Paul Bowen, Held in Houston, Known Here But Left Atlanta in October; Hasn’t Been Back

Paul Bowen

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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, May 6th, 1913

Negative Alibi Seems Established for Young Man Held in Texas City as Suspected Murderer of Mary Phagan in Atlanta — Police There Say “Strong Evidence,” but Nothing Shows Young Man Was Around Here April 26


Two Friends, Young Men in Atlanta, Report Recent Letters From Him—Brother Has Had One—So Has Father—Detectives Say Quinn Changed His Story—Newt Lee Declares Murder Must Have Occurred During the Afternoon

A negative alibi established for Paul P. Bowen by several authorities, among whom are his brother and his father Newnan, seems to clear the young man arrested Monday night in Houston, Tex, from any suspicious connection with the murder of Mary Phagan in Atlanta on the night of April 26.

Strong evidence against the man whom they have arrested and are holding (at request of the Atlanta police) as a suspect, is reported by the police of Houston in telegrams to the Atlanta police. One dispatch says they found a photograph of Mary Phagan in the young man’s trunk. Another says they found there, too, a girl’s vest, with blood on it. Letters from Atlanta signed “Mary,” and others initialed “M. P.,” or “M. J. P.,” are described among other finds in the trunk. A woman’s shirt, “blood-stained and full of holes,” was found in the alley back of the hotel where Bowen had been stopping, just before he moved to the boarding house where the police arrested him. The suspicions of a woman whose room adjoined that of Bowen in the hotel, led the police to him. She saw him manifest emotion over the details of the Mary Phagan murder, the dispatches state, and heard him moan that he wished he hadn’t “done it,” and that if he had his life to live over he would not make the same mistake, or words to that effect.


Yet there remains the fact that in no wa[y]s does The Journal’s searching and thorough investigation connect young Bowen with Atlanta or even with Georgia since he left here for Arkansas last October. Nor have the police and detectives found that vital connection. Friends and relatives of Bowen say that he has not been in Georgia, so far as they know, since last October. Charley Kimball, of the Southern master mechanic’s office at Inman Yards, reports receiving a letter from Bowen, dated at Houston, April 23. The young man’s father reports a postal card from him there recently. Paul’s brother says he received a letter from Paul about two weeks ago. No one who knows Bowen has seen him in Atlanta or Georgia recently, as far as appears; and he is reported to have been employed for the past six weeks as a secretary, traveling with the general manager of some railroad in Texas, living in Houston.

In short, the Houston end of the story tends to involve young Bowen, uon [sic] more or less authority, in the murder.

The Atlanta end of it absolves him of any connection with it.


Either Paul P. Bowen is suspected wrongfully in Houston, Tex., or the man under arrest there has assumed the name of Paul P. Bowen. It is, of course, entirely possible that Paul P. Bowen may have been in Georgia on April 26—but it does not seem probable, and the indications are that his alibi in Houston is as good as established.

The following investigation by The Journal and its correspondents in Houston seems to have revealed very pertinent fact about the life and movements of Paul P. Bowen, who was unknown publicly until Tuesday morning.

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Atlanta Journal, May 6th 1913, “Paul Bowen, Held in Houston, Known Here But Left Atlanta in October; Hasn’t Been Back,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)