DA: Man convicted in 1971 cold case murder of Bedford mother Natalie Scheublin

WOBURN, Mass. — The man charged in the 1971 killing of a Massachusetts mother was convicted of first-degree murder by a Middlesex jury on Tuesday.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Bedford Police Chief John Fisher announced that almost fifty-three years after the crime occurred, Arthur L. Massei, 78, of Salem, has been convicted of the June 10, 1971 killing of Natalie Scheublin.

Massei was also convicted of Solicitation to Suborn Perjury in the Trial of a Capital Indictment, after investigators in 2022 thwarted his attempt to pay a witness to testify falsely that he had been framed for the crime, according to Ryan.

“Natalie Scheublin was a wife, a mother, and a cancer survivor who loved gardening and painting. She was brutally murdered by a stranger in her own home,” said District Attorney Ryan. “For more than fifty years this case went unsolved. Today’s verdict is the culmination of years of investigative work and exemplifies the core mission of my Cold Case Unit – providing answers to families.”

The victim was Natalie Scheublin, 54, a mother and wife of a local banker, who was found murdered in her basement by her husband on June 10, 1971. Scheublin had been tied up, and a gag was around her neck when she was discovered, according to Ryan. She had been stabbed with a knife and hit in the head.

The investigation revealed that a set of bank keys was missing and that Scheublin’s automobile, a blue and white 1969 Chevrolet Impala, had been taken. Police located the car in the parking lot of a nearby Veteran’s Administration hospital shortly after the killing.

In 1999, fingerprint examiners from the Massachusetts State Police used a new tool, the FBI’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), to attempt to identify the fingerprints found on the Impala and other latent fingerprints found at the crime scene.

They were able to identify one of the fingerprints form the vehicle matched the DNA of Massei.

In 2000, Massei was interviewed by police and denied ever having been in Bedford or having any knowledge of the murder, Ryan said.

In 2005, when police re-interviewed Massei, he changed his story, claiming that he had been solicited by an organized crime associate to murder the wife of a banker and to make the murder look like a break-in, but that he had refused the solicitation, according to Ryan.

The DA says police kept chasing leads and Ryan said that in 2019 her office again focused on this murder case.

Ryan says police eventually identified a woman who admitted she had been involved with Massei in schemes to defraud banks during the 1990′s. She told police Massei almost always carried a knife and that “he had bragged to her that he had previously killed someone with a knife,” said Ryan.

That information, along with other facts in the case, was presented to a grand jury which returned the indictment charging Massei.

“While he was in custody for the murder charge, Massei attempted to procure a witness to give false testimony at his trial, offering a $1000 cash payment if the witness would falsely claim that Massei had been framed for the murder, to derail the prosecution,” said Ryan.

Ryan said that charge was joined for trial along with the indictment alleging first-degree murder.

Massei will be sentenced on May 31 in Middlesex Superior Court.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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