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French serial killer Fourniret and wife get life in prison

Latest update : 2008-05-29

A French court has sentenced serial killer Michel Fourniret and his wife Monique Olivier to life in prison for the murder of seven girls and young women in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001.

The verdict from the Palace of Justice in Charleville-Mézières is in, and there are no surprises. Michel Fourniret and his wife Monique Olivier have been given life sentences. Fourniret was given the maximum legal penalty, life without parole, for the murder of seven young women between 1987 and 2001. His wife has no possibility of parole for 28 years.

 

Not a word for the victims’ families

 

“Monster” and “two-faced devil” were words used to describe Fourniret, while his wife was branded a “devious witch” and a “slimy spider.” The indictments, coming from the prosecuting attorney, shocked both lawyers and the media. “You’re not a savage, Fournier, you’re nothing! You are a sneering clown and a servant of evil,” he said. Talking to the press, the attorney later toned down some of the terms he used. “It’s the case that is repulsive… not the words I used.”

 

Fourniret and his wife both issued statements on Monday. “Monique Olivier started by saying that she regretted her actions. Fourniret spoke in a flashy, provocative manner as usual,” says Philomé Robert, FRANCE 24’s special envoy at the courtroom. The accused spoke of the attorney Francis Nachbar as an “annoying lap dog” and “vituperator” and spoke of his wife as a “wonderful woman incapable of hurting anyone in society.” Still, notes Robert, “they had no word, not one, for the victims’ families.”

 

Fourniret will not appeal

 

Fourniret’s lawyer, Me Blocquaux, announced that the accused would not appeal the verdict. “It’s a small comfort for the victims’ families,” said Robert.

 

Fourniret “belongs, alas, to the human race,” said Blocquaux, “regardless of the horrible nature of his actions.” He compares the life of the accused to “a field of ruins,” littered not only with the bodies of the young women he killed, but also the many “collateral” victims. Indeed, one of Fourniret’s daughters killed herself in 2006 because “she couldn’t bear the weight of all this.”

 

Finally, the lawyer of the accused reintroduced the “missed opportunities” to arrest a man already condemned for sexual aggression, citing, among other things, the charges filed against Fourniret by the father of the first victim, Isabelle Laville, killed in 1987 in the Yonne region – charges that were dropped.

 

The couple have already served five and four years respectively on remand. Fourniret has been in custody since his June 2003 arrest, following a failed kidnapping attempt in Belgium. His wife was jailed the year after, when she confessed to two Belgian investigators after over one hundred interrogations.

 

Date created : 2008-05-28

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