HeadLine: ARLENE MURDER: NAT IS GUILTY: How love at first sight became
the marriage from hell
The Mirror, 30/01/2003, p2&3
by SHAUN MILNE
COLD, calculating Nat Fraser went to jail last night still guarding the
gruesome secret of his wife’s horrific final moments.
The man who thought he could get away with the perfect murder refused
to reveal how Arlene was killed or where her remains lay.
“If he wasn’t such an evil bastard you would almost have to admire his
refusal to crack after all this time,” said one senior detective.
As he was led away to begin a life sentence for what has become one of
Scotland’s most notorious murders, Fraser maintained his enigmatic air
of quiet charm.
It was the same charm that first attracted Arlene to the man who became
Detectives are convinced that it was Fraser’s own hands that killed his
33-year-old wife and claims that he hired a hitman are fantasy.
Det Supt Jim Stephen, who led the Arlene investigation, said last
night: “I am certain it was Fraser himself who murdered Arlene. Only he
knows what happened to her and where her remains are now.
“That is why I will visit Fraser in prison to ask him where her remains
are. For the sake of her family, I will appeal to him to tell me.”
The tortuous and sometimes violent route that led to Arlene’s
mysterious disappearance in April 1998 began at a wedding reception
some 14 years earlier.
Arlene, then aged 20 and a guest at the wedding, was swept off her feet
by Fraser who sang and played guitar with a band in Elgin, Moray.
Friends described the meeting as “love at first sight”.
Arlene was impressed by the handsome young man who had already built up
a successful wholesale fruit and vegetable business and dismissed
friends who warned of his womanising ways. Less than a year later, she
moved in with him.
But it was not long before she got the first confirmation that her
friends had been right.
“She called me one night in floods of tears, saying she had lifted the
receiver of a downstairs phone and heard Nat on the other line upstairs
talking to some woman,” recalled Arlene’s sister, Carol Gillies.
“She asked us to come and help her move out, so we arrived and moved
everything back to our mum’s house.”
But the next day Nat sweet-talked Arlene into moving back. It will
haunt Carol that, had Arlene seen Fraser then for what he was and left,
she might still be alive today.
“But Arlene made the mistake of thinking she could change him,” she
Arlene was expecting their first child when she and Nat married in
Elgin on May 9, 1987.
Best man Hector Dick, Nat’s best friend would later stand in the dock
alongside him until he turned Queen’s evidence and became the
prosection’s star witness.
It was destined to be a rocky union. Arlene had a rebellious streak
while the “control freak” in Nat tried to suppress her instinct to
branch out beyond the confines of marriage and motherhood.
Arlene’s family and friends began to suspect the relationship was in
serious trouble in 1996.
She had become tired of waiting in every night while Nat played in the
band, often not returning until 3am and sometimes not at all. She
suspected he was being unfaithful.
There were frequent rows when Nat’s fearsome temper emerged. Friends
began to suspect that Arlene was being battered.
She finally decided that, if Nat could have a life outside the marital
home, then so could she and enrolled on a two-year business course at
Moray College and announced she was to start going on nights out with
Det Supt Stephen confirmed that she did have a brief affair in 1988.
“It didn’t last long – probably about three weeks. It was over long
before she disappeared,” he said.
But the affair barely a year after their wedding, with 17-year-old
Dougie Green, who worked as a delivery boy for him, left Nat deeply
Doting mum-of-two Arlene kept her loveless, tempestuous marriage a
secret for the sake of her children.
Her first child, Jamie, was born shortly after she married Nat and
daughter Natalie, in 1992.
Her mum, Isabelle Thompson, said “Nat Fraser sat up in court and
pretended she had just run away. There is no way she would go away
without making arrangements for them.”
When Natalie started school, Arlene enrolled in a college course.
Isabelle said “This was another part of what he didn’t like – she was
becoming independent, she didn’t need to rely on him because he
controlled more or less everything.”
Just a few weeks before she vanished, Arlene had finally told her mum
about the problems which had plagued her marriage.
Isabelle said: “I asked her why she hadn’t told us and she said: ‘I
didn’t want to worry you’. That was what stuck in my mind. Why would
she run away and worry me?
“If you want to run away from your marriage you don’t need to leave
this mystery behind, you can go to your family.”
Her sister Carol said Arlene’s Crohn’s Disease would be the key to
whether she had run away.
She said: “We said it was the Crohn’s Disease that would help us find
her if she was alive. If she was away from home, it would be aggravated
and she would have ended up in hospital.”
Arlene tried repeatedly to split with Nat, visiting lawyers four times
to discuss his behaviour and possibility of securing a divorce, but her
concern for her kids drove her back – a concern which would ultimately
cost the devoted mum her life.
Categories: Daily Mirror articles