Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 30th, 1913
STATE ADDS NEW LINK TO EVIDENCE CHAIN BY BOOTS ROGERS’ STORY
Sensational testimony by J. M. Gantt, discharged pencil factory employee, was promised Wednesday by Solicitor Dorsey and Frank A. Hooper, who is assisting him. They admitted that Gantt had testimony that had never before been published and would be one of the State’s most material and direct witnesses.
The defense has heard that Gantt will testify he saw Frank and Conley together on the day of the crime. Gantt was expected to follow Grace Hicks on the stand.
The State added another link in the chain of circumstantial evidence it is seeking to forge about Leo M. Frank by calling W. W. (Boots) Rogers to the stand Wednesday.
Rogers is the former county officer in whose automobile the policemen went to the National Pencil Factory Sunday morning after Newt Lee, factory nightwatchman, had called up the police station.
Rogers was on the stand two hours, but in this time he failed to give any material evidence that had not already been presented to the Coroner’s Jury.
As in the testimony of Sergeant L. S. Dobbs, another of the persons who visited the factory the morning after the crime, it was the purpose of Solicitor Dorsey to emphasize the circumstances which he later proposes to construe as highly significant of Frank’s guilt.
Frank Laughs for First Time.
During the testimony of Rogers, Frank laughed heartily for the first time since the trial began—in fact, it was the first display of any emotion that the defendant has made.
Rogers was telling of his visit in the Frank residence at No. 68 East Georgia avenue when the incident occurred which aroused Frank’s laughter.
The ex-county officer said that Detective Black had suggested that a drink of whiskey would do Frank good. Rogers said that Mrs. Frank had said that her father, Mr. Selig, had suffered an attack of acute indigestion and that there was no whisky left in the house.
“He had had an attack of acute indigestion and drank up all the liquor,” repeated Attorney Rosser, humorously, “Well, I have those attacks occasionally myself.”
Defense Hints Attack Theory.
Miss Grace Hicks, of No. 100 McDonough road, followed Rogers on the stand and Solicitor Dorsey, after having her tell of identifying Mary Phagan the morning after the murder, started at once on a line of questioning that indicated his theory that Mary Phagan was first attacked in or near the women’s toilet on the second floor of the factory.
Attorney Rosser, on cross-examination, brought out that Frank seldom spoke to the girls and that she did not know that he was familiar with them.
The most important points in the testimony of “Boots” Rogers in the re-direct examination were:
That he heard Detective Starnes make no mention of what had happened at the factory when Starnes called Frank Sunday morning.
That Frank, although the interval between calling him and the arrival of Rogers’ car at Frank’s home was only five or six minutes, was dressed for the street, except for collar, tie, coat and hat.
Says Frank Was Nervous.
That Frank’s shirt had the appearance of being freshly laundered.
That Frank appeared nervous and asked of Detective John Black if anything had happened at the factory, and if the nightwatchman had reported anything to the police.
That Frank’s words were jumpy; that he continuously was rubbing his hands, and that he moved about nervously.
That t[h]e defendant, when he was taken to the undertaking room, avoided going into the room, where the Phagan girl’s body lay, and that he never looked into the face of the girl whom the State charges was his victim.
That Frank still was nervous when taken to the factory. That he witnessed Frank take the tape from the time clock and heard him remark that the punches were correct. That he (Rogers), while Frank was in the office after a blank tape, examined the tape taken from the clock and saw that none of the punches had been missed.
Mincey, the star witness for the defense, was not in the witness room Wednesday, nor was he there Tuesday. The prosecution openly stated it did not expect Mincey to be introduced as a witness. Attorney Arnold would not discuss Mincey’s absence, but declared that he would be on hand at the proper time.
Factory Diagram Changed.
Court opened Wednesday with a discussion of the admissibility of the diagram of the pencil factory drawn by Bert Green, a Georgian staff artist. The key to the diagram and all objectionable wording had been removed.
Attorney Arnold still objected to the lines which he claimed outlined the theory of the prosecution.
“You don’t have to label a horse to see it as a horse,” he said.
Solicitor Dorsey cited legal authority which he claimed entitled him to present the diagram as evidence. Attorney Arnold said:
“Those dotted lines have nothing to do with the building proper at all. It undertakes to show something that the building itself wouldn’t show.”
Revised Chart Admitted.
When Solicitor Dorsey started to continued his argument Judge Roan interrupted and said:
“Do you mean for the dotted lines to show the theory of the prosecution?”
“Yes,” answered Dorsey.
“But,” continued the judge, “it is with the jury as to whether you prove this to be the correct theory or not.”
“Yes,” said Dorsey.
“On those grounds then I admit it as evidence,” said Judge Roan.
W. W. Rogers, the county policeman, who was one of the first to visit the scene of the crime, was the first witness of the day called.
Rogers on the Stand.
The jury was brought in after the picture was admitted.
The men filed into their seats, showing for the first time some signs of the long hours of confinement.
“Call W. W. Rogers to the stand,” said Solicitor Dorsey, announcing his first witness.
The young man, who took the police to the scene of the crime early that Sunday morning was sworn.
Q. Where were you Saturday night, April 26?—At the station house.
Q. Where were you at [several words illegible] […]
FRANK LAUGHS FOR FIRST TIME DURING TRIAL WHEN HOME INCIDENT IS TOLD
[…] o’clock Sunday morning?—A. I was still there.
Q. Where did you got from there?—A. I took the police to the pencil factory, where they had been called.
Q. What did you do then?—A. After a negro let us in I went down into the basement with the police and found the body.
Present as Starnes Phoned.
Q. Were you present when Detective Starnes called someone over the telephone?—A. Yes.
Q. What time was sit?—A. About 5 or 5:30 Sunday morning.
Q. Did you know who he called?—A. No.
Q. What did he say?—A. I don’t recall exactly, but in substance he was asking some one to come to the factory. I heard him say, “If you will come I will send an automobile for you.” He turned to me and asked me if I would go to Mr. Frank’s home and get him. He gave us the address and Detective Black went with me. Detective Black went to the door. I won’t be sure whether he knocked or rang the bell. Mrs. Frank answered the door. She had on a heavy blue bathrobe. We asked if Frank was there, and he came through the curtain into the reception hall.
Q. Was he dressed for the street?—A. Yes, with the exception of collar and coat.
Q. Can you tell exactly what he had on?—A. A pair of shoes, blue trousers, white pleated shirt and suspenders.
Neither Answered Frank.
Q. What was said?—A. When Frank came in he went directly to Black. He asked him, ‘Has anything happened at the factory?’ Black did not answer him, and, turning to me, he asked the same question. I did not answer.
Q. What else did he say?—A. He asked, “Did the nightwatchman telephone you anything had happened at the factory?”
Q. What else?—A. Black did not answer him then, but told him he had better come to the factory.
Q. What did Starnes say to Frank over the phone besides what you have already told?
“I object,” said Attorney Rosser, “on the ground that it is essentially a leading question.”
“You will have to put the question differently,” said Judge Roan to Mr. Dorsey.
Tells of Phone Talk.
Q. Detail, now, that Mr. Starnes said first.—A. Mr. Starnes was talking to someone over the telephone. I won’t be sure whether he told him who it was or not. He asked this party he was talking to to come to the factory. He said if he would, he would send an automobile for him. With that he turned to me and asked me to go to Frank’s house and get him.
Q. Did you hear anyone else call from the factory?—A. Soon after we reached the pencil factory, about 3:30 o’clock, I was up in the office with Policeman Anderson and Newt Lee. Anderson was trying to get someone over the phone. I don’t know who it was.
Q. What else happened at Frank’s home?—A. I think he asked his wife for his collar and coat.
Q. Was that all?—A. All I remember.
“Your honor,” said Mr. Dorsey, “he has clearly overlooked something. Can I direct his attention to it?”
Frank Recalled a Dream.
“How do you know it?” interrupted Rosser.
“I have his testimony before the Coroner’s jury and I have talked to him,” said Dorsey.
“Oh, Lord,” growled Rosser as he sat down.
Q. What was said about a dream?—A. Mr. Frank said something about dreaming or hearing the telephone during the night.
Q. Was anything said about whisky?—A. Yes; Mr. Frank said he had not had breakfast. He thought he would like to have a cup of coffee. Detective Black said a drink of whisky might do him some good. Mrs. Frank answered that Mrs. Selig had been ill with acute indigestion and had used all of the whisky in the house.
Q. How was Frank’s voice that morning?—A. He was nervous.
Q. What about his voice? Was it fine?—A. Yes, it was fine; somewhat like a woman’s. He asked questions rather abrupt, right off the reel. His questions were jumpy.
Appeared Very Nervous.
Q. What was his appearance when you first saw him?—A. He was rubbing his hands and was extremely nervous.
Q. Was his hair combed or tousled?—A. It was combed.
Q. What was the conversation on the way to the factory?—A. Black or myself—I don’t remember which—asked him if he knew a little girl named Mary Phagan. He asked if she worked at the pencil factory and we told him we thought she did. He said he would have to look on his pay roll to see if she did; that he didn’t know many of the girls there and that he never went out into the factory among them much. We suggested that we had better go by the undertaking establishment and let him see the body.
Q. Describe how you found the body?—A. The room was dark. Undertaker Gheesling went back of the body and turned on the light. The head of the dead girl was toward the wall. Ghe[e]sling took her face in his hands and turned it toward us. Mr. Frank had been behind me as we entered the room, but when Ghe[e]sling turned the girl’s face to me I looked around and Frank was going out of the room.
Didn’t See Her Face.
Q. How long did he have to see the face?—A. He didn’t have any time for when her face was turned to the light he had stepped outside the room.
Q. Did you ask him any questions?—A. Mr. Black asked him if he recognized the body. He said if her name was Mary Phagan he could tell whether she worked at the factory by looking over his pay roll.
Q. What was his attitude at the undertaker’s establishment?—A. He still appeared nervous.
Q. How?—A. Well, he stepped lively and moved quickly.
Frank sat passive during these questions, his expressions an enigma. His wife and mother on each side of him appeared weary.
Frank Looked at Books.
Q. What did Frank do when they got to the factory?—A. Frank went to the office and unlocked the safe. He got a book and ran his hand down a column and said: “Yes, Mary Phagan worked here; if I am not mistaken she was here Saturday and drew her pay.” He said it was some time a little after 12 o’clock. He asked us if we didn’t find a pay envelope near her body. We told him no.
Q. What was the time exactly, according to Frank?—A. He just said it was something a little after 12.
Q. What was his manner?—A. He was nervous and quick.
Q. What was done about running the elevator?—A. I don’t remember exactly who said it, but some one suggested that we see where the girl was murdered. Frank went out to the switchbox and opened it, and after he had turned on a few things the machinery began to run.
Tried to Start Elevator.
Q. Did anyone ask him about the switch box not being locked?—A. He said the insurance company had him stop locking it, saying it was against the law.
Q. Did Frank run the elevator?—A. He pulled the rope to start it, but it would not move. He called Darley and the elevator was started after some delay.
Q. Did anyone comment on the murder?—A. I think Mr. Frank said Darley had worked Newt Lee and that if anyone could get anything out of him it was Darley.
Q. What else happened?—A. Frank said: “We had better nail the back door, Darley.”
Q. What was done?—A. Frank and Darley went to nail the back door.
Q. What did you do then?—A. Frank said: “I guess we had better put in a new tape, Darley.” He then took the tape out of the box and remarked, “They are all punched all right.”
Frank Brought New Slip.
Q. Where was Newt Lee?—A. Lee was right behind me, handcuffed.
Q. Where was Darley?—A. He was right there.
Q. What happened next?—A. Mr. Frank went to his office, brought out a new slip. He took out the old slip and wrote on it April 26, 1913.
Q. What did he do with it?—A. He folded it once and went into his office.
Q. Did you see that slip?—A. Yes, I glanced at it. The first punch was 6:01 and the second at 6:32. There did not appear to be any skip in it.
Q. Did you hear Frank say anything about something to eat?—A. Yes, several times he said he wanted to get a cup of coffee.
Attorney Rosser objected.
Didn’t Notice His Eyes.
“Maybe several wanted a drink—I expect they did,” he said.
Solicitor Dorsey continued.
Q. Did you notice Frank’s eyes during the stay in the factory?—A. No.
Q. How long did you and Frank remain in the factory?—A. I should say something more than an hour.
Q. Where did you go?—A. In the automobile with Lee, Darley, Black and Frank to the police station.
Q. Was anybody under arrest?—A. Lee.
Q. Was Frank?—A. I didn’t consider him so.
Q. What happened at the station?—A. They took Frank up to Chief Lanford’s office.
Q. Did you see Frank do any writing?—A. I saw Newt Lee write, but not Frank.
Dorsey again wanted to refresh Rogers’ memory about his testimony before the Coroner’s jury. Rosser again objected. Judge Roan declared the witness could not be led.
Q. Did you see the officers do anything with Frank and Lee at the station?—A. I saw them take Mr. Frank and Lee up the stairs.
Q. Did you see Frank with a pencil?—A. I can’t say that I did or did not. I was around there so much and saw so much.
Q. What was Frank’s attitude at the station?—A. He appeared nervous, as he had all the morning.
Q. Did you or not have occasion to observe Frank’s hand at the police station?—A. No, sir, I did not.
Rosser Takes Witness.
Mr. Rosser then took up the cross-examination.
Q. You never saw Frank before that morning.—A. No.
Q. You don’t know whether what you considered his nervousness was natural to him or not?—A. No.
Q. How long after you had knocked at Frank’s door was it before Frank came?—A. About a minute or two.
Q. You went to the factory with the police?—A. Yes.
Q. You had some trouble in finding whether the child was black or white?—A. Yes.
Q. Didn’t someone have to pull down her stocking and look at the flesh before they could tell her color?—A. Yes, I believe so.
Tells of Victim’s Face.
Q. Was there dirt on her face?—A. Yes, and some in her eyes.
Q. How long were you at Frank’s home?—A. About fifteen minutes.
Q. It took that long for the things you have told us to happen?—A. Yes.
Q. Are you sure of it?—A. Pretty sure.
Q. You don’t know what time it was when you went to the undertaker’s? You don’t know whether it was 7 o’clock or not, do you?—A. I can’t be sure of that. I am trying to refresh my memory as best I can.
Q. Did you swear to that conversation with Frank about the pay envelope at the Coroner’s inquest?—A. Yes. I told something about it.
Q. Are you as sure of that as the other things you have sworn to this morning?—A. I am sure I said something about it.
Visit to Frank’s Home.
Q. Was anything said about a little drink doing you all good?—A. Yes. When we were at Frank’s home Black said something about a drink. Mrs. Frank called to Mrs. Selig and she said there was no whisky in the house; that Mr. Selig had an attack of indigestion the night before and used it all.
Q. When you were at the undertaker’s, how did you get to the chapel—A. We went down a long corridor.
Q. Did you know that Ghe[e]sling, standing in front of the corpse, saw Frank looking at it?—A. No.
Q. Then you won’t say that Frank didn’t see the young girl’s face?—A. I do say that it would have been impossible for anyone to see her face when it was turned to the wall, and I can swear that no one but Mr. Ghe[e]sling and I went up to the corpse.
Might Have Seen Body.
Q. Wasn’t it possible that Frank saw the body and the face at the same time you did and turned his head at the same time you did?—A. Yes, I suppose so.
Q. Did Frank have any trouble unlocking the safe at the office? Did he work the combination the first time?—A. Yes, without any trouble.
Q. Mr. Frank tried the elevator and couldn’t?—A. Yes.
Q. He called Mr. Darley?—A. Yes.
Q. Did it run smoothly when it started?—A. Yes.
Q. Did it stop with a jerk when it reached the bottom?—A. No; it just stopped.
No Stains in Sawdust.
Q. Was there blood on the sawdust where you found the body?—A. No; we couldn’t find any.
Q. Was there blood anywhere?—A. Yes; some on her underskirt.
Q. Was there blood on her head?—A. Yes, there was some dry blood matted in the hair.
Q. Was there blood running anywhere on the body?—A. I don’t remember any.
Q. Who turned her over?—A. Sergeant Dobbs, I believe.
Q. Were you there when they found the shoe?—A. No.
Q. Were the shoe and hat found that morning?—A. They were not before I left to get Grace Hicks to identify the body.
Went to Station With Party.
Q. How did it happen that Frank went with you to the police station? Did he volunteer to go?—A. I don’t know exactly. He went along with the party without any hesitancy.
The question was interrupted by a whispered conference between Rosser and Arnold; then Rosser continued.
Q. When Mrs. Frank was telephoning to Darley; how far were you from the telephone?—A. About 6 feet.
The re-direct examination was begun by Dorsey:
Q. Could you tell by a glance at the hair whether the girl was white or not?—A. Yes, you couldn’t tell by the face, but it was evident it was the hair of a white girl.
Couldn’t Have Seen Face.
Q. Did you say Frank did or did not see that girl’s face in the undertaking establishment?
“I object,” said Rosser.
“You can ask only what opportunities he had to see the face,” answered Judge Roan.
A. He couldn’t see it because her body was not lying so that he could.
Rosser said: “Mr. Rogers, didn’t you tell me that you didn’t know where Mr. Frank was when you looking at the girl’s face?”—A. Yes; but he couldn’t have seen it, unless he was standing near me, and he wasn’t standing near me.
Dorsey asked: “Did Frank ever go into the room in which the body was?”—A. To the best of my knowledge he did not. He went in the direction of the toilet, or a room which I took to be a toilet.
Grace Hicks on Stand.
Rogers was then excused, and Miss Grace Hicks went on the stand. She was questioned by Dorsey.
Q. Did you know Mary Phagan?
At this point members of the jury asked for water and while it was being secured for them, Frank leaned over and held a whispered conversation with Rosser.
The question was repeated.
A. Mighty near a year.
Q. Where did you know her?—A. At the National Pencil Factory.
Q. Did you identify her body the morning after the crime?—A. Yes.
Knew Her By Hair.
Q. How did you know her?—A. By looking at her.
[several words illegible] [s]poke in a very soft voice. She appeared about 16 years of age. She wore a white dress with light blue ribbons around her neck and elbow sleeves.
Q. How was she when you saw her?—A. She was covered except her head.
Q. How did you know her?—A. By her hair. It was so long and pretty.
Q. Where did you work?—A. In the metal room.
Q. What did you do first when you went to the factory each day?—A. Punched the clock.
At Factory Every Day.
Q. How often was Mary at the factory?—A. Nearly every day.
Q. Where was Mary’s work place?—A. Right next to the dressing room.
Q. Did you see where the blood was?—A. Yes.
Q. A person going from the office back to the rear of the second floor would have had to pass the dressing room, the place near where Mary Phagan worked, wouldn’t they?—A. Yes.
Q. Did Frank pass there every day?—A. Almost every day. He would come back two or three times a day to see how the work was going on.
Q. When was Mary at the factory last to work?—A. The Monday before April 26.
Saturday Regular Pay Day.
Q. Why didn’t she work that week?—A. The metal had given out.
Q. Where was the metal kept?—A. In a little closet under the stairway.
Q. When was the regular pay day?—A. Saturday at 12.
Q. Was anyone paid off Saturday, April 26?—A. Most of them were paid on the Friday night before, as Saturday was a holiday.
Dorsey then had the witness point out the machinery where Mary Phagan worked on the second floor, as shown on the Bert Green diagram. Then Rosser took the witness on cross-examination.
[This section added from the Home edition of Atlanta Georgian]
Never Spoke to the Girls.
Q. You worked there a year?—A. I worked there five years. Mary worked there a year.
Q. In those five years how many times did you speak to Mr. Frank?—A. Three times.
Q. How many times did you see him speak to Mary Phagan?—A. None.
Q. Did he ever speak to the girls when he came through the metal room?—A. No.
Q. What did he say to you the time he spoke to you?—A. He was passing through the room one day with a visitor. I was leaning my head on my hand. He said: “You can run this machine asleep, can’t you?” The other times he spoke to me on the street.
Q. Did he know your name?—A. I don’t know; he knew my face.
Combed Hair at Machines.
Q. Miss Grace, there was a place up there where you combed your hair, wasn’t there?—A. Yes.
Q. Where was it?—A. Sometimes we combed our hair at the machines.
Q. What color was Mary Phagan’s hair?—A. It was sandy, darker than mine.
Q. How far from the machine where you saw and combed your hair, was the lathe where the strands of hair were found?—A. About 15 feet.
Q. Was there another girl who sat near Mary who had hair like her’s?—A. Yes, Magnolia sat on one side of her and I sat on the other. Magnolia’s hair was sandy, too.
Q. You went on Friday to get your pay with the other girls, didn’t you?—A. Yes, sir.
Frank Not Paying Workers.
Q. Who was paying off, Mr. Frank?—A. No, I don’t remember who. It wasn’t Mr. Frank, though.
Q. Whom did you see there?—A. Magnolia Kennedy and Helen Ferguson.
Q. Who were the other girls in your department?—A. None other but Mary.
Q. What did you do in that department?—A. Cut metal tips.
Q. What time did they pay off on Friday?—A. About 6 or 7 o’clock, a little later than usual.
Q. Wasn’t there placards in the factory stating that Saturday would be a holiday?—A. I didn’t see any. I didn’t know there was to be a holiday until Mr. Quinn told me.
Solicitor Dorsey then took up the redirect examination.
Q. If there had been any cards stating there was to be a holiday you would have seen them, wouldn’t you?—A. Yes, I think I would.
Q. When did you know there was to be a holiday?—A. When Mr. Quinn informed me Friday.
Q. Do you still work at the pencil factory?—A. Yes.
Q. Do you still work at the pencil factory?—A. Yes.
Q. How do you know that a man sitting at Frank’s desk could not see a person registering?—A. I don’t know.
Q. You say there was paint around the machine?—A. There was paint in the polishing room.
Q. How far is it from the end of the dressing room where they say blood was found to the polishing room?—A. Four or five feet.
Q. How far back in the room do they keep the paint?—A. On all the machines.
Saw No Red Paint on Floor.
Q. Did you ever see any on Mary’s machine?—A. No.
Q. Was the paintroom off and separate?—A. Yes.
Q. Did they keep paint out where Mary’s machine and dressing room were?—A. No.
Q. Did you ever see any outside?—A. Sometimes drops on the floor where the women come out to get water.
Q. Was it easy to tell whether it was paint or blood?—A. I never saw any red paint on the floor.
Here Attorney Rosser took up the recross-examination.
Q. They did have red paint in there, and they could have dropped it?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. It was hard to tell what color it was, after it hit the floor, wasn’t it?—A. The floor was awful dirty.
Detective Black Called.
Detective John R. Black followed Miss Hix to the stand. Solicitor Dorsey questioned him.
Q. Where were you working before you went with the police department?—A. Atlanta Brewing and Ice Company.
Q. Who owned the stock of that company?—A. McCandless—
Here Attorney Rosser jumped to his feet.
“I object,” he exclaimed, “That can have no bearing on this case.”
“I agree with you,” ruled Judge Roan.
Q. When did you first see Newt Lee, the day the crime was reported?—A. About 5 or 5:30 o’clock in the morning.
Tells of Visit to Frank Home.
Q. Did anyone call Mr. Frank?—A. Mr. Starnes called Frank and asked him if he would come to the pencil factory.
Q. Was that all?—A. All that I can recall.
Q. Describe what happened when you went to Frank’s house.—A. I went to the door and rang the bell. Mrs. Frank came to the door and asked what we wanted. I told her I was detective from the police station and wanted to see Mr. Frank. Almost at once he stepped from behind some curtains. He asked almost immediately if anything had happened at the factory.
Knew Frank Previously.
Q. Did you know Frank before you went to the factory?—A. Yes, I saw him about two years ago and again about eighteen months ago.
Q. Then you knew him?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you know him or recognize him, when you saw him that Sunday morning?—A. No.
Q. Was Frank nervous or excited when you saw him two years ago?—A. No.
Here Attorney Rosser objected to the testimony being given along this line. Attorney Arnold also arose to his feet and said:
“No police officer can give an opinion as to how a man looks!”
Judge Roan said:
“Now, Mr. Black, state the facts and give your reasons.”
Says Frank Was Nervous.
Q. When you saw Frank the morning of April 27, did he seem nervous?—A. Yes.
Q. Why?—A. Because he had some considerable trouble putting on a collar. It seemed that he couldn’t tie his necktie, and he kept asking fast questions. He asked real quick: “Has anything happened at the pencil factory?” And before I could answer, he asked: “Did the night watchman report it?”
Q. Did he express any anxiety to go to the pencil factory?
Rosser objected with: “That is merely a conclusion, your honor.”
Frank Without Breakfast.
“Let him state exactly what happened, and the jury can draw their conclusions,” said Judge Roan.
Q. Did he ask for anything before leaving home?—A. He kept saying he had had no breakfast and would like to get some before he left.
Q. Did he mention anything else about breakfast?—A. Yes, he told Chief Lanford at the factory that he had had no breakfast.
Q. Tell everything he said in the automobile about the murder?—A. I asked him if he knew a girl named Mary Phagan, who had been found dead there. He said no, but he could tell from the records.
Q. What happened at the undertakers?—A. We went in and the man pulled the cover back. Frank looked at her for a second.
Stopped Behind Curtain.
Q. Are you sure he saw her face?—A. No, but I think so.
Q. Where did Rogers go when Ghe[e]sling turned the girl’s face?—A. I don’t know.
Q. Where did Frank go?—A. He stepped aside. There was a curtain hanging there and he stepped behind it.
Q. What did Frank do after he stepped behind the curtain?—A. I don’t know.
Q. Did he get a better view of the body from there?—A. He didn’t get any view at all.
Q. Did Frank ever go into the room where the body was?—A. He passed by it when we first entered the establishment.
Q. With that exception, did he ever go into the room?—A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. How long after he went behind the curtain did you see him?—A. In a few minutes we went out to the automobile.
Q. Was he going toward the body or away from it?—A. Away from it.
Q. State whether or not Frank said anything—
Not Sure of Girl’s Identity.
Here Attorney Rosser objected:
“Your honor, my friend evidently learned under a pastmaster the art of asking leading questions,” said Rosser.
“I want a ruling on this question,” returned Dorsey, “It is not leading.”
Judge Roan overruled the objection.
“Well, your honor sustains me and overrules Mr. Rosser,” said Dorsey, “The witness will answer the question.”
A. Frank said he was not sure he could identify her, but thought from her clothes she was the girl he had paid off Saturday. He said he could tell by looking at his pay roll.
At 12:30 o’clock court adjourned until 2 o’clock.
Attracted by the report that the State intended to introduce its most important witnesses during the day, a larger crowd than that which clamored for admission on the first two days of the trial besieged the courthouse Wednesday morning as the time for the resumption of the Frank trial approached.
[This section is from an Extra of the Atlanta Georgian]
Wife Cheers Frank.
For several minutes before Judge Roan called the court to order for the afternoon session Mrs. Frank sat with her arm around her husband’s shoulder, laughing and carrying on a happy conversation. Frank was visibly cheered by her.
Detective Black, who was on the stand at the noon adjournment, was recalled to the stand. Solicitor Dorsey delayed the questioning several minutes, waiting for Attorney Arnold to arrive. Then he proceeded.
Q. What examination of the clock did Frank make before he said it was punched correctly?—A. He took out the tape and examined it. He said the punches were right until 2:30.
Q. When did Frank first say the clock was not punched correctly?—A. He told me Tuesday.
Gave Slip to Lanford.
Q. Did he have the slip?—A. Yes, he had given it to Chief Lanford Monday.
Q. What did he do with the slip he took out Sunday morning?—A. He took it into his office.
Q. Do you know whether this is the slip he took from the clock?—A. No.
Q. When did you first hear that Frank had said there were three misses?—A. I don’t recall.
Q. At that time, who was being held.—A. Newt Lee.
Q. Frank had not been arrested?—A. No.
Q. What skips did Frank say Newt Lee had made?—A. I think it was from 10 until 11:30—I can’t recall exactly.
Attorneys Clash Again.
Q. How long after he was arrested did he employ counsel?
Attorney Arnold here objected.
“This witness does not know who employed counsel or whether they ever employed counsel, and besides he would have been in a mighty bad fix if he hadn’t,” declared Attorney Arnold. “It is also immaterial and irrelevant. What do you say, Mr. Dorsey?”
“I want to show that this man employed counsel before he was arrested or even a su[s]pect, and I want to show it as one of the circumstances that led to this prosecution.”
Judge Overrules Objection.
Judge Roan overruled the objection, saying that in his opinion the Solicitor’s reason was material.
Q. State when Frank first had counsel.—A. About 8:30 o’clock Monday morning. Mr. Rosser came into police headquarters.
Q. What happened at Frank’s house before he went to police headquarters?—A. Mr. Hazlett went to Frank’s house and told him we wanted him to go to police station with us to discuss the case. It was about 7:30 o’clock.
Q. What time did you go to the police station?—A. We got to the station some time after 8 o’clock and soon Mr. Rosser and Mr. Herbert Haas came down.
Q. What did Mr. Haas have to say?—A. He wanted officers to go out and search Frank’s house.
Q. Had Frank been arrested?—A. No.
Q. What time did this take pla[c]e?—A. A little after 11 o’clock.
Q. Who did Rosser confer with when he went down at 8:30 o’clock on that Monday?—A. He conferred with Mr. Frank.
Q. Do you know anything about a conference between Newt Lee and Frank Tuesday night?—A. Yes, I suggested to Mr. Frank that he have a talk with Lee. They were alone in a room about ten minutes.
Q. Did you hear what they said?—A. No.
Q. What did Frank say about the conference?—A. Mr. Frank said Lee stuck to his story that he didn’t know anything about the crime.
Frank Seemed to Suspect Gannt.
Q. Did he say he tried to get anything out of Lee?—A. He said that Lee was the only one there and ought to know something about it.
Q. Did he say he suspected Lee?—A. He seemed to su[s]pect Gantt. He said he had discharged Gannt and had seen him at the pencil factory about 6 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
Q. Was Gantt arrested?—A. Yes.
Q. Was it after this conversation?—A. No, before.
Q. When did Frank first mention Gantt?—A. Sunday morning.
Q. Was that before Gantt’s arrest?—A. Yes.
Q. Were other suspects arrested?—A. Jim Conley.
Q. After you and Hazlett arrested Frank did you talk to him?—A. Yes.
Answer is Ruled Out.
Q. What was his appearance?—A. He was nervous, just as any man would be who was arrested.
“Your honor,” said Dorsey, “I move that that be ruled out as a gratuitous opinion. The jury is just as capable of judging whether he acted as any man would have acted or not.”
Attorney Rosser objected.
Judge Roan first said he would not strike the statement, but finally on the statement of Dorsey that he would withdraw the question, he said he would rule out the answer.
“I will put the question in a different way,” said Dorsey, “I will knock it down and set it up again.”
Q. What did Frank do Tuesday to make you think he was nervous?—A. He had nothing to say. He wouldn’t answer questions, while before that he appeared affable and in a good humor.
Here Mr. Rosser took up the cross-examination.
Q. You know that when Mr. Frank was at the station house on Monday he would not leave without consent?—A. No, I came down to the station house with Mr. Frank and I had not arrested him.
Q. Didn’t you swear he was released when he was allowed to leave the station?—A. Yes, but I retract that.
Q. A word put in just as a joke, just swore to a lie?
Black remained silent.
Q. Don’t you know, Brother Black, that I didn’t reach the station house until between 10 and 11 o’clock?—A. No, I think you came there between 8 and 8:30 o’clock.
Q. Didn’t you swear that I came there between 8 and 8:30 o’clock?—A. No. I swore that I got there between 8 and 8:30 o’clock and I thought you did.
Q. Don’t you remember that I came up and had to be introduced to Mr. Frank—that I didn’t know him?—A. No, I didn’t know that you didn’t know him.
Q. Don’t you remember that he told me he wanted a statement and I told him to give it without having a conference with him?—A. Yes.
Rosser Exerts Himself.
Q. Didn’t Chief Lanford order him into his office in the same tone he would talk to a negro?—A. No, I didn’t hear Chief Lanford talk in such a way. You wouldn’t let him go in without being with him.
Q. Didn’t I say I didn’t want him to give a statement without a third party being present so that it could not be stated he said something he didn’t say?—A. You wanted to be there when he made any statement.
Mr. Rosser was particularly vigorous in his tone of questioning. It was evident he was exerting himself more now than at any time since the trial began.
“Now,” he remarked aside, “we’ll go back and take up the story.”
Detective Fails to Remember.
Q. You or Lanford, one, told me that you didn’t want me in there?—A. I don’t remember.
Q. I told you that I was going in to hear what he said for fear you would say he said something he didn’t say?—A. I don’t recall it.
Q. When you released him he was not arrested until 11 o’clock, was he?—A. Yes.
Q. You were at the coroner’s inquest?—A. Yes.
Q. Frank answered all the questions freely?—A. Yes.
Q. You think you had one conversation with Mr. Frank before that Sunday morning?—A. Yes.
Q. Do you recall who was with you?—A. No, I don’t.
[This section is from the evening edition of Atlanta Georgian.]
Attracted by the report that the State intended to introduce its most important witnesses during the day, a larger crowd than that which clamored for admission on the first two days of the trial besieged the courthouse Wednesday morning as the time for the resumption of the Frank trial approached.
That sensation is to be sprung by the defense by the production of the mysteriously missing ribbon and flowers from the hat of the murdered girl was repeatedly indicated by Attorney Rosser’s line of questioning Tuesday and the afternoon before.
Beginning with Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, the attorney for Frank interrogated every witness who saw the girl alive or dead that day in regard to the ribbon and flowers.
Mrs. Coleman said that the ribbon and flowers were on the hat when Mary left home. Newt Lee said that he had seen no sign of the missing trimmings. The testimony of Sergeant L. S. Dobbs was the same. Detective Starnes, when he was turned over for the cross-examination, made the same admission.
It is believed that Rosser will produce the ribbon and will attempt to establish that it was found in a place throwing suspicion upon the negro Conley.
Frank was brought to the courthouse at about 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. There was no change in his demeanor or physical appearance. If the trial has been any strain upon him he does not display the effects. He was dressed in the dark mohair suit he wore Tuesday. He greeted his friends cheerily and spoke confidently of acquittal.
The jurors, sleeping in three rooms at the Kimball House, spent a restless night. They appeared rather fagged when they were brought into the courtroom at 9 o’clock.
First Witnesses Unimportant.
Attorneys for the State have announced that the witnesses called Monday and Tuesday were only for the purpose of starting the presentation of evidence against Leo Frank right from the opening incidents of the day that the murder was committed, and that they were important only in so far as they assisted in making a continuous chain of evidence, and as they made here and there statements which might be interpreted as damaging to the accused.
Working on the foundation laid by Tuesday’s testimony, Solicitor Dorsey was understood to be prepared Wednesday and Thursday to introduce witnesses who would swear that the red stains found in two places on the second floor were splotches of blood and not aniline or any other coloring stain; also that the bloody fingerprints on the rear door of the basement were the finger-prints of Leo M. Frank.
City Detective J. N. Starnes just before he left the stand Tuesday night identified pieces of wood as pieces he had chipped from the rear door of the factory. There were finger-prints easily distinguishable upon them. A finger-print expert was in the employ of Solicitor Dorsey for some time during the investigation of the murder mystery and was named among the State’s witnesses.
The red-stained chips from the factory floor were sent to Dr. Claude E. Smith, city bacteriologist, for analysis. Dr. Smith also is one of the State’s witnesses and was expected to be called Wednesday or during Thursday forenoon session.
Writing Pad Evidence?
It was understood when the trial opened Wednesday morning that Detective Starnes would be recalled to the stand by the Solicitor to tell of finding on a shelf just outside Frank’s office writing pads of paper similar to that on which the notes found by Mary Phagan’s body were written.
If the Solicitor did not alter his plans meantime, J. M. Gantt, discharged factory employee, was to be the next witness on the stand. Gantt told at the Coroner’s inquest that Frank appeared nervous and apprehensive when he (Gantt) went to the factory at 6 o’clock Saturday night to get some shoes he had left in the building.
Starnes was on the stand practically all of Tuesday afternoon. While the direct examination was in progress the detective told of his part in scouring the pencil factory for evidence.
One of his statements on which the State is relying to establish that Frank acted and talked in an incriminating manner the morning the body was found consisted in his testimony in regard to a telephone conversation which he said he had with the factory superintendent that morning.
Starnes, under the examination of Dorsey, said that he had been very guarded when he called up Frank that morning and had merely said that he desired Frank’s presence at the factory. He denied that he had mentioned the fact that a girl had been killed.
Claim Frank Knew.
It is the purpose of the State to seek to establish that Frank, without being told of what had happened, had made remarks to the officers when they came for him which indicated he was not unaware that a girl had been murdered in his factory.
The main points of Starnes’ testimony were:
That he had discovered stains resembling blood in two places on the second floor of the factory.
That Frank made a strange remark to Foreman M. B. Darley that he “had more than one suit of clothes,” referring to the fact that he had on a different suit than the one he wore the day before.
That Lee appeared composed when questioned Sunday by the detectives.
That he witnessed the new night watchman in the pencil factory make a complete punch of the time clock covering a period of twelve hours in five minutes.
Under Rosser’s cross-examination Starnes admitted that it was practically impossible for him to remember that exact words he used in certain parts of his testimony at the Coroner’s inquest. This admission was obtained by Rosser to show that Starnes’ memory in respect to the telephone conversation with Frank could not be regarded as any more reliable. Rosser brought out that Starnes failed to mention at the Coroner’s inquest either the matter of the telephone conversation or of the alleged conversation he held with Frank the morning of the murder.
Starnes also admitted that the finger-print chips which were shown him by Solicitor Dorsey might not be the same chips he had taken from the rear door of the basement, as the chips had been out of his possession part of the time during the investigation.