State’s Case Against Frank As It Stands After Week’s Testimony Is Shown Here

Photo-diagram of court room in old city hall building, where Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil factory, is on trial for his life charged with the murder of Mary Phagan. Although the available seats are taken soon after court convenes, the crowd waits without all day for some weary spectator to give up a seat. On the second floor the many witnesses await their turn for a grueling examination by attorneys on either side.

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

Atlanta Journal
August 3rd, 1913

Most Important Points State Sought to Prove Are That Mary Phagan Was Killed Shortly After Entering Factory—That Crime Was on Second Floor, and That Frank Was Not in His Office at the Time He Saw He Gave Her the Pay Envelope

An entire week has been given over to the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, and so far the state has not shown or attempted to show any direct connection on the part of the defendant with the crime. Solicitor Dorsey has worked systematically to weave a chain of circumstantial evidence about Frank.

Those who have watched the progress of the trial day by day are impressed with the fact that he has endeavored by the introduction of circumstantial evidence to pave the way for the testimony of James Conley, the negro sweeper, who will be the climax witness for the state and upon whose evidence the case against Frank will largely stand or fall.

The state swore but twenty-six witnesses when the trial began Monday afternoon, but up to date it has called thirty and the indications are that still others are to be put upon the stand. The defense has not put up a single witness and can not do so until the state rests its case. However, Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, counsel for Frank, have administered severe cross-examinations to the more material of the state’s witnesses and in many instances have succeeded in minimizing the evidence given by them on their direct examination.

The state has sought to show by its witnesses:

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Defense Will Introduce Witnesses

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

Atlanta Journal
August 3rd, 1913

FRANK TRIAL WILL RUN INTO THIRD WEEK; DEFENSE WILL BEGIN TESTIMONY WEDNESDAY

Indications Saturday, When Court Adjourned Until Monday Morning at 9 o’Clock, Were That State Would Require at Least Two More Days Before Concluding Presentation of Its Case Against the Factory Superintendent

DEFENSE’S DECISION TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE MEANS THAT THE TRIAL IS NOT YET HALF OVER

Dr. H. F. Harris Will Take the Stand Again Monday Afternoon and Will Probably Be Under Cross-Examination for Several Hours—Conley Will Be State’s Last Witness, and a Big Battle Will Rage Around His Testimony

IT’S TERRIBLE FOR AN INNOCENT MAN TO BE CHARGED WITH CRIME” Leo M. Frank.

Leo M. Frank is apparently standing the strain of the tedious trial remarkably well, and the expression of his face seldom changes during the introduction of evidence. According to his jailers he still sleeps soundly every night, and he has never lost his appetite.

Few people have ever discussed the actual evidence in the case with him, and no expression of an opinion from him about the case, which the state has put up against him, has reached the public.

Frank is quoted as having made only this comment before Saturday’s session started: “It is terrible for an innocent man to be charged with a most damnable crime. Even if he is cleared he can never get over the fact that he was charged and tried for the crime.”

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey admits that he was practically completed his “circumstantial” case against Leo M. Frank, although the state has several witnesses who will be put on the stand this week before the state’s case is concluded.

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Leo Frank’s Eyes Show Intense Interest in Every Phase of Case

Courtroom Studies of Leo Frank: Three typical poses of the defendant in the famous Phagan case are show, while in the upper left of the picture is a study of Luther Rosser, his leading counsel. Here is what a study of Frank’s face reveals: His face is immovable, except, perhaps, for the eyes. But fixity of countenance does not always go with unconcern. In this case it is a part of the man’s nature. Immobility is the essential part of his physiognomy. It is the immobility of the business man given to calculation, of the gambler, of the person given to repression.

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 3rd, 1913

Face Is Immobile, but Gaze Tells Story of Deep Feeling of Man on Trial—A Study of Prisoner at Close Range.

By TABLETON COLLIER.

Everybody says in his heart that he knows human nature, that he can read guilt or innocence, sensuality or asceticism, calm or perturbation in the face of another. Everybody armed to his own satisfaction with this power of divination, has gone to the trial of Leo Frank to watch the man who is charged with the murder of a little girl, the most brutal and conscienceless of murders.

The young man who is thus the center of all eyes sits apparently unconscious of the multiple gaze that continue all day long. Those who go to watch him declare a variety of opinions—that he is calloused or that he is conscience-clear, that he scorns the outcome of the trial whatever it may be, or that he is serene in his innocence.

The watchers generally admit, however, that he is unconcerned.

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Conley to Bring Frank Case Crisis

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 3rd, 1913

Negro’s Testimony Now Supremely Important

Both Sides Stake Their All on His Evidence

STATE FORGES CHAIN TO TAX ALL THE INGENUITY OF DEFENSES LEGAL ARRAY

First Week of Battle Has Fixed the Time Almost Exactly According to Theory of the Solicitor—Doctors’ Testimony His Important Bearing.

BY AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

There are two tenable theories of the manner in which little Mary Phagan met her tragic death in the National Pencil Factory on Saturday, April 26.

Either she was murdered by Leo Frank, as charged in the indictment, or she was murdered by James Conley, the negro sweeper, employed in the factory.

If there is another theory, it has not been advanced.

The theory that Frank killed the girl is the one set up by the State; the theory that Conley killed her is the one to be set up by the defense.

Which, if either, is the true theory?

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Audio Book: The Frank Case, part 3

WE ARE proud to present today, on the 107th anniversary of the foul murder of Mary Phagan, the third and concluding part of our audio version of an extremely rare contemporary book on the murder and the trial of Leo Frank, her killer, entitled The Frank Case — read by Vanessa Neubauer.


It becomes obvious in this concluding segment that this is a pro-Leo Frank book. Not only is Frank’s very odd unsworn statement (in which he literally spent hours going over every irrelevant detail of his company’s financial statement, and which obviously did not make a good impression on the jury) praised to the skies, but long extracts from it are quoted — some of them twice!

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First Week of Frank Trial Ends With Both Sides Sure of Victory

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 3rd, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Indicates That Real Sensation Will Be Developed for State in Closing Days of Famous Mary Phagan Mystery Case.

ANOTHER WEEK OF ORDEAL IN THE HEAT IS EXPECTED

Routing of Detective Black and Surprise in the Testimony of Pinkerton Agent Gives the Defense Principal Points Scored—Newt Lee Hurts.

Slow and tedious, almost without frills, full of bitter squabbles between lawyers, made memorable by oppressive heat, the first week of Leo Frank’s trial on the charge that he killed Mary Phagan, the little factory girl, has drawn to an end.

With the close of the week came the promise that still another six days, or more, will be consumed in taking the testimony.

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Gay Febuary Tells Frank Jury About Statement Prisoner Made

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Gay C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Newport A. Lanford, of the detective bureau, and recent figure in the sensational dictagraph episode, was called to the stand to testify to a statement made by Leo Frank on April 26 in Chief Lanford’s office.

It was during Febuary’s testimony that Frank’s statement was permitted to be produced before the jury. It was read by Attorney Stephens, an associate of Solicitor Dorsey.

Mr. Dorsey questioned Febuary:

“You were present at Lanford’s office when Frank and Luther Z. Rosser were there?”
“Yes.”
“Do you remember having made stenographic report of a statement made by Frank?”
“Yes.”
He was given the report for identification, which he established.

“What was Attorney Rosser doing during the time the statement was made?”
“Looking out of the window most of the time.”
Mr. Rosser began the interrogation at this point.

“You haven’t got a dictagraph with you,have you?” he asked sarcastically.

“No,” was the answer.

“Lanford sent for you to make this statement, didn’t he?”
“Yes.”
“You are Lanford’s private secretary?”
“Yes.”
“He has been chief of police for years?”
“He has been chief of detectives.”
“Chief of detectives, then, that’s just as bad.”

Here Rosser pointed to Lanford, sitting in a chair at the railing.

“That’s he—my handsome friend over there.”

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 2nd 1913, “Gay Febuary Tells Frank Jury About Statement Prisoner Made,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Women and Girls Thronging Court for Trial of Leo Frank

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Fully one-fourth of the big audience at yesterday afternoon’s session of the Frank trial was composed of women and girls. It was the largest crowd of the entire case, and, to the credit of Deputy Sheriff Miner and his force, was handled more effectively than at any preceding session.

There were many strange faces. The women sat in conspicuous seats, fighting many times to obtain a location in view of the witness stand and the tables at which sat the state’s lawyers and counsel for the defense. Many were small girls, especially one, who did not look over 14, and who wore a big hat that covered a mass of brown curls.

There were all types of feminine auditor—the woman of social position and the working women, most of the latter coming into the courtroom later in the afternoon when their working hours were at an end.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 2nd 1913, “Women and Girls Thronging Court for Trial of Leo Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Stenographer Parry Identifies Notes Taken at Phagan Inquest

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Stenographer Parry, the official court stenographer, was next called to the stand to identify a number of notes he took at the coroner’s inquest held in police headquarters shortly after Frank’s arrest.

He was asked by Solicitor Dorsey:

“Did you report the coroner’s inquest over the body of Mary Phagan?”

“Yes.”

“Did you take a statement from Leo Frank?”
“Yes.”

The solicitor showed the stenographer’s notes.

“Is that your report?”
“Yes.”

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Husband of Minola McKnight Describes Movements of Frank

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Albert McKnight, colored, the husband of Minola McKnight, who made a startling affidavit for the police in regard to circumstances at the Frank home on the night of the murder, followed Febuary to the stand.

“What is your wife’s name?” the solicitor asked.

“Minola McKnight.”

“What does she do?”
“Cooks at Mrs. Selig’s home.”
“How long has she held that place?”

“For two years.”
“Where were you about 1 o’clock on the afternoon of April 26?”

Saw Frank April 26.

“I was at Mr. Frank’s home.”
(The Franks have been living with the Seligs, Mrs. Frank’s parents.)

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Policeman W. F. Anderson Tells of Newt Lee’s Telephone Call

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

W. F. Anderson, the policeman who answered the telephone when Newt Lee called police headquarters on the morning of the discovery and who went with the police squad to the scene, was next called to the stand.

“About 3 o’clock on the morning of April 26 where were you?” he was asked by the solicitor.

“At police headquarters.”

“Did you have a telephone call about that time?”

“A man called from the National Pencil factory and said a woman had been killed. I asked was it a white woman or negro, and he answered that she was white.”

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Negro Lurking in Factory Seen by Wife of Employee

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Mrs. Maggie White, wife of John Arthur White, who was at work on the fourth floor of the National Pencil factory part of the day upon which Mary Phagan was killed, was the first witness the state called to the stand Thursday morning in the Frank trial.

The witness told of going to the factory twice on that day to see her husband, and of seeing Frank on both occasions, and also of seeing a negro lurking behind some boxes on the first floor.

“How long has your husband been working for the National Pencil factory?” Solicitor Hugh Dorsey asked after the usual questions as to her identity.

“About two years,” she replied.

“Does he still work there?”

“Yes.”
“Was he at the factory on April 26, and at what time?”

“Yes, he was there; I left home to go there about 7:30 in the morning. I saw him there when I first went there about 11:50, and when I came back at 12:30 he was still there.”

“Who else did you see there?”

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Startling Statements Made During Testimony of Dr. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Making the startling declaration that Mary Phagan had been killed within thirty or forty-five minutes after she had eaten dinner, Dr. Roy F. Harris, state chemist, took the stand during the afternoon session yesterday.

It was Dr. Harris who made the autopsy upon the body when it was disinterred in Marietta on May 5. He brought with him into court specimens of predigested cabbage which had been removed from the slain girl’s stomach.

He also testified to the effect that the girl had suffered violence before death and recited the condition in which he had found blood vessels and tissues of the girl’s organs.

He was questioned first by Solicitor Dorsey.

“What is your occupation?”

“I am a physician.”

“How long have you been a physician?”

“Since 1889.”

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Frequent and Angry Clashes Between Attorneys Mark the Hearing of Darley’s Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

N. V. Darley, mechanical head of the National Pencil factory and directly in charge of the Georgia Cedar company, an adjunct concern, was put on the stand by the state, after Mrs. White had finished.

“How long have you been with the company, and are you still employed here?” asked Solicitor Dorsey.

“I’ve been there about five years, and am still employed there.”

“Who is your immediate superior?”

“I consider Sig Montag my immediate superior,” he replied.

“What is your relation to Frank?”

“We are co-laborers, on an equal basis.”

“With whom do you more often come into contact?”

“With Frank.”
“Did you see Frank on Saturday, April 26?”
“Yes.”

“What time did you leave the factory that morning?”

“About 9:40.”

“When did you next see Frank?”

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Mary Phagan Murdered Within Hour After Dinner

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

DR. H. F. HARRIS GIVES STARTLING EVIDENCE ABOUT TIME OF MURDER

Wound on Eye of Girl Victim of Pencil Factory Crime Looked as if It Came From Blow of Fist, Secretary of State Board of Health Tells the Jurymen.

WHILE ON THE STAND DR. HARRIS COLLAPSES FROM RECENT ILLNESS

Frequent Clashes Take Place During Testimony of N. V. Darley, Assistant Superintendent of National Pencil Factory, Over the Alleged Nervousness of Frank.

Within three-quarters of an hour after she had eaten her frugal breakfast of cabbage and bread, Mary Phagan was dead.

This startling fact was brought out at Friday’s session of the Leo M. Frank trial, when Dr. Roy Harris, secretary of the state board of health, took the stand to tell of the post-mortem examination he performed on the body of the child.

The time of the murder has always been a mooted question. When Dr. Harris made his declaration and exhibited a small bottle containing particles of cabbage, which had been taken from the stomach and which had not had time to digest, a thrill went through the court room.

Crowd on the Qui Vive.

As soon as Dr. Harris entered the court room during the afternoon session, the crowd seemed to sense the dramatic situation which was to follow.

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Audio Book: The Frank Case, part 2

A photograph of Leo Frank, as published in The Frank Case

THE AMERICAN MERCURY now presents the second part (of three parts) of our audio version of what is probably the most hard-to-find book on the murder of Mary Phagan and the trial of Leo Frank — 1913’s anonymously published The Frank Case — read by Vanessa Neubauer.

The Frank Case: Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery now continues as we get into the detailed story of the trial itself.

One very interesting thing strikes me about this section of the book. Even though the book, I find, is moderately pro-Frank, what it reveals about the atmosphere surrounding the trial tends to strongly disprove the modern “Frank was railroaded by anti-Semitic Southern Whites” theory.

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There Is One Joy in Being A Juror: Collectors Barred

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

Atlanta Journal
August 2nd, 1913

Members of Frank Jury Can Not Communicate With Members of Family and Can Read No Newspapers, Not Even Baseball

How does it feel to be shut up with eleven other men for one week, maybe two, possibly three? How does it feel to be the midst of a city and not of it, quarantined from the wife and children just a few blocks away, from business, from let[t]ers, from newspapers, from everything except six hours of daily testimony on a murder case?

Nobody knows except the Frank jurymen, and they can’t tell you, for you won’t be allowed to talk to ’em.

For five days and five nights their only companionship has been each other, all they had to do was eat and sleep and hear testimony. And by this time, they are probably worrying.

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Dr. Harris Collapses on Stand as He Gives Sensational Evidence

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

Atlanta Journal
August 2nd, 1913

Physician Testifies at Frank Trial That Mary Phagan Met Death Half Hour After Lunch—Describes Wounds

Secretary of State Board of Health Compelled to Leave the Witness Stand on Account of Illness

In the midst of sensational testimony, Dr. H. F. Harris, secretary of the state board of health, collapsed Friday afternoon on the witness stand and was excused until Saturday. Dr. Harris and just testified that his examination of the contents of the stomach of little Mary Phagan showed that the dinner which she had eaten before leaving home was still undigested, and he therefore concluded that he little girl was killed within thirty minutes or three-quarters of an hour after she had eaten. Part of the undigested food taken from the stomach was exhibited in the court room. It had been preserved in alcohol.

Dr. Harris testified that there was no evidence of an assault but there were indications of some kind of violence having been committed. He thought this violence had preceded her death five or ten minutes.

Before he finished his testimony Dr. Harris became suddenly ill, his voice became faint and he begged to be excused. He promised to return Saturday, if possible. He said he had gotten up from a sick bed to come to court. He was assisted from the court room.

Also featuring the opening of the Phagan, was the testimony given by N. afternoon session of the trial of Leo M. Frank charged with the murder of Mary V. Darley under cross-examination of Attorney Reuben R. Arnold, for the defense.

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Miss Smith Declares Darley Was Incorrect

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

Atlanta Journal
August 2nd, 1913

Miss Mattie Smith has given The Journal a statement in which she says that a part of the testimony of N. V. Darley at the Frank trial in reference to her was not true. Mr. Darley stated that on April 26 Miss Smith told him that her father was dying and asked him to help bear the funeral expenses. Miss Smith says that she merely told Darley that her father was very low and that she said nothing about helping with the funeral expenses.

Newt Lee Gets Hat; Now He’s Considering What He Wants Next

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

Atlanta Journal
August 2nd, 1913

And Newt Lee gets the hat.

The darky who has been the stanchest witness yet examined at the Frank trial has but little more to wish for.

First it was watermelon Newt wanted. With his very life in danger as he droned away the long hot days in the Fulton county Tower, Newt lifted up his voice and prayed for “dat juicy watermillion.” And they gave him one.

Then it was a “chaw of ‘bacca,” his first request as he came down from the witness stand. Somebody gave him a plug and immediately there were a score who pressed forward with all varieties of cut and twist. Newt had enough ‘bacca to keep his teeth in a state of perpetual motion.

“Now ef I only had’r hat,” declared Newt. “Dis nigger’ud be happy.”

When they took Newt back to the Tower he got the hat. A lady who would not give her name called up the jailer Friday and asked about Lee. Could she send him a hat? she asked. It was all right with the jailer.

The hat came, a monstrous felt creation that delighted Newt to the soul. He put it on his woolly head and his white teeth flashed. Then the smile faded. There was a far-away look in Newt’s eyes.

He was thinking of what he wanted next.