Marianna, FL- About 300 adult men known as the 'White House Boys' say they were tortured while confined at Dozier School of Boys. They claim some students didn't survive the beatings and were buried in unmarked graves in a remote section of the campus.
State officials were aware of 31 graves. But this summer, University of South Florida Anthropologist, Dr. Erin Kimmerle said her team found an additional 18 graves. The find didn't surprise 'White House Boy', Bryant Middleton.
"[Kimmerle's] report will be turned over to the Governor shortly" said Middleton during a phone interview Monday. "It's a very detailed report and I think there's going to be much more to it than what has been in the news."
Local historian, Dale Cox wasn't surprised either. But, he told us, the new graves didn't prove anything.
"These mystery graves really aren't mysterious" said Cox. "Dozier marked them and maintained them, and I can't see why they would purposefully mark and maintain graves for students they had murdered."
Cox says the students buried in those graves died during a fire at the school and from an influenza outbreak.
Though Cox and the Florida Department of Law Enfocements investigative report both acknowledged that the abuse the 'White House Boys' claim could have occurred, Cox said the latest revelations insinuating murder were publicity stunts.
"They initially said that cemetery on the hill that is marked is where those murdered boys were buried and that is not the case. That was proven false. So now we've moved on and we found some more graves and suddenly those are the mystery graves" Cox said.
Middleton said he wanted further investigations."With today's technology and forensics, a body can be exhumed, or found, and can be examined. They can go back and very carefully determine the sex of the child, how the child lived and how they child died."
"Let's dig up the whole campus- let's spend millions" Cox said. "Let's dig it all up, let's get to the bottom of this. And when it's all said and done, if there is no evidence of additional murder victims out there, then I think the University of South Florida owes the people of Jackson County an apology."
Several different state investigations in the last five years have determined there was no evidence of students being murdered at Dozier.