Handwriting of Notes is Identified as Newt Lee’s

Handwriting of Notes is Identified as Newt Lee'sAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday April 30th, 1913

F. M. Berry, one of the most important witnesses of the afternoon, identified the handwriting on the notes found near Mary Phagan’s body as practically the same as that of Newt Lee, who wrote a test note for the detectives.

Mr. Berry said that he had been connected with the Fourth National Bank for 22 years and is at present assistant cashier. During these 22 years he said that he had studied handwriting continually. He was given both notes found by the body of the girl and was asked if they were written by the same person. He said they were.

He then was given another of other notes and asked to pick out the one written by the same person that had written the notes found by the body of the dead girl. He selected two and said that they had been written by the same person that had written those discovered beside the girl. Berry was dismissed and Detective Starnes called.

Detective Starnes picked up the notes that Berry had picked out of the collection and said that they had been written by Lee. He said that he had dictated one and that another detective had dictated the other.

He said that he dictated one of the notes found except the last word “slef,” which he was unable to decipher. He showed the note to Lee and asked him to write that last word. Starnes said that he wrote it readily, spelling it again s-l-e-f. Starnes was dismissed and R. P. Barrett was recalled.

Q. Who worked at the plant Saturday afternoon?—A. Two boys worked on the top floor. One of them named Harry was crippled. I don’t know what the name of the other one was.

Q. Were you at the factory at all Saturday?—A. No.

Q. Have you ever heard of anyone using the place at night?—A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who used it?—A. Mr. Calloway said that he saw young girls, boys and men go in there at night.

(Coroner Donehoo asked the detectives to get Mr. Calloway. His initials or employment were not mentioned by the witnesses, but some of the persons present thought the witness meant E. F. Holloway, timekeeper in the pencil plant.)

Q. When did Mr. Calloway tell you this?—A. To-day.

Q. Had you heard it before?—A. Yes, sir.

Q. Has the night watchman always been a negro?—No, we used to have a white man.

Q. Did Calloway tell you how these people went in that place?—A. No, sir.

Q. Did he say who let them in?—A. No, sir.

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Atlanta Georgian, April 30th 1913, “Handwriting of Notes is Identified as Newt Lee’s,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)