Advertisement
Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
Outlook.com

Portrait Of A Cyanide Killer: How Kerala's Jolly Killed Six Family Members Meal By Meal

Murders by poisoning and a female ‘serial killer’, with dollops of scandal, are riveting Kerala

Portrait Of A Cyanide Killer: How Kerala's Jolly Killed Six Family Members Meal By Meal
Courting Trouble |
Portrait Of A Cyanide Killer: How Kerala's Jolly Killed Six Family Members Meal By Meal
outlookindia.com
2019-10-11T15:29:38+05:30

For years, perhaps the only thing Koodathayi was known for was through-traffic. Its proximity to state highway SH-34—the artery connecting hub towns Koyilandy and Edavanna—makes the village a mofussil pit-stop some 35 km from Kozhikode city in Kerala’s Malabar region. With a little over 13,000 people (Census 2011) calling Koodathayi home, ‘vajagam’ (idle chatter) is what passes for entertainment here. When villagers used to talk about Jolly Joseph, daughter-in-law of the prominent Ponnamattom family, it was generally in complimentary terms. Much like her business-owner husband’s parents, educationists Tom and Annamma Thomas, Jolly—ostensibly a commerce lecturer at the nearby National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C)—was acc­orded the high regard her station afforded her and was a familiar face at the Lourdes Matha Church. “She was very approachable and would go out of her way to talk to people,” says K.P. Kunhammad, a member of the village panchayat. The sudden deaths of Annamma in August 2002 and Tom in August 2008 did little to dent this public approval.

“We sympathised with her as she now had to manage the household by herself. There was talk that her husband was depressed since his parents’ deaths and facing business difficulties,” says a villager. “Then, in September 2011, when the husband, Roy Thomas, died of an apparent suicide by cyanide, we were struck by how Jolly maintained her composure and stayed strong for her sons.” These days, however, a different sort of conversation has been brewing in Koodathayi and across the state. After exhuming six bodies from the family burial vaults at the Lourdes Matha Church and the St Mary’s Forane Church in nearby Kodenchery on October 4 as part of a two-month probe, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kerala Police arrested Jolly and two other people for Roy’s murder.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Thursday

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Thursday

Justice Sambre has once again adjourned the hearing. The Bombay High Court will hear the petitions of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha tomorrow afternoon after 2.30 pm.

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh talks about her decision to contest the poll and carry forward the legacy of ‘Raja Sahib’, ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

IPL: Sourav Ganguly Steps Down As ATKMB Director

IPL: Sourav Ganguly Steps Down As ATKMB Director

ATK Mohun Bagan is owned by Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG Group, which will now own an IPL team based out of Lucknow.

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Stressing on the right to privacy, CJI Ramana said it was incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology.

Advertisement