Saturday, October 8, 2022

Colt Revolver With Broken Grip Found Buried on Siesta Key Links to Pistol Whipping Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Friday Jan 7th 1921

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 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

Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota 941-926-1926 - Cheaters and Child Custody Cases at

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