White House Boys

USF News

After identifying the remains of another boy, University of South Florida researchers are continuing to look into finding answers for families looking for their loved ones buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for boys. Researchers say they’re doing the finishing touches on their work surrounding the North Florida reform school with a troubled past.

Aimee Blodgett / USF News

A sixth family has now been reunited with the remains of their loved one buried on the troubled Panhandle property of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. University of South Florida Researchers looking into finding answers for more families also got an extension to continue their work until January of next year.

Katy Hennig / USF News

University of South Florida researchers have identified the remains of two more people buried on the Dozier School for Boys property in Marianna.

According to USF researchers’ latest status report, they’ve made 2 more IDs—bringing the total to five.

Katy Hennig / University of South Florida

University of South Florida researchers say they’re going to continue searching for the remains of a boy believed to have died at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys, after an attempt to exhume his remains in another state proved unsuccessful.

Aimee Blodgett / USF News

University of South Florida researchers have now identified two more sets of remains of the boys buried on the Panhandle property of the now defunct Dozier School for Boys. While one boy is the first black student identified, another belongs to the family that helped spark renewed interest into finding answers about what happened at the Marianna school surrounded by a history of alleged abuse.

Michael Dye / University of South Florida

The recent ID of the first set of remains of a boy buried on the property of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna has helped bring one family closer to closure—some 70 years after the death. And, it’s also helping to keep hope alive for other families awaiting similar answers.

“Ordinarily anybody who knows me, knows I’m never at a shortage to talk. But, I have to say that when Erin [Kimmerle] came to visit me and she revealed to me that they had found my brother, I was totally dumbstruck, said Ovell Krell.

Florida Channel

A team of researchers say they’ve identified the first set of unearthed remains on the property of the now-defunct Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. It’s the first move towards closure one family has received, and some say it’s about time.

USF Anthropology

University of South Florida researchers are expected to make an announcement Thursday regarding their continuing dig to unearth the remains of boys believed to be buried on the property of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

The goal behind exhuming the bodies is to provide closure to families searching for answers into the fate of their loved ones believed to have died from alleged abuse at the former North Florida reform school.

USF Anthropology

In a few weeks, University of South Florida researchers are expected to resume exhuming the bodies of boys buried on the Dozier School for Boys property. Already, researchers have discovered more skeletal remains than previously thought on the grounds of the North Florida reform school–a school with a history of alleged abuse. And, researchers are now asking for the public’s help in providing closure to the boys’ families.

What's Been Found?

University of South Florida researchers say they’ve discovered the remains of five more people than previously thought on the grounds of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys. Those looking for answers about what went on at the former North Florida reform school call it a bittersweet victory.

Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

There are at least ten families awaiting the return of their loved ones’ remains from the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. They’re hoping researchers who spent last weekend at the school can match DNA samples they’ve provided to DNA found at the site. It’s the latest step in closing what, for some, has been a decades-long mystery.

University of South Florida researchers are set to come back later this fall to continue exhuming the remains of the buried boys at the now-closed Marianna school.

Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

University of South Florida researchers have finished the first phase of their project to dig up the bodies of boys believed to be buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

Tuesday was the researchers’ last day for the weekend dig, but lead researcher Erin Kimmerle says they’ll be back soon. She says they’re on target to complete the excavation in about a year after finding skeletal remains along with coffin hardware, such as handles and nails.

University of South Florida

Researchers are expected to start digging up the bodies buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys at the end of the week.  Several families have been waiting years to get closure about their loved ones believed to have died from abuse at the now-closed reform school.

Michael Spooneybarger / Reuters/Landov

A group of researchers recently won state approval to exhume bodies buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. But, some wonder what happens next?

A Troubled Past

John Gaddy is a much older man today, but as a boy he was sent to the North Florida reform school known as the Dozier School for Boys.

“When he pulled up at the reformatory, it looked so beautiful, but it was later when he put me on the black side, I began my hell,” said Gaddy.

AP Photo

Governor Rick Scott and rest of the Florida Cabinet have given a group of researchers’ permission to dig up the bodies buried on the grounds of the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Supporters, who say that will unearth the truth about the school, are hailing the decision as a historic one.

"Alright, is there a motion to approve," asked Scott. [So moved. ] Is there a second? [yes] Any comments or objections? Seeing none, the motion carries," stated the Governor.

Phil Sears / AP

The Florida Cabinet is meeting Tuesday to consider a request to unearth the remains of boys believed to have died at a former North Florida reform school. The move comes as a group of researchers have been trying for months to exhume the bodies of boys some claim were killed due to the alleged abuse at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida may be one step closer to digging up the human remains of boys believed to have died from alleged abuse at the infamous Dozier School for Boys. the USF researchers’ request to exhume bodies at the former Panhandle reform school is up for consideration at the next Florida Cabinet meeting.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is awaiting a response from the state about whether the school’s researchers can dig up the human remains of boys believed to have died over a 60-year period at the infamous Dozier School for Boys in north Florida. State officials contend they don’t have the authority to grant such a request, but some wonder if that’s the real reason for the denial.

The University of South Florida could ask a judge to intervene if the school’s latest request to unearth the remains of boys believed to have died at the infamous Dozier School for Boys is denied. USF officials are first asking Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to reconsider his earlier denial of their exhumation permit request, before the matter goes before a judge.

The University of South Florida is not backing down from the state’s denial of a permit to search for more unmarked graves at the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. USF researchers, with the help of Attorney General Pam Bondi, believe they may unearth the remains of more boys believed to have died due to the alleged abuse received at the former North Florida reform school.

Updated 1:05 a.m.

Below is a statement from Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam regarding Florida Department of Law Enforcement's update on Dozier:

I am grateful that FDLE has started to address some of the issues raised by the USF report. The state has an obligation to provide the families involved insight and a meaningful explanation regarding the final resting places of their loved ones. This is a complex and difficult task that will take time.  I'm committed to seeing that we get it right, after decades of failing to do just that.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to continue a probe into the Infamous Dozier School for Boys, after recent findings show there were at least 50 graves at the North Florida reform school----that’s 19 more than were found when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated two years ago. Some say the involvement of federal officials is key to addressing what really happened to prevent the state’s “cover-up of the truth.”

University of South Florida

Several University of South Florida researchers discovered what could be as many as 49 graves belonging to boys connected to the infamous Dozier School for Boys. The graves are of those believed to be killed at the school, from abuse gone too far. And, the discovery was made at an old small cemetery in the north Florida town of Marianna.

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