Detective Chief Fired for Arresting Bowen as a Phagan Suspect

Detective Chief Fired for Arresting Bowen

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

Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Former Atlantan, Who Was Taken Into Custody in Houston, Texas, Early on Monday Night, Released After an Investigation by Chief of Police Department, Who Says He Is Convinced of His Innocence.


His Father, Cal Bowen, of Newnan, Ga., Received a Message Last Night From His Son, Declaring That He Had Been Fired — Bowen Is Well Connected in Georgia and His Friends Are Indignant Over His Arrest.

Paul P. Bowen, former Atlantan, who was arrested in Houston, Texas, Monday night on suspicion of being connected with the Phagan murder mystery, as told in The Constitution extra Tuesday morning, was released from custody last night, and declare guiltless by the police chief of that city.

George Peyton, chief of the detective force, who led the arresting party, has been discharged as a result of the arrest, on the ground that he “exceeded his authority” in taking Bowen into custody.

Until nine or ten months ago Paul Bowen lived in Atlanta, and his reputation in this city was of the best, employers and friends speaking a good word for him on Tuesday afternoon.

His father and many relatives live in Newnan, Ga., and are among the best people in that section of the state. Mr. Bowen late Tuesday night received a telegram from his son in Houston announcing that he had been given his freedom.

Bowen Freed; Arrester Fired.

Here is the story from The Constitution’s correspondent in Houston of the release of Bowen and of the discharge of George Peyton chief of detectives:

Houston, Texas, May 6.—(Special.)—Paul Peniston Bowen, a railroad clerk, formerly of Atlanta, Ga., who was arrested Monday night by Chief of Detectives George Peyton, Detective Hilton and Night Chief of Police Gordon Murphy, for the purpose of an investigation which the departmental officials thought would connect him with the murder of Mary Phagan, aged 14 years, in Atlanta, was released from custody late Tuesday afternoon by the order of Chief of Police Ben S. Davison.

Chief Peyton was discharged this afternoon as a result of the arrest.

Bowen’s arrest came after an investigation

[The rest of this article is on page two of the Constitution which is unavailable – Ed]

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Atlanta Constitution, May 7th 1913, “Detective Chief Fired for Arresting Bowen as a Phagan Suspect,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)