Police Hunt Principals in Expose

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Search Records of Guests for the Leaders of System Named by Girl Victim.

A general rounding up of hotel registers by detectives for the identification of notorious men and women added the latest sensation in the vice investigation instituted following the startling disclosures of Hattie Smith, the pretty 17-year-old girl, who claims to be the victim of the “system.”

The first move was made Tuesday morning when the manager of the Cumberland Hotel was subpenaed to appear in Police Court with his register that afternoon. The register will be examined by the Smith girl to identify the names of men and women who, she claims, frequent the hotel.

Detectives say they will examine every hotel register figuring in this latest expose to identify the names of parties involved. In each case the register will be searched carefully and the name of every person noted as to character and general reputation.

Get Evidence for Court.

Such evidence as may be found will be presented before Recorder Broyles, together with the cases which are made out against hotel managers and other parties.

Two other cases in connection with the investigation into the Cumberland Hotel scandal will be made out Tuesday afternoon, according to information at police headquarters.

The Smith girl has not only laid bare to the police every detail of the “system,” but she has told the whole story of her own misfortune.

Tuesday morning she was visited by her father, to whom she told everything—how she, dissatisfied, left home last Wednesday; how she went to a downtown hotel; how next day she met the alleged woman procurer, who enticed her to the Hotel Cumberland, she says, and all that followed. Then the girl broke down and cried.

Girl Begs to Go Home.

“I want to go back home,” said the girl between her sobs. “Will you take me back?” to which the father nodded an eager assent.

The Smith girl repeated her story with many additional details of the “system” which is said to be the most completely organized in the history of Atlanta.

Taking a lesson from her own harrowing experience, she has issued a warning to young girls to beware of the woman procurers, who, she says, ply the streets with pleasant smiles and entice girls to well-known hotels of the downtown district, where the “system” is so completely organized that there is never a chance of detection or escape for the unfortunate victim.

No Chance to Escape.

“It is terrible,” the Smith girl told Chief Beavers. “You should have your men turn their attention to the downtown hotels, where the system is organized so completely that there is no chance of turning away from wrong, once a girl gets there.

“The woman procurer who took me in charge—and she is just like scores of others who walk the streets every day—met me Thursday in a soft drink stand at the corner of Jones and Cone Streets. I told her that I didn’t want to go home again, and she replied that she would get me a nice room in the Cumberland Hotel, where I would not be bothered.

“‘I will give you a new name, too,’ said the woman. ‘I will call you Lucile Evans. Now, isn’t that a nice name?’

“The woman also suggested that she go and register for me, as the appearance of two women would excite suspicion. To all of this I agreed; it was so easy, you know—nothing to do but get fixed.”

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 8th 1913, “Police Hunt Principals in Expose,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)