November 17, 2001
Deanna Maran (15) is fatally stabbed during an argument at a party, allegedly by 17-year-old Katrina Sarkissian
The incident took place at an unsupervised party at another student’s house. While 15 people had been invited, approximately 40 teens were in attendance.
Sarkissian’s 15-year-old half-sister had reportedly been running in the backyard of the house while engaged in horseplay with a friend, and repeatedly bumped into a flower pot. Maran then grabbed the sister by her shoulders to admonish her. “I don’t recall the exact words,” a witness later stated, “but she said something like ‘Show respect for someone else’s house.’”
The sister warned Maran not to touch her, then called Sarkissian on her cellphone. “Katrina, you’ve got to get here right now. Some bitch just pushed me down,” a witness overheard the sister say. When Sarkissian arrived at the scene she asked, “Who pushed my sister?” Maran raised her hand. The pair argued and scuffled briefly until Maran was pushed and pinned to the ground. Witnesses heard Maran say, “Please just listen to my side of the story” multiple times to no avail. The sister kicked Maran in the midsection and at some point Maran was stabbed in the chest. None of the witnesses saw a knife or other instrument, and no weapon was recovered. It was suspected Maran had either been stabbed with a shard of glass or a “punch” knife, a concealed weapon in which a blade extends from between the handler’s fingers. Sarkissian and her sister then left.
Maran stood up, staggered toward a tree for support, and stared blankly. When she slumped down another teen tried to pick Maran up but found “she was completely lifeless.” The teen, who had a cast on his arm, then noticed the cast “was completely stained with blood.” The other partygoers then realized the extent of Maran’s injuries and she was quickly taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The following day, Sarkissian was brought in for questioning by the Los Angeles Police Department. She collapsed during the questioning and was taken to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center for treatment. She was pronounced dead 3 to 4 hours after her collapse. Some students speculated Sarkissian had taken sleeping pills to “calm her nerves” before speaking with police and may have miscalculated her dosage. The coroner, however, determined she had ingested a large quantity of prescription antidepressants. It was ruled Sarkissian had an “extraordinarily high concentration” of nortriptyline in her system and the coroner estimated she had taken as many as 43 75-mg pills. Sarkissian’s death was ruled a suicide.
In 2003, Maran’s parents sued Sarkissian’s parents. The Marans claimed Sarkissian’s parents should have been aware their daughter was “emotionally unstable and dangerous” before Maran’s death. They referenced Sarkissian’s history of missing school classes and having “confrontational episodes” with classmates, as well as multiple physical altercations with her mother, one of which resulted in Katrina’s arrest. The case was settled out of court to avoid a trial, for the sum of $300,000.
Groves, Martha. “Alleged Killer’s Mother Settles Lawsuit Over Death at Party.” Los Angeles Times. November 13, 2003
Groves, Martha. “Taking Lessons From the Sadness.” Los Angeles Times. April 23, 2002
Groves, Martha. “Killer Overdosed, Coroner Says.” Los Angeles Times. February 2, 2002
Pool, Bob. “Slaying of Teen Leaves Queries.” Los Angeles Times. November 21, 2002