Behind Closed Doors
The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee
A documentary produced by Allyson A. Beutke

Professor Sigmund Diettrich

On January 19, 1959, investigators summoned geography professor Sigmund Diettrich (photo at right) to the Manor Motel in Gainesville, Florida. Soon after, he was fired from his job and lost the life he loved at the University of Florida. He attempted suicide the same day he was let go from U.F. Hundreds of other professors and students across the state were also terminated or expelled because of their sexual preferences.

Why is this important?

Charley Johns

Behind Closed Doors is a documentary produced by Allyson A. Beutke, a graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. It has aired on PBS stations in Florida and is available for purchase. Email for ordering information.

The documentary has received a Louis Wolfson Media History Center Film and Video Award. Behind Closed Doorsreceived an honorable mention in the Archival Productions category, and the film was honored an the annual awards ceremony in Miami Beach in May 2001.

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Copyright 1999 by Allyson Beutke. All rights reserved. No original portion of this document shall be reproduced without the written consent of the author.