TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police combed through the yard of an Ybor City home on Tuesday, just days after the 90th anniversary of a gruesome quintuple murder.
Investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were also on hand at the E. 5th Ave. home where Victor Licata used an axe to kill his family in 1933, as first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
A spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department said investigators returned to the home after learning a body may be buried there. No human remains were found during Tuesday’s search.
90 years earlier, Tampa police initially identified marijuana as the culprit behind the brutal killings. The Ybor murder case is rumored to have partially inspired “Reefer Madness,” a 1939 film that depicted young people using marijuana before committing various crimes, from hit-and-run accidents to murder.
Researchers later found marijuana was not a named factor in the murders and Licata simply had severe mental health issues, as he was declared mentally unfit to stand trial and was never prosecuted.
Licata was committed to the Florida Hospital for the Insane in Chattahoochee, located near the Florida-Georgia state line. He was moved to Florida State Prison after escaping from the hospital and going on the run for several years. He took his own life in 1950.