I thought my husband was cheating when I discovered he was staying in seedy motels – the horrific truth was far worse | The Sun

THE saying 'no one knows what goes on behind closed doors' couldn't be more fitting for the chilling case of Michel Fourniret.

Known as one of France's most sadistic serial killers, new Netflix documentary Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil delves into the role his wife played in his heinous crimes.

The couple met through a prison pen pal programme while Fourniret was serving a prison sentence for sexual assault.

Former nurse Monique Olivier is now serving a 28-year prison sentence for being complicit in five of her partner’s murders, including the killing of Brit student Joanna Parish. 

While the cold-blooded killer confessed to killing 12 people, Olivier – who was his third wife – later told a fellow inmate that the number exceeded 30.

The documentary examines the extent to which Olivier was a pawn in Fourniret's evil crimes, or played an active role. 

But many wives of notorious serial killers had no idea about their husbands' sickening crimes.

Here we take a deep at the unfortunate women who fell for vile murderers – and the sinister spouses who, like Olivier, were just as culpable. 

Wife beater 

Cathy Wilson met Peter Tobin in 1987 when she was just 16 and he was 41 in Portsmouth. They soon welcomed a baby, married in 1989, and moved to Scotland. 

During their ill-fated marriage, she suffered continuous mental and physical abuse – but had no idea he was also a rapist and murderer.

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Cathy Wilson feared for her life after suffering mental and physical abuseCredit: Alan Simpson
Vile Tobin died in prison last year after murdering multiple women and a girlCredit: PA

Cathy was so terrified of him that she fled their home and began divorce proceedings in 1993.

In 1994, Tobin was jailed for 14 years for a sickening double sex attack on two schoolgirls.

Terrified he'd find her upon his release, Cathy relocated every six months, admitting: “I’m absolutely convinced that man will kill me when he comes out of prison… I could just see him sitting in prison seething, I could feel it in my bones.” 

Tobin was released from prison in 2004 but was hauled back after the murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk, whose body had been hidden under the floorboards of a church in Glasgow. 

After further investigation, cops uncovered that he had killed a 15-year-old schoolgirl and an 18-year-old woman in 1991. 

He was ordered to serve a whole life sentence and died in prison in October last year aged 76.

Neither Cathy nor their son had any contact with him. She said last year that his death had finally set her free.

Killer clown

To many people who lived near John Wayne Gacy, he was the perfect neighbour – he even performed as a clown at kids’ parties. 

He married Carole Hoff in 1972 and lived in Chicago with her and her two kids from a previous marriage.

When she started complaining about a foul smell emanating from below their house, he dismissed her concerns with flimsy explanations.

She would eventually discover in the late 70s that he was using the property’s crawl space to hide the bodies of 30 young men and boys he killed. 

The child-raping monster was convicted of 33 murders and executed in 1994. To date, not all of his victims have been identified.   

The couple’s marriage was in trouble before the gruesome discoveries – Carole had filed for divorce after he began leaving magazines featuring naked men around the house. 

When she confronted him, he told her he had a preference for men. Their divorce was finalised in March 1976. 

Carole, who has distanced herself from Gacy's crimes – later said she believed some of the murders were committed while they were still married.

Suspected cheating 

When Linda Yates noticed her husband Robert Lee Yates behaving strangely and staying over in seedy motels in 1999, she began to suspect he was cheating on her. 

Her fears appeared to be confirmed when she found adult material around the home she shared with Yates and their five children, and discovered he'd drilled a hole in their attic to watch a couple have sex.

Linda reportedly stayed with her husband of 26 years for the sake of their kids, later admitting the "romance was gone" but she "suffered through it" to stay as a family.

But in April 2000, police called her while she was at work to inform her the body of Melody Ann Murfin had been found in their garden. 

It later transpired Yates was responsible for the murder of at least 11 women in Spokane, Washington. 

Linda visited him in jail to get an explanation for his actions, which she never got. In an interview with TV show Dateline, she was asked why she didn’t notice that something was off. 

She told producers: “You’re so close to somebody you don’t see it.” 

Harrowing phone call

Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Sutcliffe – known as the Yorkshire Ripper – murdered 13 women and wounded nine others in Yorkshire. 

His killing spree is said to have started after he was told he couldn't have kids with his wife, teacher Sonia Szurma, who he married in 1974. 

Their marriage was said to be tempestuous; according to writer Gordon Burn, she would often slap him down “like a naughty schoolboy”. 

However, she had no idea her husband was behind the killing spree – where he mostly targeted sex workers, battering them with a hammer before stabbing them repeatedly. 

After his arrest a decade later, he confessed his crimes to his wife over the phone. When she arrived at the police station, he told her: “It’s me. I’m the Yorkshire Ripper.” 

Deeply shocked, she replied: “What on earth did you do that for, Peter? Even a sparrow has a right to live.” 

They remained married after his conviction in 1981, but separated eight years later and divorced in 1994. 

In a later interview he confirmed his ex-wife was oblivious to his crimes, claiming: “I was never covered in blood.

"People used to say Sonia must know something because of all the blood, but there wasn’t any, what a load of rubbish. She’s perfect, as white as snow.” 

Standing by her man

Although Mikhail Popkov is a convicted serial killer, rapist, and necrophiliac, his wife still believes he's innocent.

Popkov was convicted of up to 78 murders in Siberia and Russia from 1992 to 2013, and later claimed that his body count may be north of 80.

A former police officer, he was known as The Warewolf due to the grizzly nature of his crimes – he would mutilate his victims' bodies and perform vile sex acts on them.

Despite telling police about his crimes, he maintained his innocence to Elena, his mother and sister.

In an interview in 2015, Elena Popkov said: "If I suspected something wrong, of course, I would divorce him. I support him, I believe him.” 

Killing spree

For three years from 1986, unassuming couple Ray and Faye Copeland murdered five hitchhikers and drifters on their farm in Missouri.

Ray was a known con man and had gotten in trouble with the law several times throughout his life.

But his devious ways turned deadly when he hatched a plan to hire drifters on his farm to buy livestock with counterfeit cheques – and then kill the workers to cover up his crime.

The couple were busted when a would-be victim who escaped told cops he'd seen human bones on the farm.

During her trial, Faye was painted as a dutiful wife who had endured years of abuse from her husband and was roped into his criminal activities.

They were both eventually found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

Ray was 76, while Faye was 69, making them the oldest couple to receive the death penalty in the States.

Deranged killers

Fred West, then 27, had already killed and raped by the time he met 15-year-old Rose in 1969.

Together they committed rape, abuse, incest and murdered 10 people, including some of their own kids, with most taking place at their home in Gloucester.

Piecing together their crimes, detectives discovered they would abduct girls from bus stops and keep them prisoner for several days before killing them.

Rose even murdered Charmaine West, Fred's daughter from a previous marriage, single-handedly in June 1971 while her husband was in prison for theft.

Their shocking crimes came to light after Fred was accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter in 1992 and Rose was nabbed for child cruelty.

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Many mutilated female bodies were retrieved from their garden and cellar after police launched a major investigation into the couple.

In 1995 Rose was handed a life sentence, which she is serving in a West Yorkshire prison, while Fred, who confessed to 12 murders, killed himself while on remand in jail.

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