THE WHITE HOUSE BOYS Survivors Organization, Corp, (np)
A Project Dedicated to the Survivors of the White House
WE ARE THE FACES OF 108 YEARS OF STATE SPONSORED CHILD ABUSE

“Never, ever again!”

www.whitehouseboys.com

From the desk of
Michael O’McCarthy –Project Director – CEO
P.O. Box 5817
Clearwater, FL  33758
Contact:  at: 727-447-4441
Robert Straley – Media Director - CIO  
Michael O’McCarthy- CEO
Omarkco@aol.com

FLORIDA HANDS CHILD ABUSERS AT ITS JUVENILE FACILITIES A BLANK CHECK OF
IMMUNITY

In a glaring act of white wash cover up Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement reported that it could find no
evidence of wrongful death or homicide committed at what is now known as the Dozier School for Boys, at Mariana,
Florida.

Both the independent press attending FDLE’s press conference and the White House Boy’s Survivor’s
Organization were incredulous at the nature of the investigation and the negligent method of fact finding utilized to
“white wash” the nearly 109 years of the worst case of state sponsored child abuse in the nation’s history.

WHBSORG: Our Primary Objection to the state investigating itself is reflected in FDLE’s statement of methodology:

“The investigators also admit: • They relied heavily — at times exclusively — on incomplete and deteriorated
records kept by the school.” St. Pete Times (*)  (*) FDLE investigation into Florida School for Boys cemetery is
over, but mystery lingers By Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Saturday, May 16, 2009

We asked all concerned to read the following carefully. While it is not an exhaustive critique of FDLE’s “white wash”
of the allegations of wrongful death and homicide committed “under the color of state law,” over the many years at
the Florida Industrial School for Boys – the Florida School for Boys and now known as the Dozier School for Boys,
it contains sufficient criticism to indicate that not only was the investigation incomplete and an act of negligent
incompetence, it served only the interests of the current state government under the governance of Governor
Charlie Crist.

To that end, it is important to note that the state is now defending a key figure in these crimes, Troy Tidwell, who
has been accused of beatings, torture and rape of inmates under his care at the Florida School for Boys.

We ask then: How does the state then investigate itself while defending itself?

Their actions border on, if not embrace, malfeasance in office and we call for the immediate resignation of FDLE
Commissioner Gerald Bailey and Mark Perez, FDLE chief of executive investigations.  We ask all who seek a fair
and open investigation and the people’s right to a day in court to write to their elected representatives and the
Governor denouncing this white wash of these heinous acts of child abuse by Florida’s juvenile care officials at its
facilities.

WHBSORG. POINTS OF CONTENTION:

THE MARKED BUT UNIDENTIFIED GRAVEYARD:

WHBSORG: FDLE says cemetery was known to everyone back in the early 1900's and got lost in time:

I
F IT WAS THE GRAVE YARD CLEAR BACK TO 1900 THEN WHERE ARE THE REST OF THE BODIES?

During these early years boys were thrown in with the convicts at night, poor nutrition, worked as adults in the
fields, whipped brutally if they did not perform a man's work, sickness, how many died from that alone? It would be
a dammed sight more than 31. If just one a year died there would be an extra 50 bodies ( 1900-1950 ) and I think
that would be a low estimate.

THE MYSTERY CROSSES:

WHBSORG: Looks exactly like the ones on our web page, were made by inmates at FSB (50) then all 50
disappeared one weekend, never to be seen again. Being a mold maker and using concrete as a medium I can tell
these are the same.

Alissa M. Courtright   614-557-5086     SCURAL@HOTMAIL.COM
Her father Thomas Edward Hanna helped make the crosses.

Former Superintendent Lenox Williams advised that in 1961 or 1962 he ordered the School’s
Boy Scout troop to clean the grounds of the cemetery and erect 31 crosses to honor those
students who had passed away. According to Mr. Williams, until that time the grounds had not been maintained
and he felt the deceased deserved more than an overgrown and unattended area.

Mr. Williams advised that the number 31 was partially based on folklore (deaths from fire,
influenza, drowning) and” indentions in the ground that could still be seen.” Mr. Williams stated that he felt that it
was “better to have too many crosses than to have too few.” Mr. Williams stated that there were no prior crosses or
markers that would have identified the deceased.

However, other staff members interviewed alleged that wooden crosses existed prior to the
cement crosses, but no evidence was revealed to suggest the existence of the wooden crosses.

Mr. Williams advised that the School’s maintenance department constructed the crosses out of concrete and rebar.

According to Mr. Williams, many years later (late 1980’s-1990’s), P.R.I.D.E. (Prison Rehabilitative Industries and
Diversified Enterprises Inc.) farmed the land and destroyed some of the cemetery during the course of land
clearing.

Mr. Williams stated that as a result, the School’s new Superintendent Danny Pate ordered replacement crosses for
the cemetery. The School’s maintenance employees all stated that they were tasked to clean the cemetery
grounds and erect new crosses made of two inch steel pipe that they painted white. These are the grave markers
currently in place at the cemetery. The employees all stated that they had no real reference point as to the
placement of the new crosses and that they placed them based on how they thought they should be arranged.

WHBSORG: IF THERE WERE ONLY "indentions in the ground that could still be seen" AND THE REPLACEMENT
CROSSES WERE PLACED AT RANDOM, "The employees all stated that they had no real reference point as to
the placement of the new crosses and that they placed them based on how they thought they should be arranged."

WHBSORG: HOW CAN THEY BE SURE OF THE REAL NUMBER OF THE GRAVES? - THEY CANNOT.

It has been 56 years since the last known burial at the School’s Cemetery. In the time span since, there is no
known documentation or personal knowledge as to the precise location of each grave, or more importantly, which
grave belongs to which student, staff member, or even school pets. There is also no known documentation that the
graves ever had markers that would have individually identified the deceased

WHBSORG: ANOTHER REASON TO QUESTION HOW THEY KNOW THE NUMBER OF BODIES:

DEATH BY Tonsillectomy - See James Blount file:

My husband Jim Blount was at Marianna from 1949-1951.  The White House was known as the Ice Cream Plant at
that time.  There was still some equipment in the front room.  His handler was Troy Tidwell.  The fellow giving licks
was a mean man by the name of Bob Hatton.  The superintendent was Arthur Dozier.  He (Blount,) had his tonsils
removed because they needed the “experience”. He wasn’t sick and hadn’t been having any tonsil trouble.  He was
awake during most of the operation.  He was told that he was at Marianna to be punished and not rehabilitated and
that was what they intended to do.  He knew of boys that disappeared.  He didn’t know where they went.  A friend
of his tried to escape.  He got over 100 lashes with a board.  He didn’t see it happen but the boy told him about it
when he saw him in the hospital when he had his tonsils out.  The boy had been hit in the head with the board.  He
wasn’t doing very well and my husband didn’t see him after that.

BODY COUNT

Six bodies buried, death by unknown cause

Leonard Simmons
C/M 05/09/1919 Cemetery N/A None Issued
12) Nathaniel Sawyer
C/M 12/12/1920 Cemetery N/A None Issued
13) Arthur Williams
C/M 02/26/1921 Cemetery N/A None Issued
Calvin Williams
C/M 12/31/1922 Cemetery N/A None Issued
Walter Askew
C/M 12/18/1925 Cemetery N/A None Issued
George Owen Smith W/M 01/24/1941 Runaway found
deceased under house N/A None Issued



WHBSORG: AND WHAT ABOUT THESE FROM THE REPORT’S PAGES 13-14 ARE THESE COUNTED IN THE 31?

Unknown Name
C/M 1911 No Entry N/A None Issued
2) Scott Martin
C/M 1915 No Entry N/A None Issued
3) Granville Rogers
C/M 1915 No Entry N/A None Issued
4) Willie Fisher
C/M 1915 No Entry N/A None Issued
5) Sim Williams
C/M 1916 Deceased N/A None Issued
6) Tillman Mohind
C/M 1916 Deceased N/A None Issued
7) James Joshua
C/M 1916 Deceased N/A None Issued
8) Thomas Aikins
C/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
9) Lee Gaalsby
W/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
10) George Grissam
C/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
11) Wilbur Smith
C/M 1918 Flu Epidemic N/A None Issued
12) Willie Adkins
C/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
Lloyd Dutton

W/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
14) Ralph Whiddon
W/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
15) Hilton Finley
W/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
16) Puner Warner
W/M 1918 Deceased N/A None Issued
17) Joe Anderson
C/M 1919 Deceased N/A None Issued
18) Henry Murphy
Sam Morgan
W/M 1921 Deceased N/A None Issued
John H. Williams
C/M 1921 Accident N/A None Issued
Clifford Miller
C/M 1924 Deceased N/A None Issued
Ernest Mobley
C/M 1927 Body Shipped N/A None Issued



ALLEGATIONS OF SUSPICIOUS DEATHS:

Another version of this rumor was that escapees were killed by local farmers and their bodies tilled into the soil.
Several of these rumors have become folklore and thus passed on throughout the years.

WHBSORG: DURING OUR INDEPENDENT  INVESTIGATION THE WHBSORG RECEIVED THREE ANONYMOUS
PHONE CALLS ABOUT THESE RUMORS, ALL FROM ELDERLY LADIES THAT SOUNDED BELIVABLE AND MAY
HAVE WANTED TO GET THIS OFF THEIR CHESTS PRIOR TO MEETING THEIR MAKER.

IN ADDITION, WE HAVE TWO INDEPENDENT REPORTS OF ANOTHER UNIDENTIFIED GRAVEYARD NOT FAR
FROM THE ONE IN MENTION. A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION WOULD HAVE BOTH SOURCED THIS
ALLEGATION AND INVESTIGATED IT. BUT IT WAS NOT IN THE STATE’S INTEREST TO DO MORE THAN “WHITE
WASH” THESE CRIMES.



FROM THE ST. PETE TIMES, SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2009:


FDLE investigation into Florida School for Boys cemetery is over, but mystery
lingers
By Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Saturday, May 16, 2009 - http://tampabay.com/news/politics/state/article1001505.ece


TALLAHASSEE
Ovell Krell does not know what killed her brother Owen almost 70 years ago. Officials back then told her family he
crawled under a house and died. She was only 12, but it sounded like lies. Her family has always believed Owen,
14, was killed by staff at the Florida School for Boys.

Now she's 80, and a state investigation and a glossy report offer no comfort and no new answers.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded an investigation Friday into a cemetery at the Marianna
school, now called the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. Its report identifies 31 people buried beneath white metal
crosses on the campus, and finds no evidence that the school or the staff contributed to their deaths.

But investigators also admit:

• They relied heavily — at times exclusively — on incomplete and deteriorated records kept by the school.

• They don't know the exact whereabouts of any of the remains because the graves were unmarked for years, until
a superintendent ordered Boy Scouts to make markers. The same man supplied the number of graves — 31 —
based on an educated guess. Some 20 years later, part of the cemetery was destroyed by prisoners farming the
land. Another superintendent ordered pipe crosses erected, but workers had no reference point and placed them
based on "how they thought they should be arranged."

• They did not exhume remains or use ground penetrating radar to determine how many bodies are in the ground
or where they are placed.

Last month, the state-run reform school was the subject of a St. Petersburg Times special report, "For Their Own
Good," about dozens of men who said they were severely beaten there as boys in the 1950s and '60s in a cinder
block building called the White House.

In recent weeks the Times has also spoken with two men who say they were forced as boys to dig child-sized holes
on the campus. These men, suspicious of authority, would not cooperate with investigators, fearing they would
destroy evidence.

Mark Perez, FDLE chief of executive investigations, said "hundreds" of witnesses "did not provide any first-hand
knowledge . . . that would refute the information provided in these records."

But investigators did not talk to several people who claim to have knowledge of suspicious deaths. They did not
talk to Roger Kiser, a founder of the White House Boys, the group featured in the Times report.

They didn't talk to Johnnie Walthour, a 73-year-old Jacksonville man who told the Florida Times-Union a friend
died after a beating in the early 1950s.

And they did not talk to Ovell Krell.

• • •

Owen and Ovell. They weren't angels, but they sang like them. Brother and sister, listening through the scrub for
the Saturday night sounds that wafted out of the juke joint. Singing, heads to the heavens, to the South Florida
Ramblers.

Owen made his first guitar out of a cigar box because his daddy couldn't pack oranges fast enough to buy the real
thing. The Depression strangled Central Florida, but Owen tried to sing it away. He had a rambling spirit. He would
split for Gasparilla Island, without telling a soul, and come back with stories about
fishing the gulf with his grandpa.

Then, in 1940, when George Owen Smith was 14, he left and didn't come back.
His parents got word he was behind bars in Tavares. Auto theft, even if he didn't know how to drive. The sheriff
shipped him off to the state's only reform school, a mean place called the Florida Industrial School for Boys.

Owen sent a letter home to let them know he was fine. Then the weeks went by with no word.
The next they heard he was in Bartow, not far from Auburndale, caught running from reform school. He had almost
made it home.

Then came the letter from Marianna. "I got what was coming to me," the boy wrote.

After that, the letters stopped, no matter how many stamps his mother licked.

Frances Smith wrote to the school's superintendent, Millard Davidson, in December of 1940, asking about her son.
Davidson wrote back saying no one knew where Owen was.

"So far we have been unable to get any information concerning his whereabouts,'' said his letter, dated Jan. 1,
1941.

She wrote back, telling him she would be at the school in two days to search for her son.

That letter apparently arrived in Marianna around Jan. 23, 1941. That's when the Smiths heard the news from an
Episcopal priest in Auburndale. He was apologetic. Said the school had found Owen.

A friend drove them to Marianna. The school's superintendent told the family that Owen's remains were found
under a house in Marianna. They identified him by his dental records and the markings on his laundry.

The superintendent led the family through the woods to a clearing, to a patch of fresh-turned earth.
Even at 12, Owen's sister knew something wasn't right. Her brother goes missing. Then just before the family
arrives to help look, he's found under a house, and buried before his own parents can pay their respects?

The family met with another boy in the presence of the superintendent. The boy told them he and Owen had
escaped. They were walking toward town when the headlights hit them. The boy stood still. Owen split. The last
time the boy saw Owen, he told the family, he was running across an open field. Men were shooting at him.

• • •

Ovell Smith is Ovell Krell now. She was a Lakeland police officer for two decades, one of the first female officers in
Florida.

She still doesn't understand what happened to her brother. Why would he crawl under a house? Why would he not
come out, even if he were starving or ill? Why would a 14-year-old boy just lay down and die?

Maybe that's why she has kept those letters for all these years.

Her mother was never the same. For 40 years, she spent every day in bed, and every night on the porch, listening
for
Owen to come whistling home.

Early this month, Krell wrote a letter to the FDLE describing the family's account. She got no response.
"I think they should dig further," she said. "I stake my life that there was a conspiracy."

According to the report released Friday, George Owen Smith "escaped from the school in September of 1940 and
his remains were found in January 1941 under the Marianna residence of Ms. Ella Pierce. After a coroner's
inquest, no cause of death could be determined due to the extreme decomposition of the body."

The report says he is buried with 28 children who died from fire, pneumonia, drowning, acute nephritis,
tuberculosis, a ruptured lung, homicide, all while in state custody. He is one of five children whose death certificate
lists no known cause of death.

Case closed.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Ben Montgomery can be reached at (727) 893-8650 or
bmontgomery@sptimes.com. Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at (727) 892-2283 or wmoore@sptimes.com.

Sister still wants answers

At magazine.tampabay.com, you can:

• Read the entire FDLE report.

• See video of Ovell Krell talking about her brother's death.

• Read "For Their Own Good," a special report on abuse at the Florida School for Boys.

Who is buried in the cemetery?

• Ten students and two staff members who died in a dormitory fire Nov. 18, 1914:
Bennett Evans, carpentry teacher; Charles Evans, guard; Joe Wetherbee, Walter Fisher, Clarence Parrott, Louis
Fernandez, Harry Wells, Earl E. Morris, Waldo Drew, and Clifford Jeffords, 15, of Clearwater

• Leonard Simmons, May 9, 1919, no cause of death

• Nathaniel Sawyer, Dec. 12, 1920, no cause of death

• Arthur Williams, Feb. 26, 1921, no cause of death

• Schley Hunter, April 15, 1922, pneumonia

• Calvin Williams, Dec. 31, 1922, no cause of death

• Charlie Overstreet, Aug. 19, 1924, died during tonsillectomy

• Edward Fonders, May 18, 1925, drowned

• Walter Askew, Dec. 18, 1925

• Nollie Davis, Feb, 8, 1926, pneumonia

• Robert Rhoden, of St. Petersburg, May 8, 1929, pneumonia

• Samuel Bethel, Oct. 15, 1929, tuberculosis

• Lee Smith, Jan. 5, 1932, influenza

• Joe Stephens, May 9, 1932, fell from mule

• Thomas Varnadoe, Oct. 26, 1934, pneumonia

• Richard Nelson, Feb. 23, 1935, pneumonia

• Robert Cato, Feb. 24, 1935, pneumonia

• Grady Huff, March 4, 1935, acute nephritis (kidney disorder)

• James (Joseph) Hammond, May 2, 1936, tuberculosis

• George Owen Smith, Jan. 24, 1941. Runaway found under a house, death certificate indicates no cause

• Earl Wilson, Aug. 31, 1944, strangled and beaten by four fellow students

• Billey Jackson, Oct. 7, 1952, kidney infection

• Two dogs, details uncertain.

• Sue the peacock, Dec 27, 1947. According to her obituary: "An elaborate funeral service was held and several of
the students were present to pay full respects to her remains."