The White House Boys: An American Tragedy [NOOK Book]

Overview

Hidden far from sight, deep in the thick underbrush of the North Florida woods are the ghostly graves of more than thirty unidentified bodies, some of which are thought to be children who were beaten to death at the old Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna. It is suspected that many more bodies will be found in the fields and swamplands surrounding the institution. Investigations into the unmarked graves have compelled many grown men to come forward and share their stories of the abuses they endured and...
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The White House Boys: An American Tragedy

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Overview

Hidden far from sight, deep in the thick underbrush of the North Florida woods are the ghostly graves of more than thirty unidentified bodies, some of which are thought to be children who were beaten to death at the old Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna. It is suspected that many more bodies will be found in the fields and swamplands surrounding the institution. Investigations into the unmarked graves have compelled many grown men to come forward and share their stories of the abuses they endured and the atrocities they witnessed in the 1950s and 1960s at the institution.

The White House Boys: An American Tragedy is the true story of the horrors recalled by Roger Dean Kiser, one of the boys incarcerated at the facility in the late fifties for the crime of being a confused, unwanted, and wayward child. In a style reminiscent of the works of Mark Twain, Kiser recollects the horrifying verbal, sexual, and physical abuse he and other innocent young boys endured at the hands of their "caretakers." Questions remain unanswered and theories abound, but Roger and the other 'White House Boys' are determined to learn the truth and see justice served.
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What People Are Saying


"Roger Dean Kiser does a great service to children by revealing the injustices experienced by the 'White House Boys.' His story encourages strength in others to share theirs."
--Dave Pelzer, author of the New York Times bestseller A Child Called "It" and recipient of the National Jefferson Award

Dave Pelzer

"Roger Dean Kiser does a great service to children by revealing the injustices experienced by the 'White House Boys.' His story encourages strength in others to share theirs."
--Dave Pelzer, author of the New York Times bestseller A Child Called "It" and recipient of the National Jefferson Award

Dave Pelzer

"Roger Dean Kiser does a great service to children by revealing the injustices experienced by the 'White House Boys.' His story encourages strength in others to share theirs."
--Dave Pelzer, author of the New York Times bestseller A Child Called "It" and recipient of the National Jefferson Award

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757397585
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 73,422
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Roger Dean Kiser is a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor and respected author whose stories take you into the heart of a child abandoned by his family and abused by the system responsible for his care. Through his stories, he relives the sadness and cruelty of growing up as an orphan in the early 1950s. Today, he lives in Brunswick, Georgia, with his wife, Judy.
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Read an Excerpt

Prologue


If you were to drive down a long, narrow, winding grassy road, hidden far from sight, deep in the beautiful, thick underbrush of the north Florida woods, you will find unmarked graves containing the remains of thirty-two bodies, most likely all boys, some possibly as young as nine. As of now, who they are and how they got there is a mystery. It is believed that some of those boys were beaten to death in the name of discipline. Some suspect that many more bodies might be scattered about somewhere in the murky, shallow swamplands and fields of the lush state of Florida.


The United States Department of Justice, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating the allegations to determine the truth about a deep, dark secret that has been hidden for almost fifty years.


A Florida State juvenile facility set up for the safety and rehabilitation of children went totally awry, virtually from the time the doors opened in January 1900, basically becoming a concentration camp for wayward boys. It is only recently that the abuse—physical, mental, and sexual—suffered by the children at the Florida Industrial School for Boys is being taken seriously, now that so many of the survivors (many of them in their sixties) have stepped forward and banded together. The insane cruelty and alleged murders have been ignored or covered up by the authorities for more than fifty years . . . but no more.


One of the most horrendous places at the juvenile facility was a building known as the 'White House'—which was later dubbed the 'White House Torture Chamber.' This building, which still stands today, is a small white concrete building where boys were whipped and beaten mercilessly for trying to run away or for breaking one of the many other rules, rules so strict that the boys were afraid, in some cases, to look at someone in charge 'the wrong way.' Without fences, gates, or perimeter guards, the fear of being sent to this torture chamber was the only means the state had to control the young 'inmates.' The beatings many of the boys suffered were beyond brutal. Some were beaten so badly that when they returned from the White House, it was hard to tell who they were. Of course, treatment this brutal instilled fear into each and every boy incarcerated at the facility.


Mind you now, White House beatings weren't only for very serious offenses such as running away. Perhaps that was the original purpose. However, a time soon followed when beatings and whippings or threats of beatings and whippings were handed out for smoking, talking back, cursing, not making your bed correctly, not wearing a smile on your face, smiling too much, eating too slowly, not walking fast enough, stepping off the path, accidentally tripping in line, coughing, sharing food, dropping a pat of butter on the floor, or eating a blackberry off a bush while on a work detail. Sometimes, there was no reason. And sometimes . . . boys never made it out of the White House alive, or at least they were never seen or heard from again.

©2009. Roger Dean Kiser. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The White House Boys: An American Tragedy. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written
permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.,
3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    A brave mans life.

    It is a very tragic book. The pain is unbelievable. My heart goes out to all The White House Boys.

    The only problem was pages being repeated or skipped. I kept have to use my go to page number because it would skip a whole page. It did take away from the story because it frustrates you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Malina

    Best story I have read in a while. It really plays with your emotions. Wonderful, yet very sad story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    The University of South Florida is now on site and uncovering ma

    The University of South Florida is now on site and uncovering many bodies located outside the main grave yard area. Many boys' bodies will never be found as they were incinerated with the weekly garbage and many were chopped up and buried in the fields. Some were dismembered, boiled and fed to the hogs by the black boys attending to those animals. No one said a word as millions of dollars worth of crops were being siphoned off the school by many local residents.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    I was expecting a story - instead this is a series of interviews

    I was expecting a story - instead this is a series of interviews with men who lived at the reformatory. Many of the interviews are duplicates of each other as well. It is interesting and informative but not what I expected or wanted.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The White House Boys - Review

    Very touching story; really makes you think about our young youth of today and how they are being treated. By the end of the story, you really feel sorry for these poor boys who had to go through what they went through and you can completely understand their anger. I hope they all get what they need to move past this and I wish them all the best of luck!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2009

    Grabs you immediately!

    This book will break your Heart right from the start. If you don't cry your not normal........

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 3, 2012

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    Posted October 29, 2013

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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted May 17, 2009

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    Posted November 27, 2011

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    Posted April 6, 2011

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    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2011

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