Anne Rubenstein and Mae Rubenstein. Highland Park, New Jersey.

On February 13, 1965, a mother and daughter Anne, 41, and Mae, 11, Rubenstein were found fatally stabbed in their home on 437 South Third Ave in Highland Park, NJ by an unknown assailant. They were both pronounced dead on arrival when authorities reached their home.

If you have any information in regards to this attack please contact the Middlesex County CrimeStoppers.

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"It is something that has never really left the minds of anyone in our family," recalls Aviva LaGasse, Rubenstein’s niece. "It also really changed the innocence of Highland Park."

The slayings of 41-year-old Rubenstein and her 11-year-old daughter, Mae Rubenstein, were as senseless as they were brutal, authorities have said. They remain unsolved, despite getting a fresh review in the 46 years since they occurred.

"We are hopeful that, one day, evidence in the Rubenstein case will lead to an arrest," said James O’Neill, a spokesman for the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to police records and previously reported accounts of the Feb. 13, 1965, crime, Mae, a sixth-grader at the now-defunct Lafayette School, was alone in her parents’ home at 437 S. Third Ave. Her father, Robert, and brother, Elihu, were working at the Star Lumber Co. in town. Anne Rubenstein was food shopping.

Upon her return, Rubenstein found Mae, slashed in her own home. The mother confronted the attacker and, like her daughter, was savagely stabbed. The Middlesex County medical examiner determined Rubenstein was stabbed with a long-blade kitchen knife some 35 times. Mae suffered 15 stab wounds and her jugular vein was slashed.

Rubenstein’s body was discovered by Maurice Feller, her 9-year-old nephew and LaGasse’s brother, who came to the home to get a drink of water. She was lying in a pool of blood in the foyer, which 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, she discovered Mae’s body in the kitchen and called police.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

No one has ever been labeled a suspect in the slayings. 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 that was in the house left behind.

The crime scene, according to LaGasse, was cleaned quickly to ease the shock for Robert Rubenstein, who died last year. Also, as part of Jewish tradition, the mother and daughter were buried within 24 hours of their deaths.

"I think now in terms of crime and investigations," LaGasse said. "I don’t think there’s any way a crime would be cleaned so quickly."

There have been theories, LaGasse said. She cited one rumor it was a case of mistaken identity, that the killer happened upon the wrong family.

There have also been efforts by authorities to keep the case alive, even in recent years. In 2005, LaGasse said, she was queried by Highland Park Police because they were close to bringing someone in for questioning.

Apparently, however, nothing came of it. Her calls to Highland Police after their initial contact went unanswered. Highland Park Capt. Scott Golden said he could not comment on LaGasse’s contention because the detective who approached her is on sick leave.

The county prosecutor’s office said it continues to review the case.

"The investigation remains active," O’Neill said. "We believe that the person who killed Ms. Rubenstein and her daughter made some mistakes that have been helpful to investigators."

Middlesex County Crime Stoppers. 800-939-9600.

Cold Cases: Double slaying of Highland Park mother and daughter continues to baffle investigators

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