A French widow accused of helping her serial killer husband murder three people including one British woman has made a chilling comment in court.

Monique Olivier was married to Michel Fourniret, who became known as the 'Ogre of the Ardennes' after he was convicted of eight counts of murder following a slew of horrific crimes. He died in 2021, aged 79, before he could be brought to trial for three further murder charges.

Among the Ogre's victims was 20-year-old Leeds University student Joanna Parrish, whose naked body was found in the Yonne river in central France. The young woman was coming to the end of a placement teaching English at a lycee in Auxerre when she was raped and killed on May 17, 1990.

The 'Ogre of Ardennes' was convicted of eight murders before he died (
AFP via Getty Images)

Fourniret was jailed in 2008 for the murders of seven girls, but it took several years before he finally confessed that he had killed Ms Parrish. In a statement recalling the incident that she later retracted, Olivier told police: “Michel asked the girl if she was a virgin, if she had a boyfriend. He told her to get undressed and she refused. He hit the young girl until she was unconscious then raped her. Then he strangled her”

Olivier has admitted luring young girls to their home for her husband, and reportedly admitted to helping dispose of their bodies. In a bleak moment on the second day of her new trial, Olivier said "I acknowledge all the facts" as details were read of her charges. It was heard from the lawyers of a victim's family that there had been a "long battle" to bring her back to court.

The widow is on trial for aiding and abetting the kidnapping and murder of Joanna, as well as two other women - Marie-Angele Domece, who disappeared aged 18 from Auxerre, and nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin, whose body has never been found since she was last seen in 2003. The widow previously stood trial in 2008, where a judge described her as a "devil with two faces" and the "bloody muse" of her husband.

She is currently serving a life sentence her role in four murders and a rape committed by Fourniret, and could now face a second in the present trial. She was handed further 20 years in 2018 for her part in the killing of Farida Hammiche, the wife of one of Fourniret’s former cellmates.

Olivier first met Fourniret as a prison warder, but later divorced him after she revealed to a prosecutor in 2005 that he had killed Joanna. The parents of murder victim Joanna, Roger Parrish and Pauline Sewell, had campaigned for justice for 28 years until Fourniret finally confessed to killing the 20-year-old Gloucestershire student in 2018.