Monday, February 18, 2013

Perfect Murders

Anne Rubenstein
Getting away...
by Robert A. Waters

One-third of all murders in America are never solved.  Even with today’s technological advances (DNA, computers, video-camera surveillance, the ability to trace cell phones, better forensics, and automated fingerprint systems), the unsolved rate is the same as it has been for decades.  This means that about 4,000 killers walk free every year.  Do the math: at any given time, a couple hundred thousand murderers walk the streets.
Below, I’ve described three unsolved cases that occurred in 1965.  If the killers are still alive, they will certainly be in their seventies and it's unlikely they'll be brought to justice. 

On July 30, 1965, Suellen Evans met her killer as she walked through the Coker Arboretum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  In broad daylight, an assailant pulled her behind some bushes.  Using a knife, he cut off her blouse while attempting to rape her.  Hearing screams, a female student ran to the scene, breaking up the assault.  But it was too late—Suellen’s throat had been slashed and she’d been stabbed through the heart.  Some witnesses claimed a middle-aged man with red hair fled the scene, others that the attacker was dark-skinned.  Such a brazen assault in a public area should have resulted in a quick arrest, but the perpetrator was never found.  After 48 years, someone got away with murder.

The tragic slayings of Anne Rubenstein and her eleven-year-old daughter, Mae Rubenstein, have likewise never been solved.  On February 13, 1965, Mae was home alone in Highland Park, New Jersey, while her mother went grocery shopping.  An intruder entered the home, stabbed the girl 15 times, then cut her jugular vein.  Mae was already dead when her mother returned home and confronted the attacker.  Using a kitchen knife, the killer stabbed Anne Rubenstein 35 times.  The violent, bloody attacks left the community in shock.  For years, police attempted to develop leads, but came up empty-handed.  Since there seemed to be no sexual assault or robbery, detectives were stymied for lack of a motive.  Although police refuse to give up, and still continue to investigate the case, no viable suspects have ever been found.  The killer would likely be 65 to 75 years old if he’s still alive.

The “Bangor House Strangling” in Bangor, Maine, occurred on the morning of March 18, 1965.  A hard-working chambermaid, Effie MacDonald, went missing during her shift.  Hotel employees found her body in a third-floor room.  Investigators determined that she’d been raped, beaten, and strangled with her own stocking.  According to family members, Effie “never drank once in her life, never smoked, and never swore.”  Even after 48 years, her family remembers her as a kind person who loved knitting.  After a lengthy investigation, Bangor Police Detective Capt. Clifton E. Sloane claimed he knew the name of the murderer but didn’t have enough evidence to convict.  Today, the case is still unsolved.

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