"They couldn't believe that something like that happened here." Officially, the case is still open.Five thick files filled with notes from witness interviews, forensic reports and the results of polygraph tests remain in the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and are being looked at by a cold-case unit.A base camp was formed by twenty-five frontiersmen and it was called Fort Hamer which was considered to be located on the grounds of Hooker's Plantation.
The owner of a general store in Parrish and some citrus property, Gettis Lee was 63 when he was murdered Lee's neighbors knew him as a man of habit.
They joked that they could set their clock by the rumble of his truck as he left home at 6 a.m. But on Friday, March 8, 1957, Lee never arrived at the store.
Run by crime syndicates, the lottery-like game had spread from Cuba to Ybor City in the 1880s.
Gamblers could buy tickets from grocery stores, newspaper delivery men and even some taxi drivers.
A dwindling number of people in the northeastern Manatee County community of Parrish can draw their bloodlines back so far they can tie them to the area's early settlers. Styron, 95, who died in 1996, had longtime ties to Parrish.