WARNING: This story includes details some may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Convicted killer Andrew Watson of Peterborough, Ont., may take the location of his victim’s body with him after reportedly dying in prison.
According to the Correctional Service of Canada, the 84-year-old Watson died of natural causes on July 9 while serving as an inmate at Millhaven Institution’s Regional Treatment Centre.
At the time of his death, he was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the death of Peterborough resident Lisa Fredette. He had no eligibility for parole for 25 years.
Fredette, 74, was last seen on Nov. 12, 2014, and reported missing after completing her shift as a jewelry department manager at the Walmart on Chemong Road in the city’s north end. Police determined she made a seven-kilometre drive to her home on Bensfort Road in the city’s south end.
Police say they found evidence of a struggle in the driveway of her home. Watson was arrested 10 days after her reported disappearance by her family and charged with first-degree murder and criminal harassment.
Watson pleaded not guilty to the charges, leading to his trial by jury
A police investigation discovered Fredette’s blood on a shovel in a bucket of bleach in Watson’s home on Payne Street, court heard during Watson’s trial. DNA also determined Fredette’s blood was also found in and around Watson’s SUV, and Fredette’s glasses, a house key and an earring were found in her driveway, the Crown presented as evidence.
“The chance that the blood found on a shovel in Andrew Watson’s house was not from Lise Fredette is 1 in 26 quadrillion,” the Crown stated during the trial.
Fredette’s body was never recovered despite extensive police and public searches. Watson never responded to repeated pleas from Fredette’s family and investigators to provide information. Fredette, a native of Quebec, had two children and two grandchildren.
As he issued Watson’s sentence in April 2017, Justice Hugh O’Connell asked that Watson “put closure” to the case so Fredette’s family can “lay this very kind, compassionate woman to her proper rest.”
“No thanks,” Watson retorted.
Watson’s trial revealed he and Fredette were dating, however, she ended the relationship in April 2014.
However, trial evidence showed he was often tracking Fredette, arriving at social functions to attempt to talk to her and he kept a log of her whereabouts.
The trial also heard that in September 2014 — and also 10 days before her disappearance — she reported to police her concerns about Watson after he wrote her letters and continued to follow her.
The CSC says a review into the circumstances of Watson’s death will be conducted, including assistance from the Office of the Coroner.
Global News Peterborough has reached out to Fredette’s family for comment.
more to come