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Jerry Cooper

Dear Governor Crist:

My name is Jerry Cooper, I spoke to Ruth Harris,or Harrison,over a month ago, she is suppose to be an investigator on Florida School For Boys case.

She told me she would send FDLE officer to my home to take pictures of scars I still have from beating I took 49 years ago!!!! She told me she would have an investigator at my house within 3-5 days for interview and pictures. Sir, this has not taken place!! And it won't probably unless you order it !!!

I was jerked from my bed at school 1-2a.m. and taken to white house, where I was beaten till I passed out!!!! By the hands of TIDWELL, DOZIER, and a guard, I took 135 lashes, counted by boy in the other room waiting for his punishment. When one man tired out the next would take his place, telling the others they couldn't do it right, let me show you how!!! They treated this like a party. Weapon was a strap about 2-3ft.long, about 3in.wide. They would turn it sideways at times to cut your flesh!!!! I had no idea what I was being beat for until next day, I knew I had not done anything wrong to get such a brutal attack!!!!!!

I learned the next day that another boy in my cottage had run from our sleeping quarters who had run earlier that night and was caught and beaten and taken to our so called hospital where he stayed for over a week. He received 100 lashes, and was in severe condition!!! While being beat he was asked who his best friend in cottage was, he named me!!!! In the school it was known that if you knew a boy was going to run and did not report it you will be punished more than the runner himself!!! How true!!! During my beating they kept asking me about a runner with no mention of who it was!!! I couldn't answer something I didn't know about!!!!! I was beat for nothing!!! When I got out of car at white house there was a young black boy laying on ground beside entrance, his gown was pulled over his head covering his face, gown was soaked in massive amount of blood, I would say he was dead, a large pool of blood under his body, he was very small and young maybe 10-11 years, this image has been with me all these years!!!

As we entered the white house, there was a boy in the other room crying waiting for his beating; he was the one who counted my lashes. When I saw him awhile after that he thought I was dead from my beating, he was from another cottage when I first entered the room, I thought I was to be killed by these men, like the boy that was laying outside, that I felt was dead. I tried to escape thru them from pure fright. TIDWELL pushed me into wall by the throat and stomped my right foot, breaking the ball under big toe,. When I tried to grab my foot I was then punched in the mouth knocking 4 front top teeth backwards in my mouth, a real bloody mess. They forced me on to army cot and crossed my legs and stuffed my nightgown between my legs as tight as possible, then tied them to cot, so I could not get up. Nobody could hear my screams; they run a large industrial fan so the boys on grounds can't hear this!!! They beat you on the ass and after the screams slow down they start at the knees and work up to the ass which they know goes numb after about 35-40 lashes. Then the screams are a lot louder, the pain is not explainable I can't!!!!!

I knew when the strap was turned on its side for a blow, made a different sound when it hit and saw blood hit the walls!!! I am scarred on right upper thigh where the strap would cut in to the meat of the leg when turned on it's side, the end of this weapon would cut you to pieces when done and this was done on purpose!!! My gown and underwear was embedded into my body. While being beat I blacked out and awoke on way back to cottage laying on rear floorboard of state car with guard holding me down with foot on my back!!!! Was then dragged into our bathroom and forced to stand until our cottage father came down from his bedroom, I could barely stand, foot was hardly able to stand on, was told to act like a man!!! Blood was running down from mouth and legs very fast, a lot of it!!! It took my cottage father a good 30-45 min to come down.

After the guards left I was told to remove my gown and underwear. This was hard to do because it was stuck in my wounds. He threatens to rip it out if I didn't hurry up so he could go back to bed. He said it was one of the best beatings he had seen in a while; he was another sick-o that worked there!!! His name was Mr. Hagen nick named Spider man!!! He hated all of us and would show you just how much very quickly. He had a black ford that looked like a police car, and the ugliest one-eyed bulldog I've ever seen in my life, one of the worst people I have ever met in my life, TRAILER TRASH!!!!!!!

After getting all I could out of legs was told to smear state grease which we had in cans on sink used for cuts, burns, hair grooming etc on my wounds to help block flow of blood. He took my bloody clothes up stairs and returned with a towel and sheet, and told to tie the towel and sheet around me to keep blood out of bed!!! I begged to go to the hospital but was told I was branded as a liar and was not to get Dr.'s help, and this is all you get, because of lying!!!!! The runner was already admitted, but I was denied any medical attention at all. I was in much worst condition than the runner!!! I was given some toilet paper to pack in my mouth, to control the bleeding; it didn't do any good, sent back to bed. No way to go to sleep!!! Had to be helped out of bed I was trying but couldn't. Bed and pillow was full of blood. One boy started crying and alerted Hagen to come running and he struck this boy in the back of his head open handed. Then told me I was going to be reported for the boy's action!!! Hello?????

Most of the boys were horrified when they saw me; they hadn't seen anything like that before now!!!! Most didn't even know that this happened during the night. I had to be helped to get dressed I could only walk with my legs stretched out, because inter thighs were swollen together and would rub when walking. It would take forever to try to sit down, too painful. I learned that day how to walk on side of right foot and got pretty good at it. Mouth bled all the time and could hardly eat for weeks!!! My testicles were swollen and black and blue for weeks!!!

I got married at 19 and after yrs. of no children, had a exam, was asked by Dr. why one was half the size of other testicle, I just said I don't Know. The sperm count came back abnormal and never had any children of my own, but I adopted 3 and they are doing fine. Be happy to be examined again!!! Nothing has changed. You may be wondering how I found out my foot was broken by TIDWELL. We were ordered, not asked to turn out for Varsity football try outs. I was small and really too young to be playing varsity ball, I was picked to be quarterback for team because of my passing ability. Vick Prinzi was our head Coach he was a great quarterback for Florida and is in the hall of fame Florida state. He played pro ball for Denver and had to have his spleen removed due to Injury he ended up coaching High Schools and college teams and then became a sports announcer. He was Burt Reynolds best friend and best man at Burt's wedding. Burt wept at Vic's funeral in 1987. Vic took me to the hospital and made Dr. Wexler examine my foot, this was a nasty hospital!!!! They had no x-ray machine, only a fluoroscope which showed that big toe ball was broken all the way across it. No cast!!! Too late because of first game was coming soon; I had to practice no matter what. I was given Novocain injections before practice and all games we played. This had to be illegal!!!! Foot never healed, I still walk with limp as of today, and right foot is deformed at large toe. Got to see a dentist shortly after and he wired teeth with copper wire. I wore the wire for the rest of my stay there; It did not help, lost those 4teeth a time later and wore a partial for years!!!!!

We won all games when I was there but one. I had to come out of game because of foot hurting to bad to play even with the shots. Our games were all won on passing game, that's where I came in. I never could run fast enough to score but I threw many touchdown Posses we played against varsity teams across the state. I and others witnessed a death in the gym during try outs for football, I was there when a runner was shot in the back of head with a rifle and killed. I saw a boy stabbed thru his hand with a fork, for arguing at the table by HAGEN. Our fullback on football team had tried to run and was caught by guard dogs and he managed to kill one dog before loosing the battle. He was beaten badly!!!!! He was bitten severely by these dogs. I know these people's names!!!! A boy had run from his cottage and hid under our cottage for 3 days, when they caught him he never came to his cottage, we never saw him again!!!!

I also know they used "The Dog Boys" from I believe from Appalachacola.Prison for young offenders. They bragged they had the meanest dogs in the country. These were used to track our runners! These were vicious animals!!!! ask our fullback if he's still alive. I do know his name!!! And others.

Governor, Please forgive me for such a long letter, but I feel you should know I still don't trust any of them, already I have been told a lie, in this investigation. I feel I'm speaking to the right person now, you seem to be a caring person on this issue. I also voted for you!!! Why was I not contacted back????? I already know why!!! Daffy Duck could figure that out!!!!! These people are not doing what you ordered!!!!! I also know that TIDWELL'S lawyer has asked for dismissal of action due to statue of limitation's , If he manages to pull this off, I will be in his county the next day, to swear out a warrant for attempted murder on me. I don't believe there's a statue on this crime on a child!!!!!!!!

I don't care if he's 84 or 104 he should be punished!!!!! I was always to afraid to go to anybody with these stories, that people would think I was crazy or lying! I'm now 63 and have a good memory on most issues !!! I'm not out for monetary gain, I seek some kind of peace in this matter before I die. I went on with life and retired at 41 and am doing just fine on my funds. I have suffered anger problems since this happened to me, have been arrested for out of control actions on my behalf several times. I had to go to anger management last year at my age, sad right?????

I have been treated for years by meds for these actions, I'm on medicine now called Lexpro and have been doing real good on it. Please don't let these things happen to our children ever again! You have my permission to inform TIDWELL'S lawyer I'll see him in court one way or the other!!!! I know that from the beating I took that some boys would not be able to live through it, it's only common sense, I went into shock within minutes, so I know some could not make it, I almost didn't, and I am only one of many. Any marked grave on that property is more than likely legit. The ones with no markings is what they should be looking for!!!!!!!

Thank You for Your Concerns on This Issue.

Signed: Jerry Cooper