Jolly Shaju
47-year-old Jolly Shaju has been accused of killing six members of her family over a period of 14 years in Kerala's Kozhikode district.Twitter

On investigating the cyanide serial killer Jolly Amma Joseph's case, the accused behind the death of six family members for a period of 14 years, the state Chief Police Lok Nath Behra admitted on Saturday (October 12) that the case was very challenging.

The reason behind it is the 14 years gap between the first and sixth alleged killing. 

Lok Nath Behra, who arrived at Vatakara to scale the progress of the investigation, said six teams would conduct inquiries.  

After lengthy meetings with the police probe team investigating the murder trial in the family of the accused serial killer, Behra said: "This is a challenging case. I have come here, as this is an important case.

"The challenge, in this case, is that the first murder took place 17 years back and the last one took place three years back and hence the collection of evidence is most crucial. Six murders have taken place and hence there are six separate cases."

The investigation was all about collecting evidence of the crime which took place over the years. 

All the mysterious deaths took place in the family of retired government official Tom Thomas and all six dead bodies were exhumed last week for further scientific investigations.

"Today we have constituted six different teams along with a supervision team and more people will now be inducted. It will include more forensic and legal experts.

"The other challenge is a collection of evidence, the team here has been successful in detecting the crime," said Behra.

He also pointed out though that nothing is impossible for the investigators.

"There will now be several tests that have to take place and my job is to assist the team. At the moment the task of the probe team is to get maximum information from her.

"We are optimistic, there will be some traces left somewhere," added Behra.

The first in the family to die in 2002 was Jolly's mother-in-law Annamma, a retired teacher. She was followed by Jolly's father-in-law, Tom Thomas, in 2008. In 2011, their son and Jolly's husband, Roy Thomas, also died to be followed by the death of Roy's maternal uncle, Mathew, who died in 2014.


The two-year-old child of Sily, a relative by marriage, died the following year, while Sily passed away in 2016.

It was only on Friday that the police registered five more separate cases of murder.

On Thursday, a lower court here remanded Jolly and her two accomplices -- M.S. Mathew, who procured cyanide, and jewellery store worker Praju Kumar -- to six-day police custody for the murder of Jolly's husband Roy Thomas.

Jolly was taken to the Ponamattil house where the three deaths took place which included Annamma, Tom Thomas, parents of Roy who consumed food in the house.

On Friday, all the three accused were taken to six places as part of evidence collection. It was part of the investigation into the death of Jolly's first husband Roy Thomas.