27 June 1951|
Ingham, Queensland, Australia
|Died||1 January 2007(aged 55)|
Cause of death
|Other names||The Rockhampton Rapist|
|5 x Life imprisonment + 25 years|
Span of killings
|28 December 1998–22 April 1999|
Fraser was born in Ingham, Queensland.
Before a life sentence on 7 September 2000 for the abduction, rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl, Rockhampton, Queensland, Leonard Fraser had spent almost 20 of the preceding 22 years behind bars for the rape of other women. He was subsequently charged with four murders. Police found many trophies of his victims in his flat and ponytails from three different women, which could not be traced to any of his known victims.
Fraser originally confessed to five murders in an apparent deal with police to avoid general population in prison, but one of those victims was a 14 year old, Natasha Ryan, who was found to be alive and living secretly with her boyfriend in a nearby town after having been listed as a missing person for five years. Although there was an obvious problem in his confessions to crimes where no corroborating evidence existed and there was therefore reason for a mistrial, his defense did not file for one. Nor did his defense object to the prosecution using the same confession made in custody, which included the Ryan confession, for three other victims whose remains were found. The Ryan 'murder' was also based on testimony from a fellow prisoner who alleged that Fraser drew detailed maps showing where Ms Ryan's remains could be located. Even so, the judge in the case, Justice Brian Ambrose, heavily criticised the media for commenting on the value of confessions to crimes made to police under duress or to other prisoners while in custody, where no or little corroborating evidence exists.
In 2003 Fraser was sentenced to three indefinite prison terms for the murders of Beverley Leggo and Sylvia Benedetti, and the manslaughter of Julie Turner in the Rockhampton area in 1998 and 1999. At his trial, the judge described him as a sexual predator who was a danger to the community and his fellow inmates.
Fraser was being held at the Wolston Correctional Centre and, after complaining of chest pains, he was taken to a secure section of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Woolloongabba, on 26 December 2006, where he subsequently died of a heart attack on 1 January 2007.
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- McCutcheon, Peter (14 April 2003). "Fraser trial judge criticises media commentary". The World Today (ABC). Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- "Victim in murder trial found alive, but three others are definitely dead, say police". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2003-04-11.
- Doneman, Paula. "Leonard John Fraser". Movement Against Kindred Offenders (M.A.K.O). Retrieved 2007-01-02.
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- Doneman, Paula (June 2006). Things a killer would know: The true story of Leonard Fraser. Allen & Unwin. p. 240. ISBN 1-74114-231-8.