Nearly 30 Years After Disappearance, Serial Killer Confesses

Lawyer says 1990 killing of British student in France has been solved
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2018 10:15 AM CST
Serial Killer Reportedly Confesses to 2 More Murders
French serial killer Michel Fourniret, seen here in 2004, has reportedly confessed to two additional murders, including the killing of a British student in 1990.   (AP Photo/Bruno Arnold, ASAP pictures, File)

British student Joanna Parrish disappeared in France after posting an advertisement for her services as an English teacher in a local newspaper, the Telegraph reports. A day after she was reported missing, her naked body was found in a river; she had been raped and strangled to death. That was nearly 30 years ago. This week a French serial killer known as the Ogre of the Ardennes is said to have confessed to the crime, according to AFP. Didier Seban, a lawyer for Parrish's family, tells the BBC that 75-year-old Michel Fourniret confessed to the 1990 murder of Parrish—as well as the 1988 murder of Marie-Angele Domece, whose body was never found—to judges "two to three times" over the past week. The Press Association reports Parrish's family was shocked by the confession.

Fourniret was given life in prison in 2008 after being found guilty of raping and killing seven women between the ages of 12 and 21. His wife, Monique Olivier, was also given life in prison for picking up a number of his victims while driving around with their baby. Fourniret was charged with the murders of Parrish and Domece in 2008 after Olivier said he was responsible for them, only to have the cases dismissed in 2011 after Olivier recanted. A court of appeal later cancelled that dismissal and ordered investigations into new leads. Now Seban says a trial should go forward after Fourniret "made detailed and repeated confessions." Parrish's father says he hopes the family will have "closure at last." (It seems an infamous serial killer couldn't cheat death after all.)

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