Sunday, June 20, 2021

Mayor Harry Higel Pushed Hard for Good Roads and Separation of Sarasota From Manatee County in 1920 Did it Get Him Killed in 1921?

          photo credit Sarasota Times newspaper
Photo above Sarasota County Times Newspaper issue Thursday June 16, 1921 after vote to separate Sarasota from Manatee County. Sarasota County Centennial will be July 1st 2021. Mayor Harry Higel Murdered on Siesta Key He Pushed hard for Separation of Sarasota County From Manatee County in 1920. Florida Governor Cary A. Hardee signs "Special Act Senate Bill 126" the creation of Sarasota County in June 1921. Harry Higel was everywhere to be seen in Sarasota, prior to his murder Jan 1921, then still a part of Manatee County but pushing hard to break away and chart its own course. He pushed for the City of Sarasota to incorporate and, when it did, Higel became mayor. Higel served on the town council in 1902, serving as Mayor of the City of Sarasota when it was incorporated. 

It was no slam dunk vote in the city of Sarasota for a break from Manatee County. In an unofficial vote June 16, 1921, 406 residents were for the break away and 118 voters opposed the break from Manatee County, or 29% did not want Sarasota to break from Manatee County. Harry L. Higel 'Land Developer' served 3 terms as Mayor of Sarasota Fl from 1911-1914. Harry L. Higel was using his influence and position to push hard for Sarasota to break away from Manatee County through all of 1920, did this have anything to do with his brutal murder on Jan 7th 1921?  

The Tampa Board of Trade strongly opposed the break of Sarasota from Manatee County in June of 1920 and in April 1921. The Tampa Board of Trade in 1921 had 750 members, it was made up of such business stalwarts as A. W. Perkins (VP), L. P. Dickie, H. E. Snow, D. M. McKay, J. A. Griffin, R. H. Tarr, E. E. Freeman, W. B. Gray, Perry G. Wall, E. C. Wall, C. L. Wall, R. L. Rogers, Albert M. Travis, Jack Meyer, James A. Bell, and I. J. Williams. 

Murder suspect Rube Allyn had quite a bit of interaction with the Florida Board of Trade that opposed the break away of Sarasota from Manatee County. In 1920 Higel murder suspect Rube Allyn, from his office in the Detroit Hotel St Pete, was the Director of Publicity for the 'Old Indian Trails Association' SCAM that sought the building of a highway from west coast seaport Vancouver in British Columbia Canada to Miami Fl with part going through Tampa, St Pete, Bradentown, Fort Myers etc, NEVER HAPPENED.

Rube Allyn was the poster boy for the supposed 'Old Indian Trails Association' (scam) intercontinental highway from Vancouver CA to Miami Fl in 1920 but he could not even traverse a road to his own house on the northern tip of Siesta Key because his neighbor Harry Higel had erected a fence across the road that led to Rube Allyn's house, talk about irony. Rube Allyn must have been extremely irate when he came back from St Pete late at night on Thursday Jan 6th, 1921 and found the gate locked on the fence that blocked his way to his house on the northern tip of Siesta Key. After Harry Higel was murdered early in the morn on Friday Jan 7th 1921 the Sarasota council members pushed even harder to separate itself from Manatee County, sighting the ineffective investigation of Higel's murder by the Manatee County Sheriff Dept and Bradentown Public Officials. It should have been a slam dunk to indict murder suspect Rube Allyn but it turned out to be a farce with the Manatee County Grand Jury issuing No True Bill after a 10 minute deliberation, a real 'Kangaroo Court'. 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.

SCAM ALERT APRIL 22ND 1921: Turns out the 4,000 mile intercontinental 'Old Indian Trails Association' highway was a scam. Harry Higel murder suspect Rube Allyn, from his office in the Detroit Hotel St Pete, was the Director of Publicity for the 'Old Indian Trails Association' that sought the building of a 4,000 mile highway from the west coast seaport of Vancouver in British Columbia Canada to Miami Fl, it was all cooked up by L. A. Whitney, Chester Willington Valrez and Rube Allyn, it never broke ground, it never existed, it was a scam. Chester Val-Rez and Rube Allyn were “Irish Travellers" fraudsters, swindlers, con men. There was no interstate highway system in the USA in 1920.

The 'Old Indian Trails Association' highway SCAM was a play on words for the REAL Old Spanish Trail highway built about 100 years ago. The REAL Old Spanish Trail, when it was completed in 1929, was 2,743 miles of brick, asphalt, concrete, and wooden plank, and it crossed the southernmost states from East to West. It stretches coast to coast on a all southern route that mimics I-10 today. The REAL Old Spanish Trail highway went all the way from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California. Mobile, Alabama was where the first meeting of businessmen interested in building the REAL Old Spanish Trail highway met, in 1915. At the time, there was no formal, federal system of interstate highways; instead, businessmen and activists from the Good Roads Movement (Harry Higel was a stalwart of such) were banding together to advocate and fund raise for roads where none had been. The Florida portion of the Old Spanish Trail follows the route of the authentic Spanish trail from St. Augustine Fl to Pensacola Fl and the southern Alabama state line near Mobile. The REAL Old Spanish Trail highway never reached or came anywhere near Tampa, St Pete, Bradentown, Sarasota or Fort Myers or Kansas! Chester Val-Rez and Rube Allyn were “Irish Travellers" fraudsters, swindlers, con men.

When the 'Old Indian Trails Association highway' national director Chester W. Valrez and and his sidekick "Jim" where in Oberlin KS on April 22nd, 1921 they were looking for cash membership subscriptions in the 'Old Indian Trails Association' highway when a telegram indicated that there was an state arrest warrant for them and to hold for pick-up by the Sheriff of Decatur County. Turns out there were 5 County Sheriff agencies hunting national director Chester W. Valrez and "Jim" in April 1921. Rube Allyn was the Director of Publicity for the 'Old Indian Trails Association' (scam) in St Pete Fl all through 1920, right up till he was arrested for the murder of Harry Higel on Jan 7th, 1921. I wonder if Harry Higel found out that the 'Old Indian Trails Association' highway was a scam and confronted Rube Allyn. Either way, Rube Allyn was the con man's con man to the end.

OLD INDIAN TRAILS MAGAZINE by RUBE ALLYN failed in early 1921 because promoter Chester Val-Rez had been arrested for fraud and bad checks in several southern states and the editor Rube Allyn had been arrested for the murder of former Sarasota mayor Harry Higel on Jan 7th, 1921. The Old Indian Trails Highway itself was a scam it never existed, it was perpetrated by Chester Val-Rez and Rube Allyn who both kept any of the cash payments for subscriptions.

Harry Higel along with local businessmen A. B. Edwards and R.W. Grinton from the Sarasota Trade Board were active in the 'Good Roads Movement' from at least 1913. Harry Higel was one of the "good roads" supporters in the construction of better roads between Sarasota, Venice, Bee Ridge and Fruitville. Harry Higel would have called out Rube Allyn when it was found that the  Old Indian Trails Highway association was a scam, no such highway ever existed! As of June 1920 Harry Higel murder suspect Rube Allyn, from his office in the Detroit Hotel St Pete, was the Director of Publicity for the 'Old Indian Trails Association' that sought the building of a highway from west coast seaport Vancouver in British Columbia Canada to Miami Fl with part going through Tampa, St Pete, Bradentown, Fort Myers, over 4,000 miles, NEVER HAPPENED

Manatee County Sheriff Leon G. Wingate who investigated Harry Higel murder in 1921 was convicted of a Drunk and Disorderly charge two years later which ended his career as Sheriff in 1923. In 1920 to 1921 Bradentown, Manatee County officials were, J. W. Stevens was Mayor, W. M. Joyner was Chief of Police and Joe Gates was Manatee County Sheriff from 1913 to 1920, he retired on Jan 6th, 1921, Harry Higel was murdered the very next day on Jan 7th. Newly elected Sheriff Leon G. Wingate took over the Manatee County office on Jan 6th and handled the Jan 7th, 1921 Harry Higel murder investigation, it was Sheriff Wingate's first full day on the job. Manatee County Sheriff Leon G. Wingate left office in 1923 when he was convicted of Drunk and Disorderly and Inciting Negroes against the Klu Klux Klan on October 20, 1923. Palmetto Mayor L. P. Thomas presided over the Drunk and Disorderly case with Attorney John B. Singletary for the Defendant Leon G. Wingate who was convicted and fined, he reused to pay the fine. The case was tried during Prohibition era which lasted from 1920 to 1933. The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s was related to the passage of the Volstead Act, which imposed Prohibition, in 1920. When you looked at how the hate group gathered members, “it was often around the issue of the lack of observance of Prohibition, the issue of bootlegging, of cleaning up communities.” However, these concerns masked other ones. “This issue was used instrumentally as a mandate to target those groups they already saw as enemies of white Protestant nationalism: immigrants, Catholics and African Americans. ”Witnesses appeared before the Manatee County Grand Jury concerning the same Wingate public intoxication affair but after a brief investigation they reported No True Bill in October 1923. Murder suspect Rube Allyn was in Manatee County Sheriff Leon G. Wingate's jail for 61 days from Jan 7th to March 10th 1921, they more than likely knew each other before that. Supposedly Rube Allyn who was a very heavy drinker did not abide for the 61 days he was in Wingate's jail, yeah right. Col. John B. Singletary was also the Attorney of record for the Defendant Rube Allyn in the Harry Higel murder case in Manatee County. Criminal Defense Attorney Singletary convinced the Manatee County Grand Jury to set free Rube Allyn, who had multiple public intoxication convictions and violent episodes, with a No True Bill vote in March 1921.

"Gun Buried on Siesta Key": 1920's Era Colt Revolver Found Buried on Siesta Key Verified by Sarasota County Sheriff Cold Case Detective as Possible Link to Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel. Get real here, nobody buries a perfectly fine, loaded gun with a broken grip on Siesta Key unless it was used in the bludgeoning murder of former Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Friday January 7tth, 1921. The Colt revolver went into the muck and mud of salt water wetland on Siesta Key in 1921 looking real shiny and pretty as seen in the top photo and came out of the ground 100 years later a rusty mess. But 6 live bullets remained in the cylinder of the Colt revolver, I have it on my desk.
Rube Allyn murdered Harry Higel in cold blood, I have no doubt. Photo above: loaded Colt revolver found buried with 6 live bullets on Siesta Key Fl it had one broken grip. Nobody buries a loaded gun unless it was used in a crime. I have traced the manufacturing date of the Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolver with black hard rubber grips between 1907 to 1923. Colt revolver grips were hard black rubber from 1907 to 1923 then checkered walnut wood with silver medallions after that. The Colt revolver possibly was used in pistol whipping murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel. The remains of the rusted .32 caliber 6 shot Colt Police Positive revolver seen above could have gone into the ground on January 7th, 1921 the day Harry Higel was murdered on the north end of Siesta Key Fl. The rusted 1920's era Colt revolver that contained 6 live bullets was turned over to the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept on November 26th 2019, case number is 19-95201, a cold case detective was assigned to the case.

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 Manatee County 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.

Rube Allyn was arrested for Harry Higel's murder on Jan 7th, 1921 after tracks in the sand at the crime scene led to his house at the end of Gulfmead Dr but a "Kangaroo Grand Jury" made up of Rube's newspaper pals and drinking buddies failed to indict on March 10th, 1921. Rube Allyn's alibi was that he was back at home the morning of the Higel murder by 8:00 am on Friday Jan 7th 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 to appear before the Grand Jury, she was his only witness, what the hell, she knew the fix was in. In 1921 a felony conviction for Murder in Florida meant the death penalty and the execution method was hanging, and Rose Allyn never showed up for the Grand Jury investigation of her husband Rube. 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. 

Rube Allyn was a tall man at 6' 2" and very powerful, all the injuries on Harry Higel's head indicated that they were inflicted by a tall man, Higel was about 5' 6" tall. The description of the murder weapon with it's pointed end indicates that the Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key in Nov 2019 could very well be the murder weapon. 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 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.

It was in the Sarasota Mayor elections of 1916 and 1917 that H. L. Higel had a bitter battle against well-known editor Rube Allyn, who published the Sarasota Sun. Rube Allyn's Sarasota Sun newspaper was short-lived 1913-1916, it folded while owing numerous debts. In the 1910's Sarasota Mayor H. L. Higel quarreled with Rube Allyn over an unpaid debt. Higel issued a loan to Allyn, who was known for erratic behavior and a short temper, for a house on Sarasota Key next to the Hotel Higelhurst at north end of Gulfmead Dr on Fishery Point. In June of 1920 Harry Higel had the idea to hold a mass meeting in Sarasota to initiate Sarasota's separation effort from Manatee County. Harry Higel arranged and paid to advertise the event in the Sarasota Times. Harry Higel was later named to the General Committee on County Division in July 1920 (Sarasota from Manatee County) but was brutally murdered six months later on Jan 7th, 1921.  
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 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

On Feb 5th, 1925 the Tampa Bay Times published an article about former St Pete Mayor Noel A. Mitchell and his problems with alcohol that led to multiple arrests. Newsman Rube Allyn's best pal and drinking buddy Noel A. Mitchell of St Pete was arrested in January 1925 on a charge of Intoxication and Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a Colt revolver (his carry permit revoked in 1924). Noel A. Mitchell appears to have considered himself to be a badass just like his pal Rube Allyn who was a suspect in the murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel in Jan 1921. Noel Mitchell was arrested again in July of 1925 on a charge of public drunkenness and then again in April of 1930, this was all taking place during Prohibition times.

Apparently private detective Noel A. Mitchell the former Mayor of St Pete was denied the right to carry a pistol in May 1924 by George M. Coslick the St Pete Chief of Police after Noel Mitchell's Deputy Sheriff card had been revoked by Pinellas County Sheriff Lindsey due to prior bad acts which included slugging Mayor Al Lang in the jaw at a St Pete political rally. Noel Mitchell and Rube Allyn were very heavy drinkers, Noel Mitchell was removed from office as Mayor of St Pete after a drunken party in November 1921 at City Hall where Rube Allyn was in attendance. Lot of drinking going on with these guys during Prohibition.

July 1st, 1921 birth of Sarasota County, this was 6 months after the murder of Harry Higel, some speculate the break from Manatee County was the result of the poor handling of Harry Higel's death investigation. One of the first acts of the Sarasota County Commission, which was formed in June 1921, was a July 21, 1921 resolution offering a $1,000 reward for evidence leading to the capture of Harry Higel’s murderer — more than $12,000 in today's money. But since that day, July 21st, 1921 there have not been any new leads in the Harry Higel murder mystery. Florida Governor Cary A. Hardee appointed Burna Dale "Heinie" Levi as the first Sheriff of Sarasota County in July 1921, he had no prior law enforcement background. On August 22, 1921, Sarasota City Marshal L.D. Hodges became the Sheriff agency's first deputy. Sarasota City Marshal L. D. Hodges was elected Sheriff and took office in December 1922.

Tampa Sunday Tribune writes August 13, 1921. Sarasota County Commissioners act and offer $1,000 Reward for information leading to the arrest of person responsible for murder of former Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Friday January 7th, 1921. Sarasota County Centennial will be July 1st 2021. The Sarasota County Commissioners also requested the State of Florida to match the same amount. On Jan 7th of 1921 one of the most foulest crimes was committed when Harry L. Higel former Mayor of Sarasota and prominent citizen, was dome to death near his home on Higel Ave Siesta Key. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Sarasota County Commissioners follows: Whereas on the 7th Day of January 1921 within the territory now embraced by Sarasota County a most foul murder was committed. The murder of Harry L. Higel was never solved. Rube Allyn was the one and only true suspect in the brutal pistol whipping of Harry Higel on the north end of Siesta Key on Friday morn January 7th, 1921 that led to Mr Higel's death. Rube Allyn was arrested but a "Kangaroo Grand Jury" made up of Rube's newspaper pals and drinking buddies let him go. The "Kangaroo Grand Jury" failed to indict Rube Allyn on March 10th, 1921 over 100 years ago. The Manatee County Grand Jury failure to indict Rube Allyn for murder of Harry Higel 100 years ago joins other famous murder verdicts. Just like the OJ Simpson Jury not guilty verdict October 3, 1995, 25 years ago, and the Casey Anthony Jury not guilty verdict on July 5th, 2011, ten years ago. Rube Allyn got away with MURDER just like OJ and Casey Anthony!

In 1912 Rube Allyn made known his plans to publish a second newspaper for the Sarasota community. During 1912 Rube Allyn published a semi-monthly newspaper called "The Bay of Sarasota". Rube Allyn's "Sarasota Sun" newspaper finally debuts in Feb 1913, it bombed and shut down in early 1916 due to Irishman Rube's "love of the drink". Rube Allyn had moved the Sarasota Sun newspaper operation right next to Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel on Sarasota Key in 1915. Rube Allyn was a bad guy, a drunk, he had multiple arrests before and after the Higel murder incident for attempted murder.

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 Manatee Grand Jury investigation of the only true suspect in Mr Higel's murder, newspaperman Rube Allyn.

Large newspapers in Tampa and St Pete had daily editions and often had morning and evening editions. The Sarasota Times was a weekly newspaper published only on Thursdays. When a big story broke over the AP newswires in New York City, like Harry Higel's murder on January 7th, 1921 (see above), an extra edition was printed that day Friday Jan 7th 1921 by the Tampa Daily Times and delivered to your house and to the corner newsstands. Sarasota Herald Tribune historian Jeff LaHurd in a Trib article dated Sept 27th this year verified that Harry Higel was killed on Friday January 7th, 1921, "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". Sarasota County Centennial will be July 1st 2021, the Sarasota County Sheriff Department will also celebrate 100 years in existence on July 1st, 2021.

FLORIDA NEWSPAPER DELIVERY SYSTEM IN 1920's WAS HANDS ON: In the US the heyday of print newspapers was during the early 20th century, (1920's). The 'paperboy' was often a young person's first job, perhaps undertaken before and/or after school. Most large newspapers like the Tampa Tribune and St Pete Times had an early AM delivery and an evening PM delivery directly to your house. There was also the newsboy or newspaper hawker who would sell newspapers to passersby on the street in urban areas, like in Tampa or St Pete in 1921, with very vocal promotion. 'Newsboys' were common when multiple daily papers in every city and as many as 50 in New York City alone competed in the 1920's. The number of 'Daily Newspapers' in Florida was 33 in 1921. The St Pete Times was/is the largest daily newspaper in Florida it began publication as a twice daily in 1920. In 2012, the St. Petersburg Times changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times to more accurately reflect the geographical area it served. Then, in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times bought its long-time rival, the Tampa Tribune, which then ceased publication. The Sarasota Times newspaper in 1921 was a weekly published on Thursdays and then mailed by USPS to your house with subscriptions of $2.00 per year, not very timely news reporting.

"The Smoking Gun Buried on Siesta Key", 1900'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.

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 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. I used a combination of cleaning products that contained bleach to remove all of the debris stuck to the hard rubber grips to observe the 4 indentations or gouges. There were also small chips in the base of the grips and on the edges. The Colt revolver grips were well worn, 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.

I purchased an exact copy of the 1900's era .32 caliber Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key in Nov 2019. My 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?

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

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. Dirty Politics, Anti-German Sentiment in America, Rube Allyn's best friend killed when a passenger Ship Sunk by German U Boat in Atlantic, Higelhurst Hotel Arson on Siesta Key (linked to Rube Allyn), America in WWI against the Germans, Prohibition, unsavory Private Investigators in St Pete, Unsolved Harry Higel Murder on Siesta Key, Rigged Manatee County Grand Jury, and finally a Buried Loaded Gun with a broken grip Found Buried 100 Years Later on Siesta Key That Appears to Link to Higel's Murder. You can't make this stuff up, it all really happened.

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

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