Did a mysterious hitchhiker murder a med student in the Canadian wilderness?
On June 14th, 1988, 25-year-old Philip Fraser, the son of two physicians, left his home in Anchorage, Alaska, to enroll in a pre-med course at Evergreen College in Washington State. Philip had packed everything he owned for the trip, including two handguns. On June 17th, after losing two days to car trouble, Philip crossed the border into Canada. Craig Gates was a corporal with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the time of Philip’s crossing:
After a one-day delay, Philip Fraser was again, on his way. His guns became the property of the Canadian government. The next day, six hundred miles south of the border checkpoint, a hitchhiker was dropped off at a local café south of the border. Café owner Gaye Frocklage was working when the hitchhiker stopped in:
Gaye’s daughter, Tina, was also working at the cafe:
Nobody was in the café at the time, and Gaye worried for her daughter’s safety:
The vehicle was Philip Fraser’s. Meanwhile, inside the café Gaye was relieved when the hitchhiker finally finished his meal. He paid for his bill in Canadian money. Gale then watched as the hitchhiker approached Philip’s car:
According to Gaye, it was then that Philip drove off with the hitchhiker in his car:
Eight hours later and 200 miles south of the Café, Eddie and Pauline Olson, of Kitwanga, Canada, pulled over to help a stranded motorist. Eddie Olson remembered how nervous the man was:
Eddie Olson offered to let him sleep in their basement for the night. The next morning, the young man told Edie that his parents were both doctors in Anchorage and that he was on his way to college in the States, to study medicine:
The Olsons were surprised when the young man pulled out two wallets and began to behave secretively. He gave the Olsons twenty dollars in American money, then left to fix his car. Within an hour, the young man was back on the road, headed south. The car trouble had turned out to be nothing more than a broken fan belt.
Then, just twelve hours later, the charred ruins of Philip Fraser’s car were found at a car wash in Prince George, British Columbia, 300 miles from the Olson’s home. According to Corporal Gates, the car was completely gutted prior to being set on fire:
Philip’s father, Dr. Robert Fraser, was not very hopeful after hearing the news:
Six weeks later, Dr. Fraser was informed that his son’s body had been found seventy miles from the Olson’s home:
What really happened along that lovely stretch of Canadian highway? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police believed that the mysterious hitchhiker learned everything he could about Philip and then killed him. Corporal Gates believed the hitchhiker assumed Philip’s identity, stole his possessions, and finally, attempted to destroy the car:
The authorities believe that the hitchhiker is familiar with Toronto and Seattle and may be using Philip’s name—Philip Innes Fraser. Among the items never recovered were Philip’s birth certificate, visa, passport, and checkbook.