In a case that shocked the entire state and the collective conscience of the society, four members of a family, including an elderly couple, were murdered in cold blood by their own son at their home, right next to the official residence of the Kerala Chief Minister, at Nanthencode in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city.


What we know so far


The partly charred bodies of retired professor Rajthankam, 60, his wife and retired doctor Jean Padma, 58, their daughter Carolyn, 25, and relative Lalitha, 70, were found in their two-storey residence at the capital in the wee hours of Sunday. Cadell Jeansen Raja, the son of Rajthankam and Jean Padma, was absconding since the news broke but was arrested from the Thampanoor railway station on Monday. The 30-year-old confessed to the killings during the interrogation.


However, though Cadell has confessed and is the sole suspect, the police are yet to unravel the motive behind the brutal murders. There has been several startling revelations and unconfirmed theories surrounding the case, with Cadell telling the police about his satanic worship and experiments with astral projection. The latest version of his story is parental neglect. 


The probe team, after finding that Cadell is showing signs of mental instability, sought the help of psychiatrists for further interrogation. However, medical experts have not been able to comprehend Cadell's mental health just yet. They suspect that he could be suffering from multiple personality disorder and feel they would need to observe him for at least 10 days, before commenting on his mental health.

The killings


Cadell told the investigating officers that he killed all four victims by serving fatal blows to their head. He also revealed that he bought the two axes used for the crime through online shopping. As per his confession, Cadell told his mother Jean Padma last Wednesday (April 5) that he wanted to show her a video game he made. Jean Padma accompanied him upstairs, where he murdered her with the axe and shifted the body to the washroom. He then had lunch with his father and sister. He brought his father Rajthankam to the room in the same manner and killed him. He murdered his sister Carolyn after an hour in the same room.


Cadell, the person


Cadell was an introvert and mostly kept to himself. He didn't have many friends or much of a social life. He rarely went out and preferred spending time alone in his room. According to his neighbours, Cadell was always quiet and was never heard arguing with his parents or sister. He always replied to queries politely but concisely. His room remained locked from inside most of the time and it is understood that even his parents didn't communicate with him on a regular basis.


According to his uncle who lives nearby, Cadell failed to complete his MBBS degree from abroad but did a course in Artificial Intelligence. He was keen on creating battle-based video games, which had plenty of blood and gore, and had plans to move into video game development as a full-time profession.


Satanic worship and astral projection


Cadell initially told the police that he was into satanic worship. He informed the probe team that he had been worshipping the devil for the past 10 years, without the knowledge of his family. He said he was influenced by satanic worship and became part of a dark cult which met online. In his statement to the police, Cadell said he was attempting to "free the soul from body" using a technique called as 'astral projection'.  


Astral projection, by definition, is a willful out-of-body experience that assumes the existence of a soul or consciousness called an "astral body" that is separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside of it throughout the universe. And according to Cadell, he sacrificed his family for this 'out-of-the-body experience'. However, a few questions remain. If Cadell was experimenting astral projection, why did he try it on his family members instead of his own body? Why didn't he stop after the experiment failed and the first person died? Why did he disappear after the killings, instead of reporting it?

Mystery surrounding the house


There was also an air of mystery surrounding the house that Cadell and his family were living in. The family lived in the first floor and came downstairs only to have their food. According to reports, the cook or maids were not allowed to go upstairs. Even most of the relatives have not been to the first floor. The family members rarely opened any of the windows and the house mostly remained dark and uncanny.

The maid told the police that she last saw the victims on Wednesday. When she asked Cadell about his parents on Friday, he told her they had gone on a tour. She told the police that she did not hear any unusual noises from the house during the day where the murders could have taken place or the days after.