Serial killer 'confesses' to killing British student Joanna Parrish in France

Michel Fourniret 75 was already serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of seven other young women

A serial killer known as the Beast of Ardennes has confessed to the 1990 murder of a British student who was raped, strangled and bound while on a year in France for her university course.

Her body has never been found. Ms Parrish's naked body was found in the Yonne River near the town of Auxerre. Didier Seban, a lawyer for Parrish's family, tells the BBC that 75-year-old Michel Fourniret confessed to the 1990 murder of Parrish-as well as the 1988 murder of Marie-Angele Domece, whose body was never found-to judges "two to three times" over the past week.

The killer made the confessions during fresh interrogations by investigating magistrates this week and last, the lawyer said, adding that he had been summoned to be informed of the new twist in the long-running case. He has not yet been charged with the killings, according to Mr Seban. Let's hope it's something which we can take forward, ' he said.

Fourniret was the prime suspect in both cases for years.

Her murderer remained unknown despite intensive police investigations and the efforts of Mr Parrish and his ex-wife Pauline who frequently travelled to Auxerre to hand out leaflets appealing for information.

Michel Fourniret, 75, has already admitted kidnapping, raping and murdering nine girls over a 14 year period from 1987.

Joanna was working as an English teaching assistant at the Jacques-Aymot high school in Auxerre when she was killed.

Olivier was also jailed for complicity after it was revealed she would sometimes pick up the victims for him as she drove in their vehicle around the wooden Ardennes area, close to France's border with Germany, with their baby son in the backseat.

She was abducted after placing an advertisement in a local newspaper offering English lessons. "There's a hell of a difference between someone confessing to a murder and ultimately someone being convicted of that murder", he said. DNA evidence and files went missing and police were accused of not properly following up various leads.



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