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20070530: Self-confessed French ‘serial killer’ to stand trial for seven murders Reims Serial Killer News
Self-confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret has been ordered to stand trial for the murder of seven young women in France and Belgium between 1987 and 2001, a source close to the case said yesterday.

Fourniret is to be tried along with his wife and suspected accomplice Monique Olivier, 58, in Charleville Mezieres, a town in the French Ardennes region bordering Belgium, late this year or early next year.

The 65-year-old carpenter, who was arrested in Belgium in 2003 following the botched kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl, is charged with murdering six young women in France and one in Belgium, aged between 12 and 22. He is also charged on several counts of rape.

Olivier’s confessions to Belgian investigators in June 2004 led to the charges against her husband, who later admitted to several of the killings.

Nicknamed the “Monster of the Ardennes” by French and Belgian media, Fourniret has already served time behind bars, for voyeurism and assault. It was there he met Olivier, a volunteer prison visitor.

The murders date from the year of his release from that prison term. Two of the bodies were found buried on a country estate in northern France that he and Olivier had bought.

Last July he led investigators to the remains of one of his suspected victims, 17-year-old Isabelle Laville, who was raped and murdered in 1987 and whose body was dumped down a well.

Prosecutors are also still looking to see if they can find links between Fourniret and two other murder/missing person cases, including that of Joanna Parrish, a 20-year-old Briton who was raped and killed in 1990.

 

20060203: Did "the Ogre" murder our Joanna too? Paris Serial Killer News

POLICE are questioning a serial killer over the rape and murder of British student Joanna Parrish 16 years ago in France.

Michel Fourniret, dubbed The Ogre of Ardennes, is suspected of slaughtering the 20-year-old in 1990 and dumping her body in a river.

He has so far refused to talk about the killing, but Joanna's parents Roger and Pauline are now hopeful of a breakthrough after detectives began interviewing him this week.

But the investigation has been hampered by DNA blunders. Police have still not carried out tests comparing the killer's DNA with Fourniret's. There are rumours that samples from Joanna's body have been lost or damaged.

Roger said: "Not knowing is hard and all the evidence points to Fourniret.

"But he won't admit to killing our daughter and the police can't even get a DNA test to prove it. I am astounded that in this day and age it's not possible."

Fourniret, 65, has admitted raping and killing nine women in France and Belgium but detectives believe he could be behind up to 50 murders.

In 2004 his wife Monique Olivier confessed she was involved in his crimes and told police he murdered Joanne, from Gloucestershire.

A source close to the inquiry said: "Fourniret is a cunning man. He has only confessed to murders when he has been confronted with proof. In the case of Joanna a positive DNA match may force him to admit killing her.

"But for some reason there have been delays in getting the tests done."

Legal investigator Corinne Hermann added: "There have been unacceptable delays in this investigation which have only increased the pain and suffering the parents of Joanna have been forced to endure.

"In the light of Monique Olivier's confession I firmly believe Michel Fourniret killed Joanna." Language student Joanna's strangled body was found on May 17, 1990 near Auxerre, Burgundy.

She had arrived in France the previous year to teach English.

Fourniret and his wife were living near Auxerre when she died. Two people were spotted close to the murder scene in a van.

One fitted former commando Fourniret's description. Olivier has claimed she stopped to pick up Joanne in her car and further along the road got her husband who then attacked the victim.

She also told police her husband may have been a serial killer for 20 years. He has spent time in jail for sex crimes and rapes dating back to the 60s.

Fourniret's murder spree ended in 2003 after a victim fled his clutches and called police who arrested him.

 

20060131: Lid lifted on links in infamous French serial killer cases Paris Serial Killer News
Quiet and bespectacled, Christian Ranucci was a passive young man, even on the day of his execution.

In the pre-dawn hours of July 28, 1976, as a mob of of reporters and photographers waited outside, the 22-year-old was woken at his cell in Marseilles Les Baumettes Prison.

Refusing the final rituals - the glass of rum, the offer of a priest and a last cigarette - the young man went to the guillotine with a lamb-like acquiescence. His final words to his lawyer were: "Clear my name."

Thus Ranucci was beheaded. And for a brief while, the tabloids exulted that punishment had been exacted for the death of Maria-Dolores Rambla, an 8-year-old girl who had been abducted from a Marseilles housing estate in June 1974. Her body, stabbed 15 times and bashed with rocks, was found dumped in a creek.

But little by little, the worm of doubt worked its way into the certainty that Ranucci was guilty. A crusading writer, Gilles Perrault, dug out a mass of flaws about Ranucci's interrogation, found gaps or anomalies in the evidence against him and in the conduct of the trial. Perrault's best-selling book, Le Pull-over Rouge was turned into a film of the same name, and they helped to destroy the death penalty in France.

Only two more men were guillotined before President Francois Mitterrand scrapped capital punishment in September 1981 in one of his first acts in office.

Today, nearly 30 years after Ranucci made his walk to the guillotine, the controversy has stirred anew.

And the astonishing implication is that Rambla's murderer is a man now facing trial for one of Europe's most notorious strings of killings.

Not only that: he coolly attended Ranucci's trial, and watched as the young man was convicted and sentenced to death.

The new lead comes from Belgian police who are probing the past of Michel Fourniret, a woodcutter from Belgium's Ardennes region.

Fourniret, 63, is being held in France on charges of killing seven girls and raping or attempting to rape three others, in a long trail of horror on both sides of the border.

Belgian investigators believe Fourniret went on holiday in the Marseilles region every year from 1970 to 1974 - the year that Rambla was killed. He also had a Peugeot 304 - a car almost identical to Ranucci's Peugeot 304.

The rear of both vehicles is very similar to the Simca 1100, the model of car implicated by two witnesses who said that the driver of this vehicle, on the day of Maria-Dolores's abduction, tried to coax children to get inside. The driver of this car wore a red pull-over that was later found by a roadside; the garment was several sizes too small for Ranucci, according to Perrault.

But, the Brussels daily Le Soir reports, the most remarkable find has been the discovery of a photo, taken by a Marseille press photographer at the Aix courthouse in March 1976. There, among the crowd, is a bearded man with glasses said to bear an uncanny resemblance to Fourniret.

French prosecutors say they will diligently follow both tips. But their initial response is scepticism about whether Fourniret was in southern France at the key date; they say they have yet to see the photo; and they note that the method of Rambla's murder was different from Fourniret's preferred style - strangulation.

Perrault predicts calls for the Ranucci case to be reopened wouldn't get very far.

"I can't see the police jumping up and down with enthusiasm about the prospect of delving into an inquiry which was botched by the Marseille police at that time. And don't forget that a President [Valery Giscard d'Estaing] who is still alive refused to issue a reprieve and Ranucci was sent to the guillotine. In my opinion, there will be a big temptation to drop it."
 

20060120: Serial killer suspect in 1974 slaying Brussels Serial Killer News

French newspapers are speculating about whether a confessed serial killer could have killed a young girl in Marseille in June 1974.

Another man was convicted of the crime and executed two years later.

Michel Fourniret was reportedly in the Marseille area when 8-year-old Maria Dolores Rambla was killed, the Flemish news service VRT reported. He was about the same age and drove a similar make of car as Christian Ranucci of Nice, the man who was arrested for the crime.

Ranucci confessed after a long interrogation. He later retracted his confession and denied the killing until his execution.

Fourniret has admitted to or is a suspect in the killings of at least 13 young women in Belgium and France. He has been extradited from Belgium to France to stand trial with his wife.

 

20060110: Alleged serial killer extradited to France Paris Serial Killer News

A self-confessed French serial killer believed to have murdered at least seven young women over a 15-year period was extradited on Monday from Belgium to his native France to face trial.

Journalists saw 63-year-old carpenter Michel Fourniret, cuffed and wearing ski goggles to disorient him, handed over to French authorities after arriving at the French-Belgian border in one of two grey unmarked Belgian police cars.

He was then taken to jail in the town of Chalons-en-Champagne, where he was to await his trial expected to take place in Charleville-Mezieres, in the French Ardennes region bordering Belgium, in the second half of this year.

Fourniret had been held in custody in Belgium since June 2003, when he was arrested for the attempted abduction of a 13-year-old Belgian girl.

He is accused of having committed seven murders -- six in France and one in Belgium -- between 1987 and 2001.

His wife, 57-year-old Monique Olivier, was extradited to France early in December. She had been detained in Belgium for more than a year, and faces charges of complicity linked to a number of the murders.

Olivier's confessions in June 2004, a year after Fourniret's arrest, led to the charges against her husband.

He himself has subsequently confessed to some killings, and judicial authorities in France and Belgium have agreed that a first trial should be held in France.

"I want the trial to be as rapid as possible, but I also want it to be based on as solid a case as possible," the state prosecutor, Francis Nachbar, told reporters.

Nachbar added that investigations were ongoing into the murders in France, with re-enactments scheduled for the coming months.

Beyond the crimes of which he is accused, police also suspect Fourniret -- nicknamed the "Monster of the Ardennes" in the media -- of the murder of six other young women and girls on both sides of the border, although insufficient evidence has been found to add those to the charge sheet.

Nevertheless, prosecutors are looking to see if they can find links between Fourniret and three other murder/missing person cases, including that of Joanna Parrish, a 20-year-old Briton who was raped and killed in 1990.

Fourniret has already served time behind bars, for voyeurism and assault. It was there he met Olivier, a volunteer prison visitor.

The murders of which he is accused date from the year of his release from that prison term. Two of the bodies were found buried on a country estate in northern France that he and Olivier had bought.

The stepfather of one of the seven victims, a 13-year-old girl named Manyama Thupong whose body was found in Belgium in 2002, said on Monday that justice was too long in coming.

The extradition, he said, had been carried out three months later than expected, and there were some suggestions the trial might not even start until 2007.

"It's just not possible for us to wait so long. We want the trial to go ahead as planned in September," he said.

 

20060109: Serial killer Fourniret leaves Belgium to face trial in France Brussels Serial Killer News
Serial killer Michel Fourniret was extradited on Monday to France to face trial for the murders of seven young women. The Frenchman has been held in Vorst in Belgium since his arrest in June 2003. Last year, Belgian and French authorities agreed to stage a joint trial, conducted in France since most of the murders took place there. His wife Monique Olivier, who was extradited to France in December, will stand trial with him on charges of assisting in some of his crimes. On Monday, at around 11am, two unmarked Belgian police cars drove to Brûly, the former border control with France. Fourniret, who was in one of the cars, was formally extradited to France, under the terms of a court order, signed by justice minister Laurette Onkelinx. The self-confessed killer was accompanied by Dinant's public prosecutor, Arnould d'Aspremont Lynden, and by the head of the Dinant investigation into the case, Jacques Fagnard. The Belgians were met at the border by the French team that has been investigating Fourniret's crimes: prosecutor Francis Nachbar and investigating judges Devigne and Trebaubert. After his extradition Fourniret was taken to the Palace of Justice in Charleville-Mezieres where he was formally charged for the murders of six French women and Belgian Elisabeth Brichet, between 1987 and 2001. Until his trial, Fourniret will be kept in prison at Chalons-en-Champagne in Champagne-Ardenne. The 63-year-old Frenchman's trial is scheduled to take place this spring at Charleville-Mezieres. However, the inquiries into Fourniret's crimes are far from over. Fourniret is suspected of at least another six murders.
 

20051207: Serial killer's wife extradited Brussels Serial Killer News

BELGIUM extradited the wife of self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret to France today where she is to stand trial on charges of helping him murder at least three of his nine victims.

A blindfolded Monique Olivier was shown on a local television network walking with a police escort across the border where French authorities waited to take her to jail.

Fourniret, a French citizen, has confessed to killing at least nine women in Belgium and France over a 15-year period.

He has protested against plans to extradite him and his lawyer has succeeded in delaying a transfer.

Fourniret and Olivier have been held for more than a year in a prison in the southern Belgian town of Dinant where they have been interrogated by Belgian and French investigators.

Fourniret was arrested in Belgium in 2003 for trying to kidnap a girl.

A Belgian public prosecutor said in June Brussels planned to extradite Fourniret and his wife for trial in France later in 2005 but gave no specific date.

 

20050930: A Superior Court judge in Toms River ruled Thursday that the jury in the trial of a man accused of k Brussels Serial Killer News
The trial of the serial killer Michel Fourniret and wife Monique Olivier is likely to be postponed, it was reported on Friday.

The 63-year-old Frenchman, who is being held in Belgium, was due to be tried in France next May for the murders of six French girls and the Belgian 12-year-old Elisabeth Brichet. His wife faces charges of helping him in the killings.

On Friday, it was reported that the extradition procedure has been delayed, pushing back the trial date.

The public prosecutor of Charleville-Mezieres, Francis Nachbar, said Fourniret had asked for additional studies to be carried out, meaning his extradition due this month is taking longer than originally expected.

Fourniret has been held in Belgian custody since June 2003 when he was arrested for trying to kidnap a teenager. He has confessed to seven murders so far.

French and Belgian police have carried out separate investigations into Fourniret's crimes, carrying out a number of crime reconstructions and searches for bodies in both France and Belgium, including at the couple's previous home in Sart-Custinne in the Belgian Ardennes.

 

20050922: Letters reveal serial killer's wife "played role in finding victims" Paris Serial Killer News

LETTERS written by the wife of self-confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret show she played an active role in the string of murders and rapes of young girls committed by her husband, even signing a pact to supply him with victims to satisfy his sick fantasies, a judicial source said yesterday.

Fourniret has confessed to six murders, but investigators believe he may have killed up to 19 people, mainly girls and young women, between 1987 and 2003. Fourniret, 63, a convicted rapist, appears to have benefited from poor surveillance by authorities following his release from jail, even managing to get a job as the caretaker of a Belgian school.

Despite his criminal record, no-one linked Fourniret with the disappearance of numerous young girls around the French-Belgian border until his wife, Monique Olivier, turned him in to Belgian police in the wake of the trial of paedophile and child killer Marc Dutroux.

Olivier had apparently become fearful for her future after learning of the 30-year sentence handed down to Dutroux's wife.

Olivier, 56, was arrested along with her husband on suspicion of aiding him, but until now investigators say she has played the role of submissive partner, dominated by a violent husband.

However, letters discovered by Belgian investigators allegedly show Olivier was a willing participant in Fourniret's crimes. In one, Fourniret writes of his intention to kill Olivier's two previous husbands once he is free and she replies she will supply him with young female virgins in return.

Philippe Morandini, the Belgian deputy public prosecutor of Dinant, said: "This woman has her own role to play in the construction of this criminal couple."

 

20050921: Letters found in serial killer's house Brussels Serial Killer News

Letters found by Belgian police in a house belonging to admitted serial killer Michel Fourniret suggest that his wife took an active part in his crimes.

Fourniret is believed to have killed at least 20 young women in Belgium and France. His wife, Monique Olivier, has said that she knew he was a killer but she was not involved in his crimes.

The newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws said that in one letter Olivier offered to find women for Fourniret if he would kill her two previous husbands.

Fourniret wrote to his wife from prison, which led one of his defense lawyers to doubt the letters' authenticity.

"It does not match the profile of my client to send such a letter in jail, because he must have known his post was being watched," Bernard Castaigne said.

 

20050803: Serial killer had list of possible victims Brussels Serial Killer News
A Belgian newspaper reported Wednesday that a confessed French serial killer had a list of foreign students. Expatica reports that Michel Fourniret's students on the list were all enrolled at the University of Liege in Wallonia, Belgium. Prosecutors are trying to contact the students to see if Fourniret attempted to or successfully attacked them. He allegedly tried to kidnap a nurse at the Free University of Brussels academic hospital. Fourniret, a French forest warden, will be tried in France. He is accused of murders in both France and Belgium.
 

20050312: French Serial Killer's Wife Under Arrest Brussels Serial Killer News
Belgian investigators have arrested the wife of self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret for allegedly helping her husband kill three young women, the Belga news agency is reporting.

Investigators put Monique Olivier under formal arrest after she confessed to having lured the three to her home with the knowledge that her husband would kill them, the agency said on Friday.

Olivier hired them separately to work as au pairs or nannies at her home between July 1992 and January 1997, it said, quoting Public Prosecutor Arnoud d'Aspremont Lynden.

Justice officials could not be reached for comment.

Belgian and French investigators are investigating the 63-year-old Frenchman Fourniret for the murders of several women. He has confessed to killing nine over a period of 15 years.

Fourniret was arrested in Belgium in 2003 for trying to kidnap a girl. His wife was arrested soon afterwards.

The pair are being held and interrogated in the southern Belgian town of Dinant.

French investigators hope to try Fourniret and his wife in France in early 2006.
 

20050303: Wife of serial killer says there were 6 other victims, raising total to 19 Brussels Serial Killer News

The wife of the "Ardennes serial killer", Michel Fourniret, has accused him of abducting and killing another six young women, bringing the number of his suspected victims to 20.

In testimony last month, Monique Olivier, who admits helping Fourniret to trap many of his victims, had already added four other alleged murders to an original list of 10.

On the basis of the evidence given by Mme Olivier, one of those four victims is believed to have been Joanna Parrish, 21, a Leeds University student, who was murdered in Burgundy in 1990. Ms Parrish, who was working as a teaching assiatant in Auxerre, disappeared after arranging to meet a man who responded to an advertisement she placed offering English lessons.

Fourniret, 62, has admitted eight murders in France and Belgium between 1987 and 2001. Investigators on both sides of the border - who will meet to compare notes next week - have suspected for months that he may be responsible for many more crimes.

He was arrested in June 2003after a failed attempt to kidnap a teenage girl near Dinant. His wife came forward last June to accuse him of 10 murders, including two with financial motives. He has confessed to eight. Since then, Fourniret has boasted that he had "hunted" and murdered two young women a year.

Investigators say Fourniret has strongly denied his wife's most recent accusations. However, the details given by his wife closely match those of the abduction and death of Ms Parrish. Mme Olivier told investigators that a young woman had been picked up near Auxerre railway station in 1990 and that her bound body had been thrown into a river. These facts fit the circumstances of Ms Parrish's killing.

But the descriptions of the six further killings listed by Mme Olivier this week were much more vague. She said simply that the women had been kidnapped and then murdered at their home at Sart-Custine in the Belgian Ardennes.

Philippe Morandini, an investigating magistrate in the Belgian town of Dinant, said: "It is only a statement. I cannot say whether it is well founded."

M. Fourniret, the son of a steelworker, who has never had a steady job, has a string of convictions for sexual assault and rape in France in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Despite his criminal record, he was freed early from jail after an additional rape conviction in 1987.

Fourniret's 16 years of undetected murders, following his previous convictions, are posing a string of embarrassing questions for the French and Belgian police and judicial systems.

Many want to know why, despite a long record of sexual crimes, he was let out of jail so soon without any attempt to track his movements. Until Mme Olivier came forward, the French and Belgian police were not even aware that a serial killer was operating across their border.

Many of the crimes - including the murder of Ms Parrish - had been investigated separately and the files closed as unsolved.

Fourniret is a skilful chess player and a man who likes to talk in complex, formal French, with many subjunctive verbs and sub-clauses. Since his arrest last year he has played mind and verbal games with Belgian and French investigators. His wife, who met him in jail where she worked as a voluntary prison visitor, has admitted helping him trap many of his victims and watching as he raped and murdered them.

 

20050216: French serial killer murdered more Paris Serial Killer News
The wife of self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret has implicated him in two more murders in France in 1988 and 1990, including the unsolved killing of a 20-year-old British woman, a prosecutor says.

French judges earlier this month placed the 63-year-old Frenchman under investigation for the murder of six other women between 1987 and 2001, one step short of pressing charges under French law.

His wife Monique Olivier, 53, is also being investigated on suspicion of being an accomplice in three cases.

She told investigators in Belgium -- where the couple is being held -- that her husband had killed two more women, French public prosecutor Yves Charpenel said.

Fourniret, who was questioned by French judges about his wife's allegation, denied he had anything to do with the disappearance of Marie-Angele Domece in 1988 and the murder of Briton Joanna Parrish, found strangled in a river in May 1990.

"He lost his temper and said he refused to hear the statements of his wife, saying they did not matter to him," Charpenel told Reuters on Wednesday.

Charpenel said Olivier's statements were being taken seriously by investigators.

"Monique Olivier gave extremely detailed accounts of two crimes, which she says she witnessed. These accounts match the facts already known by judges in the two cases," he said.

Both women went missing in the department of Yonne in central France, where another serial killer, Emile Louis, was convicted last year of murdering seven women between 1975 and 1979.

Most of Louis's victims were mentally handicapped women, as was Domece, although it was not clear if she was a resident at the same centre as the others. Her case file was closed in 1989 but reopened in 2002 to allow for new evidence to be submitted.

Parrish's murder made headlines in Britain. She was drugged, tied up and raped before she died.

Fourniret was arrested in Belgium in 2003 accused of trying to kidnap a girl. Since then, he has confessed to killing nine people in the past 15 years. Three cases are under investigation in Belgium.

Charpenel said earlier this month he hoped to try Fourniret and his wife in France in early 2006. French judges will now attempt to determine whether they can include the two additional murders in the list of charges against Fourniret.

 

20050216: Beast´s wife confesses three more murders Paris Serial Killer News
The former wife of self-confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret has confessed that the couple committed the hitherto unsolved abduction, rape and murder of British student teacher Joanna Parrish in the Burgundy town of Auxerre in 1990.

The failed official investigation into the murder has become notorious in Britain, with allegations of incompetence and corruption fuelled by a backdrop of dozens of unsolved murders and disappearances of young women in the same small area of Burgundy, called the Yonne, which lies 160 kilometres south of Paris.

Joanna's father, Roger Parrish, who has denounced long periods of inactivity and repeated bungling by the French investigators, gave a cautious reaction to the news Wednesday: "We don't know what to make of the claims because we have been offered no guidance as to their possible veracity," he said.

Fourniret, 62, a convicted serial rapist, last year confessed to a total of nine murders across France and in Belgium during the 1980s and early 90s after similar denunciations early summer by his ex-wife, Monique Olivet.

Monique Olivier, 53, made the confession on Monday when she also claimed she was present when her husband abducted and murdered a 19 year-old French woman, Marie-Ange Domece, also in Auxerre, two years before Joanna's murder. The body of Domece, who disappeared after walking along a road to the central Auxerre railway station in 1988, has never been found.

Fourniret and Olivier are currently being held in preventive detention in Belgium, where they were arrested for two murders and an attempted kidnapping in 2003.

French public prosecutor Francis Nachbar told Expatica France that Olivier made the confessions when he and a team of detectives from the French police, the SRPJ (judicial police) based in Reims, questioned her in Belgium under the terms of a commission rogatoire.

He said Olivier did not mention either the names of Joanna Parrish or Marie-Ange Domece, but that her descriptions of the crimes made it immediately obvious she was referring to both. She reportedly admitted participating in the abduction of the victims, just as she has also previously confessed to aiding her former husband in other killings and rapes.  

In most of the cases, and in the Parrish and Domece cases in particular, Olivier says she was present in the van the couple used, intended to reassure Fourniret's victims who she has claimed were often chosen by her husband in a sudden decision. 

Nachbar is the public prosecutor for the north eastern town of Charleville-Mezieres, in the French Ardennes, where the magistrates heading the investigation into all of Fourniret's alleged crimes in France are based. The town was the scene of the abduction and murder of another of Fourniret's alleged victims, 22 year-old Jeanne-Marie Desramault, in 1989.

Fourniret and Olivier moved to the French Ardennes region in 1989 from a temporary home with Olivet's parents in a village close to Auxerre, where they lived for two years. Olivet met Fourniret as a prison visitor when he was serving a sentence for a series of rapes near Paris, and the couple moved to the Auxerre region after he was released.

Fourniret has already admitted, after denunciation last year by Olivet, to murdering 17 year-old schoolgirl Isabelle Laville in Auxerre in 1987, one of several dozen unsolved cases of disappearances in the region which were shelved by the Auxerre investigators.

He has similarly confirmed his former wife's allegations of a series of sexual attacks and murders around France, the victims aged between 11 and 22 years old.

Nachbar said Fourniret denied involvement in the murders of Parrish and Domece when he was subsequently questioned Tuesday. Nachbar told Expatica France that Fourniret has previously confirmed Olivier's allegations only after a period of reflection.

Joanna Parrish, who was serving a one-year Leeds university undergraduate post as an English language teaching assistant in Auxerre, disappeared on May 16, 1990 after she went to meet a man who had answered an advert she placed locally to give private language lessons. She had an early evening appointment in central Auxerre, but was never seen alive again after leaving her flat at the Jacques Amyot secondary school where she taught.

Her naked body was found the next morning in the village of Moneteau, close to Auxerre, floating in the river Yonne. She had been severely battered, raped and strangled.

Joanna's parents, Roger, 62, and Pauline, 59, together with their son Barney, 32, have since led a tireless campaign for justice, including a number of private initiatives for witness appeals and leading their own investigation after what they have denounced as an ineffective and insensitive official enquiry. They have slammed the French-led investigation, based in Auxerre, for losing vital evidence, mislaying statements and failing to pursue obvious leads.

"We can't understand that Fourniret, with a string of convictions for rape, was able to avoid becoming a suspect in Joanna's case, and that of other unsolved attacks and murders in the region, despite the fact that he lived in the area," said Roger Parrish Wednesday, speaking from his home close to Gloucester.

Nachbar, who called a press conference Wednesday in Charleville-Mezieres, said Olivier had backed up her allegations with convincing detail.

But when questioned by Expatica France about the case of Joanna Parrish, he was unable to offer evidence of this beyond the fact that Olivier had said Joanna was bound hand and foot and that her body was thrown into the river Yonne, all of which were details widely reported in the press in France and Britain.

Joanna's parents voiced their anger and dismay Wednesday that they had received no information about Olivet's confessions beyond a brief word from their Paris-based lawyers, alerted by Nachbar, that a press conference was to be held later in the day.

They now face an agonising wait to discover whether the confessions and accusations can be given credence. Nachbar admitted it could take several weeks "at least" before they can see exactly what Olivet said during the questioning on Monday.

They will hope to do so, as is their right under French law, as soon as their Paris lawyers obtain a copy of Olivet's statement. Meanwhile they complain they have had no advice as to why the French authorities apparently believe the statements to be accurate.

In a statement released in Britain late Wednesday, they admit to being painfully divided in their reaction to the revelations.

"The only way that we have received any news so far is from our own personal contacts in France.

"We are once again dismayed that we are being left in a state of limbo, but this follows the pattern of the way that we have been treated by the French authorities over the last 15 years.

"Over the years there have been many revelations and we have learned to be guarded and are so on this occasion.

"For the moment we will have to reserve our judgment. This is a difficult period and we are feeling a mixture of emotions.

"If the news is positively confirmed we will obviously have a great sense of relief amongst other strong feelings."

 

20050131: French quiz serial killer Fourniret in Belgium Dinant Serial Killer News
French justice officials arrived Monday in southern Belgium to place self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret under judicial investigation for six murders, a key step before charges are laid.

The six killings are among eight murders and an attempted slaying to which he has admitted and a ninth murder for which his wife has blamed him.

The French investigating magistrates and a prosecutor arrived at the court in Dinant where they are to quiz Fourniret, a 62-year-old Frenchman.

Fourniret is being held at Dinant because he has already been charged with the murders of two girls in the country, but the six cases being investigated by the French officials were all on French soil.

All of the victims were female, several of them young girls. The crimes date back to 1987.

Under French law a judicial investigation normally precedes formal charges.

A judicial source said Fourniret was likely to be interviewed until Thursday.

Fourniret was placed under investigation Monday for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 13-year-old Mananya Thumpong, who vanished in northeast France in May 2001 and whose body was recovered in the Belgian Ardennes the following March.

In the coming days, he is also due to be placed under investigation over the murders of Isabelle Laville in 1987, Fabienne Leroy in 1988, Jeanne-Marie Desramault in 1989, Natacha Danais in 1990 and Celine Saison in 2000.

His wife Monique Olivier, 55, who is also being held in custody in Belgium, was also due to be placed under judicial investigation for complicity in the four earliest of the six murders Fourniret is being questioned about.

She was placed under investigation Monday over the death of Natasha Danais, who was kidnapped and found dead on a beach in western France in 1990, according to the French prosecutor, Francis Nachbar.

The Belgian royal prosecutor in Dinant, Arnoud d'Aspremont Lynden, placed the pair under investigation on behalf of the French authorities, in what he said was the first such example of cross border police cooperation in Europe.

Nachbar said that Fourniret had behaved in a "very calm and collected" manner, had "agreed to answer the questions" of the Belgian prosecutor and had "confirmed his earlier statements."

Fourniret denies both the accusations of rape and premeditation in Thumpong's death, Nachbar said.

However, Nachbar said that Fourniret's wife's "recollections are flawed concerning vital parts of the investigation.

Lawyers representing Olivier told AFP she had seemed "extremely tense, stressed and introverted," when they met with her before the weekend.

Nachbar said that the questioning would enable the French authorities to carry out "further investigations, searches and reconstitution work," leading to the pair's possible extradition to France within 18 months.

 

20041125: French 'serial killer victim' found alive Reims Serial Killer News
A salesman that a self-confessed French serial killer claimed to have shot dead in the late 1980s has been found alive as he was only wounded in the assault, a prosecutor in northeast France told AFP on Thursday. ..The man, one of nine people that Michel Fourniret has confessed to killing in France and Belgium, had been the victim of a shooting incident at a highway parking area south of Paris in 1987. ..The salesman, who is now retired, tried to press charges at the time but the case was closed for lack of evidence. .."In actual fact, the man that Fourniret had left for dead was really only injured," said Yves Charpenel, prosecutor general in the city of Reims. . .Fourniret, who has admitted to killing nine people in France and Belgium in the late 1980s, seven of them young girls, took part last month in the reconstruction of the alleged abduction of one of his victims. ..Fourniret, 62, was arrested in Belgium in June last year over the abduction of minors and sexual misconduct. It is expected that he will eventually face trial in France, where most of the killings took place... .
 

20041017: Self-confessed French serial killer and wife in reconstruction of girl’s abduction Namur Serial Killer News
A Frenchman who has admitted killing nine people in France and Belgium - seven of them young girls - on Sunday took part in the reconstruction of the alleged abduction of one of his victims. ..Michel Fourniret was accompanied by his estranged wife Monique Olivier in the reconstruction organised to establish whether of not there was premeditation in the abduction of Elisabeth Brichet, 12, in 1989. ..Fourniret remained in an armoured car throughout the reconstruction. Olivier, handcuffed and wearing a bullet-proof vest, walked the length of the crime scene. .."Both perfectly recognised the place. Michel Fourniret provided all the necessary information from the car. We can only confirm the version of events advanced up to this . . point," said prosecutor Cedric Visart de Bocarme. ..Fourniret, 62, was arrested in Belgium in June last year over the abduction of minors and sexual misconduct. He has admitted to nine murders in France and Belgium. ..According to both Fourniret and Olivier's confessions, Fourniret lured Elisabeth into his car outside her home in Namur before driving her to one of his homes in Floing, in northeastern France, where he sexually assaulted her. ..He then allegedly took her to another of his properties, the nearby Sautou castle, where he sexually assaulted her for a second time before killing her and burying the body. Police discovered her remains on July 3. ..Olivier claims Fourniret also murdered an au pair hired by the couple in 1993. The girl's identity remains a mystery. ..It is expected that Fourniret will eventually face trial in France, where most of the murders took place... .
 

20041001: Belgian officials deny new serial killer confessions Brussels Serial Killer News
Belgian investigators on Friday denied a newspaper report that self-confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret has confessed to more rapes and murders...The French daily Le Parisien reported on Friday that Fourniret, who has already confessed to 10 murders, last week admitted there were more Belgian and French victims between 1990 and 2000...The paper cited an unnamed source it described as being "close to the enquiry"..."This is an enormous breakthrough in the investigation," the source was quoted as saying. "Michel Fourniret has spontaneously given us a number of detailed elements on rapes and perhaps murders that he committed between 1990 and 2000 in France and Belgium….He therefore never stopped and continued his crimes at the rate of two a . . year."..Le Parisien also said that Dinant police detective Jacques Fagnart and a French investigator from Charleville-Mezieres had managed to extract some of the most important confessions from the Frenchman who has been dubbed "the second Dutroux"...However, Dinant prosecutors denied the Le Parisien’s report adding that investigations were continuing... .
 

20040923: Belgians dig up woodland in search of French serial killer’s au pair Sart-Custinne Serial Killer News
Belgian investigators failed Thursday to unearth the remains of an au pair girl believed to have been the 10th victim of French self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret. ..Two mechanical diggers worked in driving rain and churning mud near a property owned by Fourniret here, deep in the Ardennes woods near the border with France, without success. .."No result," said state prosecutor Arnould d'Aspremont Lynden, while insisting the search would continue, perhaps next in a pond a few kilometres (miles) away. .."We are determined. We go on. It would be too simple to find her straight away," he said. ..Fourniret, 62, was arrested in Belgium in June last year for abduction of minors and sexual . . misconduct. He has admitted to nine murders - those of eight women and girls and of one man - in France and Belgium. ..But the carpenter has denied claims by his estranged wife that he also murdered an au pair hired by the couple in 1993. The girl's identity remains a mystery. ..He has persistently told police he did not kill anyone between 1990 and 2000, but investigators remain sceptical. ..It is expected that Fourniret will eventually face trial in France, where most of the murders took place... .
 

20040922: Alleged French serial killer “fit for trial” Brussels Serial Killer News
Psychiatrists have determined that an alleged French serial killer nicknamed the "Ogre of the Ardennes" is mentally fit to stand trial, a report said Friday. ..Michel Fourniret, accused of killing 10 people in France and Belgium between 1987 and 2001, "is totally responsible and does not need to be interned" in a mental institution, said the daily Le Soir. ..The 62-year-old carpenter was arrested in Belgium in June last year for abduction of minors and sexual misconduct. He has admitted to nine of the murders - those of eight women and girls and of one man - and is being held in Belgium while investigators search for evidence of more victims. ..The psychiatric report was carried out over the summer on the orders of a Belgian investigating magistrate. ..Fourniret was taken Friday to court in Dinant, southern Belgium for hearings on his case. The psychiatric report was due to discussed, according to Dinand prosecutor Arnoud d'Aspremont Lynden, cited by Le Soir. ..Fourniret's wife turned him in June, reportedly fearing she could face the same fate as the 30-year prison sentence given the spouse of Marc Dutroux, Belgium's notorious paedophile and multiple murderer convicted days earlier. ..She is being held on charges of helping Fourniret abduct his victims. Prosecutors say that in some of the cases, she went with Fourniret on his "hunting trips for virgins" and helped assuage their suspicions. ..The carpenter has coldly described how he raped and murdered many of the girls and women he kidnapped. ..He also said he shot a French male motorist in a rest area for money, and the wife of a fellow inmate in jail in the late 1980s for raping children. Fourniret met his own wife in prison, while she was visiting another detainee. ..Fourniret has denied his wife's allegation that in 1993 he killed a young blonde au pair the couple supposedly hired but who has not been identified nor apparently listed as missing. ..He has persistently told police he did not kill anyone between 1990 and 2000, but investigators remain sceptical... .
 

20040724: Thousands attend funeral of child victim of serial killer Namur Serial Killer News
Hundreds of mourners packed a 17th-century church Saturday, standing in solidarity with the Montreal-area mother of a Belgian girl whose remains were found near confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret's former chateau this month, 15 years after she disappeared. ..Elisabeth Brichet's remains were uncovered July 4 but positively identified only a few days ago using DNA analysis. The 12-year-old is one of nine people, mostly teenage girls, the 62-year-old Frenchman says he killed in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001. ..In her hometown of Namur, in southern Belgium, thousands lined the narrow streets to watch the funeral procession, a hearse covered with white flowers followed by relatives and friends on foot. ..The simple white coffin was carried into the baroque Church of St. Loup by her brother, Thomas Brichet, and former classmates. A photo of Elisabeth sat atop the casket during the service, which featured readings and music ranging from Vivaldi to Sting's Fields of Gold, and was broadcast live on Belgian television. ..Her mother, Marie-Noelle Bouzet, sat somberly next to the coffin, often holding the hand of her son. Across sat Elisabeth's father, Francis Brichet. They had divorced before Elisabeth's 1989 disappearance. ..Bouzet received a standing ovation from the hundreds crowded into the small church after reading Nightsong, a Navajo prayer for healing, at the end. ..Earlier, hundreds lined up outside the church to sign condolence books. Many left white flowers, and the church and nearby businesses were covered with white ribbons and balloons. A white cross with a photo of the girl hung from a nearby tree. ..Cristel van Damme, who came with her three daughters and her mother, said they wanted to show sympathy and support for the family. "We have children of our own,'' she said. ..The atmosphere recalled the 1996 White March in Brussels, which drew some 300,000 people into the streets to remember missing children and protest failures in the justice system in the wake of the arrest of serial child killer Marc Dutroux. The marchers wore white then to signify the children's innocence. ..Some outside the church told Belgian media they had been at that march and now wanted to show their solidarity with the family of Brichet, once thought to have been one of Dutroux's victims. ..Bouzet returned to Belgium from Canada after Fourniret confessed to her daughter's killing last month. She moved to the Montreal area in 2002 after many years of campaigning to keep Elisabeth's disappearance in the public eye. ..Jacques Petitfrere, a cousin of Bouzet's and one of two priests officiating Saturday, told Belgian media the family wanted a simple service focusing on "peace and hope'' rather than anger. ..Fourniret has been held in Belgium since June 2003, but the case's breakthrough came last month when his estranged wife, Monique Oliver, accused him of a string of killings. ..Fourniret, a former forestry worker, led investigators to two bodies buried at the 18th-century chateau in the northern French town of Donchery. ..The other was identified as Jeanne-Marie Desramault, a 22-year-old French student who disappeared the same year as Brichet.  ..
 

20040721: Police dig for serial killer's possible victim Dinant Serial Killer News
Belgian investigators began digging up the garden of the home of confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret today for traces of a girl who disappeared in 1993 after working as his family’s au pair..Philippe Morandini, a prosecutor in the southern city of Dinant, said they were following new leads, but did not elaborate. .The digging was outside Fourniret’s house in Sart-Custinne..Fourniret has confessed to killing nine people, mostly girls and young women, in Belgium and France since 1987, but he denies involvement in his former employee’s disappearance. Authorities have not identified the au pair..The 62-year-old Frenchman was questioned by French detectives for 12 hours yesterday about one of the girls he says he killed. Isabel Laville disappeared in December 1987 on her way home from school in Auxerre, France..At an extradition hearing yesterday, Fourniret said he would not voluntarily go to France. A decision is expected in two weeks..Fourniret has been held in Belgium since June 2003, when he was identified by a 13-year-old girl who said she had escaped a kidnap attempt.
 

20040715: Serial Killer admitted another crime Brussels Serial Killer News
Alleged serial killer Michael Fourniret, being held in Belgium, has admitted another crime to investigators, the kidnapping and rape of a young French woman of African origin, Belgian television reported...Frenchman Fourniret has already confessed to murdering eight women and girls and one man, but investigators are searching for links with dozens of other cases.Advertisement.The latest confession concerns an incident which took place in 1998 in Sedan, in France's northeast Ardennes region. Unlike the victims of his earlier confessions, Fourniret said he allowed the woman to live, the RTBF channel reported...Police remain cautious about the new admission as it was accompanied by no details of the time or place of the kidnapping, or the age of the victim, another channel reported...Sources close to the investigation have said that French police are re-examining 30 unsolved murders in France while Belgian police were trying to find out if Fourniret was linked to the disappearances of at least 15 other girls over the past 20 years whose bodies have never been found...Many of the leads in the case came from Fourniret's wife, Monique Olivier, who told police this week that she was with him when he allegedly kidnapped 13-year-old Natacha Danais in 1990, but did not witness the subsequent murder. ..Olivier's lawyer, Pierre Barthelemy, said she was an accomplice by the mere fact of her presence, but added that his client "recognizes the monstrosity of the facts" and is clamming up more and more...She has asked for psychological help, "and doesn't want to hear anything more" about her husband, Barthelemy said. - AFP.
 

20040713: British student may have been victim of serial killer Paris Serial Killer News
.Police are investigating whether a British student who was raped and murdered in France 14 years ago was a victim of the serial killer Michel Fourniret. ..Officials are examining clothing believed to belong to Fourniret’s victims for clues as to whether Joanna Parrish was among those he killed. ..Ms Parrish disappeared on 16 May, 1990 from Auxerre in central France. The 21-year-old was teaching English. ..She disappeared after telling friends she was going to meet a man who had told her he wanted to find someone to give English lessons to his son. Her naked body was discovered the next day in the River Yonne. ..DNA testing has been requested by her family’s lawyer to establish whether samples taken from her corpse match those of Fourniret. ..French forest warden Fourniret, 62, dubbed "The Ogre of the Ardennes" has confessed to nine murders, seven of them young girls, after his wife Monique Olivier denounced him to police. ..He told investigators he went out "virgin hunting" at least twice a year. However, he has not confessed to any crimes between 1990 and 2000. ..Investigators, who are sceptical that he remained inactive over a ten-year period, have reopened 30 murder inquiries, including that of Ms Parrish, as they try to establish whether he committed other murders during this time. ..Fourniret is suspected of keeping items of clothing belonging to his victims, burying some and cutting others into strips. ..Investigators removed sacks of clothing from his homes in Belgium and France over the weekend. ..Among the items they will be trying to identify are the long black skirt and brown shoes which Ms Parrish was wearing at the time of her disappearance. She was also carrying a patchwork handbag, a present from her mother. ..Belgian authorities are expected to widen the charges against Fourniret to include the sexual assault and murder of 12-year-old Elisabeth Brichet, a magistrate said yesterday. ..The youngster had been playing at a friend’s house and disappeared on her way home. ..Investigating magistrate Cedric Visart de Bocarme said authorities were waiting for formal identification of a body unearthed this month on Fourniret’s former property in northern France before formally charging him with her killing..
 

20040712: Montrealer's daughter likely victim of serial killer Montreal Serial Killer News
Police in Europe think the daughter of a Montreal-area woman was the victim of a French serial killer..Elisabeth Bouzet, 12, disappeared in 1989 when her family lived in Namur, Belgium....Michel Fourniret (AP file photo)French serial killer Michel Fourniret has confessed to nine killings, mostly girls and women, between 1987 to 2001....Earlier this month, police searched a French chalet belonging to Fourniret. ..A body was found on the grounds with the same clothes Elisabeth wore when she disappeared. Her identity card and jewellery were also found at the scene...Police believe she was sexually assaulted for more than a day, then strangled, reports say...Autopsy results are expected in the coming days...Her mother, Marie-Noelle Bouzet, moved to Quebec almost two years ago because her daughter had dreamed of travelling in Canada...'Ogre of the Ardennes'..Forest warden Michel Fourniret has been dubbed the "Ogre of the Ardennes" after the forested border region between France and Belgium where many of his crimes occurred. ...By his own admission, he says he has killed nine people, mostly young women and girls. ..Fourniret, 62, confessed after his wife, Monique Olivier, gave information to the police...She is under arrest in Belgium on charges of failing to help a person in danger, and aiding and abetting the abduction and sequestration of a victim...Fourniret was convicted to seven years in prison in 1987 by a French court for rape and indecent assault of minors, but was freed after a few months because of the length of time he had already spent in custody...During that time, he met Monique Olivier, then a prison visitor. He later moved to Belgium and got a job as a school supervisor without Belgian authorities finding out about his past...He was re-arrested in Belgium in June 2003 for abduction of minors and sexual misconduct when he was identified by a 13-year-old girl. She said she had been bundled into his van after he asked for directions...But he only confessed to the string of murders last week, after his wife made her accusations against him. He still denies having committed any crime between 1990 and 2000...
 

20040706: Monique OLIVIER assisted Beast in hunting and luring victims Donchery Serial Killer News
Monique OLIVIER (55), described as intelligent by Police, visited FOURNIRET in prison after answering a personal in a catholic journal. FOURNIRET was serving a few years for raping minors in France at that time. In 1987 they moved in and Monique (divorced once) married FOURNIRET (divorced twice and father of four) in 1989...According her own admittance, she already assisted him in “hunting virgins” in 1987 soon after his release from prison..She obviously has been accomplice in at least six of the nine murders, her husband confessed up today...First she only confessed to “passively” supporting his crimes “I was in the van, when he raped, strangulated and dumped into water Natacha (13) in 1990”..Later she admitted she actively assisted him in hunting for victims and even in luring them into his car by using her own child for gaining confidence by the victims...“Maybe she is as pervert as he is”, stated a member of the Belgian prosecution, “she did not show any emotion of remorse.”..Why she was talking at least may have been a reaction on the verdict for DUTROUX´wife Michelle MARTIN (30 years), so the opinion of a psychologist.
 

20040706: Hunting two “virgins” per year Donchery Serial Killer News
Authorities in Belgium, France but also Netherlands and even Denmark are digging through more than 30 cases during the last decades which show some similarities with FOURNIRETs crimes...The Attorney General of Reims doubts, that FOURNIRET should not have been active during a 10-year period. There is an untypical gap in his confessions for the years 1990 to 2000..FOURNIRET told investigators, that he “had to hunt for two virgins per year”. It is likely that some of his rape victims did not dare to report the incidents to police...Danish investigators met French forensic experts on Monday, to compare DNA samples with the case of a raped and strangled 11-year old girl on Falster Island in 1999. The girl fortunately survived, as the attacker thought her being dead...Netherland´s police is re-examining the disappearance of Tanja GROEN (18) in 1993 and of Nicky VERSTAPPEN (11) in 1998...Belgian investigators are convinced, that FOURNIRET committed several armed robberies in Belgium as well..
 

20040705: FOURNIRET could have been stopped as soon as 1996 Donchery Serial Killer News
Belgian authorities had hints on FOURNIRET since 1996, when his house had been examined..In 1989 a former inmate of FOURNIRET, Jean-Pierre HELLEGOUARCH, leader of the left wing movement “Actione directe” informed authorities about the discrepancy that a pennyless FOURNIRET bought an Ardennes Castle Sautout..Actually FOURNIRET met HELLEGOUARCH´s wife after his release, robbed his inmates haul and murdered Farida HELLEGOUARCH. He then bought the castle with the money...There were more hints since 2001 about FOURNIRET as a serial rapist and child molestor. April 2001 a 20-year-old woman reported to Police, that she was bothered and followed by a white van on her way home in South Belgium. She gave a detailed description of the man and even remembered the car´s license. Just three weeks later 13-years Mananya THUMPONG disappeared on the french side of the border near Sedan. FOURNIRET already confessed to this murder.
 

20040704: Second victim unearthed Donchery Serial Killer News
200 Belgian and French officers searched - partly using excavators - for remains of victims in the 15 acre park around Castle Sautout, which FOURNIRET owned from 1988 to 1992, when he and his wife moved to Belgium. .Also the remains of French student Jeanne-Marie DESRAMAULT (22) could be unearthed exactly where FOURNIRET had described her grave. It was the second shocking discovery after the corpse of Elisabeth BRICHET (12) had been unearthed yesterday. Both victims disappeared 1989...Two years before those crimes FOURNIRET had been sent to prison for seven years, but was released on parole after three...After police found two of his victims near Castle Sautout buried exactly how FOURNIRET had described, there is no doubt, that he precisely remembers every detail of his horrible crimes...Up to now FOURNIRET confessed to following murders:..• Isabell LAVILLE (17) disappeared Dec. 11, 1987 near Auxerre (FR)...• Fabienne LEROY (18) found strangled Aug. 1988 in a wood near Mourmelon/Marne (FR)...• Jeanne-Marie DESRAMAULT (22) disappeared Mar. 18, 1989, last seen at railway station of Charleville-Mezieres (FR). Remains found today at Castle Sautout...• Farida HELLEGOUARCH, wife of Jean-Pierre HELLEGOUARCH, leader of left wing movement “Actione directe”, murdered probably 1989...• Elisabeth BRICHET (12) - from Namur (BE), last seen Dec. 20, 1989. Remains found yesterday at Castle Sautout...• Natacha DANAIS (13) kidnapped Nov. 21, 1990 near Nantes (FR). Stabbed corpse found three days later about 70 km from Nantes. ..• Jane DOE, Au-Pair Maid for the FOURNIRETs. Murdered probably 1993, probably Belgian...• Celine SAISON (18) disappeared May 16, 2000 from Charleville-Mezieres (FR) between school and home. Corpse found July 22, 2000 in a wood near Sugny in the Belgian Ardennes...• Mananya THUMPONG (13), last seen May 5, 2001 in Sedan (FR). Her corpse found May 2, 2002 in a wood near Nolleveaux, about 30 km from location where Celine SAISON was discoverd...• John DOE, shot by FOURNIRET at a highway station for his money.
 

20040703: First Victim unearthed near Castle Reims Serial Killer News
More than 100 policemen and forensic experts started digging around the castle of Sautou searching for remains of victims of the “Ogre of the Ardennes”..Saturday evening there was a first, sad success: The investigators found skeletal remains of one - yet unidentified - victim...A speaker of Belgian Prosecutors confirmed that FOURNIRET and his wife have been charged Friday with the kidnapping of Elisabeth BRICHET (12)..FOURNIRET had confessed of having kidnapped, raped and strangled the girl from Belgium in 1989 and a 22 year old female student from France and buried them at castle Sautou. .According to his own confessions the 62 year old self-professed forestry worker (he never practiced such a job) killed seven girls and two grown ups and buried them in France and Belgium. One of his grown up victims was a man on a motorway, whom he shot for money, the other the wife of a prison inmate and leader of the left wing movement “Actione Directe”. FOURNIRET met her after his release from jail and she shared the secret of her husbands haul with FOURNIRET, who killed her and spent the loot, e.g. with buying castle Sautout in 1988...Authorities investigate unsolved murders in Netherlands as well as there were several missing girls along the border during the last 20 years...FOURNIRET´s wife, Monique OLIVIER, who accused her husband on 10 murders, is arrested as well for having known about his crimes and probably even assisting him in “hunting for victims”...One of the greatest concerns of the shocked public is, that FOURNIRET´s crimes may fall under the statute of limitation (10 years for murder in France, 15 years in Belgium). Most of FOURNIRET´s crimes occured from the ending 80s to the beginning 90s...FOURNIRET, who was arrested several times in France for sexual assaults and rape of minors but released after a few months on parole, was arrested again in June 2003 when a Belgian girl was able to escape his attempts to rape and kill her.
 

20040703: French serial killer leads police to bodies Donchery Serial Killer News
Police have dug up the remains of two bodies from the grounds of a French chateau after a suspected serial killer dubbed the Ogre of the Ardennes showed them where to look...Investigators said they believe the remains were those of Elisabeth Brichet, a Belgian girl who vanished in 1989 at the age of 12, and Frenchwoman Jeanne-Marie Desramault, who disappeared in the same year at age 22...The find at Sautou chateau near the Belgian border on Saturday came after hours of digging at locations shown by a handcuffed Michel Fourniret, a 62-year-old forest warden who confessed this week to nine murders after his estranged wife denounced him..."We don't have scientific proof yet that these are the two bodies we were searching for, but there are very strong grounds for presuming so; we have elements that confirm it," said Cedric Vizard de Beaucarmet, a Belgian state prosecutor on the case...Fourniret says he kidnapped, raped and strangled Brichet in 1989, according to the Belgian prosecutors who revealed details of the killings and accusations by his wife Monique Olivier...TWO BODIES "JUST A START"..Yves Charpenel, a French prosecutor leading inquiries, said the find was just a start. "We don't know at this stage whether he is responsible for the death of nine, 10, more or fewer."..Fourniret has been in custody in Belgium since last year over the attempted kidnapping of a young girl but confessed this week to nine murders dating from 2001 back to at least 1987...He and his wife were brought under heavy police security from Belgium to the chateau where the pair lived in the heavily wooded Ardennes border region in the late 1980s...Belgian and French investigators, now working hand-in-hand on the case, are seeking more details from Fournier's wife, about a possible 10th victim...Olivier, who is also under investigation, told Belgian investigators this week her husband had killed their au pair and buried her near their house in Sart-Custinne, Belgium...Fourniret met Olivier, then a prison visitor, while he was jailed in France from 1983 to 1987 for raping minors...Investigators said one of the victims was a salesman they believe was killed for money, but the others were all female and most of them young girls -- some of them raped...Fourniret's past was not known by Belgian authorities when he took a job as a school supervisor after leaving France and the Sautou chateau some 12 years ago...The case emerged just days after Belgium's most hated man, Marc Dutroux, was convicted of the kidnap, rape and murder of young girls and sentenced to life in prison...France was also shaken on Saturday by the discovery in the nearby Alsace region of the body of a teenage girl whose disappearance two weeks ago led to the arrest of a sex offender who had been recently released early from jail...HUNTER..Belgian public prosecutor Anne Thily gave a chilling report on Wednesday of Olivier's accusations against Fourniret..."He would say to his wife 'I'm going out hunting. So there you have it. I'm going out and you know very well that it means I am going to look for a young girl, pretty, maybe virgin," Thily said. "Then he brought her home, kept her two or three days, raped her ... and then strangled her."..French newspaper Le Parisien quoted a man who said he was an unsuspecting acquaintance of Fourniret for decades and who spoke of a semi-nomadic character who married three times, spoke many languages and taught himself Russian from a book...Yves Charpenel called Fourniret a cold and unshakeable character who mixed fact and fiction...Investigators say they are trying to verify reports that Fourniret bought the Sautou chateau with money snatched from the hiding place of a far-left guerrilla group...They say one of the people Fourniret says he killed is Farida Hamiche, a partner of a guerrilla gang treasurer who Fourniret met while in prison in France.
 

20040702: Alleged Serial Killer preyed on “Virgins” Dinant Serial Killer News
Only a few days after the verdict against sexual predator and serial killer Marc DUTROUX another case of a convicted serial rapist turning into a serial murderer is shocking Belgium and France alike. Incredibly enough also Michel FOURNIRET (62) was well known by authorities and convicted for several sexual assaults and rapes in France..Nevertheless he could move to Belgium and continue his crimes.....Michel FOURNIRET was arrested July 2003 in Belgium after a girl could escape from his attempts to rape her...His wife Monique OLIVIER (55) has told investigators that the body of the couple's au pair girl is buried in southern Belgium, officials said Friday. But the area identified by Monique OLIVIER was vague and it will not yet be unearthed...OLIVIER, who was formally arrested Friday for failing to help a person in danger, accuses her husband, the 62-year-old Michel FOURNIRET of no less than a dozen murders from 1987. “He often went hunting virgins” she testified...FOURNIRET was charged on Thursday with also murdering the au pair, but has denied that accusation..The girl, who disappeared in 1993, has not yet been identified by investigators. But she was probably aged around 16 and a French-speaker...The shocking and fast-moving case comes barely a week after Belgian paedophile and child murderer Marc Dutroux was sentenced to life in prison, and threatens to reopen a painful and sordid chapter in Belgian history...FOURNIRET has been in Belgian custody since June 2003 on suspicion of abduction of minors and sexual misconduct...He confessed on Wednesday to killing six young women between 1987 and 2001 and burying two victims at a chateau he once owned in the wooded Ardennes region on the Franco-Belgian border, French prosecutors said...Late on Thursday he confessed to also murdering 18-year-old Celine SAISON and 13-year-old Manyana THUMPONG, who disappeared in France in 2000 and 2001 and whose corpses were found in Belgium.
 

20040702: Serial Killer suspect admits killing two more girls Dinant Serial Killer News
A suspected French serial killer has admitted killing two more girls, bringing to nine his number of victims in what prosecutors say is a methodical confession that has prompted police to reopen decades-old files...Belgium said on Friday it was willing to send Michel FOURNIRET (62) back to France this weekend to help French police as they begin digging for bodies at FOURNIRET´s former chateau near Sedan, more than 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Paris...In custody in the Belgian town of Dinant since last year for trying to kidnap a girl, FOURNIRET began confessing this week to a string of murders after his estranged wife said he told her he was going out hunting for virgins...Prosecutors said they may pin more crimes on the forest warden Belgian media are calling the "Ogre of the Ardennes", the wooded hills which straddle the Franco-Belgian border...Fourniret told French investigators he killed French girls Celine SAISON and Mananya THUMPONG in 2000 and 2001 respectively after initially denying the charges, Belgian officials said. Of six other girls he says he killed, one 12-year-old was raped and strangled in 1989. The ninth victim was an adult..SAISON disappeared near the French town of Charleville-Mezieres in 2000 and THUMPONG a year later in nearby Sedan. Their bodies were later discovered in woods...Police in France, Belgium and the Netherlands are checking unsolved cases on suspicion FOURNIRET was behind more killings.."He is not cracking. He thinks a lot about his statements and methodically chooses what he is going to say," said Yves Charpenel, state prosecutor in the French city of Reims...French police would start digging this weekend, he said, around the country home FOURNIRET left 12 years ago...Belgian investigators were seeking more details from his wife, Monique OLIVIER, on the whereabouts of another body. OLIVIER told them Fourniret killed their au pair and buried her near their house in Sart-Custinne, Belgium.
 

20040701: Confessions of a serial killer Donchery Serial Killer News
French police questioned a 62-year-old forestry worker in Belgium on Thursday before starting to dig in the heavily wooded Ardennes border region for the bodies of six young girls he has confessed to murdering, a state prosecutor said...Michel FOURNIRET, who was arrested in Belgium in June 2003 on charges of kidnapping and sexual misconduct, is being questioned by French police in Belgium and the hearing will go on into the afternoon. Once authorities have details about the disappearances, they will start digging as soon as possible...On Wednesday, FOURNIRET, who is French, confessed to "six murders of girls" in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001, according to Anne Thily, the prosecutor in the Belgian city of Liege...But Thily said FOURNIRET could be responsible for the deaths of as many as "about a dozen" victims, several of whom were believed to be buried near a castle here...Authorities in several European countries have reopened unsolved murder and disappearance cases after FOURNIRET´s confessions...Dutch police said they will contact Belgian authorities to seek new leads on several disappearances...French authorities said they plan to reopen files dating back to the 1970s on disappearances and unsolved killings of young girls near the Franco-Belgian border and across France...FOURNIRET was jailed in France in 1984 for three years for a sex offence. He has been under arrest in Belgium for a year in a probe into the attempted kidnapping of a girl.
 

20060830: Serial Killer Nurse Donates Kidney To Ex-Girlfriend's Brother NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A serial killer nurse who admitted killing 29 patients donates one of his kidneys to the brother of an ex-girlfriend. Charles Cullen had threatened to skip his sentencing hearing if he was not permitted to be the donor. In February, a judge approved Cullen's removal from prison for the operation. Cullen's public defender, Johnnie Mask, says the kidney went to Ernie Peckham, 37, of Rocky Point, New York. Mask tells The Associated Press, "They have not had a chance to speak" since the operations on Aug. 20. One day after surgery, Cullen went back to New Jersey State Prison. Peckham did not return to his Long Island home for a few days. The New York Daily News reports Peckham is married with four children. He is a metalworker and Cub Scout leader who was an Army reservist. Peckham told The Village Beacon Record that his kidneys began failing after a cut on his finger became a strep infection. Cullen confessed to using drug overdoses to kill 29 patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He was sentenced to 18 life terms in prison.
 

20060822: Serial Killer Back in Prison after Surgery PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen is back in prison tonight, recovering from his recent kidney donation. Cullen had the surgery on Saturday. The kidney went to a relative of one of Cullen's friends. Last year, Cullen said he would skip his sentencing unless he was allowed to donate. A judge agreed to allow the transplant and Cullen appeared before the victims' families. He's serving 18 consecutive life sentences in solitary confinement at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
 

20060321: Serial Killer Nurse May Donate A Kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A judge clears the way for New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney. If Charles Cullen and his doctors meet certain conditions, he may undergo an operation to remove one of his kidneys. The Associated Press reports the organ would then go to the relative of a friend. Cullen admitted to killing 29 patients in nursing homes and hospitals throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prosecutors agreed to spare him from the death penalty if he identified patients who had been given lethal drug overdoses. The judge ordered that the operation must be paid for by the recipient's insurance company. The state's medical examiners must also certify the doctors prior to the procedure.
 

20060320: Judge allows serial killer to donate kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News

A United States judge has agreed to allow New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney, but the killer and his doctors have to meet conditions.

Judge Paul Armstrong did not say when Charles Cullen might undergo the operation to remove one of his kidneys to be transplanted into the relative of a friend.

Cullen has admitted killing 29 patients with drug overdoses at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the US health care system. He has been sentenced to 18 life terms.

The judge's order, signed on Thursday, stipulates that all operation costs must be paid by the recipient's insurer.
 
Also, the surgery to remove Cullen's kidney must happen in New Jersey at a hospital certified by the state Department of Corrections, and the doctors who perform the operation must be certified by the state Board of Medical Examiners.

Cullen, 46, had tried for four months to reach an agreement with prosecutors to win permission for the donation.

His lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said the requirements made him "suspicious that someone in the Department of Corrections or at the attorney-general's office does not want this to happen".

New Jersey Attorney General's Office spokesman John Hagerty said the requirements reflect the fact that they are for "a serial killer who is not free to travel willy-nilly".

Cullen claimed to have killed 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, and has said he killed out of mercy. Not all of his victims, however, were old or very sick.

 

20060311: Over Killer's Loud Objections, He Gets 6 More Life Terms PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Charles Cullen, a former nurse who committed one of the worst murder sprees in the United States health care system, was gagged with a cloth and duct tape at a sentencing hearing Friday after he began loudly repeating, "Your honor, you need to step down." Mr. Cullen had maintained almost complete silence every time he appeared in court, steadfastly refusing to explain why he killed at least 29 patients in two states. During an emotional sentencing hearing last week in New Jersey, he sat quietly with his eyes closed as victims' families said he was a monster and called him "garbage." But on Friday, facing another round of sentencing, this time for his murders in Pennsylvania, he infuriated the relatives of some of his victims by repeating his bizarre chant hundreds of times over 30 minutes, during which attempts to muffle him proved unsuccessful. "I feel very cheated," said Walter Henne, a relative who showed up in court to address Mr. Cullen and had to raise his voice to be heard over him. "Our last trump card was taken away from us by the childish behavior of Mr. Cullen." A judge ignored Cullen's outbursts and gave him six more life sentences. Mr. Cullen, who was sentenced last week to 11 consecutive life terms in New Jersey, administered lethal overdoses to seven patients in Pennsylvania, and tried to kill three others. Mr. Cullen had tried to avoid showing up at his sentencing hearings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On Friday, he told President Judge William Platt of Lehigh County that he was upset that the judge had said in a newspaper article that he was inclined to make Mr. Cullen show up at sentencing. Mr. Cullen then began repeating the statement and refused to stop. Sheriff's deputies wrapped a white cloth around Cullen's mouth, but that did little to muffle him. They added two pieces of duct tape and tried repeatedly to tighten the gag, but Mr. Cullen still managed to drown out some of the relatives and friends who were there to tell him the impact the murders had had on their lives. "We think you are a total waste of human flesh," Mr. Henne told Mr. Cullen on behalf of the family of his mother-in-law, Irene Krapf. It was not clear whether Mr. Cullen heard a word he said.
 

20060310: NJ serial killer to be sentenced in Pennsylvania PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A week ago, a former nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life and confronted by his victims' relatives in New Jersey. On Friday, Charles Cullen was set to sentenced in Pennsylvania, where he was expected to again face relatives of patients he killed. Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders in both states. He escaped the death penalty after agreeing to help prosecutors in seven counties identify patients to whom he had given lethal drug overdoses. He will serve his sentence in New Jersey. Cullen administered overdoses to seven patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Lehigh and Northampton counties, and tried to kill three others in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the U.S. health care system. Cullen was to be sentenced Friday in Northampton County for the 1998 murder of 78-year-old Ottomar Schramm at Easton Hospital. Although he does not have to be present at that hearing, he has been ordered to attend his sentencing a few hours later in Allentown in Lehigh County, where he was expected to again come face-to-face with his victims' families. Last week, relatives of the 22 New Jersey victims confronted Cullen after he received 11 consecutive life terms, calling him a "monster" and "vermin." Cullen said nothing, his eyes closed. Cullen, who claims to have slain 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, has said he killed out of mercy. Many of his victims were old and very sick. But the judge who sentenced Cullen in New Jersey told him he "betrayed the ancient foundations of the healing professions." Cullen was arrested in December 2003 after Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., notified prosecutors about questionable lab results involving patients under his care. The case prompted lawmakers in both states to pass legislation protecting hospitals and nursing homes from legal action when reporting disciplinary actions taken against employees.
 

20060304: How can a serial killer escape the death penalty? NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

A MALE nurse who admits killing up to forty patients with lethal injections has been spared a similar fate through an extraordinary plea bargain in which he pledged to help to identify his victims.

Charles Cullen, 46, a loner with a history of depression and suicide attempts, will escape the death penalty in return for pleading guilty to at least twenty-nine murders and co-operating with investigators looking into other suspicious deaths.

Cullen says that he poisoned up to forty people with hard to-detect medications — usually the heart drug digoxin — during a 16-year career working night shifts at ten nursing homes and hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

He has told authorities, however, that he cannot remember the names of four of his victims and that he randomly injected insulin into intravenous medical bags without knowing which patient they were for.

Prosecutors in all seven counties where he worked have agreed to spare his life in return for his help in identifying all those he killed.

As the families of victims harangued him as a “monster”, “one pathetic little man”, and “Satan’s son”, Cullen was sentenced on Thursday to 11 consecutive life terms for 22 murders and 3 attempted murders in Somerset County, New Jersey. That meant that it would be 397 years before he became eligible for parole.

He is due to be sentenced next Friday for seven more murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania.

Investigations remain open in two other New Jersey counties, complicated by the destruction of medical records and the uncertainty of Cullen’s memory.

Cullen is one of the worst serial killers discovered inside America’s health-care system, but he is not alone. Since 1975 there have been about twenty cases of medical personnel involved in the deaths of patients, including a notorious 1987 case in which Donald Harvey, a nurse, was sentenced to life in prison for killing at least thirty-four patients in Ohio and Kentucky.

Cullen was fired from five nursing jobs and resigned from two others amid questions about his conduct but he always found another job, partly because hospitals kept quiet to avoid being sued.

He went on a murder spree in December 2003, killing 13 patients in less than a year at the Somerset Medical Centre in New Jersey. He was caught when hospital officials discovered unusually high levels of digoxin in the victims.

He told police after his arrest that he had targeted “very sick” patients for what he described as mercy killings.

The facts contradicted his claim. His youngest victim was a 21-year-old student named Michael Strenko, who had been admitted to hospital for a non-fatal blood disorder that required doctors to remove his spleen.

Cullen also killed a 22-year-old car crash victim, Matthew Mattern, who was in hospital with severe burns.

 

20060303: Serial killer nurse gets 11 life terms for killing patients NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
 

A nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life Thursday after his victims' loved ones angrily branded him ''vermin,'' ''garbage'' and a ''monster'' who ruined lives and shattered their faith in the medical profession.

Charles Cullen escaped the death penalty after making a deal with prosecutors to tell them which patients he killed with hard-to-detect drug injections.

Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to murdering 22 people in New Jersey and trying to kill three others. He will be sentenced later for seven murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania. He has claimed to have killed up to 40 people during a career that spanned 16 years and 10 nursing homes and hospitals.

He received 11 consecutive life terms at a tense hearing in which he came face-to-face with his victims' families for the first time. Wearing a bulletproof vest under his sweater, Cullen sat quietly as relatives wept and yelled at him from a lectern about 15 feet away. Some said they wished Cullen could die as his victims did, by lethal injection.

''I want you to die tomorrow so that you can meet God tomorrow because guess what? There ain't no door out of hell, baby,'' said Debra Yetter Medina, the granddaughter of victim Mary Natoli.

 

20060302: Killer nurse gets 11 life sentences NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
On the day New Jersey's most prolific serial killer received 11 consecutive life sentences, family members of his victims gave the former nurse a verbal lashing in court.

Some had waited years, and defendant Charles Cullen had filed court papers trying to avoid the confrontation.

One by one, for nearly four hours, two dozen relatives of the dead told a New Jersey judge what Cullen had taken from them.

Some called Cullen names -- "Satan's son" or "monster" -- and told him to "burn in hell." Others simply remembered their lost loved ones.

Judge Paul W. Armstrong then handed down 11 consecutive life sentences. Parole is out of the question, since Cullen, 46, will not be eligible until he has served 397 years.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to committing 22 murders in New Jersey and seven in Pennsylvania. He also admitted attempting to murder six people.

Deaths not mercy killings

Cullen administered lethal doses of medication to patients under his care in nursing homes and medical facilities. He claimed at one point that he was an angel of mercy trying to end his patients' suffering.

But the judge rejected that notion. He said the court "would not countenance the characterization of these crimes as acts of human compassion."

Cullen said nothing during the hearing, sitting beside his attorney with his hands in his lap and his eyes lowered. His lack of visible emotion seemed to enrage some relatives of his victims.

They had plenty to say.

Dolores Stasienko called Cullen a monster for killing her father, Jack Toto, whom she described as a hard-working farmer, mechanic and war veteran.

"Burn in hell, Mr. Cullen, for all eternity," she said.

"Am I boring you?" asked Deborah Yetter-Medina, whose grandmother was killed. "Look at me," she demanded.

"Yes, I was the woman who coined the phrase 'Satan's son,'" she said. "You are Satan's son." Later, she told Cullen: "There ain't no doors out of hell, babe."

Richard Stoecker, whose mother, Eleanor, also was a victim, told Cullen: "Maybe you thought you could play God that day by injecting her, but she planned on living, she was a fighter."

As many as 40 victims

As part of his plea agreement, Cullen has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he killed up to 40 patients during the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Last month, when a deal to allow Cullen to donate a kidney to a friend fell through, he filed court papers seeking to waive his appearance at sentencing. (Full story)

The move outraged victim family members, some of whom have said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen. "Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done."

The judge ruled Cullen had to be present for victim impact statments and sentencing. Cullen will be allowed to donate his kidney now that he has been sentenced.

 

20060224: Serial killer must face victims' kin NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

Judge rules that killer nurse can't skip sentencing hearing

Serial killer Charles Cullen must listen to statements by relatives of his victims when he is sentenced for 22 murders, a New Jersey judge ruled Friday.

Cullen, a former nurse, had asked the court to waive his appearance at the sentencing March 2.

The move outraged victims' family members, some of whom said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen.

"Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done," he added.

Superior Court Judge Paul W. Armstrong also ruled Friday that Cullen will be allowed to donate a kidney to a friend after he is sentenced.

Where the organ will be harvested remains an issue. Cullen wants to have the operation performed in New York. New Jersey officials say it must be done in that state.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 hospital patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and attempting to murder six others, with drug injections.

As part of his plea agreement, he has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he had killed up to 40 patients in the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Armstrong ruled Friday that Cullen "possesses no fundamental right" by law to be absent from his sentencing, when the court will hear statements by the victims' families.

Cullen had withdrawn his request, but the judge went ahead with a ruling to prevent Cullen from changing his mind later.

 

20060217: Again, a Serial Killer Plans to Skip His Own Sentencing NJ PA Serial Killer News

A carefully constructed deal between the authorities and the convicted serial killer Charles Cullen to allow him to donate a kidney to a friend in exchange for showing up at his own sentencing has fallen apart, his lawyer said yesterday.

The authorities had hoped this month to sentence Mr. Cullen, a former nurse who has confessed to murdering up to 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many relatives of his victims have been waiting for the day they can face him in court.

But that day, once again, seems far off. At a meeting yesterday, New Jersey authorities and Mr. Cullen's lawyer could not agree on the specifics of the kidney donation, and Mr. Cullen will now fight to skip his sentencing, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

"There is no deal now," Mr. Mask said. "We're nowhere."

Under New Jersey legal procedures, defendants can apply to skip their sentencing. Mr. Cullen initially indicated he would do this, provoking the ire of prosecutors and relatives of his victims.

But in December, Peter C. Harvey, then New Jersey's attorney general, announced that he had worked out a plan in which Mr. Cullen could donate his kidney if he agreed to come to his sentencing first. A memorandum of understanding was signed, and a transplant team at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island, where Mr. Cullen's friend is a patient, agreed to do the surgery.

But Mr. Harvey left office in January, after New Jersey's new governor, Jon S. Corzine was sworn in. Officials at the attorney general's office and in the Corrections Department have now decided that Mr. Cullen cannot leave the state for the kidney operation because New Jersey officials do not have the authority to provide security in New York.

Mr. Mask said that prosecutors had yet to come up with a viable plan for the operation to be done in New Jersey. Until they do, Mr. Cullen will do everything in his power, including filing numerous appeals, to avoid his sentencing, he said.

"We're not going to give up what little leverage we have until we know this kidney operation is going to happen," Mr. Mask said. State officials, he said, "have been throwing up roadblocks ever since Harvey left."

John Hagerty, a spokesman at the attorney general's office, said that Mr. Cullen's sentencing has been scheduled for March 2 but that there are issues that could delay that. A presentencing hearing has been set for next week.

Mr. Hagerty said state officials "continue to work with local prosecutors so the sentencing can proceed."

 

20060113: Serial Killer Using Loophole That Delays His Sentencing NJ Newark Serial Killer News

First, he wrangled a way to avoid the death penalty, even though he confessed to murdering up to 40 people. Then, he tried to dictate the terms of his final court appearance. Now, he is refusing to cooperate.

Apparently, Charles Cullen, a New Jersey nurse who confessed to sneaking into hospital rooms late at night and injecting patient after patient with deadly amounts of drugs, is trying to exert his last bits of leverage from a solo cell in the Somerset County jail before he is sent away for life.

His maneuvering is infuriating the families of his victims and delaying their long-awaited rendezvous in court. It is also making a strange case even stranger, partly because of what was, until now, a little-known legal wrinkle in New Jersey that allows defendants to skip their sentencing.

"Can't we just get this over with?" said Lucille Gall, whose brother Mr. Cullen has admitted killing. "This is a sick little game he's playing."

Most of the prosecutors in the case seem unfazed or, at least, they talk that way.

"We don't need him anymore," said Wayne J. Forrest, prosecutor for Somerset County, N.J., where Mr. Cullen confessed to 13 murders. "We've completed our investigation. We got our guilty pleas. We're done."

John Morganelli, district attorney for Northampton County, Pa., where Mr. Cullen admitted killing one patient, said, "I could go to court right now and get a conviction, with or without his cooperation."

But in Essex County, it is a different story. Mr. Cullen told investigators he thinks he killed five patients at a hospital near Newark. The problem is, he does not remember whom. Until recently, he had been meeting regularly with Essex investigators, studying old charts, peering into old photos, trying to jog his memory.

So far, Mr. Cullen, 45, has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania medical facilities. Most of his victims were old and sick.

After he was arrested in 2003, he agreed to help investigators identify all of his victims - he estimated there were up to 40 - in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

But the deal began to fray last month, when Mr. Cullen announced he wanted to donate a kidney to an ailing friend. The authorities said he could do it only after his sentencing, which Mr. Cullen threatened to miss.

Many lawyers said that this was the first time they had ever heard of a serial killer trying to skip his sentencing. Earlier this month, prosecutors indefinitely delayed Mr. Cullen's sentencing, saying they needed more time to investigate the Essex cases and one mysterious death in Morris County. A few days later, Mr. Cullen struck back, saying through his public defender that he was finished cooperating.

"This isn't about a power trip, this is about a kidney," said his lawyer, Johnnie Mask. "Charlie's worried that if the sentencing keeps getting pushed back, it may be too late. He really cares about saving this life, ironic as that may seem."

On Friday, Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, said a new possibility had emerged: Mr. Cullen could be sentenced for the crimes to which he had already confessed, he could donate his kidney and then he could continue cooperating with the authorities on any open cases. "Our goal is to bring finality," Mr. Harvey said.

He added that prosecutors were mulling the options. If talks break down, there is an outside chance the plea agreement could be nullified and Mr. Cullen tried in court, exposing him to the death penalty.

What is giving Mr. Cullen his 11th-hour leverage is New Jersey's criminal procedure rule 3:21-4 (b), which says, "Sentence shall not be imposed unless the defendant is present or has filed a written waiver of the right to be present."

Mr. Mask and other defense lawyers say the law is on their side and that precedent upholds a defendant's right to opt out of sentencing.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say judges have the ultimate discretion and can order sheriff's deputies to drag Mr. Cullen to court. Both sides vow to press their case aggressively, which only raises the specter of a long appeals process.

And now there's another potential complication. Christopher Bateman, a Republican assemblyman from Somerville, is pushing a bill that would force defendants to come to their sentencing. "It's only right that the families get to inflict a little pain, so to speak," he said.

But all the back and forth seems to be only compounding the pain.

"We want to know how Cullen, a criminal, a murderer, thinks he has so much power to decide what he can do and cannot do?" Tom and Mary Strenko wrote in an e-mail interview. "He is a killer and he has no right to decide anything!"

The Strenkos' 21-year-old son, Michael, was hospitalized in 2003 with a serious but curable blood disease. Mr. Cullen has confessed to killing him. "We are not giving up on this! No way!" the Strenkos continued. "It is as important to us as breathing air to have Charles Cullen once again look into our loathing eyes to personally see and hear the pain and suffering he has caused us for the rest of our lives!"

 

20060110: Serial Killer, Angry at Sentencing Delay, Stops Cooperating NJ Newark Serial Killer News

The New Jersey nurse who confessed to killing 29 people and has spent nearly two years cooperating with investigators decided abruptly on Tuesday that he would no longer help them.

The nurse, Charles Cullen, 45, was so upset about his sentencing being canceled last week that he is pulling out of a carefully constructed plea deal in which he had agreed to help identify his victims in exchange for not facing the death penalty, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

The authorities said that his refusal to cooperate could mean that prosecutors will seek the death penalty. It could also mean that many mysterious hospital deaths will not be resolved, leaving family members to forever wonder if their loved ones died naturally or were murdered.

Mr. Cullen has told the authorities he killed up to 40 people, many of them old and ailing patients whom he injected with lethal doses of heart drugs. But he did not remember all their names. So investigators have been struggling to identify them and, until Tuesday, were working closely with Mr. Cullen, sifting through mountains of medical records in the effort to jog his memory to determine exactly whom he killed.

The cooperation may now be coming to an end because of a kidney. In a strange concession to coax Mr. Cullen to come to his own sentencing and face dozens of grieving family members, New Jersey authorities agreed in December to allow him to donate a kidney to an ailing friend, as long as the operation was performed after his sentencing. But last week the authorities delayed the sentencing indefinitely, saying they needed more time to investigate hospital deaths in Morris and Essex Counties that Mr. Cullen may have caused. Mr. Cullen lost his patience, his lawyer said, and decided he would no longer help investigators.

"The deal is off," Mr. Mask said. "He's done. No more cooperation. Period."

"Now it's on the prosecutors' shoulders whether somebody else dies," Mr. Mask added, referring to the man who is waiting for a kidney donation.

Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, called that notion "ridiculous" and said it was not the prosecutors' role to find a new kidney for Mr. Cullen's friend.

"Our job is to protect the victims," Mr. Harvey said.

He also said, "It's strange that all of a sudden this guy has become a humanitarian after killing 22 people in New Jersey."

Paula T. Dow, the prosecutor for Essex County, where Mr. Cullen has admitted to killing several people, said Mr. Cullen's refusal to cooperate was "a clear breach of the plea agreement" and that "it now exposes him" to being brought back to court to face trial and possibly the death penalty.

But the reality of his ever being executed, at least in New Jersey, is slim because the state has not put anyone to death since 1963, and this week the Legislature passed a temporary moratorium on capital punishment. However, Mr. Cullen has admitted to seven murders in Pennsylvania, which does have the death penalty.

The authorities said on Tuesday that they were not sure if Mr. Cullen's action was a ploy to speed up donation of the kidney, or if he truly intended not to cooperate ever again. They added that they were unsure of what they would do next.

The development was the latest twist in a long case that began in 1987 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. Mr. Cullen had a history of mental illness and suicidal behavior and gravitated to the night shift, where he was known among colleagues as solitary and strange, with a cold bedside manner.

In 1993 he was accused of killing a 91-year-old woman with a single injection of digoxin, a powerful heart drug that became his weapon of choice. But somehow he slipped through the cracks of the medical system and went on to work at 10 places in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania before he was arrested in 2003.

In 2004, he struck a deal with the authorities in both states to plead guilty and cooperate in exchange for at least two consecutive life terms, which in New Jersey meant he would not be eligible for parole for 126 years. But in December, as sentencing approached, problems arose, partly because of a little-known procedural rule that allows a defendant to skip his sentencing. Mr. Cullen said he might do that and deny his victims' families a chance to confront him.

Now it is not clear what will happen, with some prosecutors saying Mr. Cullen will be dragged into court, no matter what, while others are not so sure.

 

20060102: Serial killer nurse to face the families of victims NJ Newark Serial Killer News
This could be the week that Marie Romero finally gets to look Charles Cullen straight in the eye and tell him how much pain he caused by killing her sister.

Romero’s sister, Catherine Dext, was killed with an injection by the former nurse and admitted serial killer in June 1996 at Hunterdon Medical Center, where she had been admitted with a ruptured spleen.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday for Cullen, who pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders during his 16-year nursing career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Cullen, 44, has told investigators he might have killed as many as 40 persons, but authorities say that estimate appears to be inflated. Most of the victims were given an overdose of heart medication, usually digoxin.

The former critical-care nurse was able to move from hospital to hospital, despite suspicions he was killing patients, because the institutions did not report their fears to authorities.

The sentencing may stretch out over two days because so many victims’ relatives want to give victim-impact statements.

Cullen had filed papers to waive his right to appear at his sentencing, a move that outraged many of the families.

However, authorities had something Cullen wanted: the right to approve his request to donate a kidney to a relative of Cullen’s ex-girlfriend. With that leverage, authorities persuaded Cullen to agree to appear at the sentencing.

Cullen faces life for each of the New Jersey murders, and won’t be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. In exchange for his plea and agreement to help identify his victims, he escaped New Jersey’s death penalty.

State Attorney General Peter Harvey said he hopes to have all 22 New Jersey cases against Cullen resolved in this week’s sentencing. However, the sentencing could be postponed if no decision is made on whether to also bring charges in several open cases in Essex and Morris counties.

He also escaped death in Pennsylvania, where he still faces sentencing.

A judge there already has ordered him to be present.

 

20051207: Serial killer wants to donate kidney Serial Killer News

Former nurse Charles Cullen, who admitted murdering at least 29 patients in the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, wants to donate his kidney to save a life.

Cullen has asked prosecutors to allow him to travel to New York so doctors can perform the surgery, his attorney said Tuesday.

Johnnie Mask, Cullen's public defender, said prosecutors have agreed to let Cullen undergo the operation in New Jersey, but not travel to New York for it.

''I don't know what the objections are'' to doing the surgery in New York, Mask said. ''Security and expense have always been thrown up as an obstacle.''

Doing the transplant in New Jersey would mean a new transplant team and months of additional tests, he said.

In exchange for permission to give the kidney in New York, Cullen is willing to appear in court when he is sentenced to life in prison, Mask said.

''We're pushing prosecutors to do the operation in New York because the [potential recipient] doesn't have seven months to wait,'' Mask said.

Mask would not identify the intended recipient of the kidney, but The Star-Ledger of Newark, citing unnamed sources, reported in Tuesday's newspapers that it is a relative of Cullen's ex-girlfriend.

The man is in his 30s, a father of four and in poor health, Mask added. He lost kidney function as a result of infection.

Mask said the request for a kidney came about two months ago.

''Initially, some parties opposed the whole thing on the basis that Cullen could die on the table,'' he said.

Cullen, formerly of Bethlehem, had previously filed papers to waive his right to appear in court for the sentencing — an action that had enraged relatives of his victims, who want to confront him one more time.

At one point after Cullen's 2003 arrest, Mask said Cullen wanted to be able to explain his actions to his victims' survivors. But his position changed, Mask said, because the victims' families and victim-rights groups have been hostile.

By appearing at a sentencing, Cullen could answer at least some questions about his crimes.

Mask said he hopes to get an answer in the next few weeks on the transplant and any deal related to Cullen's appearance at the sentencings, which could come in the next few months.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest would not comment Tuesday on the transplant offer or the deal Cullen has proposed.

In a series of court appearances in northern New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley, Cullen has admitted to 29 murders and six attempted murders over the course of his 16-year nursing career. In the latest plea Monday, he admitted to attempting to kill Somerset Medical Center patient Philip Gregor in 2003.

There could be more pleas in the future, though authorities and Mask agree that the investigations are winding down.

Cullen was arrested in December 2003 and charged with the murder of a patient at Somerset Medical Center and the attempted homicide of another. The next year, he pleaded guilty and agreed to help authorities determine exactly whom he killed in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

 

20051206: Serial killer admits another attempted murder while a nurse NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen on Mondy pleaded guilty to another attempted murder at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, in what his attorney predicted would probably be his last plea.

In a proceeding lasting less than 10 minutes in state Superior Court, Cullen, 45, a former nurse, admitted before Judge Paul W. Armstrong to attempting to kill critical care patient Philip J. Gregor of South Bound Brook with an overdose of insulin on June 18, 2003.

"Yes, I did," said Cullen when asked by Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Van Hise if he had administered the insulin to the patient without a doctor's orders. "To cause his death" was Cullen's reply when he was asked why.

The answers have become increasingly rote for Cullen, who has pleaded guilty to killing 29 patients at hospitals in five New Jersey and two Pennsylvania counties and attempting to kill five more between 1988 and 2003.

"News of every heinous act he committed to a patient in his care still shocks and saddens us," said hospital spokeswoman Vicky Allen.

Cullen, shackled and clad in mustard-colored prison scrubs, was brought to the courtroom from the Somerset County Jail in Somerville, where he is being held pending his transfer upon sentencing to a maximum security prison.

He has appeared increasingly gaunt since his arrest and arraignment following a series of suspicious deaths at Somerset Medical Center in December 2003.

Compared with Cullen's earlier appearances, the courtroom was almost empty. although Gregor's widow and sister were present, they declined to comment. "When he's sentenced, I'll have a whole lot to say," said Linda Gregor.

Cullen's plea was part of an April 29, 2004, plea agreement in which he was spared the death penalty in exchange for cooperating with investigators in identifying victims. Investigators have since been reviewing files with him.

 

20050710: New Revelations about Convicted Serial Killer Nurse PA Bethlehem Serial Killer News

Nurses who worked with serial killer Charles Cullen at a Pennsylvania hospital apparently warned authorities long before his arrest that he was suspected of killing patients.

That's according to a report today in The Morning Call of Allentown.

But Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin says there just wasn't enough evidence at the time to prosecute Cullen for anything.

And the forensic pathologist who investigated agrees.The pathologist reviewed 26 cases of patients who died while Cullen was working at Saint Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem.

He says the only evidence beyond "vague suspicions" was medical histories of people who died -- but who were already very sick.

After leaving Saint Luke's, Cullen worked at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey, where he has admitted killing patients.

 

20050520: Cullen tells AG basic security could stop killer nurses NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

The state's worst serial killer is offering authorities tips on how to thwart people who want to follow in his footsteps.

Killer nurse Charles Cullen met for eight hours over two days this week with state Attorney General Peter Harvey, who wanted to find out how to prevent future murders by medical professionals.

Cullen, who says he may have killed as many as 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, told Harvey that tracking who takes medications from dispensaries could prevent hospital workers from killing patients.

"He believes that the best deterrent is the certainty of detection," Harvey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's newspapers. "Using more video surveillance. Using a swipe card that would allow hospitals to easily track who is withdrawing what medication. These are security controls that can be placed on rooms that house medications."

Thus far, Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 24 patients and attempting to kill five others

The meetings Wednesday and Thursday were part of what Cullen agreed to last year when he promised to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in return for avoiding the death penalty. Harvey said he plans to speak again with Cullen.

"Once we complete our discussions with him, we are going to compile a series of recommendations that we're going to give to the Board of Medical Examiners and the nursing board with suggestions of how to better protect patients and hospitals," Harvey said. "We're going to ask for their input and action."

Cullen, a former registered nurse, worked at hospitals and nursing facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over a 16-year career.

Harvey said the 45-year-old Cullen showed some remorse _ an emotion that he has not displayed in court.

"He accepts more responsibility than he expresses remorse, but he certainly does both," Harvey said. "I didn't expect it."

 

20050511: Siblings assert serial killer nurse murdered father Serial Killer News

The children of a former Madison resident say they have compelling proof that Charles Cullen, serial killer nurse, killed their father with massive doses of digoxin in January 1997 at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Lynn Popelka of Netcong and Wayne Sarrow of Readington Township paid to have the remains of their father, Henry Sarrow, disinterred from Saint Vincent’s Cemetery in Madison in February and examined, they said on Wednesday, April 13, at the office of their attorney, Anthony J. Macri of Denville.

Cullen, who is in the Somerset County Jail, denies killing the retired postal worker while he worked at Morristown Memorial from November 1996 to August 1997, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. He has admitted to killing 24 patients, from 1988 to 2003, but none at Morristown Memorial, authorities said.

So far, Popelka and Sarrow have sued Morristown Memorial, alleging wrongful death and negligence, said attorney Macri, who added that he expects “a long fight.”

Macri said that autopsy reports have been sent to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, an office the siblings claim was unresponsive to past concerns that Cullen was responsible for their father’s death.

Autopsy Results

Henry Sarrow had been admitted to Morristown Memorial on Jan. 9, 1997, because of shortness of breath, and on Jan. 15 he suffered a fatal heart attack, which the family said was not expected. He was 77.

When Mr. Sarrow’s remains were analyzed after the February exhumation, they were found to have digoxin levels of 230 nanograms per kilogram, when a normal level should be 2 nanograms per kilogram, according to Macri’s office.

The levels of digoxin, a heart medication, found in Mr. Sarrow’s body were 125 times the amount that would be found in someone who was being given therapeutic doses, the family and its attorney assert. Such a scenario would fit Cullen’s preferred method of killing – administering overdoses of digoxin.

Mr. Sarrow had worked as a school crossing guard for the Madison Board of Education after his retirement as a postal worker.

Recognized Nurse

After Cullen was arrested in 2003 on charges that he administered a lethal overdose to one patient and attempted to murder another at the Somerset Medical Center, Popelka reportedly recognized Cullen from news photos as a nurse at Morristown Memorial during her father’s hospitalization.

According to attorney Macri, hospital records show Cullen was on duty during overnight hours before two cardiac episodes Mr. Sarrow suffered at Morristown Memorial, the second one fatal.

Cullen is reviewing records from hospitals where he worked, including Morristown Memorial, cooperating with authorities in exchange for a waiver of the death penalty. He is expected to be sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.

 

20041231: Serial killer spends time reading and doing “homework” NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

CULLEN scans medical files to determine if any patients were his victims.
Life in the Somerset County jail is a little like life aboard the USS Woodrow Wilson, the submarine where Charles CULLEN spent months isolated in the deep waters of the Atlantic. In jail, CULLEN has limited space, a bunk to sleep in, and three square meals served with military precision. He has reading material, time on his hands, and no place to go: the cold steel walls of the sub (where CULLEN developed an interest in nursing by helping to inoculate his shipmates) have been replaced by the cold stone walls of justice.
The only times serial killer Charles CULLEN leaves the jail is to travel to various county courts to admit he murdered patients at the 10 medical facilities where he worked in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. CULLEN claims to have killed as many as 40 patients during his 16-year career.
CULLEN has made five such trips so far, pleading guilty to killing 24 patients and attempting to kill five others by injecting them with various medications that he stole from the hospital's drug supplies. There will be others.
In exchange for his cooperation and guilty pleas, authorities waived the death penalty and CULLEN instead must serve at least 127 years in a New Jersey state prison before he is eligible for parole. For now, CULLEN will remain inmate No. 71533 in the Somerset County jail, on the corner of Grove and High streets in Somerville and across from the prosecutor's office where he first admitted his deep, dark secret to detectives after being arrested last December.

 

20041117: Serial killer nurse pleads guilty to murders in Lehigh County PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen pleaded guilty today to six murders and three attempted murders in Lehigh County, bringing the former nurse's tally to 23 deaths in two states...Whispering his replies to a judge's routine questions, Cullen, 44, formerly of Bethlehem, offered no details or excuses to the victims' relatives, dozens of whom packed the Allentown courtroom..."He took something away that was so precious to us and we're never going to forgive him," said Connie Keeler, of Bethlehem, whose father Cullen tried to kill..."He shows no emotion to what he did," she said...Keeler's father, Lehigh Valley radio personality Paul Galgon, 72, died of renal failure at St. Luke's Hospital near Bethlehem nine hours after Cullen injected him with the heart stimulant digoxin. Forensic evidence showed that the digoxin contributed to Galgon's death...Family members were not given a chance to address Cullen today, but are expected to have that opportunity at his sentencing, which may be a year away. Judge William Platt denied Cullen's request to be absent during sentencing, which won't occur until after Cullen is sentenced in New Jersey...Cullen has yet to meet with prosecutors in Essex County, where he worked in the burn unit at St. Barnabas Hospital for four years; or in Hunterdon County, where he worked at Hunterdon Medical Center for two years. His attorney, Johnny Mask, said it appears that Cullen did not kill anyone in Morris County, where he worked in 1997...Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering patients in hospitals in Somerset County and Warren County, in New Jersey, and in Northampton County, in Pennsylvania. Usually, he injected overdoses into the intravenous bag of terminally ill, elderly patients. His youngest known victim was Matthew Mattern, a 22-year-old patient the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown...Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison as part of a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors in both states. He told authorities after his arrest in December that he killed as many as 40 patients in 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during his 16-year career as a registered nurse. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty as long as Cullen cooperates by identifying his victims.
 

20041106: Pa. judge rejects serial killer's intention to skip sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A former nurse who has admitted killing 17 patients with lethal doses of medication at hospitals in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania will have to attend his sentencing hearing and face the families of his alleged victims in Lehigh County, a judge has ruled. ..Cullen, 44, is scheduled to plead guilty Nov. 17 in Lehigh County Court to six counts of homicide and three counts of attempted homicide. Families won't be able to confront him at the hearing but will be able to do so when Cullen returns to court for his sentencing, likely next year. ..On Tuesday, Judge William H. Platt told Cullen's attorneys that he will not accept Cullen's waiver of his right to appear at the sentencing. ..Cullen's attorney, public defender Johnnie Mask, said he was not happy with Platt's decision but does not intend to fight it. ..After his arrest in December, Cullen told investigators that he killed as many as 40 people during his nursing career. He has pleaded guilty or been charged in a total of 23 murders and has agreed to help investigators identify his victims in a deal to avoid the death penalty. ..The families of several of Cullen's alleged Lehigh County victims were pleased with the judge's decision. .."He needs to be there to face us," said Connie Keeler, the daughter of Paul Galgon, 72, a St. Luke's Hospital patient authorities said Cullen attempted to kill in 2001. "He should have to look into each of our faces and see the pain we are going through." ..When Cullen pleaded guilty to a single killing in Northampton County in September, the daughter of the elderly victim called Cullen a monster, talked about her father's life, and asked Cullen whether he remembered his victims. ..Mask said the hearing was hard on his client, and he would prefer to avoid them. ..In Lehigh County, Cullen is accused of killing five people and attempting to kill two others at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, where he worked from June 2000 to June 2002, and killing one person and attempting to kill another at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, where he worked from December 1998 to April 2000. ..In neighboring Northampton County, he pleaded guilty to killing one person at Easton Hospital. ..In New Jersey, Cullen has pleaded guilty to killing 16 people and attempting to kill two others at Somerset Medical Center and Warren Hospital. ..Under his plea agreement, Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and will serve the sentence in New Jersey. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. .
 

20041030: Serial Killer Seeking to Skip Sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A district attorney said he is trying to determine whether serial killer Charles Cullen can be compelled to appear in court so relatives of the patients he is accused of killing can confront him if he is sentenced to life in prison...Cullen, a former registered nurse, is expected to plead guilty in the next few weeks to charges he killed six patients at two hospitals with lethal doses of medication. Under the proposed plea agreement, Cullen would be spared the death penalty in exchange for helping to identify his victims...Cullen already has pleaded guilty to killing 17 during a 16-year career at hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey...Cullen has said through his attorney he wants to waive his right to be in court at sentencing...But District Attorney James Martin says he will do research to determine whether there is a legal way to force Cullen to appear. "In all my years doing this, I've never seen a defendant not come to his sentencing," he said...Margory Blakemore, daughter of Edward O'Toole, who died at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill in 2002, said she and other relatives should have the right to address Cullen face to face. "He should have to hear about how much pain he's caused," she said.. .
 


Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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