Natalie Scheublin’s husband found her lifeless body in their home’s basement in Bedford, Massachusetts, on June 10, 1971, officials said.
Scheublin, 54, had been bound and repeatedly stabbed. A gag was found around her neck.
On Tuesday, after more than 50 years, Scheublin’s loved ones moved closer to a potential conviction after prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted Arthur Louis Massei on a first-degree murder charge, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement.
Massei, 76, of Salem, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, prosecutors said.
Investigators linked him to Scheublin’s homicide through a fingerprint found on her stolen 1969 Chevrolet Impala and a witness who told authorities about his possible involvement in Scheublin’s death, prosecutors said.
“More than half a century ago, Natalie Scheublin, a wife and mother, was violently murdered in her own home,” Ryan said. “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.”
Scheublin's relatives were not immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
Bedford Police Chief Ken Fong said in the statement: “I’m hopeful that the arrest in this case will provide some closure and sense of justice for Natalie Scheublin’s family, as well as assurance to all in our community who were shocked by this brutal crime.”
Massei could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. It was unclear whether he had secured an attorney.
Massei's daughter, Candice Moran, of Florida, said she has not spoken to her father in 30 years.
Prosecutors allege Scheublin was killed the month Moran was born, she said.
"If it's true, it's absolutely disgusting," Moran said. "We are really sorry for the family. It is shocking to hear this happened two weeks before I was born."
Prosecutors said Scheublin was found dead by her husband, Raymond Scheublin, the president of the Lexington Trust Bank. An autopsy determined she had been stabbed with a knife multiple times and struck in the head with an unidentified object, officials said.
Her Impala was found less than a mile away, prosecutors said.
“Although the car appeared to have been intentionally wiped down to remove fingerprints, police were able to observe and collect several latent fingerprints from it, including one from the right rear window. Police at the time followed several leads, but a suspect was not identified at that time.”
Decades passed without an arrest. But in 1999, prosecutors said, new FBI fingerprint technology was used.
“Subsequent analysis of that print by a State Police fingerprint expert confirmed that the latent print recovered from the victim’s vehicle matched the defendant’s left thumb,” officials said.
Over the course of interviews, prosecutors said, Massei first denied any involvement in Scheublin's death. He later claimed, prosecutors said, that he had been solicited by an organized crime associate to murder the wife of a banker and to make the crime look like a break-in.
Massei claimed that he refused the solicitation. Investigators found no corroborating evidence that Raymond Scheublin was involved in a plot to kill his wife, prosecutors said.
Ryan’s office created a Cold Case Unit in 2019. Throughout 2020 and 2021, investigators working with the unit on the case, including state police troopers and Bedford police detectives, continued to gather information about Massei’s past in their search for witnesses, prosecutors said.
Investigators were able to find a woman who said she had worked with Massei on a scheme to defraud banks in the 1990s. The witness also provided other critical information, prosecutors said.
“She revealed that Massei habitually carried a knife and had bragged to her about having killed someone with a knife. That information, along with the other facts of the case, was presented to the Middlesex County Grand Jury, which returned an indictment of the defendant for the charge of murder today,” prosecutors said.