Girl tells of escape from killer

2008-03-31 14:51

Paris - A Belgian teenager told a court on Monday that her escape from the clutches of self-confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret was like "being in a film".

"He said to me: 'shut up or I'll kill you... you must give me pleasure, if you don't give me pleasure you won't be going home'," she said as Fourniret sat in the dock and listened to her testimony.

The girl, identified in court only as Marie because at 17 years old she is still a minor, was testifying on the third day of Fourniret's trial for the kidnap, rape and murder of seven girls and women.

Marie, who is of Burundian origin, said that in June 2003 she was walking along a road in her Belgian hometown of Ciney when a Citroen van pulled up and its driver, Fourniret, asked her for directions.

Threat to kill her

He insisted she get in to show him the way, she said. When she did, Fourniret pushed her into the back of the truck and tied up her hands and feet.

"I felt like I was in a film," Marie told the court in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres near the Belgian border. Fourniret's wife, Monique Olivier, is also on trial here for one of the murders and complicity in four of the others.

Marie said that Fourniret's threat to kill her came after she started screaming and tried to resist when he began touching her breasts.

She managed to free her limbs and jump out of the van when it stopped at a junction. A passing car picked her up and drove her to a police station, where the car's driver gave police Fourniret's car number plate.

That led to Fourniret's arrest.

Killing spree

Her escape put an end to a killing spree that allegedly began in 1987.

Fourniret, 65, listened impassively as Marie testified.

Earlier Monday, the man dubbed the "Ogre of the Ardennes" repeated his threat to "boycott" the trial if it was not held behind closed doors.

When the presiding judge asked him if had anything to say about the events of June 2003, when Marie was abducted, Fourniret replied: "I am burning to talk about them but I cannot."

The court heard last week at the start of the trial how Fourniret, 65, and Olivier, 59, had made a pact that she would find virgins for him if he killed her first husband.

Fourniret is being tried for the rape and murder of six young women or teenage girls in France and one in Belgium, who were aged between 12 and 21 and who were either strangled, stabbed with a screwdriver or shot.