A SERIAL KILLER'S PRESUMED VICTIM SHOWS UP AT THE KILLER'S TRIAL
ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF "48 HOURS MYSTERY," SATURDAY, SEPT. 24
It's never happened in 48 HOURS MYSTERY history -- and maybe not ever -- but a serial killer's presumed victim shows up at the killer's trial on the 18th season premiere, "Back from the Dead," to be broadcast Saturday, Sept. 24 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports from Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, where a community was terrified of a cold-blooded killer. Five women and girls were missing, including nine-year-old Keyra Steinhart, 14-year-old Natasha Ryan, 19-year-old Sylvia Benedetti, 37-year-old Beverly Leggo and 39-year-old Julie Turner.
The night Steinhart vanishes, police pick up Leonard "Lenny" Fraser, who had been spotted in the girl's neighborhood. Fraser, a meat cutter at a local slaughterhouse, had previously served prison time for assault. While being questioned about Steinhart's disappearance, Fraser claims he's innocent, but authorities arrest him anyway and search his car for clues. They find blood evidence. After much pressure from police, Fraser leads them to the nine-year-old's body, but claims someone else told him the location.
However, Steinhart's blood was not the only blood found in Fraser's car. There was other human blood. Police put together a list of names of young women who disappeared since Fraser came to town and came up with the names of the four other females mentioned above.
Fraser refused to admit to the other murders, but the police received one of the most unusual offers of help ever -- an offer they couldn't refuse. One of Fraser's fellow prison inmates, a con man named Allan Quinn, thought he could help crack the killer. Quinn laid out a plan where he would earn Fraser's trust and get him to talk about the four murders. Staying in prison to help police an extra nine months though he was free to leave, Quinn got Fraser's confession while he was secretly recording their conversation. And incredibly, Quinn even convinced Fraser to lead police to three of the four bodies.
Thanks to Quinn's help, authorities are able to indict Fraser for the four murders and go to trial. However, on the 12th day of the trial, something extraordinary happens. One of the presumed victims walks into the courtroom. Where had she been? Why did Fraser confess to killing her? Above all, could this stunning surprise jeopardize the case against a confessed serial killer?
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Back from the Dead" is produced by Doug Longhini and Chuck Stevenson. Al Briganti is the executive editor and Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.