Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 11:53am
From (of course) Ben Montgomery:
PHILADELPHIA - 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. "(C)ame to his death from a wound to the forehead, skull crushed from unknown cause," wrote Chattahoocheee coroner L.H. Sanders on the boy's death certificate.
His body was shipped by train to his grandmother in Philadelphia, where services were held at a Catholic church, and a box was buried at the Old Cathedral Cemetery in West Philadelphia, on top of a casket that held his great grandmother.
But researchers trying to determine how Curry was killed unearthed a mystery Tuesday.
With permission from officials in Pennsylvania, the University of South Florida forensic anthropologists dug down six feet to Curry's casket and found a partially intact wooden box. They found thumbscrews used to clamp shut the casket that were identical to those found in burials on the Florida reform school campus. They found a small cross, like a rosary necklace, atop the casket.
But inside, there was no body, no human remains. Where the boy should've been, they found wood. Keep reading. Last month. For Their Own Good.