Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil (2023) s01e04 Episode Script

The Evil Genius

[man 1] Tomorrow,
in Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes,
one of the most momentous trials
in the judicial history of France begins.
[man 2] 400 journalists are expected
to follow Michel Fourniret's trial,
begins today in the Ardennes.
[woman] The alleged serial killer
stands trial for the rape and murder
of seven young girls
in France and Belgium spanning 15 years.
His wife, Monique Olivier,
is also charged with one of the murders
and as an accomplice in the others.
They have been described
as an "evil" couple.
[Gérard Chemla speaking French]
[interpreter] The only thing
that the trial can accomplish
is to restore humanity
to the victims whose lives he took.
We've never known a horror like this
in France. Ever.
[Francis Nachbar] I had to send a message
so society would never forget
the victims and their families.
[Richard Delgenes] Some say,
"How can you defend this?"
But I'm not affected by criminals
or by what they've done.
If I were, I wouldn't
be able to do my job.
You can't get carried away
by your emotions.
A lawyer is there to be convincing.
Otherwise, there's no point.
[Nachbar] For me, the challenge
was to get the maximum sentence
for Fourniret and Monique Olivier.
For Fourniret,
it was a foregone conclusion.
With what he had done,
he would be sentenced to life in prison.
For Monique Olivier, it wasn't as clear.
[Delgenes] Without Fourniret, Monique
would have never been a criminal.
Fourniret would still be a criminal.
He already was.
He made her like that.
Not the other way around.
She shouldn't get
the same sentence as him.
If he got life, she shouldn't.
It's just not possible.
It wasn't going to be easy.
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 and meticulous manner.
Michel 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.
The trial started in 2008.
The atmosphere was indescribable.
There were around 400 journalists
from all around the world.
There was a very large audience.
The forecourt was full.
There were big press tents
with 200 or 300 seats,
and not everyone could get in.
There was something different
about this case.
People became addicted to it straightaway.
So people who originally only
came for two days kept coming back.
[siren blaring]
When the defendants arrived,
they were protected by armed police
every morning and every evening.
High buildings all around.
There were residents
who would scream at them
and who were particularly aggressive
towards the couple.
It was a very strange atmosphere.
- [siren blaring]
- [crowd yelling and booing]
[woman] The public had a persisting hatred
towards Monique Olivier.
It actually seemed to be worse
because she was a woman.
Some people claim it's worse by saying,
"Don't you realize?
She's a mother. She's a woman."
Really? But Fourniret's a father.
Why is it worse that my client is
a woman and mother? Somehow it is.
Why is it worse that it's a woman?
I didn't understand.
But I felt it. So much hostility.
[camera shutters clicking]
[man] How do you see Monique Olivier
in relation to Fourniret?
What is the difference? Paint me a picture
of her, since you know her so well.
I think that Monique Olivier
is someone who is scared of everything.
I think she's weak.
Very weak. I think that the expert was
right when he spoke of abuse and weakness.
We're all guilty of that.
I think that Monique Olivier is weak.
She was extremely cowardly.
She looked normal, mundane. So it made
you wonder, "How is this possible?"
"How did she do it?
How did she keep doing it? And why?"
[Jean-Luc Ployé] Fourniret wasn't
the challenging part of the trial.
We knew very well
he would get 30 years in prison,
given the crimes he had committed.
The challenge was her. Monique Olivier.
Was Monique Olivier really submissive?
Was she also potentially one of
Michel Fourniret's victims, or not?
If she was under his control, the length
of her sentence couldn't be the same.
It was a considerable challenge.
MARCH 27, 2008
[woman] Chloé Triomphe,
you're following this trial
for RTL in Charleville-Mézières.
You also saw Monique Olivier
and Michel Fourniret arrive in the dock.
[Triomphe] Yes, she came in first. Olivier
had short, naturally graying blonde hair.
She wore plain sportswear.
She looked around, as far as possible,
with all eyes fixed on her.
The room was filled with the families,
lawyers, press, the public and the jurors,
all of them facing her.
Under the flashing lights,
she cast an expressionless gaze,
suddenly taking stock
of the measure of what was happening.
Monique Olivier began
the trial like a star.
This woman with badly dyed hair,
with five-centimeter roots,
who was completely gelatinous,
limp and hunched over.
She arrived with short,
elegant blonde hair, like a businesswoman.
She was unrecognizable.
She looked like a novice
about to enter a convent.
[Nachbar] She had changed physically.
She had been given advice.
But that's normal,
you try to make an impression.
She was more well-groomed,
but she was still silent.
She looked like she was wondering
why she was in the same dock as Fourniret.
[Chemla] She was a bit like
a blob of jelly.
She'd be asked a question,
and just look at you for ten minutes
as if she was trying to
find the answer to give you.
[Triomphe] She stammered and she mumbled.
It felt like she was always in a state of
shock. She often trembled when speaking.
[Delgenes] There's no need to tremble.
[Olivier stammering]
[interpreter] I, erm
I have high blood pressure.
[Delgenes] Yeah.
- You can't start trembling, okay?
- [Olivier] No, no, it'll pass. It's okay.
[bell rings]
[shutters clicking]
The hearing has begun,
please take your seats.
Please respect Michel Fourniret's wish
not to be photographed.
He will come back into the chamber
after the photos have been taken.
[Nachbar] Fourniret was loathsome
from the start.
He warned President Latapie
that he wanted a closed session,
and he made a big sign for himself
saying, "No closed session, closed mouth."
[man] He asked for a closed session,
but he also wanted to manage everything.
I thought, "The trial has finally started
and now comes the arm wrestling."
[Chemla] She immediately
puts her foot in it.
She said, "I want to explain
that I am a victim."
"And when the women in the audience
find out what I've been through,
they will understand me."
And then,
there was a sort of "Oh!" in the room.
As though Monique Olivier
could be understood.
[Triomphe] I took so many notes
during the trial.
I wrote everything down
almost word for word.
"Who is Monique Olivier?" asked the judge.
She answered, "I was a submissive wife,
never able to stand up to Fourniret.
"I always feel diminished,
inferior to others."
The president asked,
"What do you think of men?"
"I'd say that, now,
I can't stand men anymore."
"I can tell you about love.
"Loving someone and being loved by someone
is something I've never experienced."
She said that she was scared.
That she had to do what he said
and keep quiet.
She said that she wasn't allowed to talk.
And in particular, she said that after
the crimes, she had to do what he said,
and basically be transparent or disappear,
otherwise, she might be next.
So there's no doubt she lived in fear.
When I assessed Monique Olivier in 2004
every time that Monique Olivier was asked
to talk about male identity,
she identified men and masculinity
as all-powerful.
In her eyes, women have little standing
and men are right at the top.
We are more than likely dealing
with a dependent personality.
She only existed
through Michel Fourniret's desire,
who she had to follow
like a good little soldier.
[Delgenes] She has this ability
to be extremely flexible.
She's very much in tune
with the person she's talking to,
whether for good or evil.
It's her motivation.
She is really useful to someone.
I think it's strange how life brought
Fourniret such a perfect accomplice.
He said that she was as intelligent as
a lobotomized chicken,
meaning she was stupid enough to eat hay.
We're not talking about
a learning disability, but we're not far.
[Triomphe] She was a poor woman
who was a target for his perversion.
A woman who he constantly hit
and who he could manipulate.
Surely it's clear to everyone
that he had the upper hand.
He was the boss.
[woman] Get ready.
In his filmed statements,
Fourniret said in particular
that he threatened to kill Monique Olivier
and their son, Selim
if Monique Olivier turned him in.
"Stay there, don't move,
don't say anything," he said.
"That was the message
between Monique Olivier and I."
I do not believe that Monique Olivier
is a submissive person at all.
It made no sense to put that forward
as a defense,
because nobody could ever believe
that she could do such monstrous things
whilst being terrorized.
The psychiatric experts
said that they dominated each other.
I agree.
That's what I've thought since the start.
Well, typical Monique Oliver.
[woman 1] Olivier regrets not telling
the truth earlier, but she's still not.
[man] This afternoon,
psychiatric experts will take the stand.
[woman 2] A month and a half in,
experts dissect Olivier's personality,
in particular, her intelligence,
and everyone is stunned.
[creaking sound effect]
[Ployé] I'm a doctor of psychology
and a court expert.
The examining magistrate
asked me to meet with Mrs. Olivier
with the aim of determining her IQ
to see if she is, in fact,
easy to influence, suggestible,
or if she is autonomous.
We have tests for that,
which are quite precise.
They're scientific tests.
It's not like reading tea leaves.
You have blocks and you have
to make shapes with them.
We time it.
It starts with a very simple shape
you can make very quickly.
But then it gets more difficult.
This one is the average French person.
Monique Olivier
was able to make this one easily.
She did this one easily.
She did this one easily.
And she stopped here.
She got 36 out of 40.
The standard average is 11.
So, for someone who has been described
by Michel Fourniret,
and others in the files,
as someone a bit dim, et cetera,
there is a problem here.
There is another subtest called the Codes.
You have nine numbers, one to nine,
and each number corresponds to a code.
So, we asked her to memorize
the symbols, then we hid them.
We gave her some examples,
2, 1, 3, 7, 9, et cetera,
and here too, she did extremely well.
She got 76,
whilst the French average is 17.
We were surprised, but at the same time,
because we calculated and recalculated,
we were sure.
I have Monique Olivier's
original scoresheet.
She scored a remarkable result.
Luckily, I was sitting down. 131.
It's in the top 2.2%
of the French population.
The moment you realize
that Monique Olivier
has higher intelligence than Fourniret,
it's difficult to imagine
that she could be manipulated.
That completely changed everything.
I thought, "She has completely
fooled us up to now."
She completely tricked us.
When we saw that, I knew she was clever,
but I never imagined that
she had such a high level of intelligence.
And that's Monique Olivier.
She has superior intelligence.
And when you see her,
when you talk to her,
you'd give her
a lower than average IQ, frankly.
[Lapatie] If her IQ is
as high as they say,
frankly speaking,
you don't see that with the naked eye.
She must be quite the actress.
She plays the role well.
[Ployé] I considered her to be
very manipulative and extremely taciturn.
At the time, I was aware
that this was going to stir things up.
[Triomphe] Olivier was annoyed
when people spoke about her in that way.
It didn't match the image
she wanted to portray.
She got angry and protested.
She said, "It's not true.
They don't understand anything."
We had to remind her
that it was a criminal court.
That the jurors were right there
listening to it all,
and that it might impact the verdict.
An IQ of 131, that's a different story.
She's potentially the manipulator.
If she's no longer Michel's victim
the sentence will go up.
APRIL 30, 2008
[Chemla] It must have been the last day
in April, before a public holiday.
Manyana's case was discussed,
the circumstances of her death.
And I sensed that something
would be uncovered.
And since I knew that
Fourniret wasn't going to speak,
I went to talk to Monique.
I stood in the middle of the courtroom.
I talked to her.
I wanted to try and talk to her
about their sex life.
It was hard. She didn't want to talk.
I had to rattle her, tell her things.
And at the end
of this very long interrogation,
at one point, she said, "Yes, okay,
I know what you want me to say."
"You want me to say
that in our sexual relations,
I asked Mr. Fourniret to make love to me."
"You mean, you asked him to make love?"
She replied, "Yes, like the victims."
"I'd say, 'Sir, please,
would you rape me?'"
[Triomphe] The victim was made to
beg the attacker, in fact.
That's what all the victims went through.
They had to beg Fourniret to rape them
just before they died.
Something extremely violent was
revealed to everyone at that moment.
You felt a kind of dark wave
across the courtroom.
And you understood that between them,
they replayed in their sex life
the crimes that they committed.
In other words, she plays the victim
in the bedroom as well.
Because he is turned on by it,
and it turns her on to turn him on,
and that works for them.
In this pattern, she was in charge
of logistics, particularly sexually.
It should be noted that Michel
Fourniret was relatively impotent.
He found it difficult to get an erection.
So in order to rape a victim,
she had to help him.
She was with him beforehand
and she got him ready.
She would sometimes use her fingers
to check if the victims were virgins.
She said she didn't like it,
but she did it.
And that's not possible,
since she's a woman
and it's a little girl she's touching.
You see, she said this without
She had no emotion.
No emotion at all.
She stayed with him for 18 years.
That's not nothing. Clearly,
there was some perverse interest for her.
[Colette Prouvost] She could have left,
but she never did.
She could have run away
or turned him in sooner.
But she didn't. So she took
tremendous pleasure in staying there.
She enjoyed it there. It's a question
of gratification, in the end.
[Chemla] So now we have this notion
of a female sex criminal that emerges.
They worked together.
The match. The jerrycan.
[siren blaring]
I think if the devil does exist,
he may have the two faces
of Fourniret and Olivier.
Monique Olivier and Fourniret
have no humanity.
They are inhumane,
cruel and cold monsters.
When you're faced with a horror
like that, you can't be indifferent.
It deeply affects you.
I was able to pass my emotions on
to the jurors.
What we needed was to speak to
the juror's hearts and souls,
make them feel that conviction.
Because when I appeal to them,
that's my deepest conviction.
Truthfully, it's what I feel.
And I want the jurors to feel the same.
MAY 26, 2008
[man 1] The trial of Michel Fourniret
and Monique Olivier is coming to an end.
Today, we heard their closing arguments.
The prosecutor asked
for life imprisonment with no parole
for the alleged serial killer.
And life imprisonment for his wife.
[man 2] The prosecutor began the closing
arguments. The words were striking.
To Fourniret, "You are a grimacing,
grotesque clown who serves evil."
To Monique Olivier, "You have betrayed
the cause of all mothers and wives."
"Fourniret found his double.
Birds of a feather flock together."
An assassin couple compared
to Nazi barbarism by the prosecution.
"Monique Olivier is a slimy spider."
[man 3] "There is the pitiful little
Fourniret and next to him, the witch,
the inspiration, the muse for his crimes."
"Without her," said the magistrate,
"none of this would have been possible."
Monique Olivier's lawyer believes
the scope of the trial changed.
It's an indictment against Monique Olivier
that absolves Michel Fourniret.
That's all.
I went back into the room.
I saw that the prosecutor
was insulting our client.
The "spider", the "witch".
I don't know if he said "slut" but
it wasn't far off. Really foul language.
Horrible images and things.
I said, "Who cares?"
My position is that we don't care.
He can say whatever he likes,
we expected it.
When I did it, I wrote it down, thought
about it all right down to the last comma.
I stand by every word.
After eight weeks of trial, to make
Monique Olivier's involvement stick,
we have to talk about
the oral sex before the rape,
the intimate examinations
about her being indifferent
to a young girl screaming.
She made them take tranquilizers,
Rohypnol and such.
Because after me,
no one will mention it again.
[man] More than five hours
of closing arguments,
where the two defendants sat
with stony faces.
Michel Fourniret closed his eyes
without flinching.
Monique Olivier lowered her head,
trying to be forgotten.
[Delgenes] We knew
the trial would be difficult.
But now she was the focus,
all the hatred and resentment
crystallized around her.
So the whole trial's attention was on her.
She embodied it all. Michel Fourniret,
the couple. And she became the devil.
So I was the devil's advocate.
Her lawyer, Richard Delgenes,
faced seven victim families alone.
It was a difficult task.
He was representing
the woman society hates.
The woman who helped kill their children.
MAY 27, 2008
[woman] Fourniret and Olivier's trial
is coming to an end in Charleville.
The closing arguments of the defense
are next.
[Delgenes] We got 300 meters
without being spat on.
[woman laughing]
- [woman] Feel comfortable going inside?
- Yes.
But if you want to go in ahead of me,
stay ten meters ahead. I'd understand.
When you represent someone
who has killed people,
or someone who is guilty
when you stand up
to defend the person behind you,
they don't want to listen to you.
It's normal.
But you have to stand up.
When you sing in your bathroom,
it's no big deal.
When you sing in the Stade de France
in front of a crowd,
you want to sing well.
It's the same for lawyers.
You shouldn't think about it.
- [man] Mr. Delgenes?
- Yes?
We're waiting for everyone to arrive.
Richard Delgenes,
don't you feel that this afternoon,
you will have to defend the undefendable?
And how can you do that?
We're going to defend,
like we have from the start.
Everyone has to be defended.
There are things we have to say.
I hope I will be heard.
[fast heartbeat]
[Delgenes] When the time came
for the defense closing arguments,
something quite surprising happened
that I'd never seen before.
I found out the plaintiffs' families had
planned to stand when I got up to speak,
leave and exit the courtroom.
They placed a rose and photos
of the victims in front of the jurors.
This is something that is not acceptable,
because everyone has
the right to a defense.
There was a moment of tension
between the court
and the families of the defendants.
So, they left the room to avoid hearing
the arguments
from the defense for Monique Olivier.
[Mrs. Laville] We got up and we left.
That was our way of reacting.
Of saying what we thought.
Even if we couldn't say it out loud.
We said it physically, we left.
I believe that she is just as guilty,
if not more, than Michel Fourniret.
Even if she's 90 or 110 years old,
I don't want her to get out.
[Brice Longhini] She had no defense.
She was just as responsible as he was.
Fourniret was the brawn.
Olivier was the brains. The brains.
The mastermind.
[Delgenes] The victims must be respected.
But they must respect the defense.
Whether or not you are accused,
you shouldn't have to apologize
for doing your job.
That's how it is in a democracy.
Otherwise, it's a dictatorship.
[Mrs. Laville] It was our way
of paying homage to these little girls,
rather than listen to
the defense arguments
that would have paid
homage to Monique Olivier,
who we thought was even worse
worse than him.
Uh [sighs]
I said, "Okay. Leave the photos."
But I was stressed to make my defense.
I'm 35 years old, I have to plead my case.
I have other things to do than deal
with that. For me, it was inconceivable.
And so we decided to leave the photos.
That was the compromise.
So that when I spoke,
everything would be calm.
People pointed fingers at Olivier
for being a woman and a mother.
But has anyone
pointed the finger at Fourniret,
reproaching him for being a father,
for being a man?
But she isn't as you describe her,
Mr. Assistant Public Prosecutor.
I know her.
I know she's guilty.
Fourniret and Olivier will never
get out of prison, that is clear.
What I'm asking for is a distinction.
I'm asking you not to give Monique Olivier
the maximum sentence.
We're talking about a small difference,
but a symbolic one,
between the hands of a killer
and the eyes of an accomplice.
MAY 28, 2008
[Didier Seban] There was
the symbolic violence of the trial.
Anger and suffering was expressed.
Hatred was sometimes expressed.
Everything was said.
So, in a trial of this kind,
the verdict marks the end of a fight.
[man] Fourniret will die in prison.
The verdict is in.
His wife and accomplice will be released
after a 28-year prison sentence
with no parole.
It was expected. Olivier and Fourniret
have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
We're talking about a murderous couple,
a distinction the court insisted on.
This sentence had never been
handed to a female criminal before.
But it is slightly less than
Michel Fourniret's sentence,
which shows the court made a small
distinction between the two of them.
Being the devil and watching
the devil act are not the same thing.
It's not the same role.
It's the difference between
accomplice and offender.
I felt useful.
Like I played my part.
It's strange they haven't
been both given the same sentence.
Nothing will change for me.
We can't be happy.
We lost a child and
until that can be fixed,
there's no pardon for the victims.
She deserved more.
I will never forgive what they did.
Never. It's not possible.
[Longhini] But justice
will never replace a child.
It will never replace what we lost,
when you lose someone, it's for life.
That's one of the things that killed me.
Because part of me is dead too.
[Nachbar] I'm satisfied because I got the
maximum possible sentence for them both.
On both. We absolutely had to have
the most severe sentence possible.
But it's not over.
I'm convinced there are other victims.
The timeline shows there
were one or two victims per year.
But during a whole period from '90
to 2000, there's nothing. No victims.
It's not possible.
A perversion as deep-seated as that
of Fourniret and Monique Olivier
doesn't allow for a ten-year break.
[man] I met Michel Fourniret
during my pre-trial detention
in Fleury-Mérogis in 1984.
I trusted him. I had a lot
of respect for him at that time.
[man] The serial killer Michel Fourniret
and his wife, Monique Olivier,
have been sentenced to life in prison
after a grueling, nearly two-month trial
for the seven murders
of seven young girls.
I was shocked. How could he
have done something like that?
At that time,
I had to tell him what I was thinking.
I couldn't leave it there.
It wasn't possible.
Michel, you know very well
that you will never come out of prison.
It is time to make peace with yourself
and have the guts to confess
to everything that you did.
Are you brave enough, Michel?
The only thing he did was reply to me
with the sordid details of these murders.
the most terrible thing
was what came after.
It marked me for life.
He drew lines for me on blank pages,
saying that he was leaving
these empty lines
for the police to fill in for him.
[Fourniret] Here is the list of victims.
Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve.
Sixteen. Thirteen.
Seventeen. Fourteen. Eighteen.
Nineteen. Thirty.
Twenty. Twenty-two.
Twenty-one. Thirty-three.
Thirty-four. Thirty-five.
[Nachbar] Completely unbelievable.
From that moment,
the investigation picked up again.
And the only person that knew the truth
and could talk was Monique Olivier.
- [women calling out]
- [buzzer sounds]
[Delgenes] I know her, how she operates.
When she trusts, she speaks freely.
So, if we better understand how she works,
we might find it easier to talk to her.
Perhaps, if we understand her,
we might be able to solve other cases.
The result matters.
Do we want to solve these cases or not?
We have nothing without her.
Mrs. Olivier, how are you?
[Olivier, on phone] My imprisonment is
going well. I don't bother the guards. I
- [Delgenes] Tell me
- [Olivier] Yes.
What if we're asked about the other cases?
For example, the Mouzin case.
- They're looking for other cases.
- Yeah.
Are we going to keep up
this approach of helping out or not?
[Olivier sighs]
Yes, if I knew, I would say, but
You can't insist that I know. I don't.
People don't seem to understand
when I say, "I don't know,
I don't know anything about it."
They say the opposite.
They say, "Yes, you know."
Even though I don't know anything.
- I'm going to go mad.
- I I know. I know, it's
Sometimes I want to kill myself,
because then I'd be left in peace.
- Yes. But if you did know
- I want to help.
- I've always said I'll help, but
- I know.
But if you did, would you say or not?
[Olivier sniffles]
There's no reason
that I'd refuse to help.
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