DID A PEACE-LOVING HIPPIE BRUTALLY MURDER HIS WIFE? CBS NEWS "48 HOURS MYSTERY" SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2009
It was the early 1970s when Bob Eckhart and Toni Soren met. The two self-proclaimed hippies fell in love instantly and were married only 48 hours after meeting, blending their last names to create a new romantic one: "Heartsong." Twenty-seven years and two children later, their union was torn apart when Bob came home from work to find Toni bludgeoned and stabbed to death, with seven wounds to her neck.
Bob Heartsong's peaceful personality wasn't all that made him an unlikely suspect in his wife's death. An unidentified fingerprint discovered on the deadbolt of the door, a series of burglaries at neighboring homes and a suspicious homeless man spotted in the area all likely eliminated Heartsong as a possible suspect. His alibi, seemingly corroborated by his co-workers, also placed him 43 miles from the murder scene and he even passed the police's lie detector test.
The case went cold-until 2006. Six years after Toni Heartsong's murder, a determined detective reopened the case in the hope that new DNA technology could help uncover her killer. Authorities believed they struck gold when the tests came back identifying Bob Heartsong's blood under his wife's thumbnail and his DNA on her hand, providing enough evidence for prosecutors to try him for her murder.
But could this affable man who said his marriage was "like living in nirvana" so brutally kill his wife? What about the co-workers who claimed Heartsong was at work during the crime? And the strange man who was spotted in the area around the time of the murder?
Correspondent Harold Dow reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Peace, Love and Murder," Saturday, Jan. 17 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Alec Sirken and Lourdes Aguiar. Paul Ryan is the senior producer. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.