WUFT News

Chief investigator Spencer Mann retires, reflects on career

By on April 10th, 2013
Mann_Spencer-web-1

Office of the State Attorney

Spencer Mann, chief investigator for the State Attorney’s office 8th Judicial Circuit, is retiring after many years of law enforcement service.

His job included investigating a variety of subjects, Mann said, including everything from “a college football player to murder and everything in between.”

Perhaps the most notorious case Mann ever covered was the Danny Rolling murders.

Before the case files and the tragedy, Mann recalled that it was an exciting time in Gainesville. The University of Florida had a brand new university president, John Lombardi, and Steve Spurrier was heading the Florida Gators football team.

“Things were kind of on a high, and then all of a sudden the first discovery of the murders occurred,” Mann said. “Over a three-day period, a total of five kids were found murdered in their apartments.”

Mann said within days, the city was “gripped in fear.”

Residents and students were scared. Thousands of parents were worried.

“People were pretty glued to the situation at the time,” Mann said.

Mann reflected on better memories, including finding Alzheimer’s patients and missing children.

He said he still remembers one incident from about 20 years ago.

It was a cold, dark night and a young boy wandered off, following the family dog out into the woods. His parents lost sight of him. He wasn’t wearing a jacket.

Mann said he mobilized about 300 people for around two hours, scouring the forest for the child, and soon found him.

Recently, at a local bank, Mann said a man recognized him from that night and asked him if he remembered the incident.

“I said, ‘Yeah sure I do, were you one of the volunteers?’” Mann said. “He says, ‘No, that was my son. . . You helped me that night. . . I just want to thank you again for all that you did.’”

Mann said helping people feels good, even 20 years later. He said people sometimes stop him at grocery stores and around town, thanking him for his service.

“I’m very appreciative of all the comments that people have said over the years,” Mann said. “To me it’s been a great ride. I’ve enjoyed it fully.”

Mann will be leaving the State Attorney’s office within the next week. His position will be taken over by investigator Darry Lloyd.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Apr. 23, 2014: Afternoon News In 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


Hoax 911 Call Causes Lockdown at Columbia High School

A lockdown at Columbia High School occurred after a hoax 911 call was received stating another student brought a weapon to the school.


Clay County has hired First Amendment lawyer Michael Kahn to rewrite an unconstitutional adult entertainment ordinance. The current ordinance bans adult entertainment businesses in the county.

Clay County Hires Lawyer to Rewrite Unconstitutional Adult Entertainment Ordinance

Clay County officials have hired a First Amendment lawyer to rewrite what they call an unconstitutional ordinance concerning adult entertainment businesses. The proposed ordinance would apply only to the county’s unincorporated areas, which make up over half the county.


Putnam County is preparing for the possibility of stopping service of its only local public transportation service, Ride Solution, due to the state cutting funds. These changes are effective May 1.

How Budgets Cuts Are Affecting Putnam County Public Transportation

Putnam County’s only public transportation system is in danger. Putnam County officials are fighting to save the bus service that provides much-needed rides to doctor’s offices, grocery stores and more.


Evergreen sign

Gainesville Cemetery Recognized as Historical Landmark

Gainesville’s Evergreen Cemetery, which has been active for 158 years and houses more than 10,000 graves, received the State of Florida Historical Marker on April 12.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments