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.”

“Upon arriving at the factory who did you try to telephone?”

Called for Frank.

“I called for Leo M. Frank.”
“Did you get him?”


“Did you get central?”
“How long did you continue to call?”

“Five minutes or more.”

“Who else did you call?”
“Mr. Selig and Mr. Montag.”
“Did you get them?”
“Within what time?”
“Within a very short time.”
“Did you make any other effort to get in communication with Frank?”

“Yes, about 4 o’clock, with still no success.”
“Who was the first to get into the basement when your party first arrived?”
“We were all together—I think I was last.”
“Describe the body’s underclothing.”
“It was dirty and soiled.”
Attorney Rosser took the witness.

“Did you explain to Montage that a girl had been killed when you called him over the telephone?”
“Yes, and they said we would have to get Mr. Frank or Mr. Darley.”
“What kind of lantern did Newt Lee have?”
“It was sooty and soiled.”

Conduct Experiments.

“You stood in place from which Lee said he first saw the body, did you not?”
“Yes, we put a box with a sack over it and experimented. You could see the bulk of something in the spot in which the body lay.”

“When the coroner’s jury went down, didn’t you take the lantern and say you didn’t think you could see the body—didn’t you say it?”

“I said I didn’t think you could distinguish it as a body.”
“Did you find any tracks in the basement?”
“Did you say that there were tracks all over the cellar?”
“Isn’t that all you said?”
“I said, also, that there were tracks on the left hand side of the shaving room.”
“Do you remember Frank’s telephone number?”

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Atlanta Constitution, August 2nd 1913, “Policeman W. F. Anderson Tells of Newt Lee’s Telephone Call,” Leo Frank newspaper article series (Original PDF)