A false cover of donning an NIT (National Institute of Technology) lecturer’s role and a fake identity will not hide the meticulous planning and a safe cover up mode for serial killer Jolly, in the Koodathai murder where six family members were done to death in a similar manner over 14 years.
In what took the form of a suspense crime thriller where remains were exhumed from the cemeteries in churches nearby, police finally nabbed Jolly for killing six family members in 14 years without leaving a trace of suspicion at Koodathai near Thamarasseri in Kozhikode.
Two others, one her friend and jewellery employee MS Mathew, and the other, a goldsmith Prajikumar, who supplied the cyanide to finish off the six, have also landed in police custody.
According to investigating officer KG Simon, who briefed the media after the arrests, it was the fake identity of the NIT lecturer that finally led to the arrest. She went to the extent of getting her name and designation of lecturer at NIT Kozhikode printed on the notice brought out in connection with the rituals following the death of her first husband Roy Thomas, who she had killed. Police said none in the family, including her present husband Shaju, was aware that she was feigning as an NIT lecturer.
It was on the complaint of Rojo Thomas, one of the sons of Annamma, the first to be killed in 2002, regarding property dispute that led to the police suspecting murder in the death of six family members in a similar fashion over a span of 14 years. The people in the vicinity came to know of the crime only when police arrived with forensic experts to exhume the remains from the tombs at cemeteries in two churches.
A retired teacher, Annamma Thomas (57) collapsed and died in 2002 and this was seen as a natural death. Six years later her husband Tom Thomas (66) died, seen as a case of 'heart failure'.
In 2011, their son Roy Thomas (40), the husband of accused Jolly, died in similar conditions and the autopsy report pointed to poisoning before death which was written off as a case of suicide.
In 2014, Annamma’s brother Mathew Manjadiyil died similarly. All were buried at the Lourde Matha Church cemetery àt Koodathai.
Two years later after Jolly developed an affinity towards Shaju, husband of Sili, she first killed the couple's two-year-old daughter Alpine and later Sili.
Jolly got entitled to the properties through a fake will of her father-in-law Tom Thomas she created. Jolly married Sili’s widower Shaju later.
The investigation team said Jolly had been secretly following the probe. She was finally interrogated and there were around 50 key points and despite her cautious and studied replies, there were contradictions. She was not willing for polygraph test or narco analysis which raised more suspicion. Separately, the team had recorded statements of about 200 persons.
The arrests came around the time discussions were on to resolve property disputes. Jolly wanted the complaint of suspicious death of the six to be withdrawn for any compromise in the property dispute. This added to the police suspecting further her role in the murders. The police are also investigating Jolly's deals with Mathew.