White House Boys Investigation Heightens at Dozier

By: Jeff Patterson, WFLA-T V
By: Jeff Patterson, WFLA-T V

Florida Senator Bill Nelson is demanding action and answers concerning a notorious school for boys. It's been known as a reform school and more recently as The Dozier School.
University of South Florida Anthropologists have recently uncovered a number of unmarked graves at the School in Marianna.

Senator Nelson is asking for time and money to allow the U-S-F team to continue its work.

The Florida School for Boys, opened in 1903. It closed as the Dozier School in 2011.

One man who was kept there as a boy described it as a house of torture. A Pasco County woman says she believes her brother was killed there.

Now Senator Bill Nelson is demanding a criminal investigation be re-opened.

“for months, University of South Florida anthropologists have studied the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. But there are hundreds of acres to cover and the sight has been occupied as a school for boys since 1903.”

Robert Straley was sent there as a 13 year old in 1963. “Boys really never had a chance, whips and the chains and the whole bit.”

Strayley says as a child he was beaten at the school. Evidence shows at least 100 deaths occurred at the school for boys.. But there may be many more.

At a news conference with Senator Bill Nelson 84 year old Ovell
Kkrell described how her brother vanished at the school in 1943.
We got there, we were told he had already been taken out and burried. So we went out and that's when they took us to the grave that supposedly he was in.

Mrs krell says there are conflicting accounts of how her brother died. She doesn't believe them. His unmarked grave can not be found.

Glen Varhadoe described how his uncle died at the school. “The family was notified about ten days to two weeks later that he was dead, so no family was present at the funeral. “

The state of Florida still owns the land, but is looking to sell the property. Florida Senator Bill Nelson has written a letter to governor Rick Scott to stop the sale. “I want to find out where the graves are, I want them exhumed, I want them examined and I want to see if potential crimes have been committed.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation into the deaths at the Dozier School. But, the investigation is now closed. Senator Nelson wants the investigation re-opened. He says some of those responsible for the deaths at the school may still be alive.


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