Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Benjamin James Lolley - 2011

Benjamin James Lolley was only given 16 years in this life.For reasons unknown he was forced to attend Salem4youth. It is a residential program based on religious belief combined with isolation. For the first 6 weeks the teenagers are not allowed to communicate with their parents.

In the past there had been a case of misconduct at the ranch. Something made it impossible for this young man to graduate and go on in life. We don't know the reason but it seems that he made a tragic decision. It seems awful that such a young life should end distanced from his family but sadly it was the case.

May he find peace where he is now.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

George Owen Smith - 1940

This is an odd post for this blog. Normally a post appears on the yearday the child died, but we don't know what date poor 14 year old George Owen Smith died.

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.

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