office for what was from all accounts a trivial issue -- he had overspent 30-35k from his industrial grant (on equipment and such - not illegally).
I think i agree with you ... yesterday i was speaking to a very close friend of mine in NJ whom i have known close to 30 years now. This guy had over 90 consultants from his company working for AIG and Lehman bros. This is the fiirst time i have heard him say "not so good" in response to a typical casual question " how is it going" . Me and fiamly have been speaking consistely since yesterday to him. The issue is . If he pays salary to all his employees for a month he will lose close to a mln bucks in octoboer. This is pobably close to a lot of money he has made in last few years. If he doesn't he has a lot of court cases coming to him and takes a risk of putting a lot of families in danger. I don't know what the solution is ? But the issues are not as straight forward as they seem to be. But let us face it. I am sure most of here in DG have face hardships in one way or the other. I personally feel, all these hardships give us is the confidence in ourselves to fiight our way out. I have seen a couple of sucides myslelf of my classmates parents.Personally i don't condone it whatever the reason may be. But againt there are 6 bln ppl in world all are distinct( may be off with numbers in blns).
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pipsqueak

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 01:41:08 AM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

why in the world would he kill others?

he can take his own life - how is he any different from the psychopaths who go on a killing spree! i have no sympathy for him.

he shdn't have been greedy and tried to leverage so much.
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prfsr

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 01:41:28 AM »

Pankaj
I have no expertise, but is bankruptcy an option?
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justforkix

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 02:30:37 AM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
True!

This is nothing but an act of extreme cowardice !!!!
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dhruvdeepak

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 06:58:11 AM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
True!

This is nothing but an act of extreme cowardice !!!!

cowardice is if you take just your own life. no sympathy for that.

monster is the correct description.
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Cover Point

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 03:29:38 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
True!

This is nothing but an act of extreme cowardice !!!!

cowardice is if you take just your own life. no sympathy for that.

monster is the correct description.

we should be careful in using any of the adjectives. We may feel the anger of a tragedy here but if you take a min and think, that man must have been going through huge mental pressure to do something like this. Obviously no sane person would do such a thing. Killing your own children (shooting them one by one) is not something anyone even in any remote sane mind would do.

Its easy to call names but I would call this a tragedy and obviously the man needed help. Wish there was a way he could have gotten that help.
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prfsr

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Re: Indian man in LA kills family and himself due to financial troubles
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2008, 04:00:14 PM »

Why take the lives of his children, wife and her family with him - what an awful god complex this guy suddenly had. Does serious depression turn people into monsters?
Did he suffer from depression? is it confirmed?

Sounds to me like he may have had some social status maintenance (peer pressure) issues. With his education/experience, he could have gone to India and easily got a good job and taken care of his family (even if he was bankrupt now). This is incredibly sad and scary behavior

Well, I gave him the benefit of doubt that he was clinically depressed and it caused him to act like a monster. If he wasn't highly depressed and it was mostly peer pressure as you suggest (I surely hope not!), then I don't have adjectives to describe him.
True!

This is nothing but an act of extreme cowardice !!!!

cowardice is if you take just your own life. no sympathy for that.

monster is the correct description.

we should be careful in using any of the adjectives. We may feel the anger of a tragedy here but if you take a min and think, that man must have been going through huge mental pressure to do something like this. Obviously no sane person would do such a thing. Killing your own children (shooting them one by one) is not something anyone even in any remote sane mind would do.

Its easy to call names but I would call this a tragedy and obviously the man needed help. Wish there was a way he could have gotten that help.


Could not be said better. Thank you.

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