French serial killer Michel Fourniret dies at 79

PARIS (AFP) – The French serial killer dubbed the “Ogre of the Ardennes”, who confessed to killing 11 people, mostly girls and young women, died on Monday (May 10) aged 79, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said.

Michel Fourniret, who was serving two life sentences for eight murders, died at the La Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris where he was admitted on April 28 from the nearby Fresnes prison.

He confessed to 11 murders, including British student Joanna Parish, but has been linked to other disappearances, most of them in the Ardennes region that straddles the French-Belgian border.

His victims included nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin, who he raped and killed months before he was caught in Belgium in 2003.

Fourniret finally admitted to the girl’s murder in March 2020 but her body has yet to be found.

By the time of his arrest the former forest warden was one of Europe’s most notorious serial killers.

He even boasted of being a “far better” killer than the sadistic Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux.

The Parisien newspaper reported Monday morning that he was taken to hospital suffering from a heart condition and Alzheimer’s, and that doctors had placed him in an artificial coma.

Heitz announced an investigation into his death, which is normal procedure in France when a prisoner dies.

Fourniret’s death crushed the hopes of those hoping to see him put on trial over the disappearances of Estelle Mouzin, Parrish and two other women suspected of being among his victims.

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