Girl to Tell Her Story of Vice to Recorder

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Hattie Smith, Now Penitent, Will Make Confessions in Open Court

Resolved to quit the life into which she so recently drifted, Hattie Smith, the Atlanta young woman whose revelations of vice “from the inside” gave the police some startling information Monday, will appear in police court on Tuesday afternoon and repeat in detail the story which she has recounted to the police. Upon the strength of that story Lena Barnhart, a white woman, and Elijah Murray, a negro bellboy, were arrested in the Cumberland hotel Monday and will be arraigned with Hattie Smith in court. The bellboy is involved by the Smith girl’s story as an agent, a pernicious go-between.

“Stay away from these cheap hotels in Atlanta,” is the advice that the Smith girl is now anxious to give to other young women. She asserts that she is going to follow it herself, and that when she has atoned for whatever violation she has done to the law, she will go back to her father’s home on Marietta street and stay there and behave. Her father called at police headquarters Monday afternoon and told her that she would be welcomed at home. Before the young woman was arrested, the father had requested the police to find her. He reported that she had been missing since last Wednesday.

According to the Smith girl, the Barnhart woman was registered at the Cumberland hotel as Lena Revarson. They became acquainted in a soft drink stand. The Barnhart woman invited her to the hotel, according to Hattie Smith, preceding her there and registering her as Lucile Evans and securing a room for her, for which she applied and to which she was assigned later.

It is said that other arrests may follow in this matter, and that probably several men may be arrested upon the strength of the Smith girl’s story. Other women may be involved yet, it is said.


C. V. Kistner, one of the owners of the Cumberland hotel, was summoned by the police Tuesday to appear in recorder’s court Tuesday afternoon and bring with him the register of the hotel. By means of the register as evidence, the police expected to corroborate the assertions of the Smith girl.

During the morning session of court, D. V. Keith, manager of the Cumberland, appeared as defendant in a case made originally Monday evening at the request of two young men. They did not appear in court. To the arresting officers they had related that after renting a room in the hotel, and finding that they did not like it, they asked for the refund of their money and failed to get it from Mr. Keith. Mr. Keith’s undisputed story in police court (no witness appearing against him) was that the young man raised a quarrel after he had refused an unreasonable demand.

Because of the revelations by the Smith girl, the police will keep an even[…]

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[…]more vigilant eye for a while on the downtown hotels. The vice squad will concentrate its surveillance upon several of them, it is said.

Nine Policemen to Face Commissioners Tuesday

Nine policemen of the city force will be tried by the police commission of Atlanta Tuesday evening at headquarters, when the commission meets there in regular monthly session.

Eight of the men are charged with frequenting and drinking at a negro resort at 127 Auburn avenue. One of them is charged with giving false testimony to the chief of police in an investigation of the matter.

The ninth policeman to be tried will be I. E. Jackson, charged by L. M. Smith, of the Atlanta Telephone exchange, with having mistreated him in the Bijou theater.

The eight other patrolmen have been suspended pending the trial. They are Patrolmen Wood, Evans, Jackson, David, Bailey, McDaniel, Born and Folds.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 8th 1913, “Girl to Tell Her Story of Vice to Recorder,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)