Miglin family battles in court over Gold Coast property

Wednesday marked the 20th anniversary of the murder of Chicago real estate mogul Lee Miglin.

The spree killer who committed the crime was caught several months later, but now, decades later, there's a courtroom battle over who owns the property where Miglin was murdered.

“We are treating this case as a homicide, and the investigation is underway,” CPD Commander Joe Griffin said after the murder on May 4, 1997.

Lee Miglin, 72, was beaten and stabbed to death in the garage behind his Gold Coast home. His body was discovered by his wife, Marilyn Miglin, whose own cosmetics empire had helped make the Miglins a prominent Chicago couple. Within days, police had identified a suspect; Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old who would commit two more murders, including the killing of fashion designer Gianni Versace, before committing suicide in a Miami houseboat that July.

Cunanan's crimes are now two decades old, but on ongoing divorce case has led to a dispute over the ownership of the garage where Lee Miglin was murdered.

“Lee Miglin built that garage for his wife, Marilyn, and that was the intention, that she was going to park there and live in the house where they resided together,” attorney Karen Conti said.

Conti represents Marlena Miglin,  who received the Miglin garage and townhouse from her mother Marilyn. 

Now, Marlena is getting divorced and her husband, Tim Egan, claims that three years ago,   Marlena added his name as a property owner. She's moved out and he still lives there but Egan said that despite his owning the garage, his wife's family won't let him park there.

“There are four spaces in a four car garage. they have three cars in the garage, all we wanted was one in the beginning,” Egan said. “We asked politely, we tried to do what was in the best interests of the children, we were denied.”

Egan's attorney Jeffrey Leving said the garage provides more security than street parking.

“These children are part of a family with an extremely high profile, [their] paternal grandfather was murdered. These aren't just typical children,” Leving said.

Conti said her client never intended to give Egan anything but a temporary interest in the property and that he has no rights to the garage.

“I think he wants to exert his control and influence,” Conti said. “I think he's doing it in a way that's petty and it's a way that's going nowhere except costing this family hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Through her attorney, Marlena Miglin declined to be interviewed for our story.