Sally1Florida’s History Detective 

These stories will inspire, educate, and provide jaw-dropping amazement at Florida’s incredible history:

  • Al Capone’s contentious time in Miami,
    A 135-year-old state mental institution steeped in dark secrets,
  • A WWII top-secret military base tasked with the installation, maintenance, and operation of America’s most important war-worthy device,
    The real story about Florida’s involvement in bringing illegal booze into the country during the Prohibition era, Unsolved murders, Mysterious ancient artifacts, and more.

I love Florida history and am committed to finding buried, forgotten, or unusual stories and bringing them to my readers in a compelling manner.

As an author, I have written five historic nonfiction books, each about a fascinating aspect of Florida history.  And, my fiction books and current projects each have Florida history as either their main theme, or they are set in Florida.

As a journalist, I’ve covered important people, events, and organizations in South Florida. I’ve interviewed Olympic champions, world-renowned men-of-the-cloth, Carnegie Hall performers, high-powered developers, politicians, and TV personalities. I’ve covered Mickey Mantle memorabilia, World World II exhibits, historic walking tours, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs. I am even a ghostwriter.

For four years, I was a special correspondent for the Sun Sentinel newspaper in South Florida where hundreds of my articles appeared in the Community News section. As a freelance journalist, dozens of my articles appeared in Boca Raton, Gold Coast, Boca Life, Delray Beach, Palm Beacher, and Carolina Bride magazines.

As a speaker, I have shared my stories with audiences at numerous educational institutions, social and philanthropic organizations, and historical societies throughout Florida. I enjoy speaking  about Florida’s rich history, and never miss an opportunity to talk with students about writing, and the excitement of discovering a good story.

I have also been a guest on NPR (National Public Radio and TV) many times, and a guest lecturer with the Life Long Learning Society at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

2012 Emmy Nominated Documentary!

Because of my book Run the Rum In, I had the privilege of participating in two documentaries depicting South Florida during the Prohibition era. I was associate producer and on-camera speaker in WLRN’s documentary “Prohibition and the South Florida Connection” that premiered November 2011 and is still running on PBS channels. In 2012 it was nominated for a Suncoast Emmy Award. I  also participated in a series entitled “Gangsters” for the National Geographic Channel.

Contact Me     Visit my blog

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An in depth look at Al Capone’s time in Miami from purchasing a home to his death. New stories and photographs never before seen.


For over 60 years, the shocking Boca Raton murders of flamboyant sculptor Leno Lazzari and his wife Louise lay in cold storage. Now, Who Killed Leno and Louise? takes us through the cold case one step at a time and introduces us to the intriguing victims, shady witnesses, dubious suspects, and devious police officials who investigated the crime.

Who killed Leno and Louise? Why did they do it? Find out in this page turner that takes the reader on a wild ride with more twists and turns than a roller coaster.


What if the world was able to access an ancient artifact that would miraculously heal anyone who touched it? Would it be a blessing or a curse? Find out as freelance writer Shea Baker is plunged headlong into a mystery of biblical proportions!


A long hidden secret is about to be uncovered in a little knows part of Florida–Lake Okeechobee–and, as usual, Shea Baker is right in the mix when he receives a mysterious object–the head of a spear–and a letter.

A watery canal, Burmese python, burning cross, alligator pit, and the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan are only a few of the obstacles Shea Baker experiences as he searches for the Spear of Destiny!


Adam was on his bike headed toward the beach in Boca Raton, Florida, to look for treasures washed up by the waves. Instead he bumped into Phillip, a man who enchanted him with tales of adventures growing up on the same beach during World War II. He told Adam of German spies taking up residence in an unoccupied house, of being caught by miltary police at the secret army post, of a giant alligator being delivered to City Hall, and of the hunt for a monstrous “devil-fish.”

Adam found his treasure, though it was not what he expected. This gem is filled with wonderful Boca Raton history and fantastic adventures of interest to any reader young or old.

OUT OF MIND, OUT OF SIGHT: A Revealing History of the Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee and Mental Health Care in Florida

The story of the state’s first mental institution is rich in early Florida history and, for the first time, reveals the  truth about what went on behind its doors.

RUN THE RUM IN  Discover the tricks of the trade—smuggling the liquor and evading the law. Learn of the dealings of Al Capone, “the Real McCoy,” and the “Gulf Stream Pirate.” Discover how NASCAR got its start and a local restaurant with a past steeped in rum running.

SMALL TOWN, BIG SECRETS: Inside the Boca Raton Army Air Field during WWII chronicles the history of the Boca Raton Army Air Field and includes descriptions and experiences of veterans and civilians who served on the Field.

A HISTORY OF BOCA RATON is a quick read, yet a comprehensive history of Boca Raton–the people and the institutions that make up this city.

THE TREE AND THE CARPENTER is the poignant story of Eshram, the carpenter who made the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Hear his story, feel his emotions, and see how this extraordinary experience affected him.

Read more . . .


8 Responses to Home

  1. leno says:

    Now that I know of it I can keep track of you from here as well.


  2. Pat Stover says:

    Ms. Ling, I Grew Up In Miami Beach, and for many many years I’ve been trying to find ‘just one’ person who remembers what the hotels there all called ‘Splash Parties’, which each had almost daily during the week in the late afternoon. Horses jumped off the high-diving board into the pool, along with clowns and other comic entertainers. They served hot dogs and hamburgers. . . Could You Email Me Whether Or Not You Have Heard Of Them? . . . They were most prevalent in the 50’s.

  3. William law says:

    After receiving your e-mail I looked at your web site. There is something that has always bothered me. While in grammer school in Pompano I was a newspaper delivery boy for the Fort lauderdale Times. In fact have a photograph showing all of the carrier boys with our distribution manager. I have tried to research information about that newspaper and the closest I have been was some old microfilm in the public library in Ft. lauderdale. I do not understand why that bit of history has just been elimiated from public records. The Times was a morning delivery distributed as far north as Dearfield and Boca. Do you know anything about that paper?

  4. Stephanie says:

    I work for a capital mitigation firm who is currently working with a client who was in the South Florida State Hospital in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. While he was a patient there he described being part of an experiment where he was exposed to radiation as well as other patients. Unfortunately we are unable to locate any records indicating that these events took place. If anyone has any information on this please reply to my post. Thank you!!

    • admin says:

      In all of my research, I didn’t see any evidence of this, but that’s not to say it didn’t exist.

  5. Sergio Pribaz says:

    Did you have a chance of reading the attached: http://www.sundresspublications.com/bestof/2012/vozenilekg.htm
    can you add anything to it?

    • sally says:

      The article was well written. Obviously, the writer did tons of research to uncover this story. One never knows where their research will take them but she seems to have learned some fascinating information about her family that had been buried for decades. Nothing further to add.

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