The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Police plea for killer to tell all
This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
THE detectives who snared evil Nat Fraser have vowed not to give up their efforts to discover exactly why and how his young wife was murdered.
Officers said this week they will visit him in prison to try to establish the truth of what happened to Arlene on the day she vanished years ago.
Branding him a cold and calculating man, Detective Superintendent Jim Stephen said it was not too late for Fraser to show some form of compassion.
Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh after the former businessman was jailed for life on Wednesday, DS Stephen said: ""It is not too late for him to begin to salvage some decency, some humanity.
"He takes with him to his cell the secrets of that terrible day in April, 1998. He knows why Arlene died, he knows how, he knows who murdered her, and he knows what happened to her remains.
"We will be visiting him in prison to try to establish the truth of what happened to Arlene. Only then will we have finished our work.
"It was eventually the testimony of Fraser's friend Hector Dick that convinced the jury to find him guilty of murder, but police had gathered other key pieces of evidence which were used to bring him to justice.
A central part of the Crown's case hinged on the sudden reappearance of Arlene's engagement, wedding and eternity rings in the family home.
They were discovered on a shelf in the bathroom nine days after her disappearance, arousing suspicions that they had been planted there.
Six months into the inquiry, information emerged about a beige Ford Fiesta which was sold in Elgin the night before Arlene vanished.
Police believed that it was linked to the mystery, possibly being used to take the young mum away from the house.
But it was two years later that detectives finally got the break they needed, when Fraser, serving an 18-month jail sentence for a brutal throttling assault on Arlene five weeks before she went missing, was video-taped during two visits from old friend Glenn Lucas.
Although there was no sound on the tape, expert lip reader Jessica Rees was able to translate some of the conversation.
Key phrases such as "arms off," "teeth out" and "they can't find her" gave police the final strand of evidence they needed to charge him with murder.
DS Stephen said that Fraser had not once expressed a word of remorse or sadness for what he had done.
''To this day he has consistently denied any part in his wife's disappearance and murder. He could have spared Arlene's family enormous pain had he admitted his part in his wife's death many years ago.
"Brash and bullish though he is, he seriously under-estimated our determination to investigate his wife's murder and did what he could to tarnish her character and throw us off the trail.
"Day after day we chipped away at the seemingly impenetrable wall of silence Fraser had put in our way, searching for evidence which has ultimately proved his guilt and sent him to prison for a very long time.
"At a cost of £2 million, the case has been the most expensive criminal enquiry ever undertaken by Grampian Police. But it was an investigation that the force was committed to seeing through to the bitter end.
Detective Inspector Alan Smith, deputy senior investigating officer on the case, said the determination of officers to bring the killer to justice drove them on.
He added: "I have been privileged to work with a team of officers who throughout the investigation displayed the highest level of integrity, motivation, commitment and professionalism.
''There were times when we never could have imagined getting this case into the High Court and some brave decisions were taken along the way to get us here."