Saturday, October 31, 2020

ABC7 Suncoast View has Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova putting their nonsensical spin on 100 Year Old Cold Case Murder of Harry Higel Siesta Key

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. 


photo credit screenshot abc7 suncoast view Sarasota
Co-Host Stephanie Roberts has on their show Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova Co-Owners and Co-Founders of Compass Rose History Experiences putting their spin on the 100 Year Old Unsolved Murder of Harry Higel on Siesta Key Fl with their plethora of misinformation! The nonsensical pair claim murder suspect Rube Allyn was the wrong guy, bull crap. See the nonsensical pair pandering to murder suspect Rube Allyn on the ABC7 Suncoast View.

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".

The Nancy Drew PI's Andrea Knies & Mimi Cirbusova claim they were unable to find any stories about Rube Allyn in the Herald Tribune that indicated he was a bad guy. Newsflash for Nancy Drew PI's Andrea Knies & Mimi Cirbusova the Herald Tribune did not start publishing in Sarasota until 1925, four years after Harry Higel was murdered on Jan 7th, 1921 by Rube Allyn. The Nancy Drew PI's Andrea Knies & Mimi Cirbusova appear to have poor research skills. The Tampa Daily Times aka Tampa Tribune was a big deal in 1921 and had been in publication for over 26 years at the time of Harry Higel's murder using its Associated Press affiliation for international and national news. The Tampa Daily Times extensively covered the Harry Higel murder in 1921 with reporters on the ground in Sarasota and Siesta Key, appears the Nancy Drew gals were looking in the wrong place. 

The Tampa Daily Times article on Tues May 21st 1929 seen above reports on the front page that Rube Allyn shot a teenager in Ruskin with a shotgun, Attempted Murder charges were filed, OMG, READ ON. Daily publication of the Tampa Tribune started in 1895 when Wallace Stovall upgraded printing from once a week. In 1927, newspaper mogul John Stewart Bryan, of Virginia, and his business partner Samuel Emory Thomason, previously a vice-president with the Chicago Tribune, purchased The Tampa Tribune for $900,000. The Sarasota Herald published its first edition on October 4, 1925, four years after the murder of Harry Higel. In a front-page article introducing the morning paper to its readers, a journalist praised the publishing facility's efficient layout: "From the executive offices in the rear, the paper is produced in one continuous motion." The Herald's first editorial October 4, 1925 announced the paper's three-fold policy of service to the community.

 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.

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.
 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 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.

I have located a potential murder weapon, a rusted Colt revolver found buried on Siesta Key that dates to 1921 with a broken grip that could have been used to pistol whip Harry Higel on Jan 7 1921. 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.

   photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
Harry Higel's face was unrecognizable he had depressed fractures on the top, side and back of his head, multiple wounds, as one would revive in a pistol whipping. 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. The bottom of the butt of the 1920's era Colt revolver found buried off of Higel ave on Siesta Key in Nov 2019 has a pointed edge.  

The buried revolver is a 1920's era Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver with FANCY hard rubber grips and most likely a 6 inch barrel. All remaining parts of the Colt revolver were turned over to a Cold Case Detective at the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept on November 26th 2019, case number is 19-95201.

 photo credit screenshot Tampa Daily Times 1/07/1921

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. Rube Allyn was never acquitted at trial, a Manatee County Grand Jury failed to indict. Rube Allyn went to St Pete and published his 'Florida Fisherman' magazine for decades after Higel's murder, he retired to Ruskin Fl when he was in his 70's.

    photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
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 morgue and returned to the Bradentown City Hall to take testimony. Sheriff Brown testified he found tracks at Bayou Louise that reassembled the tracks of Rube Allyn Sr. found near the crime scene.  

 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.

 The battered body of Harry Higel was found on the corner of Mangrove Ave (Siesta Dr) and Higel Ave on Siesta Key Fl. Mr Reed who was doing work on a house of his on Siesta Key and two other men working for the Palmer Company claimed they saw Rube Allyn Sr in the woods at about 7:45 am Friday Jan 7, 1921. The last time Harry Higel was seen alive was at about 8:15 am Friday Jan 7, 1921 when he left the shell pit where he was working on the beach. The Manatee County Coroners Jury convened by Judge Cary B. Fish found probable cause to arrest Rube Allyn Sr for Harry Higel's murder on Friday Jan 7, 1921.  

photo credit screenshot abc7 suncoast view Sarasota
Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova quote as their only source information the small newspaper the Sarasota Times, they did not search the Tampa Daily Times or the St Pete Times of the AP in New York City or the Ocala Times or the Miami Times or the Congressional record where Rube Allyn gave a racist and bigoted hate report on German speaking Jews at the Hog Island shipyard where he had been working in 1917.

Sarasota Dr Haldon's medical report to the Manatee County Coroners Jury on Friday evening Jan 7th, 1921, the day Harry Higel was murdered, indicated multiple (5 TO 6) depressed fractures to the skull, multiple broken facial bones, and at least one compound skull fracture. There were no other wounds to the body of Harry Higel. Higel wasn't supposed to survive the vicious pistol whipping. The mark of the weapon was clearly shown with a hole in the skull made by the pointed end of the weapon. The end of the grip on a 1920's era .32 caliber Colt revolver has a pointed end. 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 was never solved, the murder weapon never found, until very likely now with the discovery of the buried 1920's era .32 caliber Colt revolver found on Siesta Key near the Higel murder scene.

 photo credit library of congress the 65th Congress Washington. 
On Wednesday February 20, 1918 Sarasota's Rube Allyn Sr testified before the 65th Congress in Washington DC at a Senate Committee investigating delays in ship building at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA during WWI with Germany, Rube Allyn Sr blamed the German speaking Jews at the work site for all the problems, he hated them.
Senator James K. Vardaman was taken aback by Rube Allyn's damming comments about the German speaking Jews at Hog Island. Sen Vardaman said to Rube Allyn Sr " I know that in the Civil War the Jew was a loyal soldier on both sides, I think it is hardly fair to make the fight against the Jew as a race." Racist Sen. James K. Vardaman was appalled at Rube Allyn's hate filled rhetoric about the German speaking Jews he had to work with at the US Naval shipyard Hog Island. 


photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
Rube Allyn Sr testified before the Senate Committee in Feb 1918 that he was arrested for attempted murder after he threw two German speaking Jews off the trolley going to work at Hog island from his hotel in Philadelphia. Rube Allyn's testimony indicates he was a rough and tough guy in his 50's that took no guff from anyone at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA and he hated and detested anyone speaking German at the job site. Rube Allyn hated Germans he called them 'Prussian Savages', Harry Higel was of German heritage, Rube wanted to kill Germans he tried to join the army in WWI to go yo France and kill Germans but he was too old in 1917. Rube Allyn was a bad guy, Nancy Drew girls Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova! See the nonsensical pair pandering to murder suspect Rube Allyn on the ABC7 Suncoast View with
Co-Host Stephanie Roberts.

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

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

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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 ...