A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE OR A NEW DAY AT DOZIER SCHOOL FOR BOYS CONCENTRATION CAMP IN KKK HELD MARIANNA FL by Robert Straley.
FRONT PAGE UPDATE Sunday April 14th 2013 TAMPA BAY TIMES… In Marianna dig for truth encounters desire to keep past buried, Dale Cox says taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to dig for bodies at the Dozier School For Boys Concentration Camp, see http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/in-marianna-dig-for-truth-encounters-desire-to-keep-past-buried/2114932
As a long time resident and business owner in Panama City Fl before moving to Sarasota Fl, I had several investigative cases in and around Marianna Fl, I got a good taste of the mind set of the residents. For several years I have worked in conjunction wiith the White House Boys in getting their story out to the public, in doing so I have had over 30 phone interviews with past “inmates” at the Dozier School for Boys. In each and every one of these phone interviews the story was always the same, beatings, rape and young boys who went to the “White House” and were never seen again. It is what it is and the FBI should be on the ground along with USF Prof Dr. Kimmerle and her team investigating the possible murders and civil rights violations of the boys at the Dozier School in Marianna Fl.
However, that turned out to not be the case: the Police Chief was just looking into the matter. Chief Baggett, his photo, did obtain a copy of the permit and had spoken with the Bureau of Archeological Research (BAR). Baggett says BAR representatives tell him there was nothing done that was out of the scope of the permit. Now I can see where Dale Cox, who seems to be the voice of Marianna, at least sanctioned by the county commissioners, probably used Statute 872.02 of the Florida Statutes to make his case. However, I fail to see how he could have missed: sub-section (3) This section shall not apply to any person acting under the direction or authority of the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State, to cemeteries operating under chapter 497, or to any person otherwise authorized by law to remove or disturb a tomb, monument, gravestone, burial mound, or similar structure, or its contents, as described in subsection (1).
If Mr Cox is the voice of Marianna, then he is taking the town down the wrong path, the same path of obstruction to the truth and the very path that eventually caused Marianna to lose Dozier. I notice in the news that people in Marianna are finally speaking out about Professor Kimmerle’s work and agree it is the right way to get to the bottom of Dozier’s brutal past, even if it is a painful journey. Marianna wants a new chapter to begin, closing once and for all the evil deeds of a few that caused so much pain for so many. Sixty eight years of the flogging of boys and surrounding the facility in a veil of secrecy has probably topped any institution’s record for abuse. Towns people that wanted to speak out were silenced by fear of those in power.
In each case the facilities were near a town that hid the brutality and deaths from outsiders. As one elderly lady told me: “If you talked about the boys and what was happening to them your barn could be burnt, your cattle poisoned or you might just pick up a stray bullet from a hunter’s rifle. That was the word back then and that is the word now.” I got this same story from three ladies that were all at least in their late seventies or eighties. Those that didn’t agree with the beatings weren’t going to the Police, not in the town of Marianna with a heavy KKK presence. One policeman stated: “This town is sewed up tight. You’re not going to find out anything here.”
It puzzles me due to the fact that I am not exactly sure what it is Dale Cox and the Jackson County Commissioners are afraid they might find should the exhumations take place. If he truly believes that there was no wrong doing at the school then why doesn’t he keep quiet until the results come in; then the truth will be known. Up to this point the facts support the allegations brought forth by the White House Boys and that is why the state of Florida has agreed to look into the matter. Mr. Cox seems to go from one personal complaint to another. When one does not work to his benefit he moves on to another. It has now been stated by state officials that Jackson County will not have to bear the cost of any work done by the University of South Florida. Now that he has lost that battle what does he have planned next? By trying to discredit USF and Professor Kimmerle he is only making a fool of himself. Let him show his Curriculum Vitae as Professor Kimmerle’s is posted.
As head of DJJ, Secretary Wansley Walters launched her “Roadmap to System Excellence” a comprehensive initiative to strategically reform juvenile justice in Florida which is designed to give juveniles the proper service and help at the right time and place, sending younger and less serious offenders to group homes or situations other than straight to a jail or juvenile hall. It seems to be a wonderful success. The days of “Sweeping it under the rug” or “That’s Florida for you” is nearing an end. The “good old boys” had their time and blew it. Teenagers dying in juvenile halls are not being over-looked as they once were. Guards that commit cruelty are being fired or charged with a crime. Accountability has arrived.
We will probably never see a single person charged with a crime from our time period, but at least the boys that died in silence and fear are being found at last. I think that was the intention in the first place. This is the story that started itself, that put together a million to one chance encounter of a few individuals, a hand that picked several of the “worst of the worst,” to do the work, men that would not falter nor tire, reporters that believed us, God bless them all, and those in power who have made a stand. It only takes a few candles to extinguish the darkness. Let those lost boys be found and accounted for, even those without a name remembered in some fashion as they were but Florida’s wayward sons. “