Previously unknown details revealed by Monique Olivier were so distressing that – after two terrible hours – Roger Parrish, 80, and his ex-wife Pauline Murrell, 75, could bear to listen no longer.
Ogress of the Ardennes account
Patrick Proctor, the 20-year-old student’s steady boyfriend when she was killed in 1993, and her aunt, Pauline Harris, 77, also left the room.
They had heard Olivier admit that she acted as ‘bait’ to lure Joanna into the back of a van – ‘it was like a game of chess’ for her husband, serial killer and ‘Ogre of the Ardennes’ Michel Fourniret.
Two murders and a kidnap case
Olivier, who is on trial for her part in a kidnap and two murders, including that of Joanna, ignored the young woman’s desperate screams as she tried to fend off the punches rained down by Fourniret.
The family’s torment was exacerbated when Olivier recalled how Fourniret, who had a perverse obsession with defiling virgins, grilled Joanna about her sex life.
‘He asked her if she had a boyfriend,’ she told the court. ‘It must have annoyed him when she said she had, because (to him) it meant she was not a virgin. In sexuality he always wanted to be the first. That’s why he was violent and did what he did.’
By refusing to attend the late morning session, the travelling Parrish contingent were spared from sitting through the most harrowing part of the proceedings.
It came when lawyer Didier Seban tried to prick Olivier’s conscience by confronting her with photographs of Joanna.
Projected on to a screen, the first images showed the carefree young woman enjoying a day out in Paris and posing demurely.
Thrust into Olivier’s veiny, shaking hand, the second set reminded her how her victim looked after her bruised and bloated body had been fished from a river.