Clues crack cold case of mom murdered 50 years ago: MA cops


A man was arrested more than 50 years after a wife and mother was murdered in Massachusetts and the case went cold, officials say. He’s charged with murder.

Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office

A potential murder suspect identified by his fingerprint in 1999 was just arrested in connection to a woman’s slaying more than 50 years ago, authorities in Massachusetts say.

In 2019, cold case investigators began revisiting the murder of 54-year-old Natalie Scheublin, who was found tied up and stabbed several times in the basement of her home in Bedford in 1971, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.

New clues have led police to charge Arthur Louis Massei, 76, of Salem, with first-degree murder on March 22, the office said in a news release that detailed the “brutal crime.”

Scheublin is believed to have been repeatedly stabbed and then struck in the head with an unknown object, which caused “massive blunt force injury” and her death, according to officials.

On June 10, 1971, police arrived within minutes after Raymond Scheublin, the president of Lexington Trust Bank, found his wife face down on the floor when he returned home from work, the release said.

Natalie Scheublin’s blue and white 1969 Chevrolet Impala was missing, but investigators tracked it down less than a half mile away from where she was killed at a local veteran’s hospital, according to the office.

Although it appeared the car had been “intentionally wiped down to remove fingerprints,” police still managed to collect fingerprints and “followed several leads, but a suspect was not identified at that time,” the release said.

About 27 years later, in 1999, state police used the FBI’s newly established Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to analyze the fingerprints collected from Scheublin’s Impala and the crime scene, according to the district attorney’s office. Massei was identified at that time.

Massei initially claimed he had no knowledge of Scheublin’s murder and had never been to Bedford, the release said.

He eventually told investigators he had been asked “by an organized crime associate to murder the wife of a banker” and make it “look like a break-in,” according to the district attorneys office. However, Massei said he turned down that job and police found no evidence to corroborate “Mr. Scheublin was involved in a plot to kill his wife.”

The case went cold for the next 20 years until Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s cold case unit “refocused” on it and combed through the evidence looking for new leads, including digging into Massei’s past, the release said.

“They identified a woman who admitted that she had been involved with Massei in schemes to defraud banks in the 1990s,” according to the office. “She revealed that Massei habitually carried a knife and had bragged to her about having killed someone with a knife.”

This break in the case, alongside already established facts, was shown to a grand jury, who decided to indict Massei on a first-degree murder charge, the release said.

“More than half a century ago, Natalie Scheublin, a wife and mother, was violently murdered in her own home,” Ryan said in a statement.

“Today, we were able to tell her son and daughter that we were finally able to take the first step in holding the alleged perpetrator accountable for her death.”

Massei is due for an arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on March 23.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the southeast and northeast while based in New York. She’s an alumna of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she’s written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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