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North Pinellas History | A look back

Feb. 24, 1936: Woman sought as sheriff looks to solve man's killing

Sheriff E.G. Cunningham disclosed today that a mysterious woman, formerly a resident of Tarpon Springs, is being sought for questioning in the puzzling shotgun murder of LaVergne Flanagan, 35, operator of a tourist camp on the Anclote River north of Tarpon Springs.

Flanagan was shot and killed Saturday night at 8:50 as he stepped from his tourist camp to answer the honking of a horn from what was presumably a tourist car whose occupants were seeking accommodations.

A heavy charge of buckshot penetrated his heart. The killer, or killers, drove leisurely away.

Sheriff Cunningham admitted he was looking for a woman in the case after unofficial reports to that effect were circulated throughout Tarpon Springs.

"It is our most tangible clue," Cunningham said as authorities investigated Flanagan's past for a solution to the murder.

With Deputy Sheriff O.G. Strickland and Constable Sam Mickler, Cunningham was checking over correspondence found in Flanagan's possession in an effort to unearth a lead, which might offer a solution to the crime.

One piece of correspondence was a telegram from Sarasota, which said:

"Will deliver eggs Friday night."

Cunningham believes the message may have been a code.

Flanagan was formerly in the poultry business.

Feb. 21, 1945

Large feet might be clue in burglary case

CLEARWATER — Deputy sheriffs and city police today were searching for a burglar with a pair of large feet as the leader of a gang of bold housebreakers blamed for the pillaging of three residences in an exclusive section of Clearwater Beach on Monday night. The thieves helped themselves to furs, jewelry and household furnishings valued at more than $5,000.

Efforts to discover fingerprints on furniture at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hovey, from which the bulk of the loot was taken, proved futile, but officers found on the soft earth of a side lawn a pair of footprints estimated at size 13 or larger.

Officers believe the robbers are knowledgeable about finer things. They picked out Mrs. Hovey's $2,500 mink coat from an array of less expensive fur garments.

"The thieves knew the difference between real mink and other furs," Deputy Sheriff Roy James declared.

Entrance to the Hovey home was effected by forcing a back door, which was held by a simple catch. In gaining access to the neighboring homes of Dr. L.S. Lourie and Maj. John Touhy, side windows were forced with a burglar's jimmy.

The three homes are located in a row on Bay Esplanade.

Feb. 11, 1926

Quick action averts courthouse flood

CLEARWATER — One of the most exciting episodes to have occurred at the courthouse during the lull between sessions of circuit court happened last night.

Bowing to complaints made that the temperature of the courtrooms and some of the offices was below what was considered comfortable during the past few weeks of bad weather, an oil-burning device was installed in the county building by the Skinner Machinery Company of Dunedin.

The apparatus had hardly been placed in commission or even tried out when someone who did not know any better released the city water pressure from all the radiators and every heating fixture in the basement on the first floor and upstairs.

The building was locked for the night about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Karl B. O'Quinn, clerk of the circuit court, returned to his office after the evening meal and made the amazing discovery. Having some experience with a flooded basement when county records had to be protected from water, Mr. O'Quinn appealed to the custodian of the county jail and secured the services of several "trusties." They drained the water from the radiators and pipes and threw it upon the courthouse lawn.

Had it not been for the quick action of Clerk O'Quinn, the temple of justice would have been a moist and juicy place by morning.

>>Looking back

Headlines through the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the

St. Petersburg Times.

Feb. 24, 1936: Woman sought as sheriff looks to solve man's killing 02/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 10:26pm]
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