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Cyanide Mallika

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Cyanide Mallika

Women, the epitome of affection, selflessness, and compassion, but are all?

Time and again, we come across crimes of women who can kill in cold blood. Despite the dogma that murders are mostly male-perpetrated, women are also culprits, killing with the same heartlessness as male killers. This image is often difficult to accept in Indian society. A mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, but the truth is that gender has nothing to do with a person’s ability to commit crimes.

Why Women Kill?
Cyanide Mallika
We come across such a woman, KD Kempamma, India’s first female serial killer. Kempamma, a woman in her forties, was driven by greed and desire for better material comfort. Cyanide Mallika, the title bestowed to her for her multiple ruthless killings using Potassium Cyanide in and around Bangalore, was active for nine years.

Mallika preyed on vulnerable women, souls seeking peace in the city’s temples. Often, these women were childless or facing marital problems and were deeply religious, looking towards the divine for help. Using the situation, Mallika would gain their confidence and promise them to give them what they sought. With the representation of a benevolent-looking middle-aged woman, she would claim to be skilled in the art of tranticism and would make miracles happen. She would then ask the victims to come dressed in expensive jewellery and clothes for the alleged rituals. The victim would be taken to a desolate spot near the temple. Mallika would start the fake puja and ask her victims to close their eyes, forcibly pushing cyanide powder mixed with either food or drink in their mouths.

Mallika was finally nabbed at a bus stand; she owned expensive jewellery and cash and pled guilty for her crimes.

Greed
Material Comfort
As a young girl, Mallika was married to a tailor of modest means, but a simple life was not for her. Before the killings, Mallika had a chit fund that failed after a short while, after which she left her family and worked several low-paying jobs as domestic help and an assistant to a goldsmith. It was probably during this time she realized that crime was a way into wealth. 

This case is in direct contradiction to our traditional reflection of women. Perceptions are often deceptive, after all!

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