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

University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

State park managers have said they will be buying or trading land in Marion, Palm Beach, and Jackson counties. This is to fill the gaps of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a recreational outdoor area that spans 110 [...]


The charred remains of a Levy County home are all that remain following a fire that killed two people early Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014. (Virginia Hamrick/WUFT News)

Two People Die in Levy County Home Fire

Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning.  Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at [...]


George Young, former owner of Mom's Kitchen, a local soul-food restaurant and gathering place, talks about the memories of the cultural landmark following its demolition.

Residents Collect Memories of Mom’s Kitchen

  Gainesville is saying goodbye to a neighborhood treasure following the demolition of the historic restaurant that served as a soul food and entertainment center for decades. Mom’s Kitchen, which was owned and operated by George Young and his family [...]


Claudia Aguilar, the mother of slain University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, cries with family in the family's private room at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center following the guilty verdict of Pedro Bravo Friday, August 15, 2014.  Bravo was found guilty of first degree murder. (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pictures: Pedro Bravo Guilty Verdict


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments