By: Sharon Aron Baron
Back in 1972, the Woodlands made national news when a man killed a reported mobster on the golf course.
Maybe you’ve heard the tale: A man drove his golf cart to the tenth hole, pulled out a .38 and fired five shots into another man killing him. I had heard pieces of this story from members of the country club, but I never knew the story behind it.
Was it a golf game gone wrong?
I dug deeper to find out more information, and thanks to the Internet, I found newspaper articles from 1972 that covered the story.
The articles said that Michael “Mickey” Mason was stalking a reputed gangland figure in a “commandeered” golf cart and shot Henry Rubino to death on the tenth green at the Woodlands Country Club. Rubino was identified by a U.S. Senate subcommittee on organized crime as being a member of a New York-New Jersey crime family. After shooting him twice in the face and three times in the back, Mason then fled to the clubhouse where he was arrested while he was using the phone to call his attorney.
I tried to find more information as I wanted photos to be a part of the story, but had no luck. First, I asked Broward Sheriff’s Office in Tamarac for records, but they told me that all the old documents went to their main offices downtown. Their main office told me that I would find them at the Clerk of Court’s office. So I put in a request to Howard Foreman’s office with the exact names, dates, even a fee, but my request came back with no information. Apparently they don’t keep records this long or perhaps lost them during the transition from Tamarac Police to BSO.
All the information I have are in the articles below.
It says that the motive for the murder was that Mason owed Rubino $2,500, and that him and his family had been threatened with death if he did not come up with the money. In an irrational moment, he shot Rubino to death.
Less than two months after the murder, Mason was tried and he pled innocent by reason of temporary insanity. The jury convicted him of first degree murder and he received a life sentence.
Five years later, Mason was in the Pompano Correctional Center and sued the Woodlands Country Club for $1 million. He claims he asked the club to bar Rubino, who was not a member, but it refused. His suit maintained that he was in fear of his life by the continued and unlawful presence of Henry Rubino and that the club knew that Rubino was “a well-known extortionist, known criminal, illegal loan shark, and known generally in the Fort Lauderdale area as a man of most unsavory character and bad reputation.”
I searched everywhere and couldn’t find any information about Mason’s release, however, based on his age at the time of arrest, it’s very unlikely that he’s still alive at the age of 95.
If you have any information on the murder or lived in the Woodlands during this time, please share your recollections.