Kerala serial killing: How woman murdered six family members

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 12:27 | Sherlin Rajan
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    Jolly Joseph was arrested for allegedly poisoning to death six members of her family over a period of 14 years in Kerala's Koodathayi village in Kozhikode. The police had also arrested two others in connection with the case, and suspect the murders were committed using cyanide chemical. 

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    Between 2002 and 2016, Jolly killed her husband Roy Thomas, his parents Annamma and P Tom Thomas, her mother-in law's brother Mathew Manjadiyil, her husband's cousin Shaju Zacharia's wife Sily and two-year old daughter Alphine. Jolly then went on to marry Shaju in 2017. 

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    According to an IANS report, the case came into light after Roy's brother Rojo filed a complaint against her for the killings and thus, a series of lies were unearthed. She maintained in all these years that she worked as a lecturer in the National Institute of Technology. All six bodies were exhumed from two churches in Kozhikode to examine the trace of cyanide in them.

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    Victim 1: Annamma Thomas

    Retired teacher Annamma Thomas was Jolly's mother-in-law and the matriarch of the house. According to a Mirror Now report, Thomas had the last say in the house. Annamma died in 2002 after consuming mutton soup that was made by Jolly.

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    Victim 2: P Tom Thomas

    Retired district educational officer P Tom Thomas was Jolly's father-in-law. It is said that the family properties belonged to him and Jolly desired to have them transferred under her name. Thomas died in 2008 after consuming some food laced with cyanide after which he collapsed. It was reported that neighbours heard his screams and found froth coming out of his mouth. He died on his way to the hospital.

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    Victim 3: Roy Thomas

    It is said that on the night of his death in 2011, Roy, Jolly's then husband consumed some food and rushed to the washroom as he felt nauseous. As the door of the washroom was found locked from within, Jolly alerted the neighbours who broke in to the washroom to find Roy dead. According to the autopsy report, traces of cyanide was found in Roy's system.

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    Victim 4: Mathew Manjadiyil

    Manjadiyil was Annamma Thomas's brother, who insisted on conducting postmortem on Roy's body, raising suspicion over his death along with his wife. In 2014, he was poisoned when he was alone at home. Jolly, who stayed next door, alerted neighbours who found him lying on the floor with froth coming out of his mouth. He died on his way to the hospital.

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    Victim 5: Alphine Shaju

    In 2014, Shaju Skarias two-year-old daughter with his former wife Sily died after she lost consciousness. She was taken to a hospital in Kozhikode where the doctors referred her to another hospital and she was put on coma. She died two days later.

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    Victim 6: Sily Shaju

    In 2016, Shaju's wife and late Alphine's mother was on her way back from a wedding with Jolly and their children, when he went to a dental clinic. As Sily and Jolly waited outside the doctor's cabin, the former drank a cup of water after she collapsed in Jolly's lap and started frothing. She died on her way to the hospital.

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    When Jolly and Shaju married in 2017, suspicion was raised on the deaths of Sily and Alphine, whether they were killed for the couple to unite.

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    Key details of the case:

    Police said that all deaths occurred in the presence of Jolly.

    Her two sons, 15 and 21, now stay with their late father's sister Renji in Kochi.

    Two persons were arrested for supplying cyanide to Jolly and Shaju's home was raided as part of the investigations.

    After Jolly married Shaju, she acquired the ownership of the family property on the basis of her late father-in-law's will is said to be fake.

    Rojo was said to be Jolly's next target but his family was out of Jolly's reach.

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    Latest updates:

    Jolly's eldest son told the media that it was difficult to believe that his mother could commit such a crime, but was of the opinion that as she is an accused, she should be punished.

    She had portrayed herself in front of friends and relatives as a homely, God fearing woman and looked very normal in her behavior, says police.

    Jolly, along with her accomplices have been remanded to six-day police custody.

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About The Gallery

Jolly Joseph was arrested for allegedly poisoning to death six members of her family over a period of 14 years in Kerala's Koodathayi village in Kozhikode. The police had also arrested two others in connection with the case, and suspect the murders were committed using cyanide chemical. 

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