Kozhikode: Revealing the meticulous planning she made before targeting her victims, Jolly Joseph, prime accused in the Koodathayi serial murders of Kerala, told the police that she was careful while handling the cyanide used to poison her husband, in-laws and relatives.
Each time, after ensuring that her fingers were free of any cuts or bruises, she would add a pinch of cyanide to the victim's food, she told sleuths.
Jolly told cops that she had mixed cyanide in alcohol to kill Mathew Manjadiyil, who was her first mother-in-law's brother. She also told police that both of them had drinks together even two days before the murder. Mathew's wife was also a relative of Jolly's family at Kattappana in Kerala's Idukki district. According to police sources, Jolly first met her first husband Roy Thomas during a function at Mathew's house.
Jolly also told the police that her present husband Shaju heped her murder his former wife Sily. Cyanide was added to her medicine. Sily was killed when she consumed the cyanide-laced medicine at Thamarassery Dental Clinic.
A hectic evidence-gathering exercise was held at six places on Friday as part of the exhaustive probe into the Koodathayi serial killings now known as Kerala's cyanide murders. A posse of police personnel took Jolly to the likely spots where she allegedly carried out the six murders or plotted it. Curious crowd and jostling mediapersons milled the spots as the police carried out a significant process in the early part of the probe which the Kerala DGP himself expects to be challenging and complex.
First stop at Ponnamattom House
The first place where the cops landed was the Ponnamattom House at Koodathayi village in Kerala's Kozhikode district. It is here Jolly is suspected to have eliminated three of her six targets over a period of 14 years.
Jolly has been accused of murdering her in-laws Tom Jose and Annamma, first husband Roy Thomas, relatives Sily, Alphine and Mathew. The first three lost their lives at Ponnamattom House.
According to sources, Jolly had confessed to her role in the deaths of five. She had denied any role in the death of toddler Alphine, daughter of Sily and Shaju, her present husband.
She was brought to the Ponnamattom House by a police team led by district Crime Branch DySP R Haridas by 11am from the rural SP's office at Vatakara. This was the first time that Jolly was taken to Koodathayi after her arrest a few days ago. Neighbours and villagers had turned up early to see the woman.
Jolly sat in the police vehicle for nearly 20 minutes before she got out. The police checked every nook and corner of the two-storied house with Jolly and sought details from her.
A brown-coloured powder in a small plastic bottle, pills, an empty bottle, and diary were collected from the premises. Jolly was taken to all the spots were the victims were found dead. Both her father-in-law Tom Thomas and mother-in-law Annamma had died in the dining hall. Roy had died in the bathroom.
The police jointly questioned Jolly and co-accused M S Mathew, who had allegedly provided cyanide to her, in the dining hall.
Jolly said she used the cyanide in one bottle and threw away the contents in the other bottle, police sources said.
The third accused Prajikumar, who works in a jewellery shop and had provided the cyanide to Mathew, remained in the police vehicle.
The evidence gathering at the house took around 2.5 hours.
Second venue near Ponnamattom House
From Koodathayai, the probe team went to the house of another victim, Mathew Manjadiyil, who was Roy's maternal uncle, just half a kilometre away.
Jolly told investigators that Mathew and she used to drink together and that she had given him cyanide-mixed liquor on that fateful day.
Third halt at Kodenchery
The third halt was at Shaju's house at Kodenchery. His first wife Sily and daughter Alphine, who was around 2 years old, were also allegedly killed by Jolly.
After Sily's death, Jolly had married Shaju, who is Roy's first cousin.
Jolly was brought to Shaju’s Pulimattom House by Friday noon amid heavy rain. The hostile crowd greeted her with boos as Jolly made way into the house.
The probe team talked to Shaju and his father Zacharias for a while before entering the house and conducting inspections. After some time, the police vehicle exited the house with Jolly even as the crowd continued to jeer.
Dental clinic at Thamarassery
The probe team next went to the dental clinic where Sily was allegedly murdered. All the people at the clinic were evicted as Jolly was taken in.
Jolly was asked as to how she committed the murder.
On that day, the owner of the clinic, who is also a family friend, had reportedly gone to attend a wedding at the Ponnamattom family. After attending this wedding, Jolly and Shaju had brought Silly to the clinic.
The probe team left for the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kozhikode, subsequently.
First, the investigators visited the beauty parlour frequented by Jolly. However, Jolly remained in the vehicle.
Then they went to the St Thomas Church at Company Padi. The officers spoke to the vicar in the presence of Jolly. They then stopped at a stationery shop, the owner of which reportedly had financial dealings with Jolly.
And finally, the team went to the NIT canteen and questioned the staff, who said they had seen Jolly earlier. However, the team did not go to the area where Jolly was rumoured to have bought a flat.