Man who killed family 'extremely intense'

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. "Hate to say this but he kind of had a screw loose. You know, just kind of the way that he was," said Sue Karns, a friend of Karthik Rajaram, the man who killed himself after killing his family.

Karns says she knew Rajaram for about 10 years. They were next-door neighbors in a quiet section of Northridge. She says he was a nice man, but very intense to the point that it was unusual.

"He was an extremely intense, nervous man. And, I think, emotionally, he had problems," said Karns.

Police discovered the bodies of Rajaram's relatives on Monday at Rajaram's rented home in Porter Ranch. Authorities say Rajaram killed his wife, his mother-in-law and his three sons. All of his victims were shot in the head. Rajaram then turned the gun on himself.

Karthik Rajaram's suicide notes indicated distress over money problems.

Karns knew him differently. She says he was very smart. Rajaram had an MBA in finance and was shrewd with his money. He made $1 million in one investment alone.

Karns is a real-estate agent and sold Rajaram's house at the height of the market. That sale made Rajaram another half-million dollars.

"He says, 'I'm going to take the money from the house and put in my business. So he lost that money too, I guess," said Karns

Karns says Rajaram loved his family, especially his children. He was very proud that they were excellent students.

"He would kiss them. He would kiss them all the time. On the cheek ... he just loved them," said Karns.

When asked if Rajaram's acts made any sense, she replied, "No, other than he just ... I think he just wanted to take them with him."

One of Rajaram's sons, 12-year-old Ganesha Rajaram, was a student at Nobel Middle School. Counselors were on hand on Tuesday to help students dealing with this tragic loss.

"It's mind-boggling. How an 11, 12 or 13-year-old is going to take it. It's going to be a wide range. But again, we have professional counselors here," said Robert Coburn, Alfred B. Nobel Middle School principal.

Karns said she spoke to Rajaram in January. She said he told her he wanted to buy a new home while the market was at rock bottom. However, things may have changed in the last six months.


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