Who is Jolly Joseph? Unravelling the ‘Curry & Cyanide’ Case

Jolly Joseph was the prime suspect in the murders of six of her family members. Here is the true story behind the killings in Koodathayi.

Who is Jolly Joseph? Unravelling the 'Curry & Cyanide' Case - F

Jolly was the first to discover the body.

Netflix’s latest crime docuseries, Curry and Cyanide The Jolly Joseph Case, is stirring up a storm in the world of streaming.

Directed by Christo Tomy and produced by India Today Originals, the series delves into the spine-chilling cyanide killings in Koodathayi, Kerala.

The case, involving a professor accused of poisoning six family members, including her toddler daughter, sent shockwaves across the nation.

Jollyamma Joseph, affectionately known as Jolly, is the central figure in this macabre tale.

A native of Kattappana in Kerala’s Idukki district, Jolly dropped out of college in her first year.

After marrying Roy Thomas in 1997, she relocated to Koodathayi and started a family, giving birth to two sons.

Jolly Joseph’s life was shrouded in deception.

She claimed to be an M.Com. graduate and a professor at the prestigious National Institute of Technology Calicut (NIT-C) in Kozhikode.

However, the reality of her daily activities remained a mystery.

After her husband’s suspicious death in 2011, Jolly remarried, tying the knot with Shaju Zachariah, Roy’s cousin, in 2016.

According to India Today, Jolly Joseph is accused of using cyanide to murder her family members, allegedly to gain control over their properties.

The victims included her first husband Roy, father-in-law Tom Thomas, mother-in-law Annamma Thomas, Annamma’s brother Mathew Manchadiyil, her second husband Shaju’s first wife Cili, and their daughter Alphine.

Who is Jolly Joseph? Unravelling the 'Curry & Cyanide' Case - 2The series of murders began in 2002 with the death of Jolly’s mother-in-law, Annamma.

Initially believed to have died of a heart attack, the truth only came to light a decade later, following Jolly’s arrest in 2019.

Jolly confessed to poisoning Annamma’s mutton soup to gain control over the family’s finances.

The plot thickened as Jolly targeted other family members, including her father-in-law, Tom, who was found dead in 2008.

Jolly was the first to discover the body, convincing everyone that it was a natural death.

Who is Jolly Joseph? Unravelling the 'Curry & Cyanide' Case - 1However, an investigation later revealed that Tom’s death was a meticulously planned murder, with Jolly mixing cyanide in his medication.

After Tom’s death, Jolly Joseph forged a will, claiming she was the sole owner of the family home.

During this time, she was reportedly having an affair with her husband’s friend, MS Mathew, a jewellery shop owner.

Mathew claimed that Jolly often asked him to arrange cyanide, supposedly to kill rats in her house.

In 2011, Roy was found dead under suspicious circumstances.

Despite initial suspicions, Jolly managed to convince the family that it was a suicide, thereby avoiding further investigation.

However, the truth eventually surfaced, and Jolly was arrested in October 2019.

Jolly Joseph is currently serving her sentence in jail.

The chilling tale of her crimes, now immortalised in Netflix‘s Curry and Cyanide, serves as a stark reminder of the depths of human deception and the devastating consequences of unchecked greed.



Ravinder is a Content Editor with a strong passion for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. When she's not writing, you'll find her scrolling through TikTok.





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