Man implicated in Sedalia homicide has previously been convicted of murder

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PETTIS COUNTY, Mo. -- A 65-year-old Sedalia man, charged with the murder and dismemberment of a 35-year-woman, is no stranger to the law. Joseph Arbeiter was arrested at age 15 and charged with murdering a married mother of two in 1963.

Murder, rape, burglary, drug offenses and automotive violations, Arbeiter's rap sheet runs the gamut from petty crime to being accused of some of the most heinous crimes.

“We have ruled the death a homicide from multiple stab wounds to the chest,” said Pettis County Coroner Robert Smith.

Ten days ago when police were called to investigate body parts found near Arbeiter's mobile home in Sedalia, it wasn't the first time he was linked to killing someone.

According to court records, in 1963 Arbeiter was charged with the murder of 28-year-old Nancy Zanone, a married woman and the mother of two young kids.

Arbeiter was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. But that case was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court, citing Arbeiter's confession to St. Louis police was inadmissible because he wasn't turned over to juvenile court or read his rights as required by law.

In 1974 Arbeiter was charged with another murder. According to published reports, Arbeiter killed a tavern owner in a small town outside of St. Louis and sexually assaulted the owner's girlfriend. He was acquitted of those charges in 1976 and the case was sealed.

To make sure justice is served in the murder of Mandy Black, whose dismembered body was found on May 4 in a Sedalia trailer park, Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond and the county prosecutor say they have a solid case that's done by the book.

“Obviously we are mindful of that during this investigation and have made sure that we have tried to cover all areas to make sure we have done a complete and legal investigation of this, so that the perpetrator may be brought to justice,” Sheriff Bond said.

Arbeiter will make his first appearance in court on the new charges on Monday. Sheriff Bond said Arbeiter lived in the trailer park in Sedalia for 18 months, but they believe he lived in the town for three years. Investigators are trying to track his whereabouts for the past several years to see if he's linked to any unsolved murder or missing person cases.

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