Ruth Dowling, 24, was found dead on February 2, 1956 in Surfside, on Biscaya Drive, at a place only one minute’s walk from where Danny Goldman was kidnapped in 1966. The body was found directly across a small residential street from the home of a prime partner of Meyer Lansky.
Dowling’s murder was never officially solved, and in reality, was never actually investigated or prosecuted. The case was noticeable to us for its location, and relations to people and events involved in other cases.
T.A. Buchanan took charge of the homicide investigation at the Dade Sheriff’s Office. No one was ever arrested for the Dowling murder. Here is a summary of what we found in looking into what really happened.
Ms. Dowling was found wearing a bright red dress, in an empty residential lot on Biscaya Island, across from the home of Sam Tucker. Tucker, a top tier organized crime figure, lived in the only home within 75 feet. Tucker and Meyer Lansky were partners in casinos in Havana and Las Vegas. There were only 8 homes on Biscaya Island at the time.
Ms. Dowling’s body was discovered at 8:10 AM by Surfside patrolman Officer Kenneth Galusha. The death appeared to have occurred at about 3:00 AM. Mr. and Mrs. Tucker were at home, and reported nothing unusual. Dade Sheriff’s detectives Manson Hill and T.A. Buchanan took over the case.
Ms. Dowling had been stabbed several times with a long knife. No weapon was found, no arrests were made, no trials ever occurred. The case was widely covered in the press as the “Lady in Red” case.
In a hidden and bizarre series of events pieced together by the ‘posse’, Randolph Herring was alleged to have committed this and many other crimes, was found to be severely mentally ill, was put under hypnosis, was sent to a state mental hospital, was kept in confinement for many years, and then was brought back to Dade County, declared sane, declared not guilty of (another) crime (a Miami rape case) – not guilty by virtue of insanity. Then, based upon his current state of ‘sanity’, he was released.
No one, including Mr. Herring, ever faced charges in the death of Ruth Dowling. The tragedy of Ruth Dowling’s murder has a place in the overall scenario of crime, coverup, and corruption that ruled Dade County at the time.
The volunteers’ investigation into the kidnapping and disappearance of Danny Goldman has led to significant findings and revelations in numerous other cases, all linked in various ways to the same people and course of events. The context of all of the cases combined enables a new understanding of each individual crime, how this all transpired, and why it was covered up. To see the whole picture, read through the entire site.
The extraordinary effort of a small team of volunteers has turned into a historic event in itself. Never before has a private, pro bono, public service, volunteer effort become a huge investigation and exposure of organized crime. Discovered in the previously hidden web of these cases are the Mafia, the Syndicate, organized crime leaders and associates with many common familial and organizational ties to Brooklyn, to New York City, to Tampa, to Chicago, and of course to Miami. Their reach and managed activities extended across the United States and to Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the Western Hemisphere. Answers that had been considered eternally elusive have been found by the volunteers and provided to family members of cold case victims. The information on this web site is a public report of findings at this point in time, and the work continues. Cold cases involving organized crime are often in a protected mode, with official action long foreclosed as “administratively closed” and even before that, the cases were effectively derailed. However, citizens dedicated to truth and justice – and accurate history and public awareness – can clearly make a positive difference for the present and future of communities and the good of our nation.