Supreme Court stays release of Kerala cyanide killer Jolly Joseph
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the release of Jolly Amma Joseph, arrested for murdering six members of her family in a span of 14 years. All the crimes took place in Koodathayi in Kozhikode district of Kerala.
Joseph used cyanide to kill all the people, after which the series of killings were called "Kerala cyanide murders".
The order to stay here release was granted by a bench of justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran.
The first in the family to die in 2002 was Joseph’s mother-in-law Annamma, a retired teacher. She was followed by Joseph’s father-in-law, Tom Thomas, in 2008. In 2011, their son and Joseph’s husband, Roy Thomas, also died to be followed by the death of Roy’s maternal uncle, Mathew, who died in 2014.
The police said that Joseph has confessed to her role in all the crimes.
In her confession, Joseph reportedly said the first killing of Annamma Thomas, her mother-in-law, was executed after giving her pesticide-laced food. And in all other cases, she said cyanide was used.
The final nail in the coffin came after one of the sons of late Tom Thomas, Roji Thomas who is settled in the US, raised a suspicion about the mysterious deaths and filed a police complaint.
Joseph (48) was arrested in October, 2019, along with two other people, including her friend M Mathew who arranged cyanide and Praju Kumar, a jewellery employee, who supplied the poisonous substance.
The Kerala high court had granted her bail in August last year, but the Kerala government moved Supreme Court against the order.
While granting bail to Joseph, the high court had said that the case against her is based on extra judicial confession made after so many years of the alleged murders.