Cyanide Mallika

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Kempamma’s life took a different turn when, at marriageable age, her family arranged her marriage to a sculptor. Despite initiating various endeavors to earn money, she faced both failure and significant responsibilities. Continuing her work while her husband was neglected Kempamma shifted her focus to daily labor, adopting a modest lifestyle. However, financial struggles led her to explore the path of theft and facing legal consequences and imprisonment. Her experiences in jail failed to bring about any significant changes in her life, prompting her to search for new avenues upon release.

Deciding to lead initiatives for the upliftment of women, Kempamma centralized her efforts around temples. Visiting women in distress at these temples, she observed and started providing them support. Compassionately identifying with the suffering women, she adorned them with clothing and acted as a counselor, addressing their issues. Keen on finding solutions, Kempamma directed them, offering assurance and standing by women who were helpless. Even when performing rituals in a temple, she reminded the women that everything would change with the worship, comforting those facing difficulties Kempamma remained committed to providing guidance, including the instruction for women to wear all accessories and new attire during rituals, instilling confidence and support in the vulnerable.

In the pursuit of addressing issues such as childlessness, illness, or the recovery of lost children, women turn to Kempamma for assistance. After providing guidance to women who approach her with prayers before the ritual, she initiates the worship. Following that, she offers the women a solution in the form of “devine water,” a consecrated water believed to have healing properties. The woman consuming this water will supposedly attain death within moments. Continuing her practice Kempamma takes away the woman’s ornaments along with her, maintaining this ritual.

In 1991, Kempamma began committing gruesome murders as part of the theft. In a relatively short period, she systematically killed around six women in a similar manner, orchestrating the murders with precision. Each woman had a distinct identity, yet they were all known by the same name. The last victim, whose name she mentioned, was Mallika. Subsequently, Kempamma adopted the name Mallika for herself, gaining notoriety under the alias “cyanide Mallika.”

For many days, the deceiver remained elusive. Since the first murder of a woman in 1999, despite police investigations, they couldn’t trace Mallika. However, when Mallika emerged to sell her jewelry in a jeweler’s shop with a notable amount, suspicion arose among the business owner. Even though the details were reported to the police, but she vanished like a shadow. Then she was apprehended at the bus stand after a brief chase.

In the course of the trial, it was revealed that she had obtained cyanide from a goldsmith, and the method of using cyanide, as seen in movies, was something she had considered. Fate eventually sentenced her to the death penalty after legal proceedings. Thus, she became the first woman in Karnataka to receive the death penalty, and she gained notoriety as the first female serial killer in India.

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