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HOW NAT KILLED ARLENE; EXCLUSIVE: FRIEND'S CONFESSION Associate choked her with deadly chloroform Then Fraser took her body away to dump it.

Byline: By JIM LAWSON

NAT FRASER'S best friend has broken his silence and revealed how the freed killer organised the cold-blooded murder of wife Arlene.

In an astonishing interview, Ian "Pedro" Taylor claimed Arlene was given a lethal dose of chloroform, wrapped in polythene and put in a wardrobe in her own home.

He said Fraser then went to the house and picked up the body before taking it away in a car and dumping it. Taylor said Fraser came up with a sophisticated story about Arlene blowing the lid on his bootleg cigarette racket to get a business associate to carry out the killing.

Taylor, 47, claims a "cool and calm" Fraser took the body in the boot of his car and "dumped it".

Fraser, 46, was staying with Taylor at his home in the village of Lhanbryde, near Elgin, when Arlene went missing in April 1998. He was separated from Arlene at the time, after being bailed for attempting to kill her by grabbing her throat.

Incredibly, Taylor did not give evidence at the murder trial, having told police he slept through most of the drama the night Arlene was reported missing.

Taylor was Fraser's business partner and best man at his wedding to Arlene. He handed over the wedding ring which is now at the centre of the appeal.

He has never given a major press interview - but decided to speak because he was sickened by seeing Fraser go free.

Taylor said: "Nat and his associate were selling a lot of cigarettes.

"I always thought that the bootlegging was a bit of nonsense but his associate was gullible.

"Nat had to have a catch on him for some reason for him to say, 'Go and bump the wife off'.

"So Nat had said to his associate that they were going to get caught for the fags because she was going to squeal on them.

"Whatever happened to Arlene, she was at comfort and at ease with whoever came into the house that day.

"I reckon the associate had gone in and Arlene made him breakfast.

"In his job, he carried chloroform about with him and polythene.

"He used the chloroform on her, wrapped her up in the sheet of polythene that he always carried about in the car and put her in a wardrobe in the house.

"Nat was living with us at Lhanbryde - and that night someone phoned to tell Nat that Arlene had not come home.

"Me and Nat went down to the house. He specifically said tome five times that the door was locked.

"But the doors were open because a friend of Arlene had gone in on the morning and had a look about, calling for her. But she never searched the house. I think Arlene was lying in the house.

"So Nat said to me, 'Where do we go now?' and I said go to the police and tell them she's not come home.

"I was going to my bed because I had to get up at five in the morning. At 10.30pm we went back to my house and I went to my bed.

"The police asked me if I knew Nat was in the house and I said I didn't because I was sleeping.

"I don't know if he was in the house or not. Nat was untraceable between 10.30pm and 5am the following morning. He had no alibi.

"I think he went to the house, got in through the open door, took her out and put her in the back of the car before dumping her.

"Two or three days after that Nat's attitude changed. He was full of himself and cool and calm again.

"At the time the associate said to me that Arlene was just a missing person then added that the police had been out to search his garden.

"Then he said that they were away at the wrong place anyway. I don't know exactly what he meant. But it made me wonder."

Chloroform can cause serious damage to both the liver and the kidneys.

As little as 10 millilitres of the drug can kill by inducing a heart attack or causing a patient to stop breathing.

Arlene was last seen in the doorway of her home in Elgin in April, 1998. After waving her children off to school, she disappeared.

Fraser ended up in the dock charged with killing her. Former friend, Hector Dick, who turned Queen's evidence, told the High Court in Edinburgh that Fraser had hired a hitman to murder Arlene, then disposed of the remains himself.

Fraser was jailed for a minimum of 25 years in 2003 but has protested his innocence. He was freed nine days ago pending an appeal.

That appeal was given a massive boost when it emerged vital evidence had been withheld from his defence team by the Crown.

Two probes investigating the way Grampian Police and the Crown Office handled the case are under way. They relate to Arlene's rings - which police claimed Fraser removed from her body and returned to the house.

It is now alleged detectives took away the rings in the early stage of the investigation and put them back a few days later.

Taylor, who ran a fruit and veg business with Fraser until 2000, said: "I'm just absolutely gubbed that he's out. I really am.

"And for the police to throw pounds 6million at an investigation and then see him let out is beyond me.

"I'm so sorry for Arlene's family.

"Nat and I were mates for 25 years. We were at the same school, Elgin Academy. And I'm still struggling a bit because of my association with him. I lost some big contracts.

"The other day I was driving locally and I nipped out in front of a taxi driver.He stopped and tooted his horn so I got out and said, 'What's your problem?'

"He looked at me and shouted, 'You, you murderer'.

"That was worse than any blow to me. That's the damage he's done and I've had to live with it.

"I'm not a murderer but you're damaged. I've had to knuckle down. I cannot go out, I don't socialise or anything like that.

"I've got criminal charges against me for firearms, horrendous charges. You know what I had done? I forgot to sign my shotgun certificate.

"All this has had a terrible effect on my family life. We're all torn and twisted. My wife was best mates with Arlene, as close a mate as you possibly could, and yet she got hate telephone calls.

"You know, nobody from the police ever came to me and asked me what I thought had happened."

Taylor continues to run the fruit and veg company, now called Speyfruit Limited. He is suing Fraser for more than pounds 20,000 over a business tax bill.

He said: "Nat will be as bold and brass and wander about Elgin High Street and think he will be accepted back.

"But I never want to see him again."

'Nat took her body out of the house and dumped it. I am really gubbed he is out' Pal Ian Taylor

CAPTION(S):

Victim: Wife Arlene' Killer: Nat Fraser' Claims: Taylor' Horror: The house in Elgin where Taylor says Arlene Fraser was murdered by associate of Nat' Under pressure: Nat Fraser, left, and Ian Taylor are quizzed by Press about Arlene in 2000' Mystery: Taylor's house where Nat Faser was staying on the day Arlene was murdered' Tragic: Arlene at a family wedding - dressed in a skirt, which she hardly ever wore
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 21, 2006
Words:1267
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