A man who pleaded guilty to killing Blanche M. Kimball, of Augusta, in 1976 died Wednesday at PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

Gary S. Raub, 67, had served about two years of a 20-year sentence for criminal homicide in the second degree at the time of his death. His earliest possible release date from the Maine State Prison in Warren would have been May 2, 2025.

Maine State Police and the medical examiner are reviewing Raub’s death, which is standard when a prisoner dies while in the custody of the corrections department, according to a department press release.

At the time of his arrest in 2012, state police said it was the oldest unsolved homicide case to result in charges in Maine history.

In 1976, Raub, then Gary Wilson, lived in Kimball’s 352 State St. home in Augusta for a short time. He was questioned by police after Kimball’s body was discovered in early June 1976, but he denied any involvement. Kimball, a 70-year-old retired dental technician and practical nurse who took in boarders, had 44 stab wounds.

Maine’s interest in Raub as a suspect in Kimball’s death rekindled after he was accused in an October 2011 stabbing in a homeless man. Authorities said Raub was also homeless, living on the streets in the university district of Seattle, Washington.

Raub was charged in October 2012 with criminal homicide in the first degree, the equivalent to today’s murder charge, in connection with Kimball’s death. The charge against Raub originally said he “knowingly inflicted great physical suffering” while intending to kill Kimball.

The charge followed an undercover sting in which Seattle police detectives got Raub’s DNA by paying him $5 to participate in what they told him was a chewing gum survey.

He was later extradited to Maine to face the criminal homicide charge after authorities said the DNA sample linked him to a genetic sample found on a knife believed to be the murder weapon and to DNA found in Kimball’s house.

About two years ago, Raub entered an Alford plea, agreeing it was likely the state could prove that he committed the crime.

In a June 2014 jailhouse interview with the Kennebec Journal after the plea, Raub said he had no memory of Kimball or the incident, but he “pled guilty because it must have happened.”

“I’m guilty, but it doesn’t mean I admitted the crime,” he said at the time. “I pled guilty mostly out of the fact that if I go to the maker, the God in the sky, I want a clear conscience.”

He also said in the interview that he had existing medical problems, including trouble with his equilibrium. Raub, who was 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighed 123 pounds, according to the corrections department website.

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