Girl Slain After Frank Left Factory, Believed to be Defense Theory

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

Was Mary Phagan killed at or very near the time she entered the National Pencil Factory April 26 to get her pay envelope or was she merely attacked at this time and murdered later?

The line of questioning pursued by Luther Rosser in his cross-examination of two of the State’s witnesses Thursday afternoon indicated this will be one of the questions the jurors will have to settle before they will be able to determine the innocence or guilt of Leo M. Frank.

Rosser was most persistent in his interrogation both of William A. Gheesling embalmer, and Dr. Claude A. Smith, physician and bacteriologist. Gheesling went to the pencil factory at about 4 o’clock the morning of the crime and took charge of the Phagan girl’s body. He told Solicitor Dorsey in the direct examination Thursday that the girl had been dead ten or fifteen hours and that rigor mortis was well established.

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Sherlocks, Lupins and Lecoqs See Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

There are enough “hists,” “aha’s” and those other exclamations that mark a true detective besides the badge on his left suspender to fill a whole volume of Gaborieau thrillers at the Frank trial.

A stranger whirled from the Terminal Station to Judge Roan’s courtroom would be convinced before he had been in that temple of justice five minutes that all Atlanta earns its living following clews, and that if Sherlock Holmes was made a material being he could beat Jim Woodward for Mayor by 8,000 votes.

Ever since the body of Mary Phagan was found, practically every man of voting age and a lot of those who just think they are, have evolved a theory as to the crime they regard as incontrovertible as two plus two makes four, and have a system of ratiocination (beg pardon, Mr. Poe), that either proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Leo M. Frank is guilty, or that he is innocent, or that Jim Conley did it, or he didn’t, or that somebody did, but they’ll be hanged if they know who.

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Dorsey Unafraid as He Faces Champions of the Atlanta Bar

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

Up Against a Hard Proposition Youthful Solicitor Is Fighting Valiantly to Win Case.

By L. F. WOODRUFF.

Georgia’s law’s most supreme penalty faces Leo Frank.

A reputation that they can not be beaten must be sustained by Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold.

Atlanta’s detective department’s future is swaying on the issue of the Frank trial.

But there is a man with probably as much at stake as any of the hundreds who crowd Judge Roan’s courtroom, with the exception of Frank, and he is accepting the ordeal, though he realizes it, as calmly as a person who has nothing more serious to decide than whether he will order his steak rare or well done at breakfast time.

Hugh Dorsey is hereby introduced. He is known pretty well in Atlanta without introduction but as chairmen on political meetings insists on telling the audience that the President of the United States is about to speak or that the Secretary of State is endeavoring to earn an additional amount to his yearly $12,000. Mr. Dorsey can be placed before the public without fear of violating precedent.

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Defense Not Helped by Witnesses Accused of Entrapping the State

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

By JAMES B. NEVIN.

Has the State succeeded in thoroughly establishing the fact that little Mary Phagan’s tragic death was effected on the second floor of the National Pencil Factory, in Forsyth street?

It has not, of course—but it has set up by competent evidence a number of suspicious circumstances, which, if properly sustained later along, will prove damaging in the extreme to Leo Frank.

Unless these circumstances, trivial in some aspects, are braced up and backed up, however, by other much stronger circumstances, they will give the jury, in all probability, little concern in arriving at a verdict.

Thursday was not a sensationally good day for the State, although it was much better than the day before.

Twice Thursday the Solicitor General claimed that he had been “entrapped” by witnesses—and this, with the lamentable fall down of John Black the day before—served to give rise in the minds of some spectators to a faint suspicion that the State didn’t have its case very well in hand.

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Conley Takes Stand Saturday

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

Lawyers Wrangle Over Frank’s Nervousness

DORSEY WINS POINT AS ROSSER BATTLES TO DEFEND ACCUSED

Jim Conley, accuser of Leo Frank, will take the stand Saturday morning, according to all indications Friday, to repeat the remarkable story he told concerning his part in the disposition of the body of Mary Phagan and undergo the merciless grilling of the defense.

Solicitor General Dorsey said that he expected to have his case completed by Saturday night and police, believing he will call the negro to-morrow, had him shaved and cleaned up and in readiness for his appearance.

Regardless of statements by defense and State, it is generally conceded that the Frank trial will reach its crux in Conley’s appearance, and that on his story and whether it stands up or not under the first of the defense, will rest the outcome of the trial.

Objections by Attorney Hooper, assistant to Solicitor Dorsey, to questions put to N. V. Darley by Attorney Arnold about the contents of the financial sheet made out by Leo Frank developed the fact that the defense would introduce evidence in rebuttal.

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William Gheesling First Witness Today

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

Harry Scott, Pinkerton Detective Will Also Be Called to Stand During Day

William Gheesling, the P. J. Bloomfield undertaking attachee who made the first examination and emblamed [sic] the body of Mary Phagan will probably be the first witness called to the stand in the Frank trial this morning.

He will be followed by Harry Scott, the Pinkerton detectives who worked with Detective John Black in the murder investigation and who engineered the third degree which resulted in Jim Conley’s confession.

Dr. Hurt, county physician who made the medical examination upon the corpse and who it is rumored testified before the grand jury to the effect that no assault had been made upon the girl will likely be called this afternoon.

Evidently, a big fight will be waged upon Dr. Hurt’s testimony as the defense, it is stated, has already made arrangements for an expert stenographer to take notes of his story.

Bearing of Black and Lee Forms a Study in Contrast

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

By Sidney Ormond

Comparisons are odious, but to the close observer of events following the Mary Phagan murder and the trial now in progress one cannot help contrasting the impression made on the jury by Newt Lee, the negro night watchman of the National Pencil factory, and the testimony of John Black, detective, who worked up a large part of the evidence being used against Leo M. Frank by the state.

It was only a short while ago that John Black, according to the statement of Lee, was ‘blunblamming’ at him night and day in an effort to get something new in regard to the death of Mary Phagan. Lee was not allowed to sleep, and you know what that means to a negro. No sooner would he curl up on his bunk to dream of yellow-legged chickens, watermelons and the fresh air of liberty, than along would come Black or Starnes or some other member of the detective force to harass him with questions. For months his life has been one volley of interrogations fired at him coaxingly or menacingly. He told his story so often that doubtless if he were asked which he preferred, chicken or watermelon, he would say,

‘I went down into the basement and—’

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Gantt, Once Phagan Suspect, On Stand Wednesday Afternoon

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

J. W. Gantt, who once was a suspect in the famous case, followed Mrs. Coleman to the stand at the afternoon session.

“Have you ever been connected with the pencil company?”

“From January 1st, 1918, until April 7, I was employed with that concern as shipping clerk. I was discharged by Mr. Frank for an alleged shortage.”

“Did you know Mary Phagan?”

“Yes—I knew her as a little girl.”

“Did Leo Frank know her?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know this?”

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Rogers on Stand Describes Visit of Frank to Undertakers

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

When court convened and before the jury had been brought in Attorney Luther Rosser entered an objection to the drawing of the pencil factory which Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey had rehung upon the wall after removing the descriptive lines. Objection had previously been made to the lines and the solicitor had caused these to be erased.

Attorney Rosser and his colleague Reuben Arnold declared that the dotted lines which shows the state’s theory of how the girl’s body was carried from the second floor to the basement were not part of the building and hence were not admissible.

Mr. Dorsey cited rulings of the supreme court to show that he had a right to leave this line in the picture and Judge L. S. Roan allowed it to remain in later explaining to the jury that the drawing was admitted with the dotted lines under the express agreement that the dotted lines represented merely the state’s theory and were not conclusive unless backed by argument to carry out that theory.

W. W. (“Boots”) Rogers ex-county policeman in whose automobile the police officers were taken to the factory the morning the crime was discovered and who later carried Leo Frank from his home at 69 East Georgia avenue to the undertaking establishment to see Mary Phagan’s body and later to the factory was the first witness called.

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Daintily Dressed Girl Tells Of Daily Routine of Factory

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

Grace Hicks, a sister-in-law of ‘Boots’ Rogers, whom he carried to the factory the morning of April 27 to tell if the dead girl was an employee of the factory was put upon the witness stand by the state after Rogers had been excused.

She was a daintily dressed slender girl of 17, and declared that she had worked there for the past five years.

To the solicitor’s questions she answered that she had known Mary Phagan for about a year at the pencil factory and that the dead girl had worked on the second floor.

“Did you see her on April 27?” Mr. Dorsey asked.

“Yes.”

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Idle and Curious Throng Court Despite Big Force of Deputies

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

In spite of the largest force of deputies that has ever been brought together in Fulton county for a similar purpose, the greatest difficulty is being experienced in keeping out the idle and morbidly curious at the Leo M. Frank trial.

A glance around the room is sufficient to show that the deputies have been imposed on. Scores of professional loafers—men who have had no visible means of support for years, and who could have possible interest in the trial—throng the room. Many women, who are in no way connected with the case either through friendship for Frank or the dead girl, arrive early in the morning and remain during the entire day. They display the keenest interest in every turn of the trial. Wednesday when the bloody shirt which was found at Newt Lee’s house was placed in evidence there was a craning of necks on the part of these women as if they could not bear to lose sight of one thread of the grewsome spectacle.

Deputies and county police on guard at the door have used little discretion in keeping out pretenders. In more than one instance reporters have had difficulty in getting in the room. Because one reporter who has been working on the trial since the first day insisted on his right to enter the room in order to do his work, a county policeman drew a “billy” and attempted to strike him.

Immediately on the heels of this incident a number of curiosity-seekers were allowed to enter the room.

Detective Black Muddled By Keen Cross-Examination Of Attorneys for Defense

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

Detective John R. Black, the officer who went in Rogers’ machine from the factory to Frank’s residence on the Sunday morning that Mary Phagan’s body was discovered, was next put up by the state. He took the stand at 11:45 o’clock, and was still there when court adjourned for lunch.

In answers to Solicitor Dorsey’s questions he said he had been on the police force for six years and previous to that had worked as n cooper for the Atlanta Brewing and Ice company.

“Do you know any of the directors of this company?” began the solicitor, when he was quickly interrupted by the defense. Despite Mr. Dorsey’s claim that he had a material end in view, the judge ruled with the defense and without making further ado the solicitor started another line of questions.

Black told how he had been waked up at his home on that Sunday morning and told to report at headquarters and how, after a talk with Lee at the station, he had gone to the pencil factory and from there to Frank’s house with Rogers.

He told practically what Rogers had said about Mrs. Frank’s appearance at the door and of Frank’s stepping from behind a portiere curtain in the hall.

“He came out before I got through talking with Mrs. Frank,” said the detective.

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Mrs. Coleman Is Recalled To Identify Mary’s Handbag

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

Mrs. J. W. Coleman was recalled to the stand for only a moment’s interrogation regarding the mesh handbag which she carried with her upon leaving home on the day of the tragedy.

Attorney Rosser asked,

“What kind of bag did Mary carry with her that day?”

“A mesh bag.”

The solicitor asked that she describe its size and shape. Her description was that of an ordinary mesh bag, unornamented and manufactured of silver.

She also identified the handkerchief and parasol as having belonged to the slain child.

Defense Riddles John Black’s Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 31st, 1913

SLEUTH CONFUSED UNDER MERCILESS CROSS-QUESTIONS OF LUTHER ROSSER

Just Before He Left the Stand He Confessed That He Was “Mixed Up” and That He Could Not Recall What He Had Testified a Moment Before—Tangled on Finding Bloody Shirt.

FRIENDS OF PRISONER HAVE HIGH HOPES NOW OF FAVORABLE VERDICT

Boots” Rogers, Grace Hicks, Mrs. J. W. Coleman and J. M. Gantt on Stand During Day—Mobs of Curiosity Seekers Besieging Doors to Gain Admission to Frank Trial.

When Wednesday’s session of the Leo M. Frank trial had come to a close, the friends of the accused were filled with high hopes for his acquittal. They were nothing short of jubilant, and on all sides expressions of satisfaction were heard.

This feeling was based on the fact that the testimony of John Black, member of the Atlanta detective department, who worked up a large share of the evidence against Frank, fell to the ground, in a large measure, under the merciless cross-questioning of Luther Rosser.

Time and again Black contradicted himself as to time; time and again he confessed that he did not remember. Just before he left the stand he confessed to Mr. Rosser that he was “mixed up,” and that he could not recall what he had testified a moment before.

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Rosser Riddles One of the State’s Chief Witnesses

Solicitor Dorsey is shown in a characteristic attitude as he questions the state’s witnesses. To his right the defendant, Leo M. Frank, is shown.

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

Atlanta Journal
July 31st, 1913

Detective John Black “Goes to Pieces” Under Rapid-Fire Cross-Questioning of Frank’s Attorney at Afternoon Session

Action characterized the Wednesday afternoon session of the Frank trial, and it was the first time the tedious proceedings had taken on life enough to attract more than passing interest.

This action came in the fierce and merciless cross-examination of Detective John Black by Attorney Rosser, leading counsel for the defense. Black has taken a prominent part in the investigation of the Phagan murder, and it was expected that he would prove one of the state’s principal witnesses, but before Mr. Rosser had finished with him he went all to pieces and admitted that he was hopelessly confused.

There were only two witnesses at the afternoon session—Detective Black and J. M. Gantt, the former shipping clerk at the pencil factory. Gantt was on the stand but about twenty minutes and the only two important points in his testimony were assertions that Frank knew Mary Phagan and that Frank seemed to be frightened and very nervous when the witness saw him at the pencil factory door on the evening of the murder.

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Witnesses of Frank Trial Have Tedious Job of Merely Waiting

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

Atlanta Journal
July 31st, 1913

At First It Was Picnic for Them, but Now It’s Only a Long, Long Wait, in a Crowded Room Under a Burning Roof

The witnesses in the trial of Leo M. Frank undoubtedly have had the hardest time of it to date. If they testify they must run the gamut of Luther Rosser’s sledge-hammer cross-examination or Solicitor Dorsey’s boring-in tactics; if they don’t testify they must wait, and the waiting is the hardest part of all.

One of them in the upstairs hall above the court-room declared Wednesday, “I can’t stay up here, it’s too hot. If I go downstairs a policeman runs me away. But I’ve got to stick around.”

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Machinist Tells of Finding Blood, Hair and Pay Envelope On Second Floor, Where State Claims Girl Was Murdered

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

Atlanta Journal
July 31st, 1913

BLOOD SPOTS AND HAIR FOUND ON DAY FOLLOWING DISCOVERY CRIME HAD BEEN COMMITTED

Pay Envelope Was Found Near Machine Used by Mary Phagan Some Days Later—Find of Strands of Hair on Lathe Was Reported to Quinn, Who Notified Darley—Mell Stanford and Magnolia Kennedy Also Saw It

BARRETT’S EVIDENCE MOST IMPORTANT YET TOWARD PROVING CRIME WAS COMMITTED IN METAL ROOM

Mell Stanford and Harry Scott Also Tell of Finding Blood Spots, but Scott’s Testimony Is Not Entirely Satisfactory to Either State or Defense—Monteen Stover on the Stand. Will Conley Testify in Rebuttal Only?

New and sensational testimony for the state was given by R. P. Barrett, a machinist at the National Pencil factory where Mary Phagan was murdered on April 26, when Barrett Thursday afternoon declared from the witness stand that he had discovered early Monday morning following the tragedy a large blood spot, surrounded by a number of smaller spots, at the water cooler near the dressing room on the second floor of the factory. Barrett testified further that he had found a broom nearby which from its appearance evidently had been used to smear the large blood spot over with a white substance.

Barrett testified further that on the same morning he had found strands of hair on the lathe of the machine used by him and that he had called this discovery to the attention of Magnolia Kennedy, Mell Stanford and Lemmie Quinn, and that Quinn had notified Darley. The solicitor developed through Barrett’s testimony that no girls had been at the factory since Friday afternoon before the crime, his purpose evidently being to show that the hair must have been that of Mary Phagan. In addition to this testimony, Barrett swore that a few days after the murder he had found in the area near Mary Phagan’s machine a portion of a pay envelope. There was nothing on the envelope to positively identify it as having belonged to Mary Phagan.

The fact that blood spots were found in the metal room on the second floor was also established by the state through the testimony of Harry Scott, the Pinkerton detective, and Mell Stanford, an employe of the factory.

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Red Bandanna, a Jackknife and Plennie Minor Preserve Order

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 31st, 1913

He Raps With the Barlow Blade and Waves the Oriflamed Kerchief Judiciously.

Plennie Minor, chief deputy sheriff, has a man’s sized job on his hands and he handles it with the aid of a red bandanna handkerchief and a pocketknife.

More formidable armament has been invented, but the oriflammed kerchief and the barlow blade are all that Plennie Miner requires to perform a duty that many would deem arduous, all of which shows that the deputy sheriff is a man of resource and ability.

It is his job to keep order in Judge Roan’s courtroom, while Leo Frank is being tried as the slayer of Mary Phagan. It’s a real job, when it is considered that during each day at least two thousand persons attend the trial or try to and each one looks to Plennie Minor, to see to their personal accommodation.

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Holloway Accused by Solicitor Dorsey of Entrapping State

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 31st, 1913

Here are the important developments of Thursday in the trial of Leo M. Frank:

Harry Scott, Pinkerton detective, is accused of having “trapped” the prosecution by Solicitor Dorsey, when he testifies that Frank was not nervous when he first saw him.

He is fiercely grilled by the defense after having testified to finding blood spots on the second floor, wiped over with a white substance. He testifies in addition that Herbert Haas, attorney for Frank, asked him to give him reports on his investigations before he gave them to the police and that he refused. He admits making statements that he omitted at the Coroner’s inquest.

Monteen Stover testifies that she did not see Frank in his office when she entered the factory at 12:05. She admits not having seen bureau and safe in the room.

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Scott Trapped Us, Dorsey Charges; Pinkerton Man Is Also Attacked by the Defense

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 31st, 1913

FRANK NOT IN OFFICE JUST AFTER 12 ON DAY OF SLAYING, SAYS GIRL

The deliberate charge that he had been “trapped” by Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott was made by Solicitor Dorsey at the trial of Leo M. Frank Thursday. Scott played a curious part in the trial, being attacked by both sides.

He was given the same fiery baptism that annihilated City Detective Black the day before, but he passed through the ordeal in much better shape than his brother detective. Scott left the stand at 11 o’clock and Miss Monteen Stover was called.

The Stover girl testified that she visited the factory shortly after 12 o’clock, April 26, and that Frank was not in his office.

Scott refused to be cowed by the battering attack of Luther Rosser, chief of Frank’s counsel, and fought back viciously at various times during his cross-examination. He was inclined to argue with both Attorney Rosser and Solicitor Dorsey, and at one time blazed forth angrily when he though that Dorsey was charging him with holding something back.

Defense Discounts Scott’s Story.

Rosser succeeded in impeaching Scott’s testimony to a certain extent by showing that his testimony at the Coroner’s inquest differed in some respects from that given at the trial, and that the testimony at the inquest lacked much that was contained in his testimony just given under the questioning of Solicitor Dorsey, although Scott had sworn at the inquest that he was telling all he knew.

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