“I regret everything that happened,” said Monique Olivier, the ex-wife of serial killer Michel Fourniret, in an unsteady voice on Tuesday, on the first day of her trial before the Assize Court. of Hauts-de-Seine for complicity in the kidnappings and murders of Estelle Mouzin, Joanna Parrish and Marie-Angèle Domèce.
Standing in her box, very hesitant, the septuagenarian, with short hair and a white sweater, then added very gently: “Listening to all of this, it makes me…”, before being cut off by President Didier Safar. It is this same magistrate who led the debates during the final trial of Michel Fourniret and his ex-wife in 2018 for a heinous crime, tried before the Yvelines Assize Court. This is the first time that the ex-wife of the serial killer, who died in 2021, finds herself alone in the dock.
“I will do my best”
On her arrival in the box and before the opening of the debates, unusually, this woman, now 75 years old, was literally assailed by a swarm of cameras, normally banned from the courtrooms, after having given the permission to take photos via his lawyer. “When we accept our facts, we must assume the image we project, we do not hide,” justified his lawyer Richard Delgenes, at the end of this first morning of hearing. “Michel Fourniret was hiding. We don’t play,” he added.
To the president who asked her in the preamble if she would answer the questions, her client had previously replied: “I will do my best” in a weak voice. The accused once again faces life imprisonment. “We hope that we will give him time to speak (…), my clients expect a lot of things” from this trial, underlined Me Didier Seban, who defends in particular the Mouzin and Parrish families. “We cannot be satisfied with onomatopoeia or a few stutters,” he insisted.
A role in the kidnapping of Estelle Mouzin
This trial is “agonizing” but also represents “a liberation for the families”, declared before the start of the debates Corinne Herrman, who defends the Domèce family. In 2003, Estelle Mouzin, 9 years old, disappeared on her way home from school. It will be necessary to wait until 2019, after years of errors in the investigation, for Monique Olivier to contradict the alibi provided by Michel Fourniret. “The ogre of the Ardennes” admitted his responsibility a few months later to investigating judge Sabine Kheris, now coordinator of the “cold cases” center in Nanterre.
According to Monique Olivier’s statements, in 2020, Fourniret kidnapped, raped and killed Estelle Mouzin in Ville-sur-Lumes in the Ardennes, in the house he had inherited from his sister. The girl’s partial DNA was found on a mattress seized in 2003 from this house. In 2021, the ex-wife of Michel Fourniret recognizes for the first time a role in the confinement of Estelle for three days, specifying that she accompanied her ex-husband near the woods of Issancourt-et-Rumel (Ardennes) to bury the body of the little girl.
Sentenced to life in 2018
In 2018, the serial killer also confessed to his involvement in two other cases, long unsolved: the murders of Marie-Angèle Domèce and Joanna Parrish. Marie-Angèle Domèce, 18, disappeared thirty years earlier in Auxerre, between her home for disabled young people and the train station. The case was quickly closed for lack of evidence, before the judicial investigation was reopened in 2012. As for Joanna Parrish, a 20-year-old British woman, her naked body was found in the Yonne near Auxerre in 1990. She was drugged, raped and beaten before her death.
Despite numerous searches, the bodies of Marie-Angèle Domèce and Estelle Mouzin were never found. In 2008, in Charleville-Mézières, Monique Olivier was sentenced to life imprisonment for complicity in four other murders and a rape committed by her ex-husband. And ten years later, the Yvelines Assize Court sentenced her to twenty years in prison for complicity in the murder of Farida Hammiche, wife of a former co-inmate of the serial killer, from whom the couple had stolen gold ingots. His body has also not been found. More than 350 journalists are accredited to follow the debates which are expected to last three weeks.