Jolly Joseph
On Saturday police arrested the Jolly Joseph on the charge of murdering six people over a period of 14 years Image Credit: Twitter

She murdered her first husband, his parents and her family members all for money. But, people who knew Jolly Joseph are shocked after the arrest of the 47-year-old from the Indian state of Kerala. Many can’t believe that the “jovial, friendly and pious” woman was capable of poisoning six people using cyanide.

As reported by Indian Express, Koodathai, her in-laws’ village, is in shock at not just the allegation against the ”pious, cheerful and talkative woman with a wide network of friends but also how she appears to have got away with it for so long.”

“Only last week we had returned together from a retreat centre after one-day meditation. She used to hold regular prayer meetings at her house,” said P George, a member of Jolly’s prayer group at the Lourd Matha Catholic Church parish in this village, 34 km from Kozhikode in North Kerala. George claims to have also spoken to Jolly about police opening probe into her first husband Roy Thomas’s death recently. “Jolly said she had nothing to worry about.”

According to Jolly, originally from Kattappana in Idukki district of Kerala, had married Roy in 1997. It was a love marriage and he was a trader, the eldest of three children of Tom and Annamma Thomas. While Tom retired as an Education Department clerk, Annamma used to work as a teacher.

Jolly and Roy had two sons, now aged 15 and 21.

Jolly Joseph lied about her job

Shahul Hameed, their next-door neighbour, says Jolly told everyone she was a lecturer at the National Institute of Technology Calicut (NIT-C). “People in the locality had a good impression of her… We came to know only now that she worked at a beauty parlour,” Hameed said.

Jolly’s second husband Shaju Zacharias, a high school teacher whom she married in 2017, says, “She would often visit the cemetery where Roy and his family members were buried, to put flowers and light candles on their graves.” Also calling her very religious, Shaju says, “She got uneasy if she ever missed a Sunday Mass.”

Today, Shaju Zacharia also confessed to helping Jolly kill his ex-wife and daughter.