Before he was sent to prison for the rest of his life on September 7, 2000, for the abduction, rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl, Leonard Fraser had spent almost 20 of the preceding 22 years behind bars for a series of rapes.
|Leonard John Fraser|
While in prison Fraser confessed to four more killings and took police to where the remains of some of his victims were concealed. His subsequent murder trial caused a world-wide sensation when one of his alleged victims, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, turned up alive and well in the middle of proceedings.
Leonard John Fraser was born in the sugar growing community of Ingham, north Queensland, on June 27, 1951. He was the second youngest of four children and when he was six his family uprooted and moved to a brick house in Mount Druitt in the blue-collar outer western suburbs of Sydney.
According to court psychiatrists there was not the slightest indication in young Lenny's early childhood that he would grow up to be a vicious rapist and killer. While his upbringing, childhood and environment appeared to have been outwardly normal, his schoolwork was poor. By the time he dropped out of second year high school at age 14, Lenny Fraser had learned to read but little else and had trouble writing his own name.
|Gosford Boys Home|
At age 15 Fraser was sentenced to 12 months in the Gosford Boys Home for stealing. Soon after his release he received a two-year bond for assaulting a railways guard and further convictions for driving without a license, offensive behavior and stealing cars, culminating in twelve months' hard labor.
Out of jail 6 months later, Fraser was found guilty of transporting stolen goods into Queensland which earned him 2 years' probation. Five weeks later he was sentenced to 2 weeks in jail in Townsville for stealing. In Sydney in 1972 he was fined $100 for living off the earnings of prostitution and later the same year was given five years' hard labor in Long Bay Jail for a string of robberies.
But what investigators didn't know — and wouldn't find out until almost two years later — was that two months earlier Fraser had raped a tourist in Sydney's Botanical Gardens. It was to be the first of many in his career as a serial rapist.