Cops use fake ‘chewing gum survey’ to solve 36-year-old murder mystery

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:04 EDT
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A woman chews bubble gum. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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Police in Augusta, Maine said this week that they’ve captured the killer of a woman who was murdered 36 years ago, and they did it by tricking the man into taking a fake “chewing gum survey,” according to a published report.

Gary Raub, 63, was arrested Tuesday in connection to the murder of Blanche M. Kimball, a 70-year-old woman who was stabbed to death in her home in 1976. Raub rented a room from Kimball before she was killed, and though police initially considered him a primary suspect, they never had enough evidence to file charges.

A court filing obtained by The Kennebec Journal explained that after decades without any leads, police were able to find DNA evidence they believed to be from the perpetrator by re-examining blood samples taken at the original crime scene. New evidence in hand, they immediately began searching for Raub and found him living on the streets in Seattle.

In July, detectives invited him to participate in a chewing gum survey. The saliva on the gum they gave him was ultimately his undoing, giving detectives the evidence they needed to compare his DNA to traces from the crime scene.

Raub was charged with murder and is being held in a Seattle jail on a $1.5 million bond.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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