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6-Year-Old Among 55 Bodies Uncovered at Florida’s School of Terror

55 bodies of children have been found on the grounds of a notorious boys’ reform school in Florida. The Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was closed in 2011, yet for nearly a century boys at the school reported beatings, confinement, and witnessing boys going for punishment and never returning.

Opened at the turn of the 20th century the school, also known as the Florida School for Boys, was plagued by evidence of abuse from the very beginning. In 1903, an investigation revealed boys were being held in leg irons and beaten. During the ’50’s and ’60’s, the so-called ‘White House,’ a detention center for the boys, was said to be a place of torture for those who acted out.

Thomas Fred Medlock Jr. was incarcerated at the Florida facility in the mid-sixties. He recounts his harrowing arrival at the school after the Florida courts ordered him sent to the school for running away.

“Once I arrived at FSB my name was taken from me and I was then R297 for the rest of my time there,” he recounted on a web page devoted to the school’s alum. “After several days I was taken into a building, undressed and placed in a room with a blanket and a pot to use the bathroom in. There was a single bare light fixture in the ceiling that never shut off. I was fed once a day through a sliding slot at [the] bottom of the door with no silverware.”

Even today, Medlock insists, he does not know what he did to deserve his stint in ‘the hole.’ Yet, by Dozier standards, Medlock may have actually been one of the ‘lucky ones.’ Another boy, a 12-year-old sent around the same time as Medlock, returned home in a wheelchair, a patch over his eye and unable to speak. He soon died.

His brother, Jeffrey Sampson, is now left, decades later, trying to put together the pieces of his brother’s horrifying last days. “I do not know what he endured at Dozier and I may never know,” Jeffrey said of his brother Gregory, who died in 1966. “So rest in peace my dear brother, I still love you and miss you everyday.”

Yet unbelievably, despite the evidence of cruel abuse the state continued to operate until 2011, ordering boys deemed delinquent to the school and operating under a ‘professed ignorance‘ of the horrors inside the school.

“There have been allegations of abuse of the boys, and possibly even boys that were claimed to have run away but were never heard from,” said Arthur Eisenberg, Ph.D., chairman of Forensic and Investigative Genetics at the University of North Texas facility. “They never returned to their families. They just disappeared.”

Now the discovery of 55 graves, far more than the recorded number of deaths at the facility and some in a wooded area, point to a sinister atmosphere at the school that may have cost some young boys their life.

Sadly, the discovery has also revealed that even the very young may have suffered a cruel fate at the state-run school. “Last week, she [Attorney General Bondi] evoked the discovery of at least one boy, believed to be age 6, who was buried with a marble in his pocket,” a Tampa Bay Times editorial calling for justice for the boys read, “a small, poignant testament to the innocence lost when government shuts children out of sight and out of conscience.”

Photo Credit: The White House at Dozier/The White House Boys


About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.

  • Evelyn Radford

    All of these people don’t have the support of their families, who in these USA can live on these pennies?
    Watch how crime increase.

  • Bill Roberts

    Let me guess: ( Christian organization ) right?

    • Shari Miller

      State run institution. Read it again.

    • Conuly

      Not in this case, although it is likely that most of the staff and inmates over the years considered themselves Christian.

      • respectfully_disagree

        Considered being the key word on the part of the staff at least.

        • Conuly

          Nope. If everybody else has to accept their monsters, so do the Christians. Self-identification is the only way to go. If somebody calls themselves a Christian, even if they’re an awful person who does awful things, then we have to go with that.

          Besides, I’m told the Christian God accepts everybody, so long as they sincerely repent. So maybe they all repented by now.

          • respectfully_disagree

            Not quite, according to the Bible you are supposed to be able to tell see a true Christian by their actions. While its technically possible that the staff were Christian, due to the nature of the brutality I highly doubt it meant much to them. As far as their repentance goes, also possible, but if that meant anything to them either we would have heard about this a long time ago. Just because someone says they are part of a group does not necessarily make them a member of it. I can claim to be a practicing Muslim but if I don’t obey any of the tenets of Islam am I really a Muslim?

          • Jammin T

            You all are idiots for even bringing Christianity into the discussion since there’s no evidence for or against anyone involved being of any faith. If they were atheist or pagan, would it make you feel any different? You are a continuation of what is wrong with this country.

          • Suzy

            If the
            staff was Muslim, they would have mentioned it in headlines (6-Year-Old Among
            55 Bodies Uncovered at ISLAMIC Florida’s School of Terror ) and everyone
            would be blaming Islam. Since the staff is most likely not Muslim, no one would
            go on religion and would just say they were bad people and bad people have no
            religion. Double standard Huh? According to me if someone does something wrong it’s
            just him being a bad person, his race, community, background, religion has
            nothing to do with it. There are bad people in every community.

          • Alexei Choquet

            Unlike other faiths, Christians are usually identified denominationally, not generically.exc. ept by people ouside of christianity
            so think about what kind of person you want to be taken for,- a person filled with sym
            pathy for the children ,or a person filled with hatred for a religion.

          • Alexei Choquet

            Yes but when a community enables it’s bad apples to do their dirty deeds and defends them from accoutability and attacks their whistle blower victims retribution must be brought down on the whole community to give them a reminder of what blind loyalty or self centred silence can bring upon tyhe whole lot, be they islamic supremists. judaic slavaphobes and subversives or Roman Catholic child abuse network operatives. or militant Gay idealogues, or southern white supremists purveyers of racist violence

          • Conuly

            Well, being in Florida and existing since the 1900s is a strong piece of circumstantial evidence for most of the people there identifying as Christian, because Christians are very well-represented in America, especially down south and in the past.

            But it’s not terribly relevant, no. Some people do bad things. Some of them use religion to excuse the bad things they do, which might have been the case here, but usually their religion isn’t forcing them to do bad things. It’s all them.

          • I_B_ME

            I do believe Christians pray to a God, that by THEIR OWN BIBLE (the story of Moses), serial murdered first born children….
            The apple falls not far from it’s tree.

          • Conuly

            We can’t use biblical standards to determine who is and is not a Christian. If Christianity is correct then I suppose God can, but none of the rest of us can. The only thing that works is self-labeling.

          • respectfully_disagree

            Technically yes we cannot tell. I think though we can label certain actions as consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of Christianity and make a few educated guesses though,

          • Lynk

            Yea, totally agree with you Conuly. Whenever the other Christians dont like someones behavior then they get to decide they “werent truly a Christian” – Last time I checked we dont get to choose what other people identify as or if they are good enough to keep the title. Its just ridiculous they decide they “don’t count” as real Christians once they do something terrible. Kind of defeats the point of the religion at all since they start of by saying everyone is a sinner and that all sins are equal. What a cop-out.

          • Alexei Choquet

            When Americans protest by burning and spitting on’;old Glory” do we say “Look what the dirty Americans are doing to our flag?”so much for self identification. We are intellegent enough to know what a valid expression of patriotism is, and we are intellegent to know what a valid expression of faith is. And sorry to inform some fundamentalists, child beating is not Christian teaching, much as some evangelical blow-hards would like everyone to think they have a God ordained vice

          • Conuly

            We don’t pretend those people aren’t Americans, though – which is what you were trying to do.

          • Alexei Choquet

            You get my point perfectly well!And this closes my dialogue with you as I have better things to do than get into a spew contest with a cyberbully!

    • Babs Zito

      And just where in this article does it say they were Christians??? My guess would be that the monsters who did this to the boys had no faith. Such ignorance.

    • Alexei Choquet

      I might suggest if you see fit to identify a particular denomination or religion as needing to face a problem, you might refer to them as “So called———” that challenges them to join you in denouncing and exposing the behavior,but when using an atrocity to brand everyone ,all they can do is respond to an attack, and they will likely percieve you as more interested in attacking them, than helping any children. you can be sure any proponants of the abusers will quickly exploit the opportunity!

  • cholly8524

    Justice Dept. and Civil Rights groups need to look into this and hold every (and I mean EVERY) official accountable for these deaths and injuries.

  • lugnut

    So, how about solving old cases and drag the devils who are still living into a hole and leave them there. I also want to hear about actions taken towards the people who worked at places like this. A lot of this was done in the 50s and 60s also, so i am sure some of the bastards who did this, are still alive. People have to know when they do evil stuff like this, no matter how long they live, they want feel they got away with it. Drag them out of old folk homes if need be, because even if they didn’t personally do it, they witness it and said nothing.

    • Alexei Choquet

      Agree with that ! we do the same with war criminals of any age, why not them!

  • lugnut

    The same things happened in many institutions across the country. People don’t know how sadistic some people really are. Some sit next to you at church. I joined a church and the first person i saw there, was one of the worse, the preacher’s brother. I haven’t been back to church since. He also frequent houses of prostitution, until they found him decapitated there. Probably by one on the people he abused. Children don’t stay children forever. I heard they dragged him into the woods and burned him. That was good news.

  • MGTOW 4Ever

    But there are no victims with vaginas there fore who gives a flying rats anus. Remember kiddies if it does have a penis its not a victim.

  • Conswela Johnson

    Why, does the state get away with hurting and killing children?

    • Conswela Johnson

      The state takes your children away from the parents to put children in a more deplorative holdings!

    • Alexei Choquet

      Causeb the people who do it for some unfathonable reason have been deluded into thinking that the citizenry would never come knocking on THEIR door or that of their black helmeted protectors at 3:00M to give them a dose of their own medicine

  • Conswela Johnson

    The state takes your children away from the parents to put children in a more deplorative holdings, plus sentencing children to rape, torture, and death!

  • againstcorporaterule

    Kudos to those who report this! But I wouldn’t be surprised if this important story got ignored, just like the discovery of mass graves of dismembered children on Catholic properties has been ignored:

    As usual, it is up to the public to get the media to do their jobs and report on this heinous evil.