Long white hair and shaggy beard, Michel Fourniret no longer has anything of the cold and cruel manipulator with the bombastic phrasing of recent years.
Since his hospitalization last fall under the pseudonym of Thomas Petit, the 79-year-old has remained walled in absolute silence, bedridden in a medical prison unit in the Paris region.
He will undoubtedly remain there until his death.
His state of health worsened considerably, between heart problems and mental degeneration.
Read also Fourniret cases: who are the 21 victims whose DNA will be studied?
Sentenced twice to life for the murders of eight women, the serial killer will, according to several sources, never be tried for those of little Estelle Mouzin or young women Lydie Logé, Joanna Parrish and Marie-Angèle Domèce.
So many cases for which he is indicted.
For a long time unable to define the criminal course of this itinerant and unpredictable killer, justice has taken a culpable delay which will deprive the families of a trial awaited for sometimes more than 30 years.
Michel Fourniret: in the footsteps of a monster who has not revealed all his secrets
On the verge of the death of the Ogre des Ardennes, the dysfunctions of the past force us to ask this terrible question: will we one day know the real extent of the crimes of the diabolical couple formed by Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier?
The ex-wife and accomplice of the killer had confided to a co-inmate of the Rennes remand center that the number of their victims "greatly exceeded thirty".
Fourniret himself assured that he had killed "two people every year".
Pure boast of an egocentric killer in search of perpetuating his legend?
Justice has thought so for a long time, limiting itself to judging confessed crimes without seeking others.
A bygone era: she now makes cold cases a major issue and has embarked on the frantic search for the ghosts of the Ogre.
The disappearance of little Marion Wagon
According to our information, around thirty unknown DNAs taken from the effects of Michel Fourniret are thus being analyzed in order to determine whether they are not those of forgotten victims. These genetic traces are the subject of connections with at least 21 unsolved cases of murders or disappearances at the hands of the judicial police and the gendarmerie. This list, which Le Parisien reveals
, concerns exclusively girls or young women, aged 10 to 39, mysteriously evaporated or murdered between 1987 and 2003 in 17 departments.
In these files, selected by the Central Office for the Repression of Violence against Persons (OCRVP), there are highly publicized criminal enigmas such as the disappearances of Marion Wagon, aged 10 and who disappeared in November 1996 in Agen (Lot-et- Garonne), or Cécile Vallin, 17, as evaporated in June 1997 in Savoie. Others are more confidential, such as the murders of Caroline Pino, a young 24-year-old Dutch tourist found dead on August 7, 1996 in her sleeping bag in Orsay (Essonne), or of Linda Schwartz, 26, discovered on July 3, 2001 in a canal in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence…
This desire of justice to complete the bloodthirsty record of Michel Fourniret has been reinforced by recent advances in the cases of Estelle Mouzin and Lydie Logé.
The serial killer has been formally linked both to the disappearance of the 9-year-old girl in 2003 in Guermantes (Seine-et-Marne) and to that of the 29-year-old young woman in Saint-Christophe-le-Jajolet (Orne ) in 1993 thanks to advances in science.
Disappearance of Estelle Mouzin: how the investigation led, 17 years later, to Michel Fourniret (Part 1)
Thus, in the Mouzin case, long lost in judicial limbo, the examining magistrate Sabine Khéris had commissioned during the year 2020 a new expertise of a mattress seized 17 years ago in a former house of Michel Fourniret in Ville-sur-Lumes (Ardennes).
This analysis revealed the existence of two partial genetic traces of the missing girl in two places of the bedding as well as… a dozen other unidentified DNA.
Nothing says they all belong to other serial killer martyrs.
But nothing says the opposite either… Especially since a genetic fingerprint belonging to Cécile Saison - an official victim of the Ogre des Ardennes - was also highlighted on this mattress used by the killer to sequester his prey. .
In the Logé affair, it was so-called "kinship" research carried out in 2019 in the killer's van that made it possible to establish a correspondence between the genetic profile of a hair detected under the bench and that of the mother of the missing young woman.
This expertise was initiated by the OCRVP police officers who, since 2017, have been trying to put a name on these 25 phantom DNAs found in this horror van, a C25 that the killer affectionately nicknamed "Jojo".
"The Mouzin affair seems to have served as an electric shock"
According to a note from the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons (DACG), addressed to all the courts of France to make them aware of these scientific elements, it is on board this vehicle that the majority of Fourniret's victims "were kidnapped. , raped and killed ”in France as in Belgium. These 25 unknown DNAs were themselves extracted from 736 hair elements - hair or body hair - taken from the passenger compartment of a van as well as from "a cutter, a cushion and a neck of bottles of sloes" seized in the vehicle.
"It seems possible that these DNA profiles are those of other potential victims of Michel Fourniret", writes the DACG in its note, stressing that it "may appear surprising in view of his personality and his proven aggressive impulses" that he did not make more victims between 1990 and 2000. “The Estelle Mouzin affair seems to have served as an electric shock, welcomes Me Corinne Herrmann, lawyer for the Logé, Domèce, Mouzin and Parrish families.
The magistrates realized that when one discovers DNA on the mattress or in the van of a serial killer, it is not trivial.
Disappearance of Estelle Mouzin: how the investigation ended, 17 years later, in Michel Fourniret (Part 2)
How many more of this silent DNA in total will start to speak? For the time being, investigators and magistrates remain cautious so as not to arouse false hopes from relatives of victims. The reconciliation work is just starting for some dusted criminal files. In the Marion Wagon case, added to the list a few weeks ago, the judge in charge of the investigations has just seized a toothbrush and toys of the girl who disappeared on the way to her school to try to extract some a DNA to be compared with the Fourniret seals.
10 years old when she disappeared, Marion was long considered too young to interest the predator.
His convoluted confession in the Mouzin affair - "I recognize there a being who is no longer there by my fault" - have demolished this legend around his obsession for the virginity of young pubescent women.
This expansion of the killer's potential targets also pushes justice to consider its involvement in the murder of Anaïs Marcelli, kidnapped and then killed by asphyxiation on January 14, 1991 at the age of 10 near Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin).
"Expertises to compare the DNA of the girl with those of the Fourniret file have been ordered," confirms Edwige Roux-Morizot, the prosecutor of Mulhouse.
Several dozen testimonies collected
Other emblematic files which will benefit from a scientific re-examination: the “disappeared from the A6”. Three victims of this criminal saga of Saône-et-Loire were selected: Carole Soltysiak, a 13-year-old girl who had been raped, stabbed and whose body was discovered partially burned in Perrecy-les-Forges in 1990, Vanessa Thiellon , a 17-year-old apprentice cook also brutally beaten in Mâcon in 1999 and finally Virginie Bluzet, a 21-year-old woman found handcuffed, tied up and gagged in the Saône in 1997. The latter looked exactly like Isabelle Laville, another victim official Fourniret ...
In other unsolved cases on the list, the shadow of the Ogre of the Ardennes has long hovered.
Without ever being worried.
The fate of Nadège Desnoix, a 17-year-old girl kidnapped at the end of her high school and slaughtered in 1994 in Château-Thierry (Aisne), had thus been mentioned in 2008 during a trial of the killer.
Beyond the modus operandi which obviously recalls Fourniret's macabre tracking / docking strategies, the discovery of a rose - the killer's favorite flower - near the body has long intrigued investigators ... The trail of the serial killer had also been considered to explain the sordid murder of Karine Leroy, strangled in June 1994 in a wood of Montceaux-lès-Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), but it has never been confused.
Read alsoPetit Grégory, disappeared from the A6, Lucas Tronche ... these unsolved cases that haunt justice
Other little-known cases seem more surprising and take place very far from the Ardennes where the killer was domiciled, but according to the confessions of his ex-wife, he could go "hunting" for several days.
Thus, reconciliations have already been ordered with the case of Emmanuelle Sanchez, a 24-year-old hairdresser who disappeared in May 2001 in Colomiers (Haute-Garonne), near Toulouse.
It should be the same with that of Pascale Biegun, a 39-year-old woman who disappeared on November 3, 1999 after leaving her job in the small town of Moustey, in the Landes… Even more mysterious, is an unnamed file: a woman unidentified found dead in 1997 in Yonne and whose body has just been exhumed in order to carry out checks.
“All these comparisons will probably not always lead to Fourniret, but they must be made,” emphasizes an investigator. Even if this solves a single case, it will already be a good thing for families who are waiting for answers. In parallel with this scientific work, the gendarmerie services collected "several dozen testimonies" as part of a call for witnesses launched last November and aimed at retracing Fourniret's journey between his release from prison in 1987 and his arrest in 2003. To finally update his latest secrets?