Joseph Arbeiter is a name most of us had never heard of before this month.
Arbeiter is the Sedalia man accused of killing a woman, dismembering her body, and leaving her remains on his property.
The killing prompted a closer look at his past.
There’s a criminal history for various crimes. There are trips in and out of prison. There are also major crimes tied to Arbeiter where a jury found him not guilty or he was let out of prison on a technicality.
The questions continue and the one that continues to resurface is whether Arbeiter should have been free when some of these crimes were committed.
Trouble started to follow Arbeiter when we has 15 back in 1963, when he was accused of murder.
Arbeiter was first accused of killing Nancy Zanone, a 28-year-old mother of two, in December of 1963.
According to St. Louis Police records, Zanone found him in her kitchen. He later admitted to stabbing her twice, and she died the next day leaving behind a husband and her two children.
Police traced 15-year-old Arbeiter to an apartment on Morganford just blocks from the murder scene.
He was taken in for questioning, which would later play a key role in his murder conviction being overturned.
Police knew Arbeiter as a daytime burglar, and were looking at him for another case. Just a few days before the Zanone stabbing, another woman was stabbed and had her purse taken just a few blocks from the Zanone home. Nobody was ever arrested in that case.
Fast-forwarding to 1964, Arbeiter is sentenced to life in prison for Zanone’s murder.
In 1966 a new trial is ordered after his lawyer argues his rights were violated. Missouri juvenile code states he should have been turned over "immediately and directly” to juvenile authorities.
Now age 20 in 1968, Arbeiter gets a new trial for the Zanone murder. He was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 40 years in jail.
However, in January 1970, the conviction is overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court, citing the juvenile code.
Six months later Arbeiter was arrested for raping a woman in St. Louis, but was eventually found innocent and was back on the streets. It wouldn’t be for long.
Four months later, just 10 months since he had been released from prison, he was back behind bars, this time for stealing, carrying a concealed weapon, and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
After serving just 3 years for the crime, he was released on August 1, 1974.
On September 13, about a month later, Louis Hasty, whose brother owned the Artesian Lounge in Herculaneum was shot to death in the bar.
The woman he was with was sexually assaulted.
Investigators believe Hasty walked in on a burglar.
That burglar was believed to be Joseph Arbeiter. He was arrested 2 days later at his mother’s house in Arnold, about 20 minutes away.
He was later acquitted of those crimes.
Today, all that’s left of The Artesian is a sign and a small lake.
50 years ago, The Artesian was the height of night life.