She was a pillar of her small community, respected by her neighbours as a distinguished professor, a solemn widow and a churchgoer whose religious devotion only seemed to grow, despite a string of personal tragedies.

The police now say she is one of India's most cunning serial killers, with cyanide her weapon of choice, served up in soups, snacks and ayurvedic beverages.

Her name is Jolly Joseph, and the authorities say she has confessed to killing six family members over the span of 14 years, including her husband, his parents and a 2-year-old niece. Officials, who say she will be

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