true crime

True Crime Conversations: The pictures behind the crimes of Leonard Fraser, the Rockhampton Rapist.

It was an Autumn afternoon, on April 22, 1999, when nine-year-old Keyra Steinhardt left her primary school and began the short walk home. 

That Thursday was only the second time Keyra had ever walked home on her own. With blonde hair, blue eyes and big front teeth, Keyra looked like any ordinary kid, navigating suburban streets in her school uniform. 

As she walked along a main road in the central Queensland town of Rockhampton, which lies between Townsville and Brisbane, Keyra was focused on the footpath that lay ahead of her. 

It was then that she was struck across the back of the head and knocked to the ground. 

She wouldn’t know it at the time, but a couple would witness what happened to Keyra that afternoon. They saw the man that attacked her – and proceeded to do much worse. 

Keyra would be the last in a rape and killing spree that shook Rockhampton in the late 1990s. Her death would lead police to a man they already knew – a man who is now infamously known as The Rockhampton Rapist. 

On Mamamia’s True Crime Conversations podcast, we explore the crimes perpetrated by Leonard Fraser with investigative reporter and author Paula Doneman.

Doneman’s book Things A Killer Would Know – The True Story Of Leonard Fraser, draws on her experiences as the Crime Editor at the Courier-Mail, Queensland’s daily newspaper. 

You can find the full episode below, or search ‘True Crime Conversations’ wherever you get your podcasts. Here are pictures of the people and places referred to in our latest episode.

Sylvia Benedetti, 19 years old.
Sylvia Benedetti, 19 years old.
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Sylvia Benedetti was raped and murdered by Leonard Fraser in a Rockhampton hotel in 1999.

Beverley Leggo, 36 years old. Image via Channel Seven.
Beverley Leggo, 36 years old. Image via Channel Seven.

Beverley Leggo was murdered in Rockhampton by Leonard Fraser in 1999.

Julie Turner, 39 years old. Image via Channel Seven.
Julie Turner, 39 years old. Image via Channel Seven.
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Julie turned was killed be Leonard Fraser in December 1998, who was charged with her manslaughter in 2003.

Keyra Steinhardt, 9 years old.
Keyra Steinhardt, 9 years old.

Keyra Steinhardt was raped and murdered by Leonard Fraser on April 22, 1999.

Natasha Ryan as a child.
Natasha Ryan as a child.

Leonard Fraser was tried for the murder of Natasha Ryan, who was later found alive, hiding inside a cupboard.

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Leonard Fraser.
Leonard Fraser.

Leonard Fraser was sentenced to life in prison for Steinhardt's murder in 2000, and later sentenced to three indefinite prison terms in 2003. He died in 2007 of a heart attack.

Map of Rockhampton. Image via Queensland Tourism.
Map of Rockhampton. Image via Queensland Tourism.
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