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Speculator's cause of death sought

By Times Staff Writer
Published January 26, 2005

TAMPA - The cause of death for Valrico land speculator Don Connolly probably won't be determined for two weeks or longer, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office.

Connolly, who gained notoriety for buying slivers of land and pressuring neighbors to purchase them at inflated prices, died over the weekend. He was 46.

An attorney for Connolly said this week that his client died in his sleep. The Medical Examiner's Office indicated that the cause of his death is undetermined thus far.

Connolly came to public attention in 2002 after he purchased a lake and a narrow band of land around it in the Tarpon Woods neighborhood in Pinellas County. Connolly purchased the property at a delinquent tax sale for about $1,000, then attempted to sell it to people with homes overlooking the lake for $30,000 per homeowner. When they initially balked, Connolly erected a pink fence to block their view.

News stories subsequently documented similar tactics by Connolly around the Tampa Bay area.

[Last modified January 26, 2005, 00:12:14]

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