Early on Saturday morning, Neil Fonseca, a man in his late forties, allegedly killed his wife with whom he was seen dancing at a club even late on Friday night. The bodies of their twin sons were also found lying in a pool of blood in the same room of the second floor flat. The triple murder in the heart of the city, at 73/1C Palm Avenue, bang opposite the housing complex where former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lives, sent shock waves across the city. The police suspect that Fonseca killed them all.
Officers of Kareya police station and the homicide section of Kolkata Police’s detective department rushed to the crime scene where the bodies of Jessica (43) and her 14-year-old sons Jashua and Daren, students of Class 9, were found.
“He (Neil) had an altercation with his wife at around 4am. Jessica suddenly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and slit the throats of their two boys who were asleep at the time. He tried to resist her when she attacked him with the sharp weapon and hit her on the head with a dumbbell,” Debasish Boral, joint commissioner of police (Crime), said quoting Neil. However, Jessica’s body, too, had slits on her throat.
Forty-seven-year-old Neil Fonseca, who is an interior designer and has an office on Hungerford Street in south Kolkata, was rushed to Calcutta National Medical College with injuries on his throat and two wrists. While police officers could speak to him only for a short while, he offered his statement partly in writing.
Neil also told police that his wife suspected him of having affairs with several women. She would object whenever any woman called him, he alleged. He also told the police that the altercation in the wee hours of Saturday started after he got a phone call.
Police officers, though, are not buying his version. Rather, they are pointing out several holes in his statement. One, if Jessica was killed by the blow of the dumbbell on her head, why was there a deep slit mark on her throat? Two, if the murders followed a bout of fierce altercation between the husband and wife, how could no neighbour or even the security guards posted at the former chief minister’s residence opposite the building hear them? It becomes all the more improbable because the alleged commotion took place at 4am when the neighbourhood was completely silent.
Three, how could Neil’s mother, Shirley, and Samantha, his sister, who were sleeping in an adjacent room in the same flat, hear nothing? In a third room was Shabana Ansari, Neil’s sister-in-law, who also did not hear anything and continued to sleep.
Four, why did Neil himself not shout and call for help if his wife killed their two sons and also attacked him?
According to the police, what transpired in the morning was somewhat like this — Neil’s mother Shirley woke up at around 8am and knocked on the door of her son’s bedroom (the scene of the crime) but no one responded. After sometime, Neil staggered out of the bedroom while the three motionless bodies lay in a pool of blood inside. Samantha then called up a close relative who informed the police about the crime.
Members of Dalhousie Institute where Neil and Jessica went on Friday night said that they were aghast at the news because Neil was known to them as a family man who was devoted to his wife. “I saw them dancing intimately even as late as 11 on Friday night,“ said a member.