Officer Tells About Discovery Of Body of Girl in Basement

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

Sergeant L. S. Dobbs, one of the policemen who answered Lee’s call to the factory, was put on the stand, after Lee was dismissed.

He told of the call at about 3:20 a. m. on April 27, and of how he and Officers Anderson and Brown, with “Boots” Rogers, an ex-county policeman, and Britt Craig, of The Constitution, went to the factory and found the body.

The officer declared, among other things, that Lee was not frightened or trembling when they got there, that they had difficulty in telling at first whether the girl was white or black, and that Lee had interrupted his reading of the note when he reached the word “night” by saying, “Boss, that’s me.”

Sergeant Dobbs went into detail about the cord around the girl’s neck, and also the torn piece of underclothing tied loosely around the neck over the cord. He declared that the rope and piece of cloth exhibited were very similar to those he saw that morning, but would not swear they were the identical ones.

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Sergeant Dobbs Resumes Stand At Tuesday Afternoon Session

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

Sergeant L. S. Dobbs took the stand again at the afternoon session.

“Did you help take the girl’s body from the basement?” Attorney Rosser questioned.

“I was there when the undertakers came,” answered the sergeant.

“Who cleaned the girl’s face?”

“Sergeant Brown, I believe.”

“How?”

“With a piece of paper.”

“How was the body removed?”

“In a corpse basket.”

Here the examination was taken up by the solicitor general.

“What is the distance from the ladder to the spot where the body was found?”

“About 150 feet.”

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Clash Comes Over Evidence Of Detective John Starnes

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

When Sergeant Dobbs was called from the stand Detective J. M. Starnes, prosecutor of Frank and a detective attached to police headquarters was called in. He has been associated with the solicitor general throughout the Phagan investigation.

The defense and prosecution clashed in perhaps their most spectacular battle over an attempt of Attorney Rosser to force the detective into recalling the exact words of a portion of his testimony at the coroner’s inquest.

An argument was advanced by both Attorneys Dorsey and Hooper and each member of Frank’s counsel Attorneys Arnold and Rosser.

The apparent motive of the defense was to discredit certain portions of Starnes story relative to his telephonic conversation with the accused superintendent when he notified him of the tragedy at daybreak Sunday morning.

The result was a rule by Judge Roan to allow the defense to remind the witness of the exact statement he was wished to recall the exact date and circumstances. It was followed by an amendment, the question finally going unasked.

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Lee, Dull and Ignorant, Calm Under Gruelling Cross Fire

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

Newt Lee, the negro night watchman of the pencil factory, who telephoned police headquarters of the finding of Mary Phagan’s body at the pencil factory, was again placed upon the stand when court convened Tuesday for the second day’s session.

Attorney Luther Z. Rosser renewed his cross-fire of questions by which he sought to confuse the negro and secure new admissions or change valuable points in his testimony, and thus expose a vulnerable point for a concentrated attack upon his entire statement.

Mr. Rosser took up practically where he had left off the afternoon before.

“Newt, when you raised your lantern you walked forward a few feet. How far did you have to go before finding out what the object that attracted you was?” he began.

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Three Witnesses Describe Finding Mary Phagan’s Body

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

NEWT LEE STICKS TO ORIGINAL STORY DESPITE ATTEMPTS TO CONFUSE NEGRO

Striking Feature of Day’s Proceedings Was the Evident Effort on Part of Luther Rosser to Connect Watchman With Crime, or Show He Knew More Than He Has Told.

DORSEY SAYS DEFENSE IS TRYING TO IMPEACH TESTIMONY OF STARNES

Mr. Rosser Declared, However, That All He Was Trying to Do Was to Test the Memory of Detective Who Was Among First to Investigate the Murder of Mary Phagan in Factory.

During the second day’s proceedings of the Leo M. Frank trial the sensation for which the morbidly curious have been craning their necks failed to materialize.

Nothing that has not been printed in the papers was brought out.

The striking feature of the day’s proceedings was the evident effort on the part of Luther Rosser to connect Newt Lee with the commission of the crime, or to show that he knew more about the death of Mary Phagan than he has thus far told. As on the previous day, Lee stuck to his original story, and through hours of what would have been acute torture to a man of refined sensibilities he was stolid in reiterating the details of how he had found the body, and of Leo M. Frank’s words and actions on Memorial day, when the murder of Mary Phagan was committed.

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Uncle of Frank, Near Death in Far-Off Hospital, Is Ignorant Of Charges, Against His Nephew

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Moses Frank Has Been Given No Inkling of Circumstances That Now Are About Frank Family—He Is Seriously Ill in German Hospital

Lying at the point of death in a hospital in far-off Germany is the uncle of Leo M. Frank, unknowing that for the last three months his favorite nephew has been imprisoned on the charge of murder and that today he is on trial for his life.

This is what an attorney for the defense says. He declares that uncle how regarded Leo Frank almost as his own son, has been too ill for many months to be given an inkling of the new circumstances about the Frank family and that he still believes his nephew is as he left him.

For a long time Moses Frank has been in bad health. In search of relief he went abroad, hoping that the treatment of European specialists would cure him. But Moses Frank grew worse instead of better, and on the day Mary Phagan was murdered he still was in Europe, while grave fears were entertained for his recovery.

They have been afraid to tell him about his nephew, apprehensive that the shock would cause the spark of life, already so feebly burning, to flicker out.

Claims Mincey, When Needed, Will Testify

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Attorney for Defense Says the State Won’t Hurt His Character

“Mincey will be Johnny-on-the-spot when the defense needs him to testify.”

Those were the words of Joseph Leavitt, one of the lawyers for the defense in speaking Tuesday afternoon on the affidavit sworn to some time ago by W. H. Mincey, by which the defense hopes to prove that Jim Conley confessed to Mincey that he killed a girl on the day Mary Phagan was murdered.

Attorney Leavitt would not say where Mincey was staying, but declared that he was in town; that he had been with him Tuesday afternoon, and that he would stick to his affidavit when called upon to testify.

It is know that Mincey stayed Monday night at the Williams house No. 3, where he registered as coming from Rising Fawn, Ga. Attorney Leavitt says that Mincey has been teaching school there since he left Atlanta.

“It is rumored,” said Attorney Leavitt, “That the state will try to break down Mincey’s character. I don’t care how many affidavits they get against him. I can bring forward hundreds of prominent Atlanta people, teachers, preachers, and merchants, who will swear that Mincey is an honest man. And I’ll subpoena ’em, too.”

Trial is No Ordeal for Me, Says Frank’s Mother

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

She Declares Her Confidence in Son’s Innocence Makes It Easy for Her

“My son never looked stronger than at this moment,” said Mrs. Ray Frank, of Brooklyn, Wednesday morning. “The trial isn’t telling upon him because he isn’t worrying. He is confident because of his innocence and because of his certainty of an acquittal.

“Neither his wife nor myself is anxious. Of course, we feel the heat and it is tiring to sit here in the court room throughout the day. But, like my son, we are not afraid. Why should we be? We know that he is innocent and we know that, because of this fact, he will be acquitted.

“I, his mother, know that he is free from all guilt of the charge upon which he is being tried, and that this trial can have only one result—his acquittal.

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No “Shirt-Sleeves” for Lawyers in Frank Case

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

For the sake of expediting the Frank trial, attorneys in the case are not permitted the comfort of “shirt sleeves” in the court room which, maintained at temperature Tuesday of 95 degrees.

Newspaper reporters and spectators may hang their coats on their arms, roll up their sleeves, and at least feel that they have prepared themselves against the heat. But before the trial began, Judge Roan, in discussing the legal attire, said humorously:

“Lawyers must wear coats. If I let them go in shirt sleeves they’d feel so comfortable this trial might never end. Now, for reporters, it comes so natural for them to slip out of things that they’ll just naturally take off their coats.”

Gantt Still Wears “Two Little Devils” That Caused Arrest

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

J. M. Gantt, one time suspect in the Phagan case, and now a witness, Wednesday sat on a bench in the room above the one where Leo Frank was on trial for his life and said unpleasant things about his shoes.

“There they are,” he declared in a peevish tone. “The two little devils that got me into this case and have cost me a hundred dollars in attorney’s fees and more worry and care than anything I ever had before.”

The objects of his wrath were simply two unoffending black boots with a stout pair of soles and shiny calf tops.

They wer[e] the shoes for which Gantt called at the pencil factory on the afternoon of the murder, a call which resulted in his arrest later and his apprehension as a witness. That was three months ago, but Gantt still wears the shoes. One would think he would throw the “little devils” away, but he doesn’t.

“You see, they’re good shoes,” says Gantt.

Trial Thus Far Has Only Established Murder of the Girl

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Tuesday Afternoon’s Session Hears of Beginning of Police Investigation Into Mystery of Mary Phagan’s Murder

Following in the sequence which it began with the introduction of the first witness, the prosecution of the murder charge against Leo M. Frank progressed Tuesday afternoon to the point at which the city detectives began their investigation of t[h]e murder mystery.

Beginning with Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, who saw her leave home about noon of April 26, the state established in succession her arrival at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth streets, and departure thence for the factory two blocks away—this by the newsboy, George Eppes; the ing of her dead body fifteen hours hour, in the pencil factory basement—this by the night watchman, Newt Lee; the arrival of the police and their official survey of the surroundings—this by Sergeant L. S. Dobbs; the beginning of the detectives’ investigation and the arrival of Leo M. Frank in physical person upon the scene—this by Detective J. N. Starnes, who appears formally as the prosecutor of the charge against Frank.

Thus, therefore, the state has established the very necessary foundation of fact that Mary Phagan was murdered in the pencil factory.

The session Tuesday afternoon was punctuated by objections by the state or the defense to questions put by the opposing side to witnesses on the stand, and by arguments between state and defense over these points.

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Defense to Claim Strands of Hair Found Were Not Mary Phagan’s

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

GRACE HIX TESTIFIES THAT GIRLS FREQUENTLY COMBED THEIR HAIR OVER MACHINES

Miss Hix Also Testifies That Magnolia Kennedy, Who Worked Near Mary Phagan, Had Hair of the Same Color and Shade—Important Admissions Lay Foundation for Defense’s Claim That Murder Was Not Committed in Metal Room

STATE ENDEAVORS TO SHOW THAT FRANK VERY NERVOUS AND DID NOT LOOK ON FACE OF MURDERED GIRL

Attorney Rosser Directs His Questions to Combat Claim of Nervousness—Witness Declares She Never Saw Any Red Paint in the Metal Room—State Claims New Evidence Will Soon Be Given—Trial Will Run Into Second Week

Four distinct features marked the trial of Leo M. Frank Wednesday. One was an admission from Miss Grace Hix that the girls frequently combed their hair over the machines in the metal room of the factory; another was a strenuous effort on the part of the state to prove that Frank was very nervous on the morning of the discovery of little Mary Phagan’s body; still another feature was the attempt of the state to show that Frank was reluctant to look upon the dead girl’s face in the undertaking parlors, and the fourth was the state’s effort to prove that red paint never had been seen on the floor of the metal room where the state alleges bloody spots were found.

Around each of these points stiff legal tilts occurred. In developing from Miss Hix’s testimony the fact that the girl’s combed their hair in the metal room, Attorney Rosser laid the foundation for a refutation of the theory that Mary Phagan was murdered there.

The state is expected to introduce as evidence several strands of hair found on the handle of a turning lathe in the metal room, presumed to be those of Mary Phagan. Attorney Rosser drew from the Hix girl the admission that Miss Magnolia Kenneday, one of the metal room employees who worked very close to Mary Phagan’s machine, had hair almost the same shade as that of the murdered girl.

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Frank Jurors Idle Away Long Hours With Song

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

They Sing Ballads and Tell Irish Tales During the “Recess” Hours

Jurors in the Frank trial have organized a singing club. Their purpose is not to give diversity to the trial with a note of song, but to while away the time between sessions of court.

When Judge L. S. Roan gives word that the trial has proce[e]ded far enough for the day, jurors are taken for a brief, brisk walk, and then to their residence for the nonce, which consists in three rooms thrown together at the Kimball house.

There the twelve take up their quarters for the night, and remain until the beginning of the court session upon the next day. Twelve cots have been placed in the three connecting rooms, and there the twelve jurors sleep. Until the trial is ended they will have no opportunity of seeing home folks, but they are permitted to send messages through deputy sheriffs.

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All Newt Wants Now is Freedom and a Hat

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Now that Newt Lee has more ‘bacca, as he says, “than Mr. Rosser axed him questions,” he needs but a hat to complete his physical comfort, but freedom to set his mind at rest.

Newt’s only hat is a fur cap, which Newt thinks might have made a “ver’ putty Christmas gift when ’twas new, but don’t do much fer July.”

“You see, boss,” he explains, “a straw hat jes’ naturally looks cool, makes yer feel like you had money in your pocket. But there ain’t no use fer a cap and it furry in July.

“Man promised to bring me a hat, but I guess his memory’s bad. Leastways I ain’t seen anything of the hat. But I certainly is proud of de ‘bacca.”

Since Newt told Tuesday how one chew brought him solace after his cross-examination by Mr. Rosser; and how, when he was on the witness stand his thoughts were of ‘bacca, he has been given all sorts and kinds.

He says when he gets out he may take a day off to catch up on “chewing,” and that he would like a nice hat to wear then.

Defense Plans Sensation, Line of Queries Indicates

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

That a sensation is be sprung by the defense by the production of the mysteriously missing ribbon and flowers from the hat of the murdered girl was repeatedly indicated by Attorney Rosser’s line of questioning Tuesday and the afternoon before.

Beginning with Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, the attorney for Frank interrogated every witness who saw the girl alive or dead that day in regard to the ribbon and flowers.

Mrs. Coleman said that the ribbon and flowers were on the hat when Mary left home. Newt Lee said that he had seen no sign of the missing trimmings. The testimony of Sergeant L. S. Dobbs was the same. Detective Starnes, when he was turned over the cross-examination, made the same admission.

It is believed that Rosser will produce the ribbon and will attempt to establish that it was found in a place throwing suspicion upon the negro Conley.

Frank was brought to the courthouse at about 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. There was no change in his demeanor or physical appearance. If the trial has been any strain upon him he does not display the effects. He was dressed in the dark mohair suit he wore Tuesday. He greeted his friends cheerily and spoke confidently of acquittal.

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Frank’s Mother Pitiful Figure of the Trial

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

Defendant Perfect in Poise, His Wife Picture of Contemptuous Confidence.

By L. F. WOODRUFF.

Arm akimbo; glasses firmly set, changing position seldom, Leo M. Frank sits through his trial with his thoughts in Kamchatka, Terra del Fuego, or the Antipodes, so far as the spectators in the courtroom can judge.

He may realize that if the twelve men he faces decide that he is guilty of the murder of Mary Phagan, the decree of earthly court will be that his sole hope of the future will be an appeal to the Court on High. His mind may constantly carry the impression of the likelihood of the solemn reading of the death warrant, the awful march to the death chamber, the sight of the all terrifying gibbet, the dreadful ascension of its steel stairs, the few words of religious consolation—and then the drop.

Frank’s Face a Mask.

But if he does realize these things, his face is as completely masked against emotion as that of a skilled poker player.

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Flashes of Tragedy Pierce Legal Tilts at Frank Trial

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

By O. B. KEELER.

The trouble is, plain human emotions won’t stick at concert pitch all the time.

And so the Frank trial, after the first twenty minutes, say, becomes much like any other trial.

Except in the flashes.

You get into the courtroom with some formality. At once you are in the midst of order. It is rather ponderous, made-to-order order. But it is order.

Officials stalk about, walking on the balls of their feet, like pussy cats. But they do not purr. They request you to be seated. You must not stand up; you must sit down. Unfortunately, you must stand up to walk to a place to sit down. And that grieves the officials. They mop their faces. One in particular uses an entirely red bandana handkerchief—sometimes for for his face, sometimes to flag standing spectators, who must sit down.

There is order.

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Rosser’s Examination of Lee Just a Shot in Dark; Hoped to Start Quarry

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

By JAMES B. NEVIN.

If Mr. Luther Z. Rosser’s bite is one-half so dangerous as his growl undoubtedly is disconcerting and awe-inspiring, there will be little save shreds and patches of the prosecution left when the State comes eventually to sum up its case against Leo Frank.

Rosser’s examination of Newt Lee was one of the most nerve racking and interesting I ever listened to.

It reminded me much of a big mastiff worrying and teasing a huge brown rat, and grimly bent eventually upon the rat’s utter annihilation.

A witness up against one of Rosser’s might bombardments is in a decidedly uncomfortable predicament—no doubt about that!

True, Lee snapped back at Rosser and growled angrily every little bit, and strove this way and that to get away from the insistent prod of the tremendously menacing mass of humanity forever in front of him, worrying, teasing, sneering, and threatening, but he could not.

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Gantt Has Startling Evidence; Dorsey Promises New Testimony Against Frank

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

STATE ADDS NEW LINK TO EVIDENCE CHAIN BY BOOTS ROGERS’ STORY

Sensational testimony by J. M. Gantt, discharged pencil factory employee, was promised Wednesday by Solicitor Dorsey and Frank A. Hooper, who is assisting him. They admitted that Gantt had testimony that had never before been published and would be one of the State’s most material and direct witnesses.

The defense has heard that Gantt will testify he saw Frank and Conley together on the day of the crime. Gantt was expected to follow Grace Hicks on the stand.

The State added another link in the chain of circumstantial evidence it is seeking to forge about Leo M. Frank by calling W. W. (Boots) Rogers to the stand Wednesday.

Rogers is the former county officer in whose automobile the policemen went to the National Pencil Factory Sunday morning after Newt Lee, factory nightwatchman, had called up the police station.

Rogers was on the stand two hours, but in this time he failed to give any material evidence that had not already been presented to the Coroner’s Jury.

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Will Leo Frank’s Lawyers Put Any Evidence Before the Jury?

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 29th, 1913

Will Frank’s lawyers put any evidence before the court?

That is a question that was much discussed on the opening day by a score or more of lawyers who secured seats in the courtroom in order to hear the trial and to watch the way in which the skilled attorneys on both sides handled the case.

The fact that so many witnesses have been summoned by the defense does not mean to the legal mind that Attorneys Rosser and Arnold will put up any evidence any more than the summoning of scores of the accused man’s personal friends means that Frank’s lawyers will put his character in evidence.

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