Historian Says U-S-F Owes Marianna a Big Apology

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- Dale Cox told us, enough was enough.

"They need to Stand on those courthouse steps and they need to issue a public apology to the people of Jackson County" Cox told us in an interview Thursday. "And, they need to invite every member of the national media that they've been slipping information to since they began this flawed investigation."

Cox claimed the University of South Florida's (USF) findings included the 11 students who died of the flu- students who had already been accounted for in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's (FDLE) initial investigation.

"When you add those 11 to the FDLE list, you come up with a difference of only two between the [FDLE's] original report and the University of South Florida's report. When you look at the University of South Florida report, they named two boys twice. And so, when you eliminate the mistake that these highly trained academics made and only name those two boys once, you come up with exactly the same number that the FDLE investigation had determined."

His public stance didn't sit well with a group of former Dozier students who call themselves the "White House Boys". The group claims they were victims of unspeakable violence and abuse while attending the boys school.

Cox received emails from a few of the hundreds of members and read a some of them to News Channel 7.

"'It appears there are still a lot of white sheet wearing KKK members in Marianna...' is one of the allegations" Cox read.

"'What, are you really that ignorant Dale Cox?' began another email" he shared with us.

Cox said he had never denied the men could have been victims of abuse. But, he said he would not support claims of boys being murdered by staff members.

"I see their allegations of abuse as being completely separate of allegations that staff members murdered students out there" Cox explained. "In my mind its been over. If you dot trust the FDLE the FBI looked at it and they didn't find any evidence."

He said the media attention was padding the wrong pockets and hurting the community.

"Dozier school was closed as soon as this publicity began to go nation wide. That cost the city of Marianna and Jackson County hundreds of jobs. Jobs that were held not by people who were accused of abuse back in the 1950's and 60's, but by people who lived and worked in this community today."

He told us now that three separate agencies had now conducted their own investigations and drawn the same conclusions, the people of Jackson County should seek retribution for the harm he said USF's investigation had caused.

"If they continue, those who are making money off of this industry that they've created-if they continue with these allegations and continue naming names of people they say murdered people- I think it's time for some lawsuits to take place."

The USF research team has been trying to gain permission to dig up the graves.


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