Meeting those who knew Jollyamma Joseph, alias Jolly, 47, the prime accused in the Koodathayi multiple murders, does little to clear the mystery around her.
Jolly was originally from Chottayil house in Kattappana in Idukki. Her father ran a ration shop in Vazhavara near Kattappana and shifted to Kattappana town around four years ago.
While some of Jolly's classmates remember her as a soft-spoken person and an average student, there were others who remembered how she came under suspicion even during her college days.
Jolly, who completed her schooling at St Xavier's LP School, Nellippara and St Mary's High School, Vazhavara, joined the pre-degree batch at M.E.S College, Nedumkandam in 1988.
Her higher studies background is shrouded in confusion as she has reportedly not completed any course during her college days.
According to some of her M.E.S College batchmates, Jolly, who stayed in a rented room during the first year of the pre-degree course, had to vacate it following her alleged involvement in a theft.
"We studied in the same pre-degree batch of 1988-90 and we three had stayed together. One day, an earring was stolen from our room and a probe conducted by the college authorities pointed fingers at Jolly. Following this incident, Jolly vacated the room and continued her studies as a day scholar. But, I don't remember whether she took the final-year exams," said a classmate, on condition of anonymity.
Later, she joined a B.Com course at St Joseph's parallel college in Pala in the year 1992. According to Jaideep Sebastian, her classmate, Jolly dropped out from the course after two years.
"She didn't attend classes in the third year, but always maintained her friendship with some girl students in the batch. Even two weeks ago, Jolly had contacted one of our batchmates, who is staying in Mumbai now. Jolly had told us that she completed B.Com later and continued her studies," he said.
Meanwhile, Muhammed Shaji, who hails from Idukki and was a former student of M.E.S College, said Jolly had joined St Sebastian's College, Kattappana for doing her M.Com, but could not give the exams as she hadn't completed her degree course.
Mathukkutty, hailing from Kattappana who also studied in M.E.S College, said he still remembers travelling in the same bus from Kattappana to Nedumkandam.
"She was very beautiful and garnered the attention of all at that time," he said.
One of Jolly's classmates in St Joseph's College, Pala, said Jolly met Roy Thomas, her first husband, whom she is alleged to have killed in 2011, at a marriage function in Kozhikode.
"They communicated through letters and we could see the peon staff regularly delivering her letters," he said.
This classmate, who didn't want to be named, was shocked that she is being named as the mastermind behind the Koodathayi multiple murders since the Jolly he knew was a mild and soft-spoken girl during college days.