Anniston police say Rumours club fire suspicious
by Graham Milldrum
Staff Writer
May 12, 2009 | 9210 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rumours, a club at 3089 U.S. 78, burned Sunday afternoon in what Anniston police said was a suspicious fire.

Some time between 2:30 a.m. and 5:50 a.m., the building caught on fire and is listed as a total loss.

The property had a long era of legal troubles, although the current owners had no apparent legal issues.

The building housed the former Red Horse Lounge, a scene of many crime reports over the years.

Within months of the lounge opening, a man was shot in the legs with a shotgun.

Such events became expected by police.

Rapes, robberies, fights and auto thefts were all reported at the site.

"It appears that there are a lot of serious physical assaults at the Red Horse Lounge," then Anniston police Capt. Mike Fincher told The Star in 1995. "This establishment will be scrutinized to see if we can curtail some of these assaults."

When Fincher was a captain with the Anniston police a man was attacked with a baseball bat at the Red Horse in 1995.

The man needed surgery for the three fractures in his jaw, news reports said.

Fincher said Monday he remembered that officers often had to visit the lounge or work cases related to it.

The owner of the Red Horse Lounge would plead guilty in December 1997 to trying to hire a hitman.

Owner Jack David "Jackie" Stovall allegedly attempted to hire a Georgia man to kill Anniston resident Barry Jackson.

Stovall apparently believed Jackson and two other men broke into his home, stealing cash and $80,000 in jewelry.

The property was next purchased by Harvey and Bobbie Bowman, a husband and wife.

Harvey Bowman was also the owner of the Platinum Club, the state's only all-nude bar on Anniston Beach Road.

The Red Horse was eventually seized from the Bowmans by the federal government over charges of promoting prostitution and racketeering.

Both Bowmans pleaded guilty to the prostitution charges.

Harvey Bowman died in December 2003 at 60, shortly before he was to go to prison for 18 months.

He was involved in a long-running fight over the operation of the bar. A state law said he could not operate an all-nude bar.

He filed a case in federal court, saying the law violated his and the dancer's first amendment rights, according to news reports.

The current owners of the Rumours property, Leslie Burgess and Kevin Dingler, did not return a call by press time Monday.
Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material

Friends to Follow

Most Recommended

Anniston police say Rumours club fire suspicious by Graham Milldrum
Staff Writer

Today's Events

event calendar

post a new event

Sunday, April 20, 2014