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48 Hours Mystery: Peace, Love and Murder

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: January 17, 2009 | Categories: TV, Web Sites

Could a peace loving hippie brutally murder his wife?  A jury said "No".  On October 10, 2008 a jury found Robert Heartsong not guilty of the 2000 murder of his wife, Toni.  Tonight on 48 Hours Mystery Correspondent Harold Dow revisits the case.

Their meeting and falling in love sounds like a great romantic movie.  They met in the early 1970s when Bob Eckhart and Toni Soren met and 48 hours later were married.  They blended their last names to create the new romantic last name:  Heartsong.

They were married twenty-seven years and had two children, when their worlds were ripped apart by tragedy.  Bob came home to find Toni bludgeoned and stabbed to death.

According to CBSNews.com,

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 lie detector test.

The case was 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.

At topix.com/forum you can read 25 pages of comments about the Cold Case No More:  Police Arrest Husband in Heartsong Murder.  The first comment was left on November 17, 2006 to the most recent comment #503, left today January 17, 2009.  I must say I found this comment thread very interesting.  If you aren’t familiar with Topix, from their site,

Topix is the leading news community on the Web, connecting people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every U.S. town and city.

You can also read more about the case at the PalmBeachPost.com.

If you want to learn more about this case tune in tonight and watch 48 Hours Mystery: Peace, Love and Murder, Saturday, Jan. 17 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS.

Who do you think killed Toni Heartsong?  We would love to hear what you think… leave a comment with your opinion.

7 Responses to 48 Hours Mystery: Peace, Love and Murder

  1. Janet Byars says:

    I’m interested in know why Bob Heartsong wasn’t asked where he was between 6:45am and 10am? I read somewhere he said he left home at
    6:45am but later he was seen at the office around 10 or 10:30am. This time frame would give him time to hire a difter to kill his wife. Or could this
    unidentified foot print and finger print belong to another woman….this was done by a very angry person….could have been another woman in Bob’s life!?

    • Bob Sherin says:

      I started the Heartsong, Tropix thread referred to in the immediate coverage. Since you last looked, we’ve had closure as follows:

      Suzye Heartsong: “To clear your knife theory, on the counter in the kitchen was.a salad bowl, chop sticks , vegetables, and cutting board out, it’s in the police testimony, Tony had made a salad for lunch and used the tofu knife for cutting the vegetables up. No needed to find theo knife it was on the counter.” Suzye Heartsong, July 6, 2012, Post 848, identifying herself as in the Bahamas and not Katy, TX as mistakenly listed by Tropix.

      “At the murder scene, there is a knife block on the counter right near the drawer where the knife was pulled from. As the prosecutor said, what stranger is going to ignore that and open drawers? It defies logic. It takes time to search for a knife, whereas pulling a knife from a knife block is quick and easy. That is certainly suggestive that whoever did this knew where all the knives were kept.” Quoting Eyes for Lies, (check Google for URL #30).

      The case cracker; the end.

      For the first time, Suzye Heartsong says the Tofu knife employed in the murder was on the counter, not in the drawer. Since it was missing from the crime scene, only the killer could know this fact. Quoting Suzye, “I will deal with facts not unproven theories.”

      To the poster asking about Bob’s whereabouts in the morning, it was covered in detail at trial but misrepresented on 48 Hours. No way he set out at 6:15 AM for the Delray work site as reported, because he told police he saw his Son, Eli, at Chasewood Shopping Center’s Publix at around 11 AM. Eli corroborated his story. And his supposed witnesses weren’t at all certain he was at the work site from 11:20 AM on to 3:20. His red Expedition was but neighbor Carol Parkman saw a white truck in the driveway while she heard Bob and Toni arguing during the time of the murder: around noontime. At the same time, Carol’s Husband heard a scraping sound that was the tailbed of the truck.

      • Bob Sherin says:

        Above is the Tropix thread on the Heartsong case.

        Gang, I mis-wrote when I posted above the crime took place at noon. It took place around 1 PM. From 12:30 to 1:45 PM, Bob’s cell showed no usage.

        Let me entice you with another enigma — and this case is filled with them. During the afternoon, Bob called Toni several time. The fact she didn’t show up at Braman Honda at 3:45 PM and failed to answer the telephone filled Bob with anxiety, according to him.

        So what does he do when arriving home in Jupiter? Does he drop everything and rush in? Nope, he stops at the mailbox, retrieving the mail, continuing up the driveway until stopping. He tried the front door, which was dead-bolted, then went around to the opened side door where Toni’s body lay across the transom in a pool of blood.

    • Bob Sherin says:

      The Tropix Web Site didn’t come out so let’s give it a try here:
      http://www.topix.com/forum/city/jupiter-fl/TIROGIV4SI68J1KNO

      Though 48 Hours misrepresented Bob’s story (ordinarily the show is great), he did give a full account of where he was in the morning. He started by driving to his company headquarters nearby at around 6:30 AM, visited a customer in Lake Worth, drove to Chasewood Shopping Center, where his Son, Eli, worked at Publix. He arrived there sometime between 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM. He picked up a nuti-bar from General Nutrition.

      Spotting his son in the parking lot, he asked if Toni had been there (even though they were in contact during this period by cell). Lastly, he drove south to his Delray job site, arriving sometime after 11 AM.

  2. @Janet: I know… I think there is a whole lot more to this/his story.

  3. Esther Marlowe says:

    Were the hair samples entered into the DNA database? I’m sure the fingerprint was. Eventually there’ll be a match.

  4. tony alberto says:

    I was the foreman in Toni trial. My name is tony alberto. If anyone wants to discus…[email protected]

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