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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, visited her sister Anna 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 on Motor Street 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. The murder weapon was never found, but Dean had quickly confessed and later plead guilty to the crime. 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 away to prison he oddly claimed he had been framed and pointed out that the murder weapon was never located. Full Size
Helen Nasal’s grave site in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Neshannock Township. (Sep 2013) Full Size