Monday, 20 February 2017

Scotland's Missing Crime Files: The disappearance of devoted mum Arlene Fraser

This is another case that has always haunted me and inspired to write crime like Vile City

Tragic Arlene - was she killed by her husband Nat Fraser?

Pretty mum-of-two Arlene Fraser was just 33-years-old when she was last seen in the Scottish town of Elgin in 1998. Since that day she was never seen again.

Picture the scene in Arlene's house. It looked as if it'd been abandoned suddenly. 

The vacuum cleaner was still plugged in and the washing machine had been recently used.

Could Arlene have left and be living somewhere else?

This was a theory that was touted by Nat Fraser and his defence. 

If Arlene had left she hadn't been prepared.  

Her medication for Crohn's disease, her glasses and contact lenses were still in the house.

Would she really leave home without her children? 

Then there were her children. Would the devoted mum have left without them? Not by choice.

Just weeks before her disappearance, her violent husband Nat Fraser had throttled her for coming home late. He was sentenced to eighteen months for that assault but that only happened two years after the assault on his wife which was first treated as attempted murder. 

Had he been convicted sooner she might not have been killed.

Tragically, Arlene had been set to divorce her violent husband and start a new life. 

She was never given that chance.



What happened to Arlene?

Initially her disappearance was treated as a missing persons case. The detective in charge of the case, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Simpson said: "Something criminal has taken place here. Arlene has been the victim of a crime. I am of the opinion that she's dead. There's no indication that she's living somewhere else."

The police believe Nat Fraser paid someone to wipe his wife off the face of the earth. During the search for her, he was accused of not being interested in her whereabouts as if he already knew where she was.

In 2003, he was convicted of her murder and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

In 2011, he successfully challenged his conviction and it was quashed. But in 2012 in a new trial he was again convicted of Arlene's murder. In 2013, he lost yet another appeal. 

DOUBT 

So, why was there so much doubt over the husband's conviction?

There was no body and Nat Fraser did not commit the murder himself. 

The prosecution argued that Nat Fraser accused his wife of having a lover and decided that he wanted her dead to avoid giving her half his fortune. What's more Fraser was willing to pay someone £15, 000 to kill her.

Weeks before she vanished, Nat Fraser is alleged to have said to his wife: "If you are not going to live with me, you will not be living with anyone."

Chillingly that came true.

After she went missing, her son Jamie, who was only ten at the time, left a heartbreaking note for his mum. It read."Mother, where are u?"

He'd never get an answer to that question.

Arlene's body has never been found so her children and the rest of her family don't have a grave to visit. It's believed that her body was disposed off after she was murdered. Maybe even fed to pigs or burnt. 

What do Arlene's family think? 

Arlene's mother Isabelle Thompson spoke after Fraser's last appeal: "Hopefully we can get on with our lives, it's been never-ending."

In a shock documentary on Channel 4, in 2013 Arlene's daughter Natalie Fraser who was just five-years-old when her mum went missing, said she was "100 per cent" sure that her dad's friend Hector Dick and not her dad Nat Fraser, who was guilty of killed her mum. 

Hector had testified against her dad. 

Why would Hector Dick kill Arlene? 

Did he think he was doing a friend a favour? Or, did he fall for Arlene and get upset when she spurned his advances? 

There has been no evidence pointing to that.

All of the evidence points to Nat Fraser arranging the murder of his wife. 

Read about the documentary here

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