The Northern Scot's Arlene Fraser and Nat Fraser files: 2003 – Festering jealousy
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This story appeared in the Northern Scot, January 31, 2003.
THE trial jury heard last Friday of Nat Fraser's festering jealousy – and a claim that he was the only person who would gain from the death of his wife.
Fraser told detectives investigating her disappearance that he thought she was having an affair.
The court heard that the day after Arlene disappeared in April 1998 her husband confided his suspicions to police in Elgin.
He told them somebody "gave him a whisper" that she was seeing someone else.
He asked her if she was having "a carry-on" and she said no.
Advocate Depute Alan Turnbull QC, prosecuting, read from a police statement: "But it just festered in my head and kept gnawing at me."
The statement continued: "I never got a satisfactory idea in my own mind that she was not seeing someone else."
Challenged by Mr Turnbull, Fraser admitted he was jealous but not angry.
The Advocate Depute also suggested that successful businessman Fraser did not want to hand over any of his money to Arlene if she was going to leave him for someone else.
"Arlene had no enemies and the only person she had any trouble with in her life was you,"" he said.
"You are the only person with any advantage to gain from the death of your wife?"
Fraser replied: ''I didn't kill my wife. I didn't."
Mr Turnbull continued: "It is clear you were the only person with any advantage to gain from the death of your wife, isn't it?"
"Looks like it, yes," agreed Fraser.
Mr Turnbull also challenged Fraser's claim that he continued to hope that his wife was alive, until he heard in court the story of her allegedly being strangled and her body burned.
It was not the truth, said Mr Turnbull.
"I suppose an alternative explanation could be that you are desperately hoping that if you can just keep denying everything for one more round you will have pulled this whole thing off."
Fraser denied this.
Mr Turnbull reminded the court of evidence that Arlene was devoted to her children, showing a newspaper cutting of daughter Natalie which she kept in the rucksack used for carrying her papers to college.
She would not simply have gone and left them, he said.
She would not have gone away without clothes and her medication.
"What I am wondering is, why you continued to say, over the years, that you thought she was living somewhere else when, in all honesty, you knew that made no sense?" he asked.
Fraser said he did not know what had happened to his wife.
Mr Turnbull claimed there were three explanations for what happened: Arlene was killed when a burglary went wrong, she was the victim of a "random psychotic killer" or she was murdered by someone who had a reason to want her dead.
Asked if, earlier, he had been suggesting that Hector Dick killed his wife, Fraser replied: "I didn't say that, did I? All I said was he walked free from a murder charge the day after he gave a statement to police."