Published On: Mon, Dec 10th, 2012

USF anthropologists unearth new graves as ‘White House Boys’ reform school

University of South Florida anthropologists announced on Monday the discovery of additional graves at the former Dozier School for Boys, a state-run reform school in Marianna, closed after physical abuse and deaths of students.

USF researchers onsite at the Florida State Reform School photo http://thewhitehouseboys.com/indexspare.html

Monday’s announcement claims that the anthropologists and archaeologists have found at least 19 more graves after mapping the school’s cemetery using ground-penetrating radar and other methods to identify the numbers and location of graves in the cemetery and answer lingering questions about what happened to the boys.

A group of former students from the 1950s and 1960s known as “The White House Boys” allege they were subjected to repeated physical abuse and that fellow students died from abuse. Severe beatings and torture of youths were confirmed in a state investigation which led to the school closing last year.

Very little documentation about the history of the cemetery or who is buried there exists, nor was the exact locations of individual burials documented.  Previous records indicate 81 deaths were reported at the school; however USF researchers compiled records of 98 deaths which occurred between 1914 and 1973 in historical documents of boys aged 6 to 18 and two adult staff members.

“We found nearly twice as many burials as were thought to exist,” Research Team leader Erin Kimmerle said, “but many of them had been lost in the woods under brush and trees.”

Kimmerle’s team also identified discrepancies in records of the cause and manner of death reported for several boys. A high number of boys – 20 individuals – died within the first three months of being remanded to the school and the researchers found inconsistency among those who were issued death certificates.

The school was closed last year after years of reports and a state investigation revealed a pattern of severe beatings and torture of the youths sentenced to stay there.

“No understanding of the Florida State Reform School over the course of its history can be understood without consideration of the impact and implications of segregation, particularly those relating to criminal justice,” Kimmerle said. “The majority of boys committed to the school and that died there were African American.”

USF’s team was granted permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection to access the historic land, and received a permit for archaeological research to locate and document graves associated with the Boot Hill Cemetery from the state Division of Historical Resources.

Check out the full statement from USF here

For information on “The White Boys,” photos from the research “dig” or how to help the families – read more here

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. John says:

    This sex offending creep, Richard Colon of Mace Electric in Baltimore, and president of the white house boys,repeatedly violently raped his sister-in-law when she was eleven years old, forced her to get an abortion at 12, and abused children in Orlando, Florida. They reported this sicko. Why is it they did not arrest him? Is the system really that corrupt? Is this country really that far in the gutter? You ought to let the country burn if Colon is the kind of deviant miscreant sex offender you support. In the link below you can read what his sister-in-law has to say about him. It’s capital sexual battery against a child under 12. There’s no statute of limitation in Maryland on that. How well does it represent the white house boys to have as their president a serial child molester? Some of the WHBs spent serious time in prisons. You might want to find out why.


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