Saturday, October 8, 2022

Colt Revolver With Broken Grip Found on Siesta Key in 2019 Links to Pistol Whipping Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel in 1921 Basis for a Movie

Sarasota mayor Harry Lee Higel was murdered by newsman Rube Allyn during a pistol whipping on Friday morn Jan 7th, 1921 at the north end of Siesta Key Fl. 100 Years ago the brutal murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Siesta Key was never solved by the Manatee County Sheriff. Key evidence like tracks in the sand leading from the Higel murder scene to suspect Rube Allyn's house were not preserved or photographed. The footprint tracks in the sand at the Higel murder scene were made by a size 13 canvas shoe, Rube Allyn wore a size 13 canvas shoe. Colt Revolver With Broken Grip Found Buried on Siesta Key most likely Links to Pistol Whipping Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Friday Jan 7th, 1921, but it was not discovered until Nov 2019. Sarasota County Centennial 100 Years is July 2021, mishandling of unsolved murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel by Manatee County Grand Jury caused split form Bradentown Politicians.

The Colt revolver with the broken grip found buried on Siesta Key near the murder site of former Mayor Harry Higel has several dents, gouges and deep scratches in the butt handle of the hard rubber grips. The Sarasota Sheriff Dept allowed me to pick up and return to my possession the remaining parts of the rusted Colt revolver with hard rubber grips last month as no forensics were possible to obtain. Upon recent inspection of the cleaned up .32 caliber Colt revolver's rusted parts that were found buried on Siesta Key, it appears that the bottom of the hard rubber grips had a least 4 indentations or gouges that appears to have occurred during hitting something with the revolver. According to Dr Halton's medical report the multiple blows to Harry Higel's head fractured the bones in his head thus most likely leaving marks on the weapon, especially if it was the hard rubber Colt revolver's grips.

I used a combination of cleaning products that contained bleach to remove all of the debris stuck to the 1915 era Colt hard rubber grips to visually observe the 4 indentations or gouges under magnification with bright light. The 1915 era Colt hard rubber grips that had been buried on Siesta Key fit perfectly on a 1919 Colt .32 Caliber Pocket Positive Revolver that I purchased last year, dead on exact fit. There were small chips in the base of the 1915 Colt .32 Caliber Pocket Positive Revolver hard rubber grips and on the edges along with gouges and deep scratches, it was used to hit something.

The 1915 era Colt revolver grips found buried on Siesta Key (photo on L) show extensive abuse to the bottom or butt part of the grips when compared to the 1919 era Colt revolver grips and firearm (photo on R) that I purchased last year, the 1915 era Colt grips were stained from being in the ground for 100 years. The original color of all Colt revolver hard rubber grips is BLACK. The 1915 era Colt revolver rubber grips were well worn, it appears the Colt revolver was manufactured in about 1915 and most likely went into the ground in Jan 1921. Harry Higel's head had been battered and the skull fractured in multiple areas as well as his face bludgeoned beyond recognition by a "blunt weapon" as per Dr. Halton's medical report on Jan 7th, 1921 in Sarasota Fl. 

The marks, scratches, gouges on the bottom of the hard rubber grips on the 1915's era colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key possibly caused by fracturing the skull and breaking the teeth of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Jan 7th, 1921 during a pistol whipping. The mark of the weapon was clearly shown with a hole in the skull made by the pointed end of the weapon, said Dr Halton in Sarasota. The human skull can withstand 6.5 GPa of pressure while oak holds up under 11 GPa. Frontal bone: this bone comprises the forehead and the upper orbit of the eye. It joins the parietal bones at the coronal suture. Two temporal bones: These bones are located at the sides and base of the skull, and they are the hardest bones in the body. The fourteen bones at the front of your skull hold your eyes in place and form your facial features. Your mandible, or jawbone, is the largest, strongest bone in your face.  

The shiny, white enamel that covers your teeth is even stronger than bone and could have caused the gouges in the hard rubber grips of the Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key. This resilient surface on your teeth is 96 percent mineral, the highest percentage of any tissue in your body – making it durable and damage-resistant. The human body can take a remarkable amount of punishment, given bones made of one of the strongest materials found in nature. ... A cubic inch of bone can in principle bear a load of 19,000 lbs. or more — roughly the weight of five standard pickup trucks — making it about four times as strong as concrete. A violent and sustained pistol whipping of a man's skull would leave marks on hard rubber grips as seen on the Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key.

Harry Higel was last seen at 8:15 am on Friday Jan 7th, 1921 by the shell pit on Mangove Ave (Siesta Dr) on Siesta Key Fl. According to Frank Higel Jr he surmised that Rube Allyn left the scene of the crime on the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave at about 8:25 am and waded across Bayou Louise to his house at very north end of Siesta Key washing out the blood on his canvas shoes and his pants in the salt water. Footprints, tracks in the sand near where the body of Harry Higel had laid in a pool of blood at cor of Mangrove (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Friday morn led in the direction of Rube Allyn's house at the north end of Gulfmead Dr. The footprints are very significant as Rube Allyn was one of the few men (only one) on Siesta Key who wore a size 13 shoe. A search of Rube Allyn's house began at about 11:00 am, when examining Rube's house the Deputy Sheriff noted a pair of canvas shoes with a rubber sole that appeared to be similar to those that left tracks at the Higel crime scene. This was enough evidence for Rube Allyn to be arrested. Apparently no photographs of the size 13 footprints in the sand next to where Harry Higel's body had laid were taken to match with Rube Allyn's size 13 canvas shoes. This would have been direct evidence that Rube Allyn was at the Higel crime scene.

All of the multiple wounds on Harry Higel's head appear to be depression fractures, skull crushed in at various points, front, top, back, and side. Identification of the unrecognizable battered man (Harry Higel) was initially made by his close friend Dr Halton who spotted the double HH on the wounded man's gold signet ring. All the information from Dr Halton's medical report indicates a pistol whipping. Pistol-whipping or buffaloing is the act of using a handgun as a blunt weapon, wielding it as if it were a club. Pistol whipping may leave unusual lacerations on the body of the injured due to various protruding details of the pistol. When blows are struck using the butt of the weapon rather than its barrel or flank, semicircular or triangular lacerations on the skin may be produced. It doesn’t take much more to cause skull fractures. If you cause sufficient trauma during a pistol whipping to the head/skull, cerebral hemorrhaging will cause death in a short period of time. Harry Higel died within 90 minutes of the 8:30 am attack on Friday Jan 7th, 1921 and never regained consciousness. Blunt object strikes to the head are always considered lethal force.

Whomever owned the 1915 era Colt .32 Caliber Pocket Positive Revolver, whether it was murder suspect Rube Allyn or his best pal and drinking buddy Noel Mitchell the St Pete private detective known to carry a Colt revolver, the gun got a lot of use as seen on the grips. It appears the revolver was used for other purposes rather than just firing the weapon. It would take an awful lot to mark up the base of the hard rubber grips on the Colt revolver as seen above. Intended to address deficiencies of earlier models such as the Single Action Army, Colt's Positive Lock on double action revolvers manufactured between 1907 to 1922 prevented an accidental discharge even if the lowered hammer was struck or the pistol was dropped, allowing the revolver to be safely carried with all six chambers loaded. You could actually hammer nails with the Colt revolver and it would not discharge.

Newspaper front page headlines of the times screamed "A Tall Man Must Have Hit Harry Higel", Rube Allyn was a tall man at 6' 2" with long powerful arms. Rube Allyn hated and despised Harry Higel who was about 5' 6' tall. Rube Allyn had a history of violent outbursts and uncontrollable fury. Rube Allyn was out and about on Siesta Key early on the morning Harry Higel was killed. Rube Allyn was known to own firearms, Rube had  the motive, incentive and the physical ability to pistol whip and kill harry Higel, it's all too coincidental to be a coincidence! The real Rube Allyn, a veteran newspaperman and media darling who put himself in the spotlight every chance he got, would have set up shop on the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave where Harry Higel was found and held a press conference and lead the crowd searching for Mr Higel's killer, he did not.

Sarasota City Marshal L. D. Hodges also Chief of Police for Sarasota and a Manatee County Sheriff Deputy was the first LEO on the Harry Higel murder scene Friday Jan 7, 1921 Siesta Key Fl. Multiple faceted Law Enforcement Officer L. D. Hodges was also the City of Sarasota Police Chief from 1908 until 1921 when Harry Higel was murdered. L. D. Hodges was there for all the infighting between Harry Higel and Rube Allyn in Sarasota from 1910 to 1921, he knew Rube Allyn well. L. D. Hodges as Chief of Police for the City of Sarasota would have been very familiar with all the public intoxication arrests for Rube Allyn. The Sarasota County Sheriff's office was established in July 1921 upon the creation of Sarasota County's break from the southern portion of Manatee County. It would appear that there should be some records for Rube Allyn and all his public intoxication and disorderly arrests in the City of Sarasota from 1911 to 1920 with the Sarasota Police Dept, eh? Are there any links to Rube Allyn carrying a concealed weapon in the City of Sarasota? In the time period, 1911 to 1920, the Chief of Police or Sheriff would have to authorize any citizen to carry a concealed weapon. There was no Sheriff of Sarasota County until July 1921. Newsman Rube Allyn's best pal and drinking buddy Noel A. Mitchell Mayor of St Pete had a license to carry a Concealed Weapon, a Colt revolver as he was also a private detective during the time frame of 1911 to 1920. One would think that his buddy Rube Allyn also carried a Colt revolver.

"The Smoking Gun Buried on Siesta Key", 1915's era Colt Revolver Verified by Sarasota County Sheriff as Possible Link to Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel 100 years ago found buried on Siesta Key. As in other kinds of pistol-whipping, the scalp wounds on the head may be associated with fractures of the skull and even with brain contusions. Fourteen months ago, on November 26th, 2019, I turned in the Colt revolver to the Sarasota County Sheriff Department, the rusted parts of the loaded Colt revolver appears to have been buried for decades on Siesta Key Fl. No forensics were able to be lifted from the metal parts and hard rubber grips of the 1900's era Colt revolver that had been in the salt water saturated sand of Siesta Key for over 100 years.

Information that I am providing in the investigation of the unsolved murder of former Sarasota Mayor Harry L. Higel that took place over 100 years ago on the north end of Siesta Key Fl on Friday January 7th, 1921 sometime between the hours of 8:10 am and 8:30 am when Mr Higel was found bleeding profusely from his head at the corner of Siesta Dr and Higel Ave is true and factual without embellishment. REPORTS have been obtained from written interviews of Mr Harry Higel's brothers George Higel and Frank Jr Higel taken by crime beat reporters who were on the ground in Siesta Key on the day he was murdered and in the days following. 

The crime beat reporters were from well known and established newspapers like The St Pete Times, The Tampa Daily Times, the Tampa Tribune and the Miami Herald. All of the newspapers were published daily with morning and evening editions and provided updated information on the Higel murder case and the process of arrest, incarceration and the faulty Manatee Grand Jury investigation of the only true suspect in Mr Higel's murder, newspaperman Rube Allyn.

     story credit Tampa Daily Times Friday Jan 14, 1921
As per a Tampa Daily Times article written by J. R. Mickler Jr. on Friday January 14th, 1921, on site in Sarasota, new evidence appears to almost conclusively indicate that a very tall man murdered Harry Higel on Siesta Key. Rube Allyn was a tall man at 6' 2". The death blow to the left side of Harry Higel's skull came from a high angle, swinging downward to the top of Mr Higel's head. The mark of the weapon was clearly shown with a hole in the skull made by the pointed end of the weapon, a depressed skull fracture, most likely from a pistol whipping.
I purchased an exact copy of the 1915's era .32 caliber Colt Pocket Positive Revolver found buried on Siesta Key in Nov 2019. My .32 caliber Colt Pocket Positive revolver was manufactured in 1919 and has no marks on the base of the bottom of the hard rubber grips, see photo above. The Colt .32 caliber pocket positive revolver was manufactured as a solid one piece steel construction and nickel plated. The .32 caliber Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key with 6 live bullets and one broken grip and the bottom of the grips with deep gouges or scratches had been used a lot by it's Siesta Key owner in every day applications, small game hunting, hammering nails on a boat and maybe in a pistol whipping or two? Who buries a loaded gun with 6 live bullets and a broken grip unless it was used in a murder.

The Sarasota County Sheriff report seen above concerning the loaded Colt revolver with a broken grip that I turned in, indicates that Harry Higel was found unconscious in the middle of the road of Siesta Dr and Higel Ave, (where I have claimed all along the exact location of the crime scene).
A). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates the firearm that I tuned in on Nov 26th 2019, is in fact a 1900's era Colt revolver produced between 1907 and 1922, as I have claimed in numerous reports.
B). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates that back in 1921 investigators were unable to determine the instrument used to injure Higel.
C). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates injuries to Higel were from a solid object and above the neck (as in a pistol whipping).
D). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates the weapon used to kill Higel was never located.

E). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates that rumors had it, the weapon used to kill Higel was buried somewhere on Siesta Key.
F). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates that to this date, no weapon has ever been found, aside from this Colt revolver.
G). The Sarasota County Sheriff report indicates that the location of the Colt revolver was approximately one (1) block of Higel's location.
On 3/24/2020 The Sarasota County Sheriff report states by writer: "I retrieved the weapon from Property and inspected it's parts. Upon review and through my own independent research, I believe, as reported by Warner, these parts are to a Colt revolver produced in the early 1900's".

The Herald Tribune Newspaper in Sarasota did an article about the Higel murder, "100 years later, the murder of popular Sarasota mayor Harry Higel remains unsolved", by Billy Cox, Jan 7th, 2021. The Herald Tribune pointed out that "on March 9, 1921, Rube Allyn was released after a grand jury deliberated for 10 minutes. Sarasota private investigator Bill Warner claims on his website the jury was filled with Allyn’s “newspaper pals and drinking buddies.” Bill Warner says Higel’s injuries are consistent with a pistol-whipping; in fact, he says rusted fragments of a .32 caliber pocket Colt revolver – manufactured between 1907 and 1922 – were recovered near a Siesta Key canal in November 2019. He says the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the make and the approximate time range of its manufacture. “You’d never throw away a revolver like that with six live bullets in it unless you’d committed a crime,” Bill Warner says. Like I have said, this story reads like a script for a block buster movie. see

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.

If a Movie was ever cast for the Unsolved Murder of Harry Higel on Siesta Key Fl, Leonardo DiCaprio would be a shoe in for the tall, erratic, hard drinking Irish newsman Rube Allyn character. Rube Allyn's alibi was that he was back at home the morning of the Higel murder by 8:00 am on Friday Jan 7 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 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. In 1923 a bill was passed in Florida and placed all executions under State control instead of County and changed the method from hanging to electrocution. 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, 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 Grand Jury investigating the murder of Harry Higel and the suspect Rube Allyn was a fellow newspaper man and personal friend of Rube Allyn".

For a fictional quasi historical book telling the story about the murder of Harry Higel based on a 100 year old .32 caliber Colt Police Positive Pocket revolver just like the one I described in all my articles and actually found on Siesta Key, see Tony Dunbar's The Story of the Sarasota Celery Fields & Other Mysteries, Blind Pass Publications" The FBI or “Bureau of Investigation” should have been contacted by the remaining Higel brothers in Sarasota to investigate the very obvious rigged Manatee County Grand Jury that allowed newsman Rube Allyn to get away with murder on Siesta Key Fl in Jan 1921.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese block buster new movie 'Killers of the Flower Moon' takes place in the same time period as the unsolved murder of Sarasota mayor Harry Higel, the 1920's. Martin Scorsese's attempts an epic Western and ends up with a violent, riveting crime story. “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, tells the real story of the brazen murders of Indigenous people of Osage County, Okla in the 1920s to rave reviews. In the 1920s, members of the Osage Native American tribe of Osage County, Oklahoma, are murdered after oil is found on their land, and the FBI decides to investigate. Killers of the Flower Moon is a New kind of Scorsese masterpiece. The Osage Indians lack political and social power—or more accurately, the freedom to exercise that power, since many holders of underground mineral rights, including Mollie and her family, require white “guardians” to access their own money. Partly as a result of this legal setup, marriages between Osage women and white men in the territory are not uncommon. Two of Mollie’s sisters already have white husbands, so it’s no family scandal when Mollie marries her hired driver, Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), newly arrived in town, 1917, after military service in World War I. Late in the film, an officer from the United States’ newly formed “Bureau of Investigation” (FBI) shows up at the Burkharts’ door to ask questions about the unsolved murders in Osage country, and what has for two-plus hours been a love story embedded in a portrait of organized crime suddenly morphs into a heart-pounding courtroom drama, as the weak-willed Ernest flails between his fear of his powerful uncle and his real, if twisted, loyalty to his broken, bereaved, but still trusting wife.

Copyright Protection: Bill Warner Investigations Sarasota Fl Original Articles Published on This Website Using Proprietary Research.

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