Felder Aide Offers Vice List to Chief

by Archivist on August 29, 2016

Felder Aide OffersAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Attorney Carl Hutcheson Accuse Beavers of Permitting Unlawful Houses to Operate.

GAMBLER’S PLOT, SAYS LANFORD IN HOT REPLY

Detective Head Declares “Ring” Is Trying to Fix Charge of Bribery Against Him.

Ignoring the fresh volley of charges made by Carl Hutcheson, an attorney, who offers to cite resorts which are allowed to operate by the city police. Chief Beavers Tuesday morning reiterated his declaration that the entire matter would be laid bare before the Grand Jury for decision.

Detective Chief Lanford revealed another angle of the warfare when he declared that the fight being made against him was backed by the gambling ring of Atlanta. C. C. Jones was named as the leader of the opposition in this fight.

Beavers in commenting upon Hutcheson’s charges, declared that they were inspired by Thomas B. Felder, with whose office Hutcheson is connected, and that the attack was not therefore that of Hutcheson, but of Felder and his “gang.”

Hutcheson, a young lawyer connected with the firm Felder, Anderson, Whitman & Dillon, wrote an open letter to Chief of Police Beavers, charging him with permitting unlawful houses to operate uncertain city streets and promising to give addresses if the Chief asks personally for them within three days.

Beavers to Ignore Attack.

Characterizing Carl Hutcheson as of too little importance to warrant an answer to his charges made against the police force. Chief Beavers declared that he would ignore him altogether.

“I don’t care to answer Hutcheson’s attack,” said the police official. “Hutcheson is too small a fry to even take notice of. An answer to him would give him too much dignity. This young man is in Felder’s office and is merely being used as a tool of Felder and his gang. Felder prompted him to make the statement that he did, and so I will pay no attention to Hutcheson.

“This matter is going before the Grand Jury, and not Carl Hutcheson.”

Regarded as Reply.

On Monday morning Chief Beavers declared Attorney Thomas B. Felder had no evidence of police cognizance of immoral resorts; that he never had had any, and that he was only bluffing when he said he had. Requested to reply, Colonel Felder announced he would make no more statements except in writing, and that he had nothing to say then.

A few hours later Mr. Hutcheson, a member of Colonel Felder’s firm, issued the letter, which is regarded as a semi-official reply from Colonel Felder.

Mr. Hutcheson formerly was a newspaper man. Shortly after taking up the practice of law he achieved State-wide renown by conducting the campaign of William Schley Howard, who defeated Representative Leonidae Livingston and is now serving his second term in Congress.

Following is Mr. Hutcheson’s open letter to Chief J. L. Beavers:

Scores Vice Crusade.

J. L. Beavers, Chief of Police, Atlanta:

Newport Lanford, Chief of Detectives, Atlanta:

In your great crusade against Sodom and Gomorrah with your immaculate robes of Puritanism.

I accuse you in all your glory with allowing certain houses on Ivy Street, the business of which is to barter in immoral and indecent practices, to continue in flagrant operation. AND YOU KNOW IT. If you do not, every sensible citizen of this city, who knows anything of the world, does. If you do not know these things as is your duty to know, and you should be discharged from your high pedestals for dereliction.

I accuse you of allowing similar houses to operate on certain parts of Spring Street. AND YOU KNOW IT. If you do not, you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of allowing similar houses to operate in a certain section of Pryor Street. AND YOU KNOW IT. If you do not, you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of allowing similar houses to operate on a certain section of Central Avenue. AND YOU KNOW IT. If you do not, you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of failing to take cognizance of a certain house in Ivy Street, to which I called your attention several weeks ago, where young men were inveigled to gamble away their money, the mistress thereof being the banker and the recipient of these ill-gotten gains. AND YOU KNOW IT, and should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you and numbers of your forces with being cognizant of these facts, and yet you, the great crusade leaders, stand idly by and fold your lordly hands.

I accuse you with allowing, even yet, low class hotels in this city to exist and practices their nefarious games of lowly gain, AND YOU KNOW IT, and should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

If you can not “turn up” these places, there are hundreds of people who can. I can use infantile detective work and turn up dozens of them within a few days. AND YOU KNOW THIS CAN BE DONE. And, if you fail to get busy and continue to parade your great genius (?) you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

Charges Police Protection.

I accuse you with protecting these places because of your lax methods in keeping “the houses within our midst” closed, AND YOU KNOW IT, and should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of closing Manhattan Avenue and converting our entire municipality into a “red light” district. AND YOU KNOW IT, and unless you change conditions at once you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of retaining on your forces men unfit to protect the “decent” citizens of Atlanta. AND YOU KNOW IT, and should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

I accuse you of knowing where numbers of houses which exist by immoral practices are located. AND YOU KNOW IT, and you should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

Do you think that the public will hoodwinked forever? Do you think that the public is so gullible as to believe all of this “bush-wah” about the great work that you are continuing? Yes, you closed Manhattan Avenue, but what did you do for the remainder of the city?

You and your bunch are very sore because you were unable to ferret out the Phagan murder, AND YOU KNOW IT. When the Solicitor General called in outside aid, numbers of your hirelings were very much perturbed and became insanely jealous. That is why all of this patched-up and hatched-up bunch of lies and slanders have been issued against Thomas B. Felder, whose shoes you unworthy to untie, AND YOU KNOW IT.

I accuse you of retaining a large number of leather-heads for detectives. Detectives? That is a joke, isn’t it? AND YOU KNOW IT, and you should be removed from office for allowing such an army of incompetents to work with your departments. You know, and I know, that these fellows secure their offices through political pull and not through efficiency. They are Sherlock Holmeses when it comes to arresting blind tigers and negro crap-players, but beyond that they would now know a clew if they saw it tagged.

In the Phagan case, the newspaper men are the ones who turned up the first clews of any merit, AND YOU KNOW IT, and should be ashamed of that crowd down there to allow the members of the Fourth Estate to put one over on you; but you know newspaper men have brains, and brains are required to make detectives.

Now, volley forth again your promulgation of purity and tell the people of this great city what large men you are and how you protect the citizenry of this great Commonwealth.

If you haven’t the addresses of the houses to which I refer, call at my office within three days and I will give you a bunch of them.

Friends of mine have advised me against printing this card. Some have feared for my life—but afraid of you and your crowd? Never. I am not afraid of anything that lays down its firearms and comes at me like a man in fair play. Now, “lay on, MacDuff, and damn’d be him who first cries, ‘Hold! Enough!!”

CARL HUTCHESON.

Atlanta, Ga., May 27, 1913.

Gambler’s Plot, Declares Lanford.

Felder AideChief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford gave out a sensational statement Tuesday morning in which he charged that the efforts to fix accusations of bribery and malfeasance upon him were inspired by a “gambling ring,” of which C. C. Jones was the head.

The cause of the fight against Lanford had been something of a mystery. Beavers readily explained the efforts to dispossess him from the office of Chief of Police by his war on vice in the city of Atlanta. Lanford’s explanation reveals another angle of the crusade against a wide-open town.

“The gambling ring has been after me ever since I was made head of the detective department ten years ago,” said Chief Lanford. “No more had I declared relentless warfare upon all forms of gambling in the city than I was notified that the gambling interests were out to ‘get’ me. Several times it was reported to me that I had been marked for an attack, and once the gamblers succeeded in carrying out their threats.

“That was five years ago. I was reduced from sergeant, which was the designation of the head of the department then, to service in the ranks. The gamblers were responsible for it. They gloated for nine months. Then I was raised to my former position again, with the title of chief. Since then I have continued my campaign against them.

“They have been very bitter. They have threatened me time and again. Now they have brought these charges against me.”

Col. Felder Still Probing In the Phagan Case.

In the news columns of The Georgian yesterday it was said that Colonel Felder had been eliminated from the Phagan case. Colonel Felder says this is not true, that he is as deeply interested in solving the mystery as ever, and that he is lending every energy in that direction. The further statement in The Georgian that Colonel Felder was believed at one time to be interested in the defense of Frank was not intended to reflect in any way upon the lawyer. It was simply the gossip of the street, given for what it was worth. Colonel Felder’s own statement that he is working solely for the public good makes his position perfectly clear, and everybody in the city will hope that he will continue actively in the case until the great mystery is disposed of.

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Atlanta Georgian, May 27th 1913, “Felder Aide Offers Vice List to Chief,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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