Detective John Black Tell[s] the Jury His Views on the Phagan Case

by Archivist on May 9, 2016

Detective John Black Tell the Jury His Views on the Phagan Case

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 9th, 1913

Detective John Black followed Detective Scott on the stand. He was questioned about the finding of the bloody shirt at Newt Lee’s home. He said that on the Tuesday afternoon after the murder he went with Detective Fred Bullard to Newt Lee’s house at 40 Henry street.

They searched the premises, he said, and found the bloody shirt in a clothes barrel in Lee’s room. The shirt was near the bottom of the barrel and was covered with scraps of old clothes, he said, the barrel apparently being used as a dumping place for old garments.

Asked whether he had seen the shirt that Lee had worn the Sunday morning the Phagan child’s body was discovered, Detective Black said it was not the same shirt that was found in the barrel. The shirt found at Lee’s house had apparently been washed but not [rest of sentence cut off—Ed.]

Juror Langford at this point asked Detective Black, “Have you discovered any positive information as to who committed this murder?”

Detective Black replied, “Do you mean positive information? No, sir, I have not.”

Detective Black contradicted the testimony given at the morning session by Lemmie Quinn by saying that Quinn had told him the Monday after the tragedy that he had not been to the pencil factory the Saturday before.

“Quinn made the statement in my presence two or three times,” said the witness. “On one occasion Detectives Starnes and Campbell questioned him in the basement of the pencil factory and he said he had not been there.”

Detective Black said that it was at his suggestion that Mr. Frank talked to the negro “to get the truth out of him.”

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Atlanta Journal, May 9th 1913, “Detective John Black Tell[s] the Jury His Views on the Phagan Case,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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