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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier, the ogres of the Ardennes

When I opened Twitter on March 5th, I wasn't welcomed by the usual makeup tutorials I don't watch or the usual memes that make me laugh while I drink my coffee. I was welcomed by angry tweets, often accompanied by the photo of a pretty little girl.

This little girl is Estelle Mouzin. She was 9 when she disappeared while on her way to school on January 9th, 2003 in Guermantes, France. For years, detectives struggled to solve her case, even though a pedophile serial killer was the main suspect.

This killer, on March 5th, 2020, finally confessed to the murder of the young girl, for which he was indicted in November 2019. Estelle is now officially one of the last victims of the serial killer Michel Fourniret, who killed at least nine people between 1987 and 2003, making him one of the most famous serial killers of modern France.

After reading a bit about the case on Twitter, I decided to go deeper. And I discovered that while most people believe that Fourniret acted alone, he actually wasn't alone in his murderous rampage. Indeed, when he began killing, he acted with the help of his wife Monique Olivier, who the investigators called an enthusiastic accomplice. I'll just call her a psychotic bitch.

Anyway, here's the story of Michelle Fourniret and Monique Olivier, the Ogres of the Ardennes.

Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier

Michel Fourniret was born on April 4th, 1942 in a poor family living in Sedan, France. According to him, his father was an alcoholic worker and her mother, a promiscuous house worker, sexually abused him during his childhood. Several experts have determined that that's how his hatred of women and obsession with virginity appeared.His parents divorces in 1954, which hurt him further. He continued growing up, and became a shy young man who became known for being awkward around women. His looks didn't help. Seriously, if I saw his face, I wouldn't give him the time of day if I was a clock.

In 1963, he (miraculously)managed to marry his first wife Annette, and was traumatized when he learned during their first night together that she wasn't a virgin anymore. That was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back for him, and he then began his descent into depravity.

In 1966, he was convicted of sexual touching and kidnapping in Nantes. His marriage won't survive his imprisonment, and good for Annette.In 1969, he marries his second wife Nicole (how is this guy getting laid ?), but his criminal carreer doesn't stop there. In Verdun, in 1973, he is convicted of exhibitionism. His wife doesn't leave him, but she will when she learns about his next offense (a bit late, but I'm still proud of you, Nicole).

On March 4th, 1982, while the couple lives in Clairefontaine, Fourniret rapes 14-year-old Dahina Le Guennan, after abducting her near the Epernon train station after threatening her with a bottle of vitriol. He makes her believe that he's a fugitive and asks her for help to get out of town. He tells her about his life, explains his trauma regarding his first wife's virginity and tells her that he's searching for the "virginity myth". Once they arrive in a field, Fourniret tells Dahina that he has to "simulate a rape" so the cops don't believe that she's his accomplice. Of course the simulation part isn't true. After raping her, Fourniret brings Dahina to her home, while telling her that what happened wasn't a big deal, and that an accusation would destroy his family. Dahina told reporters that she only realized what happened to her when Fourniret left her on a sidewalk.

Despite her rapist's demands, she presses charges and Fourniret is sentenced in 1984 to 3 years in jail. He tries to save himself by writing a letter to the judge saying the Dahina's assault was "his most serious offense", but to no avail. Imprisoned in the Fleury-Méreugis detention center, he is bullied by the other inmates (I sincerely hope he dropped the soap) until one of them, Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch, takes Fourniret under his wing. The rapist then becomes a model prisoner. If only he had stayed in prison getting his holes dilated...

In 1986, he places an ad in a christian newspaper: "Prisoner would like to correspond with a person of any age to forget loneliness." Monique Olivier, a 38-year-old psychotic bitch, answers the ad and begins an epistolary romance with the convicted rapist. It turns out she's as deviant as him and proposes a pact: he kills her former lovers, who she says hurt her, and helps her get custody of her two children. In exchange, she helps him kidnap young virgins. Fourniret accepts, but he will never fulfill his part of the deal.

He gets out of prison on October 10th, 1987, and immediately joins Monique. He is on parole, but quickly stops showing up to his hearings, which will never have any consequences (yeah, we dropped the ball on this one).The couple moves to Saint-Cyr-les-Colons, in the French region of Yonne, and start looking for potential victims.

On December 11th,1987, the couple abducts 17-year-old Isabelle Laville, while she's on way home from school in Auxerre. Monique, who's alone, convinces the teenager to get in her car to guide her somewhere. On the way, they pick up Fourniret, who pretends to also be lost, and Isabelle is trapped. They bring her to their house and start assaulting her. Monique, to help her now husband, gives him oral sex so he can rape Isabelle. Once they are done, Fourniret strangles Isabelle and throws her in a well during the night. Her body will only be found in 1996.

In April 1998, Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch gets back in contact with Fourniret. Hellegouarch is still incarcerated, so he asks his friend to help his wife, Farida Hamiche, dig up a stash of cash and valuables in a cemetery of Fontenay-en-Parisis. The stash actually belongs to the Postiches gang, a famous group of bank robbers, but Fourniret doesn't know about that. He is still interested in the stash, and ends up killing Farida in the Rambouillet forest and taking the booty. He gets away with it by hiding the body and making Hellegouarch believe that she ran away with everything. Fourniret uses his newfound wealth to buy a castle in the town of Sautou. No one questions the fact that he bought it straight cash. Two bodies will be later found there.

The same year, Fourniret and Olivier move to Floing, in the Ardennes region. On August 3rd, Monique uses her pregnancy to lure and abduct 20-year-old Fabienne Leroy as the young woman is getting home from work. The couple brings her into the forest and Fourniret assaults Fabienne while Olivier threatens her with a revolver. Fourniret then covers Fabienne's eyes and makes her believe that he's going to set her free. He walks her to a deserted military camp, makes her beg for her life, and executes her with a rifle.

On March 18th, 1989, the couple abducts and kills 22-year-old Jeanne-Marie Desramault in Charleville-Mézières. On December 20th of the same year, the couple kills 12-year-old Elisabeth Brichet in Namur, Belgium.These 2 murders go undetected, but Fourniret is sentenced that year to 2 months in prison for the assault of a nurse in Nantes, France.A year later, on November 21st, 1990, 13-year-old Natacha Danais is abducted and killed in Nantes.For those three murders, the couple didn't hesitate to use their child as bait.

After Natacha's murder, we kind of lose the couple's trail. We know that they move to Belgium in 1992, and that Fourniret starts acting alone (he will only be convicted once for his attempts). Several disappearances which occurred in the 90's are attributed to him, but his guilt in those cases has not yet been proven.

On May 16th, 200, the killer manages to abduct and murder 18-year-old Céline Saison while she is on her way home from school in Charleville-Mézières, France. A year later, on May 5th, 2001, Fourniret abducts and kills Mananya Thumpong, a 13-year-old Thai girl, in Sedan, France.

Olivier doesn't help her husband anymore, but Fourniret tells her everything and even brings her trophies. All the murders perpetrated by Fourniret and Olivier went under the radar thanks to the changing methods of the killers and their habit of hiding the bodies in different parts of France and Belgium. Regarding their everyday life, the couple is also discreet, but they are still known among their neighbors for being neglecting parents who feed their children potato juice and make them sleep on mattresses laid on the floor. They would also often drop them at friends' houses, and sometimes forget to come get them. Shitty people, shitty parents.

Despite all their planning and manipulation, the couple gets caught in 2003, when Fourniret tries to abduct 13-year-old Marie Ascension in Ciney, Belgium. The young girl manages to free her hands while Fourniret is driving and jumps out from his Citroën van. Once she gets back to safety, she gives the policemen the plates of the vehicle, which she managed to memorize, which leads the detectives to the murderous couple.

Once in custody, Fourniret knows he's done being a killer, but he's not done being an asshole. During the interrogations, he pretends to fall asleep, and begins all his sentences with "After careful consideration". Forced to confess to the abductions because of the DNA evidence in his van, he however denies the murders. His wife Monique will be the first to crack under pressure. Fourniret confirms her confession on the week of June 30th, 2004.The police can finally begin looking for the bodies. Fourniret, who never passes an opportunity to be a cunt, leads the operations which allows the recovery of the bodies of Elisabeth Brichet and Jeanne-Marie Desramault, but demands that his house of Sart-Custinne, Belgium, is renovated before he participates in the reconstitutions.

The trial of the murderous couple begins on March 27th, 2008 in Charleville-Mézières, France. True to himself, Fourniret acts in court like the arrogant sociopath he is, while his wife looks unbothered.The couple is sentenced on May 28th, 2008: Fourniret gets life without parole, and Monique Olivier gets life with the possibility of parole after 28 years.

Fourniret continues to be an asshole and keeps his name in the media by refusing to disclose the location of some bodies, including the body of Farida Hamiche, and by making allusions to murders that he might be responsible for. According to some people close to his case, he only confessed to the murder of Estelle Mouzin to maintain his fame. Now, we can only wait and see how many more murders he will confess before he dies. Only time will tell. Or maybe not.

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