Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michel Fourniret Serial Killer

**New Chapter: Joanna's Murder Linked to Fourniret

Michel Fourniret
Michel Fourniret

In 2005, Monica Olivier was extradited to France and charged with three counts of murder after she confessed that she lured three young women to her house knowing that Fourniret would murder them. Olivier's trial was postponed, as was Fourniret's, who was also extradited to France in January 2006. During Olivier's imprisonment she confessed that Fourniret strangled a young girl to death and dumped her body in a river in the town of Auxerre, France in 1990. She provided details that lead investigators to believe that the murdered victim was none other than Joanna Parrish. Fourniret refused to have had anything to do with the young student's murder.

Not long after Olivier alerted investigators to Fourniret's possible involvement in Joanna's murder, chief state prosecutor Francis Nachbar "identified Fourniret as her (Joanna's) most likely killer," it was reported in the Yorkshire Post. Senior French magistrates promised to investigate the case further to determine if Fourniret was responsible for Joanna's death. According to the BBC, they also agreed to allow British lawyers to question Fourniret and to let British police examine DNA evidence.

However, soon thereafter Nachbar dropped the case so that he could finally begin the twice postponed and long overdue trial of Olivier and Fourniret, it was reported by Joanna's parents were outraged at the decision, especially since it was made before DNA samples could be scientifically compared with Fourniret's DNA samples. Roger Parrish was quoted in the article as saying, "The French justice system is simply a shambles and a charade. How can any civilized society turn its back on the taking of Jo's life and the indescribable suffering we know she endured at the hands of absolute monsters?"

Joanna Parish
Joanna Parish

A political and legal struggle between Joanna's parents and French magistrates eventually led to the reversal of the decision. On November 25, it was revealed that the French authorities were planning to charge Fourniret with Joanna's murder. The quoted a judicial source as saying, "He was in the right place...we are waiting for the results of scientific tests before we charge him." The results are expected sometime before the end of 2006. If Fourniret is linked with Joanna's murder, there is a significant chance that he will be investigated for more than a dozen other murders that took place in the Burgandy region from around that time, many of which have been blamed on Emile Louis.

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