Dorsey Aide Says Frank Is Fast In Net

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 16, 1913

Attorney Hooper Declares State Is Prepared for Any Move the Defense May Make.

Frank A. Hooper, the well-known criminal lawyer who has been engaged to assist Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey in the trial of Leo M. Frank for the alleged murder of Mary Phagan, said Monday that the case was complete and was ready for presentation in court at any time.

Mr. Hooper asserted that the attorneys interested in the prosecution had investigated every angle of the mystery so thoroughly and fortified themselves against any defense that Frank will present, that practically nothing remained to be done until the case was called for trial. The departure of Solicitor Dorsey for a week’s vacation, he said, was an indication of the preparedness of the prosecution.

No new developments are expected by the prosecution, according to Mr. Hooper. All of the stories and rumors have been run down to their original source. The defense, in his opinion, will be able to spring no surprise that has not been anticipated by the prosecution.

Mrs. Frank Gives Interview.

The American printed Sunday an exclusive interview with Mrs. Frank, whose husband, Leo M. Frank, is under indictment chraged with the murder of 14-year-old Mary Phagan. It was the first time that Mrs. Frank had permitted himself to be interviewed since the Coroner’s jury a month ago recommended that the Grand Jury hold her husband for trial.

She broke her silence to tell the thousands who have been gripped by the remarkable murder mystery just why she is absolutely confident and positive that Frank could not have been the author of the terrible deed. She made no plea for sympathy, but expressed herself as fully reconciled to the processes of the law, even though they temporarily caused her the greatest sorrow and kept her husband behind the cars as a man suspected of one of the most brutal crimes thinkable. The loyal wife said that she was able to bear the present belief because of the assurance of Frank’s ultimate and complete vindication.

Why She Believes Husband.

On the fact that she believes from her life with the suspected slayer that any gross or immoral act is utterly apart from his nature, she bases much of her belief in his entire innocence.

She said, in part:

“In all the year and a half of our engagement, in the happy knowledge and consent of both our parents, I was Leo’s ‘best girl’ and he was my one and only beau. If I went to a party, it was conceded that I should go with Leo, and if Leo went, he invariably went with me. You know, the people of my faith do those things in that way—with us, betrothal is all but as sacred as marriage itself.

“Leo Frank and myself have been man and wife for two years and a half. I state it as a circumstance showing how sweet and mutually happy our home life has been, and not as a thing I should mention ordinarily, that during all the two and a half years of our wedded life not once has Leo been away from me at night, save when once a month he attended the meetings of the Jewish Order of B’nai Brith, of which he was the president in Atlanta until he was arrested.

He Preferred Staying Home.

“He might have gone out in the evenings, perhaps without my knowledge, to places he should not have gone, so far as my free consent may have figured as a factor in his going. I merely cite it as a truthful circumstance that he has not elected to go. He seemed rather to prefer staying home with me. Naturally, that made[…]

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[…]me very happy—for I am, after all, a woman, like other women, and a woman never gets to the point where she does not dearly love for her husband to show her that he is still her sweetheart.

“We have lived here in this house, with my father and mother. To them, Leo has been devoted and always most considerate. They love him as a son, they took him close to their hearts before the wedding bells had ceased to ring—for that is the way our people do in those matters.

“I will tell you another reason why I think Leo Frank could not have committed the diabolical crime charged to him. He is devoted to children—little children especially.

“We have no children of our own, unfortunately, but there are several nieces and nephews in the family, and to every one of them Mr. Frank is affectionately attached. I have seen him play with a two-year-old child for hours, not once, but many times.

Helps Little Orphan Children.

“He has been with Mr. Milton Klein, for many years one of the moving spirits in providing innocent and healthful outdoor recreation and pleasure for the children of the Hebrews’ Orphan Home.

“Is a man who loves children as Leo Frank loves them likely to have a hand in the slaying of an innocent child; not yet budded into youthful womanhood, as Mary Phagan is said to have been?

“If there is one person in all the world he has been more devoted to than me, it is his aged and blind uncle, M. Frank. Is a man who is kind and considerate to the lame, the halt and the blind such a man as would take a hand in the killing of a child?

“Ah, surely, surely, there are few people who will—who can—believe that!

Always Kind and Generous.

“In the home, where Leo Frank has spent his time away from his business, he always has ben the most kind, the most generous, the most thoughtful, the most considerate and the most affectionate of men.

“I think my knowledge of Leo Frank and the kind of man he is is worth more than the word of a shiftless negro who has lied persistently and vigorously ever since he was arrested as a suspect—but while my voice will be hushed in the court room, his will be heard by both the judge and the jury trying my husband for his life.

“There is, of course, much in this case that has seemed to me cruel—and now and then I have been moved to some measure of bitterness in my thoughts. But I believe that truth is mighty, and all I want is fair play.

She Wants Fair Play.

“If we can get fair play, my husband will be restored soon to me and to his family and his friends—and when he is, we shall take up calmly, and in such degree of forgetfulness as we can summon to our aid, the disrupted thread of our life, bind up our wounds, and try to hold against no man aught of ill will or resentment.

“That’s the way I feel about it, and that’s the way Leo feels about it. That’s the way mother and father feel about it, too.

“We await the trial of Leo Frank in confidence. We have come to think that, after all, we shall get fair treatment—and as that is all we have asked for, we are more and more optimistic every day as to the conclusion.”

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 16th 1913, “Dorsey Aide Says Frank Is Fast In Net,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)