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White House Boys Vice-President, Jerry Cooper, takes lie detector test this morning in Tampa, Florida.

(see test results at bottom of page)

The White House Boys have agreed to pay the cost of a lie detector test for Mr. Troy Tidwell, the accused beater of thousands of boys from the former Florida School for Boys at Marianna facility. Though such tests are not admissible in a court of law; the results of such a test will give the general public some sense of who is or is not telling the truth regarding the beating, torture, molestations, rapes and possible murders at the school.


Q-Did Mr. Troy Tidwell administer to you more than 30 lashes with the leather strap?

Q-Did Mr. Troy Tidwell and two other staff members administer to you more than 100 lashes with the leather strap?

Q-Were you instructed to wrap towels around your body so you would not bloody your bed sheets?


Just received the preliminary results of the test and Mr. Cooper passed with flying colors. A link to the St. Petersburg Times story and picture(s) will be posted later this evening. We were advised that the standard polygraph test will not allow any more than three questions. That all we ask Mr. Tidwell to answer.

Troy Tidwell stated during his deposition (under oath):
No boy ever received more than eight to ten licks with the leather strap and that the strap was never raised higher than shoulder height and that blood was never drawn.

Watch a portion of Troy Tidwell's deposition video CLICK HERE

Doctor Byrd stated (under oath) before the United States Senate:
“The blows are very severe. They are dealt with a great deal of force with a full arm swing over his head and down, with a strap, a leather strap approximately a half inch thick and about 10 inches long with a wooden formed handle. Each boy received a minimum of 15. All boys reported this, and the times I witnessed it, there was no boy who received less than 15 at that time.”


There is one sure way to find out. RIGHT MR. TIDWELL?

An open letter to Governor Crist from Mr. Cooper

Dear Governor Crist,

First, I hope that your day is good in every way possible. I and all the people of the state know that your efforts in running the State of Florida has been outstanding on your behalf, and has been in our behalf for the best.

I took a polygraph test on July 2nd, not so much to show my story is true about the brutal and horrible attack inflicted on me by a supervisor employed at the Florida School for Boys. The names of Troy Tidwell, R. W. Hatton and Arthur G. Dozier will live in my memory forever as these men, taking turns, almost beat me to death one night in wee hours of the morning (around 1.00 or 2.00 A.M).

I decided to take the lie detector test for all the boys beaten by this staff and to prove that Troy Tidwell lied under oath during his recent deposition, for which the state is paying his legal fees. I suppose that is necessary as he was a former employee for the State of Florida.

The front page article in the St. Petersburg Times was done without any bias actions whatsoever. They realize the importance of this issue. They hold no interest on either side in this issue. I have been told this many times by writer Ben Montgomery and that stands as a fact.

I mentioned to you in my last e-mail (some months ago) that the F.D.L.E. did not interview me like they said and certainly not within the time agreed upon. The agreement was to see me; take pictures of my injuries and then interview me properly. Shortly after my contact with you, Mr. Berlinger showed up and met me at the office in Ft. Myers. I believe this happened due to your reaction to my request for assistance from your office. I hope you will see the pictures taken by a lab tech which show the injuries to my body, all inflicted by Troy Tidwell, R.W. Hatton and Mr. Dozier. The pictures include visual scars also ultra-lite photos showing fading scars over the years as well as pictures of a deformed right foot and large toe, broken by Troy Tidwell.

Once again I will tell you I had to play football as the quarterback for the Yellow Jacket’s football team on this injured foot for the entire season. I was injected with Novocain, by Dr. Wexler and his duty boys at each and every practice session for the full season. Otherwise, I would be unable to play. That is the price I was forced to pay and that was a very high price for a young boy to have to pay.

Troy Tidwell stated in his deposition that no boy was ever beat for not telling on a possible runner or knowing about a runner. This very issue is why they came and got me out of bed to be beaten within an inch of my life. A beating I have never forgotten. In no manner can such a beating be considered “a spanking,” as Tidwell likes to refer to it.

I never knew about RICHARD CRUMLISH planning to runaway. Yes, remember his name; how could I ever forget such a name after taking a beating which could have easily caused my death.

Again I received 135 lashes by Troy Tidwell and two other men. People who were suppose to help us, not beat half to death or almost kill us.

Mr. Tidwell stated under oath that he never gave more than 8 to 10 hits to any boy. You do the math. I received one hundred and thirty-five lashes, was busted in rank to grub with a ZERO; the lowest rank possible. In addition, I lost all my privileges including canteen, rest time and they informed my mother that she could not ever visit me again; most likely because she would see some very serious and life threatening injuries. This institution became a place of hell with nothing more than hellions operating it.

I can not possibly keep up with the lies that Mr. Tidwell told during his deposition nor do I want to try. If you can, please find the time in the near future to please look at video of Tidwell’s deposition. He is nervous, always sipping water throughout the entire process and smiling as if he were a kid with a new toy. This is a big sign that one is lying. A few of the lies are:

“Did you ever beat a boy for bad grades?”

Answer NO.

A known lie by everyone at that school.

“Did you ever beat a boy for not reporting some one to the staff who is thinking about running?”

Answer NO.

Another lie. It was a standing rule known by all boys that you would suffer a much worst beating for not reporting a runner than for actually running away.

“Did you ever beat a boy with a full swing with this strap?” Answer NO.

Lie after lie.

“Did you give more than 8-10 lashes to any boy?” “Did you ever cause a boy to bleed from your beatings?”

Answer NO.

He says only pinkish color or a small bruise on one side of buttocks. He needs to let me and a lot of our men give him permission to speak to our bare buttocks’ about this.

“Did you ever stop visiting rights for boys that were beaten by staff?”

Answer NO.

Governor, I did not see my mother again until returning home many months later. I was afraid she would go to authorities on what happened and I might get sent back to that place of hell.

Many more lies were told in his deposition. If you need a video copy of the deposition please let us knows and we will make sure you receive one.

We only ask you to take a look at what really happened to us at that state run facility and give us help on the issues that surround it. Mr. Berlinger, during his meeting with me, said that they had not interviewed Mr. Tidwell as of yet and they tried to see him a couple of times but his care-taker said he was too ill to be disturbed. I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT STATEMENT. Is it not common in an investigation to start at the source of the problem instead of at the bottom? We are old but we are not quite that dumb or that stupid. If this case is based on working from the bottom up to get to the source and truth of it; this shows intent to lag and hope the source, as well as the truth, will be gone, forgotten or distorted by the end of the investigation. We are well aware of what’s happening in this case.


Again, we are asking for your help in giving us a fair and just outlook to our situation, and in a timely matter; one that would be a reasonable action for both parties concerned. We realize that you had nothing to do with what happened at the FSB School and we know that you would never permit the brutal actions that were done to us to happen to a child today. I do feel the state owes some type of restitution to the men for what they suffered with at the hands of the staff. I have myself paid out thousands of dollars in fines for my past history of anger, thousands of dollars for attorney fees and more money for doctors, medicine and monies for anger management classes than anyone could possibly imagine. This has been my whole life. A life of problems brought about by Mr. Tidwell and staff at the Florida School for Boys at Marianna.

I know you can’t and won’t talk to us until you get full report from the F.D.L.E.. I am asking only that a reply is made by you or your staff that you have received this letter. If a staff member needs to speak to me my home number is 239-542-3831 and my e-mail is samohi @ comcast .com. We would like for you to be successful in all your political aspirations in the coming years and hopefully successful with life itself. I will be posting this letter on our main internet web sites for all the people to share with us on these issues. We now have thousands upon thousands of people visiting our site from all across our country as well as outside the country. Each watching to see what becomes of us.


We as children entered this school with broken hearts and confused minds, each needing help from the individual who worked there. A lot of us left RUINED FOR LIFE and when the full truth is known some never left at all.

In closing we would like for you to take a minute and think about this; Troy Tidwell says he did not know anything about the history of the cemetery located on the grounds of this school and that he never was even interested in it. Why? He lived on the grounds for over 40 years. Anyone in their right mind would want to know about such stories and he certainly knew as did every other employee at the school. This is just another lie in a line of many by Mr. Troy Tidwell. I know I would want to know. He (Tidwell) was very nervous about this topic during his deposition. WHY? What is he hiding concerning the cemetery? I WOULD BE ASKING HIM ABOUT THIS NOW IF I WERE MR. BERLINGER. Most investigators would have no problem getting the truth out of somebody with the IQ of a third grader, if in fact the truth is truly sought at all.

Thank you for lending an ear on this very serious matter.


Jerry Cooper, Vice-President

St Petersburg Times Article

Jerry Cooper has always lived an insult away from assault. He has been cuffed in parking lots, chained inside jail cells, ordered to anger management classes. He is surprised he has yet to kill a man.

All that meanness started one night in 1960, he says, when he was a 16-year-old ward of the Florida School for Boys in Marianna. A one-armed man dragged him to a building called the White House and hit him 135 times with a leather strap.

Now that man claims it never happened. Even though more than 325 former inmates say they were beaten at the state-run school, the old guard, Troy Tidwell, says he never gave a boy more than a dozen state-sanctioned licks.

"Spankings," he called it.

One of them is lying. Cooper drove from Cape Coral to Tampa on Thursday to prove it isn't him.

"The purpose of this exam today is to test you on the truthfulness of your experience at the boys school," says Mike Alaiwat, a forensic psychophysiologist.

Jerry Cooper sits facing a blank wall at the base of a tall office building in Tampa. Alaiwat has attached medical devices to Cooper's torso, his arm, his fingertips. The devices measure breathing fluctuations, heart rate and the heat in Cooper's fingertips.

Cooper paid $400 for this test himself. He picked at random Alaiwat, who has nine years in the field.

Polygraph tests aren't typically admissible in court, but Cooper felt like he had to do something. It's been two months since he and other men were featured in a St. Petersburg Times special report, "For Their Own Good." The civil lawsuit the men filed against Tidwell and several state departments is lumbering along. An FDLE investigation into the Florida School for Boys, now called the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, hasn't turned up much. Criminal charges against the aging former guards appear unlikely. And Jerry Cooper can't sit still and just take it.

Alaiwat will ask Cooper a series of questions. Some pertain to the beating while others are innocuous. If Cooper lies, Alaiwat will know because Cooper's heart rate will increase, his breathing will fluctuate or his fingers will sweat.

Cooper has given Alaiwat three questions — the industry standard — in advance. He crafted the questions after watching Troy Tidwell deny beating boys in a deposition in late May, a video he could not watch twice. He has not slept much since he decided to do this four days ago. His wife waits in the lobby.

Question 1: "Did Troy Tidwell give you more than 30 lashes that night he thought you had information on a runner?"

Cooper remembers that night. He was 15. He'd been sent to the school after police caught him riding in a stolen car with an AWOL Marine. Things were okay for the first few weeks.

That night, he was sleeping in Roosevelt Cottage when two men woke him up.

What do you know about a runner? one man asked.

I don't know anything about a runner, Cooper replied.


He was dragged in his white nightgown to the White House, forced down on a bloody mattress and told to grab the bed rail. Someone shoved Cooper's nightgown between his legs.

Then he heard a strap cut the air.

"Yes," Cooper replies.

Question 2: "Did Mr. Tidwell and two other staff give you more than 100 lashes that night at the White House?"

That first lick lifted him off the spring mattress, and they kept coming.

Cooper played quarterback on the football team and put up with a mean stepfather. He knew how to deal with pain.

You're nothing but a g- - - - - - - - liar! the man said and he slapped Cooper's face. Cooper scrambled, trying to flee. The men forced him down. One punched him in the mouth. Another mashed his toe.

Another man took the strap. When he tired, another. The boy waiting in another room counted to 135.

"Yes," Cooper says.

Question 3: "Were you told to wrap towels around your body that night to keep blood off your mattress?"

Cooper woke up on the floorboard of a state car. His thighs and buttocks were swollen. His nightgown was splattered red. He had trouble walking.

His cottage father escorted him inside and told him to put Vaseline on his injuries and to wrap two towels around his waist and tie them in place with a sheet.

The next morning, he peeled the towels off and backed toward the mirror. His rear was black and crusted. He swore he'd never let anyone hurt him again.

"Yes," Cooper says.

When the test is over, Cooper is crying. His hands shake in front of his face.

"I'm sorry," he says. "This isn't me.

"Could you tell my wife to come in?"

Babbs Cooper knew this would be hard. She has lived with his anger for 28 years.

"I walk 10 steps behind him," she says.

She wasn't sure he should come. No one asked him to do this. She knew the lawyers were apprehensive.

And what if he failed?

She saw how mad her husband grew when he watched Tidwell deny beating the boys, even though so many of them told the same story.

How could the old man not show some mercy and tell the truth? she wondered.

She sees her husband in the corner and rushes to him. She holds his head as he sobs.

"I passed," he says. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

"It's okay," she says. "It's okay."

Alaiwat closes his computer.

"There was no deception indicated," he says. "It appears that Mr. Cooper is being truthful regarding his experience with Mr. Tidwell and other staff in the White House at the Florida School for Boys."

Outside, Cooper lights a cigarette. The man who still bears the scars from his beating says he feels great. He says he'd like to challenge Troy Tidwell to take a polygraph test.

Please go here and make a comment at the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper CLICK HERE