A notorious serial killer who murdered 'at least 30' women including a British student has died in a hospital prison.
French monster Michel Fourniret, who was dubbed the "Ogre of the Ardennes”, had been placed in a coma after suffering from heart and respiratory problems.
The 79-year-old, who went into hospital last Saturday, has now died, the public prosecutor confirmed.
He was convicted in court in 2008 of raping or attempting to rape seven women and girls aged between 12 and 22 and then killing them.
His murderous spree lasted from 1987 to 2001.
But he is thought to be behind at least another 21 killings, including British university student Joanna Parrish.
The 20-year-old Leeds University language student was killed in the Burgundy countryside, in eastern France, in May 1990.
Her naked body was discovered in the River Yonne in Auxerre, the day after she was reported missing.
Fourniret was the prime suspect in the case and he finally confessed to her murder in 2018.
He was serving two life sentences after a court in 2018 handed him a second jail term for the killing of a mobster's companion.
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While he was behind bars, he had been investigated for several other unsolved murder cases.
Fourniret, who admitted a fascination with virgins, was arrested in 2003 after a 13-year-old girl escaped from his van and called the police.
He committed most of his crimes in the wooded Ardennes region of northern France and in Belgium.
At the time, police missed a series of opportunities to snare him.
His ex-wife and accomplice Monique Olivier remains in prison.
She is reported to have told a fellow inmates her ex-husband's victims "greatly exceeded 30".
The couple got to know each other after Fourniret placed an advert for someone to write to while serving a prison sentence for sex crimes in the 1980s.
Police have been digging up large areas of woodland in the French Ardennes in recent weeks, looking for the remains of Estelle Mouzin, who disappeared in 2003 aged nine.
Fourniret confessed to her killing last year.
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