DNA pinpoints twelve potential new victims of serial killer

DNA pinpoints 12 potential new victims of France’s most notorious serial killer Michel Fourniret who kidnapped, raped and murdered seven young women including British student Joanna Parrish in 1990

  • Michel Fourniret was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008
  • He admitting kidnap, rape and murder of seven girls over a 14-year period
  • But French authorities are to re-open 30 cold cases that may be linked to him

Michel Fourniret, 78, (pictured) has already admitted kidnapping, raping and murdering nine girls over a 14-year period from 1987

France’s most notorious living serial killer may have killed up to 12 more victims after forensics experts pinpointed unidentified DNA on a mattress in his possession. 

Michel Fourniret, known as the Beast of the Ardennes, was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008 after admitting the kidnap, rape and murder of seven young women over a 14-year period from 1987. 

In 2018, the 78-year-old also confessed to the murder of Joanna Parrish, a Leeds University language student, who was killed in Burgundy countryside in eastern France in 1990.

But now French authorities are to re-open 30 cold cases that may be linked to the self-confessed serial killer after unidentified DNA was found on a mattress alongside traces of two of his known victims.

In August forensic experts discovered partial DNA traces of two girls Fourniret had killed – nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin and 18-year-old Céline Saison – on a mattress belonging to Fourniret’s sister.  

And after further investigation found traces of up to 12 other individuals which can now be examined with recent advances in testing.

Le Parisien reported the discovery prompted French police to review 70 cases involving potential victims that were listed shortly after Fourniret’s arrest before deciding to re-open 30. 

Fourniret’s first murder dates back to 1987 with his most recent was in 2003. 


Michel Fourniret, known as the Beast of the Ardennes, was jailed for life without the possibility of parole in May 2008 after admitting the kidnap, rape and murder of seven young women over a 14-year period from 1987 including Estelle Mouzin (left) and Joanna Parrish (right)

Lawyers, acting on behalf of victims’ families, have lodged seven individual requests for investigating magistrates to examine the new evidence.

Lawyer Corinne Herrmann said: ‘We want the DNA of all victims and disappeared girls that we represent to be compared with those found on the mattress and with all evidence under seal seized at Michel Fourniret’s home.

‘It is inconceivable that Fourniret didn’t kill other victims.’

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