Murderer had a gambling problem

November 29, 2012 10:34 am

This is an extreme and very tragic case of what can happen when a person becomes addicted to gambling. Like a drug addict in need of a fix, a gambling addict will often do whatever it takes to get money to gamble.

Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, told police he killed a 10-month-old girl and her grandmother during a botched kidnapping after losing at least $15,000 at a casino near his office outside of Philadelphia. He said he planned to kidnap the infant and demand $50,000 in ransom, but did not intend to kill anyone.

Yandamuri told police he panicked after the grandmother opened the apartment door on him. She was killed in a struggle over a kitchen knife. He told police he accidentally dropped the infant, put a handkerchief over her mouth to quiet her and tied a towel around her head. He then left the infant in an unused sauna in a basement fitness center. Amazingly, Yandamuri asked investigators to say his wife turned him in so she could collect the $30,000 reward.

Yandamuri lived in the same apartment complex as the family and had been to a birthday party for the baby’s mother. Both parents worked in technology, giving Yandamuri the idea they could afford to pay the ransom.

Yandamuri moved from California to the suburbs of Philadelphia in March to work for GSI Commerce Inc., a unit of eBay Inc. Its office in King of Prussia, Pa. is less than a mile from the Valley Forge Casino Resort. When asked by police if he had a gambling problem, he replied “a bit.”

“Last week I lost $15,000 to $20,000, but last month I won $20,000,” he said on the videotape.

He said he wiped out most of his debts through a March bankruptcy filing. Those records show that Yandamuri had amassed $26,000 in credit card debts since 2008, most of it on six accounts he opened in 2011, according to the Associated Press.

Studies show that the ease of access to casinos leads to increases in gambling problems and crime. As such, the elected officials in Pennsylvania who enabled casinos share some of the responsibility for creating the conditions that led to these murders.

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One thought on “Murderer had a gambling problem

  1. Tweeted this dreadful story but in the tweet failed to credit Paul Davies with the report . Sorry. Using hashtag #antigambling

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