French serial killer dies at 79 in secure hospital unit

Michel Fourniret

FILE – In this May, 14, 2008 file photo, Michel Fourniret is driven back under heavy police protection to the Charleville-Mezieres courthouse, northern France. The French serial killer sentenced twice to life imprisonment for the murder of eight women has died Monday at the age of 79, Paris prosecutor said. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

PARIS (AP) — A French serial killer sentenced twice to life imprisonment for the murder of eight women has died Monday at 79, the Paris prosecutor said.

Michel Fourniret, one of France’s most notorious serial killers, died in a secure unit of a Paris hospital, prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement.

Arrested in 2003 in Belgium, Fourniret was convicted to life in prison in 2008 for the murder and the rape or attempted rape of seven female teenagers and young women. The crimes were committed in France and Belgium between from 1987 to 2001.

Fourniret’s wife, Monique Olivier, received a life sentence as an accomplice in several of the cases.

Ten years later, he was convicted again to life imprisonment for the murder of the companion of a former cellmate, who had disappeared in 1988. The same year, he confessed two other murders, including in 1990 of 20-year-old British citizen Joanna Parrish, who worked as a teacher in the Burgundy region.

In 2019, Fourniret was charged in the case of Estelle Mouzin, a 9 year-old girl who disappeared in 2003 as she was coming back from school in Guermantes, a small town east of Paris. In March last year, Paris prosecutor said Fourniret confessed to the murder of Mouzin.

Olivier, who divorced him in 2010, has accused Fourniret of several other murders in which he was suspected of being involved.

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