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Karthik Rajaram


NRI shot five family members and killed himself

Los Angeles, Oct. 08, 2008
Mohan Sharma

NRI Karthik Rajaram, 45, an unemployed financial advisor killed himself and shot five family members:

  • Wife Subasri, 39, found dead in bed
  • Mother-in-law, Indra Ramasesham, 69, found dead in bed on the first floor
  • Son, Krishna Rajaram, 19, found dead in bed in the master bedroom.
  • Son,Ganesha, 12, found dead in bed
  • Son, Arjuna, 07, found dead in bed

LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore says investigators found two suicide letters and a will. Moore says the notes indicated Rajaram was desperate on extreme financial problems and felt killing himself and his family was the honorable thing to do. He had an MBA in finance from University of California (UCLA) and formerly worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sony Pictures, but had been unemployed for several months. He had no record of mental disabilities or contacts with mental health professionals in Los Angeles County. 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.

Karthik Rajaram is listed as a co-manager of a corporation called SKGL LLC, which is incorporated in Nevada, according to state records. He formed the corporation for his family's assets and used his family members' initials to form the name, said Las Vegas attorney Christopher R. Grobl.

SKGL was incorporated in 1999 and renewed its annual business license in December 2007. Grobl did not know what sort of business SKGL was or why Rajaram incorporated in Nevada.

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 investment, Rajaram, one of the company's founders, received £875,000 - or about $1.2 million in 2001 dollars - after a voluntary liquidation, the newspaper reported.

Denise Gellene, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer said: What drove him over the edge to total despair is a mystery. By all accounts, he had enjoyed a successful career as an investor in start-up companies before running into an economic crisis that led him to a violent end. The financial pressures can seem like an inescapable pit.

Police found no obvious foreclosure looming in Rajaram's future and no bankruptcy. But one investigator familiar with the case said Rajaram "lost a lot of money in the markets."

"We know he believed he had no options," Police Capt. Sean Kane said. "It is a shame he believed that, because he clearly had options."

Moore said: Karthik Rajaram 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 American Psychological Association press released that eight of 10 Americans say the economy is a major source of stress in their lives. Nearly half say they are worried about providing for their families' basic needs.




NRI Karthik Rajaram, 45, an unemployed financial advisor killed himself and shot five family members: