Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil (L’Affaire Fourniret: Dans la tête de Monique Olivier) is a true-crime documentary series following the horrific crimes committed by husband-wife duo Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier. The Limited Series, directed by Christophe Astruc and Michelle Fines, has 5 episodes, each with a runtime of around 45 minutes.
The Limited Series follows the horrific details of Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier’s murderous rampage for 20 years and the curious case of Olivier in particular – a rather unassuming woman whom no one would believe to be involved in crimes that went beyond the scope of what is moral and humane.
Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil surrounds the mysterious Monique Olivier, the wife of serial killer and paedophile Michel Fourniret. Fourniret was responsible for the death of 12 people, almost all of whom were children. However, the most interesting part of these horrible crimes is Olivier, a wife who apparently had no idea surrounding her husband’s whereabouts and grisly crimes.
The series is an arresting watch – from the first moment the limited docuseries starts off, it hits us with hard facts and some great recreational scenes that go very well together and almost look like the real deal. And, with a story this confusing and mysterious, you are sure to have a good time (well, interesting time, not good).
Talking about the story, the series follows the usual Netflix true-crime documentary route of presenting facts and figures with crime scene photos, interviews and recreations in order to bring out the situation surrounding the death of innocents. However, the story is much more – it’s also about a woman who is so curiously quiet that you’d think that she was trying to protect someone.
But is that it? Or is there something more to the tale than protecting her husband? Monique Olivier’s tale is familiar, but it doesn’t make it any less curious. Because Olivier could’ve also been a victim of abuse at the hands of her monster of a husband. Nicknamed ‘Ogre of the Ardennes’, police mention how Fourniret was a difficult man to be with. Was Olivier just a victim of the abuse, then? So worn down by the constant nastiness around her that she was unable to think independently and rationally?
Episode 2 of Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil is where the series falls off the depravity deep end. Discussing the nastiness that is Olivier’s mental state and her pact with her then-prison pen pal, the series does a fantastic job bringing forth some of the most nauseating instances of when morality just goes out the window like it’s no big deal. It’s in these moments that you would just want to get up and contemplate your life choices, but it’s honestly difficult to stop watching since the facts are just so mind-numbingly arresting.
For people with a weak stomach for detailed discussions surrounding horrific crimes, the series is going to haunt you. It made me a bit queasy when they discussed in detail the ins and outs of the murders and Olivier’s horrible role in it. The aftermath is equally bad and might just make you lose your faith in humanity.
It’s difficult to stop watching the show once you get into the motions of it. Apart from a truly baffling case with many questions that might never be answered, the documentary itself does a fantastic job of building tension with the way that it presents the story and all of its facts, discusses the murderers and shares our disbelief about the entire ordeal. It’s a relatable feeling that you have as you watch the show because everyone who is speaking is just as confused and baffled as you.
You feel for the victims and their families, yet you want to pick through Olivier’s mind. The utter lack of empathy is baffling and leaves you a little afraid of the bleak world surrounding all of us. The question comes down to who is influencing whom? Is it Olivier or Fourniret? The series does a good job trying to answer the question and give different perspectives in order for the viewers to make up their own minds a bit as well, probably.
The main thing that I found quite interesting about the documentary, or, well, the people featured in it, is the fact that people really painted Olivier as worse than Fourniret. Fourniret was the one physically committing the crimes, but it’s interesting how the notion that, as a mother, a wife and a woman, she is more to blame than the perpetrators of the murder and rapes.
Although with the IQ question coming up, some might assume that she manipulated him into committing these crimes, and personally, I found both to be equally horrible and their relationship to be extremely codependent, viewers would find the vilification to be quite a conversation starter.