Friday, October 30, 2020

100 YEAR OLD COLD CASE MURDER OF HARRY HIGEL ON SIESTA KEY, MURDER WEAPON FOUND

        photo credit Ocala Evening Star via associated press AP newswires
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. Harry Higel was found badly beaten around the head, bleeding and unconscious on Mangrove road (Siesta Dr) near Higel Ave at 8:30 am the morning of Jan 7th by Bert Luzier and his son Merrill as they were on the way to the shell pit. 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.
Contrary to what is written in the book 'Story of Sarasota' by Karl Grismer, who claims Harry Higel was murdered on Siesta Key on Thursday Jan 6th 1921, this is false. Harry Higel was murdered on the morning of Friday Jan 7th, 1921. If Harry Higel had been murdered on Thursday Jan 6th, suspect Rube Allyn would have had an alibi as he was in St Pete all day working on his 'Florida Fisherman Magazine' and did not return to Siesta Key until about 11:30 pm on Thursday Jan 6th. Rube Allyn would never had been arrested if Harry Higel was killed on the 6th. The story broke nationwide of Higel's murder with information posted by the Associated Press (AP) newswire headquartered in New York City on Jan 7th 1921. Rube Allyn was a tall man at 6' 2" with long arms and a powerful build, Harry Higel was much shorter at about 5' 6" tall. Wounds were found on the top, back, side and front (face) of Mr Higel's head, most likely from a pistol whipping. 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". 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!
 photo credit screenshot Tampa times newspaper.
The footprints, tracks in the sand near the body of Harry Higel at the cor of Mangrove and Higel Ave on Friday morn Jan 7th 1921 leading in the direction of Rube Allyn's house are very significant as Rube Allyn wore a size 13 shoe. Rube Allyn was a big man at 6' 2" tall with long arms and wore a size 13 shoe, he was much larger that Harry Higel who stood about 5' 7" tall and would have worn a size 9 shoe. Very few people lived on Siesta Key in 1921, at most 40 people lived there full time, there were only 2,100 people in the 1920 census in the City of Sarasota Fl. So how many of the 40 people who lived full time on Siesta Key wore a very big size 13 shoe when at least half of the 40 people were women.
 
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. 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. 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. 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 screenshot Tampa times newspaper.
The footprints, tracks in the sand near the body of Harry Higel at the cor of Mangrove and Higel Ave on Friday morn Jan 7th 1921 leading in the direction of Rube Allyn's house are very significant as Rube Allyn wore a size 13 shoe. Rube Allyn was a big man at 6' 2" tall with long arms and wore a size 13 shoe, he was much larger that Harry Higel who stood about 5' 7" tall and would have worn a size 9 shoe. Very few people lived on Siesta Key in 1921, at most 40 people lived there full time, there were only 2,100 people in the 1920 census in the City of Sarasota Fl. So how many of the 40 people who lived full time on Siesta Key wore a very big size 13 shoe when at least half of the 40 people were women.
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 revolver with black hard rubber grips between 1907 to 1923. Grips were hard black rubber from 1907 to 1923 then checkered walnut wood with silver medallions after that. The 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.
       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 by Rube Allyn, Friday January 7th, 1921. 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.
      photo creidt screenshot Colt Mfg company
Does Colt Police Positive .32 caliber Revolver with Broken Grip Found Buried with 6 live rounds in the cylinder, ONE FELL OUT UPON EXAMINATION, on a street off of Higel Ave on Siesta Key Link to a Pistol Whipping Murder of Mayor Harry Higel Friday Jan 7th 1921? The Colt Police Positive Revolver has been verified as manufactured between 1907 to 1922 due to the hard rubber Colt grips. Who buries a loaded gun that in today's money would cost $320.00? I purchased a 1919 model .32 Caliber Colt Police Positive CTG revolver with nickel finish and 5' barrel with original hard rubber Colt grips to compare with the old rusted Colt revolver with hard rubber grips, it is a match.
         PHOTO CREDIT BILL WARNER INVESTIGATIONS
Tragedy struck on Friday January 7th, 1921 at about 8:30 am when Harry L. Higel was found unconscious near a beach road on Siesta Key. Contrary to many 21st century books and news articles the unconscious body of Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel was not found on 'Beach Rd'. The exact location of the brutal attack of Harry Higel was the corner of Siesta Dr and Higel Ave near the big curve in the road. Higel was found just steps from his home on Higel Ave and not 'Beach Rd' over a mile away. Harry L. Higel had been brutally attacked while he was out walking from the Shell Pits on Mangrove (Siesta Dr Now), apparently pistol whipped. Higel died while being transported by Dr Halton to a hospital in Tampa Fl. Murder suspect Rube Allyn (and neighbor) lived at the north end of Gulfmead Dr near Fishery Point on Siesta Key Fl, see map above.
photo credit screenshot Compass Rose History Experiences
UPDATE Oct 29th, 2020 100 YEAR OLD COLD CASE MURDER HARRY HIGEL SIESTA KEY BEACH. Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova Co-Owners and Co-Founders of Compass Rose History Experiences are putting their spin on the Unsolved Murder of Harry Higel on Siesta Key Fl with their plethora of misinformation! Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova have posted such gems as, "On January 5, 1921 Higel was found alive, but severely beaten on Beach Road on Siesta Key". This statement is patently false and misleading. It never happened that way, Harry Higel did not lay in Beach road after he was attacked. Higel was attacked at cor Mangrove (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave (the big curve) on Friday morn Jan. 7th, 1921 where he was found at 8:30 am, he was dead by 10:00 am same day. Rube Allyn was never acquitted at trial, a Manatee County Grand Jury failed to indict. The battered body of Harry Higel was found on the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Siesta Key Fl on Friday Jan 7th, 1921 at 8:30 AM. The murder of Harry Higel remains cloaked in secrecy and always will be one of Southwest Florida’s greatest mysteries, until now.
A Minneapolis Journal newspaper columnist wrote a piece about Rube Allyn on September 10th, 1906 after viewing one of his "shows", Rube was in his 40's now. It appears Rube Allyn had a bizarre way of doing things in his supposed comedy routine. He would tell very sad depressing stories to the audience and then hit them with the "jokes". It appears that sometimes members of the audience would heckle and cat call Rube during his "show" and it was Rube's response to go down from the stage and beat the hell out of the heckler no matter how big he may be, supposedly the audience loved the show. Rube Allyn was a big strong man at over 6' 2" tall, with long arms and big fists. Rube was farm tough, supposedly he did work on a farm during the summer months. Harry Higel would have been no match in a street fight with an experienced bar-room brawler like Rube Allyn who was bigger and stronger in what appears to have occurred at the cor of Mangove Ave and Higel Ave on Friday morn Jan 7, 1921.
 The Nancy Drew PI's Andrea Knies & Mimi Cirbusova site the Sarasota Times as their source for information on the brutal murder of Harry Higel on Friday Jan 7th, 1921, unfortunately for their research it was published only once a week on Thursdays. The first edition of the small readership 'Sarasota Times' was published on Thursday June 1, 1899, it was not a daily newspaper, it was published only once a week on Thursday. 'Sarasota Times' newspaper moved from being a weekly on Thursdays to a daily in 1925. Rose Wilson could hardly have expected a large readership. An estimated 600 people lived in the future Sarasota County area, which was part of Manatee County until June 1921. In 1920 there were only 2,149 people living in Sarasota and Siesta Key. Despite poor initial earnings, Rose Wilson continually published the weekly 'Sarasota Times' until Rose Wilson sold it in 1923. Harry Higel was murdered on Friday Jan 7th 1921 it appears the Sarasota Times published a week old article about his murder on Thursday Jan 13th, 1921 a week later! For most of the time, the newspaper's home was a two-story frame building on the north side of Main Street, half-way between Palm and Pineapple. When a referendum approved the creation of Sarasota County in June 1921, publisher Rose Wilson changed the name of the paper to the Sarasota County Times. In her last editorial, Wilson explained that she had sold the paper because the community needed a more frequent publication and she could not fund such an expansion. Virtually none of the earliest Sarasota Times newspapers survive. NEWSFLASH: The Nancy Drew PI's in Sarasota Andrea Knies & Mimi Cirbusova claim they can not find any other article published in any newspaper that indicates murder suspect Rube Allyn was violent of had a criminal history of any kind, OMG, READ ON.
 photo credit Tampa Times News from Florida Historical 
 RUBE ALLYN 1929 ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE: According to the Tampa Times on May 21, 1929 Rube Allyn shot a young man, Brooks Brewer, 19, who was walking on the road near Rube Allyn's secluded cottage in Ruskin Fl, Hillsborough County. This Attempted Murder Charge for Rube Allyn is 8 years after he was arrested and acquitted of the murder of Harry Higel on Siesta Key Fl. Rube Allyn apparently felt it was no big deal to fire a shotgun at Brooks Brewer, he claimed he had problems with the 'young bloods' in Ruskin and you never know what they could be up to. 
 

Rube Allyn admitted to the Tampa Daily Times that he fired his shotgun into the night to scare away the Ruskin boys. Brooks Brewer claimed that after Rube Allyn shot him in the back with the shotgun, from distance, Allyn came up to him as he was lying in the road, told him to get up with his hands held high and then Rube marched him off down the road. Brooks Brewer's 'bird shot' wounds in his back from Rube's shotgun were supposedly minor. Brooks Brewer dropped the charges 2 1/2 days later upon pressure from his father J.F. Brewer. The father, J.f. Brewer, said "Ruskin is a small place and we want to be neighbors there. Brooks was only peppered with a few bird shot in the back and not hurt much, we ask the court to drop the charges", what the hell? Rube was released from jail, Rube got away with it again.

 
photo credit Tampa Tribune News from Florida Historical

In April 1930 Rube Allyn was arrested again, this time in St Petersburg were he had been living at his mother-in-law's house. Rube plotted with ex-Mayor Noel Mitchell of St Pete to shoot and kill newspaper columnist James Ravenscroft with a shotgun blast. James Ravenscroft was a columnist for the Tampa Tribune. Rube Allyn also cussed out Mrs. Effie Ravenscroft, Rube was arrested on Disorderly Conduct charges he plead not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. Apparently Rube and Noel took offense to several articles written by newspaper columnist James Ravenscroft. Rube Allyn was displaying some severe mental problems over the years, most likely he had Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Someone with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) could destroy property, react way out of proportion to things that happen and could attack or kill another person for really no reason.

photo credit Miami Herald from Florida Historical
True to form most local newspapers downplayed Rube Allyn's arrest for threatening to kill newspaper columnist James Ravenscroft in St Pete, but the Miami Herald laid it all out, see above. Apparently Rube Allyn and former Mayor Noel Mitchell had plotted to kill columnist James Ravenscroft. Mrs. Effie Ravenscroft had overheard Rube and Noel Mitchell planing to kill columnist James Ravenscroft who worked for the Tampa Tribune on the pretext of Rube Allyn shooting rabbits in his yard, which was directly across the street from the Ravenscroft house and "accidentally" kill James Ravenscroft with a shotgun blast. Rube was eventually released from jail and driven out of town via the Gandy Bridge by Noel Mitchell to Ruskin followed by a police escort of two City detectives. And Rube Allyn didn't plot to and beat Harry Higel to death on Jan 7th, 1921 on Siesta Key, sure he didn't.


photo credit Tampa Bay times News from Florida Historical
Apparently Rube Allyn was re-arrested on a Failure to Appear on the Disorderly Conduct charge in St Pete where he had plotted to kill columnist James Ravenscroft. Rube Allyn was arrested for Failure to Appear by City detectives Bob Black and J. B. King. Mrs Effie Ravenscroft testified in court that she heard Noel Mitchell and Rube Allyn "plotting to get James Ravenscroft on 35th Ave South St Pete". Rube Allyn was living at 743 35th Ave South St Pete directly across the street from the Ravenscroft home. The address 743 35th Ave South St Pete was owned by the mother of Rube's wife, Rose Evelyn Knestrick. Rube Allyn was escorted out of town by City detectives on April 25th, 1930, don't come back Rube, Rube got away with it again. Rube Allyn was a loaded gun just waiting to go off, he was a very dangerous man. Another neighbor dispute gone bad just like Rube Allyn's dispute with Harry Higel in Siesta Key that led to Higel's murder, and Rube didn't do it, BULL CRAP.

The information that I have compiled concerning the murder of Harry Higel and the actions, statements and arrest records of Rube Allyn spans a 60 year period from 1887 when 22 year old Rube Allyn was in New York City to 1947 when 81 year old Rube Allyn died penniless and alone in Ruskin Fl. I have chronicled multiple newspaper accounts of the time that show Rube Allyn as exhibiting sociopath tendencies, an extremely violent person, a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, an imposter, a con man's con man and a falling down drunk. Sarasota's Rube Allyn Sr appears to have been the poster boy for someone with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Rube Allyn Sr was a hot tempered, erratic, hard drinking Irishman whose eccentrics were condemned in Sarasota where he was well known. Rube Allyn was known for fierce outbursts of temper. Rube was venomously bitter when confronted or disagreed with and frequently drunk in Sarasota. Rube had been in bitter disagreements with Harry Higel for years, ever since 1911 when Rube shows up in Sarasota. 

Rube's testimony before a US Senate Committee in Feb. 1918 reveled a racist, bigoted man who hated Jews and German speaking people. Rube Allyn acted violently and impulsively and was arrested for Attempted Murder during the commission of a Hate Crime in Philadelphia in 1918. Someone with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) could destroy property, react way out of proportion to things that happen and could attack or kill another person. Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which the affected person reacts grossly out of proportion to the situation (Rube Allyn Sr.). It is my opinion based on all the evidence that I have compiled and the discovery of the 1920's era Colt revolver with the broken grip found buried on Siesta Key, that Rube Allyn killed Harry Higel on Friday Jan 7th, 1921 during a pistol whipping near the edge of the shell pit at the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Siesta Key Fl. MUCH MORE AT LINK https://murderofharryhigelsiestakey.blogspot.com/2020/05/siesta-beach-cold-case-murder-of-mayor.html
I know for a fact that ABC7 show hosts go over the details of the stories their guests bring to the show, it is somewhat rehearsed. Suncoast View Co-Host Stephanie Roberts knew exactly what questions to ask Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova Co-Owners of Compass Rose History to get a negative response as to Rube Allyn being a violent man with a history of arrests for attempted murder. It appears to me that Stephanie Roberts and Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova conspired before the show aired last Thursday to actually provide Fake News about Rube Allyn's criminal history that has been well documented historically. This is a stab in the back to the Higel family in Venice and Sarasota Fl by ABC7 News. George and Frank Higel Jr. the brothers of murdered Harry Higel were both very vocal about Rube Allyn killing their brother on Jan 7th, 1921, they knew. According to Frank Higel Jr, Harry's brother, 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 on what is now Gulfmead Dr washing out the blood stains on his canvas sneakers and trousers".


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

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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 ...