Tuesday, June 22, 2021

100 Years Ago there was a Conspiracy to Murder Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel on Siesta Key Friday Jan 7 1921

100 Years Ago there was a Conspiracy to Murder Sarasota Mayor Harry Lee Higel on Siesta Key, Rube Allyn and Noel A. Mitchell got away with it. My site covers unsolved crimes, everything from the murder of Sarasota mayor Harry Higel in 1921 to the 9/11 terrorists plot to kill Pres George Bush in Sarasota to thugs breaking into the cars of the sleeping citizens of Sarasota. 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.

Harry Higel murder suspect Rube Allyn's best pal and drinking buddy was Noel A. Mitchell in St Pete who had the exact same business plan as Harry Higel on Siesta Key. Noel A. Mitchell arrived in Florida in 1904 to enter the real estate game. Noel Mitchell was from Rhode Island, he relocated to St. Petersburg and purchased The Detroit, one of the largest hotels in town. Noel A. Mitchell also eventually had a beach front hotel, 'Mitchell's Beach Hotel' on Madeira Beach just like Harry Higel's 'Higelhurst Beach Hotel' on Siesta Key. "Sandman" Mitchell aggressively sold beach front lots near Maderia Beach just like Harry Higel did on Siesta Key Beach. From 1913 to 1924  Noel Mitchell developed the south end of Madeira Beach on John's Pass. Just like what Harry higel did on Big Pass Siesta Key Fl. As a realtor, Noel had it platted, as Mitchell's Beach Subdivision, just like what Harry Higel did on Siesta Key. Today’s deeds still refer to it as that, "Mitchell's Beach". Noel A. Mitchell became Harry Higel's arch rival, or was it the other way around, for the rich tourist trade and fishermen from the North East.  

UPDATE: No Cold Case Begins With the Wrong Date of the Murder. Sunday June 27, 2021, Former Sarasota mayor Harry Higel was murdered on Friday Jan 7th, 1921 (by newsman Rube Allyn) according to every newspaper from the Tampa Daily Times that put out an EXTRA edition, to the Ocala Evening Times, to the Miami Times to the Boston Globe, even the AP Wire in New York City noted the Higel murder by Rube Allyn on Friday Jan 7th, 1921.

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.

Sarasota Times first edition on June 1, 1899, Rose Wilson was the publisher of the Times from 1910 until 1923 when the paper folded. The Sarasota Times newspaper was a weekly paper that came out every Thursday with ads for local merchants, which is the day BEFORE Mr Higel was murdered. Mr Higel was murdered on Friday Jan 7th 1921 and he was buried on Saturday Jan 8th 1921 in Sarasota according to his obituary penned by what appears to be his brother Frank Higel. News reporters in spring of 1921 influenced the outcome of the Manatee County Grand Jury by repeatedly reporting that Rube Allyn was just a "good ole boy and could have never murdered Higel".

It appears that the Sarasota Times, which was published weekly on Thursdays, had already had it's masthead dated Thursday January 6th, 1921 and had not gone out for delivery in the early morning hours of Friday January 7th, 1921 when Harry Higel was murdered on Siesta Key. It appears that Rose Wilson, the one woman editor and publisher of the tiny Sarasota Times, had done a rewrite of the front page and inserted the breaking news on Friday morn Jan 7th of the murder of Harry Higel. 

Rose Wilson alludes to the murder having taken place on Friday Jan 7th in the copy of the story and states "just as we go to press information has come in that Mr Higel has died on the way to the hospital in Tampa". Rose Wilson then states in the copy, "about two o'clock this (Friday) afternoon Rube Allyn, former editor of the Sarasota Sun was arrested by Chief Deputy Sheriff Brown in connection with the tragedy". Rose Wilson delayed delivery of the Sarasota Times newspaper until later on Friday January 7th, 1921.

On Thursday March 10th, 1921 the Sarasota Times published their newspaper with a story about how respected newsman Rube Allyn was freed on March 9th from jail in the investigation of Harry Higel's murder that took place on Friday, January 7th, 1921. Rose Wilson editor of the Sarasota Times gleefully reported on how fellow newsman Rube Allyn was let go as the Manatee County Grand Jury failed to return a True Bill to indict Rube Allyn for Mr. Higel's murder on Siesta Key. Harry Higel was murdered on Friday, January 7th, 1921 at about 8:25 a.m. there is no doubt. The misinformation of Harry Higel's murder taking place on Thursday Jan 6th 1921 has been reprinted in numerous books, magazines and newspaper publications for decades, sorry to rewrite history but the facts are the facts! Unsolved murder cases have to present hard and true facts, the date and time of the unsolved murder is number one!

"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.

In Jan 1921 when Harry Higel was murdered Noel A. Mitchell was the Mayor of St Pete. Noel A. Mitchell was also a private detective he owned, the Noel Mitchell National Detective Agency in St Pete Fl, it was located at 557 Central Ave just two blocks south of City Hall. Noel A. Mitchell made his home in New Haven Conn during the hot Florida summer months. Mitchell is also linked to NYC and Hartford Conn where the Colt Firearm factory is located. In the 1890's Connecticut, New York and all of the North East were 'Colt Country'. The Colt New Police revolver was selected by New York City (NYPD) Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt in 1896 to be the first standard-issue revolver for NYPD. Noel A. Mitchell carried a Colt revolver, he had a concealed carry permit issued by the Pinellas County Sheriff. In 1924 Noel A. Mitchell's concealed carry permit for his revolver was revoked by the Pinellas County Sheriff. Later in 1930 Noel A. Mitchell was the prime suspect in the murder of George Council in St Pete who had been pistol whipped and set on fire. Council's revolver with a broken grip was later found in Mitchell's house. In Jan 1921 Harry Higel was found brutally beaten about his head and face at 8:30 am near the edge of the shell pit at the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Siesta Key Friday Jan 7th, he died later same morning. Bert Luzier and his son Merle were loading and trucking shell from the shell pit on Siesta Key on Friday Jan 7th 1921 when they found Higel lying in the middle of the road, unconscious and so baldly beaten and bloody around his head that he was unrecognizable, most likely from a pistol whipping. Higel was moaning and making gurgling sounds. The Luzier's  loaded Higel into their truck and sped him to Dr. Jack Halton’s office at the foot of Main Street Sarasota where Higel later dies on the way to the hospital in Bradenton Fl. How the buried 1920's era Colt revolver found in Nov 2019 on Siesta Key off of Higel Ave, (in ground for 100 years), relates to the Higel murder is in the hands of the Sarasota County Sheriff who is doing testing on the rusted 1920's era Colt revolver remains. But no one in 1921 or today in 2020 would bury a revolver fully loaded with 6 live rounds in the cylinder, unless the revolver had been used to commit a crime.

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!

          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 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. 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? But then after he was murdered on Jan 7th 1921 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.


photo credit Higel family Manatee County Historical Society. 100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siesta Key Fl, the Case Remains Unsolved. Local newspaperman Rube Allyn was the one and only correct suspect in Mr Higel's murder, Rube hated Harry. In the early 1900's photo seen above are Harry Higel and his wife Gertrude (Edmondson) Higel, his daughters Genevieve Higel born 1896, and Louise Higel born 1899, a son Gordon Higel was born in 1908. Harry Higel was born to Frank and Adelaide Higel in 1867 in Philadelphia PA. In 1884 Harry Higel moved to Venice, Florida with his parents where he and his brothers helped his father start a canning business. He moved to Sarasota in 1890 and became an entrepreneur/developer. He purchased the dock at the foot of Main Street that had been built by the (Scottish) Florida Mortgage and Investment Co. and had the first gasoline and kerosene tanks installed. Higel operated and docked his boat, the "Nemo here", and later he bought and operated the steamer "Vandalia" and was the local agent for John Savarese's Tampa steamship line. 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.

photo credit Manatee County Historical Society. In 1912 Harry Higel instituted the first fire department in Sarasota. Photo above Town of Sarasota's first fire station and firemen, they were organized in 1912. Mayor Harry L. Higel is in the middle. The others, from left to right, are J.K. Hill, H.P. Bacon, Ben Hill, Frank Roberts, Cy Byrd, Ben J, Seale, Myron Spencer, Rube Hayes, Leonard Rudd, Bill Adams, and George Willis. Harry Higel installed tanks of gasoline and kerosene on the Sarasota pier and was the local agent for Gulf Oil. Higel worked to bring a telephone line to Sarasota. In 1899 Sarasota had two phones, one in Higel's office and another in the post office.

photo credit Higel family Manatee County Historical Society Harry Higel's daughter Genevieve Helen Higel was a stunning beauty, in March 1916 she was the first queen of the Sara de Sota pageant in Sarasota Fl. The premiere event drew several thousand out-of-towners, making it a rousing success. Manatee County, FL Town of Sarasota 1916 City Directory: 

HARRY HIGEL CLAN
Higel, Miss Geneieve, h 107 n Gulf Stream Blv'd Sarasota Fl
Higel, Harry L. (Gertrude wife), Mayor & real estate, h 107 n Gulf Stream Blv'd
Higel, Miss Louise, student, h 107 n Gulf Stream Blv'd Sarasota
Higelhurst Hotel, Siesta Key, H L Higel, proprietor

RUBE ALLYN CLAN
Allyn, Miss Eileen (daughter), teacher, h Siesta
Allyn, Mrs Evelyn (wife), dramatic reader, h Siesta
Allyn, Rube, editor The Sarasota Sun, h Siesta - phone 73-M
Allyn, Rubert (son) lino operator The Sarasota Sun, h Siesta.

photo credit Higelhurst Hotel Manatee County Historical Society. Manatee County Map Shows Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel Near Fishery Point Next to Arson Suspect Rube Allyn's House. The large two story white Higelhurst Hotel was at the very north end of what is now 3332 Gulfmead Dr on Siesta Key Fl. A huge, (Land Area: 43,038 Sq.Ft.) white mega mansion is currently in the building process at the exact same spot 3332 Gulfmead Dr and apparently linked to a Hollywood "A+ List" actor. On the map SARASOTA BAY in 1916 later became ROBERTS BAY. SARASOTA KEY on the map to the far left in 1916 later became LIDO KEY. Arson suspect and Harry Higel murder suspect Rube Allyn lived at the very north end of Gulfmead Dr. The map of Siesta Key as of 1916 shows the Higelhurst Hotel towards the far north end, at 3332 Gulfmead Dr Siesta Key Fl. The Higelhurst Hotel was on the beach at the entrance to Big Pass and 50 yards from the water

 The Higelhurst Hotel and dock were burned down on Friday morn March 30th 1917, Rube Allyn was a person of interest in the arson of the Higelhurst Hotel that stood at the entrance of Big Pass and facing Sarasota Bay. The Hotel caretaker Mrs Mueller left the Higelhurst Hotel on Thursday afternoon March 29th 1917 for Sarasota where she spent the evening with friends. The Higelhurst Hotel which was located at the very north end of Siesta Key, was empty and vacant when torched on March 30th 1917, Rube Allyn lived next door on Gulmeade Dr and hated Harry Higel directly across Bayou Louise on the north end of Higel Ave. 

Newspaper articles about the Higelhurst Hotel on fire March 30th, 1917 told of how Harry Higel was standing on the Bayfront where Marina Jacks is now and tears where running down his face as he watched his magnificent Higelhurst Hotel at the very north end of Siesta Key burn to the ground. A month later in April 1917, the north bridge to the key was completed, which may have allowed enough time for the fire department to save the building. Rube Allyn was there on the north end of Siesta Key in the early morn of Friday March 30th 1917 when the Higelhurst hotel was torched. Rube Allyn was also the one and only 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, failed to indict on March 10th, 1021.
Information that I am providing in the investigation of the unsolved murder of former Sarasota Mayor Harry L Higel that took place 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".
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. Apparently the remains of the rusted Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key were to be sent to the FDLE lab in an effort to raise the serial number  to determine ownership.
Restoration of Firearm Serial Numbers with Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD). The 1920's era Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key has it's serial number protected, the serial number is stamped on the frame under the back end of the barrel, and behind the crane, swing out the cylinder to see it. Using a technique called electron backscatter diffraction, or EBSD, researchers at the Boulder, Colo., campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology have been developing a novel way to bring back to life serial numbers on a gun that have been completely sanded away or rusted out. While the method, which uses an electron microscope to examine atoms in metal, still requires refining, NIST materials scientists Ryan White and Robert Keller say it should be capable of restoring a full serial number.
 
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

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 the skull, multiple broken facial bones, and at least one compound skull fracture. Higel wasn't supposed to survive. The mark of the weapon was clearly shown with a hole in the skull made by the pointed end of the weapon, more on that below. The Coroners Jury was made up of W. E. Street newspaperman, E. J. Street real estate, E. O. Burns real estate, Ralph C. Caples businessman, M. L. Young builder and Harry Figby builder. 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. If Harry Higel had been hit once or twice on the head it would have looked like a robbery gone bad. But Harry Higel was hit 5 or 6 times or more all over his head and face, the perp wanted Harry Higel to suffer and disfigure him, it was personal! The Higel murder case never solved, murder weapon never found, until very likely now.

         photo credit Tampa Daily times via associated press newswire
News papers in the 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's and 1970's were a lot different that the newspapers of today. Most Daily's in large markets had a morning and a evening edition delivered to your house or the local newsstand. When a big story broke over the AP newswires, like Harry Higel's murder, an extra edition was printed that day Jan 7th 1921 and delivered to your house and to the corner newsstands. Reporters in the old days were a lot more aggressive and dug for info on big news stories like the murder of Harry Higel. The information provided in this investigation will help provide the who, what, where, when, and why of the unsolved murder on Siesta Key Fl of mayor Harry Higel almost 100 years ago. Rube Allyn arrested Friday afternoon Jan 7th, 1921 in connection with the death of former Mayor Harry Higel on Siesta Key, Sarasota Fl almost 100 years ago. The media continued to support newspaper editor Rube Allyn from the day of his arrest Jan 7th to the day the he was released March 9th 1921. Newspapers blatantly influenced the 18 members of the Manatee County Grand Jury with repeated stories of how "Rube could have never done it" for 61 days. The only form of information in 1921 South West Florida was your Daily Newspaper with stories 'composed' by reporters and editors and Rube Allyn was their hero, he was one of them.
 
"The Smoking Gun Buried on Siesta Key" Colt Revolver Verified by Sheriff as Possible Link to Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel.
I have not indicated the exact address off of Higel Ave on Siesta Key where the broken Colt revolver was found as the homeowner had his house up for sale and I did not want to create undo attention to the address.

The Sarasota County Sheriff report SEEN ABOVE  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 revealed today 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.
H). On 3/24/2020 The Sarasota County Sheriff report further 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".

I am not the person (my client) who found the old, rusted, and corroded parts of an antique small frame Colt Police positive revolver 1900's era on Siesta Key buried near a salt water canal off of Higel Ave sometime in early 1921. The firearm is a COLT POLICE POCKET POSITIVE .32 CALIBER REVOLVER with FANCY hard rubber grips and one grip that just happened to be broken, six live bullets could be seen in the rusted cylinder. This particular firearm was manufactured from 1907 to 1922 by Colt, it was a concealable small pocket revolver, very popular in it's day for home owners, shopkeepers, nightwatchmen and private detectives. The rusted 1900'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.
 

The information provided in this investigation will help provide the who, what, where, when, and why of the unsolved murder on Siesta Key Fl of mayor Harry Higel almost 100 years ago. Does Colt Revolver with Broken Grip Found Buried on Siesta Key Link to Pistol Whipping Murder of Mayor Harry Higel. Mr Higel was beat to death on Friday Jan 7th, 1921, his battered body found in the road at about 8:30 am, (corner of Mangrove and Higel Ave) just a short distance from his house. 

Sarasota Fl Jan 7th, 1921, Dr Halton's medical report on murdered Harry Higel indicates at least 5 blows to his head from a heavy solid object, most likely a pistol whipping. Harry Higel was not hit by a car, he was targeted by what appears to be Rube Allyn, his neighbor. Wounds were found on the right side of the head above the eye and on the left side of the head also above the eye indicating Mr Higel was facing his murderer (Rube Allyn) when struck. Multiple wounds were also found on the top and back of Mr Higel's head indicating he most likely was hit when he was on the ground. The multiple wounds on Mr Higel's head appear to be depressed fractures from Dr John Halton's report, possibly caused from a pistol whipping. I contacted the District 12 Medical Examiner Office that covers Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto County to try and obtain an autopsy report and/or more detailed information on Mr. Higels head wounds, their response, "our office has no records or reports that go back to 1921".

Dr Halton's medical report to the Coroners Jury on Friday evening Jan 7th, 1921, the day Harry Higel was murdered, indicated multiple depressed fractures to the skull, multiple broken facial bones, and at least one compound skull fracture. Mr. Higel suffered multiple depressed fractures all over his head as per Dr Halton's report. "The mark of the weapon was clearly shown with a hole in the skull made by the pointed end of the weapon". The holes in Mr Higel's skull are called depressed fractures. Mr Higel's injuries, that led to his death, most likely would have been caused by a pistol whipping, the butt of the Colt revolver has a pointed end, see photo above.
 

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.

photo credit screenshot Tampa Morning Tribune. Rube Allyn was arrested after circumstantial evidence indicated he was the correct suspect in Mr Higel's murder. Sarasota Dr Halton'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 7th, 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.

     photo credit Sarasota Times newspaper
Photo above Sarasota County Times Newspaper issue Thursday June 16, 1921. 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. 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 Mr. 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 today. But since that day there have not been any new leads in the 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 agency's first deputy. Sarasota City Marshal L. D. Hodges was elected Sheriff and took office in December 1922.

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

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 Givens Street 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 said this story looks like a script for a block buster movie. see https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/local/sarasota/2021/01/07/sarasota-mayor-harry-higels-murder-remains-unsolved-100-years-later/6564394002/





Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota 941-926-1926 - Cheaters and Child Custody Cases at http://www.wbipi.com/

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