We also don't know how George Owen Smith died.
All we know is that he was found in an unmarked grave at the now closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.
Think about his family for all those years didn't know where to go with their grief over losing a son and a brother. His mother was denied this for her entire life.
Of course he committed a crime and deserved some kind of punishment. But not even in Florida they have a death penalty for stealing a car.
The questions are:
- How did he die?
- Why were his body hidden from his family?
According to survivors a lot of boys were beaten almost to their deaths at the so-called white house. Maybe the guards went too far in their introduction ceremony to the reform school and buried the boy to hide their crime? It is most likely the explanation.
Now the family can meet around a marked grave as his body has been relocated to the family grave. Unfortunately not everyone in his family lived to see this day. They died before the truth about his destiny was learned.
Maybe the spirit of George Owen Smith will now find peace.
More than 50 bodies found on the campus of the reform school still are unidentified. We can only hope that they also will identified so they can be reunited with their families.
- Boy's remains identified from shuttered Florida reform school (CBS News)
- Factsheet about the reform school (Fornits Wiki)
- 94 (1000 places You don't want to be as a teenager)