It had been a long 14 years between the deaths of six family members in the Koodathai village of Kozhikode district in north Kerala. It has been stalking the members since then. Six members of the Ponnamattom family witnessed and suffered mysterious deaths between 2002 and 2016.
Annamma Thomas, a 57-year-old retired school teacher, suddenly collapsed and died while having a meal in 2002. In the same sequence, her husband Tom Thomas, a retired assistant education officer, dies after 6 years in the same manner. The news spread that their son Roy Thomas, a 42-year-old businessman, allegedly died by suicide in 2011.
Annamma’s brother Matthew Manjadiyil suffered sudden death 3 years later, and a month after, one of their relatives, 2-year-old Alphine Shaju, also died in the same manner. Out of six deaths, the last death took place in 2016 when Alphine’s mother, Sily Shaju, suddenly collapsed and died.
These indeed seem to be mysterious deaths, but once these incidents were unravelled, it turned out that they were premeditated and well-planned.
Surprisingly, in all these deaths, one thing was common, Roy’s wife Jollyamma was present at every incident. She was described often as a loving daughter-in-law, a caring wife and a devout catholic churchgoer.
But Rojo Thomas, her husband’s brother, filed a police complaint in June 2019. He was not ready to believe that Roy had committed suicide. Therefore, he wanted a thorough investigation into a will that seemed to be allegedly prepared by his father in 2008 and claimed its ownership of the home and 35 cents of land to be transferred to Jolly.
The case was taken up seriously by the Kozhikode rural police and they began to investigate bit by bit. Without much delay, police soon honed in on Jolly and when she was confronted with valid evidence and proof, she confessed and uttered that she poisoned all six victims with cyanide.
Eventually, she was arrested along with the other two accused, MS Mathew (44), a close relative and manager of a jewellery store, and Prajikumar (47), a goldsmith who supplied the poison.