Paula Doneman






Allen & Unwin, July 2006
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

True Crime

In this non-fiction novel Paula Doneman tells the story of Leonard Fraser, and asks whether he is Australiaís worst serial killer.

Nine-year-old Keyra Steinhardt was bashed, raped and murdered in broad daylight as she walked home from her school in Rockhampton, Australia. Leonard Fraser was arrested for her murder and is now serving four indefinite life sentences for this crime and others, in a violent criminal history that goes back thirty years. He is deemed unable to be rehabilitated.

THINGS A KILLER WOULD KNOW by journalist Paula Doneman covers Fraserís life story, concentrating on the Keyra Steinhardt murder, the crime that finally brings him down. He is a very unpleasant man. People who have dealt with him are reluctant to talk about him. It took Doneman five years to even get one of Fraserís family members to talk about him, and then they had to be anonymous. What is it about Fraser that causes so much fear? His criminal record began in 1966 with a stealing charge, and quickly escalated to assaults, aggravated assaults, rape and, finally, three counts of murder and one of manslaughter. As a child Fraser was aggressive, uncontrollable and a pathological liar. He was generally mistrusted by the communities he lived in, and he moved around a lot. This background information is brought out by Doneman in a well-written, easy to read and fascinating true story.

Aug 2006 review originally published on Murder & Mayhem


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