Findings in Probe are Guarded

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 2, 1913

No Indication Given of Results of Investigation of Reports of Disorderly Houses.

The result of the Grand Jury’s sensational vice probe of a few weeks ago will be made known Wednesday when the presentments are returned to Superior Judge W. D. Ellis, who two months ago charged that an extensive investigation be made.

Save when an indictment was returned against Police Commissioner W. P. Fain, which charged him with keeping a disorderly house and beating one of the women inmates, no inkling of the general trend of the probe got beyond the closed doors of the jury room.

When the probe first started the jury expected it to be completed in a day. It took a sensational turn when Colonel Thomas B. Felder charged Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford and his detectives with openly protecting vice, and the attorney stated he could submit to the jury a “vice list” that would “stand Atlanta on its head.”

List Given to Jury.

Colonel Felder and Attorney Carl Hutcheson, a young man in his office, prepared a list for the jury which was said to have contained more than 50 names.

Chief of Police J. L. Beavers, denied the existence of the places named in Colonel Felder’s list, and told the Grand Jury vice conditions were better in Atlanta than in any city in the United States, and better than they had ever been in this city.

It was understood that the jury had declined to probe the charges of police corruption and had given the department a clean bill of record.

Whether the recent scandal at police headquarters made it necessary for the jury to change its presentments Tuesday could not be learned, but that a material revision was made was admitted by E. V. Kriegshaber, chairman of the presentment committee. He would not state, however, whether it had to deal with the recent police expose.

Several times since the vice probe began Foreman L. H. Beck has been swamped with signed and anonymous communications furnishing the names of alleged disorderly houses, and some of the writers agreed to testify before the jury under oath.

Dismiss Body Wednesday.

Practically none of the witnesses whose names were furnished the jury were called, and it was generally understood the body declined to deal with specific places, or names, but would only deal with the question in a general way, and recommended to the court any specific action that might be deemed necessary.

The body will meet at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning for a short session to consider any bills the Solicitor might have pending, after which it will be discharged by Judge Ellis.

If the reported action against Jim Conley, the negro who figures in the Phagan case, is to be taken by this Grand Jury it will have to be taken to-day before the jury is discharged. In the event of the body not taking up an indictment against the negro, it can recommend that the succeeding Grand Jury, which meets next Monday, take it up, or the next jury may take it up of its own accord.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 2nd 1913, “Findings in Probe are Guarded,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)