The father of a British woman who was murdered by a French serial killer dubbed the ‘Ogre of the Ardennes’ today told a court that his widow was ‘an active participant in all of his crimes’.
Roger Parrish, 80, was on Monday speaking at the trial of Monique Olivier, 75, who helped lure Leeds University student Joanna Parrish to her death when she was only 20, in 1990.
Olivier, described in 2008 by a judge as a ‘devil with two faces’ and her husband’s ‘bloody muse’, is charged with aiding and abetting gruesome attacks by her late husband, Michel Fourniret, in eastern France.
She was sitting in the dock in the court at Nanterre, the Paris suburb, when Mr Parrish gave evidence.
Holding back tears, Mr Parrish described how Joanna was born on July 3rd 1969 – just before the first moon landing by American astronauts.
‘She became a victim of of Fourniret and Olivier five weeks before her twenty-first birthday,’ Roger Parrish (pictured, left) said
20-year-old British woman Joanna Parrish (pictured) was killed by Fourninet. Her naked body was found in the Yonne river that runs through the department of the same name in central France
Monique Olivier (pictured) is charged with aiding and abetting gruesome attacks by her late husband, Michel Fourniret
Mr Parrish said: ‘Every subsequent time that landings of the moon are mentioned remind us of the birth of our beautiful daughter.
‘She became a victim of of Fourniret and Olivier five weeks before her twenty-first birthday. We had already begun to prepare for a family celebration for her.’
Olivier, dressed in a black coat over a grey prison sweatshirt, looked on with a blank face, as Mr Parrish continued.
He said: ‘Never ending devastation does not come even close to describing the effect Joanna’s murder had on our family. The trauma has remained with us to this day.’
Mr Parrish said his daughter was ‘an exceptional woman’ and that ‘her life was cruelly ended by a narcissistic psychopath and her female partner who was an active participant in all of his crimes.’
Monique Olivier was described in 2008 by a judge as a ‘devil with two faces’ and her husband’s ‘bloody muse’
She assisted in the kidnappings, rapes and murders of several young women in France
Mr Parrish was in court with his ex-wife, Pauline Murrell, who is Joanna’s mother.
Before his death in 2021, Fourniret was accused of murdering eight girls and young women between 1987 and 2001.
Olivier is already serving a life sentence for complicity in four of the killings and a gang rape committed by Fourniret.
She is now on trial for being an accomplice in three further murders, including that of Ms Parrish, who was originally from Gloucestershire.
Her naked body was found in the Yonne River, near the eastern city of Auxerre, in May 1990.
Mr Parrish and Ms Murrell have been battling for justice ever since.
Fourniret was charged with abduction, rape and murder in the cases but died aged 79, before he could be brought to trial.
His crimes date back to 1988 in the case of Marie-Angele Domece, 18, who, like Ms Parrish, was initially reported missing from Auxerre, but whose body has never been found.
Olivier is charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and murder of both women.
The third charge is for Olivier’s complicity in the 2003 disappearance of nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin, whose body has also never been found.
Fourniret is often described as one of France’s worst serial killers
‘I acknowledge all the facts,’ Olivier said on the second day of her trial
Olivier was charged with complicity in the disappearance of nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin (pictured), whose body has never been found two decades on
Witnesses in the current trial include Sabine Kheris, the investigating magistrate who recorded Fourniret’s confession.
Ms Kheris is now in charge of a cold cases unit based in Nanterre, where the Hauts-de-Seine assizes court is situated.
Fourniret was dubbed the ‘Ogre of the Ardennes’ after the region on the France-Belgium border where preyed on victims.
Olivier was handed a life sentence in 2008 over her role in four murders and a rape committed by Fourniret.
In 2018, Olivier was given a further 20 years inside for her part in the killing of Farida Hammiche, the wife of one of Fourniret’s former cellmates.
Today’s case continues.