Just Another Guy with Opinions

The White House Boys

Posted by shadmia on December 15, 2008

Boys at Florida School for BoysThe White HouseGraves at Florida School for Boys

Is it possible that the bodies of 32 students were buried decades ago in shallow graves on the grounds of a former reform school for boys? Four former students of the school once known as the Florida Industrial School for Boys at Mariana certainly think so. They call themselves the White House Boys. They took their name from the single story concrete building at the school where they claim beatings, tortures, sexual abuse and murders were carried out by guards.

Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida has ordered an investigation into the allegations by the White House Boys. In a letter Crist asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the graves and determine whether any crimes were committed.

“Questions remain unanswered as to the identity of the deceased and the origin of these graves,” Crist wrote in his letter to the FDLE.

“The main goal is to determine the location of the graves, who owned the property at the time, and determine if any crimes were committed,” FDLE spokesman Kristin Perezluha told CNN.


The White House BoysRoger Kiser, Michael McCarthy, Bryant Middleton and Dick Colon -who are all now in their 60’s, found each other on the Internet, after Kiser started a Web site. They began to talk about experiences at the reform school and eventually decided to go public, and call for an investigation.

What could get a boy sent to the White House? Talking to a black inmate, saying the wrong thing, or having the wrong facial expression at the wrong time could get one sent to the White House building, which contained two rooms where the beatings and abuses took place. One room was for black inmates, the other for whites.

Roger Kiser, in the video below, relates his own experience at the hands of guards in the White House:

Bryant Middleton’s Story:

Reached at his home in the Florida panhandle, Middleton, 64, was told by a CNN producer that the governor ordered the probe.

“My god! That’s remarkable. My god! That’s all I ever wanted,” he said. “That will begin a lot of the healing for those that survived that school.”

“Some of us will never get over the brutality, the sexual assaults and the fear. But this is a major step in the right direction,” he said.

Middleton told CNN he was “an incorrigible youth of 14 or 15” when he was sent to the reform school for breaking and entering. During a 30-minute phone interview, he recounted story after horrific story about his time there.

Middleton said he took six trips to the concrete White House, where he endured brutal beatings. He says boys were regularly struck with a metal-reinforced double strap with a long wooden handle.

“You could hear it coming through the air and when it hit your body, the pain was unbelievable,” he recalled. “They just beat you to the point of unconsciousness, or you could no longer understand what was happening to you.”

He recalled another occasion in which he and another boy decided to get drunk. They mixed orange juice with rubbing alcohol. It make Middleton sick and his friend intoxicated. A guard confronted the other boy, and began to treat him roughly, Middleton said.

“He dragged him to the administration building and I never saw him again. He never came back to work or to the cottage,” Middleton told CNN. “He literally disappeared off the face of the earth.”

Dick Colon’s Story:

Dick Colon, 65, is a successful electrical contractor in Baltimore, Maryland. But in the 1950s, he acknowledged, he was a wayward youth who gritted his teeth through 11 beatings inside the White House.

Colon said he remembers entering the laundry one day, and his life, he said, has never been the same. Inside a large tumble dryer, was a black teen. The White House boys, who are all white, told CNN that black kids at the school were beaten even more savagely than white kids.

“I said to myself, ‘What’s going to happen to me, if I take him out?’ ” he told CNN. He recalled being about 15 feet away from the boy in the dryer. He thought about helping him, but was afraid.

“I said to myself, I can’t do it, cause I’m gonna be the next one in the God-d– dryer if I take him out,” he said. “I turned my back and walked out and it torments me every day of my life.”

Colon established an educational trust fund at the same campus, for high academic achievers, today operated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Michael McCarthy’s Story:

The following is an excerpt from a narrative written by Michael McCarthy. It describes the beating he received when he was caught after having run away from the “Florida School for Boys“. Read the entire story here.

Pointing to the army cot, the director gave the instructions:

All right now, son, it’ll go easier on you if you do as I tell you. You’re to lay down on the cot on your belly; turn your face to the wall. If I were you, I’d stuff the corner of that pillow in your mouth. Once we begin, don’t turn your head. Don’t cry out or scream if you do, we start all over again. Place both hands on the cot frame and keep hold of it. Do not try to get up or try to stop us. If you do, we’ll send for some kitchen boys to hold you down. I’d try to stay as relaxed as you can; you’re less likely to be hurt.

Now get this straight in your head. Every boy is told about running away. You knew the punishment; you’ve seen boys brought back to your cottage from here. You knew what to expect when you were caught. So you asked for this…… You best do as I said and stick the corner of that pillow in your mouth.”

Mike caught the pillow corner in his mouth, turned his head flat on its side, shut his eyes, and waited. Seconds, minutes of clenched waiting. His body trembled. Sweat ran under his arms; sweat ran down the crack of his ass, the white-cotton shorts turning damp, clinging to the skin of his buttocks. He lay there in the silence, waiting for it to begin.

The Paddle. Two strips of quarter-inch polished leather, two feet long, over two inches wide, separated by a sixteenth-inch piece of taut, pliant sheet metal. Attached to a four-inch round hand grip, the leather was perforated on either side midway down, with one-eighth-inch holes, ending in a half-inch long taper. The effect brought the whipping weapon down in a cracking slap that drove through the thinness of the cotton shorts, into the upper tissues of the skin. Halfway through the beating, the holes were filled with blood-covered flesh.

The first stroke exploded. The sound like the booming Ka-Pow of a shotgun slammed into his ears as the impact of the blow penetrated into the tissues of his ass. The second stroke was higher, cutting just across the top elastic of his shorts. Crack-Pow. The boom echoed louder off the barren walls; the shock of pain cracked into his lower back. He was driven deeper into the mattress. The mattress and springs pushed his body up to meet the third stroke: Crack-Pow. The skin on the back of his thighs was ripped upward with the stroke’s completing.

Somewhere between the twenty-third and twenty-sixth, he succumbed to deep guttural moaning, biting the pillow deeply so it was tight against his tongue and the roof of his mouth. He knew nothing would ease the pain as the Director, in his practiced, methodical manner, alternated the strokes first to the middle buttocks, then to the back of the legs, then to the small of the back, then hit just one cheek, the tapered end snatching and tearing at the inside of the crevice.

At the thirty-first stroke, the boy went into a state of semi-shock. The blows passed into his body, sending a numbing wave into his groin, on into the mattress, pushing him deep into the springs. At the thirty-sixth stroke the boy lost track of numbers. Then, without apparent reason, after ten or twelve more, it ended.

For the first time since the beginning, the Director spoke: “All right now, get up.”  The boy tried, but nothing moved.  “I said, get on up.” The boy again tried to move his legs, to turn, but nothing worked. “If you don’t get up off that cot like I told you, we’re going to start all over again. Now get up.”

Pulling against the bed frame, Mike moved his body from the cot. Pushing, he turned toward the Director who was already looking out the door to the Colored Boys’ Room where Woody was waiting; the long strap hung hot and ready in his hand. An image of a hard-hewn woodcutter awaiting the next load of logs filled the boy’s mind. Crying, he finally managed to sit upright on the sagging cot……

Boys of Florida School for Boys

For more documented accounts of the experiences of other boys at the White House…..Click on this link: 108 Years of Child Cruelty.

The school is now known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The graves under investigation are located at the end of a dirt road in the back of the school. Each of the more than 30 graves has a white metal cross without any name, date or identifying marks. The White House Boys believe that some of those graves contain the bodies of former students of the school who were beaten to death and buried there.

The Department of Juvenile Justice will cooperate with any investigation, said spokesman Frank Penela.

“We haven’t been able to find any information on those graves, we don’t know what those graves hold,” he said. “I’d like to know what those graves are myself.”

There are lingering questions no one seems able to answer: Why was there no outcry from the parents of boys who disappeared? Why did no one look for them?

Colon and Middleton say they’re valid questions. They firmly believe that bodies will be found and that they will be the bodies of both black and white boys.

“I believe, in my own heart, that there has been a coverup,” Middleton said.

Added Colon, “White, African-American, they’re all there … I believe they will find crushed skulls, and broken bones — and hopefully, one day, the murderers.”

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9 Responses to “The White House Boys”

  1. Kimberly said

    I spoke to mothers of children missing here in brevard county florida in the 1960’s stated their children were never found again at all kermit smith james middle name and more kermits and cooper family none of them were ever found tried reporting this to the police she didnt send her child to the school. There are more children who were never found. They still have an ad stating they are open.

  2. bobby and said

    i was there after they closed the white older brother was there when it was open and he told me storys about the white house.we had to walk by it everyday to go to mess.please contact me by email thank you bobby and

  3. brandy said

    They need to shut down the school and make a memorial park in honor of the children that were unfortunately placed there over the years. Also, I think they need to dig elsewhere on the property, actually everywhere, and not just the graves that are marked with crosses. There could be evidence under the buildings, along property line, or anywhere on that property. It is obvious that these monster knew what was going on and made sure to cover there tracks; thus, they are not going to “mark” the graves. Please don’t let the only a**hole alive die peacefully…he needs to have a rude awakening in the middle of the night as so many boys did under his care. My thoughts and prayers go out to children and families affected by this tradegy.

  4. Robert Barnes said

    My name is Robert Barnes i was placed in dozier as a teen in the 90 s by a judge on a B.i plain.I was placed in to I.S.P.for something very minor.We were told not to talk but as a child i did and i got the worst beating i have ever had by 2 full grown men that worked that dorm ,they put handcuffs behind my back and beat me in the head ,face,ribs ect and then keep me in there intell i healed up.I was told not to say a word or they would get me,I told my mom and she called dcf they did nothing,i escaped from there and was given the opsion to go back or to go to prision i took prision.thats how bad it was still in the 90s .all these men need to be charged for all they have done to children .

  5. Dlayne said

    I was there in the 70’s when they housed girls. I was in Jefferson House. I was sexually abused and raped. I …too tried running from there . I was caught and brought back and was put in solitary. I was told if I said anything I would not go home. I kicked Mr. P between the legs when he was trying to catch me. I was there also because I had run away from home, Judge B from Crestview put me in there. I know I am not the only girl that was raped and sexually abused by a staff member. I tried getting something done when I was 18 and the DA’s office told me nothing could be done. I have suffered for 33 years and still have to live with what was done to me. I dreaded that call to the office upstairs in the next building. I wish I knew how to get in touch with the other girls that were there. The only way we can get a class action for any years after the 60’s …Is to have more people come forward.


  7. Eric Sutters said

    I was in Dozier in 84 and it was pretty bad, my experience was that most of the staff were petty bureaucrats and affirmative action hires who only care for their paychecks. As a young boy of 14 I was thrown into a hell of sexual abuse and predatory violence. Coupled with irrational and downright insane bureaucratic catch 22’s. The main one being in order not to be raped or victimized you must fight, but if you get caught fighting you get punished by having more time added to your stay. It was an no win situation. White kids were outnumbered 10 to 1 and staff always turned a blind eye to there constant victimization. If I were to ever run into any of those bastards on the street, I would make them pay.

  8. Robert Straley said

    Hi, I’m Robert Straley owner of Am interested in any and all stories from both male & female, esp interested in what happened to the girls. Roger Kiser, Dick Colon, Michael O’McCarthy and my self were the original four that got this story to press and the governor to ask for the FDLE investigation. We refute their phony, whitewashed report and Troy Tidwell’s lies check out: The truth is coming out, Professor Erin Kimmerle has already discovered many unknown grave shafts at their forensic dig: Email me…Robert

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