Skip to main content

Indian-American Homicide Offender: Prosenjit Poddar

Indian-American Homicide Offender: Prosenjit Poddar

By Mithu Das   April 08, 2017

Recently, the arrest of an Indian-American teenager, Arnav Uppalapati, 17, who has been accused of killing his biological mother a year ago has shocked the Indian community in America. Town of Carry Police, North Carolina, have been investigating the unsolved murder since 2015.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a murder has been committed by an Indian- American. In 2016, at least two cases of murder-suicide and one case of shooting have been reported. Similarly, one murder case was recorded in 2014 and one in 2012. The worst of them all is probably the 2003 Case Western Reserve University shooting, at which a 62-year-old man, Biswanath Halder, who had been holding the SWAT team on a gun battle for seven hours, creating panic among students and faculty members. However, before that year no murder case had been recorded for a long time. The case of Prosenjit Poddar, a Berkeley student, who was convicted of killing Tatiana Tarasoff, took place in 1969.

Prosenjit Poddar

Prosenjit Poddar was a brilliant student who came to UC Berkeley in 1967 after getting a scholarship. There he met Tatiana Tarasoff, a beautiful girl, with whom he fell in love and, eventually they dated. Prosenjit Poddar He was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her. But Tatiana, after knowing his feelings, sternly told him that she had her other friends and she was not interested in intimate relationship. Tatiana's word, needless to say, badly hurt him and he became depressed. After a week or so he went to seek psychiatric help from the university psychologist Dr. Lawrence Moore, to whom he confessed about his plan to kill Tatiana. Tatiana Tarasoff Unfortunately, Dr. Moore, instead of alerting Tatiana to possible attack that planned by Poddar, he requested the university campus police to arrest him. Poddar was immediately arrested but later he was released after he promised that he would stay away from Tatiana. Soon after this bitter incident, Poddar, on October 27, 1969, shot Tatiana with a pellet gun and then brutally stabbed her to death.

He was convicted of second-degree murder but after appealed he was released and sent back to India, ("where he reportedly married a lawyer and led a normal life"). His conviction was said to be overturned due to a fault in the training of the jury. The California Supreme Court blamed Dr. Moore for failing to warn Tatiana's parents against the threat posed by Poddar. The court also added that 'every mental health professional has not only duty to a patient, but to individuals who are being threatened by a patient.' This ruling, which is later known as Tarasoff, has since been influential in jurisdictions in the U.S.A. and abroad.

Popular Posts

Margaret Atwood

Keep Yourself Working Odd Jobs Until You Attain Your Goal

Many famous people had to surmount major obstacles on their path to success. Odd job was just a part of their lives.

Pink-headed Duck

Pink-headed Duck: Is It Still Alive?

Pink-headed duck has gone extinct due to hunting and habitat loss. Last seen in the wild in 1949.


Majuli: An Island Too Good To Be True

Majuli, one of the world's largest river islands, is not only famous for its Satras but also for its wetlands and birds.

Children enjoying dancing Bihu in Rongali Bihu festival

Rongali Bihu: The Most Popular Spring Festival of Assam

People in Assam celebrate spring festival in mid-April. It is Rongali Bihu.

Passenger Pigeon

The Sad Story of Passenger Pigeon

No matter how superabundant a species is, excessive hunting and habitat destruction can wipe it out within few decades.

Indian Wagtail

White Wagtail - A Common Winter Visitor to Assam

White wagtail is migratory bird found in Europe, Asia and Africa. Six species are found in Assam and NE India.

facebook   twitter   google plus   RSS Feed   Github button

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.