Early developer Harry Higel driving force in fast Sarasota transformation but murdered Jan 7 1921 suspect Rube Allyn not indicted never tried in Court. Sunday Sept 27, 2020 Herald Tribune story by Jeff LaHurd about Early developers a driving force in fast transformation of Sarasota has some misleading information concerning former Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel's brutal murder on Siesta Key Fl. Mr LaHurd writes: Higel did not live long enough to see the transformation of Siesta Key. On January 7, 1921, his body was discovered in the middle of the road, his head and face too badly battered that he was unrecognizable—identified through his signet ring. The Sarasota Times paid him just tribute and reminded, “ He was a firm believer in Sarasota; and much of its early development, as well as that of later years, was due to his untiring activity on its behalf.” The crime is unsolved. A suspect (Rube Allyn was arrested, tried, and found not guilty.) NOT TRUE: No trial was ever held for murder suspect Rube Allyn the Manatee County Grand Jury failed to indict him for trial, BIG DIFFERENCE. Grand juries do not determine guilt. They only ascertain if there enough evidence for the District Attorney to proceed to a criminal trial and a conviction. If the Higel murder weapon had been found at a later date linking Allyn, Rube Allyn could have been re-indicted.
photo credit screenshot Tampa Tribune newspaper
Rube Allyn hated and despised Harry Higel, Rube Allyn had a history of violent outbursts and uncontrollable fury, Rube Allyn was there on Siesta Key the morning Harry Higel was killed, Rube Allyn had motive and the ability to kill Higel, it's all too coincidental to be a coincidence! Rube Allyn never went to trial. There is a huge difference between a Grand Jury failing to indict a suspect and a Criminal Court Trial where the suspect is tried and a jury finds him guilty or innocent. Rube Allyn's case never went to trial he could have been re-indicted for Harry Higle's murder if further evidence was discovered like the murder weapon used to batter Higel's head in what appears to be a pistol whipping, it was never found.
A report, seen above, by Dr. John Halton published in the Sarasota Times in early January 1921 went into some detail of the wounds Harry Higel suffered to his head and face during the fatal attack Friday Jan 7th, 1921 on Sarasota Key. Dr Halton made note of the wounds on the back of Harry Higel's head as well as his face and the top of his head. The battered body of Harry Higel was found on the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Siesta Key Fl at 8:30 am and taken to Dr Halton's office. Dr Halton's office was located at 236 Main St Sarasota Fl (Halton, Dr John, eye, ear and nose specialist, office 236 Main, home 210 Coconut Av Sarasota Fl). The only way on or off of Siesta Key in Jan 1921 was the narrow north bridge (Higel bridge) that connected to Siesta Dr in Sarasota. According to the Sarasota Times article Harry Higel had an ugly cut over his right eye with the top of the skull being split open for about two inches and gaping apart. The wound on the left side of his head was equally dangerous, the skull crushed in BUT the skin not being broken. The multiple wounds on the back of the head indicated the head had been beaten with a club or some instrument (possibly a steel hardened revolver?).
photo credit screenshot Tampa Morning Tribune.
Unfortunately Mr LaHurd is incorrect about Higel's murder suspect Rube Allyn. Mr Allyn was arrested after circumstantial evidence indicated he was the correct suspect in Mr Higel's murder. Sarasota Dr Haldon's medical report to the Coroners Jury on Friday evening Jan 7th, 1921, the day Harry Higel was murdered, indicated multiple depressed fractures to his skull, multiple broken facial bones, and at least one compound skull fracture. A Manatee County Coroners Jury inquiry convened by County Judge Cary B. Fish in Bradentown Fl found probable cause to arrest Rube Allyn Sr for Harry Higel's murder on Friday Jan 7, 1921. At a Coroners Jury inquiry investigating the murder of Harry Higel several witnesses gave testimony as to have seen Rube Allyn Sr near the Higel crime scene. Manatee County Judge Cary B. Fish convened the jury at about 3:00 pm Friday Jan 7, 1921 in Bradentown Fl. The Coroners Jury viewed the remains of Mr Harry Higel at the Sarasota morgue and returned to the Bradentown City Hall to take testimony. Evidence discovered by the Coroners Jury was turned over to the Manatee County Grand Jury for indictment of Rube Allyn.
Allyn's alibi was that he was back at home the morning of the Higel
murder by 8:00 am on Friday Jan 7, 1921 as confirmed by his wife Rose and
could not have done it as Higel was killed sometime between 8:10 am and
8:30 am. Interestingly Rose Allyn did not show up Wednesday morn March
9th to be questioned by the Manatee County Grand Jury, she sent a statement instead.
Appears Rose Allyn was too busy getting Rube's 'Florida Fisherman
Magazine' ready for press over in Tampa, what the hell? In 1921 a felony conviction for Murder in Florida meant the death penalty and the execution method was hanging. It appears to me that this Manatee County Grand Jury was nothing more
than a "Kangaroo Court", a court held by a legitimate judicial
authority which intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical
obligations and evidence. According to the Tampa Tribune on March 9th, 1921 the Manatee County Grand
Jury was made up of 19 men; M. C. Davis, George N. Brown, J. A. Howse,
J. A. Henry, T. B. Gallup, C. A.
Rowlett, C. F. Edwards, Carl Hendrix, Guy Jones, C. L. Davis, W. O.
Edwards, H. T. Glazier, Iron Ross, E. P. Lloyd, H. D. Horney (VP Bradentown Bank), E. J.
Bright, James G. Foster and Frank Kennedy. J. A. Howse was chosen Foreman. The
murder case of Harry Higel by supposed suspect Rube Allyn was not
carried forth to trial due to a tainted Manatee County Grand Jury as claimed
by (Harry Higel's brother) George Higel who said: One of the members of
the Manatee County Grand Jury investigating the murder of Harry Higel and the
suspect Rube Allyn was a fellow newspaper man and personal friend of
MANATEE COUNTY GRAND JURY TANKS ON RUBE ALLYN MURDER CASE: Rube Allyn was arrested for murder of Harry Higel after Coroners Jury examines the evidence and Mr Higel's body on Jan 7th, 1921. At least 4 witnesses corroborated on the fact that Rube Allyn was near the murder scene on foot before 8:00 am. Rube Allyn was sent to County jail in Bradenton and spent 61 days there awaiting the Manatee County Grand Jury to Convene on Wednesday March 9, no bail was allowed. Grand juries have more of an advisory role to the prosecutor. They help to determine if there is enough probable cause in a case for an indictment for criminal charges. Grand juries do not determine guilt. They only ascertain if there enough evidence for a trial and a conviction. If you’ve ever sat on a grand jury, this may not be a surprise. The grand jury’s job according to prosecutors is simply to decide whether there is reason enough to bring an indictment, this includes any circumstantial evidence and witness statements. Jurors generally agree there is enough to indict. As the saying goes, "most grand juries will indict a ham sandwich". Yet in the case of Rube Allyn the Grand Jury deliberated for only 10 minutes after 6 1/2 hours of evidence put before them including witness statements and failed to indict with NO TRUE BILL. This was a set up by Rube's friends in the media.
photo credit screenshot St Petersburg Times newspaper.
Manatee County Grand Jury that decided murder suspect Rube Allyn's fate in 10 minutes was a set up, Rube's pals were on the Jury. The Grand Jury came back with their decision to 'Not Indict' murder suspect Rube Allyn in the record breaking time of 10 minutes on March 9th, 1921. Just 10 minutes to review 6 1/2 hours of 18 witnesses testimony and circumstantial evidence. The Manatee County Grand Jury was made up of 19 men mostly from the Bradentown area and not Sarasota. Grand juries do not need a unanimous decision from all members to indict, but it does need a majority of 2/3 or 3/4 agreement for an indictment. The Manatee County Grand Jury contained at least one personal friend and fellow newspaperman of Rube Allyn. The Manatee County Grand Jury had their minds made up before they started their 10 minutes of deliberation. It was a set up, they probably didn't even have time to finish their coffee. SEE COMPLETE STORY ON HIGEL MURDER AT https://www.murderofharryhigelsiestakey.com/2020/05/siesta-beach-cold-case-murder-of-mayor.html
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota 941-926-1926 - Cheaters and Child Custody Cases at http://www.billwarnerpi.com/