Challenges Felder to Prove His Charge

challenges-felder-to-proveAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Attorney Reiterates Graft Accusations Following Lanford’s Defiance—Offers More Proof.

Newport A. Lanford, Chief of Detectives, issued a statement Thursday morning defying Colonel Thomas B. Felder, or anyone, to substantiate the charge of graft made against him and his department in the Grand Jury’s probe of vice conditions and alleged corruption in the detective and police departments.

“I defy Felder, or anyone, to prove to the Grand Jury that a penny of graft has ever gone into the detective department, and I defy him to substantiate one of his blackmailing utterances against me. He can’t do it, and he knows he can’t.”

Colonel Felder, in turn, reiterated Thursday morning every charge of corruption he has made against Chief Lanford and his detectives. He said he had presented a great amount of evidence along this line to the Grand Jury and was in readiness to present more when that body called him at its session to-day.

“Opens Grand Jury’s Eyes.”

“I have given the Grand Jury a great number of facts in this matter and I think they are beginning to see things about like a great many people in Atlanta see them.”

“In next Sunday’s issues of the Atlanta papers I will issue a statement setting forth in full the foundation for every statement I have made and showing the people how corrupt their Chief of Detectives really is. I will not comment here on how great a failure he is as a detective. When William J. Burns reads of some of his marvelous deductions in the Phagan case, the great detective will bow his head in shame and pronounce himself a timid amateur.

“My statement will substantiate every charge I have made beyond any shadow of a doubt.”

Colonel Felder, Chief Lanford, A. S. Colyar, Jr., G. C. Febuary, Chief Beavers and the witnesses in the dictograph controversy, with the exception of George Gentry, the stenographer, were in the witness room of the Grand Jury when that body convened Thursday morning.

May Not Reach Dictograph.

Although witnesses were before the Grand Jury Thursday morning to testify in the dictograph controversy, Foreman L. H. Beck intimated that it was doubtful if this phase of the probe could be reached during the day.

Sensational disclosures of alleged vice conditions existing in sections of East Harris and Ivy Streets, the foreman intimated, had determined the jury to make a more exhaustive investigation along this line before anything else would be taken up. Some of the witnesses, he said, would be quiz[z]ed on vice conditions and held under subpoena until such time as the dictograph controversy could be looked into.

Colonel Felder will go before the Grand Jury again during the day, but it will be in connection with his charges of corruption in the police department and the evidence he has submitted of houses of ill fame.

Gentry Not To Be Found.

A. D. [sic] Colyar, Jr., and G. C. Febuary were summoned at the request of Chief Newport A. Lanford, who was also in the Grand Jury witness room when the body went into executive session. Gentry, the dictograph stenographer, could not be located, but the deputy expected to find him during the day. Colonel Felder stated the young man had been run out of town by the alleged dictograph conspirators, but Chief Lanford said he knew where the young man was and would produce him at the proper time.

It developed that J. E. Skaggs, agent for the Southern Express Company, was not questioned about shipments of whisky into Atlanta, as was stated by one of the deputies Wednesday. It developed that Mr. Skaggs accused a Police Commissioner.

Allen Young, real estate agent, was [Remainder of article not available – Ed.]

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Atlanta Georgian, June 5th 1913, “Challenges Felder to Prove His Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)