French serial killer investigationwidens across Europe

9th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

WIESBADEN, Germany, July 9 (AFP) - A probe into confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret has been expanded into Germany, turning the spotlight on a number of unsolved murders, the federal crime office (BKA) said Friday.

WIESBADEN, Germany, July 9 (AFP) - A probe into confessed French serial killer Michel Fourniret has been expanded into Germany, turning the spotlight on a number of unsolved murders, the federal crime office (BKA) said Friday.

A spokesman said the BKA had passed on questions about a number of mysterious crimes committed in Germany to authorities in neighbouring Belgium, where Fourniret claims to have killed a number of victims.

"There is no definite suspicion" that Fourniret was involved in the German murders, the spokesman said, but added the crimes occurred on the French or Belgian border and raised questions about Fourniret's possible involvement.

One of the murders involves an 11-year-old girl identified only as Claudia whose body was found by Bonn police in May 1996 near the western town of Euskirchen close to a highway leading to Belgium.

The BKA said they were seeking information from their Belgian colleagues on Fourniret's travel patterns at the time.

A spokesman for the state crime office in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia said if further bodies in the French and Belgian border region are found, it would ask to view any DNA analysis.

Austrian police also said Friday they were studying possible links between Fourniret and the disappearance of a 10-year-old girl, Natascha Kampusch, in Vienna in March 1998.

Austrian police had asked their Belgian counterparts via Interpol if Fourniret had been in Austria at the time as no trace has ever been found of the girl despite searches at home and in neighbouring Hungary.

But there was no evidence to suggest a link, said police chief Erich Zwettler.

Fourniret, 62, has admitted killing eight girls and women and one man in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001, and acknowledged the rape of some of his victims.

Police this week were re-examining 30 other disappearances and murders to determine whether there are any links to the man who has been dubbed by the press the "Monster of the Ardennes" in a reference to a forested border region between France and Belgium.

Shock over the Fourniret probe and that of Pierre "Crazy Pierrot" Bodein, held over the killing of a 14-year-old girl in the eastern France -- has deepened with the realization that both suspects were ex-convicts supposedly under psychiatric supervision at the times the crimes were committed.

The cases have prompted calls for greater European cooperation on registering sex crimes.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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