Confirms Lee’s Story of Shirt

Confirms Lee's Story of ShirtAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

Negro Woman Says Man Accused of Phagan Crime Was Not Home Saturday Night.

If Newt Lee, the watchman, went home on Saturday night and discarded a bloody, stained shirt, Lorena Townes, the negro woman with whom he boarded, knows it. Lorena says Lee was not home on Saturday night.

Detectives found the blood-stained shirt in an old barrel in Lee’s room, and around this point has been built the theory that after committing the crime the man went home, changed his shirt, returned to the factory and then telephoned the police. Supporting this belief are the alleged omissions in Lee’s time clock checks during the night.

Lee lived in a little back room at 46 Henry Street; Lorena Townes sleeps in the front room opening on the porch. There is no hallway. There is a side door to Lee’s room, but it is always locked from the inside, according to Corinne Holsey, who lives in the other half of the house.

Lee Had No Key.

The door to Lee’s room opens into his chicken yard, the gate of which is always locked at night and the key kept in the house. Lee does not carry a gate key.

His only access at night to his own room is through the room of the woman who says she is his housekeeper. She says she thinks she would have heard Lee if he had gone through her room Saturday night. Corine Holsey, in an adjoining room, separated by only a thin partition, thinks she would have heard any unusual noises.

Barrell [sic] Contains Rags.

In Lee’s room is an old barrel filled with rags and cast-off clothing. The Torous woman says she has never examined the contents of the barrel and supposed that Lee’s wife left it there.

Lee’s wife ran away from him a few months ago and has not been heard from lately.

Corine Holsey declared to-day she sa[w] Lee at about midday Saturday, in his back yard cutting wood and that he wore a brown flannel shirt. When Lee was arrested he wore a heavy shirt answering that description.

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Atlanta Georgian, April 30th 1913, “Confirms Lee’s Story of Shirt,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)