Showing posts with label 100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siesta Key Fl Case Remains Unsolved. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siesta Key Fl Case Remains Unsolved. Show all posts

Friday, December 11, 2020

100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siesta Key Fl Case Remains Unsolved


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. 

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.
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.

 

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

100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siesta Key Fl Case Remains Unsolved

photo credit Higel family Manatee County Historical Society . 100 Years Ago on Jan 7th 1921 Sarasota Mayor Harry Higel Was Murdered on Siest...