Public Demands Frank Trial To-morrow

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Old Police Reporter Sees No Cause for Delay

Either Side Asking Postponement Will Reveal Weakness, as Time Has Been Given for Preparation. Conley Is Center of Interest.

Defense Must Break Story of Negro or Face Difficult Situation. State Will Base Case on Chain of Circumstantial Evidence.

By AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The defense in the case of Leo Frank would have made a mistake, if current street comment counts for anything, had it decided to move for a continuance of the case to-morrow.

Indeed, the fact that the defense even was suspected of an intent to move for a continuance—righteously or otherwise—has not had a happy effect upon the public, even if it has not, on the other hand, served particularly to prejudice the case.

The people want the Frank case tried. I think there is no mistake about that.

And when it was rumored that it might be postponed, with the consent of the defense, even if not of its own motion, more than one person in Atlanta, even those inclined to be friendly to Frank, began, more or less impatiently, to ask themselves, WHY?

If the State is sure of itself, why delay? If the defense is sure of itself, why delay?

If either is not sure of itself, why, then, it must be because the one not sure of itself has a weak case. Thus reasons the public.

Leo Frank is guilty or he is not guilty.

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Defense Claims Conley and Lee Prepared Notes

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Theory Is That Watchman Surprised Sweeper Attempting to Dispose of Body and Entered Into Pact.

An amazing chain of evidence, laying bare the mystery of the two notes found beside the body of Mary Phagan, which have proved the most baffling of all the facts connected with the girl’s murder, came to light as in the possession of the defense Saturday.

According to the theory of the defense, Conley murdered the girl and was unexpectedly discovered with her body in the basement of the pencil factory by Newt Lee; that the night watchman declared the blame for the murder would be placed upon himself instead of Conley, and that the two notes, laying the blame upon the negro fireman Knoyls, and openly accusing the night watchman of the crime, sealed an agreement of secrecy between Lee and Conley.

Motive of Notes.

The first note, written by Conley, to soothe Lee’s fears, is believed to have been the one reading:

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Every Bit of Evidence Against Frank Sifted and Tested, Declares Solicitor

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Solicitor-General Hugh Dorsey, who will prosecute the case against Leo M. Frank, last night gave the Sunday American the following statement:

Without going into the merit of the State’s case against Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of little Mary Phagan, the possibility of a mistake having been made is very remote.

To say why the State believes Frank to be guilty of this murder would be hurtful, and lay before the defense the evidence we have so carefully guarded.

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Prominent Atlantans Named On Frank Trial Jury Venire

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

The venire of 144 men from which twelve will be selected to decide the fate of Leo M. Frank is considered to be one of the most representative ever drawn from a petit jury box in Fulton County. Prominent among the prospective jurors are Joel Hurt, Dr. E. L. Connally and J. W. Alexander, capitalists: David Woodward, president of the Woodward Lumber Company; George Law, of Law Brothers; R. F. Shedden, of the Mutual Life Insurance Company; Thomas D. Meador, vice president of the Lowry National Bank, and Edwin F. Johnson, advertising man.

The complete jury list is printed below:

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State Bolsters Conley

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Solves Discrepancies of Time

Mistaken Identity To Be Plea

Leo M. Frank Goes to Trial for the Slaying of Mary Phagan Monday, With Both Prosecution and the Defense Confident.

All Preparations Are Made for Big Crowds—Judge Roan to Be on Bench, Despite Recent Illness—Bitter Battle Expected.

Leo M. Frank will go on trial for his life to-morrow forenoon. With the beginning of the great legal battle, hardly more than 24 hours distant, it has been learned that the prosecution has overcome to its own satisfaction the greatest obstacle with which it has been confronted—the reconciling of the negro Conley with that contained in the statements of all the persons who visited the factory and were seen by Conley the day that Mary Phagan was murdered.

The most powerful argument against the truthfulness of the remarkable affidavit in which Conley told of helping Frank dispose of the body of the slain girl was contained in the fact that Conley’s original story in its designation of the time of various occurrences at the factory was in direct conflict with the statements of a number of the factory employees.

Miss Mattie Smith, one of the young women working for the National Pencil Company, told when she was first questioned of leaving the factory at about 9:30. Foreman M. B. Darley walked down the steps with her and said at the Coroner’s inquest that the hour was about 9:30.

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Frank Fights for Life Monday

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Dorsey Ready to Avenge Mary Phagan

Mystery of Months Is Still Unsolved

Most Bitter Legal Battle in History of Atlanta Courts Is Expected—Case Will Probably Last for Weeks.

After three months of mystery in the death of Mary Phagan, a climax is at hand more tense, more dramatic, more breathlessly interesting to Atlanta and all Georgia than any situation of fiction. Leo M. Frank, employer of the little girl whose tragic death, April 26, stirred a State, will be brought to trial Monday on the charge that he killed her.

Frank’s trial is the crowning event of the hundred thrilling circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Whatever the outcome, regardless of Frank’s conviction or acquittal, the incidents that follow the trial will come as an anti-climax. The prosecution has cast almost all its chances for solving the mystery into the case it has prepared against Frank. Its heavy guns are trained against the factory superintendent. It has opposed the indictment of the single other suspect, the negro Jim Conley. The enthralled interest of a public has been pitched about the question: Is Leo Frank guilty?

FRANK DRAMA’S CENTRAL FIGURE.

Even the pitiful figure of the little factory girl, mysteriously slain, has become subordinate in interest to that of Frank. The young man’s own personality, his steadfastly loyal and loving family, his friends who affirm his innocence in the face of a dark suspicion, all have become factors in making Frank the central figure of the crime drama.

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Pinkerton Men Brand Lanford Charges False

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Emphatic denial of the charges by Chief of Detectives Lanford that he had kept bad faith with the city department in connection with the investigation of the murder of Mary Phagan was made by H. B. Pierce, superintendent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Atlanta, Saturday night.

Chief Lanford’s accusations against the Pinkerton official were mainly that he had withheld evidence from the city police, especially the bloodstained stick and the pay envelope of the Phagan girl, both of which were found by Pinkerton operatives on the first floor of the factory and were later reported in possession of the defense. The Chief intimated that the Police Board would be asked to take action against Pierce personally.

“The stick was submitted to Chief Lanford by myself,” declared Mr. Pierce. “The Mary Phagan pay envelope was shown him by our representative, Harry Scott.

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Leo Frank Expects Acquittal and Asks an Immediate Trial

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

Atlanta Journal
July 26th, 1913

Pencil Factory Superintendent Declares the Sooner He Faces a Jury the Sooner He’ll Gain His Freedom

ACCUSED OF PHAGAN CRIME, HE WELCOMES TRIAL DAY

Wife is Regular Visitor to the Tower—Frank’s Time In Prison Is Spent in Reading and Playing Chess

Leo M. Frank is ready and anxious to go on trial for his life before Judge Roan in the superior court next Monday morning, according to statements he has made to friends who visited him in his cell in the tower.

“The sooner I face the jury, the sooner I will gain my liberty,” he is quoted as having said.

This indicates that the factory superintendent, accused of the most atrocious crime in Atlanta’s history, is confident of an acquittal.

Frank is as fit physically to face a jury as he was the day he was incarcerated. He has not had a day’s sickness during his detention. He has lived regularly, getting eight hours of sleep and plenty of exercise.

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Chapter 5 in Phagan Case

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

The Negro Conley’s Confession That He Was Frank’s Accomplice and Events Leading Up to Trial.

Chapter VI.

“He (Leo Frank) told me that he had picked up a girl back there and had let her fall, and that her head had hit against something—he didn’t what it was—and for me to move her, and I hollered and told him the girl was dead.”

With this startling accusation Jim Conley introduced his third confession. Under the rack of a merciless third degree, continued through the long afternoon of May 29, he weakened or became desperate toward the last and came out with his remarkable affidavit, which laid the responsibility for the killing of Mary Phagan directly upon the shoulders of the young factory superintendent.

Either it was all true or all false. If it were true, the negro simply had wilted under the ceaseless fire of the detectives’ questions and had decided to own up to his share in the crime and to seek to protect Frank no longer. If it were false, Conley, driven to bay, had, as a forlorn hope of saving his own neck, concocted the marvelous tale to thrust the suspicion of guilt upon the innocent Frank.

Defense Attacks Confession.

The latter is the theory of Frank’s lawyers, and they will advance it and bring evidence to support it and argue in its favor with all the ability at their command when the trial, set for next Monday, is under way.

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Present New Evidence Against Frank

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

Both Sides Hide Vital Phagan Facts

State’s Prosecutor Shrouds Identity and Stories of Scores of Witnesses in Secrecy.

Prosecution and defense continued their preparations for the Frank trial Saturday, the last-hour hurry of interviewing new witnesses and gathering up the stray ends of evidence giving a fair promise that the trial will start as scheduled next Monday forenoon.

That Solicitor Dorsey has nearly a score of important witnesses whose testimony has been carefully guarded from the defense and the general public is well known. These witnesses have come to his office from time to time, and the Solicitor has refused to give out the vaguest intimation of the line of testimony they would give at the trial.

The prosecution has reserved their evidence to spring as a surprise during the trial. On these persons the State depends to clinch its case against the young factory superintendent. Some of them will be called to bear out different portions of the negro Conley’s affidavit, in which was told the story of the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body. The Solicitor is understood to have witnesses who will corroborate portions of Conley’s story which have been under the severest fire.

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Pinkerton Chief Scored by Lanford

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

Says Pierce Broke His Promise

Detective Head Also Asserts Phagan Evidence Private Sleuth Unearthed Was Plant.

Chief of Detectives Lanford roundly scored H. B. Pierce, head of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Atlanta, Saturday for what he termed questionable procedure in connection with the Phagan murder investigation.

When application was made by the agency for permission to operate in Atlanta and the matter was under consideration by the Police Board, the promise was made that the Pinkerton’s would work in harmony with the city detective department and would co-operate in the apprehension of criminals.

This promise, according to Lanford, has been kept by all connected with the agency with the exception of Pierce. The Chief intimated that the Police Board would be asked to take action against Pierce personally.

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Frank Will Likely Face Trial Monday for Phagan Crime

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

Atlanta Journal
July 25th, 1913

Defense Subpoenaes 150 Witnesses, and If Any of the Chief Witnesses Are Ill, Continuance Can Be Asked

JUDGE ROAN, WHO WAS ILL, IS REPORTED IMPROVED

Indications Now Are That Defense Will Make No Effort to Have Trial Put Off—144 Veniremen Summoned

The stage is set for the trial of Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan on April 26.

Veniremen and witnesses for the defense are being summoned. The witnesses for the state are already under subpoena.

Judge L. S. Roan, who was ill Thursday, is better and ready for the trial. Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey will insist on a trial.

The attitude of the defense alone is problematical. Neither the state nor the defense is required to announce ready or not ready before a case is actually called in the court room, and apparently there will be no intimation from the defense until 9 o’clock Monday morning, when the clerk calls the name of the defendant in Atlanta’s most sensational murder case.

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Witnesses for Frank Called

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 25th, 1913

Despite Judge’s Statement All Is In Readiness, Move for Postponement Is Expected.

Despite the fact that Superior Judge L. S. Roan stated everything was in readiness for the trial of Leo M. Frank next Monday, that State’s Attorney Hugh M. Dorsey has announced he will fight a delay, and that the defense actually commenced summoning witnesses, the impression still prevailed Friday that a motion for continuance would be made by the defense when the case is opened.

Attorneys Luther Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, declined flatly to say whether they would permit the trial to proceed without introducing some motion for a postponement, and the report was that witnesses had been summoned to be on the safe side in the event a request to put off the trial is refused.

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Frank’s Trial May be Postponed Until Early in the Fall

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

Atlanta Journal
July 24th, 1913

Judge L. S. Roan, Who Will Preside at the Trial, Returns to Atlanta Thursday Afternoon and Is Ill

SOLICITOR SAYS STATE WITNESSES ARE READY

Reuben Arnold, One of Frank’s Attorneys, Returns After Conference in Covington With Judge Roan

Judge L. S. Roan, who will preside at the trial of Leo M. Frank when he is arraigned for the murder of Mary Phagan, returned from Covington Thursday afternoon quite ill and went immediately to his home. He will be unable to go to the court house during the afternoon, but announces that the venire will be drawn by Judge John T. Pendleton, at his request.

Reuben R. Arnold, associate attorney in the defense of Mr. Frank, returned from Covington on the same train with Judge Roan. He declined to make any statement in reference to his visit to Covington. It could not be learned from him whether he had discussed the possibility of a postponement with Judge Roan or whether the defense would make formal application for postponement.

The impression prevails, however, that the defense will seek a postponement and there is said to be a strong probability that the case will not go to trial before early fall.

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Frank Trial Delay up to Roan

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

STATE READY AND WILL FIGHT A DELAY

Solicitor Disappointed When Court Fails to Draw Jury Panels at Time Planned.

With the belief growing that a serious effort is being made to delay the trial of Leo Frank, set for next Monday, Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Thursday renewed his protest against further postponement in a vigorous statement, declaring the prosecution is ready with a complete case against the National Pencil Company factory head, accused of killing Mary Phagan.

The trial date rests entirely with Judge Roan, who is in Covington. The drawing of the jury venire awaited word from him, expected some time during the afternoon. At his home it was said the Judge would not return until to-morrow.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Frank, was said to have consulted with Judge Roan in Covington and presented arguments for delay, but the truth of this report could not be established.

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Third Chapter in Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

Arrests of Suspects in the Factory Slaying. Sensation as Leo Frank, Manager Was Taken Into Custody.

CHAPTER III.

Everything that occurred, trivial or important, during those first few days after the body of little Mary Phagan was discovered in the pencil factory basement took on a dramatic aspect. The people were keyed to so high a pitch by the revolting crime that for for a time it seemed to require only a spark to fire them to violent deeds.

Let a strange person so much as appear at the police station to confer with Chief of Detectives Lanford and wild rumors spread about the whole city like magic. Let one of the detectives drop a careless remark and in a flash everyone mysteriously understood that a complete confession had been made to the police by the murderer.

So it was a sinister reception that the first catch in the detectives’ dragnet received from the group of angry men when he was hurried to police headquarters Sunday night of the day after the factory girl had been slain.

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Veneir [sic] is Drawn to Try Leo M. Frank Monday

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

JUDGE ANNOUNCES HE IS READY TO TRY CASE; 144 MEN EMPANELLED

Says He Has Not Even Been Asked for Postponement, and Sees No Reason Why Trial Should Not Begin On Date Fixed.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil Factory, was taken from the police station late Thursday afternoon by Detectives Starnes and Campbell to verify certain of his statements and to point out certain witnesses, who, he told the detectives, would be able to refute the affidavit of W. H. Mincey by showing that he was not at the point where Mincey swears the negro confessed he “had killed a girl” on the afternoon of the murder. The detectives would not divulge the location of the places to be visited.

Judge L. S. Roan, home from Covington, late Thursday, declared to a Georgian reporter that he saw no reason why the trial of Leo M. Frank, accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, should not begin Monday.

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Let the Frank Trial Go On

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

Leo Frank should be placed on trial Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan.

The crime was committed April 26; Frank was arrested April 28; he was indicted Mary 23 and his trial set for June 30.

At the suggestion of the judge in whose court the trial is to take place, a postponement was agreed on, and the date of the trial moved up to July 28.

Now attempts are being made to secure another postponement. The only reason given to the public is that the weather is hot and it would be disagreeable to hold the trial in the summer.

Of course it is hot, but it isn’t any hotter in the court room than it is in jail.

Both the prosecution and the defense have had ample time to prepare their cases. If Frank is guilty, the State can prove his guilt as well now as later on; if he is innocent, the defense can prove his innocence as well in summer as in winter.

The public has taken a keen interest in the Phagan case and it will demand that the man who killed her be punished, whether that man is Frank or someone else. Furthermore, it is tired of delays.

Public sentiment is where it was on the date first set for Frank’s trial and it will be at the same place if the trial is delayed for a year.

Atlantans are awaiting the trial with open minds. They are not holding themselves up as judges. They know the law is supreme and they want it to take its course. But they want that course taken without seemingly endless delays.

Fight Expected Over Effort to Defer Frank Case

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

Atlanta Journal
July 23, 1913

No Witnesses for Defense Have Been Called for Monday, and Indications Are They Will Not Be

CRAWFORD CASE CHECKED TO DATE OF FRANK TRIAL

Attorney R. R. Arnold May Go to Covington to Request Judge L. S. Roan to Postpone Case

While the position of the defense of Leo M. Frank has not been announced, Attorney Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold have indicated clearly that they desire to postpone the trial of case from next Monday, when it is set. Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, on the other hand, has announced the state’s position. He will fight any and every move to postpone the case.

The solicitor general objected, when the case was postponed from June 30, the date he first fixed, and fought to have a date earlier than July 28 when he then saw that postponement was inevitable. Now he is again preparing to fight against further delay.

Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor was instructed by Judge L. S. Roan, to bring the jury box to Judge John T. Pendleton with the request that he draw the venire for the trial on Thursday morning before the trial judge left to hold court this week in Covington.

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Lanford Ridicules Bludgeon Evidence

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

Scouts New ‘Proof’ of Defense

Detective Chief Scoffs at Claim of Evidence That Club Used by Negro Was Found.

Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford Wednesday morning ridiculed the story that the defense of Leo M. Frank has in its possession a bloody club, alleged to have been found by two Pinkerton detectives on May 10 in the National Pencil Factory, and with which, it is reported, the defense will contend Mary Phagan was slain by James Conley, the negro sweeper.

Asserting that he knows nothing whatever of the alleged bloody club, Chief Lanford declared that, if Pinkerton detectives found such a weapon on May 10, or any other date, they had failed to report the fact to him. Failure to officially report such a find would be regarded as a breach of the pact between the city detectives and the Pinkertons, as the latter officers, while employed by the pencil factory, have been working hand in hand with city detectives, with the understanding that any evidence they unearthed would be communicated to detective headquarters.

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