Boys tortured and killed in FL reform school

Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 03:11 pm
I am seldom speechless...


TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- Don Stratton says he's just a good ol' boy. He's simple and plainspoken. But he has a painful past he can't leave behind. When he talks about it, the old emotions surface.
Don Stratton says he and others were abused at the Florida School for Boys during the 1960s.

Don Stratton says he and others were abused at the Florida School for Boys during the 1960s.

Stratton attended a Florida reform school as a teenager in the early 1960s. Nearly half a century later, he's telling a chilling tale of alleged beatings, sexual abuse and violent death at the hands of reform school workers.

He said he believes the bodies of slain boys are buried in unnamed graves on the grounds of the former reform school in Marianna, Florida.

"These men are animals and need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Stratton told CNN in an interview at his attorney's office in Tampa.

Stratton wore a black cowboy hat with a Harley Davidson logo. Despite his tough exterior, he fought back tears as he recounted how he was physically and sexually assaulted.

Stratton is among a group of men, now in their 60s, who are suing state agencies in Florida as well as two former reform school workers over alleged abuse they received as teenagers. The suit was filed this month.

"At 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, you'd hear a boy crying," Stratton told CNN. "And then the door would open and you'd see these guys come in and come up to somebody they liked, and they'd just tell you, 'Come on with me, you're mine for tonight. You're my boy for tonight.' And they would take you and do what they wanted to do with you."

"They would take a leather strap, six inches wide and three feet long," he added, swinging his arm in a downward motion. "It's like a shotgun going off. And they beat you until you're bloody."
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Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 04:24 pm
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 04:57 pm
"Sleepers" (the film) was based on a book that was supposedly a true memoir. It later turned out to be fiction (much like the recent "A Million Little Pieces" controversy).
Merry Andrew
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 06:59 pm
Yes, Sleepers, both book and movie, was fiction. But the events that were described were based on testimony by former inmates of several different reform schools. There's a lot more transparency now and some of the worst abuses have been eliminated (to the best of my knowledge) but it doesn't surprise me at all that back in the 1960s and earlier this sort of thing might well have been commonplace in some -- not all -- facilities.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 10:03 am
White House Boys: Justice may come, finally
(Jacksonville Times-Union Editorial, January 26, 2009)

You find Roger Dean Kiser in a double-wide trailer at the end of the cul de sac near Interstate 95 and Brunswick, Ga.

There, with the dog out of the way and two rescued cats, you enter his study.

The smell of cigarette smoke is in the air. There, for 90 minutes, you listen as this bearded 63-year-old bares himself to a stranger, an editorial writer from Jacksonville.

The story Kiser tells is unbelievable, at least you don't want to believe it.

In the late 1950s, the era of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best, Kiser's life was like an X-rated horror movie.

Abandoned by his parents, sent to a Jacksonville orphanage, Kiser was sent to a reform school in Marianna for being incorrigible and being unable to follow rules.

Part of this campus-like setting of brick buildings was the White House, a cinderblock building. There, according to Kiser, he and many others were beaten.

Not spanked, not paddled, but struck multiple times with a leather strap, the kind often seen in barber shops. But this strap had a metal insert to increase the painful impact.

Since he began sharing his memories on a Web site, Kiser says more than 80 others have come forward.

The Miami Herald interviewed five former clients of the reform school who tell these stories.

The official name of the facility is the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. Opened in 1897, it was viewed as a progressive way to deal with troubled boys. And to view the campus-like setting, it gives that appearance.

Yet, there was evidence of beatings at the school, documented in the early 1900s by legislative reports, The Miami Herald reported.

Corporal punishment was banned in the late 1960s, and Kiser is not alleging that abuses are taking place today.

But he wants the story told of what happened at the school around the time he was there.

In response, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation following a request from Gov. Charlie Crist.

"Justice always cries out for a conclusion," Crist said, as quoted by The Associated Press. If there were "horrible atrocities," then we have a duty to find out, he said.

What kind of atrocities? There are disturbing hints, such as the more than 30 unmarked graves near the area housing African-American children. Six of the children died in a fire. The others? Who knows? Kiser contends there could be more graves. Thus far, none of the bodies have been exhumed, an FDLE spokesman said.

A class action suit provided by co-counsel Masterson Law Group of St. Petersburg contends abuses took place at reform schools at Marianna and Okeechobee from 1940 to 1969:

- "Discipline" received there was more akin to treatment found in a torture chamber.

- Lashes from a weighted leather strap could number 100 at a time and last 30 minutes.

- One boy was killed after having been placed in an industrial-sized clothes dryer.

- The beatings were so severe that pieces of their cotton underwear had to be extracted with tweezers. Kiser said the flesh would turn black.

- There also are allegations of sexual assaults and solitary confinement. Besides the White House, used for beatings, Kiser recalls there was a "rape room" in another building.

In fairness, allegations are just reaching the public. There has been little evidence presented from the other side. The class action suit was recently filed, so the Florida Attorney General's Office was in no position to comment. Nor have there been responses filed by the two former officials named in the suit.

One former resident told The Associated Press the paddlings were severe, but not horrific.

A former school employee named in the class action suit, Troy Tidwell, 84, told The Miami Herald that no boys were injured.

For Kiser, much of his adult life has been spent searching for normalcy: married six times, divorced five times, he says he was incapable of giving affection. He worked many menial jobs and now has contributed to a number of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

In a newly published book titled The White House Boys: An American Tragedy, Kiser writes in a clear, Hemingway style: "I was just an innocent, confused, incorrigible, hungry, unwanted and unloved young boy who needed someone to let him know that he had a value to someone, somewhere in the world."

Kiser found that writing gave him an outlet. A special wife helped the healing process. And grandchildren opened his eyes to the power of unconditional love.

With only a sixth grade education, he regrets he could not give more to his children.

"It is not only sad what I missed from the world," he writes, "but it is also sad what they missed from me.

"I had so much to give to a world that had totally forgotten me as a child. I'm giving it now, for the child I was."

Kiser's story shows that people can overcome the worst conditions in childhood.

"... no matter how difficult the task, no matter how bad the abuse, there is still a wonderful faint light always burning at the end of the tunnel. That light is you - standing there waiting for you to hug yourself."

For the state of Florida, it is time to write the final chapter of this shockingly painful story.

It's never too late for justice.
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Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 09:57 am
I don't know why they are concentrating so much on FSB Marianna when FSB Okeechobee was as bad and worse. I was present at many beatings at FSB Okeechobee. I know for a fact some of those beatings were horrific, and many many kids, including myself, were injured. They were injured without any question whatsoever. The idiot who said the boys were not injured is a liar, plain and simple. The idiot who said the beatings were not horrific means they were not horrific to himself. How about asking those who were tortured whether the beatings were horrific or just severe. Those beatings were sadistic, ferocious, torture. And they were grossly over-severe. What? Forty hard whacks for talking about going home, smoking a cigarette, not smiling enough, because some other kid said you did something you did not in fact do? What? beaten to a bloody pulp for talking after lights out? **** that. I say sue the state. I say attack the state.
Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 10:24 am
Backdrop- Welcome to A2K!

I am appalled by what you have written. Why don't you do what the people at Marianna did? Get an attorney. Start a lawsuit. Call the media.Those people who hurt you should not get away with it. I would suspect that many of them are dead, or extremely elderly by now, but you may just have a shot at getting your story out.
Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 10:47 am
A class action suit provided by co-counsel Masterson Law Group of St. Petersburg contends abuses took place at reform schools at Marianna and Okeechobee from 1940 to 1969:

Whoops! If you scroll up a couple of posts, you will find that Okeechobee is included in the lawsuit. You might want to contact the attorneys, and find out if they could use your input. Good luck!
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Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 11:13 am
Hello Backdrop, welcome to A2K.

I agree with Phoenix. What happened to the boys in these "schools" was appalling. I suggest you contact the Masterson Law Group of St. Petersburg and make sure they know your story. Here's the contact info I found on the web:

Masterson Law Group
699 1st Ave N
St Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-3641

Best wishes to you in your efforts to get this story out.
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 08:23 am
I could tell you both some things you would never believe. I am certain at least one act of war should have been committed against state government for their actions of torture and exploitation against children. I was put in a cell with a long-term, habitual, glue sniffer who was hallucinating, talking to himself, and ranting about conspiracies. The bastard attacked me and cut me open. My bones were jutting out of one wound. They refused to take me to a doctor, and would not let one in to visit me. After that I was taken to the so-called adjustment unit, and beaten to a bloody pulp with a weighted, leather, flogging strap. That alone is sufficient reason for committing an act of war. Adult criminals in my community committed numerous felonies against me when I was a kid. They were protected from arrest and prosecution. That was a form of war in itself. What you read here is part of the reason I kept my mouth shut after Tim McVeigh told me they were building a fertilizer bomb, and were definitely going to attack government back in 1994. I think it was 1994. I am not sticking up for a government that says it is acceptable to do those things to me. Another matter which you will never believe is this. I had known in detail since 1997 people from Saudi Arabia would fly commandeered aircraft into the WTC, the pentagon, and the US Capitol. I was aware they might come to Florida for flight training too. I told quite a few people about those coming attacks, including the ever negligent so-called authorities, who, predictably, let it go. When I say government should pay in blood, I am serious. Any government or society that says it is OK to do those sorts of things to me can go to hell. I say do exactly the same to them, and see how they like it. Criminals, liars, incompetents, and corrupt, malfeasant government officials railroaded me into those places, and deliberately tortured me, and I say they should be attacked for it.

I know you may be incredulous regarding what I have written here about knowing of the attacks of 9-11 since 1997. That may be. The fact still remains I had known in detail about those attacks since 1997. What you have read here is part of the reason I would not go all out to contact the FBI, CIA, and other government agencies about those attacks. Believe it or not. That's what happened. Around 1969-70 I was planning exactly such an attack against government in Florida myself. In 1997 some people in Saudi Arabia agreed to launch airplane attacks in the USA. They said so to me in writing. I asked them if they or anyone they knew might be interested. Their answer was affirmative.

If it was consideered OK to murder me and torture me, I gave the lives of others more consideration than they ever showed towards mine. At least I did make concerted efforts to get the word out about the coming attacks, and as usual, you tax-paid agents showed their negligence again and let it pass.
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Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2009 10:02 am
One of the "boys" confronted one of his abusers at a deposition meeting recently. Claims of student deaths from beatings are not verifiable according to state investigation.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The man with the white hair and Southern twang seemed the consummate gentleman. Handsomely attired in a dark jacket and open-collared burgundy shirt, Troy Tidwell came to answer questions in a civil lawsuit that portrays him as a monster.

Across the table sat one of his accusers, Bryant Middleton. He had finally come face to face with the man who he says has haunted his dreams for the past 50 years.

He claims Tidwell beat him mercilessly with a leather strap when he was 14, when Tidwell was an administrator at a Florida reform school.

Tidwell appears to be the only living person who could be held legally responsible for the alleged beatings at what was then called the Florida School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.


Middleton and other men who have spoken with CNN remember Tidwell for two reasons. He was brutal, they said, and he had just one arm -- his right. "I just remember the sound of the whip coming through the air as if it were like a snake, hissing," Middleton recalled. "The impact was just unimaginable."

But Tidwell remembers events differently. He said in his deposition that the boys at the school who misbehaved were "spanked," but never beaten. He said spankings were delivered with a half-inch thick leather strap, similar to what you would find in an old barber shop.

Tidwell said in his deposition that he never raised his hand above his head when he spanked a boy, and he never used full force.

"If I gave him maybe six, it would be a minor offense; sometimes eight. And there's a possibility that maybe 10, if it was serious enough," he said.

He denied beating boys, and said he never saw anyone else beat them.


Middleton said his life has come full circle. He Left Marianna and became an Army Ranger, going on long-range reconnaissance patrols in Vietnam. He later became an investment and insurance broker.

But, he said, his mind always comes back to the time spent at the Florida School for Boys, and his memories of Tidwell, who recently looked Middleton in the eye for the first time in 50 years and then told his lawyer, "I just don't remember him." more
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Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2009 10:15 am
welcome to A2K backdrop.

I spend a lot of time in Okeechobee...where was the school located?
John Gobin Shaw
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 02:11 pm

The state of Florida had a sadistic policy of exploiting children from lower-income, broken homes, and torturing them to bloody pulp through the use of weighted leather flogging straps. As many as 40, 60, 80, 100, and more lashes were perpetrated against children as young as nine to sixteen.

The immediate results of such ferocious treatment were double vision and partial blindness, with the skin beaten black as coal, and skin torn off leaving flowing blood. Many boys were beaten so violently their underwear became ingrained with their bloodied, injured skin and muscles, and had to be surgically removed at a hospital. The policy consisted in intentional, systematic infliction of extreme, horrific, skin-searing pain equal to pouring boiling water repeatedly over the skin, or pressing a red-hot steel plate to the skin repeatedly, plus the weight of a three pound or four pound leather paddle with a sheet-metal insert slamming down hard against skin and muscle.

Long term results were severely lowered self esteem, lifetimes of anger, physical, emotional, and mental scarring, distrust, frustration, failed marriages, violence, inabilities to bond and express love, and immense psychological problems, among other problems. These children your state spit on were kept in continual states of terror of being savagely, ferociously beaten for the smallest of infractions such as talking about going home, smoking a cigarette, not smiling, using the wrong tone of voice, and talking after lights out.

I was present at many beatings at the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee. Some kids were beaten unconscious. One boy was systematically tortured for several weeks. One young boy was severely beaten at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys at Marianna, became paralyzed, was sent home, and died four days later. Another boy ran away from being tortured at FSB Okeechobee. He was found shot between the eyes. His name was Patrick Timothy Gabriel.
For more detailed information on this topic, you can google this: The White House Boys. Theirs is only part of the story. This is not an advertisement. Nor is this an attempt at selling a book. This is an exposition of state sponsored torture and terrorism by the state of Florida.

There were also corruption, incompetence, and exploitation in the city governments of Florida. I, myself, know of examples where known serial-felons in our community who committed several felonies against me were protected by police from arrest and prosecution. Their felonies were never recorded, even after they became common knowledge in the community.

There is a great deal more to these stories than you will ever know. When you read crime statistics of small towns in Florida, you might want to add some points. Many offenses do not make it onto the books, including the crimes committed by your state and their agents.

This story was written by a primary source witness.

Try googling these. The White House Boys. Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee. Torture and murder at Florida reform school. Florida exhumes graves of boys tortured and murdered.

The torture of children by agents of the state was officially outlawed in Florida in 1967. We believe various forms of state-sponsored abuses against children who are vulnerable to such exploitation continue.JOHN GOBIN SHAW

Report this postReply with quote Re: Fla. school for boys.....
by JOHN GOBIN SHAW » 29 May 2009, 22:21

In reference to your note on the internet asking for information about abuses inflicted by the state of Florida. I assure you without any question whatsoever, some of the people running those state schools for boys were sadistic bastards. They most certainly did torture kids systematically. They beat kids much worse in the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee than at Marianna. I was present at many beatings at Okeechobee. They beat kids to bloody pulp. I mean that literally. Frank Zitch, Donald Johns, and Emmet B. Davis really seemed to enjoy their blood sport. In the mid sixties the beatings in Marianna were child’s play compared to the bloody torture going on in Okeechobee. I knew quite a few guys who were beaten in Marianna around the mid sixties. It was mild and light compared to the ferocious, sadistic torture meted out in Okeechobee.

I was there when frank Zitch was being interviewed by a woman who identified herself as a reporter from some newspaper; I think it might have been the Palm Beach Post. I heard the questions she asked. I was right there. I heard the answers he gave. Zitch was lying through his goddamn teeth. The state put Tidwell, the one armed man, in Marianna, and Zitch, the one legged man, in Okeechobee. John Howard was a cottage father in Marianna some time around 1965-66-67. He was a kindly man. Mr. Tidwell did not seem to be sadistic to me. He seemed friendly, but then again, he may have been very bad with others. We know he beat people. No question about that.

In the town I was from, government and police had peculiar ways of enforcing the law. For example, numerous crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, were committed against me by serial adult-felons living in the community. When I went to the so-called authorities to report the crimes, they simply failed and refused to function; they did nothing about it. I remembr clearly going to police and authorities with legitimate complaints, and getting answers like “tough ****,” “that’s too bad,” “that’s your problem,” and “things are tough all over.”This kind of thing went on for years. However, if I did anything wrong, they swung right into action"against me. The system was either incompetent, corrupt, or both. Some people in the state system, and some in the local systems were not there to help children. They were definitely there to hurt children. They were there for themselves because they were too low-grade to get better jobs anywhere else.

I read the part on the web page that said black kids were beaten worse than white kids. When it comes to Marianna, I cannot substantiate that statement. Blacks and whites were segregated. However, in Okeechobee they tortured both blacks and whites in the same room in the so-called adjustment unit. The blacks definitely got more whacks and harder whacks; this was true in general, but not always. I counted the number of lashes kids received many many times. They even tortured mentally disabled children who should not have been there to begin with. In those days in FSBO, if a kid got twenty-five whacks it was favoritism. I know some got sixty whacks and more. Some got 100 lashes and more, believe it or not. I mean what to hell. I was there. The state should be investigated; it should also be attacked.

You may think my version of going to the law and being refused the service is an exaggeration, but consider these facts in more recent times. This may seem improbable to you, but I assure you without any question whatsoever, it is true. I was working in a college in South Korea in 1997 when I obtained detailed information about the-then coming attacks of September 11, 2001. From 1997 and up to and through the night of 10 september 2001 I told about 130 people about these attacks. Many times I named the exact targets, the commandeered, fuel-laden aircraft, people from Saudi Arabia, and the approximate time of the attacks. In 1998 I told Danny Carey of the Martin County Sheriff’s Department in detail. No follow-up. No investigation. No nothing I know of. In early 2001 I told a Mr. Osborne of the DOC, in detail. He twirls his finger in the air and says, “Sure, and I suppose they are flying around here right now.” No follow-up. In early 2001 I called 911 in Stuart and told them of a terrorist or guerrilla presence in the area, that they were planning attacks, and using airplanes. The night of September 10, 2001 I called some number in Fort Pierce; it was some bold print, seven digit number on the inside front cover of the phone book. I warned of a major terrorist attack coming “very soon.” I will admit, this guy really was digging for more information. I did not mention details as I had in other warnings. I reported these coming attacks openly in three countries to law enforcement people, experienced, educated people, not some rookie on the beat.

In late 2000 I was in e-mail communication with the office of Governor JEB who I told I had some very interesting information that he or most anyone might find useful. I advised him I did not make statements like that lightly. I was planning to lay all the 9-11 information I had on the table to him. In the meantime a letter came from INS stating this: If you bring your children from China to the US, they will become wards of the state. To me that was a very offensive and threatening statement against my babies. I have told you here what “ward of the state” means in my mind. After that letter I withheld further information about 9-11.

Can you expect such a person as me to try and save your day from catastrophe while your government is telling me they are predicting catastrophe for my children? Besides that, I told your law enforcement personnel in plenty of detail about the coming attacks. If they would not inform you and do something, and you are paying their salaries, why should I? Your state would not give me a job, even after I gave them perfectly good, detailed, information about major terrorist attacks against your own interests. What to hell people. You must be kidding. I mean, how goddamn negligent and stupid can a government be? I joined the military. They used real terrorist tactics against me. I survived it. Many others were killed, and many more were horribly mutilated. Again, I go to government with perfectly legitimate complaints, and once again I am ignored. Well, we saw your towers crashing down in 2001, and your pentagon in flames. I had known in quite some detail about those attacks since 1997. Try ignoring that.

I am not putting up a front to make a good impression. After what the so-called government system did to me, I really do not care if your government gets attacked. If your own officers are going to be that negligent, you get what you have coming. At any rate, you solicited for information about torture and abuse by agents of your own state government. I assure you, they did beat kids to bloody pulps, and they did systematically torture some. No question about it. I do not personally know of of Troy Tidwell's being that hard on anyone, but my knowledge where he is the matter is very limited. Where Zitch, Johns, and Davis are the subject, I can tell you they were so ferociously, sadistically hard on kids that when I told people precisely and accurately what they had done, nobody ever believed it. It really was unbelievably cruel, and so tunecessary, and not legitimately called for in any way. They just wanted to hurt people. What the state did to hundreds, perhaps a thousand children, perhaps thousands of children was far worse than sexual predation. It was bloody torture, sadism, terrorism, and gross exploitation, and a violation of human rights . 9-11 sic semper tyannis.
Saturday, May 9th 2009 - 12:44:25 PM


Roger: I was reading the web site where it said you tried to expose the abuses for 17 years, and people did not listen; they would not believe what was happening. I had similar experiences after getting out of Okeechobee, but not for 17 years. It seemed people had limits to their credulousness, and simply tuned out or denied information too far outside those limits. Either that or they just did not give a damn, and did not want to admit their complicity through silence and indifference. Nobody could believe 40 lashes, much less many more than 40 and 60. They thought I was lying, but I was not lying. I was a witness. I was there. I was telling the truth.

Years ago, long before I heard of the White House Boys, I stood on street corners with a large white sign with red letters saying---State of Florida tortured children to bloody pulp. Nobody asked anything, or showed any interest.

The same thing happened with the attacks of 9-11. I came across detailed informatiuon about those attacks in 1997. I had been giving people detailed information about the coming attacks up until and through the night of September 10, 2001. Nobody believed me, or they were not listening, or they didn't really care one way or the other. After the attacks were executed I told people I had known about them for four years before they happened, and I got the same responses of incredulousness, disbelief, and even some accusations. I'll tell you. The USA is not really all that wonderful a country, and many Americans are ass holes. Those bastards running the state schools in your day and my day were perfect examples of the kinds of low-down, low-grade sons of bitches Amerika was producing. If bloody torture against wards of the state were again legalized and promoted, they would have no problem finding more Troy Tidwells, more Frank Zyches, R.W. Hattons, E.B. Davises, and Donald Johnses to take up the lash, and ruin the lives of thousands more children. And I assure you they would like doing it. What those types need is a taste of their own medicine.

Oh, and by the way. It was I, John Gobin Shaw, who asked people in Saudi Arabia if they would be interested in launching an airplanes-as-missiles, self-sacrifice, attack against government in the USA back in 1997. They answered in the affirmative. I was trying to interest them in good old Florida. They had bigger fish to fry in Washington and New York. Does it sound too outrageous to be true? Well, just remember, so did your and my true stories about state sponsored torture. Nobody could believe, but our stories were true. My story about 9-11 is true too. There is more to it, of course. The story of 9-11 covers 90-pages, and over 54,000 words.

I will be honest. After getting out of state school I was for launching a serious act of war against state government in Florida, even if it meant my own death. What the state and the police did to me factored large into the reasons I did not report what Tim McVeigh told me in 1994, if it was 1994, and why I did not go directly to the authorities with what I knew about the coming attacks of September 11, 2001. In essence, the government had told me my life was nothing, that torturing me and murdering me were acceptable. I got the chance to say the same back against them, and said it, albeit indirectly, but said it back by doing nothing in their interests, just as they had ignored mine. Let's face it. They abused, and it came around full circle, and bit them hard in their vital parts. 9-11 Sic semper tyrannis. Regards, John G. Shaw .

Report this postReply with quote Re: Fla. school for boys.....
by Ceasar » 21 Jul 2009, 19:19

Think about this. Michael Jackson set up Neverland to help children, to really help them. He was accused of some inappropriate touching, dragged into court, disgraced, and had to pay out millions, and was acquitted.

The state of Florida sponsored Never Should Have Been Land where the sadistic, skin-searing, bloody torture of children went on for decades, and is now protecting one of its former agents who was complicit in those acts, and who was himself a perpetrator.

Think about that people. Would you just stop and think one time. Or are you so goddamn selfish and indifferent you just do not give a damn as long as you have yours. I know for a fact many people in society and government take secret gratification knowning children are being tortured and wronged. Most all the children tortured by your state were from low-income, disadvantaged backgrounds because the state was the predator, and such children as those were the easiest to cull from the herd and exploit.

What a bunch of goddamn lying hypocrites and sadists you have in power. Then you point the finger at Abu Graib in Iraq and Guantanamo in Cuba. You goddamn idiots. I saw those pictures from Iraq. Not a single one came anywhere near close to the tortures inflicted on children by the state of Florida. Those pictures from Iraq, though they did show demeaning, humiliating, and intimidating behavior proved how stupid the gullible Amerikan people really are. That stuff out of Iraq was nothing more than overzealous fraternity hazing compared to the ferocious beatings at the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee in 1965.

My name is John Gobin Shaw. I was born in Florida in 1949. I have known of these sadistic systematic abuses by Florida since 1965. And, believe it or not, I had also known in detail about the attacks of September 11, 2001 since 1997. I told about 130 persons about the coming attacks, but did not go directly to authorities in Florida as I could easily have done.
Now you know part of the reason I did not want to warn the bastards.

I was communicating with people in Saudi Arabia in 1997. I told them about some goings on in Florida. I mean people. People were committing multiple felonies against me, and the system of scumbags you had running your government refused to act on my behalf. I turned to foreign powers, told them how easy it would be t carry off the attacks, to come here for training, and how to act and not act to avoid coming under suspicion. They agreed to do it. That's all I can tell you. You saw what happened on 9-11-01. That was exactly what I had been telling people for four years.

No matter what you think, you cannot pull that on me and get away with it. For myself and for all the boys your state spit on and tortured to bloody pulp, whether they are with me on this or not, I say 9-11 Sic semper tyrannis.

You took me at sixteen and put me in a cell to be injured murdered to shut me up as a witness. What did I do to be treated that way? Broke some windows. Turned in a prominent educator and principal for being a child molestor. After that you stole my youth and my freedom and tortured me. I went out and looked for a way of retaliating, and I found it. Personally, I hope they attack you again.Ceasar

Report this postReply with quote Re: Fla. school for boys.....
by John Gobin Shaw » 08 Aug 2009, 18:46

There was this one black kid who was locked up in the adjustment unit for at least six weeks I know of. They beat him repeatedly for six weeks at least. The guy went crazy. The first beating was about 100 lashes. I am not sure exactly how hard they hit him each time. That poor guy was making all kinds of noises I never knew a human being could make. When they came for him again a few days later he went absolutely nuts. He was screaming and crying like I had never heard anyone do up to that time. I think they had to get people to drag him out of his cell and hold him down on the bed. A few days later they came to get him again. By this time he knew he was in for the beating of his life. He had transformed into a screaming, crying, sobbing, begging, pleading bundle of complete terror. They came for him again a few days later. I can only say the beating they gave him that day was intended as the death penalty, but worse. The kid was beyond being able to utter intelligible words. He was beaten blind, unable to speak, unable to think. He could make only deep throated and gutteral sounds that resonated through his body and echoed into my mind and my soul forever. I can never forget it. After that, whenever they came for him again he would go what we might call absoloutely nuts, screaming, and making the wierdest animal-like noises. Even the sound of foot steps near his cell door, or the sound of an opening door would set him offinto a frenzy of insane, sceraming and yelling. On the bed he would settle into his torture sessions with deep gutteral noises that kept rolling down the hallway. I don't know what that kid did to bring all that much pain and terror into his life.

You think I wasn't scared? I was terrorized. There was no telling when I would be next. When would they come for me? Well, they did come for me.

You know, I turned in a prominent principal of a school because he was a child molester. I knew exactly what he had done and to who. They needed me out of the way because I was a witness to his actions and to the criminal actions of others. I have no idea why a supposedly legitimate government had more interest in protecting adult serial felons in the community than they had in protecting victims of crime, but I say a government of that nature needs to be looked into.

And, that school-teacher, principal dude I turned in went free. They locked me up. Don't try to tell me how wonderful Florida was and is. There should be a sign at the state line warning all persons of low-income, disadvantaged backgrounds what underlying intentions the state has toward them and their children.John Gobin Shaw

john vitch
Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2009 08:52 am
**PANZADE**going north on us 441 about 2 miles on the right from okeechobee-just past the raulerson hospital--which is named after the raulerson family who used the boys as free slave labor on their farms--digging sweet potatoes' and clearing land......
john vitch
Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2009 09:02 am
@John Gobin Shaw,
**John Shaw--i believe you were in montverde private school and i met you as i entered fsbo in jan of 62--sound familiar??? john vitch fsbo 1962
0 Replies
Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2009 09:27 pm
@john vitch,
You are correct. It is now the Eckerds Youth Developmment Center It was recently taken over by a British corporation, I believe.

I know one of the counselor/teachers working there and he tells me they do a very good job with high risk youths(capacity 143)


The info on Raulerson...well it's very believable.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 09:47 am
I also was beaten at this school, now that the lawsuit is over I have no reason not to be trueful. This man had no heart or soul I have over 200 people that will tell you the same story. What he use to nearly beat us to death for " lying " He now doesn't seem to mind doing himself. He knows theirs thousand of us looking at him . I hope he read this because I won't him to know I remembered my ass beating.
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2011 11:09 pm
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 09:04 pm
I know that you are 100% right about Okeechobee. I was there in the 1960s. I was raped in the showers and saw the beating and what they done to us while we was there. Tommy L Harmon Dickson Tennessee 37055.
sherrie wendt
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2012 01:24 am
Dear Don, I know you are right. Remember me? Arthur Wendt-Madson Cottage-you know, go to the hospital and at the back of the hospital the two doors open-I remember well. It has haunted me all my life. Thursday, Don-going down day-I can back you on everything you say, and I pray that you can make it through this. Also, remember Ace Herd, and Bruce Tillman-my friend-we watched each other's back. I live in Arkansas now and I am blessed with a wonderful wife and four wonderful boys-as I have told my wife -Sherrie- it has taken years to tell my story I need your help. I still suffer from the memories of the going underground to "beat-off" my days-this is how I entered the "so-called" school -and this was to beat the rabbit out of you-but I was "the old man of the campus" when I left. And that bastard Zitch (with his peg-leg) come around to yard crew where I was working, he told me I was going home and I knew what that meant! He told me he would see me on Thursday. I knew. I tried to tell people all thru the years all about this place, this hell. People could not believe what happened there. I need closure on this. Please help me! Art Wendt

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