They say truth is stranger than fiction, and a crime story in Kerala confirms the same. Over 14 years, a woman named Jolly Joseph, killed six members of her family, including her husband.
For the heinous crime, she used cyanide to poison their food.
Two of her accomplices and Jolly have been arrested, confirmed state police on Saturday.
Here's the shocking story.
Jolly belongs to Koodathai village of Kozhikode and she murdered her relatives between 2002 and 2016.
Police started investigating the deaths two months ago after Jolly's brother-in-law Roji, who lives in the United States, asked for it.
Suspicion took over Roji after Jolly's husband Roy Thomas, died in 2011 in the same fashion that his parents, Annamma Thomas and Tom Thomas, passed away.
The first one to die in the family was Annamma in 2002. A retired school teacher, she collapsed after eating soup.
Six years later, her husband Tom died, after his meal. Cardiac arrest was blamed for both their deaths.
In 2011, Roy died. Before his death, he started vomiting. Roy's uncle MM Mathew got an autopsy done, which revealed the presence of cyanide.
Shockingly, the next one to die in the family was Mathew himself. He died in 2014 when his wife wasn't home. Jolly "alerted" the neighbors that he "collapsed".
Three months after his death, one-year-old Alphin was taken to the hospital after she ate breakfast. She didn't survive either.
Alphin was the daughter of Sili (who died in 2016) and Shaju, son of Tom's brother.
In 2017, Jolly married Shaju. According to the police, Jolly wanted more share in the property than her in-laws had given her.
She killed Mathew because he insisted on Roy's autopsy, and she murdered Alphin and Sili as she wanted to marry Shaju.
In fact, she also faked being a lecturer at the National Institute of Technology in Kozhikode for the last 14 years.
"She is a B.Com graduate and owned a beauty parlour, but lied about it. She also told everyone that her former husband Roy Thomas had a heart attack, though she knew that he had cyanide in his system," said Vadakara Rural SP KG Simon.
Apart from Jolly, police also arrested her close friend MF Mathew and Preji Kumar, who allegedly supplied the cyanide. Shaju, however, hasn't been named as a co-conspirator.
"Once we get forensic details we will file detailed charge-sheet," the SP said and added more arrests are likely.
Reportedly, Jolly, who has two sons with Roy, has confessed to all the six murders.
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