Local author to speak about book on brutal Florida reform school
By STEPHEN REED • STAFF WRITER • October 5, 2010
BRIDGEWATER — Local author Robin Gaby Fisher will discuss her newest book, "The Boys of the Dark:
A Story of Betrayal and Redemption in the Deep South," at Barnes & Noble in Bridgewater on Thursday.
The book tells the true story of two men who were deemed "incorrigible youth" by authorities and sent to a
reform school in Marianna, Fla., in the 1950s and 60s. There they were tormented by guards and
administrators, and witnessed assaults, rapes and possibly murders.
Fifty years later, the men - Michael O'McCarthy and Robert W. Straley - came together and began a
campaign to expose the activities at the school that had scarred them and many others.
"These boys, now men in their 50s and 60s, kept the secret of the abuses for decades. When they finally
had the courage to come forward, they needed someone to tell their story. I wanted to be that person,"
Fisher was a member of a team of journalists at The Star-Ledger of Newark that won a Pulitzer Prize,
journalism's highest honor, in breaking news coverage in 2005 for Gov. Jim McGreevey's resignation. She
also is a two-time finalist for a Pulitzer in feature writing. She teaches journalism at Rutgers University.
She is married to Loren Fisher, managing editor and digital editor of the Courier News, Home News
Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com. They live in Somerville.
Her previous book, "After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival," focused on two survivors of
the January 2000 fire at Seton Hall University that killed three students and injured 58 others.
Fisher will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Barnes & Noble is at 319 Route 202/206.