Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

The Ogres of the Ardennes

[Francis Nachbar's interpreter] Excavation
began based on Fourniret's information.
Fourniret made a sketch
on a piece of paper.
"I'd start digging here."
He draws a one in a circle.
"If it's not there, go only five meters."
Then a two. "If it's really not there,
I'd be surprised, but you never know."
Then a three, that was the priority.
We dig the first hole
to a considerable depth.
Roughly a meter down.
[shutter clicks]
I'll always remember.
At 1.2 meters, I hear a scream.
[scream echoing]
I see the man driving the excavator
with his arms in the air.
The bucket is half-raised, and
These details are a little difficult,
but, in the clay-like earth,
the body is not completely a skeleton.
It looks like a gray trash bag
with a bone sticking out.
We stop. Everyone's a little frozen.
We can see that it's indeed
the body of a young girl.
Jeanne-Marie Desramault.
She was 22 years old and
was murdered in horrific circumstances.
We're all a little stunned.
There's a long silence.
We're all there looking,
and then I say to him,
"Tell me where the other bodies are.
Show us where to dig."
They found Elisabeth Brichet.
[Cédric Visart de Bocarmé]
When we move onto the Belgian case,
we are much closer to the château.
The crane is in place,
and it starts digging
where Fourniret said
he buried Elisabeth Brichet.
And, at some point, the crane stops.
[woman] At eight o'clock,
a second body was found
buried at a depth of three meters,
closer to the château.
The body of Elisabeth Brichet.
What do we see at the bottom of the hole?
An item of clothing.
A purple fabric.
Everyone working on the case
immediately recognized it
as the raincoat
that little Elisabeth was wearing
when she was abducted
on December 20th, 1989.
That's when we knew
it was definitely Elisabeth
who was just discovered in the ground.
It was hugely distressing.
Deeply saddening.
[Nachbar] Everyone was pale.
I was as pale as everyone, of course.
We got a little closer.
I was with Fourniret.
And I can see he's thinking.
He nods his head and said,
"Ah, it's so awful, so sad."
"Do you realize, Mr. Prosecutor,
that when I strangled
and killed this girl,
she was the same age
your daughter is now?"
How could he have known
that I had a daughter?
That she was, in fact, the same age?
And why would he tell me that?
So I go and see Monique Olivier,
because she was as pale as everyone else.
It was a pretty horrible sight.
And she says to me, "Oh, it's sad.
But can you see the situation I'm in?"
She was crying, showing me her handcuffs.
That was the only time
I saw Monique Olivier cry.
That was it. It's not about the other
bodies that might still be buried.
It's the fact she's in handcuffs.
That's when I really saw her,
in all her inhumanity.
I thought, "I really am
dealing with monsters here."
Michel Fourniret,
the French forest ranger,
had been charged in Belgium
for abducting minors and indecent assault.
His wife has accused him of murdering
nine children and young girls.
With at least ten murders,
usually involving rape,
experts say he is
the most prolific serial killer in France.
Whatever may have happened to Estelle,
you have to give her back to us.
[woman] The murders by the Ogre of
the Ardennes and his wife shocked Europe.
The remains of a teenage girl who
disappeared ten months ago
have been found in Belgium.
[man] The Fournirets are said
to have raped and killed young girls
in France and Belgium
in an extremely sadistic manner.
[woman] Fourniret's wife
presents as a submissive wife
who is scared of her husband,
so has not spoken up until now.
[man] She's a housewife
who helps to rape, kill and abduct.
But, in the end, she is a housewife.
[woman] The girl's body was
in the grounds of the Château de Sautou.
purchased by serial killer Michel
Fourniret under murky circumstances.
[Alain Behr] At first, they're the kind
of people who live in a kind of hovel,
who struggle to stay afloat,
who save every penny.
Two average French people
who you might find
buying their groceries at the supermarket.
He was a lumberjack,
then he was a craftsman, then a laborer.
Odd jobs to get by.
You think,
"How'd he pay for this château?"
[woman] Where did Michel Fourniret
get his fortune?
The fortune that allowed him
to acquire this 19th-century château
with 16 hectares of land?
Fourniret was a miller,
bricklayer and woodworker
before being convicted
of five sexual assaults in 1984
and incarcerated in Fleury-Mérogis prison.
In prison, Fourniret shared his cell
with a certain Hellegouarch.
[man] Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch is
like a character from a novel.
He was sentenced to death in Spain.
He was involved with Basque terrorists.
He was a robber,
as well as a major drug trafficker.
A kingpin, basically.
I met Fourniret because
he was assigned to the cell I was in.
At the time, he was really
Mr. Everybody, or Mr. Anyone.
He would stay quiet and lay low.
He had this need, as a sex offender,
to feel supported
in an environment
where people don't really like perverts.
And I think Michel Fourniret was really
impressed by Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch.
As for Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch,
to his detriment,
he got sucked in, as they say.
He definitely didn't understand
who Fourniret was.
- [buzzer sounds]
- [lock clanks]
Michel Fourniret
left Fleury-Mérogis prison
in October 1987 with Monique Olivier,
with whom he had maintained
particularly heated correspondence.
Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch
hears from an Italian gangster
about a hoard of gold bars and coins
buried in a cemetery in Val d'Oise.
It's money belonging to the Wig Gang.
A gang that held up banks
in the Paris area disguised in wigs.
This was during a time
when a lot of money was kept in banks.
Good evening.
What are the origins of the Wigs Gang?
Not a week goes by
without hearing about them.
[cash register dings]
Hello to the Wigs
and goodbye to your money.
For the third time in a week, the gang
of thugs in wigs has held up another bank.
I went in, they put a gun to my stomach,
then I put my hands up
and waited for it to end.
[woman] wearing masks
[man] Since 1980, the Wigs Gang broke into
over a thousand deposit boxes.
[woman] Dozens of diamonds set in gold
and platinum, pocket watches, jewelry,
gold coins worth more than a million
francs, blank passports, weapons,
more than 350,000 francs in cash.
Enough to survive a siege
and organize a great escape.
A great catch for the police.
Hellegouarch still had time
on his sentence,
and was worried that this hoard
would disappear, so he told his wife.
Farida Hammiche was the love of his life.
She chose to marry him
knowing his criminal history.
But he thought maybe Farida wouldn't have
the courage to retrieve the stash herself.
Monique Olivier had built a friendly
relationship with Farida Hammiche.
So he says to Farida,
"Just ask Michel Fourniret
to go and get the hoard with you."
[Hellegouarch] He's with Monique Olivier.
The fact that
there's someone else there, a woman,
that they're always together,
I didn't think it was a big risk.
That was my first mistake.
- [crickets chirping]
- [metal scraping]
[Seban] Michel Fourniret goes
with Farida Hammiche and Monique Olivier
to get the hoard.
[Espitalier] He easily recovers
several dozen kilos of gold,
gold bullion, gold coins.
There's a lot of money. A lot of gold.
Michel Fourniret thinks about it
very quickly and says to himself,
"I'm not going to share
any of this money."
It's a pretty rudimentary crime.
He needs to recover the hoard.
The person getting in the way of that
is Farida Hammiche.
Monique is there.
Farida is a bit wary,
but she reassures her.
What you need to know is that Michel
will implicate Monique in Farida's murder,
by saying
that she's the one who killed her.
We'll never really know
how the murder happened
because the body was never found.
It's his word against hers.
What we do know is that
poor Farida died in the trunk of the car,
supposedly from a bayonet.
[key turning in lock]
[Hellegouarch] Fourniret
immediately sends Monique Olivier,
who says, "Oh yeah, Farida, we haven't
heard anything. Her car has disappeared."
She implies that
Farida might have taken the loot.
She knows that Farida is dead.
She took part in her murder.
But she pretends.
She has no problem acting out this scene,
acting worried in front of this man
who has spent time in prisons
in Spain and France.
[Hellegouarch] She cried like a baby.
She was terrified.
My suspicion faded.
She completely fooled me.
[Espitalier] Later,
Hellegouarch is involved
in a completely different case
at the Quai des Orfèvres,
with a group from the criminal gang.
There, he learns that a certain Fourniret
owns a château
on the French-Belgian border near Sedan.
He bought the Château de Sautou.
One point two million in cash.
One point two million!
The penny dropped.
Fourniret, that's who they
were talking about. He's rich.
From extreme poverty,
he becomes filthy rich.
And that's when I knew it was him,
that he killed Farida.
If I'd got my hands on him,
I might have broken his kneecaps.
He writes to the courts, saying,
"My wife has disappeared."
"I am certain that
Michel Fourniret killed her."
They didn't pay much attention.
An ex-con, Jean-Pierre Hellegouarch.
And unfortunately, Michel Fourniret wasn't
pursued for Farida Hammiche's murder.
That allowed them to live off the money
from the Wigs Gang hoard for 15 years.
Michel Fourniret was able to move around
and commit crimes across France,
lock his victims up
in the château in Sautou,
and remain untraceable,
thanks to the money.
He could go off on his adventures,
go hunting, as he put it.
[woman] For months,
within a 200-kilometer radius,
several young girls have been
mysteriously disappearing or found dead.
[man] Auxerre, on the 8th of July 1988,
18-year-old Marie-Angel Domèce
left her home.
She was never seen again.
[woman] Fabien Leroy was discovered
near Mourmelon,
killed by a rifle bullet,
her body half-naked.
[man] Natacha Danais, a 13-year-old girl,
has been missing from Nantes
since Wednesday.
[woman] The worrying disappearance
of a young girl in Charleville
- [man] The search continues
- [woman] No news
Jeanne-Marie Desramault was 22.
Since March, there has been no news.
[Richard Delgenes] These are murders
over 20, 30 years.
It's frightening to see that their life
was interspersed, punctuated, by murders.
Their routine.
It's pretty surreal.
She wakes up, has a coffee,
and is living with a killer.
I always wondered,
"What do you talk about in the morning?"
They drop their kid at school,
see the doctor, go to work.
There are parties with neighbors,
they go to Communion.
A normal day-to-day,
but there are the murders as well.
[Behr] While Fourniret's out digging holes
with his excavator to bury the bodies,
she's doing laundry, making jam,
or in the house preparing dinner.
As if nothing's happened.
"Yeah, we killed someone,
but hey, life goes on."
"That's not going to stop me
from making fried eggs for my Fourniret
when he's finished burying the bodies."
[Gérard Chemla] Monique Olivier
is a housewife.
She's a housewife who helps to rape, kill
and abduct. But in the end, a housewife.
[Behr] How do you expect the neighbors
to imagine that behind
this unremarkable couple with no issues,
hides the worst criminals in recent years?
These are not people who inspire distrust.
Even more so, with the couple exploiting
the presence of their child, little Sélim,
to reassure the girls.
The au pair technique was one
of Michel Fourniret's favorites
for attracting young girls to the house.
Monique Olivier states
that an au pair was hired
to work as a babysitter for their son.
She described a scene where, one night,
Michel Fourniret went
into this au pair's bedroom.
[stairs creaking]
Screaming and crying ensued.
Monique Olivier states that
she never saw or heard from her again,
and so she assumes that
Michel Fourniret eliminated the girl.
Very extensive searches were carried out
in Belgium, in France, abroad,
but to no avail.
[woman] This is the face of the au pair
who is reported to have lived
with the Fournirets.
The adolescent, between
15 and 17 years old, is of medium build.
Her mouth and nose are delicate.
She has blonde hair cut in a bob.
[Verlaine] When we talked to Monique
about the different cases
where Michel tried to attract
young au pairs to his home,
she clearly stated that
she knew how it would end for them.
And, at a certain point, she told me that
six or seven girls
may have been in the house.
But that's all we know.
[woman] Fourniret
has been found responsible
for the murders of young babysitters.
Monique Olivier, his wife, has already
accused him
of the murder of a young au pair.
He continues to deny any involvement
in a crime against this unknown person.
Last Thursday, Monique Olivier
finished her gruesome list.
She spoke to Belgian judges
about even more babysitters,
hired and then killed
by her husband in Belgium.
[man] Monique Olivier wrote the ads
and followed precise specifications.
The young girls had to live alone,
with no parents.
Monique Olivier knew that rape, murder
and making their bodies disappear
would be what awaited them.
16 MAY 1990
[man, in English] Joanna Parish had taken
a year out of Leeds University
to teach English in Auxerre.
She disappeared after her advert
in a local newspaper
offering lessons to children.
[in English] My name is Bernard Kinsella,
I was a police officer for 30 years.
And I finished at the rank
of Detective Chief Superintendent.
So I worked on a number of murder cases.
I met the parents of Joanna,
Roger and Pauline.
And because I speak French,
I was asked if I would assist them
with the inquiries they were carrying out.
So we knew that Joanna had advertised
for English lessons in a newspaper.
[man, in English] We know she received
a response to that advertisement.
And we know that she arranged a meeting
in a well-known square
in the middle of Auxerre,
because one or two people
saw her there on that night.
Before she disappeared.
The news came later.
I was at work.
I was working in Gloucester, in my office.
And there was a telephone call.
And a man who worked there,
I could tell from his voice that
there was something drastically wrong.
So I went up
to the rooms of the welfare officer,
and there were two police officers there,
and the older man broke the news to me
that Jo's body had been found in a river.
And then, of course,
probably only five seconds,
four seconds, three seconds later
"Oh, they said 'her body'."
"So she's dead."
[Kinsella] We know that Joanna was raped.
There was sperm found during the autopsy.
Our Joanna was murdered.
Olivier explained how it happened
on the riverbank. How the van was parked.
Michel Fourniret grabbed her,
hit her with his massive hands,
which have always perturbed me.
Monique Olivier experiences this terrible
scene in the back of a small van, live.
She's in the front of the van.
She hears the screams, the whole thing.
Once again, she does nothing.
[Roger, in English]
He had a woman accomplice.
That's how he gained her confidence.
I just can't find the words.
I don't know how a human being
is able to do that.
It's alien.
[Pauline] We lost somebody
who was absolutely wonderful.
And I don't think
that everybody understands.
Um, we were told on one occasion,
by one of the captains,
he told us to go away, keep quiet,
wait till the guy does it again.
- Then they'd catch him.
- Mmm.
[Kinsella] There were no appeals
for witnesses made in the media.
So I would normally expect
someone to carry out a press conference,
be on TV, making appeals,
asking for information,
but none of that took place.
And it seemed
that very little was actually being done.
[Roger] It was mentioned to us
that a number of young women
had gone missing in that area.
And the police, or the gendarmerie,
didn't necessarily seem to care much
what had happened to them.
[radio chatter in French]
[Behr's interpreter]
At that time in Auxerre,
a young girl disappearing,
it was not a major event.
That was it. "Yeah, she disappeared.
Okay, what do you want us to do?"
With Isabelle Laville,
we have a young girl who disappeared.
And, a few kilometers away
we have Michel Fourniret,
sex offender who just got out of prison.
Something to check.
But they didn't check.
There was no investigation, no inquiry.
The case was closed
without anyone being told.
[Kinsella] Fourniret could've been
arrested and imprisoned.
Then that could have prevented
all of the other murders after that.
Including the murder of Joanna.
[Chemla] The principle of a serial killer
is that he doesn't stand out.
If he stood out,
he'd be arrested right away.
Because he's so unremarkable, he was able
to keep doing these things for so long.
[woman] Michel Fourniret and Monique
Olivier took their criminality so far,
they became the caricature
of a serial killer couple.
The way they helped each other
through their silence and their lies.
When a killer feels
they haven't been punished,
they feel omnipotent, so they do it again.
Jeanne-Marie Desramault disappeared
on the 18th of March 1989.
She was 22 years old.
18 MARCH 1989
Jeanne-Marie was studying in Charleville.
She was living
in a religious establishment.
[woman] She told us that
she had met a very nice man
that she got on very well with.
He offered to introduce her to his wife.
[Seban] A whole scenario was created
to lure Jeanne-Marie,
and Monique Olivier was very active
in the whole thing.
Because she's a woman,
it's more reassuring
to go and visit a married couple.
This couple portray themselves
as believers.
They invite her to their home.
[Herrmann] They spent some time together
with their little son, enjoying cake.
And they take her home.
Nothing happens the first time.
The second time, they kill her.
Monique Olivier told us
that she made her a coffee
and then they relaxed on the sofa.
Then, suddenly, Michel Fourniret starts
asking questions about her virginity.
Jeanne-Marie realizes that
this is crossing boundaries.
She wants to leave.
He catches her at the door.
She struggles, shouts
and is fighting for her life.
He struggles.
She's young, strong, and defends herself.
Then Monique Olivier goes to help
Michel Fourniret grab hold of her
and throw her to the ground.
She holds the woman down.
She goes to find bandages
to tape her face.
The two of them are on top of her,
strangle, suffocate and kill her.
[Seban] We believe the murder
of Jeanne-Marie Desramault
is one of the crimes where Olivier was
the most involved from start to finish.
It's a murder by a couple,
not just one man.
It's really a duet
between the two of them.
[Herrmann] It's clear to me she is in
complete agreement with her husband.
I think she felt a real perverse pleasure
in knowing what was going to
happen to those girls.
Was she jealous of those girls,
of their innocence? Naturally.
Of their purity, their beauty? Definitely.
[Seban] Monique says she is haunted
by the screams of the girls,
because several called to her for help.
I don't think she cared.
Deep down, the girls weren't her problem.
[Herrmann] It's hard to admit
you find pleasure in killing,
in abducting young girls,
in punishing them.
But, in reality, this is a woman
who chose the suffering of other women.
She likes it. She's not against it.
So, the Ogre's wife is actually an ogress.
We didn't agree. We thought
she was an accomplice to the murders,
that she had never killed someone herself.
That might not seem an important detail
to some, but it is important to her.
[Olivier] I regret a lot of things.
I put myself in the shoes of the families.
I was a cog in the wheel.
He warned me,
"You talk, you go down with me."
[sighs] How can I explain it?
I was terrified when we set off. You know?
I was I was
Yeah, I was terrorized. I was afraid.
I was always afraid of the guy.
I regret it all, but it's over,
it's too late, it's
You know that regrets don't
No, but, um
Regrets are just words, but
they don't resolve anything.
Yeah, I understand.
It's normal. Of course.
- Yeah.
- But
You shouldn't think of me as being
the same as him or put me in the same box.
[trailing off]
You realize it's hard
for the families to hear that?
- Yeah
- To them, you're just as guilty.
You understand?
[hesitating] I know, but
[Chemla] In a criminal case like this one,
the families wait
for the trial to take place.
I have clients that say, "I want
to talk to her, that's what I want."
"Mother to mother."
So, as soon I as I took on
the Fourniret case,
I started intervening, saying,
"We need to have a quick trial
to confront the accused with her actions."
"To punish her,
because she needs to be punished."
"Because we are here to show that
we counteract inhumanity with justice."
[man] Tomorrow,
in Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes
27 MARCH 2008
one of the most momentous trials
in the judicial history of France begins.
[woman] The murders
by the Ogre of the Ardennes and his wife
shocked all of Europe.
[man] The Fournirets are said
to have raped and killed young girls
in France and Belgium
in such a sadistic and meticulous manner
that it allowed them to evade justice
for a long time.
The trial began in 2008 in Charleville.
It's a small town. A small court.
I had just written
a book about serial killers
Michel Fourniret is the clear expression
of a perverted and organized
serial killer.
So, he was everything I already knew.
I wasn't particularly interested in him.
She fascinated me.
It's a real mystery. We're dealing with
a shared perversion.
Which one is the instrument of the other?
[heartbeat continues]
What interested me about the trial was
what Monique Olivier was going to tell us.
I was there to see her.
And she puts her foot in it.
She says, "When the women in the audience
find out what I went through,
they'll understand me."
Then everything changed.
[shutters clicking]
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