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French serial killer’s ex may face trial over murder of UK student

Monique Olivier, the ex-wife of killer Michel Fourniret, could face justice over the killing of British student Joanna Parrish

The ex-wife of the late serial killer Michel Fourniret may be required to stand trial for her alleged involvement in the criminal cases of three women Pic: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

The ex-wife of the late serial killer Michel Fourniret may be required to stand trial for her alleged involvement in the criminal cases of three women, including murdered British student Joanna Parrish.

The Nanterre prosecutor asked on Wednesday (May 10) for a case to be opened against Monique Olivier before the Court of Assizes in Hauts-de-Seine.

Ms Olivier is suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of Estelle Mouzin in 2003 and the kidnapping and murder of Marie-Angèle Domèce in 1988 and Ms Parrish in 1990.

Ms Olivier would be the only person to stand trial in connection with the crimes committed against these three women since Mr Fourniret died in 2021. 

Read also: French serial killer dies leaving dozens of cold-cases unsolved 

In 2008, she was sentenced to a minimum term of 28 years for her involvement and assistance in Mr Fourniret’s other crimes.

The case will now be passed to the investigating magistrate, which will decide if the trial will go ahead. If it takes place - with the proposed date likely to be November 2023 - it will be the first to happen as part of the ‘cold case’ department in France. 

Ms Olivier first admitted to some involvement in her ex-husband’s crimes on April 1, 2021, after she said she had been present at the kidnapping of Estelle Mouzin. She said she had accompanied Mr Fourniret to the edge of the Issancourt-et-Rumel wood (Ardennes) so that he could bury the girl’s body. 

Since June 2020, around a dozen excavation campaigns have been organised, sometimes in the presence of the killer and/or his ex-wife, to try to find the girl’s remains.

Ms Parrish was a British tutor and language student at Leeds University, from Gloucestershire in the UK. She was working in Bourgogne as part of her degree in 1990, when she went missing on May 16-17 after posting a local advert for private English lessons. 

Her body was later found in the Yonne River, having been sexually abused, beaten, and strangled. Ms Olivier had given police statements to link her ex-husband to the crime, but she later withdrew them and said they had been made under duress.

Marie-Angèle Domèce disappeared at the age of 19, and Mr Fourniret later admitted to her murder and burial in a “damp place”. Her body has never been found.

Estelle Mouzin was nine years old when she went missing in 2003, and her disappearance sparked nationwide coverage. Her body has never been found, but traces of her DNA were identified on a mattress in the former home of Mr Fourniret’s sister.

Mr Fourniret confessed to all three murders before his death. He had been convicted of nine murders, and suspected of numerous other crimes against girls and young women.

In 2008, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Read also

French ex-police officer admits to being serial killer in suicide note

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