NJ Cold Case
Anne & Mae Rubenstein
Highland Park, Middlesex County, NJ
12 year old Mae Rubenstein,(some sources say 11) a 6th grader at Lafayette School, was left alone in her home at 437 S. Third Ave. while her mother, Anne, was food shopping, her father Robert was working with her brother Elihu at the Star Lumber Co., in town, on February 13, 1965. Upon Anne’s return from the grocery store, she ended up finding Mae, slashed in the kitchen. The mother confronted the attacker and, like her daughter, was savagely stabbed in the neck, face and chest. The Middlesex County medical examiner determined that Anne Rubenstein was attacked with a long-bladed kitchen knife about 35 times. Mae suffered 15 stab wounds and her jugular vein was slashed. Anne’s body was later found 2 hours later in the foyer by her 9 year old nephew Maurice Feller, who came to the home to get a drink of water. She was lying in a pool of blood, and the surrounding area showed signs of a desperate scuffle. Rubenstein was still wearing her heavy winter coat, and loaves of bread were scattered on the floor. Alarmed by the scene, Feller ran to a neighbor who lived on the second floor of the building. After seeing the mother, the neighbor discovered Mae’s body in the kitchen and called police. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
No one has been labeled as a suspect in the slayings, and no weapon was ever found. A motive or explanation of such a violent crime also has not been established, as investigators found no attempts of sexual assault or even robbery – with more than $100 left behind in the house. There have been theories, one rumor stating it was a case of mistaken identity, that the killer happened upon the wrong family.
As per their Jewish tradition, the mother and daughter were buried within 24 hours of their deaths.
This case has not been solved, but the investigation still remains active.
Cause of death: Child Mae stabbed 15 times and death caused by severing the jugular vein; Anne stabbed 35 times, stab wound to the left chest, heart, causing death.
Forensic Characteristics: Double Murder – no penetrative sexual assault reported – no theft – stabbing – female child 12 years old initial victim found in kitchen – mother found in entryway
Saturday afternoon. Took place between 12:30PM and 2:30PM.
If you have any information on this case, please contact the Middlesex County Police Department at (732)-356-1900