Things a Killer Would Know: The True Story of Leonard Fraser

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Three days later at Rooty Hill, again in the same proximity, Fraser spoke briefly to a woman as she walked along a quiet road before he punched her in the face and forced her arm up her back. Fraser walked the woman hand-in-hand back up onto the road and as soon as she saw her chance she broke free and fled to the nearest house and raised the alarm. He had left his wallet with his birth certificate in it at the scene of the last attack and was quickly located and taken into custody.

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Fraser readily confessed to one rape and the two attempted rapes. He denied that he would have had to force the woman in the dry cleaning shop to have sex with him if they had not been disturbed. And then, much to the surprise of police, Fraser confessed to the rape in the Botanical Gardens in the heart of Sydney in broad daylight almost two years earlier. Sydney Botanical Gardens. The attack took place as the woman was walking through the Sydney Botanical Gardens at 10 a. As she passed by some banana trees a man emerged from the shadows, put his arm around her neck from behind, punched her in the face many times with his other hand, dragged her into the undergrowth around the banana trees and raped her.

When interrupted by passersby, the rapist took off with her handbag leaving his semi-conscious victim in a serious condition with multiple fractures to the face and severe shock. Fraser told investigators that he was glad to have the crime off his chest at last. Fraser told the psychiatrist that he would be happy if he never saw his brothers or sisters again and hated his father and mother. In December, , at the Sydney District Court, Leonard Fraser pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and two counts of attempted rape.

He has little or no impulse control. Apart from this there is no real psychiatric disability there is no known treatment for this type of psychopathic state. With all of this in mind Justice Wootten sent Fraser to prison for the maximum of 22 years and — reluctantly — set the non-parole period at what the law demanded — seven years. I go to bed at night and when I hear news of an assault or robbery, I know it will not be Lenny.

Map showing Queensland, Australia. Released in after serving the minimum seven years, Fraser made his way to Mackay in Queensland and took a job as a laborer on the railways. I just wanted to prove a point that somebody could break in and rape your missus.

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Out of jail, Fraser settled in Mackay and late in , he was living with a woman and her son in an old house that had been converted into flats. He had a daughter with the woman and managed to hold down his job as a laborer with the railways for the next two and a half years. In late , after stalking a year-old woman for several days as she went on her daily walks at an isolated beach at Shoal Point, north of Mackay, Fraser brutally raped her, again by attacking his victim from behind and holding her arm up her back and again in broad daylight.

In sentencing Fraser, Justice Derrington said he regarded the prisoner as a dangerous man who preyed on women who were strangers and alone. Justice Derrington. The judge was also critical of the way Fraser inferred that his victims enjoyed or wanted his sexual attention. His violent outbursts would be triggered off for no apparent reason and the prison lore was that it was wise to give Lenny the widest possible berth. Fraser was forced by the jail management team to serve out every day of his 12 years in the belief that the minute he was let out he would re-offend.

Out in January, , Fraser moved in with a terminally ill woman at Yeppoon, a coastal township south of Mackay after telling her that he was friendless, broke, and had nowhere to live. The woman had corresponded with, and visited Fraser regularly while he was in prison. The relationship developed into a sexual one with Fraser becoming progressively aggressive and when the woman left the home to go to Brisbane for treatment for her cancer, Fraser followed and after she refused to come home with him he allegedly raped her in the hospital chapel. The woman died six months later of cancer.

Fraser returned to live in Mount Morgan, a mining town of residents on the Burnett Highway south east of Yeppoon and near Rockhampton. An intellectually disabled woman complained to police that Fraser had annoyed her while she was riding on a bus. Fraser was seen roaming around the town at all hours of the night and every day when the local school came out he was waiting at the front gate where he would try and strike up a conversation with any female, irrespective of age, who passed in or out.

Fraser frequented employment agencies that serviced the intellectually handicapped in search of female partners and he mowed lawns and drove children to school for petrol and beer money. Toward the end of , Fraser moved into a flat in Rockhampton, population 62,, with intellectually handicapped year-old Cristine Wraight. By early April, , another woman and her year-old daughter moved into the spare room in the flat to help pay the rent.

Shortly after the woman moved out, accusing Fraser of interfering with her daughter. The dog died several weeks later from rat poison. Keyra Steinhardt. On April 22, , 9-year-old Keyra Steinhardt disappeared when she was taking a shortcut through a vacant lot on her way home from school.

An eye witness to the abduction, Lynette Kiernan, who lived opposite the vacant lot, told police that she saw a man catch up with the little girl and hit her from behind in the head area. Then the assailant ran away and returned shortly after with a car and lifted the little girl from the ground into the trunk and drove away. Terrified of repercussions, it took Ms. Kiernan a critical 20 minutes to pluck up the courage to make an anonymous phone call to the police.

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But by then, little Keyra was dead and disposed of. The following day police traced Fraser through Ms. He had abandoned it on a thick bed of grass near the Rockhampton racecourse. Wraight said that Fraser stopped the car and told her not to watch what he was doing. With that she said he removed what looked like a blonde doll wearing a green school uniform from the trunk.

Wraight said that when Fraser saw her looking, he dropped what he was carrying and went back to the car and reached into the window and punched her. She then looked straight ahead and after a little while Fraser got back into the car and drove away. Wraight said that when they returned home that evening, Fraser washed the trunk out thoroughly. On 7 May, Fraser was charged with the rape and murder of Keyra Steinhardt. Brisbane Supreme Court.

In September , prosecutor Paul Rutledge told the Brisbane Supreme Court that Fraser, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges, had attacked the little girl for nothing other than sexual gratification. Why did he strip her naked?

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Eye-witness Lynette Kiernan, who had seen the assault from her house, told the court that she had also seen Fraser standing next to Keyra at the traffic lights the day before the little girl was murdered. The court heard evidence that Keyra was excited that for the second week her parents had allowed her to walk the minute route from their North Rockhampton home to school and that she had left her friends outside the school gate at 3 p.

On the day she was murdered, Keyra turned off Robinson Street and as she was walking through a vacant lot on the fringe of the bush, Fraser attacked her from behind, knocked her to the ground and set upon her and raped her. He returned a short time later in his red Mazda sedan, bundled the body in the trunk, and took off.

The court heard that due the advanced decomposition of her body, it was impossible to determine how Keyra died or if she had been sexually assaulted. But, Mr. Rutledge pointed out, there was no escaping the damning tape recording of a conversation Fraser had in the Rockhampton watch house in which he asked another prisoner to dispose of a knife he had hidden in a peg box in his apartment. Rutledge told the court that the simple explanation of the facts were that Fraser plunged that same knife into the neck and upper body of the little girl. Fraser remained stoic throughout the trial and neither called for nor gave any evidence on his own behalf except to steadfastly deny at the start that he had neither abducted, raped or murdered Keyra or that he was in or near the lot on the day in question.

Things A Killer Would Know: The True Story Of Leonard Fraser by Paula Doneman -

In the light of the overwhelming evidence, Leonard Fraser was found guilty of the abduction and murder of Keyra Steinhardt at Rockhampton on April 22, Justice Mackenzie said that he could see no reason to suppose Fraser had any prospect of rehabilitation and sentenced him to an indefinite life sentence.

Under new Queensland legislation enacted in , an indefinite life sentence means that unlike a life sentence where the prisoner could automatically apply for parole after 15 years, he must not only apply to the Parole Board but also to a Supreme Court judge before he could ever be released. Both would have to be satisfied that Fraser no longer posed a threat to the community before the indefinite order was lifted. This sentence virtually slammed the cell door behind Fraser for the rest of his life. Natasha Ryan.

But that was not to be the end of it. Police had very good reasons to believe that Fraser had also murdered another schoolgirl, Natasha Ryan, and three women, Julie Turner, Bev Leggo and Sylvia Benedetti, who had all gone missing in Rockhampton between September and April Natasha Ryan, 14, had disappeared on September 2, , while on her way to a north Rockhampton school in the same area where Keyra Steinhardt was killed.

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Julie Dawn Turner, 39, had worked with Fraser for a couple of months in at the Rockhampton abattoirs. Apparently broke, she had asked around for enough money to get a cab home and when none was forthcoming she started walking. From there she disappeared. Sylvia Maria Benedetti, 19, disappeared on April 17, Six days later while police were searching for the body of Keyra Steinhardt, who had disappeared the day before, they were led to the derelict Queensland Hotel by its wreckers who had made a horrific discovery.

In room 13 the carpet was soggy with blood and there was blood sprayed all over the ceiling and walls. There were bone fragments in the carpet.

Leonard Fraser's daughter breaks her silence: 'My dad's a serial killer'

A forensic examination revealed that the blood was human and given the spate of missing women in recent months, police had good reason to believe the blood to be that of Sylvia Benedetti. By now they also believed that there was the distinct possibility that there was a serial killer in their midst.

The attack had been so savage that the victim had lost about four liters of blood, which was about as much as a woman the size of Sylvia Benedetti would have in her entire body. View online Borrow Buy. Published in No links could be found for this item. Law Society Journal, v. Australian National University Library. Australian National University: Institutional Repository. Open to the public Article; Other article English Show 0 more libraries None of your libraries hold this item. Tags What are tags? Add a tag. Public Private login e. Add a tag Cancel Be the first to add a tag for this edition.

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