By James Allardice, Mirror staff writer
Suspect Mysteriously Dies During Police Questioning
A popular Santa Monica High School sophomore was stabbed and
killed at a party she attended in Westwood on Saturday night.
Fifteen-year-old Deanna Maran died early Sunday morning after
an altercation at the party.
According to West Los Angeles police, Maran was involved in several
arguments at the party and was fatally wounded after being stabbed
by another teenage girl.
According to police, Maran was first involved in an argument
at 10:30 p.m. at a party in the 900 block of Thayer Avenue. LAPD
Officer Jason Lee said friends broke up the dispute, but shortly
Maran became involved in an argument with another individual.
During the altercation, police say, Maran was stabbed. According
to police, Maran went into full cardiac arrest as friends were
taking her to the hospital at approximately 11:45 p.m. She was
pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m.
On Sunday, police arrested two teenagers, including Katrina Sarkissian,
in connection with Maran’s death. While police were questioning
Sarkissian, she collapsed and was taken to UCLA Westwood Medical
Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:24 p.m. Sunday. She
was 17 years old and did not attend Santa Monica High School.
The cause of her death has yet to be determined.
Maran was an honor student and top Samohi athlete. She ran track,
played on the Samohi volleyball and water polo teams. She was
also active in the school’s music program.
SMMUSD Superintendent John Deasy told the Mirror, “This
is a very tragic death and it is affecting so many students, faculty,
parents, everyone in our community. Deanna, as a student, was
very involved. From everything I’ve been told she was very
well liked by all her teachers, they enjoyed having her in class
and she was involved in activities outside of class. She was very
involved in athletics, participating in three sports, and took
a rigorous class-load.”
Deasy said the school responded quickly to news of Maran’s
death. The crisis response team was in place Sunday afternoon
and has been at the school all week. Additionally, Samohi has
had 20 additional counselors at the school. “The school
has handled this as well as could be expected,” Deasy said.
“They have responded with a lot of character. This was such
a violent loss.”
LAPD investigations into both deaths are ongoing.
By Amir Soofi, Mirror contributing
Hundreds Gather in Greek Theater
The Santa Monica community gathered Monday afternoon at Santa
Monica High School’s Greek Theater to mourn thse loss and
celebrate the life of 15-year-old sophomore, Deanna Maran, who
died of a fatal stab wound to the heart at a party in West Los
Angeles early Sunday morning, November 18.
The Greek, erected in 1921 as the Memorial Open Air Theater in
honor of fallen alumni in World War I, served Monday not only
as place of remembrance but as a place to preach what has become
Deanna’s last testament -non-violence.
After the Samohi band opened with “Amazing Grace,”
Deanna’s oldest sister, Amika, set the tone for the memorial
by posing a question to the attendees: “What does it mean
for a society to commit to non-violence?” Irene Vatjaranuruk,
close friend to Deanna, representing the Samohi sophomore class,
shared her sympathy and condolences with the Maran family and
vowed her commitment to “non-violence, the principle that
violence is never the answer.” She asked her classmates
to be strong and said that one consequence of Deanna’s death
could be a fundamental positive change in their lives: “Let
us go forward from this day dedicated to taking care of each other,”
she said, “with a heightened awareness of how fragile life
is, and how much we need each other.”
The extent to which Deanna’s life touched others’
was obvious throughout the memorial. Samohi English teacher Anoushka
Franke, shared her memories: “Deanna had an unassuming confidence,
an aura of optimism, that made people want to be around her. Because
when people were around her, things felt safe, things felt funnier
and more adventurous, and people felt good about themselves.”
She also advised people to be conscious of their feelings and
reactions. “Beware of guilt,” she warned. “Guilt
turns into pain, pain turns into hate, and hate turns to violence
The volleyball team, one of the three competitive teams of which
Deanna was a member, presented the family with a ball signed by
the team and announced that the team would retire her jersey as
a tribute to her strength, love, and team spirit. “Our volleyball
program has been truly blessed to have her as part of our family,”
said teammate Iris Early. “She truly represented what being
a part of a team and being a part of a family are all about.”
The water polo team followed, focusing on her “aura of
warmth.” Her fellow teammates cried as the presenter remembered
Deanna. “She contained the perfect amount of every human
ingredient: attitude, intellect, humor, soul, love, passion, joy
– and the finishing touch,” she said, using a nickname
familiar to Deanna’s friends and family, “Lala’s
As the afternoon service continued, more memories were shared.
“She has the ability to help lost souls find the right mind
and create an identity,” said friend Ashley Lagarde. “Life
is too short to have so much hate,” warned another friend,
Lucy Suarez, adding, “Lala died in a time of hate. We have
to start loving each other.” A representative from John
Adams Middle School (JAMS) shared her memories of all the Maran
girls, and discussed JAMS commitment to “KRR – Kindness,
Respect, and Responsibility.” Kiyoshi Houston reflected
on her days with Deanna on the school choir, “She loved
life and made other people love it too.”
“I knew we’d be friends forever,” close friend
Tim Livingston told the crowd, “but why did forever have
to be yesterday?” Livingston held Deanna in her last moments
and spoke of the experience in a poem he read at the service:
“...Then I recall when I carried you to the car, your blood
covered my arm,” he cried, “Who in their right mind
would ever do you any harm?” Another friend, Elisa Herrmann
also shared a poem, “Your heart was stabbed once, ours was
stabbed twice, your blood stained our clothes, our stained hearts
In addition to paticipating in volleyball, water polo, and choir,
Deanna maintained a straight-A average, ran track, and worked
as a hostess at the Firehouse Restaurant.
Most in attendance lost their composure during the last segment
of the memorial — a slide show prepared by sister Bianca.
The presentation included pictures from babyhood with family,
to childhood in the line of Santa Monica schools the entire Maran
family has attended, to teenage life on the many teams, groups,
and clubs Deanna joined. The images told the story of a life too
short, but a life well-lived.
Deanna Maran is survived by parents Ilja and Nining Maran, sisters
Amika, Bianca, and Claudia, and brother Ilja.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to The Deanna
Maran Memorial Scholarship for Non-violence, Santa Monica High
School, 601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405.
Published Nov 28, 2001.
A week and a half after the murder of Deanna Maran and the death
of Katrina Sarkissian, who allegedly killed her, police have no
new developments, according to the Jack Richter of the Los Angeles
Maran, a sophomore at Santa Monica High School, died after being
stabbed at a party in Westwood on November 17. Sarkissian and
a 15-year old girl, said to be her younger sister, were arrested
the following day, Sunday, and taken into custody. Sarkissian
collapsed and lost consciousness while being questioned by police
and was pronounced dead at 5:26 p.m. that afternoon.
According to Richter, police do not know the reason for Sarkissian’s
death. “We are still waiting for the coroner’s report,”
he said Tuesday.