As many as 27 potential “clandestine” graves were discovered on the campus of a now-vacant reform school for boys in Marianna, Florida.
A company performing pollution cleanup measures in Marianna stumbled upon 27 underground “anomalies” believed to be human remains while using ground-penetrating radar equipment in an area adjacent to the school. The anomalies were found in a pine forest approximately 165 yards outside of the school’s Boot Hill cemetery.
The Dozier School for Boys has a dark legacy steeped in child abuse and death, dating back to its opening in 1900 and spanning until its closing in 2011.
The recent discovery of 27 possible unmarked graves would increase the grand total of dead bodies found on the campus to at least 82, according to the Miami Herald. Researchers from the University of South Florida believe over 100 students could have died at Dozier since its opening. (RELATED: Student Finds Human Remains On High school Campus In Arkansas)
Jack Levine, a Florida social worker who raised concerns over the treatment of children at Dozier, said, “Unmarked graves, by conscious design, are made to be hiding places. … What stays hidden almost forgives the crime.”
Dozier was originally planned to be a reform school for delinquent boys but quickly turned into a dungeon of abuse and rape, according to the Miami Herald. (RELATED: Covington Bishop Apologizes To School Boys)
A group of 60-to-70-year-old former detainees from the school formed a group called the “White House Boys” in 2008, named after a white shack on Dozier’s campus, where they claim they were taken to be beaten by officers at the school. Some of the men allege that they were taken to a “rape room,” where they were sexually abused by the school’s officers. They also claimed that some boys had been killed in the “White House.”
Dozier was closed in 2011 on account of a report from the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division describing disciplinary treatment at the school as “systemic, egregious and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls,” including the use of excessive force for “minor infractions.” In December 2018, the deed to the school’s land was signed over to Jackson County.