India has been transfixed by a case involving an alleged serial killer with an incongruous name. Police say Jolly Thomas, 47, has admitted poisoning six relatives with cyanide over a 14-year period, the Guardian reports. She was present at the deaths of all six victims, who had consumed food or drink she had prepared, authorities say. Thomas and two alleged accomplices who helped her obtain potassium cyanide were arrested Monday, days after the bodies of the six victims were exhumed for tests, the Hindustan Times reports. Thomas allegedly poisoned mother-in-law Amanna Thomas in 2002, father-in-law Tom Thomas in 2008, and husband Roy Thomas in 2011.
Thomas then allegedly poisoned Mathew, her husband's uncle, in 2014 because he insisted that a postmortem be carried out on Roy Thomas. Police say Thomas poisoned 2-year-old Alphine Shaju the same year and killed the toddler's mother, Scaria Shaju, in 2016. She married Shaju's husband the following year. Police say Thomas, a well-liked member of the community in Kozhikode, Kerala state, carried out the killings because she wanted to control the family's property. Gulf News reports that her second husband, who is Roy Thomas' first cousin, has allegedly confessed to helping her kill his wife and daughter. (Read more India stories.)