Reuters Photo: Edmund D Fountain, File Left to right, Steven Barnes, 61, of Smyrna, Ga.; his son, Jason Due-Barnes, 9; his wife, Tananarive Due, 47; and her father, John Due, 78, of Atlanta, embrace during a memorial ceremony at the Boot Hill cemetery at the now closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla., on Aug. 31.
Authorities in Florida have uncovered the remains of 55 bodies at a now-closed reform school, almost twice the number official records say should be there.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Excavations at a makeshift graveyard near a now-closed reform school in the Florida Panhandle have yielded remains of 55 bodies, almost twice the number official records say are there, the University of South Florida announced on Tuesday.
“This is precisely why excavation was necessary,” said USF professor Erin Kimmerle, head of the research project. “The only way to truly establish the facts about the deaths and burials at the school is to follow scientific processes.”
Reuters Photo: Michael Spooneybarger, File
White metal crosses mark graves at the cemetery of the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla., in 2012.
On a hillside in the rolling, tall-pine forests near the Alabama-Georgia border, a team of more than 50 searchers from nine agencies last year dug up the graves to check out local legends and family tales of boys, mostly black, who died or disappeared without explanation from the Dozier School for Boys early in the last century.
The school, infamous for accounts of brutality told by former inmates, was closed by the state in 2011.
The University of South Florida was commissioned to look into deaths at the school in the Panhandle city of Marianna, after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the presence of 31 official grave sites in 2010.
Excavation began last September with bones, teeth and several artifacts from grave sites sent to the University of North Texas Science Center for DNA testing.
Members of 11 families who lost boys at Dozier have been located by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for DNA sampling and researchers hope to find 42 more families for possible matching.
State investigators initially located 31 suspected graves in the woods across a busy highway from the shuttered reform school. Kimmerle’s more detailed probes raised the number to 50 or 51 last year, and USF announced on Tuesday the searchers had found remains of 55 bodies.
“Locating 55 burials is a significant finding, which opens up a whole new set of questions for our team,” said Kimmerle.
“All of the analyses needed to answer these important questions are yet to be done, but it is our intention to answer as many of these questions as possible.”
Research will continue in areas adjacent to the graveyard, dubbed “boot hill” by school officials and inmates a century ago.
Greg Ridgeway, acting director of the National Institute of Justice, praised Kimmerle’s work. He said the discoveries made by the USF team “will not only bring resolution to these cases but will add to our knowledge about investigations of missing and unidentified persons in jurisdictions throughout the country.”
Reuters Photo: Edmund D. Fountain, File
University of South Florida student Ashley Maxwell works in an unmarked grave at the cemetery at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla., on Sept. 1
What is taking place with those that are coming home are they falling back into old habit or becoming productive member of their family and community. Or are they being turned away by employers and community member because of what we have known them to do in the past….This is a very scary feeling for those men and women.PTSD
At least 95% of all State prisoners will be released from prison at some point; nearly 80% will be released to parole supervision
Despite a decline in prison release rates from 1990 to 2000, the number of prisoners released each year continued to grow.
Since 1990, mandatory parole releases have increased, while discretionary releases have decreased.
To view data, click on the chart.
As an adolescent, Dixon marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to end housing discrimination in Seattle, and was one of the first volunteers to participate in the busing program to integrate schools.
While a member of the Black Panthers, Dixon started the Free Breakfast for Children program that fed thousands of hungry African American children; and he helped to open a free community medical and legal clinic. The clinic continues to this day as the Carolyn Downs Clinic, now part of Country Doctor Community Health Center. At the same time, according to the Seattle Weekly, the Panthers were involved in the “firebombing [of] businesses and institutions that they considered racist.”
After leaving the Panthers, Dixon worked for several non-profit organizations, focusing on drug and gang violence and working with homeless youth. In 2002, he founded Central House, a non-profit providing transitional housing for homeless young adults. Central House also has a Youth Leadership Project that operates at four Seattle public high schools. It teaches youth to think positively, graduate high school, and control their own destinies. It also teaches them the importance of serving their community.
Dixon is the father of six and lives in Beacon Hil
A thinking man is one that takes time to consider every possible consequence of his actions. Loyalty will get you killed or in prison if you for one moment think all of your friends are your real friends. Everyone around you wants something from you, some with good intent others with ill, it is your duty to assess those people carefully for one false move or choice could be the last. I recall being asked about 15 years ago did I want to take a ride real quick and that ride lead me to be faced with a life or death situation, I’m still typing so you know I’m still hear but I died that day also and was slowly reborn.
If you don’t have a plan or goal for yourself anyone can come along and choose one for you, be the wind in your own sale, the current in your own sea, the sole controller of your universe. Its always when you say you are about to change that it all start to look like its going to crumble down all around you, well you have been traveling at a terrific speed in one direction for some time and suddenly stopped because of life consequences. Now is the time to face your past as a upright and righteous person with no ill intent but more so humbled from your journey and prepared to teach others through life experience.
One of the most important things in life is that we take advantage of the time we are given. Life is lived from one minute to the next. If you are able to read these words it means that you are able to change the course of history by stepping up and being the person our fore parents intended us to be. Please don’t put off doing what needs to be done today becsuse now is all that is guaranteed. Peace.
This it he life that many of us want to live until this is your reality. Either they are looking for your killer or you the killer. Either way no one wins but everyone suffer. This is the last words that this young man will be know by an “Accused Gang Leader”. Think of your legacy and what will be said of you and the life you lived.
PATERSON – City police are offering $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot and killed a 28-year-old Paterson man who allegedly ran a street gang drug operation in the 4th Ward.
Tahir Canady was out on bail on drug charges when he was fatally shot in the head in the hallway of a two-family house on Clinton Street on November 24. The state Attorney General (AG) had named Canady as one of the leaders of a drug network run by the Fruit Town Brims set of the Bloods when authorities announced a crackdown that resulted in the arrests of more than 170 people and the confiscation of more than 4,000 bags of heroin, crack, marijuana and other substances in June 2011.
Canady and the other two men the identified by the AG as leaders of the drug operation – Alshaquen Nero and Shabli Williams – have been out on bail for more than a year. Senior assistant Passaic County prosecutor Jason Harding said some of the lower-level defendants in the case had entered plea agreements since indictments were handed up in 2012.
But authorities had not reached an agreement with Canady at the time of his death, Harding said. The charges against Nero and Williams are still pending, he said.
“His death doesn’t weaken our case at all,” Harding said.
Police have released few details about the shooting that killed Canady. They said he was in the hallway of the house near North 1st Street at about 4:15 am on a Sunday morning when he was shot in the head. Canady did not live at the house, police said. Police have not disclosed a possible motive for the shooting or said why they believe Canady was at the location. They would not say whether they believe he was still involved with drug dealing after he was released on bail.
When the shooting initially was announced, Canady was in critical condition and his name was not released. He died afterwards.
Capt. Heriberto Rodriguez announced on Monday that police were offering money for information about the killing. He said Canady’s family has been distraught over his death.
“They just want closure on this,” Rodriguez said. “Finding the killer won’t bring him back, but they’ll sleep better knowing whoever did it had to pay for what they did.”