DNA pinpoints 12 potential new victims of France’s most notorious serial killer Michel Fourniret who kidnapped, raped and murdered seven young women including British student Joanna Parrish in 1990
- Michel Fourniret was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008
- He admitting kidnap, rape and murder of seven girls over a 14-year period
- But French authorities are to re-open 30 cold cases that may be linked to him
Michel Fourniret, 78, (pictured) has already admitted kidnapping, raping and murdering nine girls over a 14-year period from 1987
France’s most notorious living serial killer may have killed up to 12 more victims after forensics experts pinpointed unidentified DNA on a mattress in his possession.
Michel Fourniret, known as the Beast of the Ardennes, was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008 after admitting the kidnap, rape and murder of seven young women over a 14-year period from 1987.
In 2018, the 78-year-old also confessed to the murder of Joanna Parrish, a Leeds University language student, who was killed in Burgundy countryside in eastern France in 1990.
But now French authorities are to re-open 30 cold cases that may be linked to the self-confessed serial killer after unidentified DNA was found on a mattress alongside traces of two of his known victims.
In August forensic experts discovered partial DNA traces of two girls Fourniret had killed – nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin and 18-year-old Céline Saison – on a mattress belonging to Fourniret’s sister.
And after further investigation found traces of up to 12 other individuals which can now be examined with recent advances in testing.
Le Parisien reported the discovery prompted French police to review 70 cases involving potential victims that were listed shortly after Fourniret’s arrest before deciding to re-open 30.
Lawyers, acting on behalf of victims’ families, have lodged seven individual requests for investigating magistrates to examine the new evidence.
Lawyer Corinne Herrmann said: ‘We want the DNA of all victims and disappeared girls that we represent to be compared with those found on the mattress and with all evidence under seal seized at Michel Fourniret’s home.
‘It is inconceivable that Fourniret didn’t kill other victims.’
Michel Fourniret, known as the Beast of the Ardennes, was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008 after admitting the kidnap, rape and murder of seven young women over a 14-year period from 1987 including Estelle Mouzin (left) and Joanna Parrish (right)
Fourniret’s first murder dates back to 1987 with his most recent was in 2003.
His first victim was 17-year-old Isabelle Laville, who disappeared in Auxerre in 1987 as she made her way home from school.
Her skeletal remains were found at the bottom of a well outside the city in July 2006.
Fabienne Leroy, 20, disappeared in woods in Mourmelon-Le-Grand in north-east France before her horribly mutilated body was found.
Student Jean-Marie Desramault, 22, disappeared from a railway station in 1989.
Her body was found in the grounds of a house belonging to Fourniret – as was that of 12-year-old Belgian Elisabeth Brichet.
Fourniret’s other victims included Natacha Danais, a 13-year-old French girl, sexually assaulted after being stabbed to death in 1990; Farida Hellegouarch, the 30-year-old girlfriend of a bank-robber who once shared a cell with Fourniret, and 18-year-old Celine Saison.