Talk of the 2003 disappearance of school girl Estelle Mouzin has brought French serial killer Michel Fourniret back into the European news.
This blog will take a look at the victims.
Michel Fourniret, also known as the Ogre of the Ardennes, confessed to killing twelve people in France and Belgium between 1987 and 2003. He was known for preying on virgins.
His third wife, Monique Olivier who he married in 1989, was aware of Fourniret’s activities and became his accomplice. For years she helped him kidnap girls and then watched through a one-way mirror as he raped and killed them, sometimes with a screwdriver. Olivier would watch as he raped and murdered his victims and they would later recreate these scenes in their sex life.
I made a map showing where each person went missing (pins) and where their body was found (stars.)
These are rough city tags and not exact locations.
Murders Fourniret was convicted of-
Isabelle Laville, 17
Disappeared – 11 December 1987 from Auxerre. Her body was found 11 July 2006 in Bussy-en-Othe.
She was targeted by the couple on the way home from school.
Olivier stopped to ask Laville to join her in the car and give her directions, which Laville agreed to do. Driving down the road, Olivier reached the spot where Fourniret was standing with his car, pretending it had broken down. After Olivier, as planned, pretended to offer him a lift, he got into her car. Fourniret choked Laville with a piece of rope, before Olivier sedated her with Rohypnol. The couple brought the girl to their home in Saint-Cyr-les-Colons, where Fourniret raped and strangled her. Laville’s body was thrown down a disused well in Bussy-en-Othe. Her remains were recovered from the well on 11 July 2006. – from his wiki
The skeleton of Isabelle Laville, a 17-year-old high school student and the first victim of Michel Fourniret in 1987, was discovered at the bottom of a well in the Yonne, in Bussy-en-Othe, after repeated excavations in the area. While waiting for a DNA expert to identify 100% of these human bones, the father of the victim recognised the boots brought to the surface that Isabelle had been wearing. He said he was “relieved and sad at the same time” that it was likely his daughter’s remains. He had searched for her in vain for eighteen years to give her a burial. It was also his pleas that influenced Fourniret’s confession on April 21, the second day of the reenactment of the kidnapping, rape and murder.
Farida Hammiche, 30
Disappeared – 12 April 1988 from Vitry-sur-Seine. She has never been found.
The court heard, during the trial into Faridas murder, how Fourniret befriended the career criminal Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch, who was Hammiche’s husband.The the pair had briefly shared a cell in 1984, where the former was serving time for sexual assault and the latter for robbery.
Hellegouarch got wind of where a notorious band of Paris bank robbers, nicknamed the Gang des Postiches (Wigs Gang) because of the hairpieces they wore when on the job, had buried 20 kilos of gold bars and coins.
He shared his secret with his new friend, who was released in 1987 and then married Olivier, and arranged for Fourniret to go with his wife, Hammiche, to the Paris cemetery where the gold was buried next to a grave.
Hellegouarch said he could have a cut and Hammiche would keep the rest until his own release.
But once the “couple diabolique,” as the French press have dubbed Fourniret and his wife, got their hands on the gold, it was the end for Hammiche.
Fourniret calmly told the court he could remember what her last words were – “Michel, don’t kill me like this” – before he strangled and then buried her, later leaving her car at Orly airport to make it look as though she had left the country.
But he has always refused to reveal the location of her improvised grave.
“You told us that you hid the body in a sand quarry and then you said you don’t remember [what you did with it], Mr Fourniret. So, which is it?” asked Didier Seban, a lawyer for the victim’s family.
“Both,” answered the accused.
He even helped look for her while she was “missing.”
“I would just like to know where Farida’s body is, I would like to give her a proper grave,” Hellegouarch, now a burly, shaven-headed 75-year-old dressed in a green combat jacket and jeans, told the court.
“If he is rotten to the core that is his problem. But if he has an ounce of courage then he should say where she is,” he said.https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/michel-fourniret-serial-killer-france-murder-farida-hammiche-ogre-ardennes-versailles-a8638501.html
Fabienne Leroy, 20
Disappeared – 3 August 1988 from Châlons-sur-Marne. Her body was found on 4 August 1988 in Mourmelon-le-Grand.
Fabienne was abducted from a supermarket. They approached her claiming they needed help getting to the doctor to treat their allegedly sick child. She got in the van to show them the way, though he quickly turned off the road into the woods. He ordered his wife to get away from the van, which she did. Fourniret raped the young woman before killing her.
Her body was found the next day. She’d been shot in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun.
It took 16 years for them to find who killed Fabienne. In that time one unnamed man did serve some time in jail over her death.
Jeanne-Marie Desramault, 19
Disappeared – 18 March 1989 from Charleville-Mézières. Her body was found on 3 July 2004 in Donchery.
On March 11, like every Saturday, Jeanne-Marie had to take the 5:39 a.m. train to Bethune, being dropped off at the station by a Nun, where her parents were waiting for her. She did not show up at Charleville station.
She knew the murderous couple, as they had recently become friends on the train.
Reims Attorney General Yves Charpenel told Jeanne-Marie’s father how Michel Fourniret had set up his daughter. The Fournirets had spotted the young woman on her weekly train ride home a few days earlier, and they had started talking under a false name.
“Michel liked her. She looked five years younger than she was,” said Monique Olivier. “We interviewed her and found out that she was religious, that she was studying at a Catholic school and that she later wanted to work for underprivileged children.”
The Fournirets seemed to be full of admiration; they said they were also deeply religious and even congratulated the girl for so much charity, but really they were only trying to gain her trust, which worked. The Fournirets may have contacted Jeanne-Marie’s school a few days later. There they told that they had invited their good friend to their house and that they would bring her home afterwards…
The ride first went to their home in Floing, where Fourniret raped and strangled the student, to bury her the next day in a well behind his castle in Sautou.
On July 19, 1989, four months later, a message appeared in La Voix du Nord : “Disappeared. Jeanne-Marie Desramault, 22 years old, from Béthune. She had a backpack with her and was dressed in a yellow jacket, grey skirt, and lacquered shoes.”
Police just thought she left for a new life, after all she was an adult.
Her body wasn’t found until 2004, with his next victim, Elisabeth Brichet.
Her mother died of grief, and her father, Henri “Papy” Desramault (88), attended the trial in a wheelchair, staring constantly at Fourniret, his frail body wracked with sobs.
A retired train driver, Desramault long haunted the train station where his “ray of sunshine” disappeared, carrying her photographhttps://www.irishtimes.com/news/life-sentences-for-killer-french-couple-who-preyed-on-virgins-1.1215688
Elisabeth Brichet, 12
Disappeared – 20th December 1989 from Saint-Servais. Her body was found on 3 July 2004 in Donchery.
Elisabeth went missing on her way to school, 400 meters from her home. Michel asked her to guide him and his wife to a doctor to treat their 15-month old baby.
She was forcibly taken to Floing, near Sedan, to the couple’s home. She was tied up and intoxicated. He had planned to abuse her, but Michel Fourniret did not succeed. After a few hours of sleep, Monique Olivier took Michel Fourniret and Elisabeth to the Château du Sautou. He tried to rape her.
After telling the school girl “the trip is over, it’s over,” he tried to suffocate her with a transparent plastic bag. He eventually strangled her and placed her body in a freezer before burying her in a deep hole on his land.
Her mother, Marie-Noelle Bouzet, was one of the prime movers of the White March in Brussels, when 300,000 people took part in a demonstration against failures in the investigation into the murders committed by Marc Dutroux.
It was assumed at the time that Elisabeth had been one of Dutroux’s victim. Little did anyone suspect that another homicidal predator was active at the same time. True Crime Society Thread on Marc Dutroux
Michel appeared to relish recounting his crimes, telling how he turned his youngest victim, “the little ballerina” Elisabeth, into “a human wreck.”
Natacha Danais, 13
Disappeared – 21 November 1990 in Reze. Her body was found 24 November 1990 in Brem-sur-Mer.
Natacha was shopping at a supermarket when her mother, Marie-Josèphe Sculo and sisters, when her mother realised she left her purse at home. Natacha left to walk home and get it. The couple spotted her and approached her, offering a ride.
Witness Christine Havez, sister of the victim, confirmed that she believed she saw her sister get into the vehicle.
The day before the kidnapping, the couple was convicted by the Nantes Criminal Court for the burning of paintings by André Michaux, Olivier’s first husband.
Her body was found on a beach in the Vendée three days after her disappearance.
A juror wept when the state pathologist said he thought Natacha was raped after her death. Davina, another sister of the victim sat in court weeping, saying that she’d refused to accompany her sister that day to get the purse.
Mananya Thumpong, 13
Disappeared – 5th May 2001 from Sedan. Her body was found 1st March 2002 in Paliseul.
Born in Thailand in 1987, Mananya grew up with the nickname “Eyes.”
Michel Fourniret had noticed her several weeks before she was taken. One evening, on his way home, he had spoken to Monique about it: “I met a little Asian girl, I will go and take her.”
He approached her a few times so when the day came to grab her, she was not afraid. “I’m not a bad man,” he reassured her. She got into the van and never returned.
Fourniret headed for the Belgian border. Once it was crossed, he parked his vehicle on a path on the edge of a wood in the town of Nollevaux. He strangled her.
Ten months later a hiker found her skull.
He admitted the murder but denied the rape for which he is also accused. However, according to his wife Monique, on the evening of May 5, 2001, he showed “great satisfaction.” According to her, “this time he had managed to penetrate a virgin, even to deflower before ejaculating,” she told the police of Reims on 1 July 2004.
Céline Saison, 18
Disappeared – 16 May 2000 from Charleville-Mézières. Her body was found 22 July 2000 in Vresse-sur-Semois.
Céline went missing on the journey between the school and her parents’ home in Montcy-Saint-Pierre, only seven hundred meters apart. It was stormy that night.
“We were immediately worried,” says his father. She was a very serious kid. She warned us of the slightest setback.”
He rang her school, friends, hospitals and then, at 10:30 p.m. they called the police station.
Due to her age (eighteen years and one month old) police told her parents they would have to wait 48 hours to report her missing, that she was an adult and could go if she pleased.
For days her friends and family searched for her.
On July 22, Céline’s body was found by walkers along a forest path in the Belgian town of Sugny, sixty meters from the border. The body had been dismembered by wild boars and foxes: “We found bones 5 kilometres around,” explains the investigator Quiquempois. Celine’s parents recognized her watch.
It took ten months for police to link Céline’s case with Mananya.
Both cases sat cold until 2004, when Monique Olivier gave information over. Fourniret made a confession shortly thereafter. He confessed he had scribbled down an address and asked Céline to show him the way.
Marie-Angèle Domèce, 18
Disappeared – 8 July 1988 Auxerre, she has never been found.
Very little is online about Marie-Angèle other than that she had some learning disabilities. It is believed he spotted the girl at a “specialised establishment.”
He confessed to her murder in early 2018 but he claims he cannot remember what happened or where he left her body.
Her family just want to lay her to rest.
“I am not sure that Michel Fourniret really lost his memory. Above all, I believe that he and Monique Olivier still have secrets… There may be other bodies with that of Marie-Angèle and he doesn’t want them to be discovered… ”Didier Seban
Disappeared – 16 May 1990 from Auxerre. Her body was found 17 May 1990 in Monéteau.
It took nearly three decades to finally confess to the murder of British student Joanna Parrish. Her naked body was found at a lock the day after she was reported missing in May 1990 while she was living in the Burgundy region. She had been raped and tied up.
He approached Joanna, asking her to teach his and his wife’s son English. French news speculates he will be on trial for these two murders, and likely Estelles, this year. This was stated before the global pandemic so this is now unlikely to happen.
Disappeared – 9 January 2003 from Guermantes. She has never been found.
Estelle was his last known victim. She disappeared in January 2003 while walking home from school in the town of Guermantes, 30 kilometres east of the French capital Paris.
During routine questioning earlier in 2020, Fourniret for the first time admitted that it was possible he was the killer of the little girl, adding that “the circumstances, the events, the way things happened” were beyond his capacity to remember.
Asked if he had brought the kidnapped child to a deserted family house in the north-eastern Ardennes region, the self-confessed rapist and serial killer replied that the accusation was “reasonable… not improbable,” claiming that he could not be more precise.
Asked if he could say where he might have buried Mouzin, Fourniret replied “It’s very difficult… I haven’t a clue.”
His wife has told police investigators that her husband abducted, raped and murdered the schoolgirl and has a supermarket receipt from 2003 to support her claim.
Estelles True Crime Society thread
In June 2003, Belgian police detained Fourniret after he bungled an attempt to kidnap a 13-year-old Belgian girl.
She was walking along a road in her hometown of Ciney when a Citroen van pulled up and its driver, Fourniret, asked her for directions.
He insisted she get in to show him the way.
When she did, Fourniret pushed her into the back of the truck and tied her hands and ankles.
“I felt like I was in a film,’’ the girl would say in evidence during the couple’s trial.
“He said to me, ‘Shut up or I’ll kill you… You must give me pleasure. If you don’t give me pleasure, you won’t be going home.’”
Fourniret also said he was “far better’’ than Marc Dutroux, a Belgian paedophile and serial killer active around the same time.
According to the girl, Fourniret’s threat to kill her came after she screamed and tried to resist when he touched her breasts.
She managed to free herself from her bonds and jump out when the van stopped.
A passing car picked her up and drove her to a police station, where the driver gave police Fourniret’s car numberplate….
… Sensing the game was up, Fourniret cooperated with police and led them to some of the bodies of his victims buried near his property.
He claimed to have tried to snatch the girl after his son came home with a bad report card from school.
Other linked victims?
ILSE STOCKMANS (19) went missing on 17/02/1987, she had taken the bus from the Koninklijk Atheneum to the station of Leuven in Belgium, where she arrived around 3.52 pm. Ilse took a side entrance to the station. She was never seen again.
True Crime Society Thread
Nathalie Geijsbregts (10) disappeared on 26 February 1991. At 7.30 am she was dropped off at a bus stop near the Tervuursesteenweg in Leefdaal (Bertem). A witness saw the girl in that place still sitting in a gray Toyota.
True Crime Society Thread
His wife has claimed he killed their young female au pair when living in the Belgian town of Sart-Custinne in 1993, and told investigators that the girl’s body was buried near the house.
Selim (the couples’ son) now works as a security guard, and has met his father once only since his arrest, when he noted how small the so-called Monster is. “I owe my life to my fear of suicide,” he said. His half sister took her own life in 2006, unable, according to her mother (not Monique Olivier) to go on living with the Fourniret name.
Michel is currently serving a life sentence of imprisonment without possibility of parole, while Olivier was given life with a minimum term of 28 years for complicity. They will both die behind bars.
This blog will be updated but join True Crime Society for all the latest.
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A lot of this blog is Google translated from French to English and cleaned up.