Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
August 8th, 1913
Afternoon Session of Frank’s Trial Thursday Is Without Any Interesting Development
Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott Testifies That Conley Never Told Him New Features of Story—Dr. Leroy Childs Testifies in Effort to Break Dr. Harris’ Story
When court adjourned Thursday afternoon at 5:10 o’clock Detective Scott, called by the defense to impeach Jim Conley, had just concluded his examination by the solicitor. Scott had been put through a long series of questions by Attorney Rosser, the purpose of which was to show the discrepancies between what Conley told Scott and what he swore on the witness stand.
Harry Scott, of the Pinkertons, was called as the second witness for the defense of Leo M. Frank Thursday afternoon when Dr. Leroy Childs left the stand. Scott testified that he informed the detectives immediately upon learning that Mrs. White had seen a negro sitting on a box at the foot of the second floor stairs. The state has contended that this information was withheld from the city detectives until May 7 or 8, and that Scott learned it from Frank on April 28.
Dr. Childs while under the examination of Attorney Arnold characterized testimony similar to some of that given by Drs. Hurt and Harris as remarkable guess work. When the wound on Mary Phagan’s head was described to the physician by Attorney Arnold, Dr. Childs declared that it would be guess work to say that the wound would have caused unconsciousness; when the wound was described to him by Solicitor Dorsey he declared that it would not have caused death. He declared that the conditions upon which Dr. Harris based his opinion that violence had been done the girl, might have been caused by the examination made by Dr. Hurt prior to Dr. Harris’ examination and by the process of embalming.
At 2 o’clock the trial resumed, with Dr. L. W. Childs still on the stand under direct examination by Attorney Arnold.
The jurors and the two bailiffs in immediate charge of them wore each a tube rose, which had been sent to them, it was said, with the compliments of a Mrs. Winburn.
“Could a bruise over an eye or a discoloration have been inflicted upon a body after death?”
“Yes, if the body was not cold. I should say that it could have been inflicted within two hours after death.”
“Could a blow on the back of the head blacken the eye?”
“Yes, it could blacken one or both.”
Dr. Childs testified that dilated blood vessels might be caused in several ways and not necessarily from external violence such as Dr. Harris said had been committed.
Congestion and rupture of the blood vessels—could have come from natural causes, could they not?”
“Now, wouldn’t the strangulation tend toward a congestion of the blood vessels?”
“Yes, it would tend to congest the blood vessels of the entire body.”
Framing an hypothesis, Mr. Arnold asked:
“Would you be able to tell how long violence had been done before death?”
“Could you tell anything about this from the inflammation?”
Dr. Childs stated that inflammation is caused by bacterial invasion, which takes time, that congestion is the better description. He stated that in order to tell anything about the time of violence preceding death, it would depend a good deal upon whether the inflammation is chronic or temporary.
“How would you tell whether it is temporary or chronic?”
“In cases of chronic inflammation, even of three or four weeks duration a fibrous tissue is formed.”
“Suppose though it is chronic inflammation and has not existed long enough for the fibrous tissue to form?”
“That would be congestion and not inflammation.”
“Then there’s no way to tell, nine days after death, when the violence occurred?”
“I think not.”
“Would you hazard an opinion as to whether it occurred one hour before death?”
“I would not.
“Would you hazard an opinion as to whether it occurred two hours before death?”
“I would not. Perhaps it would be possible to determine and render a reliable opinion as to whithin two weeks of when it occurred.”
Solicitor Dorsey cross-examined Dr. Childs.
The witness stated that he is 31 years old, born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a resident of Ann Arbor, Calumet, and Atlanta during all of his [several words illegible] been practicing profession seven years and limits his work to surgery and general medicine.
“Most experts confine themselves to one or the other [several words illegible] and then have all they can do, don’t they?” asked the solicitor.
“Not all of them.”
“Now, doctor, do you mean to tell the jury, strictly and scientifically speaking, that digestion starts in the mouth?”
“Well, what on earth is mastication, then?” asked the solicitor.
“Mastication is the chewing of the food and its mixing with the saliva. I do not mean to say [several words illegible] is digested in the mouth, but that is the beginning of digestion.”
“Doctor, are turnips and cabbage in the same class?”
“In the same general class,” responded Dr. Childs.
“Well, now, Dr. Crittenden (picking up a book), the head of Sheffield school of scientific medical research of Yale university, says that turnips have been digested and passed out from the stomach in from three and a half to four hours. He says the same thing about cabbage. Now, will you admit that you are at issue with this eminent authority?”
Dr. Childs said that he would. A great many other authorities, he added, were at issue with them. “Tell me some of them,” asked the solicitor.
“A Dr. Peterson is one,” said the witness.
“Is that Dr. Peterson the nerve specialist?”
“No, he is neither that Dr. Peterson, nor the gynecologist, but an entirely different Dr. Peterson.”
“How long after any substance has been taken into the stomach do we find free hydrochloric acid?”
“It may be there without any food,” said the witness.
“Free hydrochloric acid?” demanded the solicitor.
Dr. Childs nodded.
“Well, what is an Ewald test breakfast?”
“A couple of slices of bread and twelve to sixteen ounces of water,” said the witness.
“Well, in in one hour after a man has taken an Ewald test breakfast, how much free hydochloric acid do you find?”
Dr. Childs at first said two grains. The solicitor asked him to state his answer in degrees. Dr. Childs answered that the solicitor was asking questions which should more properly be put to a laboratory man, and that he would prefer not to answer.
“Don’t you know that any doctor should be able to tell how much hydrochloric acid there is after a one hour Ewald test breakfast? Isn’t that the first thing taught in a medical school?”
“No,” said Dr. Childs.
“Don’t you know that the amount of hydrochloric acid is the main thing that shows the stage of digestion?”
“It is one of the main things,” said the witness.
The solicitor asked him to describe the function of digestion. Dr. Childs proceeded to do that.
“I want you to look at this cabbage,” said the solicitor, holding up before Dr. Childs the specimen taken from Mary Phagan’s stomach. “Suppose it is in that state when taken out of a normal stomach and you found bread progressed to just exactly the same degree of digestion as this, how long would you say these substances had been in the stomach?”
CALLS IT GUESSWORK.
“I couldn’t tell within an hour and a half. It would be guesswork to determine it any nearer than that.”
“Will you give the jury one instance where cabbage has been found in a normal stomach after a period of several hours?”
“I recall an instance in which cabbage was found after twelve hours.”
“Wait a minute,” interrupted the solicitor, “wasn’t that a diseased stomach?”
“Not ordinarily a diseased stomach.”
There followed some question and discussion among counsel as to what constitutes a normal stomach.
Dr. Childs stated that he had induced vomiting in the stomach where he found the cabbage after twelve hours. It could not be considered technically a normal stomach inasmuch as he introduced a foreign agent for the inducement of the vomiting, said he.
LAUGHTER IN COURT.
“Of course not,” said the solicitor, in comment on the admission that it was not a normal stomach.
“I object to this comment on the part of the solicitor,” objected Attorney Arnold.
“All right, let it go out of the record then,” said the solicitor. There was subdued laughter in court.
“I object to this laughter, your honor,” said Mr. Arnold. “Every little while we are interrupted in this manner.”
Judge Roan admonished the spectators to be quiet and not make any further demonstration in court.
The solicitor asked Dr. Childs to explain a normal stomach. Dr. Childs defined a normal stomach as one which under normal conditions would digest food in the usual time. “One cannot, however, state this time in hours and minutes,” said he.
“Did you ever undertake an experiment with cabbage beside the one you made on this man whom you made vomit it up after twelve hours?”
“Your experience regarding cabbage then is confined to this one isolated case?”
“I am not a laboratory man.”
“If you find underneath the hair of a girl who has been dead a number of hours, blood that still is moist, a deep indentation around the neck where cord had been drawn tight, the tongue out, the face livid, the nails and lips blue, the windpipe injured, and a blow on the head—what would you say caused death?”
BLOW DIDN’T CAUSE DEATH.
“I should say that the blow on the head did not cause death.”
That concluded the cross-examination. Attorney Arnold asked one question before the witness left the stand.
“Ten days after death, to what extent is a body usually discolored?”
“It depends on how much blood is removed in the embalming process.”
“You mean that he embalming fluid might take the place of blood?”
“Virtually that, yes.”
DEFENSE CALLS SCOTT.
Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, who had testified as a witness called by the state, was called to the stand next by the defense. While the bailiffs were calling for him, Mr. Rosser, speaking to the solicitor, said, “Give me those statements by your friend Conley.” The solicitor tossed the affidavits to him.
“Did you get information on Monday after the crime about Mrs. White seeing a darky on the first floor of the factory?” asked Attorney Rosser.
“Did you give it to the detectives?”
“You worked in harmony with the detectives?”
“You gave the information you collected, and they gave you the information they gathered?”
“Frank gave you that information about Mrs. White having seen the negro when he first talked to you, didn’t he?”
“Did you make any investigation at the factory to ascertain if Conley could write?”
“When did you first discover that he could write?”
“Sunday, June 18.”
Mr. Rosser then handed to the witness a statement which he said purported to be signed by James Conley and was dated May 18, 1913. The witness examined the paper. Mr. Rosser then took it back.
“Were you present when this statement was made?” asked Mr. Rosser.
“Yes, I wrote it myself,” replied the witness.
“Who furnished to you the facts stated here?”
“Did he furnish to you any other or further facts?”
“Not that day.”
“In that statement, Conley contended that he didn’t go to the factory at all on the day of the murder, didn’t he?”
“And he gave you a minute and detailed statement of his actions on that day?”
“When you took down that statement did you know that Conley could write?”
“Yes, I had had him to write.”
“And after you knew he could write, he still made this statement?”
“He told you he left home between 9 and 9:30 o’clock?”
“And he ate breakfast at 10:30?”
The witness hesitated in his answer, and Mr. Rosser handed to him the statement to refresh his memory.
The witness then corrected himself and said the negro told him he ate breakfast between 9 and 9:30, and that he left home about 10:30.
“He told you that was the first time he was away from home that day?”
“That he went to Peters street and bought some beer and some whisky, paying 40 cents for it?”
Attorney Hooper objected to Mr. Rosser interrogating the witness on the contents of the affidavit. The document was in court to speak for itself, said he. Judge Roan ruled that Mr. Rosser was not asking the witness about what was in the affidavit, but was simply using it to refresh his memory as to the conversation he had had with Conley.
“Didn’t he state to you that he visited the Butt-In saloon; that he shot some dice there and won 90 cents; that he drank some beer; that he visited Early’s saloon and drank some beer and wine?”
“He also told you that he went home at 2:30 o’clock?”
“After he went home, he said, he sent his little girl out for some pan sausage, didn’t he?”
“What day did you say you found out he could write?”
“All right, I want to refresh your memory.” Mr. Rosser handed the affidavit to him. After the witness had examined a paragraph indicated by Mr. Rosser, the latter inquired whether Schiff or Darley of the factory had not told him Conley could write.
Scott explained that this information came to his agency while he was out of town.
INFORMATION FROM FACTORY.
“Well, what I want to know is, did you know that this information came from the factory?”
“Now on May 18 yo dictated to Jim Conley?”
“Made him write these words: ‘That long, tall, black negro did this by hisself?’”
“How long did it take him to write it?”
“I dictated each word separately, and it took him about six or eight minutes to write them all.”
“He writes quite slowly, does he not?”
“You dictated each word separately and he wrote it out?”
“Were you present when he he was brought before Mrs. White for her to identify him?”
“Yes, he was stood up in front of Mrs. White with several other negroes.”
“What was his behavior on that occasion?”
“He was twisting his mouth about and had a cigarette in his fingers which he seemed unable to hold.”
“Was there any effort on his part to change his features, as if he desired to escape identification?”
Solicitor Dorsey objected to the last part of the question. Mr. Rosser withdrew it and directed the witness to tell just what Conley did.
“He was moving his lips and appeared to be excited,” said the witness.
The solicitor objected to the reference to his appearing to be excited, declaring that that was a conclusion pure and simple.
“He did look nervous,” said Scott. “He continued twirling a cigarette which he had in his hand, and moving his feet, and chewing on his lips.”
Mr. Rosser exhibited the pencil written statement signed by Conley on May 18. Scott identified it as Jim Conley’s statement.
“Well, you went after him pretty hard that day, didn’t you?” asked Mr. Rosser.
TRIED TO GET CONFESSION.
“Yes, we tried to make him confess to the crime.”
“Give us a picture of what you and Black did to him.”
“We talked pretty rough to him.”
“Give us a description of that third degree.”
“I wouldn’t admit that I gave anybody a third degree,” said Scott.
“Didn’t you give description of the third degree to the newspapers?”
“No, I never did.”
“Didn’t you say there was a scientific way of giving the third degree, one of you cussing him and the other professing to be his friend?”
“We used a little profanity,” said Scott.
The court room was intensely hot. There seemed to be more suffering from the heat, upon the part of those taking part in the trial and the others witnessing it, than on any previous day of the trial.
“Didn’t you cuss and abuse him?”
“Yes, that first Sunday.”
“Didn’t he swear that he hadn’t been near the factory, that he didn’t know anything about the crime at all; and didn’t he look you straight in the eye when he said those things?”
“How long did this séance last?”
“About two hours.”
“Where was it held?”
“In a private room on the third floor of police headquarters.”
“On May 24, when he made the sworn statement that he wrote the notes on Friday, you carried him to Mr. Dorsey, didn’t you?”
“Conley told you then that he was telling the whole truth, didn’t he?”
That statement was voluntary, wasn’t it?”
“Yes. Conley sent for Black and we went down together to see him.”
“That was his first sworn statement, wasn’t it?”
“Now, on May 25 you and Black gave him another sitting, didn’t you? For about how long?”
“Three hours,” said Scott.
“Did you cuss and abuse him then?”
“No, we didn’t abuse him. We were only stern with him.”
“And he repeated that same story, didn’t he?”
“On May 27, how long did you sit with him?”
“Five or six hours.”
STORY WOULDN’T FIT.
“You tried to impress on him that the statement that Frank wrote the notes on Friday showed premeditation and was unreasonable and wouldn’t fit.”
“On May 28 you had a session with him with the chief, didn’t you?”
“How long did you grill him then?”
“Five or six hours.”
“It was most of the day, wasn’t it?”
“You tried to make clear to him the statements were far fetched and would not fit?”
“Then on the 28th he made you a long statement, didn’t he?”
CHANGED HIS STORY.
“And having been told that the Friday statement wouldn’t do it, he changed it to Saturday?”
“He told you that this was his second and last statement, that it was the whole truth, that it was given freely and after due premeditation?”
“I don’t know that he said ‘freely,’” said Scott, “but he did tell us that it was after he had thought about it.”
“He said he was telling you the whole truth, and still he repeated to you that he got up about 9 or 9:30 that morning and went to Peters street, didn’t he?”
“How many notes did he tell you he made altogether?”
“He said he wrote on three pieces of paper.”
“Did he say that Mr. Frank took another place and wrote something like an M on it?”
“He didn’t say anything at that time about seeing Mary Phagan, did he?”
“What sort of a looking negro was Conley when you saw him the first time? Wasn’t he a dirty, ragged negro?”
“Yes, he was rather dirty.”
“Did you see him in court the other day?”
“Slick as an onion, wasn’t he?”
“He told you how he had tried to go down to see where a girl named Mary Puckett had been killed, didn’t he?”
“What day was Frank arrested?”
“Tuesday, when he was detained with your consent.”
“You weren’t at police headquarters when he was detained there Monday, were you, Mr. Scott?”
“On May 29 you had another talk with him, didn’t you, Mr. Scott?”
“Did you give him the third degree?”
“Didn’t you point out the improbable points in his story and tell him that that wouldn’t do?”
“You kept at him that day until 6 p. m., and started early Tuesday, didn’t you?”
“Now, this last talk, which lasted nearly a day. He said that he hadn’t told you the whole truth because he thought Frank was going to get out and help him, but that he had found out that Frank was not going to do so, and he intended then to tell you the whole truth. Didn’t he tell you that?”
“He told you also that he went straight from Peters street to Nelson and Forsyth streets, and that he had not gone to the factory between 7 and 5 o’clock that morning—didn’t he?”
“He said nothing about Frank asking him to watch for him, and about him closing the door when Frank stamped his feet?”
“In that statement, the first information he got from Frank was the whistle, wasn’t it?”
DIDN’T SEE MISS STOVER.
“He denied having seen Monteen Stover?”
“And he denied having seen Mary Phagan?”
“Did you ever try to get him to tell you about the mesh bag?”
“Yes, sir, several times, but he always denied having seen it.”
“When he made this statement, he never intimated that he saw it in Frank’s office and that he saw Frank put it in the safe?”
“Did you ask him about the parasol?”
“Did he say he saw it, or did he deny seeing it?”
Witness refreshed his memory from the affidavit. He said that the negro denied having seen it.
“Did he tell you anything about Frank stumbling as he got into the elevator on the street floor, and falling against him?”
“He said Frank made a misstep at the office floor, didn’t he?”
“Didn’t he say that he remained some time in the wardrobe?”
“Yes, I think he said ten or fifteen minutes.”
“Refresh your memory, Mr. Scott. Didn’t he say seven or eight minutes?”
“Probably he did.”
“In this last statement, didn’t he say that he wrote only one note, not four?”
“How long before this trial was the last time that you were admitted to see him?”
“Now this statement we were talking about—he said it was final, and that nothing else could be said on the subject by him, didn’t he?”
“That was the first time any money except that in the cigarette box was mentioned, wasn’t it?”
“What did he say that money consisted of?”
“Two greenbacks and some silver.”
“He didn’t at any time tell you that he went straight from his home to the factory, did he?”
“No. As long as I saw him, he always maintained that he went to the factory the first time following Frank from Montag’s.”
“Did he tell you that he saw Lemmie Quinn that day?”
“No, he maintained that he did not.”
“Did he ever tell you that he thought this poor girl’s name was Mary Perkins?”
DIDN’T HE SAY HE SAW MARY.
“Did he ever say to you that he saw her alive on that day?”
“Did he ever say anything to you about hearing steps toward the metal room, and screams?”
“Did you question him about these points?”
“Yes. He said he only saw a dead body.”
“Can you remember whether he said that Frank told him that he had let her fall and she hit her head, or that Frank struck her?”
“I don’t remember.”
Mr. Rosser handed to Scott a Pinkerton report and asked him to refresh his memory.
“He told me that Frank told him that he let her fall, but he said nothing to me about Frank having admitted striking her.”
WHAT HE DIDN’T TELL.
“Did he tell you he heard somebody tip-toe to Frank’s office?”
“Did he tell you he heard somebody stamp, and that then he went to sleep, and the next thing he heard was the whistling?”
“Did he tell you about Frank showing him how to lock the door?”
“Did he tell you Frank had a cord in his hand when he met him at the head of the stairs?”
“Did you find any more cord around the factory like that on the little girl’s neck?”
“I saw a number of pieces like it in the basement and in other places.”
“Did he tell you about Frank’s eyes looking funny that day?”
“He didn’t tell you she had a rope around her neck when he found her, did he?”
“When did he tell you Frank whistled and he went upstairs?”
“He said it was four minutes to 1.”
“Didn’t he tell you about four minutes to 1, without specifying the exact time?”
“I believe he said four minutes to 1. That’s my recollection.”
“He told you that when he went to the back of the factory and when he saw the girl he hollered, “This girl is dead, Mr. Frank, didn’t he? And he didn’t say he went back up to the front of the building to tell Frank that?”
“Did he tell you about wrapping the body in cloth?”
“I believe not in his statements.”
“Mr. Scott, you went to the pencil factory with him one time to see how he did it, didn’t you?”
“He said then that he got a crocus sack and tied the body in it, didn’t he?”
“I believe he did.”
“Do you call this a crocus sack?” continued Attorney Rosser, indicating the crocus sack laying at the foot of the witness stand.
DORSEY CALLS TIME.
At this point Solicitor Dorsey remarked: “In the interests of time, I think Jim Conley has admitted all this.”
“He said he told Black and Scott all this. I’m going to show he didn’t, if I can.”
Judge Roan said, “I think he has the right to do that, Mr. Dorsey.”
The solicitor sat down. “All right; go ahead,” said he.
“When he was going through the factory, did he say anything about the cord?”
“Yes, he said there was a cord around the girl’s neck, and it stretched off at a right angle from the body.”
“Did he tell you that when he came back and told Frank the girl was dead, that Frank raised his hands and said, ‘Shh! Shhh!’ And he said, ‘well, she is dead?’”
“He told you that he put the girl’s body on his right shoulder to carry it out, and that he dropped it near the dressing room door?”
“Did he tell you that when he put the sack on his shoulders, the body dangled around his legs?”
“Did he say anything to you about the slipper, the piece of ribbon, and the hat, being by the body upstairs?”
“Yes, but he didn’t mention the ribbon.”
“He told you he never saw the ribbon that came from around her hat, though, you asked him about it several times?”
“He told you that after he dropped the body, he took it up by the shoulders and Frank took it up by the feet; that he walked backwards and Frank pressed up against him as he walked?”
THE ELEVATOR KEY.
“Did he tell you that after they put the bod on the elevator. Frank tried to move the elevator and when he didn’t move it he said he would have to go into the office and get the key? On the contrary, didn’t he say that Frank got the key and the body was put on the elevator afterward?”
“Didn’t you tell me that Conley didn’t say anything about Frank stumbling onto the elevator at the first floor and hitting him? That the only stumbling he mentioned was at the top floor?”
“He didn’t tell you anything about Frank leaving the elevator unlocked?”
“He didn’t tell you that Frank left the motor box unlocked and carried the key into the office?”
“When he told you about being in the wardrobe, he said something about sweating, didn’t he?”
“He didn’t say anything about remarking to Frank, ‘You’ve got me in a right place?’”
“He told you Frank gave him $200 and took it back?”
CODICIL TO AFFIDAVIT.
Mr. Rosser handed the negro’s statement to the witness. “This seems to have been typewritten and after it was finished, something seems to have been added in long hand at the bottom. How did that happen?”
“Well, after the statement was completed, Conley said something about the money and we called the stenographer back.”
“You asked him whether any attempt was made to burn the body?”
“And he said that none was made?”
“He never told you about Frank telling him to burn it?”
“Nor that he promised Frank to come back in about 40 minutes to burn it, and went to sle[e]p and forgot it.”
“Didn’t he tell you that he was afraid to go down into the basement by himself?”
“Did he tell you he told Frank that he was a white man and did it, and that he should go down there?”
“Did he tell you that Frank told him he would get him out on bond?”
“Did he ever say anything to you about a plan for burning the body?”
Attorney Rosser asked these questions of Scott very slowly, picking out from the record of Conley’s testimony every statement that he quoted; and Scott replied no to practically all of them.
“Did he ever tell you that he went over to a sfaloon [sic] and after a meal of fish and liver, he looked at the clock?”
“Did he tell you that he slept too long in the afternoon and didn’t go back to the factory for that reason?”
“Where did he tell you he was on the Tuesday that he claimed Frank talked to him—on the steps leading from the third to the fourth floor, or on the fourth floor?”
“He said the fourth floor.”
“Did he tell you Frank said if he had come back there would have been no trouble?”
“Describe the scene at police headquarters when you made Conley admit that he could write.”
“He was brought into Chief Lanford’s office, and we handed to him a pad and pencil. We told him that we knew positively that he could write and we would produce evidence showing that he could write if he hesitated at all. Then I started dictating, and he took up a pencil and wrote.
DORSEY TAKES WITNESS.
This ended the examination by Attorney Rosser, and Solicitor Dorsey cross-questioned the witness for the state.
“Mr. Scott, did you get your information that Conley could write from the National Pencil company?”
“Did the authorities of the pencil factory know that Conley was in jail eight days, and withhold telling the police that he could write?”
Attorney Rosser objected and was sustained.
“To what city official, and when, did you tell of Mrs. White saying she saw the negro beside the elevator?”
Attorney Rosser objected. Judge Roan ordered the question read by the stenographer and then overruled the objection.
“I told it in conversation with Detective Rosser, Detective Black and Chief Lanford.”
“Wasn’t it May 6, Mr. Scott, when you told Detective Rosser about it; and wasn’t he the first one you told?”
Attorney Rosser jumped to his feet. “Your honor knows, I suppose, that I am objecting to all of this?”
Judge Roan held that the question was leading, and Solicitor Dorsey repeated it, omitting the specific date.
Detective Scott answered: “It was shortly after April 28. I don’t remember the date.”
“Mr. Scott, when was it the state first learned of the discovery of this big stick?”
Attorney Rosser interposed a question. “What do you mean by the state?”
Solicitor Dorsey replied: “Anybody connected with the prosecution.”
Attorney Rosser entered an objection to the question on the ground that it was immaterial.
ATTITUDE OF PINKERTONS.
“I want to show the attitude of the Pinkertons in this matter, your honor,” said the solicitor.
Judge Roan refused to allow the question, however. The solicitor proceeded, asking Scott if he had ever searched the area in the pencil factory where the stick is supposed to have been found. Scott replied that he had.
“What was one of the far-fetched things that you told Rosser that Conley had in his statements?”
“Well, one was writing the notes on Friday.”
“Were you denied access to Frank?”
There was objection from Attorney Rosser. Solicitor Rorsey [sic] explained, “I want to show that Conley was open to the detectives at any time, and that Frank shut himself up and denied himself to everybody. Can’t I show his conduct, but you can’t show the conduct of his lawyers,” retorted Mr. Rosser.
The judge held that Scott could tell anything Frank actually did and that he knew he did, of his own knowledge.
At the request of Solicitor Dorsey, Detective Scott then started to tell of his attempt to see Frank at the jail.
“Conley, with Chief Beavers and Chief of Detectives Lanford and I went to the jail on the night Conley made his last statement. We went to the sheriff and explained that we wanted to see Frank, and the sheriff went up to Frank’s cell.”
Attorney Rosser interrupted the answer. That was hearsay, he said. Judge Roan sustained him.
“When was the last time you saw Mr. Frank?” asked the solicitor.
“On Saturday, May 3.”
“Why haven’t you seen him since?”
Attorneys Rosser and Arnold jumped to their feet together. Attorney Arnold objected on the ground that the question was illegal and the answer would irrelevant. He was sustained.
The solicitor abandoned, apparently, his effort to get that circumstance before the jury.
“What was the last time you had an opportunity to see Conley and hear him talk?”
“When he made that statement, was there any difference in his manner and appearance from when you first saw him?”
“No, there was not.”
“Were you at the factory when Jim Conley went through it?”
“Tell the jury what he did and said.”
Mr. Rosser objected. Solicitor Dorsey insisted that Mr. Rosser had gone into that incident in his direct examination: “and this opens it up for us,” said he. The court sustained Mr. Rosser’s objection.
“In these conversations you had with Conley, did you take him to task on fewer subjects in the first conversation than you did in the last?”
Mr. Rosser objected Judge Roan sustained him.
“Well, name now a number of matters you told Conley didn’t fit in his first statement, and the number you told him didn’t fit in his second statement.”
“That would be almost impossible, unless I had the statements before me.”
The solicitor handed him the statements and requested him to contrast them and answer his question.
Detective Scott stated that after Conley made his first statement he questioned him a number of times as he whether he was sure that the first meeting with Frank on Saturday, April 25, occurred after Frank came from Montag Brothers at 1:30; and also about Conley’s claim then that the notes were written on Friday.
“Conley corrected and eliminated those matters in his last statement, didn’t he?” asked the solicitor.
“Yes, most of them.”
Mr. Rosser asked the witness if he could enumerate the particular matters that he told Conley didn’t fit in with the facts. “No, not all,” said the witness.
“Did you suggest to Conley just what changes he should make?” inquired the solicitor. “Or did you tell him that his statements didn’t fit?”
“I just told him that the statements didn’t fit. He himself suggested the changes to be made.”
The witness was excused. Judge Roan delivered a brief talk to the jury, telling them that the weather is very hot and that they should take it easy. He stated he had been informed some of them are musicians, and that there is a piano at their hotel. “It will be all right,” said the judge, “for you to make some music and enjoy it, just so you don’t get separated or allow outsiders to come into your concerts.”
The judge then excused the jury and adjourned court until 9 a. m., Friday.
* * *
Atlanta Journal, August 8th 1913, “Defense Begins Introduction of Evidence,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)