Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Remains of Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock From 1917 Fire Set By Rube Allyn Found on N Siesta Key Beach Near Shell Rd

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. Remains of Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock From 1917 Fire Found on N Siesta Key Beach Near Shell Rd. Remains of the timber pilings and the single metal railing of Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock have been located on the beach next to the Shell Rd access to Big Pass. 

The Higelhurst Hotel and dock were burned down on Friday morn March 30th 1917, Rube Allyn was a person of interest in the arson. The caretaker Mrs Mueller left the Hotel on Thursday afternoon March 29th 1917 for Sarasota where she spent the evening with friends. The Hotel was empty and vacant, Rube Allyn lived nearby and hated Harry Higel. Rube Allyn was there on Siesta Key in the early morn of Friday March 30th 1917 when the hotel was torched. Rube Allyn was also the one and only suspect in the brutal pistol whipping of Harry Higel 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.  

Rube Allyn burned down the Higelhurst Hotel and murdered former Sarasota mayor Harry Higel early on Friday mornings, March 30th 1917 for the Hotel and then January 7th 1921 for the murder of Higel, both on Siesta Key Fl

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. The Higelhurst Hotel on N Siesta Key was overlooking Big Pass with an unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico directly across from Lido Beach. The Higelhurst Hotel was on the beach less than 50 yards to the Gulf and Big Pass waters. The very south end of Bayou Louise was behind the Hotel. Photo located that shows image of Higelhurst Hotel in 1916, see uneven timber pilings for dock cut from trees on the island and the metal railing that ran the full length of the dock.

Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock was built in 1915 and was made of wood cut from tress on N Siesta Key. You can see in the photo above that the wood pilings are not perfectly straight as cut in a lumber mill but some are crooked and somewhat bent as cut from a nearby southern pine tree.

In the 1900's Southern Pine were used most commonly on the East Coast to make timber pilings for a dock out into the Gulf of Mexico. Creosote derived from coal processing, was discovered in the mid-18th century to prevent timber pile decay, it has a black oil appearance on the timber.

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. There was a single metal railing on Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock. I was able to locate a very clear and detail photo of the dock and the Higelhurst Hotel, upon blowing up the photo you can clearly see the metal railing that was about 3 feet high and ran the length of the wooden dock. Remains of the metal support for the railing is pasted into the photo above, it is a very heavy piece of metal, most likely iron, indicating use on a early commercial dock.
Before May of 1917, ferry service was the only way to get to Siesta Key. During 1915-16, a movement to build a bridge to siesta Key began. Higel was a driving force for its construction, because it would provide easy access to the hotel he planned to build on the key. 

The Sarasota Times reported on September 17, 1914, "that plans have been drawn by a local architect and the hotel is assured. The hotel will have 20 bedrooms and a dining room large enough to accommodate 100 people." The estimated cost would be between $10,000 and $15,000. Work on the hotel began immediately. The contract for the foundation was awarded within a week. Plans were also drawn up for several guest bungalows to be built close to the hotel. Higel's plan included streets along which the bungalows would be built and sidewalks to the hotel. His idea was to make Siesta Key a settlement where every comfort would be provided. Higel believed that this type of plan would be popular with tourists.

Hotel Higelhurst opened its doors on March 9, 1915, with more than 200 people attending the grand opening reception. Since the bridge to the key was not finished, ferry boats provided transportation to the hotel. The Sarasota Times reported that "there was plenty for people to do. Dancing was provided, card tables were set up and refreshments were served. The last boat did not leave the key until nearly midnight and a good time was reported by all." 

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. The Higelhurst Hotel proved to be very popular and was a success for Higel. In 1917, he was planning an expansion when the hotel caught fire on March 30 and burned to the ground. Nearby resident on the north end of Siesta Key, Rube Allyn, was a person of interest in the arson fire.


 

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020

"The Smoking Gun Buried on Siesta Key", Colt Revolver Verified by Sheriff as Possible Link to Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel.

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.

"The Smoking Gun Buried on Siesta Key", Colt Revolver Verified by Sheriff as Possible Link to Murder of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel. As in other kinds of pistol-whipping, the scalp wounds may be associated with fractures of the skull and even with brain contusions. Twelve Months ago on November 26th, 2019 I turned into the Sarasota County Sheriff Department a loaded gun that appears to have been buried for decades on Siesta Key Fl. I have not reveled the results of the Sheriff Departments investigation concerning the old, rusted, and corroded parts of an antique small frame Colt Police positive revolver (over 100 years old) on Siesta Key buried near a salt water canal off of Higel Ave sometime in 1921, until today!

   photo credit screenshot Tampa daily times

The Tampa Daily Times ran a 20 page special edition EXTRA newspaper on the day Harry Higel was murdered, Friday January 7th, 1921, reporting that Rube Allyn was arrested for Higel's murder. The media continued to support newspaper editor Rube Allyn from the day of his arrest on Jan 7th to the day the he was released on 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. Information obtained from the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept in an official report, (see below), indicates that the date, time, location, circumstances and possible murder weapon used to kill Harry Higel align directly with my reports. 

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".

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 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.

 

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

Remains of Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock From 1917 Fire Set By Rube Allyn Found on N Siesta Key Beach Near Shell Rd

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. Remains of Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel's Dock From 1917 Fire Found on N Siesta Key Beach Near ...