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Isabel P. Michaelson
Isabel Gibson Patterson grew-up in Philadelphia with her brother and graduated in 1927 from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Education. She loved to travel at a young age, and family says that's how she met Norman "Mike" Michaelson.
Michaelson orange grove
Michaelson Grove was located in Bradenton along Warner's Bayou. Isabel and Norman "Mike" Michaelson came to Florida to go to a few spring training games with friends. They fell in love with the area and soon after bought the grove, which include a quaint home on the property. They lived there for many years before selling the grove in 1971 and moving to Longboat Key.
Isabel and Norman "Mike" Michaelson moved to Longboat Key around December of 1972 after living and owning an orange grove out in Bradenton along Warner's Bayou. Family from Philadelphia would often visit them in the summers and enjoyed the beach which was directly across the street from the home at 5134 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Today the home is one of the few in the area that still looks like it did back in the 1970s.
Isabel Michaelson received a phone call at 9 p.m. on Feb. 21, 1974, so investigators suspect their murders occurred late that evening or the early morning hours the next day. Both of them were found in their pajamas. Blood was found on the floor around the bed in the upstairs bedroom.
Inside the Michaelson's garage was their 1974 Buick Electra. There was a blood trail in the garage, but not inside the house. Investigators did not know the whereabouts of Mrs. Michaelson until they opened the trunk of the car. They found her inside having been strangled and stabbed.
The weapon used to shoot Norman "Mike" Michaelson was never recovered, but investigators say it was a .22 caliber Marlin rifle. A bullet was recovered from Mr. Michaelson and is one of the few remaining pieces of evidence in the case. He died from two gunshot wounds, with one bullet to the front of his chest and a second bullet from behind.
Michaelson case files
There are more than seven boxes of investigative files relating to the Michaelson murder case. The files are stored by the Longboat Key Police Department and contain the work of investigators from Longboat, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, along with FDLE and the DEA.