updated 10/18/2012 11:25:05 AM ET 2012-10-18T15:25:05

Sometimes gum is a gumshoe's best ally.

A Seattle man was arrested on Monday (Oct. 15) and charged with the killing of a 70-year-old woman in 1976 after police detectives coaxed a DNA sample from him with a fake chewing gum survey, according to ABC News.

Gary Raub, 63, was an early suspect in the murder of Blanche Kimball, who was found stabbed to death in her Augusta, Maine, home on June 12, 1976. But he denied involvement and avoided any charges.

When a recent test of blood-spattered evidence from the murder scene revealed DNA belonging to a man, Maine police remembered Raub and tracked him to Seattle, where they obtained a DNA sample with the chewing gum ruse. Police said the DNA in Raub's saliva matched the DNA at the crime scene.

If the gum linking Raub to the killing proves conclusive, Kimball's case will be the oldest cracked cold case in Maine's history.

Last month, Jack McCullough, 72, was found guilty of the murder of a 7-year-old girl in 1957, making Maria Ridulph's murder the longest solved cold case in American history. McCullough was also living in Seattle at the time of his arrest, but the comparatively low-tech break in his case rested not on DNA evidence, but on the discovery of an unused train ticket that clashed with his alibi.

Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

© 2013 All rights reserved. More from


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments