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Michel Fourniret: Ogres of the Ardennes

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The killer couple claimed their first victim in December 1987. They approached 17 year old Isabelle Laville in a van as she was on her way home from school. They said they were lost and persuaded her to climb into the van to help them with the directions. Fourniret then raped and killed her.
One year later, 20 year old Fabienne Leroy was abducted from a supermarket. Her body was found the next day. She’d been shot-gunned in the chest.
The couple married and had a son together and bought a chateau on the forested border region between France and Belgium. One report suggested he financed the purchase with money robbed from a bank robber/militant cellmate. He tracked down his cellmate’s wife, established where the money was hidden, and then murdered her.
In 1989, the couple claimed their youngest victim. Elisabeth Brichet was just 12 years old when she was abducted from the Belgian town of Namur. Her body was found 14 years later in the grounds of the couple’s chateau.
With their son in tow, they presented the perfect picture of a trustworthy family and their happily married respectability tricked girls who would otherwise be wary. Fourniret and Olivier sometimes pretended their son was ill and they needed the girl to help direct them to a hospital. Another ruse was for Olivier to drive alone and pick up a girl but then, as they were driving along, they would see Fourniret waving an empty can of petrol as if he just needed a refill for a nearby car. Olivier would then stop to pick him up.
Fourniret would either strangle, shoot, or sometimes inject air into his victims’ veins to cause a heart attack. Death, however, was no escape from his attentions. After he stabbed to death one girl to death with a screwdriver, he sexually assaulted her corpse. Olivier would watch as he raped and murdered his victims and they would later recreate these scenes in their sex life.
Fourniret would either dispose of the bodies in his grounds or the surrounding area. The killings went on for years but the authorities treated each case separately. There was little sharing of information between the French and Belgium police and no one considered the possibility that the Ardennes region had an unusually high murder rate because a serial killer was using it as his hunting ground.