It was in 2019 when everything for the Ponnamattam family in Kerela, India, shattered apart as it came to light that Jolly Joseph could’ve been responsible for six horrific murders over 14 years. Though the worst aspect for them, as explored in Netflix’s ‘Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case,’ is that four of these unexpected deaths were within the brood — she allegedly killed blood. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about the two young individuals out of the remaining few she left behind — her own sons, Remo and Reynold Roy — we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who Are Jolly Joseph’s Kids?
Born in 1999 as the elder of two to Jolly and Roy Thomas in the small town of Koodathayi, Kozhikode (Calicut), Romo vividly remembers his early years as rather bright, happy, loving, and stable. However, the truth is things were much different for his younger brother Reynold (aka Ochu) because the familial deaths had already begun by the time he came into this world around 2004. The matriarch, their grandmother Annamma Thomas, had passed away upon drinking a mere glass of water in 2002, and then her husband, Tom Thomas, died similarly upon taking a pill in 2008.
Remo admittedly has a close attachment to the Ponnamattam ancestral house where he was raised to this day, but he has since conceded not all of his memories from there are sunshine and roses. “I’m the first child…,” he said in the aforementioned original production. “I got all the privileges provided to a first child from everyone” before things really began to change around the late 2000s. “There were a lot of good moments, and we led a happy life for quite a long time,” he expressed. “But gradually, as I grew up to age, I could understand and see the issues happening in the house.”
Remo continued, “As time progressed, a gap began to form in the connection we had with our mother. There arose a disconnection between [our parents] too. It was like everyone had just split up from each other and moved to the four corners of the house. Mother would always be busy, saying she had college work or paper evaluations. We felt that we were not given any preference in her life.” And then came Roy’s demise in 2011, which was alleged to be suicide by his wife once an autopsy/postmortem — the only one requested by relatives at the time — confirmed cyanide in his system.
The sole individual to not wholly believe Jolly’s claim was Roy’s maternal uncle, Mathew Manjayadil, according to the documentary movie, so she reportedly poisoned his whiskey in 2014 too. This same year, a 2-year-old toddler named Alpine Shaju also died under mysterious circumstances, followed by her mother, Sili Sebastian, in 2016 — the patriarch here was Roy’s close cousin Shaju Zacharias, who then actually evolved into Jolly’s second spouse. Per Remo, their union was finalized within days of the latter’s demise, and his mother had called to ask for his “blessing” while he was studying in Shimla as more of a formality than anything else.
Little did Remo know his paternal aunt Renji Wilson would soon file a police complaint against Jolly for poison-caused murder, just for him to subsequently start looking into the matter as well. He expressed in the film, “When I returned home [that 2019 fall], I found the house was empty, except for my brother… [Jolly] returned home, and I observed she looked very tired, panic-stricken… I said I needed to speak to Jolly alone, and I went with her to a room. After entering, I asked her, ‘What’s going on?… Have there been any mistakes on your part? I’m asking you strongly, are you involved in these murders?’,” and she reportedly confessed to everything.
Where Are Jolly Joseph’s Kids Now?
It was with Jolly’s confession that Remo dialed his aunt and urged her to call the police for an arrest, following which it came to light there was still enough cyanide in her possession to poison two others. The theory then became she maybe did plan to slay her two sons too, only for them to survive thanks to the sheer will, courage, as well as determination of the then-20-year-old college student. It later turned out his mother had even lied about not just her educational qualifications but also her long-term job as a lecturer at the National Institute of Technology-Calicut — she’d never enrolled into a master’s program or been employed by any institute as a teacher.
Therefore, neither Remo nor Reynold consider Jolly their mother anymore — for them, Renji is the woman who deserves this title considering everything she has done for them, including taking them into her custody. Until October 2019, the former said at one point, he “believed that the deaths of our close family members were natural. I had doubts until the very end. I can never see that person as my mother again.” So today, from what we can tell, both he and his brother are hoping justice can be attained with Jolly as well as all her accomplices being found guilty of homicide following the ongoing proceedings.
Remo has actually even stated his father was not an alcoholic as Jolly’s defense has tried to allude, plus he truly doesn’t believe she “could have committed all the murders alone, including that of my father. I suspect help from outsiders. I am sure that all those involved in this crime would be brought to book… I have got to stay strong as I have a younger brother. I can’t afford to let him down.” Coming to their personal standings, from what we can tell, both Remo and Reynold prefer to keep their experiences well away from the limelight these days.