How Qld singer faked her own kidnapping

 

IT sounds like something out of a potboiler thriller - A local singer is kidnapped by a crazed fan only to be abandoned on a rural road days later.

Only it then turned out it wasn't true at all - Instead it was all just a publicity stunt to try and boost a flagging career.

It's a plot right out of a Hollywood scriptwriter's fevered imagination but it actually happened right here on the Gold Coast.

The Town and Country at Nerang was demolished this week. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
The Town and Country at Nerang was demolished this week. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

Memories of the Fairlie Arrow saga were revived this week when the wreckers moved in on the Town and Country Motel at Nerang.

The unassuming hotel was where Ms Arrow hid out during the days she claimed to have been held by her alleged kidnappers.

The hotel will be replaced by a new office tower but memories of its role in the bizarre stunt remain strong nearly 30 years later.

Singer Fairlie Arrow, who faked her own death.
Singer Fairlie Arrow, who faked her own death.

It was December 15, 1991 when Ms Arrow came to public note when police announced to the media they held fears for the singer's safety

They said the then-27-year-old, who had complained of having been harassed by a male fan for six months had disappeared from her Isle of Capri home.

Det Sgt Mike Sparke told media a friend raised the alarm after having gone to the singer's home 8.50pm the previous night only to find the door of her car was open and the open front door had the keys in the lock.

Sgt Sparke said a man had previously entered Ms Arrow's former home at Mudgeereba and written the words "don't leave me'' in lipstick on a bedroom mirror.

Singer Fairlie Arrow as pictured in magazine Penthouse Aug 1992 P/ magazines music singers
Singer Fairlie Arrow as pictured in magazine Penthouse Aug 1992 P/ magazines music singers

He said it was believed the same man had discovered her new address and written the words "you left me'' on a mirror, again in lipstick.

"This man has been building up his infatuation over a lengthy period of time and he's so infatuated that he has to be with this girl,'' Sgt Sparke said.

"I'd say he's demented _ he needs help and we're hoping he's not going to harm her. He's never shown signs that he wanted to hurt her before.''

Ms Arrow's then-husband, George Harvey, was a member of the Gold Coast comedy troupe The Four Kinsman and rushed back from Adelaide where they were on tour at the time.

Singer Fairlie Arrow, who faked her own death.
Singer Fairlie Arrow, who faked her own death.

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He made an emotional plea for his wife's return.

"It's like something out of a Stephen King novel,'' he said.

Fears grew for Ms Arrow's safety but there was joy when she was found 48 hours later dumped on the side of the road at Mudgeeraba.

Police initially declared it a miracle but the case soon soured when officers began to have serious doubts about her story.

How the Bulletin reported Arrow being found safe.
How the Bulletin reported Arrow being found safe.

 

Just a day later, the story was already coming undone
Just a day later, the story was already coming undone

Outside Broadbeach Police Station, Ms Arrow said she knew there was a lot of scepticism about her 48 hour ordeal in which she said she was blindfolded, gagged and her arms and legs tied to a four-poster bed.

Ms Arrow, 27, also described as ludicrous suggestions that "the most frightening experience of my life'' was designed to boost plans for a commercial neighbourhood watch security company.

"Trust me. This is not a bad publicity stunt," she said.

"I can think of a lot of easier ways to run a publicity stunt than this."

Fairlie Arrow arriving at Southport Court 16 June 1992.
Fairlie Arrow arriving at Southport Court 16 June 1992.

It was just a week later that Ms Arrow admitted it was indeed a hoax before fleeting to Sydney.

Mr Harvey announced the couple's marriage was over while MS arrow was charged her with making a false complaint and false statement while also slapper her with the $18,000 bill for the search.

By the mid-1990s she relocated to the US where she still lives today.

Originally published as How Coast singer faked her own kidnapping


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