Suspecting foul play in the death of his nephew Roy Thomas, Mathew Manjadiyil had insisted on an autopsy. He eventually became the fourth victim in the series of six murders in the Koodathai family, in which Roy’s wife Jolly Joseph is the prime accused. He died of cyanide poisoning, revealed the fourth chargesheet in the death of Mathew, which was submitted by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday to the Thamarassery Judicial FIrst Class Magistrate in Kozhikode district.
The fourth chargesheet runs into 2,016 pages, with testaments from 718 witnesses. The prime accused is 47-year-old Jolly, who is accused of killing her first husband Roy Thomas, her in-laws Annamma Thomas and Tom Thomas and Mathew Manjadiyil. She is also accused of killing Cily and Alphine, the wife and daughter (respectively) of Jolly’s present husband, Shaji. The second accused, MS Mathew, and third accused Prajikumar, a goldsmith, helped Jolly procure cyanide.
According to the chargesheet, on February 24, 2014, Jolly gave Mathew cyanide-laced drinks twice — first, in his alcohol, and later mixed in water. “Jolly’s second son was with her when she went to Mathew’s house for the second time. Mathew had asked for some water as he had collapsed. Her son testified that Jolly asked him to check if someone was coming towards the house at that instant,” KG Simon, district police chief (Kozhikode Rural) said at a press conference on Monday.
Jolly claimed that Mathew died of cardiac arrest as he had earlier undergone angioplasty (a procedure). An autopsy was also not conducted. “However, the doctors who treated him said that he had an angiogram (a test) and was healthy 10 days prior to his death,” he added.
The police said that Mathew had also objected to writing Roy's property off to Jolly.
The chargesheet in Mathew’s death was filed by Inspector K Unnikrishnan of Koyilandy police station in Kozhikode.
The other chargesheets
Following suspicions over six mysterious deaths in his family, Roy’s brother Rojo had filed a complaint with the police, following which, the investigation began. All six bodies were exhumed in October and Jolly was also arrested.
On January 1, the SIT submitted the first chargesheet in the death of Roy Thomas. The 8,000-page chargesheet had 246 witnesses. Apart from Jolly, MS Mathew and Prajikumar, Manoj Kumar, a local CPI(M) leader, was named the fourth accused, for allegedly helping her create a fake will. It was found that Jolly had poisoned the water and food that Roy had for dinner on September 30, 2011.
The police also submitted Jolly’s fake educational degrees and an id card of National Institute of Technology during evidence collection.
On January 17, the second chargesheet was submitted after probing the death of Cily, the last victim of Jolly. Cily is the first wife of Shaji. After her death, he married Jolly. Simon said that Cily’s son is one of the prime witnesses, who stated that he was suspicious about Jolly’s behaviour at the time of her death and saw Jolly serving water and tablets to his mother. She had mixed cyanide in Cily’s water. Simon also added that Shaji was not aware of Jolly’s plot.
On January 26, the SIT filed the third chargesheet in the death of two-year-old Alphine. The child died during a housewarming ceremony after she ‘choked on bread’. Simon said that it was Jolly who brought two slices of bread and some chicken gravy and asked other women at the house to feed Alphine. There are 189 witnesses, many of whom testified that they saw Jolly disposing of the poison. According to Simon, Jolly felt that Alphine would be a burden on her and Shaju (Alphine's father), whom she wanted to marry, and eventually got married after the death of Cily.
The chargesheet in the death of Roy’s parents, Annamma and Tom, will be filed soon, said Simon.