Man pleads not guilty to 1976 Augusta murder

Posted Jan. 31, 2013, at 3:28 p.m.
Gary Raub
Maine State Police
Gary Raub

AUGUSTA, Maine — The man accused of killing a woman in Augusta in 1976 pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday morning, according to an official at the attorney general’s office.

Gary Sanford Raub, 64, is charged with murder in connection with the death of Blanche M. Kimball. The 70-year-old woman’s body was found in her State Street home on June 12, 1976. An autopsy determined she had been stabbed multiple times.

Raub, who was going by the name Gary Robert Wilson at the time of the slaying, was extradited to Maine from Washington state on Jan. 25. He was arrested in October.

“The state requested a Harnish bail hearing, which is done in the case of serious crimes to deny bail,” said Kaylene Waindle, special assistant to the attorney general. A date for the bail hearing has not yet been set.

Waindle said Raub is still being held without bail at Kennebec County Jail.

Raub was tied to the cold murder case through DNA evidence after he took part in an undercover “chewing gum survey” in Seattle that police staged in July, according to documents filed in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Raub had rented a room from Kimball in 1976 and was the prime suspect in her murder from the beginning, according to the affidavit. He denied involvement in her death and left the state a few years after the murder.

He surfaced this fall in Seattle after he was suspected in the stabbing of another transient. Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot, who had taken over the cold case in 2003, worked with Seattle police to match blood from the knife used in the west coast stabbing to blood found at the Augusta murder scene.

In July, a Seattle police detective posed as a market researcher and asked Raub to participate in a “chewing gum survey,” for which he would be paid $5. Raub agreed, according to the affidavit. The gum he chewed was sent to the Maine State Police Crime Lab, where investigators concluded that the DNA matched a blood drop found on the kitchen drawer of Kimball’s residence after her murder.

His arrest marks the record for the oldest cold case arrest in Maine history.

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