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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Revenge
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: September 15, 2003
Date of birth: 1971
Victims profile: Lolita Raghunandan, 32 (his estranged wife) and their two sons, Akash, 10, and Rene, 5
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day

4 Dead In Apparent Triple Murder-Suicide

Sep 16, 2003 - US/Mountain

(News 4) - Coloraddo Springs, Colo. Police in Colorado Springs are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide.

They believe a father shot and killed his entire family, News 4 reports.

Officers believe the man shot his estranged wife and their two sons before killing himself.

The boys were 5 and 10 years old.

The incident happened at the wife's apartment in Cimarron Hills at 7135 Indendence Suare Pt. The couple was separated.

Police said Rutendra Raghunandan was arrested last Thursday for breaking into his wife's apartment, the time at which the picture of Raghunandan above was taken.

He was released the next day.

The 32-year-old worked at the Denver women's correctional facility.


Adults, Children Found Dead Inside Apartment

Victims Of Apparent Murder-Suicide Identified

September 16, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. El Paso County authorities have identified the victims an apparent murder-suicide on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs.

Sheriff's officials responded to an apartment unit near East Constitution and Marksheffel Road just before 9 a.m., and discovered two adults and two children shot to death inside.

Deputies cordoned off the Cimarron Hills apartment as a crime scene Tuesday while investigators worked the case.

The victims were identified as Rutendra Raghunandan, 32, Lolita Raghunandan, 32, Akash Raghunandan, 10, and Rene Raghunandan, 5.

"It is believed that Mr. Raghunandan shot and killed his wife and two sons, and then killed himself," a statement from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said. A rifle was found near the husband's body, according to reports.

"A neighbor actually called the maintenance department of the complex here and said that they were concerned because they had not seen the children outside," said Lt. Rodney Gehrett, of the El Paso County Sheriff's Department. "The maintenance person went to the apartment and knocked on the door and there was no answer. He opened the door ... and could see the female victim lying in the living room."

The husband and wife had separated, and she moved into the apartment with the two boys less than a month ago, Gehrett said.

It was not immediately known what might have precipitated the shooting, but it was believed to have occurred in the past two days, investigators said.

Neighbor Todd Anderson said he heard a scream and what sounded like firecrackers between 11:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. Monday. He said he thought it was children playing.

Deputies were called to the address Friday night when the husband allegedly broke into his wife's apartment and assaulted her. He was charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree assault, and domestic violence and was booked into the Criminal Justice Center. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bond the next day, according to the investigators

Rutendra Raghunandan worked as a guard for the Colorado Department of Corrections and was to have been suspended Monday over last week's arrest.


Prison guard kills wife and two sons after unfaithful wife obtains protection order

Prison guard shoots estranged wife and her two sons, then himself

The Denver Post

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Colorado Springs A Colorado Department of Corrections officer, whose wife apparently left him for another man, shot and killed her and her two sons, ages 5 and 10, before taking his own life, according to El Paso County sheriff's officers.

At 11:50 PM Thursday, September 11 th , Rutendra Raghunandan went to his wife's apartment. Lolita would not let him in but he managed to get inside through an open door on the balcony, according to a court document. Once inside, Raghunandan found another man in the apartment and asked him to leave. The other man, who has not been identified, did.

Lolita told a sheriff's deputy that her husband then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the bedroom, a court document shows. "Mr. Raghunandan shoved Mrs. Raghunandan against a bedroom wall, grabbed her hair and forcefully shoved her head into the wall causing pain. Mr. Raghunandan also tore Mrs. Raghunandan's shirt," the deputy wrote in the court document.

The deputy noted that a screwdriver was embedded in a bedroom door and that a closet door had a hole in it. Raghunandan told the deputy he caused the damage.

Raghunandan was arrested and booked into the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center on suspicion of third-degree assault, domestic violence and second- degree burglary. A judge advised him of his rights Friday, and he was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond with a mandatory protection order at 7:23 PM on September 12 th . Raghunandan's supervisors at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, where he had worked as a correctional officer since April 1, 1999, were notified of the arrest, and a DV conviction would certainly have cost him his job.

On Friday, Lolita apparently also went to TESSA, who helped her obtain a civil protection order against her husband as well. By now Rutendra had lost his wife, any children that might have been his, and his job due to his wife's actions. And with only the sketchiest of hearings and no trial, everything he owned or loved was taken from him and the legal system left him among the living dead. By Monday, he, his wife, and her sons were dead.

A neighbor, worried that she had not seen the boys, asked a maintenance worker at the apartment complex to check on the family Tuesday morning. The man opened the door, saw Lolita's body and called the sheriff's office at 8:53 AM September 16, 2003.

Lolita Raghunandan, 32, was found in the living room of her east Colorado Springs apartment, 7135 Independence Square Point, where she had moved less than a month ago after separating from her husband. Sons Akash, 10, and Rene, 5, were found in a bedroom with her husband, Rutendra Raghunandan. A 9 mm gun was found near the father.

Lt. Rodney Gehrett, El Paso County sheriff's spokesman, said detectives believe the shootings occurred one or two days before the bodies were found. Neighbors gave conflicting reports; some reported hearing shots late Sunday night, and others said they heard them Monday morning.

Even under the draconian provisions of current law, which negate virtually every Constitutional civil liberty, clearly there was no effective protection available for Lolita. Conversely, Lolita seems to have invoked at least three of the five catalysts for violence tabulated above. And note that while the newspaper referred to the children as his, DNA paternity testing of children in other similar relationships suggests there is at least a 30% chance that one or both of her children may not have been Rutendra's. That suspicion is reinforced as Lolita was apparently having an affair, since Rutendra found another man in her apartment at midnight.



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