Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Facts from the first phase of the Dozier School Cemetery digging

Memorial Area at Dozier School Cemetery
Researchers from the University of South Florida, along with law enforcement volunteers and even reporters, started digging last weekend at the Dozier School Cemetery in Marianna, Florida.

The first phase of their work is now over and they are not expected to return until October or November.

Contrary to what you may have read in newspapers or heard on television, here are the facts so far:
  • NO "clandestine" graves have been found. The graves located so far turned out to be historic graves that clearly demonstrated proper care was given to the bodies at the time they were buried.
  • Evidently unfamiliar with what happens to the terrain around Marianna during seasons of heavy rain, the researchers experienced problems due to the rain soaked condition of the ground at the cemetery. Instead of exhuming 4-5 graves as they expected, they only managed to dig up two.
  • NO graves have been found outside the traditional limits of the cemetery. ALL graves located so far are inside the old fence line of the Dozier School Cemetery and the limits of the cemetery as shown on state plats and federal topographic maps dating from the 1940s. (Some media outlets have incorrectly reported otherwise).
  • The two graves exhumed so far reveal that the bodies were interred in coffins, not just "dumped in holes" as some have claimed, and that proper mortuary procedures of the time were followed when the burials took place. Pins from burial shrouds were even found in the graves.
  • NO evidence of criminal activity has been found.
To make a long story short, investigators at the Dozier School Cemetery have found exactly what local people and former Dozier employees said they would find - historic graves prepared according to proper religious and mortuary practices of the time. 

To correct a few other media errors that have been prevalent this week:
  • The memorial crosses at the cemetery were placed there by Dozier employees, NOT the University of South Florida.
  • The memorial at the cemetery dates back to the 1960s, thirty years earlier than reported by the Tampa Bay Times. 
  • The cable around the memorial crosses is NOT the traditional boundary of the cemetery as some media outlets have reported. The actual traditional boundary surrounds 1-2 acres of land and originally consisted of a wire fence.
I'll post other updates as work continues this fall and winter, but so far researchers have found nothing more than local citizens predicted they would find.


Anonymous said...

Thank You Dale we Thank You for all you do.
Larry & Brenda

Dale Cox said...

You are welcome. It is a shame the days of media accuracy seem to be over and people can no longer get actual coverage from them.

Cindy Gay Sloan said...


Thanks for the accurate update. It is a morbid shame the "researchers" are desecrating these graves. I expected them to find just exactly what has been found so far.

It is a shame no one has threatened to dig up their loved ones for the sake of curiosity.

What exactly is being done with remains that are found? DNA matching?

Perhaps soon, once and for all, those interred at this location can finally rest in peace.

Cindy Gay Sloan

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this info, Dale. You have no idea how much we appreciate you and your efforts to make the truth known! Keep up the good work! I wish you would publish your comments in the papers, especially The Floridan!

Flo Chason said...

Thanks for the True side of things.... It is a shame, what they will print to sell a story! Keep up the Great work!


Dale Cox said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Cindy, they claim they are going to use DNA to "give closure to the families" even though they haven't contacted 80% of the families. Most of the remains will just be dumped in boxes and put back in the ground, with a lot less respect than they were given when they were buried the first time I suspect.

Billy Dickson said...

Thank you for the Accurate with a capital A update! Something the mainstream media has forgotten!

Dee Helton said...

Thank you Dale. You do a wonderful job of keeping us updated and with all the research you put into this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Dale for "Keeping it Real" I don't think the media wants to know the truth, They just want a story. Keep up the good work


Dale Cox said...

Again, thank you everyone for the nice words. Even if people disagree with us about the cemetery, I think we can all agree that the media SHOULD cover this story fairly and impartially. It is a shame that for the most part that is not the case.


Ruthie said...

Thank you Dale Cox for all your work on this. It's disheartening to think that the media just wants to "sell their stories".

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dale for your accurate reporting. However, people don't want the truth. They want sensationalism. Many people swallow the "Kool-Aid" of media reports without any knowledge of the situation.

Richard Ferry said...


Keep up the good work,we need more people like you taking up the fight.

Dale Cox said...

Richard, Thank you. It is a simple matter of morality. I believe it is immoral to exhume grave without the permission of the next of kin. 80% of the graves are being dug up without the permission of the families of the people buried in them.