Mount St. Joseph University

Professor Elizabeth Murray’s Newest Work Praised in Kirkus Reviews

Academics, Biology, School of Behavioral & Natural Sciences, Department of Biology

By: London Bishop

File Under: biology, book review, forensic anthropology, forensic science

Professor Beth Murray, Ph.D., has received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews Magazine for her nonfiction book, The Dozier School for Boys. According to their website, the Kirkus Star is one of the most prestigious designations in the book industry given to works of exceptional literary merit.

The Dozier School for Boys tells the story of the Florida State Reform School and the tortures inflicted upon the boys detained there. A place originally founded as a juvenile corrections facility in 1900, the punishments inflicted upon the boys placed in the care of the school ran the gamut of hard labor, forced malnutrition, physical violence, and – some claim – even murder. The school was racially segregated until 1968, and punishments were particularly severe for African-American children. Operating almost entirely without supervision into the 21st century, questions were raised about the number of unmarked graves on the campus of the school after its closure in 2011. Dr. Murray brings her considerable skills as a forensic anthropologist to bear on the workings of this book, unraveling the mysteries of the Dozier School and the children who died there.

Kirkus Reviews describes the work as: “A grim, harrowing, and important read with insights into the troubled juvenile justice system.”

Read the full review on Kirkus Reviews.

Dr. Murray is a professor in the Department of Biology and teaches courses in anatomy and physiology, gross anatomy, and forensic science. Dr. Murray is one of only approximately 60 board-certified forensic anthropologists in North America and has assisted in both forensic and historic skeletal investigations on the local, regional, national, and international levels since 1986.

The Dozier School for Boys will be published on September 3, 2019.