William Hylan Boggess, Jr.

William Hylan Boggess

I am the person that plotted the daring escape from the Florida School for Boys at Marianna, Florida in the early 1960's, as mentioned in Roger Dean Kiser's book "The White House Boys- An American Tragedy."

I actually ran away twice. The first time I was caught by the Dog Boys and their blood hounds from Apalachicola Camp and was taken back to the White House. My back, buttocks, and thighs were still scabbed from the brutal beating at the hand of Mr. Tidwell and others, when five of us disappeared one night never to be heard from again.

My job at the warehouse gave me access to car keys stored in a wooden lock box on the wall. Dressed only in our pajamas, we changed into town- trip clothes appropriated from the warehouse, took the first vehicle that would start, a State pick-up truck, and drove into Alabama. Our sole purpose was to cross the state line so if we were caught we would become wards of the federal system. It may seem odd this was our goal, but it was truly a good thing to flee the tormenting we endured as White House Boys.

Once in Alabama, we ditched the State vehicle by driving it into an active landfill. It gave me great pleasure watching the bulldozers pushing garbage down the slope covering it up. The joyride continued across several states by stealing dozens of cars that had keys in the ignition. We were happy to be anywhere besides where we had been.

Passing through Mississippi, our luck ran out and we were caught. However, that dilapidated jail couldn't hold four of us for very long. With the help of an experienced older prisoner, we were on the run again. Caught next in Oxford, Mississippi, we immediately started planning our breakout from their fancy new jail, but the timing for our escape could not have been worse. As we ran down the street, law enforcement from many states were everywhere patrolling a civil rights demonstration. I would eventually find myself in Atlanta, Georgia, where I was apprehended and soon returned to Mississippi. Eight days before my 15th birthday, I was standing before a federal judge in Mississippi.

I am looking to move and as I am on Social Security and SSI; I would like to move in with someone who understands what I have experienced in life and I will gladly share expenses.

William H. Boggess, Jr.
Phone 803-438-2546