April 17, 2009
MARIANNA — The men remember the same things: blood on the walls, bits of lip or tongue on the pillow, the smell of urine and whiskey, the way the bed springs sang with each blo ...
Oct. 9, 2009
MARIANNA The boys were watching. They had noticed the old men and the television trucks gathered at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. They were not allowed outside, but th ...
MARIANNA — The bones came up from the red earth of Jackson County, from a forgotten corner of the campus of Florida's oldest reform school. Putting them back into the ground, deciding how and where the remains of boys who died in state custody should spend eternity, proved hard.
Some of the boys from the reform school use to take lunch down to the graveyard. They'd eat bologna sandwiches and wonder aloud about the boys buried beneath their feet. The dead boys' names were lost to time and neglect and, if you believe the men who made it out of Florida's oldest reform school alive, the callous …
TAMPA — The ongoing investigation into a burial ground at Florida's oldest reform school has turned up possible buckshot in the remains of a boy who died in state custody.
TAMPA — There wasn't much left of the boys.
MARIANNA — The darkness started to fall on the pines and the kudzu-covered fields and on the little cemetery when a thundercloud erupted in the distance, and everybody down in the graves stopped digging …
Thomas Curry met his death by some railroad tracks near Chattahoochee in 1925, trying to run away from the Florida School for Boys. He'd served just 29 days for delinquency at the hellish reform school some 20 miles away in Marianna. The coroner who examined his body couldn't tell what killed him.
As researchers continue to unearth remains in Marianna at the closed Florida School for Boys, also known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, I'm transported back to the fear I experienced as a boy in Florida during Jim Crow.
TAMPA — The red dirt outside the little Panhandle town of Marianna continues to give up its secrets.
TAMPA — University of South Florida researchers say they have identified two more sets of remains buried on the grounds of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.
George Owen Smith was afraid of the dark, so he'd whistle Gene Autry songs, like country music could keep the evil away. Every night for 40 years after he died, his mother, Frances, would sit on the stoop of her home in Auburndale, listening for her boy to come whistling through the woods.