It’s monstrous what we did, ex-wife of French serial killer tells court | France #monstrous #exwife #French #serial #killer #tells #court #France

The ex-wife of the French serial killer Michel Fourniret has described how he flew into a fury and beat a British student, Joanna Parrish, after discovering she had a boyfriend.

Monique Olivier, 75, said Fourniret then raped and strangled the 20-year-old and dumped her body in a river. She admitted that her role in helping him lure Parrish to her death was “monstrous … unforgivable”.

Shown a photograph of Parrish’s battered face, Olivier bowed her head. After a long silence, she said: “It’s not possible. I regret it. It’s monstrous what we did, me and him, it’s unforgivable and if it was my daughter … she was beautiful, she did not deserve that and I am sorry.”

Olivier is on trial on charges of complicity in the murders of Parrish, from Gloucester, and two French victims of Fourniret, Marie-Angèle Domèce, 18, and Estelle Mouzin, who was nine.

Olivier told the court how she and Fourniret persuaded Parrish, a Leeds University student who was working as a teaching assistant in the Burgundy city of Auxerre, to get into their van at about 7pm on 16 May 1990 on the pretext of wanting English lessons for their son.

Parrish had placed a small ad in the local newspaper offering teaching and babysitting services to raise money to visit her boyfriend, Patrick Proctor, who was studying Russian in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Olivier said Fourniret had come up with the idea of using English lessons as a pretext for meeting and abducting Parrish, and she served as “bait” to reassure the young woman.

“He [Fourniret] asked if she was still a virgin and if she had a boyfriend. It must have upset and annoyed him that she had a boyfriend … and that is what incited him to be violent and do what he did,” Olivier told the court.

Olivier said Fourniret told her to remain in the front of the van while he beat, raped and strangled Parrish. She said she heard screaming and the sound of blows and did not look round.

She said they waited until it was dark before driving to an isolated spot to leave the body. She said she could not remember what they did in the intervening hours.

Parrish’s naked body was found in the River Yonne a few miles north of Auxerre the next morning. An autopsy report suggested she had been killed between 10pm the previous night and 2am that day and had been in the water for about three hours.

Didier Seban, a lawyer representing the Parrish family, asked repeatedly why Olivier had not acted when she heard Parrish scream and the sound of her husband beating the young woman.

“She would not have got into the car had you not invented this story of English lessons … you should have stopped him. You knew she would die the moment she got in,” Seban said.

Olivier claimed Fourniret would cruise areas in their vehicle looking “left and right” for potential victims. Once one had been identified and a plan hatched, he would use Olivier as “a bait” to reassure the women and persuade them to get into their vehicle.

It was “a kind of game for him … it was like a game of chess,” she said. “If he asked me to do something, I did it. Not by choice but just obeying. If he wanted to do something, he did it.”

After listening to Olivier’s description of what happened to their daughter, Roger Parrish, 80, and Pauline Murrell, accompanied by Proctor, left the court in distress during a brief adjournment. When the trial resumed, Seban told Olivier that the parents “could not accept what you have said about Joanna”.

Olivier, wearing a white sweatshirt, said she could not remember many of the details of the killings that stretched over a period of 16 years before Fourniret was arrested in 2003 after a kidnap victim escaped from his vehicle and went to the police. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for a total of eight murders and had been charged with that of Parrish, Domèce and Mouzin but died in 2021 before he could be brought to trial in those cases.

Olivier is serving a life sentence for her role in five of the killings.

The bodies of Domèce and Mouzin have never been found and Olivier insisted repeatedly she had no idea where they were buried.

On Monday, Roger Parrish had told the court that his daughter’s murder by a “narcissistic psychopath” had devastated his “perfect” family.

He has been highly critical of the investigation into his daughter’s murder. Fourniret was released from jail in 1987 after being convicted of several rapes and sexual abuse of minors. Within weeks he had killed his first victim but police appear to have lost trace of him and did not interview him about the murders and disappearances in the area where he was living.

#monstrous #exwife #French #serial #killer #tells #court #France

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