Monique Olivier: ex-wife of 'ogre' serial killer goes on trial

The French woman is charged with complicity in Michel Fourniret's murder of British student Joanna Parrish and two other victims

Monique Olivier and Michel Fourniret
Monique Olivier was married to Michel Fourniret, dubbed the 'ogre of the Ardennes', who died in prison in 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The ex-wife of French serial killer Michel Fourniret has gone on trial today over her alleged role in three murders including the 1990 killing of British student Joanna Parrish.

Monique Olivier is already serving a life sentence for her part in four other murders and a rape committed by Fourniret, who was dubbed the "ogre of the Ardennes" after unleashing a "17-year campaign of kidnaps and killings that traumatised France", said The Guardian

For decades, said Le Monde, France has been "simultaneously repelled and fascinated" by Fourniret, who was jailed for life in 2008 for the murder of seven girls and young women. He also admitted killing three more including 20-year-old Parrish, but died in 2021 before he could face trial.

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Parrish's naked body was found in a river in 1990, but "her case had gone cold until Fourniret admitted in 2018 to brutally killing her", said The Telegraph. Following a long fight for justice by Parrish's family, Olivier will now be tried in a Paris court.

The French woman is charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and murder of Parrish and an 18-year-old, Marie-Angèle Domèce, who disappeared on her way home from school in 1988. She is also accused of complicity in the 2003 disappearance of nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin, whose body has never been found.

Olivier's lawyer said the court should "not expect any revelations" from her during the three-week trial, but added that unlike her late ex-husband, she "takes no special pleasure in the pain of his victims or of the families".

A lawyer for the Parrish and Mouzin families, said they hoped she would be tried in her own right "as the co-author of their misfortune", and not regarded simply as an accomplice.

Now aged 75, Olivier was jailed for life in 2008 and was handed a further 20 years in 2018 for her role in the killing of Farida Hammiche, the wife of one of Fourniret's former cellmates.

She was the subject of a Netflix series called "Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil", which described her as an "enigma" and explored whether she was a "pawn or a participant".

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