-  # Leonard Fraser
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Leonard John Fraser (DECEASED 1-1-2007)
Age: 58 yrs old
Sentenced to an indefinite
prison term in November 2000. Sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court
on the 13-6-2003 to 3 indefinite jail terms
Repeat Offender..(2000)- Victim was a 9yr old schoolgirl (Keyra Steinhardt). He stalked/ raped and murdered his young victim.
Convicted in September 2000. Found guilty in May 2003
for the murders of Sylvia Benedetti and Beverly Leggo and
the manslaughter of Julie Turner. Prior jail term for rape.
Crime Investigation Australia -
The Predator: Leonard John Fraser
Pic: Leonard John Fraser
Pic: Leonard John Fraser
Treasa Steinhardt reflects on the grief of daughter Keyra’s death at hands of serial killer Leonard Fraser
When Treasa Steinhardt’s daughter Keyra was murdered in 1999, she spent most of the next decade locked
in a room, sobbing and playing video games.
She survived at only the most basic level - and then only by adhering to an unshakable routine and structure.
Her marriage fell apart. She became estranged from her son. She moved interstate, and then overseas,
in an attempt to escape her anguish.
But nothing worked. Each new morning bought more bad memories and a depression so heavy that there were days
when she could not lift herself out of bed.
This week marks the 15th anniversary of her daughter’s death.
Her mother’s ordeal since then is a reminder that grief continues well after the cameras, the
microphones, the interest of the media turns elsewhere.
And in the Keyra Steinhardt case, such interest was massive. Her abduction on April 22, 1999, and
her subsequent murder, created front page headlines for weeks, not only in Rockhampton, but across the state.
Keyra was walking home from school that day when she was attacked in broad daylight. She was struck across the
back of the head, knocked to the ground on a vacant block that is today occupied by a police station.
There were witnesses, they were at a home across from the attack. They said Fraser appeared to fall on top of the girl.
It would take those witnesses a crucial 20 minutes to summon the courage to call the police, all the time Fraser
needed to leave and return in his early-model red Mazda 626 with his intellectually-disabled girlfriend in the passenger seat.
Keyra’s limp frame was loaded into the boot of the car. Her naked body, with her throat cut and her green school
jumper draped over her torso, was found an excruciating two weeks later in long grass at the Rockhampton racecourse.
Leonard John Fraser, the man who would lead detectives to her body, was no stranger to police.
He had a long history of sex offences against women and had spent 20 of the preceding 22 years behind bars for sex crimes.
In his sentencing remarks at Keyra’s murder trial, Justice Ken Mackenzie described Fraser’s crime as “severe,
indeed extreme, violence on a child.”
He went on to say: “Fraser’s story is that of a sexual predator of the worst kind.”
In 2003, four years after Keyra’s death, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury found Leonard
John Fraser guilty of murdering Rockhampton women Beverley Leggo and Sylvia Benedetti, and the manslaughter of Julie Turner.
He was also charged with murdering missing teenager Natasha Ryan, but that case imploded when she was found alive during his trial.
Justice Mackenzie handed down an indefinite life sentence, but Fraser only served eight years before he died of
a heart attack on New Year’s Day, 2007.
In 2012, State Coroner Michael Barnes found Fraser had died of natural causes, but expressed concern at the
level of medical care he had received in jail in the immediate period of his death.
No matter the nature of his death, it brought little relief for Treasa, who would have preferred to see him rot in jail.
“I was not very happy he died,” Treasa says emphatically. “It just made me very angry he died.
“He only spent eight years in jail. But I have to spend the rest of my life without my daughter.”
Indeed, the horrific details of her Keyra’s death are part of what sent Treasa into a hellish 10-year slump.
She returned to her Rockhampton retail job after her daughter’s death. She wanted to regain some control
over her life - and she needed the money. It didn’t work.
A couple of years later her marriage to Keyra’s stepfather broke down. Desperate and confused,
Treasa left her four-year-old son Connor with his father and just started driving. She didn’t
stop until she reached Melbourne, where she found another retail job.
“I believe that working helped me, during the day, not to think,” Treasa says.
“And when I would finish work, I would lock myself in my little bedroom with a single bed
and I would play computer games. I lost myself in the computers. I didn’t want to believe
there was a real world behind me.
“I would literally fall asleep with the headset on, talking to other players in the game because
I didn’t want to come out of it.”
When Treasa wasn’t working or immersed in role-playing video games, she spent her time crying.
“You just don’t even know how the body produces that much tears,” she says.
A turning point in Treasa’s grief came when she moved to Canada for a year.
An opportunity had arisen for her to be a nanny for a small family with two children. She decided to take it.
One of the girls was six years old and had autism. Looking after her retriggered Treasa’s maternal instinct.
“It was just amazing,” Treasa says now of the experience. “I was bringing her up in exactly
the same way I was bringing up my daughter.
“I had to teach her how to dress and it was just unreal to see what I was doing with
her and thinking that I did this with my daughter, too.
“For years I had guilt that maybe I shouldn’t have yelled at my kids; maybe
I should’ve been nicer to my children.
“And then with this child I just sat there going ‘Wow, I don’t feel guilt anymore. It just lifted me.”
It was all the encouragement Treasa needed to return to Rocky permanently. Any doubts she had were
silenced completely when her son Connor, then 12, asked her to stay.
The two rebuilt their relationship. It was slow-going. At first, they
were more like best friends than mother and son, playing video games or going to the movies.
Somewhere along the line, she realised she needed to be more than Connor’s mate.
Now she sees herself as both a best friend and a mother.
“He’s been living with me for three years,” she beams.
There have been other happy changes, too. Treasa is working and is seeing someone.
He often takes Treasa and Connor on camping trips – something Treasa would never have
previously considered, preferring the safety of a small room and the escape of a video console.
And importantly, she has learnt to celebrate Keyra’s life instead of mourning her death.
This year, to celebrate what would have been her 24th birthday, they went camping.
“Connor and I walked up the beach collecting crabs and I was thinking she would enjoy this,” Treasa says.
“When she was younger we only did things like the movies and Pizza Hut, but I would like to think she was
there with us on the beach.”
It was a comforting thought, but it was Connor that helped his mum the most.
“He said there are times you want to cry for her, but there are other times she would want you to be happy.”
It is a sentiment that took Treasa more than a decade to fully realise, but at least now – on the 15-year
anniversary of her daughter’s death – she seems closer to it than ever before.
Secrets Taken To Grave
Serial killer Leonard John Fraser may have taken the truth about the
deaths of up to five women to his grave.
Fraser, 55, who was serving four indefinite life sentences for killing
three Rockhampton women and a schoolgirl, died in his sleep after going
into a cardiac arrest in the secure unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital
on New Year's Eve.
The convicted serial rapist had been admitted a week ago after suffering
a heart attack in his cell at Brisbane's Wolston Correctional Centre.
While there was no confession before his death at 4am yesterday, Fraser
has previously claimed he murdered up to five other women during his
criminal career, which spanned 30 years and two states.
He made the claims to a prisoner turned police informant and a homicide
detective during a 2001 investigation by Taskforce Alex into the
disappearances of four Rockhampton women.
At the time of the investigation, Fraser was serving an indefinite life
sentence for the 1999 murder of Rockhampton schoolgirl Keyra Steinhardt, 9.
Fraser claimed he murdered a hitchhiker by the name of Sandy Lawrence in
an abandoned crocodile zoo in north Queensland in 1982.
Fraser also spoke of the murder of his 17-year-old Aboriginal girlfriend,
claiming she had her throat cut in the back streets of Kings Cross in the early 1970s.
The taskforce recorded Fraser on a listening device saying he murdered two
female hitchhikers in separate incidents in the Port Macquarie area in
NSW in the 1970s.
He said he had returned to the area to find their skeletal remains still
Some detectives remain convinced that Fraser had a hand in the murder of
Rockhampton woman Michelle Coral Lewis, 21, who disappeared on the
night of January 14, 1989, after leaving a friend's home in north Rockhampton.
Fraser, who was in "secure custody" at a Rockhampton jail at the time,
was known to frequent the area and had buried his pet dog, which
he killed after having sex with it, on the road where she vanished.
Taskforce Alex investigated the claims but could not find enough
Chief Superintendent Graham Rynders, who headed Taskforce Alex, said
he hoped Fraser's death would bring closure to the families of his victims.
"It is the end of a very sad chapter of Queensland's criminal history
and hopefully one that will never be repeated," he said.
Another mystery that may go unsolved surrounds three ponytails of human
hair found in Fraser's bedroom when he was arrested for the Steinhardt murder.
Forensic testing in Australia and the US failed to match the hair to
any of his murder victims or missing persons in Australia.
Police suspect Fraser had kept them as trophies.
In 2003, he became Queensland's first convicted serial killer when a
jury found him guilty of murdering Rockhampton women Beverley Leggo,
36, and Sylvia Benedetti, 19, and the manslaughter of Julie Turner, 39.
He also had been charged with murdering teenager Natasha Ryan, who
later made headlines when she was found alive during Fraser's murder trial.
Paula Doneman is also the author of Fraser's unofficial biography
Things a Killer Would Know.
Courier Mail (1-1-2007)
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