The former wife of a famous French killer is being tried for helping to murder a British student named Joanna Parrish in 1990.
Monique Olivier, who is 75 years old and already in jail for life, is accused of helping Michel Fourniret, who is now dead, commit two more murders, including one of a nine-year old girl.
Joanna Parrish, who was 20 years old, was found dead in a river close to the town of Auxerre.
The student from Leeds University was teaching English during their gap year.
She was hurt and attacked.
More than 30 years later, the trial in the Paris suburb of Nanterre is the first opportunity for her family to finally see some fairness and punishment for the person responsible. Her mom and dad, who are not married anymore, are coming.
Fourniret was given the nickname “Beast of the Ardennes” because he was found guilty of killing seven young women in 2008. Ten years later, he admitted to killing Joanna Parrish and two others while he was in prison.
In France, people are most interested in the story of nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin. She went missing on her way home from school in Guermantes, which is southeast of Paris, in 2003. People think she was the last person that Fourniret hurt. They have never found her body.
Fourniret died in 2021 before he could go to court for these three killings.
Joanna Parrish was teaching English in Auxerre when she was killed.
Olivier was found guilty in the 2008 trial for helping Fourniret with his murderous sex obsession. As the woman working with him, she gained the trust of victims who would have been more cautious if it was just a man.
In court on Tuesday, the judge asked her if she had anything to say. She replied, “I feel bad about everything that happened. ”
In the first murder, the woman picked up a stranger while she was in the van. Then she picked up another person on the road who was pretending to be a hitch-hiker.
Olivier met Fourniret in the 1980s after he put an ad in a Catholic magazine. He was in prison for rape.
They started writing letters to each other, and he confessed that he was very focused on women who were still virgins. He called young girls “membranes on legs”.
In a strange turn of events, in 1988 the two people also found a lot of gold that had been buried by a group in a cemetery outside Paris.
Fourniret found out about the treasure from someone he was in jail with. He and Olivier found it with the cellmate’s wife, who Fourniret later killed.
The couple used the money to buy a big house near the border of Belgium, and they used it as their main place to work from for many years. Fourniret and Olivier drove around France in a van and picked their victims in areas where other serial killers might have been.
Admitted French serial killer Michel Fourniret walks out of the Police Headquarters in Dinant on 08 July 2004.
This might have been a reason for why the police investigation failed. In Joanna Parrish’s situation, Auxerre was where Emile Louis lived. He was a bus driver who was put in jail in 2004 for killing seven young women.
Fourniret was caught in 2003 after trying to kidnap someone in Belgium. The next year, Olivier admitted things for the first time, and little by little Fourniret started telling the truth, even though it was often unclear and didn’t always make sense. The couple ended their marriage while they were in jail in 2010.
Just like in the 2008 trial, people in Nanterre are very interested in how much responsibility Olivier has. Her lawyer says she has a personality that follows others and did everything to make Fourniret happy. The lawyer says that the murders would not have happened if Olivier was not involved.