Jolly Shaju, 35.
A lady serial killer and her two aides were arrested by Kerala police on Saturday for murdering six family members in a span of 14 years by lacing food with cyanide poison.
Investigators arrested Jolly Shaju, 35, the master brain behind the mysterious deaths in her family in Koodathayi, near Thamarassery in the district, her relative and jewellery worker Mathew, 48, who allegedly supplied cyanide poison to the accused and his friend Prajukumar, 42, in connection with the six serial deaths.
According to Kozhikode Rural SP KG Simon, there were 50 discrepancies in the statement given by Jolly to the investigators. She claimed that she was a lecturer at NIT Calicut, while she was just a B.Com degree holder. "There were different reasons for the murders. Property dispute is one among them", Simon told media persons in Vadakara on Saturday.
Retired educational department officer Ponnamattam Tom Thomas, 66, his wife retired teacher Annamma, 57, son Roy Thomas, 40, Tom's brother's daughter-in-law Sily Shaju, 44, her two-year-old daughter Alphine, and Annamma's brother Mathew Manjadiyil, 68, had died under mysterious circumstances during the period from 2002 to 2016. All the victims belonged to Jolly's family. Later Roy Thomas' wife Jolly and Sily's husband Shaju got married.
Mathew and Prajukumar were arrested for delivering cyanide to Jolly for the murders. (Cyanide is used in jewelleries for extracting gold) Shaju, husband of Jolly, was released after questioning.
Annamma was the first to die, on September 22, 2002. She collapsed after consuming lamb soup and died. Annamma’s daughter had given statement to the police that her mother showed symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Annamma's death was followed by her husband Tom Thomas, who died on September 26, 2008. Then on October 30, 2011, their son Roy collapsed and died. After relatives raised suspicion, his body was sent for a post mortem which confirmed the presence of cyanide in his body. However, the police did not investigate how Roy ingested cyanide then. The crime branch has found that the other deaths had occurred in a similar manner. Jolly was present while six of her family members breathed their last.
Roy’s demise was followed by the death of his maternal uncle MM Mathew on April 24, 2014. The same year, Alphine, the one-year-old daughter of Sily and Shaju who is a nephew of Tom Thomas, died on May 3. Sily passed away on January 11, 2016.
During questioning, Jolly reportedly revealed that she tried to kill Ranji, the sister of her former husband Roy Thomas. Ranji is the sister of Rojo, who filed the police complaint that ultimately led to the revelations in the case. Police also have noticed that there were a few property deals that took place in the family, which was one of the reasons for Rojo to file a complaint with the police.
Police on Friday exhumed the bodies of victims for a scientific examination. Officials said it will take one month to get DNA test results which will confirm the cause of deaths.
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