“I want the cries of Estelle calling for her mother to haunt you in your cell”, the emotional pleading of the lawyers of the civil parties

At the Hauts-de-Seine court in Nanterre, the trial of Monique Olivier, on trial for three weeks, is entering its final phase. The wife of serial killer Michel Fourniret must answer for complicity in the kidnappings and murders of Marie-Angèle Domèce, Joanna Parrish and Estelle Mouzin.


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A court sketch represents Monique Olivier before the Hauts-de-Seine assize court, December 5, 2023. (BENOIT PEYRUCQ / AFP)

Monique Olivier was questioned one last time on Friday December 15. His trial has lasted three weeks and is entering its final phase. The ex-wife of serial killer Michel Fourniret must answer for complicity in the kidnappings and murders of Marie-Angèle Domèce, Joanna Parish and Estelle Mouzin.

The president read at length the statements of Michel Fourniret, the deceased ex-husband of Monique Olivier. He repeated almost each of the latter’s responses to investigators regarding the three young victims discussed at this hearing. And at the end, asked to react, Monique Olivier just stammered: “I want to say ‘it’s Fourniret’, that’s all.” Me Didier Seban, lawyer for the families of the young victims, tries: “He said before he died that if he hadn’t met you, he wouldn’t have had this criminal journey, what do you think?”

In her cubicle, the trembling septuagenarian in black and white jogging pants limply denies: “It’s not true, it wasn’t me who pushed him to do all that. He needed someone to accompany him to see what he was capable of doing, but I didn’t have it. not encouraged.” She also refutes the description that Michel Fourniret gave of her during the hearing: that of an indifferent woman capable of chewing gum in front of a crime scene. “It’s exaggerated”only whispers the accused.

The impassive accused

Monique Olivier, head bowed, then does not let any emotion show, when two inconsolable fathers come to deliver a few last sentences to the assize court. Éric Mouzin first, the father of little Estelle, explains in short that this trial was not completely in vain for him and his loved ones: “Monique Olivier’s words yesterday were very clear about the three days when Estelle had been kidnapped but not yet killed, kept by Monique Olivier.” “In the box, she explained, she provided details“, he notes. Painful details for this father but precious for the one who has wanted to know for 20 years.

After him on the stand, Roger Parrish reads, moved, the words he wrote on a sheet of paper, describes “[sa] Joanna, loving, caring, intelligent girl, killed at 20, who would never have trusted a man alone’. “But for a man accompanied by a woman, that, yes, it’s possible”, he blurted. This father, now 80 years old, insists: since the identification of Monique Olivier and Michel Fourniret, “we were convinced that they were responsible.After the elements heard in this room, we are even more so”he finishes, his eyes moist.

Lots of emotion in the pleadings of the lawyers of the victims’ families

One of the five civil party lawyers, Me Marine Allali, even burst into tears in the middle of her pleading. The young thirty-year-old begins with these words: “I’m from the Estelle generation.” Before mentioning “those we didn’t see at the bar” : the three mothers of Marie-Angèle, Joanna and Estelle. “Only the third testified, but remotely, by videoconference”she emphasizes because “for these women, being in this room, breathing the same air as Monique Olivier, is an unbearable idea”. Faced with these files, comments the young lawyer: “Either we are someone who has children and we do not want, we cannot imagine the horror. Or we do not have any and then it is of these parents that we think, of the pain that would be them to lose us and to lose us like this.” She deplores “the chosen silences”, according to her, from Monique Olivier, not to mention where the bodies of young Marie-Angèle and little Estelle were buried. “For these families, it was mourning without burial.” She ends by calling on the jurors: “It is you who, through your deliberation, will put an end to this endless quest, you who will allow these victims to rest in peace”.

“Confessions of variable geometry which made the families suffer”

Me Corinne Hermann, lawyer for the civil parties

before the Hauts-de-Seine Assize Court

Before her, Corinne Hermann, who has followed the Fourniret couple for years, raised her voice: “In her confessions, Ms. Olivier involves herself as little as possible, going back even though she knows that she committed the acts,” she recalls, letting her anger burst forth. The experienced lawyer blurted out, looking at the box: “She is not a white goose, she sealed the pact with him [Micjel Fourniret]adopted his choices, his will.”

Corinne Hermann, who has been in contact with serial killers for 27 years, confides: “The most chilling moment I experienced was with her. After hours of reconstitution in the cold, I asked her ‘you could have opened the door for Estelle to escape.’ answered me eye to eye, I will never forget ‘Yes, I could have, yes.’ ‘You could have opened up to Joanna too, to Marie-Angèle, Isabelle, Natasha and all the others…’ At this audience, she continues, still vehement, you said: ‘In hindsight this is unforgivable.’ It’s up to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, ladies and gentlemen of the court, to tell him that even without hindsight, this is unforgivable. It’s then up to you to add three new names to the macabre list.”

“You have no compassion”

Finally, Mr Didier Seban pleaded for an hour the last part of what is undoubtedly, with the Emile Louis affair, the case of his career. “After the first Fourniret trial in Charleville-Mézières, I developed cancer because it was so difficult to relive what these kids went through”, he remembers. The lawyer is very severe when he points out the flaws in the police institution and justice. He remembers the failures. “In these three cases we had dismal police officers who prevented any serious investigation into the evil couple.”

“If the families had not been there to fight until the end, to prevent cases from being dismissed, to ask that their little daughters not be forgotten, this trial would not have taken place”

Me Didier Seban, lawyer for the civil parties

before the Hauts-de-Seine Assize Court

“Fourniret and Olivier, we could have stopped them well before and there would not have been so many victims, there would not have been Estelle in particular in 2003”. Didier Seban stands in front of the box: “Madame Olivier, you have no compassion, you made a criminal pact with Fourniret. For Estelle, this little girl of only 9 years old, you did not have a word, not a caress, not a meal, not a blanket “. He continues in a firm tone: “A 9-year-old girl asking for her mother – ‘I want to see my mother’? I want these cries to haunt you in your sleep, in your prison cell.”

The accused in the box still looks a little paler than usual. She makes imperceptible movements of her head from left to right but does not look up. Monday morning, the floor will be given to the two attorneys general for their indictment. Monique Olivier’s two lawyers will then plead. The court will retire Tuesday morning, after the last words of the accused, to deliberate. The verdict is due to be delivered Tuesday evening.

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