FLORIDA STATE HOSPITAL
HERMAN LEE ALLEN - Patient in the White Male Department
Testimony was submitted in writing and presented to John Parker, Committee Aide.
1. On Sunday, April 13, 1955, I witnessed an attendant stamp on the chest of a patient named Harper who coughed up blood and three days later died.
2. I have witnessed the guards of this building (Jail House) take advantage of patients.
3. Four or more Guards put hand cuffs on patient Edward Starck and take him from his cell. They choked, kicked and beat him in the kidney until the patient passed out.
4. Such treatment (as described in 3 above) has placed the patients in the jail under such a mental strain that a number of patients would rather be dead than to be locked up behind bars in constant fear of the guards beating them any time they so desire.
5. Some of the patients have tried to take the easy way out by hanging themselves. Only two of the patients that I know of have made a good job of it. One patient hung himself February 2, 1960, and another took his life by hanging in the morning of Sunday, January 1, 1961.
6. 1 can assure you what I have said here is nothing but the truth, and can verify it if you wish to speak with me later.
7. I am a patient here in the Jail House of Chattahoochee, Florida State Hospital.
Mrs. Elizabeth Beard - Patient in white Female Department
1. Mrs. Beard stated that she is on the best ward and is receiving fairly good treatment.
2. Patient Beard stated that there is no progress check made on the patients and that she doesn1t know when she will get out.
3. The food in the hospital is terrible. Bone stew is served several times a week. A lot of patients buy their food on the outside to supplement the hospital food.
4. Patient Beard has seen attendants take packages from patients at Xmas time. They go through the packages and take whatever they want and give the rest to the patients.
5. The patients are not given proper medical treatment.
6. There is no segregation on the wards.
7. If the patients refuse to take their medicine, it is forced on them or they are sent to Ward 30.
NORTON BENNETT - Patient in the Colored Male Department
1. Patient (n. n.) has seen another patient beaten.
2. Attendants beat patients with a broom stick.
3. If some of the "bad-off" patients act up, all other patients are made to surfer,
4. Some attendants have snuggled narcotics in to patients.
5. Patient claims he saw attendant Cut Jackson charge patients money for such drugs.
RUTH BOWEN - Patient in White Female Department
Testimony: 1. Patient Bowen has been in and out of the hospital seven times.
2. Patient Bowen has seen the attendants bump the patients heads on the concrete floor to quite them off. This happened in 1955.
3. Patient Bowen stated that there has been no mistreatment lately. She has always been treated well in the hospital.
4. This patient has been out under the Social Service plan. She went to live with one family, the Halls, and had to leave because Mr. Hall was always trying to get in bed with her while his wife was at work. Also, they did not pay her for the work she did around the house. From there she went to several more families and they worked her hard and did not pay her.
5. Patient Bowen states that they are bad at the hospital about threatening the patients with shock treatments.
6. Dr. Clark has told patient that she could go live with her sister in Miami if her sister would come for her.
MARCUS CLANTON - Patient in the white Male Department
The following statement was delivered in writing to Mr. John J. Parker, Committee Aide.
"I hereby swear that on July 21, 1957, Burl Lacklin took out a pistol and said to some of the attendants why didn't they let me run so that he could shoot me. I was on the Back Ward down on the yard at the time and run away."
SILVIC CASSI - Patient in the white Male Department
The following statement was delivered in writing to Mr. John J. Parker, Committee Aide
I, Silvio Cassi, solemnly swear that the following statement is true:
"During the month of November, 195a, while in Ward a, I was massaging an attendants head and when supervisor Johnson appeared, he gave orders that there was to be no more massaging done on the wards I told Mr. Johnson that he must of gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. One word drew another and ended up in his dragging me before the television and choking me out.
'On three other occasions, I was choked out. Once beaten by head attend-ant of Ward a, Mr.,. Tyus and then Mr. Westly choked me out.
A second choking was by Mr. Williams and a third one by Mr. Hamilton. 'This statement written on February 27, 1961, by Silvio Cassi, Ward I."
SAMUEL DAVID GROSSMAN - Patient in Maximum Security Building
1. Grossman was in the cell next to Red Stinson when the boy hung himself. Grossman stated that patient Stinson was sick with a cold and began crying with a stomach ache. The attendants paid him no attention. Patient Grossman stated that he had heard several attempted suicides and successful suicides and this one of Stinson's was very quite. He stated that patient Stinson was more killed than he was hung.
2. Patient Grossman stated that he was so doped up he hardly could talk with us.
JOAN GRIFFITH - Patient in White Female Department
Testimony: 1. Patient stated that she has been treated very well.
2. Patient was on Ward 30 and saw no mistreatment there.
3. Patient is 28 years of age and has been in F. S. H. Since 9-4-59.
4. Patient stated that the doctors never see patients and parents together. Each puts the blame on the other for her not being taken out on trial visit.
JOHN EPRIGHT - Patient in the white Male Department
1. Patient (J. E.) has been at Florida State Hospital for 4 years and is not a charge patient9
2. Patient Frank Gill was beaten by attendant Joe Stevens. In 1958, attendant Ed. Barfield tormented patient Frank Gill and attendant Stevens jumped on Gill1s stomach.
3. In 1958, attendants Joe Stevens and Buckhalter kicked and beat a patient until his collar bone was broken.
4. Ed. Barfield is a wicked man. Patient (J. E.P saw Barfield draw a knife on another attendant named Croft.
5. Croft stole goods from patients ($6.00)
6. In speaking to the Committee Aide, patient stated he was doped-up.
7. Patient stated the attendants make patients have homosexual relations.
8. Patients are not allowed to go to the bathroom after 11:30 P. M.
9. Attendant Harris on Ward 3X practices mental torture on patients.
10. In November 1960, patient Ellis Green in Ward 3 was put in a strait Jacket and attendants Charley Jones and Lewis beat and choked hint.
11. Attendants Lewis and others beat Jack Massey on Ward 2.
12. Attendant C. Jones beat patient Arthur Robertson, and ~ anti was broken.
13. Ellis Green and Norris witnessed attendant Harris put a patient called "Cannon Ball" who had a heart attack in a cold shower. Robert Norris helped clean up Cannon Ball who died about a month ago. (Approximately in January, 1961)
14. Patient Tom Golden died of starvation in ward 7. He did not eat from Monday till the next Sunday morning at 5:30. Attendant Shedde did not get treatment for this man.
15. Attendant Nanny Lewis choked patient Jeff Stevenson unconscious.
DELBERT EVANS - Former Patient of Florida State Hospital who now resides at 9715 Nebraska Avenue, Tampa 4, Florida.
In A letter addressed to Representative S. Chesterfield Smith, the following testimony was given:
1. I have spent nearly two years at Florida State Hospital, not as a patient but as a victim. Mr. Smith, the authorities can do any-thing under the guise of treatment no matter how inhuman.
2. I, personally, have seen patients being given shock treatment and packed in ice, or put in steel hand cuffs for six months at a time, not for treatment but because these men tried to escape or did escape.
3. Men are put on the squad and kept there from two weeks to a year. That is where most of the beatings and brutal treatment occurs. Ask any patient at the hospital - he can tell you how he fears the squad.
4. The food is awful. The employees get the best, what is left the patients get, mostly; stew for dinner, powered eggs for breakfast and prunes for supper.
5. Every able person is required to work at Florida State Hospital. If a man does not work, he must wear overalls which sets hint apart in a law status with the authorities. The so called "house men" get a pair of pants to wear and a white shirt. House men make all the beds and do all the cleaning. Those who wear overalls can not go to movies, to dances or eat with the other men. No man at the, hospital works to soothe his nerves.
6. Two men hung themselves last year. Also, do you know about all of the self mutilations the authorities try to hush up? Joseph Huston who was supposed to have hung himself last year certainly died under mysterious conditions.
LAWRENCE HAMMONDS - Patient in the Colored Male Department
1. Patient is an alcoholic and has been confined at Florida State Hospital for four years. It is difficult to say that this is a hospital for the mentally ill. He (L. H.) has seen patients mistreated, although he has managed to get along fairly well himself
2. Attendant Charles Pittman made patient Charley Lee Golay sit down by him, and when patient Golay indicated he did not want to sit down by attendant Pittman, attendants slapped Golay, who fell against the table and cut himself. The attendants reported that patient Golay had a convulsion and "fell-out".
3. Attendants Roy Cook, Josh Green and Arthur Chumney at the Laundry hit patients working there with sticks. Patient James Wise has been hit any number of times. It seems that they pick on the bad-off patients.
4. Some of the patients who work in the laundry go barefooted in the winter time and are without sufficient clothe3.
5. Patients are not properly treated. At the receiving hospital, the patients are slapped around.
6. Attendant Murray beat patient (L. H.) in the receiving hospital when patient was first admitted to the hospital.7. Patient Lawrence Harmonds witnessed the following patients being "choked-out" by attendants:
a. Patient Charley Lee Golay by attendant Leonard Jackson
b. Patient Norton Bennett by attendant John Saunders, and
c. An incompetent patient James Wise by attendant Samuel Porter.
8. Attendant LeRoy Gamble, attendant, stole $2.00 from a very bad off patient and threatened patient Lawrence Hammonds that he would beat him if he told the bosses about this.
REED HATTON - Patient in the White Male Department
Testimony: 1.Patient (R. H.) was agitated and cussed by attendant Fred Barrentine and consequently, patient threw coffee and milk on said attendant. Because of this, patient was beaten and put in a strip cell on a rubber mattress for 30 days.
2. Patient was beaten by attendant Barrentine while attendants Hiers and George Johnson held him.
3. Patient has been in the maximum security building seven out of the eight years he has been in the hospital.
4. In an attempt to break out of the security building, patient jumped from the second floor and broke both of his legs. While he was in the hospital, he was forced to wear steel cuffs the entire time.
5. Patient states he seldom sees a doctor. He went two years without seeing a doctor prior to the time he broke his leg.
6. Patient has witnessed the beating of other patients. A patient Donald Duncan while in the maximum security ward was forcibly shaved-and cut by attendant Reuban Dunnaway. Patient Duncan was also beaten and "choked out". Attendant Bowen helped beat Duncan.
7.. Patient (R. H.) reported his dictionary was stolen from him.
GUY W. HOAGLAND - Former patient at Florida State Hospital
Mr. Hoagland made the following claims to John F. Kennedy, President of the United States in personal correspondence to March 2, 1961.
1. Nowhere have I experienced or seen more abominable living conditions than those that exist in the back wards of the Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida.
2. Present inmates have indicated to me that the same sub-Hunan conditions are still existent.3. Beatings of inmates by attendants occur daily.
4. No positive medical rehabilitation program exists.
5. Doctors make no ward rounds.
6. Food is nutritionally inadequate, prepared and served amidst filth.
7. Long-time inmates seriously suffer from malnutrition.
8. Inmates are held in solitary confinement for years at a time.
9. My release was secured by my expenditure of $l,500 in attorneys fees.
10. Patients less fortunate spend wasted lifetimes awaiting release through normal channels which are blocked by red tape between the Hospital and Courts.
11. Past investigations by politicians and newspaper men were fruitless because they never extended to the back wards.
12. This institution violates two Federal laws:
(a) The Postal Regulation pertaining to mailing privileges of inmates in state institutions, and the Social. Security Directive.
(b) The former infraction occurs in that inmates' letters, even though stamped, are not mailed. The latter violation bears investigation in that Social Security checks, though not applied nor endorsed by the payee, are being credited to the Institution's funds.
13. My own experience in this Hospital leads me to believe that graft in its administration is widespread.
KENNETH HOLLOWAY - Patient White Male Department
Testimony: I. Patient has been beaten on the squad. June 1959, patient Holloway was playing around with another patient. The other patient hit Holloway and Holloway started to hit him back. Attendants McDaniels, Pitts, and Todd grabbed patient Holloway and beat him and choked him out. Then patient Holloway stated that he was strapped upside down from the bars for one hour. Patients Charles Smith and Donald Duncan can verify this.
2. Patient Holloway stated that he was beaten by attendant Tipton who accused him of playing dice with two other patients, Charles Calhoun and Dan Stevens. Attendant Tipton hit him in the chest.
3. Patient Holloway stated that he had seen numerous patients beaten. One of these patients Robert Golden was strapped to the bed. Attendants Chason and Robert Peacock beat him while in this position and jumped up and down in his stomach. Raymond Bennett, patient, was also beaten. It seems that the men who are attendants pick on Raymond Bennett and tease him.
4. Patient has been at F. S. H. since he was 16 years of age. He is there on an attempted murder charge. Since being at the hospital he has been caught with a home made bomb and another time with a piece of metal from a pencil sharpener.
5. Patient Holloway states that the food is terrible.
NORMAN IVES - Patient in the hospital section of Florida State Hospital.
1. Patient Ives stated that he would go to court or anything necessary to straighten out the mess at F. S. H.
2. Patient Ives stated that he was railroaded to F. St H. by his wife.
3. Patient Ives was sent to Ward 2 in Sept., 1959. He did not see a doctor at all until he became ill. Then he was sent to the T. B. Hospital Ward. From there was transferred to the hospital. Patient stated that the doctors want to do surgery but he will not consent to it. Patient Ives states that he has a 40% nerve deficiency and could not live through the operation.
4. Over in the White Male Department, no sort of progress check or reports are kept on the patients.
5. Patient Ives stated that he saw attendants mishandle and abuse patients in the back yards.
6. There is no segregation on the back wards.
7. The attendants are inefficient, incompetent and do not know or care how they handle the patients.
8. There is no inducement whatsoever for a patient to get better.
9. The food is terrible at F. S. H. You would not feed some of it to your dogs.
10. Patients Ives stated that he had a cake, plastic cup, plastic spoon, shaving lotion and powder stolen from him when he was transferred from receiving to Ward 2.
11. Patient Ives stated that he was not allowed to take a bible on the Ward with him.
12. Patient Ives stated that Dr. Ackerman told him there was nothing
wrong with him mentally.
WILLIAM MCCOY - Patient in White Male Department
1. Patient has passed staff.
2. On 12-18 or 12-20 there was a beating administered to patient Jack Massey my attendants Brogdon and Hamilton. Two days later this happened again. Patient Massey was in cuffs. Van Croft, attendant, was fired for this beating. Patient McCoy stated that eroft did not do the beating. Hamilton held patient Massey and attendant Brogdon beat him until the blood spattered. Then he was stomped in the stomach. While attendant Van Croft was in the office relating what had happened, the attendants Brogdon and Hamilton planned what they would tell the Supervisors.
3. Joseph Craig, attendant, was told by Dean and Locklin that the attendants could beat the patients on the Squad as much as they wanted to.
4. Attendants Duce and Mills choked patient Johnny Dees out with a towel.
5. Attendants Todd Waldon and Kirkland stomped patient J. Dees until
his intestines ran out at least 3 inches. This beating was administered
because patient Dees spit at these two attendants. Dees is an epileptic
and does not know what he is doing.
JACK MASSEY - Patient in the White Male Department
1. Patient stated there is nothing wrong at Florida State Hospital, and that he has never been beaten.
(In testimony before the committee aide and secretary, Attendant Burl Locklin brought forth a record of an attendant Van Croft beating said patient Jack Massey and the record also showed that attendant Croft had been discharged on 1-12-59 for working over Jack Massey)
1.patient (C. L. a.) has been choked-out by attendants Julias Warren, Sheily Foster and Charlie Pittinen.
2. patient states he was beaten with fists and a broon handle, and patient still has a scar from this beating. (Beating occurred in May, 1960).
3. Attendant Solomon Jones, who is no longer employed by the hospital, beat patient William Miles Jr. (Attendant Jones was fired for stealing hogs in the city of Chattahoochee.)
4. Attendant Daniel White on the 7 A. M. to 3 P. H. shirt will testify to the Committee.
BILLY MORRISON - Patient in the white Male Department
I. Patient states that he has been beaten and choked out until blood ran from his eyes, nose and ears. This beating took place several months ago and was administered by attendant Powell in Ward 9.
2. Attendant Segers in Ward 9 beat, choked out and cuffed and shackled patient (B. M.).
3. Patient (B.M.) also was beaten by attendant Earl Tyus.
4. Attendant Harley Shelfer beat patient (B. M.) which was witnessed by patient Bert Herndon, Floyd June, and Mr. Yaeger.
5. Patient is willing to testify before the committee.
RAYMOND BENNETT - Patient in the white Male Department
1. Patient is an epileptic.
.2. Pateint (R. B.) has been beaten by attendant Earl Tyus.
3. Attendant Earl Tyus constantly picks at patients.
4. Attendant Earl Tyus stole a jar of coffee and 8 pkgs. of cigarettes from patient (R.B.)
5. Attendant Peacock is also in the habit of picking on patients
ROBERT NELSON - Patient in the White Male Department
1. Attendants Homer Barrentine, Todd Waldren and others aggravate patient (Robert Nelson) on purpose by calling him "Claw hammer".
2. Attendants tease the epileptics.
3. Patient (a. N.) has told the attendants how he feels about their reference to him as "Claw hammer", but they continue to call him by that nick-name.
4. Patient (a. N.) has been beaten by attendants when he was on wards 8 and 9, and while on the "squad", attendants hit patient (n. N.) in the stomach with elbows, knees and fists.
5. Attendant Earl Tyus and others kick the patients.
6. Attendant Earl Tyus also teases the patients.
7. Patient (R. N.) was beaten by Howard Powell and William Powell, attendants.
8. Patient's wallet and wrist watch was taken from him.
9. Patient (a. N. ) was also beaten by attendant Hobbs'.
10. Patient's glasses were stomped and broken by one of the attendants (patient claims he does not know the attendant's name). Patient (a. N.) states he should be wearing glasses but is not able to get any.
(Observation:. It is obvious that patient Robert Nelson has difficulty seeing.)
11. Patient (R. N.) states that he mails letters to his sister, but
she does not receive them.
FRANCES NEWMAN - Patient in White Female Department
I. Patient has never been mistreated. She has been at F. S. H. 3 years.
Patient Newman is 20 years of age.
2. Patient stated that she is being given medical treatment at the hospital.
W.0. NORRIS - Patient in the white Male Department
1. Patient W, 0. Norris has been at Florida State Hospital for six years, has had four discharges and feels he has no hope of ever being returned to society.
2. Patient's major objection is the hospital's custom of mixing criminals in with other patients,
3. Patient (w. 0. N.) has never seen any beatings, but has witnessed patients being "choked-out".
4. Patient states that the help is not up to standards,
5. Patient feels the hospital has helped him and saved his life, and now would like to be released.
6. Doctors do not check on patients as they should. No progress re-. ports are made and there is no segregation among the patients,
7. Patients often bring hardships on themselves by not trying to cooperate.
8. Some of the attendants in the White Male Department tease patients unmercifully.
9. Attendant Rose Buckhalter teases Frog Anderson, patient,
10. Nurses never go through the wards,
11. The main medicine here is milk of magnesia and cascarra,
12. Patients go out doors regularly in the summer time but never in the winter, not even on warm sunshiny days.
13. Patients do not get to go to the "dope stand" as often as they should,
14, The food could be improved; it is mostly starchy, Bone stew with no meat in it is served real often, The roast beef is usually so tough, you can hardly chew it, Patient claims he would rather have one good meal a day than three of the kind they are getting.
NORMAN FRANK PIERCE - Patient in the white Male Department
1. Patient Walter Ramsey was beaten by an attendant.
2. Attendant Brooks beat patient N. Pierce.
3. Raymond Bennett was beaten by attendant Earl Tyus, which was witnessed by patients Sandy Terry and Bert Herndon.
4. Patient (N. F. P.) states that he will be willing to testify before the full Committee.
5. Attendant Otis Edenfield beat patient Troy Lee Elliott.
6. Attendant Eddie Horton choked patient Billy Morrison unconscious.
7. Patient Mario Garcia was beaten by attendants J. 0. Baily, Otis Edenfield and Eddie Horton.
8. In November, 1960, patient Jack ~ witnessed attendant Todd "choking-out" patient N. F. Pierce.
9. When patient (N. F. p.) was on the "Squad" he had to sit on benches all day and ~£ any of the patients got up, they were knocked down.
10. Patients can not lay on the beds during the day.
11. Attendant Earl Tyus comes to work drunk and takes it out on the patients.
12. Attendant Eddie Hotrod beat William Firhger, a patient, which was witnessed by me (N. F. P.).
13. Attendant Earl 7ytis steals groceries from patients.
14. Patient (N. F. r.) does not receive any font of medication.
15. Supervisor of the White Male Department, Mr. Dean and Assistant
Supervisor, Berl Locklin, will not cooperate with the patients.
WARREN JACK RABY - Patient in white Male Department.
1. Patient Raby has never been personally mistreated. He has seen some beatings some time ago. Attendant Stewart was one who beat up patients.
2. The patients at F. S. H. need more medical attention.
3. Attendants we might talk with are: R. C. Poole, 100 Pine St., Chattahoochee,
Fla.; James Duffell, Chattahoochee, Florida;
ANNETTA J. REYNOLDS - Patient in the White Fentale Ward
1. Patient (A. J. a.) states that she has been at Florida State Hospital since June 22, 1960.
2. Patient has a severe case of asthma. One night during an asthma attack, the attendants refused to give her water. So, she got up to get some water and was told to get back to bed which she did9 A little later she tried to get some water, and this time they (the attendants) shoved her on the bed arid strapped her to it. The straps were so tight they cut into her stomach. Mrs. Roberts was one of the nurses taking part in this act.
3. There is too much cruelty at Florida State Hospital.
On another occasion, patient (A. J. a.) was thrown in a cage on Ward 30 and her clothes were ripped off her. Patient was left naked all night in the cage which had nothing on the bare concrete floor. It was a cold night and she could not sleep.
5. Another time her husband took her to town and upon her return to the Hospital, she was strapped to a rocking chair by Mrs. Raines and Eva Howard.
6. If patients refuse to take their medicine, it is forced down their throats.
7. Other bad attendants are Mrs. Branch, Mrs. Eunice Stevens, Mrs. Merle Roberts, and Miss E. Blount.
In a letter addressed to Representative Chesterfield Smith dated January
1961, the above patients husband, George T. Reynolds, complained that
his wife is not receiving proper medical attention (She is suffering from
asthma). Also he stated that his wife was strapped to a table with two
inch straps during an asthma attack.
PAUL SCHOMPERT -- Patient in the White Male Department
1. Patient Schompert has never been beaten himself.
2. Conditions at the hospital are terrible, it is worse than Raiford. The blankets are filthy; dining hall and food are terrible; attendants ''choke out'' patients; no therapy or recreation is given; no patient ever sees a doctor unless the patient has relatives on the outside who push this; patients have athletics foot and ringworm. Patients on the squad get the worse treatment; Wards 8 and 9 are bad about beating patients. Dr. Gumanis threatened patients.
3. Attendants take packages sent to patients, patients never receive the contents of packages. Attendant Earl Tyus takes packages from patients and also comes to work drunk.
4. In an escape attempt a patient hit one of the attendants in the head with a fire hose nozzle. The attendants blamed Patient Schompert with giving the nozzle to the patient who attempted to escape Schompert swears he did not do this. Patient Schompert was put in the Maximum Security Ward for seven months. During this time Dr. Gumanis threatened the patient (P.S.) with never getting out of the criminal building.
5. While in the Maximum Security Building, Patient Bruce McGero hanged himself. Patient Schompert stated that the doctor and attendants should have known this was going to happen because McGero said he just could not stand the Maximum Security Building. Patient Schompert believes this could have been prevented and that it is criminal neglect.
6. There is a 75-year old patient named Lindley in the Maximum Security Building who is "cussed out" every night by Attendant Charlie Pilcner and Attendant Dunaway.
7. There is a boy in Maximum Security who burns himself every time he is given a cigarette. Then he is put in solitary and made to do without cigarettes. But as soon as he is taken out of solitary, the attendants give him cigarettes again so that he may do the same thing again.
8. While Patient Schompert was in Maximum Security he developed a terrible stomach ache. He was sent to Dr. Gumanis who didn't examine him but told him he Was faking to get out of the Maximum Security Building. The doctor gave him an aspirin and sent him back. Patient Schompert walked the floor all night in pain, the next morning he Was taken to the hospital where he remained for two weeks. The bed Was not changed while he Was there; patients are forced to empty their own bed pans and the patients from Maximum Security are forced to Wear steel cuffs in the hospital. One patient had both legs broken and Was weighted down; however, he still had to Wear the steel cuffs. He lay there six months in this condition.
9. Patient Schompert Was taken to Dr. Gereldie with a boil. The doctor lanced the boil without giving the patient any anesthesia and laughed when the patient screamed.
CHARLES SMITH - Patient in the white Male Department
1. Patient Charles Smith claims he had not seen patient Ken Holloway beaten and had not heard of patient Hollow being hung by his feet from bars.
2. Attendants Leroy Tyndall and Peacock beat patient Billy Morrison on Ward 8. Said attendants placed a newspaper over patient Billy Morrison1 S face to wake him up. when he awoke they choked and jumped on him. At the time of this beating patients wrists were secure with steel cuffs. when periodically patient Billy Morrison went into convulsions these attendants beat and choked him.
3, When Raymond Bennett, patient, was in a convulsion, he was strapped to the bed and beaten.
4. Attendants do not call for a Doctor when a patient goes into a convulsion.
5. Attendants do not care what happens on the wards.
6. In 1959 James Broglin, attendant, beat patient Charles Smith and kicked and beat patient Robert Horton.
7. The food in Florida State Hospital is terrible.
8. Patients are given very little medical attention. Dr. Char comes up to the wards about once a week. Prior to the time Dr. Char was employed by the hospital, Dr. Gumanis went through the wards about one time each 6 months.
9. Patient stated that he is not a charge patient.
10. There is no segregation of any kind on the wards.
11. Attendant Joe Medley, Ward 9, takes packages from patients.
PHILLIP "Sandy" TERRY Patient in the White Male Departinent
1. I have been in Florida State Hospital for 4 years.
2. Food has improved since the articles appeared in the Tribune.
3. Dixon, a dietician is stealing food.
4. The "squad" existed on the back end of Ward 8.
5. I have never received medical attention.
6. Attendants steal money from the patients' mail.
7. Attendant Peacock uses lighted cigarettes or cigars to wake patients at 2 or 3 in the morning.
8. Patient Charles Williams was beaten terribly.
9. Patient Pedro Lasante was also beaten.
10. Patient James Gomez was beaten.
SAMUEL THOMPSON - Patient in the White Male Department
1. Patient Samuel Thompson says he has been at Florida State Hospital for 15 years.
2. patient stated that there is truth in the charges of brutality to patients by attendants.3. Attendant Rose Buckhalter pushed one patients dawn the steps.
4. Attendant Pilcher who has an awful big head beat one patient.
5. Attendant Rufus Alfred Allen Right volunteer information to the Committee. His father Tommy Allen an employee in the barber shop can tell you how to get in touch with Rufus.
6. Since Dr. Rogers has been superintendent of the Hospital, there has been a lot of brutality.
7. When investigators and inspectors are expected, the wards and food
are dressed up prior to their visit.
ROBERT WEISS - Patient in the white Male Department
1.Patient (R. W0) request that Dr. DeHart Krans, Tallahassee, be contacted about the condition of this patient.
2. Patient claims he has tried to cooperate, and therefore has not been beaten.
3. There is no Segregation among the patients.
4. Patients have no chance of being released from Florida State Hospital unless they have a good lawyer or parents to help them.
5. Patient requested that committee check with Ruth Bowen in the white Female Department.
6. Patients are not given any opportunity to show initiative at hospital.
7. Patients are not given occupational therapy.
Excerpt from a letter by patient Robert Weiss to representative
S.Chesterfield Smith dated December 24, 1960.
"I was committed on October 11, 1957, as being mentally incompetent at that time. I was admitted to the State Hospital in Chattahoochee November 6, 1957. Since that time, my parents, attorney and myself have met with constant procrastination. Dr. Gumanis, has admitted that despite his continuous recommendations to Dr. O'Connor (Clinical Director) that I be staffed and returned to court, he (O'connor) refused each time. Finally, thru pressure by my attorneys, I was staffed November 11, 1960. Despite this, the hospital again refused to return me to court. My parents through my attorney retained Dr. DeHart Krans (Tall.) who on November 3, 1959, found me to be completely lucid. A complete report on his findings can be substantiated by my attorney. (William Holland - Winter Haven). Mr. Holland, on my recommendation, retained Sen. Marion B. Knight of Blountstown Feb. 23/60 to get the hospital to release me. Still not getting results, I sent a petition for a writ of Habeus Corpus to Justice Glenn Terrell, Sup. Court of Fla. on August 2/60 contending procrastination on the part of the hospital He in turn forwarded same.
(ROBERT WEISS #2 - Patient)
to Chief Justice Elwyn Thomas who advised me to consult an attorney. My attorney assured me that every possible action was being exerted to secure my release. With the prospect of spending my fourth Christmas here, (which subsequently has come to pass) I wrote to Judge R. H. Amidon, Criminal Court of Record, Bartow, from which Court I was committed. He advised me (Nov. 29/60) that there was nothing the Court could do in the matter. The charges pending here cannot and will not be summarily dismissed." Thus-procrastination continues. There are many here who can substantiate the fact concerning continuos procrastination on the part of the hospital. I would welcome an interview with you or any others concerned. May I suggest that you consult my parents, attorney and others mentioned here."
SAMMY WESTBERRY -- Patient in the Maximum Security Building
1. Patient Westberry has been at Florida State Hospital for eleven years.
2. A 65-year old Greek man came to the hospital in 1947 and Was given a hard time the entire time he was there; once he Was given a cold bath, was beaten and "choked out."
3. At approximately 1:00 o'clock on the morning of October 9, 1956, Attendant George Johnson mistreated Patient Westberry in Ward 9. Patient Westberry hit Junior Lewis, Assistant Supervisor, and then Johnson and Lewis almost beat the patient to death.
4. Attendant Jack Dolan told Junior Lewis to kill patient Westberry. Both Dolan and Lewis choked patient (S.W.) and jumped up and down on his stomach. This took place in the Maximum Security Building and Was witnessed by Raymond Butler who is now at Raiford.
5. Patient (S.W.) stated that Florida State Hospital is no hospital. Attendant George Johnson and a few of the other attendants who mistreated the patients have been fired, but most of them are still there.
6. Bruce McGero, a patient, was told by doctors that he Would never get out of the hospital and he killed himself in the Maximum Security Ward.
7. Dr. O'Connell and several other doctors told Patient Westberry in a "round about way" that he could not get out. He stated that Dr. Gumanis is a sorry doctor; that he has heard him talk rough to patients. Patient Westberry has not been given any medication lately.
8. Dean is a sorry supervisor; he does not have the patients' welfare at heart.
9. Attendant Reuben Dunnaway is one of the Worse attendants; he has beaten the patient (S.W.). Attendant Turkey Bowen hit patient (S.W.) in the stomach. Attendant Duce is another who mistreats patients. Attendants Jeff Taylor and Grady Jones are two more sorry ones. Patient Donald Hogan Was beaten by Attendant Jeff Taylor; Patient Westberry witnessed this beating. A patient by the name of Griffin Was beaten by Attendant Barfleld. Attendant Earl Tyus not only beats patients but comes to work drunk. Attendants Jesse Gable, Locklin and Nigger Powell are also sorry attendants. Patients are made to sit on benches all day, and "choking out" is common at the hospital.
Excerpts from letter written by Patient Westberry to Mr. John Parker dated February 23, 1961:
"Raymond Butler can back me up on the other beating I received October 8, 1956, by Jack Dolan, and junior Lewis. Butler was a patient in the cell next to mine at the time. He's now in Raiford."
"Last Saturday, February 18th at about 8:00 p.m., a patient named Wilton
Stinson and usually called 'Red' by the other patients, killed himself
by hanging. . .that makes three patients who have killed themselves in
a little better than one year in the Maximum Security building."