Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 31st, 1913
Here are the important developments of Thursday in the trial of Leo M. Frank:
Harry Scott, Pinkerton detective, is accused of having “trapped” the prosecution by Solicitor Dorsey, when he testifies that Frank was not nervous when he first saw him.
He is fiercely grilled by the defense after having testified to finding blood spots on the second floor, wiped over with a white substance. He testifies in addition that Herbert Haas, attorney for Frank, asked him to give him reports on his investigations before he gave them to the police and that he refused. He admits making statements that he omitted at the Coroner’s inquest.
Monteen Stover testifies that she did not see Frank in his office when she entered the factory at 12:05. She admits not having seen bureau and safe in the room.
R. P. Barrett, a machinist in the factory, declares that he found blood spots, apparently swept over with a white substance, and a portion of pay envelope on the second floor, as well as strands of hair in a lathe.
Mell Stanford, an employee, testifies to having seen the spots. Dr. Claude Smith testifies that spots on chips taken from the second floor were blood.
E. F. Holloway, State’s witness and foreman at the National Pencil Factory, gave the first evidence directly contradictory to the sensational affidavits of Jim Conley Thursday afternoon when he testified that he saw Leo M. Frank return to the factory from Montague Selig’s home the morning of the crime and that no one was with him.
Conley swore that Frank met him on the street and that he (Conley) returned to the plant with the accused superintendent.
The charge that he was entrapped outright by a witness was repeated once more at the trial by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, when E. F. Holloway, foreman at the pencil Factory declared that the elevator at the plant was not locked Saturday.
Solicitor Dorsey declared that in an affidavit Holloway had said the elevator was locked. Holloway said that when he made the affidavit he had forgotten that he had used the elevator to carry some wood for factory employees and had not locked the power box which controls the lift.
* * *
Dr. Claude Smith, city bacteriologist, testified Thursday afternoon that one of the chips taken from the second floor of the National Pencil factory had upon it blood corpuscles; however, he could not say they were corpuscles of human blood, making the statement that it was impossible to distinguish between human and animal corpuscles after they were dry.
This piece of evidence is believed by the State to go a long distance into destroying the contention of the defense that the red spots might be those of paint or aniline dye.
Dr. Smith said of the bloody shirt found at the house of Newt Lee that it apparently never had been worn when the blood was placed upon it. He declared that there was no odor except of a freshly laundered garment and that the inside of the neck band was not at all soiled.
The expert witness added that the blood on the shirt appeared to have been originally on the inside of the shirt and to have seeped outward through the material. In his opinion, the garment had been used to wipe up a quantity of blood.
Rosser Attacks Smith’s Evidence.
Attorney Rosser at once attacked Dr. Smith’s finding of red corpuscles on one of the chips. He made the bacteriologist admit that the blood might have been that of a mouse, killed there, as well as that of a human being. He forced Dr. Smith to say that he had found only four or five corpuscles on the one chip. Rosser ridiculed the idea that any significance could be attached to the finding of four or five corpuscles on one chip, when the other chips stained in the same manner revealed no chemical indication of the presence of blood.
“If blood is present the corpuscles can be distinguished for a matter of years, so long as the blood is not dissolved or washed away, can’t they?” shouted Rosser.
Dr. Smith conceded that this is true.
The bloodstained garments of Mary Phagan were shown at this time and Frank’s wife displayed emotion.
R. P. Barrett, a machinist on the second floor of the National Pencil Factory, gave unexpected and important evidence for the State. He told for the first time of finding between April 28 and 30 part of a pay envelope under the machine used by Mary Phagan, who was murdered in the factory April 26.
who made the startling discoveries of the spots resembling blood near the water cooler at the ladies’ dressing room on the second floor and the strands of reddish-brown hair on the lathing machine about 20 feet from the Phagan girl’s machine.
Not Regarded Seriously.
Barrett’s finding of the pay envelope was not regarded seriously by the defense. The envelope was begrimed and dirty. It must have been scraped about the floor considerably if it had accumulated all its dirt between the time that Mary Phagan was last paid and the time that Barrett found it on the floor. It bore no date. It bore no number or name. It bore no amount. The only scrap of writing on it was the loop of a letter which remained after the top of the envelope had been torn off. The loop might have been that of a “g,” a “y,” or any of the other letters that extend below the line of writing. If it was the envelope of Mary Phagan there is still the possibility that it was of another week.