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The Murder of Helen Nasal - New Castle PA

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On the night of Thursday, June 13, 1940, twenty-eight-year-old Miss Helen Nasal (on left), a local hairdresser who lived with her parents Adam and Helen Nasal at #1131 Motor Court, Shenango Township, visited her sister Anna Marie Dean at #1408 Jackson Avenue near Cascade Park. Nearing midnight she asked her brother-in-law, thirty-four-year-old mill worker Arthur F. Dean (on right), to escort her to her family home off of the Old Butler Road. It was not the first time Arthur Dean had walked her home for her own protection – but this time tragedy struck. For reasons still unknown Dean, an uneducated man possibly suffering from mental illness, brutally stabbed Nasal to death in a remote field about 200 yards from her home. Nasal was not sexually assaulted and apparently had put up a violent struggle for her life. Dean was seen leaving the scene and arrested soon after. The news of the senseless murder shocked the citizens of New Castle. (c1939) Full Size

The murder weapon was never found, but Dean had quickly confessed and later plead guilty to the crime. There were allegations that Dean had been sexually molesting Nasal’s seventeen-year-old sister for several years. He did not testify during his trial held later that year and subsequently was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 15, 1941. As he was being led out of the courtroom he claimed he had been framed and pointed out that the murder weapon was never located. He lived out the rest of his days in the Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh and died at the age of seventy-one in January 1976. He is buried in Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery (Northside Catholic Cemetery) in Pittsburgh. (c1940)

A notice that appeared in the New Castle News on Friday, June 13, 1947.

Helen Nasal’s grave site in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Neshannock Township. (Sep 2013) Full Size

(Sep 2013)

(Sep 2013)


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