(born Sedan, 4 April 1942) is a French serial killer who confessed, in
June and July 2004, to kidnapping, raping and murdering 9 girls in the
span of 14 years during the 1980s and the 1990s. He is also suspected of
10 additional murders, 9 in France and 1 in Belgium.
His wife, Monique
Olivier, denounced him just after Marc Dutroux's ex-wife Michelle Martin
was sentenced to 30 years in prison during Dutroux's trial. Fourniret
has been charged with the abduction of minors and sexual misconduct, and
has been in detention since June 2003 for the attempted kidnapping of a
14-year-old girl in 2000.
Fourniret buried at
least two of his victims at his Sautou chateau in the late 1980s. On 3
July 2004, a team of French and Belgian police recovered the bodies of
two of Fourniret's victims near the castle.
He might have had some
links with the once famous French Action Directe gang.
- a 17-year old French girl. She disappeared in Auxerre, France, on her
way from school to home.
- a 20-year old girl. She disappeared in 1988 in Mourmelon, and her body
was later found in the nearby woods.
Desramault - a 22-year
old French student. She disappeared in 1989 from the railway station of
Charleville-Méziere, and her body was recovered from the estate of
Fourniret with his assistance.
- a 12-year-old Belgian girl. She disappeared from Namur in 1989 after
playing with a friend. This case has been long thought to be linked to
the Dutroux case. Fourniret led police to her burial site on his estate
- a 13-year old French girl, disappeared in 1990.
- the girlfriend of one of the leaders of Action Directe, a former
cellmate of Fourniret's. Fourniret killed her in 1990 to access the
group's funds. He bought his castle in France with the money.
- 18-year old who disappeared in 2000 in Sedan, and her body was found
- 18-year old who disappeared in 2001 from Charleville-Méziere. Her body
was also later found in Belgium.
An unidentified man
- Fourniret killed this man in a robbery for some quick cash.
Fourniret's wife has
also said that Fourniret killed a 16-year old girl who had worked as a
au pair at their house. Fourniret allegedly killed her in 1993, but has
not confessed. Her identity has not discovered.
Fourniret himself says
he did not commit any crimes between 1990 and 2000. Police in at least
five countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark)
have taken a fresh look at old rapes, disappearances and murders,
however. In Denmark, police noticed that a police sketch of a rape
suspect looked a lot like Fourniret. In the Netherlands, investigators
in the disappearances of Tanja Groen and Nicky Verstappen have
In 2006 rumors started
that Fourniret might have been the real suspect in the case Christian
Ranucci. 22 year old Ranucci was beheaded in France with the guillotine
on 28 July 1976 under the suspicion that he killed an eight year old
girl; Marie-Dolores Rambla. The case has always been controversial:
New evidence showed
that Fourniret was taking a holiday in Marseille coincidentally at the
same time and place the girl was murdered. On 3 June 1974 Marie-Dolores
Rambla and her brother Jean met a man in a car who claimed he was
searching for his dog. Marie-Dolores joined the gentleman in his car and
was kidnapped. Over an hour after this disapperarance the car of the
kidnapper is involved in a car accident with a certain Martinez and the
kidnapper drives away. Followed by an elder couple he is seen carrying a
big packet. Witnesses report his appearance to the police who
immediately concludes there is a connection between the kidnapping and
the fleeing driver. Extensive research finds the body of Marie-Dolores
Rambla in some bushes where she has been stabbed to death. Ranucci is
arrested under the suspicion the car accident he was involved in and the
vision of him with the packet had something to do with Rambla's
kidnapping and death. They discovered some pants with dried bloodstains
in his car who have the same blood type as Rambla.
Ranucci confessed he
killed the girl and told the police where the knife was hidden (the
What made this
confession so strange was the fact Ranucci only confessed things who
were exactly the facts the police discovered those first 48 hours.
Ranucci denied being the murderer, a day afterwards. It has been
suggested that Ranucci's file has been altered and the evidence objects
were hidden to match his "confession". The bloodstains on his pants were
much older than the murder and happened due to a fall of his motorcycle.
Ranucci had the same blood type as Rambla. The elder couple claimed they
saw the girl on the back of Ranucci's car and heard her screaming. What
made this claim a bit dubious was the fact the couple didn't leave their
car and Ranucci's car door was broken on the side they claimed, he
opened to snatch the girl out of the car. A red sweater who had been
found on the place of the murder didn't belong to Ranucci as further
research pointed out.
Later five people tell
the police they saw the kidnapping and all of them point out a different
person than Ranucci.
The big media fuss
about the case made Ranucci guilty before his case was even brought to
the court. He received the death penalty. What makes Fourniret so much
more suspicious in the case is the fact he went on a holiday in
Marseille in June 1974, drove a car with the same color (grey), was 32
years old and in comparison with Ranucci had a police file with criminal
sexual deeds. Fourniret used many tricks, comparable with the lie about
the lost dog. Also, Rambla showed no signs of being sexually molested.
Fourniret often ejaculated too soon in front of his victims and then his
anger towards them cooled.
Life sentence for French killer
Thursday, 29 May
A 66-year-old man has been
sentenced to life in prison by a French court for murdering seven
girls and young women.
Michel Fourniret, dubbed the "Ogre of the Ardennes",
had admitted kidnapping and killing his victims between 1987 and 2001.
It is one of France's biggest serial killing cases in
The court in Charleville-Mezieres also gave his wife
Monique Olivier a life sentence for complicity. She helped trap the
Olivier, 59, must serve at least 28 years of her
prison term, the court said.
The seven victims - most of whom were raped - were
aged between 12 and 22. They were shot, strangled, or stabbed to death.
Most were killed in the Ardennes region of northern
France and in Belgium.
Fourniret would spot a potential victim while driving
and stop to ask for directions, then persuade them to get into his car.
His wife's presence in the vehicle was designed to
help reassure the victim, according to the prosecution.
Fourniret was arrested in Belgium in 2003 after an
attempt to kidnap a 13-year-old girl, who managed to run away.
Correspondents say the court proceedings failed to
unlock Fourniret's personality and motives.
Although he admitted the murders, he refused to co-operate
further during the two-month trial.
Marie-Jeanne Laville, the mother of 17-year-old Isabelle who was
raped and killed in 1987, told AFP news agency she was "very satisfied"
with the verdict.
"I can breathe again," she said.
Fourniret - who in court described himself as "an extremely dangerous
individual" - said he would not appeal against his sentence.
He is suspected of kidnapping, raping and murdering British teaching
assistant Joanna Parrish, 20, in 1990 while she was working in the
French town of Auxerre.
He is also being investigated over the kidnap and murder of Marie-Angele
Domece, a 19-year-old disabled woman from France.
He denies involvement in either woman's death.
But Roger Parrish and Pauline Sewell, Joanna Parrish's parents,
issued a statement after the verdict was announced.
"This is not the final chapter in our quest for justice for Joanna;
we must wait to see if Fourniret is to be charged in connection with
her death," they said.
French 'virgin-hunter' Michel
Fourniret refuses to speak at trial
March 28, 2008
The couple resembled ordinary French pensioners, he
with his arms folded in a professorial pose, she sucking in her cheeks
like a watchful grandmother. Behind the façade, however, lay a cold-blooded
sexual predator who raped and killed victims with the help of his wife
and accomplice, a court was told yesterday.
As Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier sat in a
glass-fronted dock on the opening day of their trial, jurors were told
chilling details of the grey-haired couple alleged to be among the most
horrific criminals in the history of France. Using an image of happily-married
respectability, Olivier would gain the confidence of the girls and women
they had identified as prey.
After they had been bound, gagged and sometimes
drugged by her husband, she would examine them to check they were the
virgins he desired.
She would then hand them over to Fourniret “in the
sole aim of allowing him to fulfil his fantasies”, according to a report
read out in the court in Charleville-Mézières, in the Franco-Belgian
border region where they once lived. He would assault his victims —
“beautiful little subjects” was how he referred to them — before
shooting or strangling them, the report by investigating magistrates
One, a “serious, prudent and intelligent” 20-year-old
student, had air injected into her veins to provoke a heart attack, the
Fourniret, 65, is on trial charged with the murder of
seven girls and women aged between 12 and 21 in France and Belgium
between 1987 and 2001. He has confessed to the crimes.
Olivier, 59, who is charged with one count of murder
and complicity in four other killings, has admitted helping her husband
but has sought to minimise her role with a claim that she was in his
The couple are suspected of a series of other crimes
likely to be the subject of a subsequent hearing. These include the
murder of Joanna Parrish, a 20-year-old British student found dead in
Burgundy in 1990.
Yesterday Fourniret fuelled his reputation as a
manipulator as he sought to dominate proceedings with a bizarre
performance. He claimed his right to privacy under French law to prevent
media from taking his photograph, a customary practice in high-profile
trials in France. He listened impassively to a list of crimes with which
he is charged.
Asked to confirm his identity, he held up a note
written in capital letters that said: “Lips sealed if not in closed
session.” His request for the press and public to be excluded along with
photographers was dismissed by Judge Gilles Lapatie.
Fourniret responded by handing the judge a second
handwritten note, this one rolled up and bound like a medieval scroll.
“This is the account of my acts which I intended to read,” the defendant
said, breaking the vow of silence that he had made minutes earlier. “But
I cannot talk if the court is not in camera. I ask for your permission
for you to read it out yourself.”
A lawyer at the court said later that in the note
Fourniret described himself as “a bad being and devoid of all human
sentiment” and that his wife was “an object that my lack of morals
constantly manipulated through a perverse game”. Olivier was more co-operative,
confirming her identity before her childhood stammer reappeared as she
tried to remember the names of her lawyers.
Her lawyers say that she is hoping for a lenient
sentence, unlike her husband, who is resigned to life imprisonment,
according to legal sources.
But the report of the investigating magistrates said
that when Fourniret set in motion their first crime in 1987, asking her
to “get him a virgin”, she knew the end could only be fatal. The remains
of the victim, Isabelle Laville, 17, were found almost two decades later
in a gravel-filled well.
The court was also told how the couple were caught in
2003 when a 13-year-old Belgian girl bit through the rope with which
they had tied her wrists and jumped out of their van.
Wife lured virgins for ‘Ogre of the
Ardennes’ serial killer
March 23, 2008
One of France’s most prolific serial killers goes on
trial this week, but the spotlight will be on his wife after revelations
that she made a “diabolical pact” to help him murder young women.
The court will hear evidence of how Monique Olivier,
59, helped Michel Fourniret, the so-called “Ogre of the Ardennes”, to
lure young women into a van so that he could kidnap and rape them.
A well spoken, bespectacled figure with a love of
Russian literature, Fourniret, 65, is being tried for the murders of
seven young women. His wife is charged with one murder and as an
accomplice in six others: she has told police that she witnessed various
rapes and murders and has admitted to gagging one girl to silence her
France has been sickened by the case, particularly
Olivier’s suggestions that the couple’s 20-year-old son Sélim witnessed
rapes and murders when he was young. He will testify during the trial,
as will Fourniret’s first two wives.
Investigators believe that in addition
to the seven murders the couple have acknowledged, Fourniret may have
killed several other women, including Joanna Parrish, a British student
teacher whose body was found in a river in 1990, and three of his son’s
Fourniret denies killing Parrish, but Olivier has
described the murder in Burgundy of a young woman bearing a resemblance
to Parrish. She met her killer after placing an advertisement for
English language teaching and babysitting in a magazine. Fourniret often
consulted advertisements for babysitters. He will be investigated for
her murder after the trial.
In her chilling confession to police, Olivier, who
speaks with a stammer, has described a “habitual scenario” of driving
around in the countryside, “hunting for virgins”. She acted as a decoy
to gain the confidence of the victims.
Fourniret would sometimes ask her to examine girls
before raping them to make sure that they were virgins.
The couple met when Fourniret advertised for a pen
pal after being imprisoned in 1984 for sexual assaults in the Paris
They began a long correspondence and she fell under
his sway, lovingly addressing him as “my beast” or as “Shere Khan”,
after the tiger in Kipling’s Jungle Book. He called her “Natouchka”.
According to The Pact of the Fournirets, a book by
two journalists that appeared last week, Fourniret offered to help
Olivier, a former care worker, to get even with two exhusbands, whom she
claimed had abused her, as soon as he got out of prison. In exchange she
agreed to help him find virgins, or what Fourniret referred to as
“membranes on legs”.
When he was freed in 1987, Olivier was waiting in her
green Peugeot estate. Fourniret never kept his part of the bargain by
killing her former husbands. Less than two months after his release,
however, Olivier made what she described as her first offering to her “beast”.
Isabelle Laville was a timid 17-year-old who was
undergoing psychotherapy. Olivier said she had selected her because she
looked like a younger version of herself: her husband wanted to imagine
that he was deflowering Olivier.
When the car drew up alongside Laville, Olivier asked
for directions. She persuaded the girl to get in and direct her.
Waiting down the road with a jerry can was Fourniret,
posing as a motorist who had broken down and needed a lift. Olivier
stopped the car and let him in.
As they drove off, Fourniret, sitting in the back,
put a rope around Laville’s neck and told her she was his prisoner. The
girl was given an overdose of sleeping pills on the way back to the
When they got there, Olivier had sex with Fourniret
when he found that he was unable to rape the victim. Fourniret then
strangled Laville. In 2006 he led police to her remains in a disused
Olivier said that she had not known Fourniret was
going to kill Laville. Whatever the case, the murder seems only to have
cemented their relationship.
In 1988, a heavily pregnant Olivier approached
Fabienne Leroy, a 20-year-old student, telling her that she urgently
needed to get to a doctor.
Leroy got into the car. This time Fourniret was
He drove to a field and pulled Leroy out of the car
at gunpoint. He raped and shot her after Olivier had subjected her to an
intimate examination. Leroy’s body was found in the field the next day.
Several more murders followed the same pattern.
Fourniret’s mother had once worked as a servant in a
chateau and psychologists believe that this was one of the reasons he
bought a chateau in the Ardennes with funds stolen from one of his
former prison cellmates.
The couple lived in one sparsely furnished corner of
the vast property. Fourniret buried some of the bodies in the grounds.
In one case the couple were believed to have used
little Sélim as bait, telling their victim that they were looking for a
doctor for their child. On other occasions they left the child with a
babysitter when going off on “virgin-hunting” weekends.
Even if Olivier did not always accompany Fourniret on
his expeditions, he made a point of telling her about his adventures
when he got home. “I went hunting,” was how he would put it, or, “I
In 2003, however, Fourniret slipped up. A 13-year-old
girl whom he had kidnapped in Belgium managed to escape from his van
when he stopped at a petrol station.
She was rescued by a passing motorist who took down
Fourniret’s registration number. He was arrested. Several human hairs
were found in the van, one of them belonging to Mananya Thumpong, 13,
whose remains had been found in a forest in 2001.
When Olivier decided to talk, Fourniret soon went
back on his denials. He led police to various bodies, conducting
excavations in the grounds of his chateau in a bulletproof jacket.
The trial is expected to last up to two months, after
which Fourniret, if found guilty, will spend the rest of his life behind
bars. And France expects no less a prison sentence for his “ogress”.
Mother, wife and monster
June 17, 2007
A French housewife helped her husband in a 20-year
orgy of kidnap, rape, torture and murder. She admits this British
student was among their victims. Why haven’t they been charged for her
Early afternoon, February 14, 2005. Monique Olivier
sat bowed, as if helpless, in the interrogation room of police
headquarters in the town of Dinant, southern Belgium. The plump and
dowdy 56-year-old adopted the pose for hours, refusing food and drinks.
Surrounding her were two French detectives and a
provincial public prosecutor. They had crossed the nearby border early
that Valentine’s Day morning to question her, hoping she would add to
the list of abductions, rapes and murders across France to which she and
her husband, Michel Fourniret, had already confessed.
While the winter afternoon darkened, her inquisitors
lost patience with Olivier’s continuing silence; voices were raised,
tempers frayed. Olivier later claimed the prosecutor, Francis Nachbar,
slapped her, and that one of the detectives elbowed her in the chest.
Belgian officials dismissed the incident as nothing more than some “mild
shoving” and a later inquiry cleared both men of misconduct. Whatever
happened, Olivier offered further revelations, her first in seven months.
She began with the 1988 murder of a girl she did not name close to the
Burgundy village in which she and her husband once lived. She described
the victim, how Fourniret had stalked her for weeks, how she had helped
him lull the girl into their car, and how he alone disposed of the body
Her account appeared to match the disappearance in
1988 of 19-year-old Marie-Angèle Domece. It was not until Monique began
her second confession of the day – relating to another killing in
Burgundy, this time in 1990 – that Nachbar knew he had won the day. “I
would like to tell you about another case, one that you do not know
about, and which ended with the death of a young girl,” she began. With
every word then uttered, the investigators heard her reveal the mystery
of who raped and strangled the 20-year-old British student teacher
Joanna Parrish. It was a coup for the French team; it seemed they had
cracked one of the longest-running murder cases still open in France, an
investigation so badly bungled it had become a diplomatic embarrassment
for the French authorities. It was even the object of an internal
justice-ministry inquiry into a possible cover-up. Joanna had
disappeared from the centre of the ancient town of Auxerre during the
early evening of May 16, 1990. Her naked body was found the next morning,
floating in a river five miles from the town.
No witnesses to the crime were ever found, and the
only indication of what she endured came as a result of a postmortem.
Monique Olivier’s account of the injuries inflicted on a victim she
again did not name was matched by the unpublished conclusions of the
postmortem report. She told of how they had abducted their victim in
Auxerre during the evening rush hour, a tactic Fourniret favoured
because of the anonymity it afforded; how she herself drove their van
out towards an isolated spot in nearby countryside while her husband
beat their captive “until she spoke no more” and how, when it was all
over, he finally disposed of the undressed corpse “in a watercourse”
nearby. Confronted with his wife’s statement the next day, Fourniret
denied murdering either Joanna or Marie-Angèle. But he had previously
denied committing other murders detailed by Olivier before finally
admitting them. An upbeat Nachbar travelled the 40 miles back to France
and called a press conference to announce the important “credibility” of
Olivier’s “very detailed” account of the murder of Joanna Parrish. But
the euphoria was to be short-lived.
Michel Fourniret, now 65, and Monique Olivier fled
from France to the village of Sart-Custinne in the Ardennes in 1991,
where they bought a farmhouse and raised their son, Sélim, born in 1988.
The quiet, polite couple lived there without suspicion, even briefly
finding work in the local primary school as playground and canteen
On June 26, 2003, a Belgian police van pulled up
outside their dark stone-walled house at the edge of the village,
bringing to an end the activities of a man who many believe is one of
France’s most prolific serial killers. Fourniret was arrested for the
kidnap of a 13-year-old girl in the nearby town of Ciney, who earlier
that afternoon had managed to escape from his van. Marie-Ascension –
whose surname was withheld for legal reasons – was rescued by a passing
woman motorist who had taken down Fourniret’s registration number.
Belgian police applied to the French for his criminal record, but none
was found even though Fourniret had been convicted in France for
separate crimes of paedophilia, exhibitionism and serious sex assaults.
But the Belgians were suspicious of the short,
bespectacled, well-spoken Frenchman who had installed an elaborate door-locking
system in his Citröen van. They re-examined dozens of unsolved sex
crimes in Belgium as well as France, notably the murder on May 16, 2000,
of 18-year-old Céline Saison (a decade to the day after Joanna Parrish’s
murder), and on May 5, 2001, of 13-year-old Mananya Thumpong, who both
disappeared close to their homes in the French Ardennes and whose
remains were found dumped and rotting in forests just across the border
in Belgium. By June 2004, Belgian police had sent human hairs found in
Fourniret’s van for DNA analysis in France.
One sample, they suspected, belonged to Thumpong.
They believe that was why Monique Olivier, frequently questioned about
Fourniret and whose lawyer was informed of the move, decided the game
was up. On June 28 she agreed to give a statement, one that was to stun
“My husband has murdered at least six women,” she
declared. The murders began in 1987. She included anecdotes, such as how
on the night he allegedly murdered Céline Saison alone, he came home to
tell her: “I went hunting today, and I obtained satisfaction.” That
first statement was followed by others, revealing two more murders.
Confronted with the statements, Fourniret was to confirm and eventually
add to them. He initially admitted only the earliest murders,
potentially covered by France’s crime-prescriptions law; this states
that nobody can be charged for a murder if the investigation has been
formally closed for more than 10 years.
This was later overruled as non-applicable to serial
killings. He even swore on the head of his grandchildren that he did not
commit the more recent crimes, before finally giving way. In a ping-pong
trail of statements, their corroborating accounts provided irrefutable
evidence of their involvement in the crimes; Fourniret later led police
to the bodies that had never been found, directing earth-diggers like an
enthusiastic works foreman to within inches of the secret burial spots
in the tree-lined park of their former home, a chateau in the Ardennes.
The pair agreed on seven murders in France and one in Belgium, along
with miscellaneous crimes including assaults and armed robbery. The
Belgian and French investigators remain certain that they have revealed
only the tip of an unfathomed iceberg. But in 2005, Belgium agreed to
hand them over to France for a trial now planned for autumn this year.
“When we got news of Monique Olivier’s statement, it
was a very special moment. We felt we were at the beginning of the end
of 15 years of trauma and nightmares, lost evidence, interminable
bureaucracy, a wild, emotional rollercoaster of hope and despair,”
explains Joanna’s father, Roger Parrish, 63, a retired land-registry
official from Newnham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire.
But less than a month after the confession, the
senior French prosecutor Yves Charpenel told the Belgian daily De Morgan
that Fourniret’s DNA didn’t match the main piece of evidence – semen
found in Joanna’s body during the postmortem. “We were absolutely
shattered,” recalls Joanna’s mother, Pauline Sewell, 62. “We knew that
until then, Michel Fourniret had confirmed everything his wife accused
him of, and it might be just a question of time before he finally
admitted to his crime,” adds Parrish. “We also knew that in 1990 he had
a house close to Auxerre and above all that he’d confessed, right at the
beginning, to the murder of a 17-year-old girl there.
Then there was the presence of Monique Olivier, which
for us helped explain why Jo, a prudent, careful young woman, could have
got into a vehicle,” says Sewell. “It all seemed to add up. But then we
also knew DNA doesn’t lie – or so we thought.” In the absence of any
contact from the French authorities, they asked their Paris lawyer for
an explanation. It transpired that the DNA profile taken from the stored
semen was identified in 1993 using a now obsolete system called HLA-DQ
Fourniret’s DNA was established using the now common
SGM+ system, which is incompatible with the former system. While a
complete DNA profile established by HLA-DQ alpha cannot be compared with
another developed from SGM+, a partial comparison of some DNA
information, represented by a series of numbers, is possible – a little
like comparing the same corner pieces from two picture puzzles; if there
is no identical detail of numbers, it cannot be the same DNA.
When the French first tried this, they decided
Fourniret was ruled out. But Joanna’s parents then learnt from expert
advice that the 1993 DNA result was not only obsolete but also flawed;
the supposed “single” DNA in fact contains a mixture of information
about both Joanna’s DNA profile and that of her aggressor. Her parents
were back on the rollercoaster. They turned to Detective Superintendent
Bernard Kinsella, head of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s specialist
crime operations, who had been assigned as a liaison officer to provide
assistance with their case. Kinsella consulted a British DNA scientist,
Dr Colin Dark, a specialist adviser for the Forensic Science Service (FSS)
experienced in “cold case” reviews.
Dark is an expert in the FSS’s pioneering “low copy
number” technique, a unique and super-sensitive method of analysis
whereby a DNA profile can be found in evidence containing just a few
cells – matter so minute that it is invisible to the naked eye. He
considered that by applying DNA LCN to the original slide upon which the
sperm sample was examined in 1993, there was a fighting chance of
finding traces of semen from which a full SGM+ DNA profile could be
produced. With Parrish and Sewell’s help, Kinsella made an inventory of
all the other evidence recorded in the French case file, which he hoped
was still preserved; this included scratchings from under Joanna’s
fingernails and skin from strangulation marks, widening the chances of
finding a profile through DNA LCN. The next hurdle was for Kinsella to
convince the French into accepting Dr Dark’s assistance.
A qualified draughtsman, who by his early thirties
ran his own tool-making business near Paris, Michel Fourniret was an
expert handyman whose hobby, DIY, disguised his gravedigging.
Fourniret was 24 when he was first convicted, for
abducting and abusing a 10-year-old girl in his native town of Sedan in
the Ardennes. After two further convictions, he was arrested in 1984 for
a series of kidnaps and sex attacks on teenage girls and young women in
the Paris region, and placed in preventive detention. That was when
Monique Olivier, twice married and with two estranged children, found
his small ad in a weekly Catholic magazine appealing for a penpal.
They began an intense correspondence, discovered in
Belgium after their arrests, in which she lovingly addressed him
alternately as “My dear Shere Khan” – a reference to the tiger in
Kipling’s Jungle Book tales – and “my beast”. They swapped promises of
raping virgins, a recurrent theme for Fourniret, who described his prey
as “membranes on legs”. In June 1987 he was finally tried for 11 sex
assaults and given a prison sentence of seven years, two of them
suspended. Having already served three years awaiting trial, and being a
model prisoner, he was released early for good conduct four months later.
On October 26 he walked free through
the doors of Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris, where Olivier was
waiting for him in her green Peugeot estate. They immediately set up
home in northern Burgundy, in the village of St Cyr-les-Colons. At
4.45pm on Friday, December 11, six weeks after Fourniret’s release from
prison, 17-year-old Isabelle Laville disappeared on her regular
20-minute walk home from school in the Auxerre suburb of St Georges-sur-Baulche.
No witnesses were ever found, despite her route following a busy
commuter road along which lay two secondary schools spilling out
children for the weekend break. Olivier has now explained that Laville
was her first offering to her “beast”, chosen because of the long-haired
schoolgirl’s supposed resemblance to a younger Olivier as a virgin.
Olivier drew up alongside Laville and asked directions, convincing her
to get in and show her the way; Fourniret was already waiting further
along the road with a jerry can, posing as a stranded motorist whom
Olivier then obligingly stopped for.
Olivier remembers that Fourniret, from the back seat,
soon passed a cord around Laville’s neck, and both agree they drugged
their captive during the drive back to their house in St Cyr-les-Colons,
where Olivier admits stimulating Fourniret with oral sex when he found
himself physically unable to rape Laville. It was upon Fourniret’s
indications that, in July last year, Laville’s remains were recovered
from the bottom of a now disused 30-metre well in countryside north of
Auxerre. Fourniret and Olivier said they found the well by accident.
“They are liars!” said Alain Behr, the Laville family lawyer.
“They constantly manipulate, playing between truth
and lies. The well was within a closed brick transformer building – he
could not have known what was in there.” Behr’s point, confirmed by a
retired local farmer who told me even he had no idea a well was there,
is that Fourniret had prepared the site beforehand. Just 11 miles from
the well, on the main road back to Auxerre, lies the village of Monéteau,
where Joanna Parrish’s body was discovered.
A third-year languages undergraduate at Leeds
University, Joanna was posted as a teaching assistant to the Lycée
Jacques Amyot in Auxerre. In early May 1990, two weeks before she was
due to return home, the 20-year-old placed three adverts in a local
weekly freesheet, Le 89; one was to sell an electric plate, another
offered private English tuition, and the other, baby-sitting services.
By May 10, a man who has never been identified had called to ask her to
give English lessons to his young teenage son. “She mentioned it on the
telephone that night,” recalls Silvia Baldassari, a German-language
assistant and flatmate of Joanna’s, who had by then returned to Austria.
“She said they agreed to meet in the town centre.” She and Joanna’s
friend, Janet Davis, remember the man said he lived just outside the
Davis was with Joanna when she left the lycée on
Wednesday, May 16, between 6.30pm and 7pm for her appointment. At 9am
the next morning, Joanna’s body, naked except for her jewellery and
watch, was found floating face down in the River Yonne at Monéteau, a
village five miles north of Auxerre. In March 2006, just over a year
after Olivier’s confession to Joanna’s murder, Roger Parrish and Pauline
Sewell travelled from their homes in Gloucestershire to the town of
Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes. There they met for the first time
with the two French examining magistrates leading the investigations
into all the suspected crimes of Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier,
including the murder of Joanna. With them was Bernard Kinsella.
Fourniret and Olivier had by then been extradited to France, and the
French prosecuting authorities were pressing to bring the pair swiftly
to trial for the seven murders on the charge sheet in 2004. But
Fourniret still denied murdering either Joanna Parrish or Marie-Angèle
Domece, and without his help both cases were stalled. His wife,
meanwhile, had by then also accused Fourniret of killing several baby-sitters
they employed in the early 1990s at their home in Sart-Custinne. Belgian
investigators say a statement by another baby-sitter employed by the
couple there supports Olivier’s story. During the March 30 meeting, the
magistrates Pascal Préaubert and Anne Devigne told Roger Parrish and
Pauline Sewell that they were convinced that Fourniret and Olivier had
murdered their daughter. “It was an awesome moment,” remembers Parrish.
“They were absolutely categorical, without any
hesitation.” Maybe the most important evidence was an observation from
the 1990 postmortem on Joanna that had never before been the focus of
investigation: tiny pinprick marks were found on the inside of one of
her elbows. Exactly the same marks were found on the body of the 20-year-old
student Fabienne Leroy, whom Fourniret and Olivier have confessed to
kidnapping and shooting dead near Châlons-en-Champagne, in northeast
France, in 1988. During his description of Leroy’s murder, Fourniret (who
has never had access to the secret details of the 1988 postmortem)
explained without prompting that he had tried but failed to inject air
into her blood supply – an unusual and particularly sadistic murder
method. During the three-hour meeting, the magistrates agreed to
Kinsella’s offer of British forensic help, giving their approval for
evidence kept since the postmortem to be sent for analysis at Dr Dark’s
laboratories in the UK – the first collaboration of its kind between
France and Britain, excepting the Princess Diana inquiry. But to place
the couple under formal investigation for Parrish’s murder, the
magistrates were required to request a Belgian high court to
retroactively join the case to the terms of their extradition.
Incredibly, those terms, established in late 2005, several months after
Olivier’s confession, did not include the suspicion that they murdered
Parrish. The Sunday Times has now learnt that Olivier had by then even
given a second statement entirely confirming her February confession and
specifically naming Joanna Parrish as the victim. But today, more than a
year later, Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier have still not been
formally placed under investigation for the murder. Last month they were
finally sent or trial, planned for later this year, on the seven other
counts of murder.
The half-hearted investigation, in which there has
never been any public appeal for information, has still not established
two crucial points: whether Fourniret and Olivier could have been in
Auxerre at the time that Joanna Parrish was murdered, nor how Fourniret
could have known of her advert in the local paper.
In 1988 the couple set up home in the Ardennes town
of Floing, 170 miles from Auxerre, while keeping, unoccupied, the house
in St Cyr-les-Colons. According to Olivier’s statement about Joanna’s
murder, she and Fourniret travelled to Auxerre under the pretence of
picking up furniture from their Burgundy house. The Sunday Times has
learnt that it was in the spring of 1990 that they moved from their
bungalow in the town to the nearby Château de Sautou, bought in 1989
with stolen loot from bank raids. A former neighbour and friend of the
couple in Floing recalled how they often left on trips of several days
during this period. In her statement, Olivier said they abducted Joanna
after a failed attempt during the same period to seize another young
woman in Auxerre. If this was in fact the previous week, it was
precisely when Joanna’s advert appeared in the freesheet Le 89, which
records show was at that time delivered throughout the Auxerre region,
including St Cyr-les-Colons. Joanna’s advertisement offering English
lessons appeared on the same page as her other one offering a baby-sitting
service. Belgian investigators have established that the couple used
newspaper ads to recruit baby-sitters. On August, 14, 1990, three months
after Joanna Parrish’s murder, a young female motorist (whose name has
been withheld) came across Fourniret’s stationary van, parked as if
broken down, along a road in countryside near Reims, eastern France.
When she asked Fourniret if he needed help, he bluntly replied that he
wanted to sodomise her – an act the postmortem concluded Joanna had
endured. The incident was recorded at the local police station she fled
to, where a blasé Fourniret followed her and offered excuses. He was
released with a caution – and four months later murdered Natacha Danais
Last December, Prosecutor Nachbar met the families of
seven of Fourniret and Olivier’s alleged victims. They would indeed be
tried for these crimes, but Nachbar told the families that he had no
intention of trying the couple for the murder of Joanna, nor any of the
other crimes they had not confessed to – simply because they could take
years to solve.
That decision meant that the already twice-postponed
trial could proceed without further delays. The magistrates’ promise to
Joanna’s parents last year to place Fourniret and Olivier under formal
investigation for her murder was broken almost as soon as it was made.
“Fourniret will be judged only for those crimes he’s been happy to help
with, a master of ceremonies at his own trial and with all thanks to the
prosecutor’s office in Charleville-Mézières,” protests Parrish and
Sewell’s Paris lawyer, Didier Seban.
“I fear Joanna has been sacrificed a second time.”
Nachbar, who will lead the prosecution case at the trial – arguably the
most media-hyped of any in recent French criminal history – rejects the
accusation. “The evidence for formally placing them under investigation
is insufficient at present,” he claims. “I understand why Joanna’s
parents are angry, but we can’t rush things.” It wasn’t until earlier
this month, more than a year after the French magistrates first agreed
to send evidence in the case to Britain for advanced DNA examination by
Dr Dark, that Det Supt Kinsella finally received their written
authorisation to begin the operation.
It came days after Fourniret and Olivier were
committed for trial. Dark says the first results from low-copy-number
analysis could be had within weeks of the evidence arriving in Britain,
expected later this month. “We’re very hopeful of getting something that
identifies the offender,” Dark commented from his laboratory in Chepstow,
Monmouthshire. If DNA from Fourniret or Olivier was found, it would be
unthinkable that their trial would not be delayed to include charges for
Joanna’s murder. But now there are fears that some of the evidence,
scattered across several locations in France, may be lost. “I understand
that the French cannot account for the most crucial exhibits – the 1993
slide of semen and the scrapings found under Jo’s fingernails,” said
Roger Parrish. “In the interests of retaining my sanity, I am hoping
that cannot be true.” Kinsella refuses to comment on the state of the
evidence or the handling of the case across the Channel. “We are very
pleased to assist the French,” he said. “There are no foregone
conclusions; the single important thing is to deliver justice to
Joanna’s family.” Despite the circumstantial evidence stacked against
Fourniret, Joanna’s parents are only too aware that another surprise may
be waiting. “We’re ready for that, the truth is all we want,” Mr Parrish
says. He and Sewell believe this is the greatest opportunity since 1990
of solving their daughter’s murder. By all accounts, it is also the last.
Fourniret 'fit to stand trial'
September 10, 2004
BRUSSELS - French serial killer Michel Fourniret is mentally fit to
stand trial for his crimes, it was reported on Friday.
The 62-year-old carpenter, who is accused of killing 10 people in
Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001, was examined by psychiatrists
over the summer on the order of a Belgian magistrate.
Dinant prosecutor Arnoud d'Aspremont Lynden told Le Soir the psychiatric
report confirmed Tourniret was responsible for his actions and therefore
did not need to be taken to a mental institution.
It looks likely now that Fourniret, who newspapers have dubbed 'the Ogre
of the Ardennes' and 'the French Dutroux', will face trial in Reims
because most of his crimes were committed in France.
He has admitted to nine of the murders, those of eight girls and women
and of a French male motorist, who he said he shot for money.
Among his victims was Belgian 12-year-old Elisabeth Brichet whose body
was dug up in the Ardennes forest, on the Belgian-French border, at a
chateau owned by Fourniret.
However, he continues to deny his wife Monique Oliver's accusation that
in 1993 he also murdered a young blonde woman, who the couple allegedly
hired as an au pair.
Fourniret has claimed since his arrest in June that he did not kill
anyone between 1990 and 2000.
Investigators are due to carry out searches for the body of the au pair
at a lake at Rienne, near Sart-Custinne, where the couple used to live.
France haunted by spectre of
serial killing as anger mounts over policing
As one multiple murderer's deeds are
revealed, fear grows of a possible second
Amelia Gentleman in Paris - The
Saturday July 10, 2004
The streets of Colmar will be teeming but silent this afternoon as
hundreds of mourners file through its picturesque centre to mount a
wordless demonstration of their horror at the latest serial killings to
The march through this small town near the German border has been
organised by relatives of Julie Scharsch, 14, who disappeared this month
while cycling near her home. Her half-naked body was found in a stream
Mixed up with their grief, her family are angry that Pierre Boudein, the
suspect arrested in connection with the murder, was released early from
a previous prison sentence in May. Investigators are looking at whether
he might have been responsible for the deaths of two other women in
The corpses of two more girls murdered by a prolific killer were also
dug up last weekend, in a chateau near the French-Belgian border. Michel
Fourniret, 62, has admitted murdering nine people, seven of them young
girls, and police believe he may be responsible for many more deaths. He
killed his victims after being freed from jail without proper
As the details of both cases fill the pages of French magazines,
illustrated with the smiling images of young female victims, a new
debate has been triggered over the failures of the French judicial
Furious newspaper editorials have demanded to know how it was that
Boudein, 56, (known in the media as Pierrot le Fou), who had spent 35
years of his life being ferried between mental institutions and prisons,
was not more closely supervised on being freed, and how was it that
Fourniret (dubbed the "Ogre of the Ardennes"), with a history as a sex
offender, notched up a terrible tally of victims over the course of
three decades without attracting the attention of police.
Accused of neglecting to protect the nation's children from repeat
killers, the government has rushed this week to publish new proposals
outlining stricter surveillance of persistent sex offenders. Meanwhile,
new excavations are expected over the next few days as the search for
Polite and reserved, an autodidact who studied the basics of Russian and
was equally fond of classical music, DIY and chess, Fourniret had
managed to conceal the worst of his crimes from police until last week.
The exposure of his prolific career as a child abductor and killer came
as an unexpected consequence of the sentencing of fellow paedophile and
murderer Marc Dutroux last month.
Fourniret's ex-wife, Monique Olivier, was horrified when she heard on
the news in late June that Dutroux's wife had been given a 30-year
sentence for the role she played. Apparently afraid that she might be
subjected to a similar punishment if she failed to come forward first,
Ms Olivier, 55, decided to end years of loyal silence and contacted
police. She gave them the names and dates of 10 murders she claimed her
husband had committed; eight of the victims were, she alleged, teenage
When questioned by Belgian police in the prison where he was already
serving a sentence for attempted child abduction, Fourniret, a father of
five, tried initially to deny the crimes before relenting and admitting
to nine of the killings.
The minutiae of his regular "virgin hunting" sessions, which emerged
from his wife's testimony, have been leaked to the French media. The two
had a series of ruses for picking up their victims: they stalked
educational institutions in the Auxerre region, pretending to be lost
and persuading girls to get in their van to direct them. From time to
time, they would bring their baby son with them in the van as bait,
using him as a pretext to ask women to get in to help them find a doctor
for their sick child.
Fourniret's career would have continued had it not been for the
resourcefulness of a 13-year-old Belgian, Maria-Ascension, who managed
to untie herself in the back of his white van after her kidnap last year
and leap out during a pause at a traffic lights.
Before escaping she had asked him: "Are
you a member of Dutroux's band?" and he replied, according to a report
in Le Point this week: "No! I'm worse than him."
Heavily guarded and wearing a bullet-proof vest for his own protection,
Fourniret was transferred on Thursday to a high-security prison in
Belgium, where questioning continues. Detectives are trying to establish
what happened in the missing years between 1990 and 2000.
"I am sceptical about the fact that he didn't act during that entire
period," Yves Charpenel, a Reims prosecutor, told Le Parisien newspaper.
"In any case, he says he 'hunted' two young girls a year. We are far
from that number."
French police, working in con junction with colleagues across the border,
have this week reopened 30 murder inquiries to search for similarities.
Among them is the case of Joanna Parrish, an English language assistant
at an Auxerre lycee, who went missing aged 21 on May 16 1990.
According to her friends, she had organised a rendezvous with a man who
had told her he wanted to find someone to give English lessons to his
son. Her naked body was found the next day. DNA testing has already been
requested by her family's lawyer to see whether samples taken from her
corpse might match Fourniret.
The unease stirred up by reports of Fourniret's crimes has been
compounded by the unfolding of the parallel investigation into Bodein.
Detectives were yesterday analysing similarities between the murder of
Julie and those of Jeanne-Marie, 11, whose body was pulled from a ditch
in the same area last month, and of Hedwige Vallee, 38, whose stabbed
corpse was discovered nearby, also in June.
The unfortunate coincidence of events has forced the government to
unveil new proposals for improvements in the way France deals with
This has launched a widespread debate on whether recidivists should be
allowed reductions in their sentences for good behaviour, and on the use
of electronic tagging and the need for greater education for
psychiatrists in the sphere of sexual offences. Human rights activists
have warned that this may prove a kneejerk response to the simmering
public hysteria, and that some of the measures would harm the prospects
of those prisoners determined to reform.
However, the crowds who are expected in Colmar this afternoon for a
demonstration of public anger will think differently. Julie's family
lawyer told French radio that marchers would be demanding stricter early
release limits on "particularly hardened or dangerous prisoners".
Time-line of a killer
December 1980: Michel Fourniret admits to murdering a motorist in a rest
area off the A6 in Burgundy to steal his wallet.
1987: Killed the partner of cell-mate Jean-Pierre Hellegouache, the
treasurer of French terror group Direct Action for financial reasons.
December 1987: Isabelle Laville, 17, disappears in Auxerre where
Fourniret's wife Monique is from.
August 1988: Fabienne Leroy disappears from the Marne region. Fourniret
admits killing her, copying the methods used by another killer operating
in the area.
March 1989: Jeanne Marie Desramault, 22, disappears. Fourniret admits
December 1989: Elisabeth Brichet, 12, missing in Belgium. He admits
November 1990: Natacha Danais, 13 years, kidnapped from the Loire-Atlantique
region. Found stabbed to death three days later. Fourniret admits to
1993: Au-pair, denied killing her though his wife says he did.
May 2000: Celine Saison, 18, disappears in Belgium. Fourniret says he
cannot remember her.
May 2001: Mananya Thumpong, 13, disappears in Belgium. He does not deny
killing her but cannot remember her.
June 2003: A 13-year-old he abducted escapes from his van and gives
police a good description of her kidnapper, leading to the arrest of
Killer leads police to victims
July 4, 2004
A French avowed serial killer has led police to the bodies of a 12-year-old
girl and 22-year-old woman he admitted having killed and buried on the
grounds of his former home 15 years earlier, prosecutors said.
The two are among nine people, including eight women and girls, that
Michel Fourniret has confessed to having killed between 1987 and 2001.
"We have found the second body, and thus 15 years of investigation have
just come to their conclusion," prosecutor Yves Charpenel announced on
the site of the chateau, in the Ardennes forest region bordering Belgium
"It is with quite some emotion that I announce the discovery of (the
remains of) Elisabeth Brichet," a 12-year-old Belgian girl whom Michel
Fourniret has admitted to killing in 1989, said another prosecutor,
Cedric Visart de Bocarme.
The body of Jeanne-Marie Desramault, who Fourniret said he also killed
and interred in 1989, was identified earlier. Prosecutors said experts
would conduct analyses to confirm the identifications.
In a startling case that has unfolded with dramatic speed, Fourniret,
62, confessed days ago to the nine killings, many of which took place in
this wooded border region, and then offered to help police dig up the
remains of two of his victims at the chateau he once owned.
He has been dubbed "the French Dutroux" by media because his confessions
emerged just a week after Belgian's most-hated man Marc Dutroux received
a life sentence for a horrific series of rapes and murders of teenage
girls that traumatised Belgian society.
Fourniret, who has been held in Belgium since June 2003 for abduction of
minors and sexual misconduct, confessed to the killings after his
estranged wife accused him of committing at least 10 murders.
Both he and his wife, Monique Olivier, were brought to the Sautou
chateau Saturday, where about 200 police equipped with ground-digging
excavators hunted for the victims' bodies in areas indicated by
When the bodies were disinterred,
Fourniret showed no emotion, prosecutor
Charpenel told journalists on the site, near this small town in the
French Ardennes mountains.
The prosecutor said expert testing would be done, possible DNA testing,
to confirm the victims' identities, adding that the "clay earth has
preserved the bodies".
Speaking of Brichart's body, Visart de Bocarme said: "The elements of
visual identification are absolutely positive, there are traces of
fabric which have made a formal identification possible."
Fourniret was convicted of rape and indecent assault on minors and
sentenced to seven years in prison, and was released early in 1987. But
his criminal record never reached police in Belgium.
Newspapers however said Belgian police had known about his sexual
proclivities since 2001.
He was arrested again in Belgium last year after allegedly trying to
abduct a 13-year-old Congolese girl who escaped and led police to him.
France digs for "Ogre" victims
By Pierre Savary (Reuters)
July 3, 2004
DONCHERY, France (Reuters) - A
suspected French serial killer, dubbed the Ogre of the Ardennes after
officials said he confessed to nine murders, has led police to his old
chateau in the woods to dig for bodies of a woman and girl.
Earth-movers turned up soil at two spots in the vast grounds of the
Sautou chateau aided by directions from Michel Fourniret, 62, a former
forest warden who officials say started to confess this week after his
estranged wife denounced him.
His former chateau, over 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Paris, was
cordoned off and he was rushed in from over the nearby Belgian border
amid heavy security to seek the remains of Elisabeth Brichet, a Belgian
who vanished aged 12, and Frenchwoman Jeanne-Marie Desramault, who
disappeared at age 22.
Authorities in France, Belgium and the Netherlands are checking decades
of files for links with other disappearances.
Yves Charpenel, a French state prosecutor heading inquiries, sounded
optimistic after a few hours at the chateau, noting that the digging was
taking place at very specific areas identified separately by Fourniret
and his wife, who was also present.
"He's tight-lipped and there's no emotion but he is quite precise and
his declarations are confirmed by his wife," Charpenel told journalists.
"Fourniret says he buried the bodies using mechanical devices ... so
we're looking about one metre down in two precise spots."
Fourniret has been in custody in the Belgian town of Dinant since last
year over the attempted kidnapping of a young girl but confessed this
week to the killings. Nearly all the victims were girls.
The bodies of two of them, Celine Saison and Mananya Thumpong who
vanished in 2000 and 2001, were discovered in woods after their murders.
Of other girls or young women he says he killed, one 12-year-old was
raped and strangled in 1989.
Belgian and French investigators are
seeking more details from his wife, Monique Olivier, about a possible
She told Belgian investigators this week that Fourniret killed their au
pair and buried her near their house in Sart-Custinne, Belgium.
Fourniret met Olivier, then a prison visitor, while he was in jail in
France in the 1980s for raping minors.
But his criminal past was not known by Belgian authorities when he took
a job as a school supervisor after leaving France and the Sautou chateau
some 12 years ago.
The case has caused a scandal just days after Belgian Marc Dutroux was
convicted of the kidnap, rape and murder of young girls.
Belgian public prosecutor Anne Thily gave a chilling report on Wednesday
of Olivier's accusations against Fourniret.
"He would say to his wife 'I'm going out hunting. So there you have it.
I'm going out and you know very well that it means I am going to look
for young girl, pretty, maybe virgin," Thily said.
"Then he brought her home, kept her two or three days, raped her...and
then strangled her."
French forester admits murdering six children
July 1, 2004
A SECOND suspected child killer is facing trial in
Belgium after admitting murdering six young girls on both sides of the
A week after Marc Dutroux was sentenced to life
imprisonment for murdering six girls in Belgium in 1995 and 1996, a
French forestry worker confessed yesterday to having killed a similar
number of children.
Anne Thily, state prosecutor in Liège, said that
Michel Fourniret, 62, had told investigators that he committed the
crimes in northeastern France and Belgium between 1987 and 2001.
Among his victims was a 12-year-old Belgian girl,
Elisabeth Brichet, who was killed after being snatched in Namur in 1989.
“Michel Fourniret has admitted kidnapping her and . . . that he was
forced to kill her,” Cédric Visart de Bocarmé, the crown prosecutor who
is in charge of the Brichet case, said.
Francis Brichet, Elisabeth’s father, said that he had
been told by police that M Fourniret had confessed to having “raped,
killed and buried” her.
He said that it was a “relief” to know what had
happened to her: “But I’m not celebrating. We have to wait to see
whether this M Fourniret will go back on what he has said.”
The forestry worker is suspected of having murdered
two French teenagers, Céline Saison, 18, from Charleville-Meziérès, and
Manyana Thumpong, 13, from Sedan.
Both were violently assaulted and their bodies were
found in woodland. However, the Belgian authorities refused to say if he
had admitted to the killings.
M Fourniret’s confession came after his wife, Monique
Olivier, accused him of nine child murders, some of which she said she
had seen, and others of which she was told about by her husband.
Mme Olivier, a former prison visitor, was arrested
last week and charged with failing to help a person in danger. She was
remanded in custody in the southern Belgian town of Namur, prosecution
According to Belgian television reports, she told the
police what she knew after Dutroux’s wife, Michelle Martin, was
sentenced to 30 years in prison for her role in the serial murders. Mme
Olivier was afraid of a similar sentence if she denied knowledge of her
husband’s alleged crimes, police sources said.
M Fourniret was arrested in Belgium last year after
kidnapping a 13-year-old girl who escaped and alerted the police.
Hairs were found in his van, but Belgian
investigators have not yet received the result of DNA tests to check
whether they are from his suspected victims.
Since M Fourniret’s arrest, police in Belgium and
France have been trying to piece together his movements over the past
few years with the help of mobile phone records, credit card receipts
and motorway toll tickets, in an attempt to link him with several
M Fourniret was sentenced to seven years in prison at
Evry Criminal Court outside Paris in 1987 after being convicted of rape,
violent assault and indecency in France.