No, not the alcohol ones, but the humans who turn into spirits.
Over the weekend we met a few of our friends over lunch. One thing led to the other about sudden tragedies that fall on the desi community around here, and she said “guess what? that Natarajan who killed his family – they were in the newspaper a few days ago“.
That perked our ears coz it’s been close to 7-8 years since that incident happened. Shook us up. Especially considering our very good friend is close friends with Natarajans. Our friend was considerably shaken with what had happened, and for many days refused to walk around at nights in her home saying she thought she saw this lady – Kala- it spooked her completely. Not a soul suspected that the husband would do such a heinous crime. Poeple tell me he cared for his family, and was a very devoted father and husband. Never hesitated to give whatever they asked for. No expense was too high for his daughter and son.
This guy planned the whole affair in such details, its quite confusing why he didn’t think any other alternative would work. I mean, death is like the ultimate choice when all paths are closed. He was extremely logical in his details to carry out the task, and even made plans to be discovered next day. He bought a gun a few months before the incident, and has remained in complete control throughout. The day before he’d invited his whole extended family, her brother’s family etc, for dinner. The cousins wanted to sleepover and he avoided it by saying he has a surprise waiting for them that night. He even made arrangements for his business partner to come at 9 am to his home, so he’d discover the bodies and call the authorities.
The sad part was that after he killed his wife, and went over to the kids’ room, did his son, and somehow – my memory is hazy now – his daughter started moving, and so escaped a direct hit. The newspapers later reported that the girl actually came to her senses after a while, went from room to room and then downstairs and she was the one who’d actually opened to door in the wee hours perhaps looking for help. She was found near the door by this partner.
Natarajan shot himself at the end thinking he’d finished the job.
Writing the story gives me the shivers. I am trying to see what was running through his mind when he planned this. People tell me he lived beyond his means. Is social pride and ego so high up that his family’s lives seemed worthless comparitively? Why couldn’t he have declared bankruptcy and left – gone to India, started afresh? Is it better to kill than to admit you’ve lost or made mistakes with your life. He was 40. The wife must’ve been in her 30’s and his kids were 11 and 7. Fits the profile of an average desi family in the suburbs of DC. The family was too young to lose itself – surely, he knew that.
My heart goes out to the 11 year old daughter – it was a saving grace that she died a couple of days after the incident. She would have been so messed up if she lived.
Desparate situations require desperate measures… yes, but not make a monster out of you. It was not a crime of passion, he planned it and that absolutely infuriates me. It sickens me that a young educated person with a responsibility towards his family would just go squish the life out of them coz he couldn’t face failure?
An excerpt from a site that lists the vices of gambling –
VA- An 11-year-old Herndon girl died yesterday after initially surviving the slayings of her mother and brother and the suicide of her father, who authorities now say had defrauded area banks of nearly $2 million and had $10 million in gambling and other debts. Reha Ramachandran was grazed by a bullet that struck the back of her head as her father, Natarajan Ramachandran, killed his wife and 7-year-old son Sunday night. Reha died yesterday afternoon at Inova Fairfax Hospital after her brain swelled as a result of the injury. Sources familiar with the investigation said that before his death, Ramachandran had written nearly $2 million in bad checks in an attempt to cover mounting debt totaling more than $10 million, some of it from gambling losses at Atlantic City casinos. “It is a sad day when the love of money and the fear of failure drives a man to destroy his entire family,” said Lt. Bruce Guth, a Fairfax County police homicide investigator.”Lone Survivor of Father’s Shootings Dies”Wendy Melillo and Brooke A. MastersWashington Post / 8.6.98
The story isn’t over. Apparently the Post ran an article on spooky/haunted houses and theirs was listed too. You’ll have to scroll down the link – it’s the last story.
The kids are seen around the house at all odd times, and the most warming part is that the present owners accept the kids as part of their family. They have a couple of their own, and include these 2 in some of their decisions such as furnishing the rooms etc. Hearsay, but some of it appears in the article. I say spirits or not – the Peters’ are a brave lot, and it is actually extremely large-hearted of them to continue the way they are.
I can give – and I do, a lot, sometimes to my own discomfort, but this is acknowledging a different world. One that am not yet ready to face.