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Developer apparently tortured before death

May 6, 1997

CHICAGO (AP) _ In his final moments, the man who once dreamed of developing the world’s tallest building was bound like a mummy, stabbed repeatedly and stuffed under a car in his blood-splattered garage.

Then, police say, the killer went inside Lee Miglin’s home in the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood and had something to eat.

``There are some aspects of the homicide that indicated there was some torture that occurred,″ Police Superintendent Matt Rodriguez said Monday. He declined to be more specific.

Miglin, 72, was found dead Sunday in his garage after his wife, cosmetics and fragrance marketer Marilyn Miglin, returned from Canada and reported him missing. Authorities believe he was killed between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

A published report that Miglin had been run over at least five times by a car was denied today at a news conference by J. Paul Beitler, Miglin’s partner in Miglin-Beitler Inc., a real estate development and management company.

Beitler and members of Miglin’s family would not discuss other details of the case at the news conference.

Miglin was ``a gentle man who didn’t deserve, nor does anyone deserve, this type of an ending to your life,″ Beitler said.

The Chicago Sun-Times, citing unidentified police sources, reported the use of the car, and also said Miglin’s throat was cut with a saw blade and that garbage was dumped on his body.

The Chicago Tribune quoted investigators as saying police found a gardening tool _ what one unidentified source described as a bow saw _ that apparently was used in the attack.

The newspapers also said Miglin’s head was wrapped in masking tape, except for a hole for his nose, and his body was covered with plastic and brown wrapping paper.

``He died a worse death than Christ,″ said Miglin’s 96-year-old mother, Anna, according to family members.

Police have not discussed a motive or said whether they think Miglin knew his attacker or attackers. There was no forced entry into the home, on a quiet street of elegant brownstones in the shadows of high-rises on the Gold Coast lakeshore district, which had an elaborate security system.

Miglin’s luxury car, money and other items were reportedly missing.

Rodriguez said it was obvious the killer ``made himself comfortable,″ leaving behind what police believe to be ``a lot of physical evidence.″

Miglin was known for both his grand vision and philanthropic activities. He raised funds for the University of Chicago Hospitals and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Miglin-Beitler planned in the early 1990s to build a skyscraper 15 stories taller than the Sears Tower, but that plan fell through.

His wife’s company, Marilyn Miglin L.P., is a multimillion-dollar business specializing in fragrances, skin creams and other cosmetics. It is privately held and doesn’t release specific revenue figures.

Its top fragrances are sold in exclusive department and specialty stores, with its top-of-the-line fragrance called Pheromone. Its products also are sold on TV shopping channels in the United States and Canada.

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