Victims Recount Reform School Horrors

Dick Colon and Roger Kiser CBS/EARLY SHOW

Several former students at a reform school for boys in the Florida panhandle, now men in their 60s who attended the reform school decades ago, say its manicured gardens and winding paths hid a deep dark secret.

"It was beautiful and it looked like driving onto any college campus in America," said Roger Kiser, who was an orphan and around 12 years old when he was sent to the Florida School for Boys at Marianna.

"I thought nothing could be worse than the orphanage in Jacksonville, Fla., where I lived, Kiser said. "But little did I know that I was jumping out of the fire into the frying pan."

He is still haunted by a building at the school called "The White House," where he says students were beaten and abused.

"This was a concrete and steel building and when you walk in there it is like -- a dungeon," Kiser said. "They beat me so badly, when I came out of the white house and came to the main office, I was beaten so bloody they couldn't tell who I was."

Now 63, Kiser formed a group called "The White House Boys" and revealed another hidden memory of the school's past -- a cemetery.

"It's deep, way back in the Florida woods. Hidden far from public view, has been for many years," Kiser said. "You come up on 32 metal crosses stuck in the ground, no markers, no names, no nothing."

Kiser says a deadly fire took some of the students, while others died from influenza, but he wants to know exactly who is buried there and how they died.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has called for an inquiry into the claims of The White House Boys.

"If there is an opportunity to find out exactly what happened there," Crist said. "We have the duty to do so."

"Where are the records, why was there no names placed on these graves?" Kiser asked. "They were just forgotten."

Kiser and Dick Colon, another man who resided at the Florida School for Boys at Marianna, sat down for an emotional, exclusive interview on The Early Show with co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez. The two men recounted some of the horror stories from their stay in Marianna and urged others to come forward and visit the White House Boys Web site. Kiser and Colon's experiences are being made into a movie by SilverCreek Entertainment. See the interview below



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