School of (Very) Hard Knocks

Mystery surrounds graves at boys’ reform school
By Rich Phillips, CNN
October 15, 2012
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School graves could hide ‘evil’ past

  • In 2009, Florida determined that 31 boys buried at a reform school were fire, flu victims
  • Today, investigators have found 18 more graves at the same site
  • The team believes there’s another grave where black students may have been buried
  • The state has remained mum on the new findings

Marianna, Florida (CNN) — This Florida panhandle town is the home of a mystery that has been lost to time.

A small cemetery buried deep into the grounds of a now-defunct boys reform school dates back to the early 1900s. Rusting white steel crosses mark the graves of 31 unidentified former students.

Former students said the deaths were at the hands of abusive administrators, but a 2009 state investigation determined there was no evidence of criminal activity connected with any of the deaths or of abusive treatment.

But the investigation did not clear up the mystery over the fate of 50 other students who died at the school and whose bodies have not been accounted for.

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