|Will we ever know the truth... Who killed Nancy Eagleson?|
By NANCY WHITAKER
Progress Staff Writer
PAULDING — Nov. 13, 2010, marked the 50th year of Nancy Eagleson’s death. To some, 50 years seems like an eternity, but to the Eagleson family, it isn’t.
The memories of their daughter and sister have not faded with age. Nancy Eagleson was 14 years old when she was abducted, raped and murdered. The year was 1960 and it seemed perfectly safe in those days for two sisters to walk home from a movie.
Nancy had became the victim of a horrendous crime that fateful night and little Sheryl was left standing alone four houses from the bridge on old 111.
Following Nancy’s murder, many people in the community were frightened. The girls were afraid to walk to school and parents were afraid that the rapist and killer may still be in town.
The law enforcement agencies at that time worked a lot of long hours trying desperately trying to bring Nancy’s killer to justice.
Officers collected evidence such as clothing, nail clippings, her purse and various other items. No one has been able to trace that evidence or what happened to it.
Of course, now with the technology of 2010, DNA could have been collected and the crime would have had more of a chance of being solved.
Through the years, the murder of Nancy has remained in the hearts and minds of a substantial number of people. That was made evident the night of her 50 year memorial service honoring her death. A service and a memorial walk was held in a drizzling rain.
A lot of people still talk about the long ago murder with a shhhh to their voice. They whisper in still voices and say, “Don’t give my name.”
The truth is that many rumors have been passed around and if all of them were true, we may have had quite a few guilty people during this time.
Some strange telephone calls has occurred involving the Eagleson family. People have emailed our publication and other entities in town stating that they knew who Nancy’s killer was.
Merrill Eagleson Miller reported a strange happening some years ago with a package being sent to her from Florida. A post office in Tampa Bay telephoned her and said they were sending her a package. After verifying her name and getting the proper zip code, they told her they would mail the package.
A month went by and the package never did arrive. It was at that time that Merrill says a sheriff’s deputy told her that Nancy’s killer’s gun had arrived at the sheriff’s office a month before.
She said, “It was just so strange and had us wondering all these years what was going on.”
One time, Bettie Eagleson received a telephone call from a payphone telling her to meet a man in Buckland Ohio. The man requested Bettie come alone and that he knew who killed Nancy. Bettie didn’t drive, so her father, husband, Don and Sheriff John Keeler went to Buckland. When they arrived no one was there in that small town of 179 people.
Letters have arrived not only to our newspaper, but to the Eagleson family as well with various scenarios being mentioned.
There has been speculation on two serial killers who may have been in the Paulding area at the time. In the files they are listed as Thomas Ball and Mark Hodges. Both men are now deceased.
Bettie Eagleson, Nancy’s mother is still surviving. Her one hope is that someway somehow, she will find out the answer to the 50 year old question, “Who killed my daughter and why?”
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