Kerala ‘serial killings’: Demands raised to probe three more deaths

Shaju Philip
Jolly Joseph’s arrest has been recorded in the murder of her husband, Roy Thomas, 40, in which police had got scientific evidence from the autopsy in 2011. (Source: ieMalayalam)

The mystery surrounding the alleged serial killings of six members of an extended family by a woman in Kozhikode deepened, with demands being raised to probe three other deaths — two in the same extended family.

Last week, police arrested Jolly Joseph (47), who hails from Koodathai village, on charges of killing her husband, parents-in-law and three other members of the Ponnamattom family over 14 years since 2002. Jolly, who led everyone to believe that she was faculty at NIT-Calicut, later married another person, whose first wife and their one-year-old daughter were among the alleged murder victims. Police alleged that Jolly killed them using cyanide.

Jolly Joseph and Shaju Zacharias.

Among the two others arrested is her relative M S Mathew, who worked as a salesman with a jewellery outlet. Police on Wednesday sought custody of the arrested, but a court at Thamarassery asked that they be produced in court on Thursday.

Thressiamma Dominic, a member of the Ponnamattom family, on Wednesday demanded a probe into the deaths of her son Suneesh and his cousin brother Vincent Augustine, alleging that both had links with Jolly.

Read | Jovial, friendly, pious: Shocked Kerala town recalls its ‘serial killer’

Vincent was found hanging at his home on August 24, 2002, two days after Annamma, 57, Jolly’s mother-in-law, died after having soup. Jolly was present at the Ponnamattom house and it was believed to be her first killing.

The Thomas home.

Thressiamma told the media that her son Suneesh was killed in a two-wheeler accident near their house on January 17, 2008. He had a close friendship with Jolly and her husband Roy (who died in 2011). Later, the family found a diary of Suneesh, in which he reportedly wrote that he was trapped and none should lead a life as he did.

“Both of them (Vincent and Suneesh) were close to the Roy-Jolly couple. Nobody probed Vincent’s alleged suicide. Shocked by the latest expose about the deaths in the Ponnamattom family, I have doubts about Jolly’s role in both deaths,’’ she said.

The family of a late local Congress leader, M Ramakrishnan, who lived near NIT-Calicut, has also sought a probe into his death.

The Ponnamattam family graves.

Son M R Rohit said Ramakrishnan had links with a beauty parlour near NIT-Calicut, which was frequented by Jolly. He had gone to the beauty parlour in connection with his real estate dealings, and collapsed to death after returning home on 17 May, 2016. “Before his death, Ramakrishnan sold his property for Rs 55 lakh, but this amount did not reach him,” the son said.

Meanwhile, the probe into Jolly’s alleged aborted bid to forge a bequest has revealed that she was in close touch with officials of the revenue department and local politicians. Kozhikode District Collector Sambasiva Rao said the role of tehsildar Jayasree Warrier was being probed in the forgery case.