Crime Branch arrests accused 17 years after twin murder

Investigators establish his link to murders at Ponekkara in Kochi following an extrajudicial confession

Seventeen years after a twin murder, including a woman who was also raped, at Ponekkara, the Ernakulam unit of the Crime Branch arrested the accused who turned out to be a serial murderer and rapist.

The arrested was identified as K.P. Jayanandan aka ripper Jayanandan who was undergoing life imprisonment in another case in a high-security cell at the Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail. The 74-year-old woman and her 60-year-old relative were murdered at their house on May 30, 2004.

After being moved to a high-security cell a year ago, the accused had developed a close bond with one of the three cell mates. An extrajudicial confession by the accused to his cell mate in a jubilant mood after the Supreme Court reduced his sentence from capital punishment to life imprisonment in a case related to the murder of a woman at Puthenvelikkara in 2006 helped investigators establish his link to the Ponekkara murders.

The identification of the accused by a neighbour of the victim who had spotted him during an alleged attempted theft during the night of the offence further corroborated the evidence, leading to his arrest on December 23, Crime Branch Additional Director General of Police S. Sreejith told the media here on Monday.

The Kalamassery police who had originally registered the case had found the theft of 44 sovereigns of gold ornaments and silver coins weighing 15 grams. The case was handed over to the Crime Branch after an action council formed in the wake of the incident protested against the lack of progress in the investigation. The Crime Branch found that the victim had been raped as well.

Though the Crime Branch had all along suspected the involvement of Jayanandan, accused of similar offences in Paravur, Mala, and Kodungalloor, they could not arraign him in for want of conclusive evidence.

The accused has six cases of murders claiming eight victims registered against him at Mala, North Paravur, Mathilakam, Puthenvelikkara and Vadakkekara police stations. This was in addition to 15 cases of thefts and robberies. All the alleged offences were committed between 2003 and 2006, and he was convicted in eight cases. He was also convicted for jumping the jail on three occasions.

His victims were mostly elderly and were attacked between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. He used to steal the gold ornaments of his victims. In one case, he even severed a palm of the victim for retrieving bangles. He always targeted the heads of the victims using tools obtained from the crime scene or the immediate neighbourhood.

There were no break-ins, and the victims were also raped. He even compromised the crime scene by pouring kerosene and chilly powder and turmeric powder, a modus operandi that he followed in the instant case as well.

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