In a cemetery on the outskirts of Philadelphia, a group of police troopers and scientists gather round a grave. They’re on the hunt for clues to a sinister mystery that started more than 1,000 miles away. Slowly, they prize open the lid of a coffin sealed almost a century before – but what they find will raise more questions than it answers.
In October 2014 a team of forensic anthropologists based at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, began excavations at the Old Cathedral Cemetery in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their aim was to exhume the body of Thomas Curry, a young boy who died in 1925.
Erin Kimmerle, head of the research team, hoped that Curry’s remains could shed some light on the events that occurred at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida, where he had been a student up until the time of his death. For more than 100 years, the facility has been at the heart of a sinister saga of abuse and neglect.