On the morning of December 9 1955, the residents of tiny Melbourne would awaken to the news of a brutal murder the night before.
Soon Philip Van Eeghen would go on trial for the double homicide of his wife and daughter. The murders and their aftermath would rock the little town of Melbourne and the nation. For months, local and national newspapers screamed out every detail of the trials right up to his 1958 conviction. From the New York Times to the Melbourne Daily Times, it was sensational news.
When he was finally convicted, Van Eeghen was sentenced to life at Florida’s State Prison in Starke Florida. After only 13 years, he escaped and was not recaptured for another 8 years. Unbelievably, only one year after he returned to prison, he was paroled. How could this man be paroled after escaping and serving such a short time? What a miscarriage of justice!
Was he really the murderer? How was he convicted with no motive and no murder weapon or did the police unknowingly have the weapon and was there a motive they overlooked?
Was he guilty of the brutal death of his son the year before or was it an accident as he claimed?
This story continues to remain a mystery after 55 years and still baffles and fascinates us today.