Phagan Case is Delayed

Phagan Case is Delayed

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 12th, 1913

Not Likely to Go to Grand Jury This Week More Time Taken to Strengthen Evidence

Evidence in the Phagan case may not be presented to the Grand Jury this week. This was the intimation given by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Monday morning, as he began the process of elimination of the unimportant matter contained in the great mass of evidence collected by the Coroner’s jury and police officials.

The postponement of its presentation to the Grand Jury is to permit the collection in systematic form of all the essential details of the evidence. Dorsey declared Monday that the case would not be given to the Grand Jury until he carefully had sifted all of the evidence obtained.

He explained Monday morning that he had no idea at what time the case would get to the Grand Jury, other than at the earliest possible moment after a “case is made out.” Foreman L. H. Beck, of the Grand Jury, asserted the jurymen were under orders to hold themselves in readiness for a call from the Solicitor to act on the case.

“While the jury has the right to ask the Solicitor to present the case at any [t]ime, we will wait until he says he is rea[d]y,” said Beck. “We are holding ourselves in readiness and can assemble in a compartivly [sic] short while.”

The Solicitor said to-day that developments in the case the last few days led him to believe the case would get to the jury at an early meeting, and that it was not improbable it would be acted upon by Friday, but that as progress was made in the case and new evidence brought to light the necessary work in corroborating it and investigating its reliability made some delay absolutely necessary.

Mr. Dorsey also made it clear to-day that he was depending largely on the efforts of his private detective, “the best in the country,” who was working independently of the Pinkertons or city detectives. He said the man was making progress in the baffling case.

The Pinkertons have instructions to find the murderer, no matter who he may be. Operatives of the agency employed by the National Pencil Company recently put the matter squarely up to Luther Rosser, the company’s attorney. He said:

Urge Diligent Search.

“Find the murderer of Mary Phagan. Work in co-operation with the police, work with anyone, work any way that might lead you to success; let your chips fall where they may. You are employed to hunt the murderer until he is found and convicted. It matters not who is guilty.”

Five men from the detective agency are working on the case, under the direction of Assistant Superintendent Harry Scott. Through City Detective Black the Pinkertons work in connection with the city police.

Leo M. Frank was visited by Mr. Rosser at his cell in the Sower [Tower – Ed.] Sunday. They were together only a short while. Mr. Rosser stated he had only paid a “social visit” and had not discussed the case.

Chief of Detectives Lanford said Monday that he was satisfied with the progress of the case so far. He said that the investigation unavoidably had been slow and burdened with a mass of evidence, much of which would have to eliminated in the final consideration of the case. He was pleased with the new developments which he said added much strength to the line of evidence his men are building up.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, May 12th 1913, “Phagan Case is Delayed,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)