Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 26th, 1913
Both Sides Hide Vital Phagan Facts
State’s Prosecutor Shrouds Identity and Stories of Scores of Witnesses in Secrecy.
Prosecution and defense continued their preparations for the Frank trial Saturday, the last-hour hurry of interviewing new witnesses and gathering up the stray ends of evidence giving a fair promise that the trial will start as scheduled next Monday forenoon.
That Solicitor Dorsey has nearly a score of important witnesses whose testimony has been carefully guarded from the defense and the general public is well known. These witnesses have come to his office from time to time, and the Solicitor has refused to give out the vaguest intimation of the line of testimony they would give at the trial.
The prosecution has reserved their evidence to spring as a surprise during the trial. On these persons the State depends to clinch its case against the young factory superintendent. Some of them will be called to bear out different portions of the negro Conley’s affidavit, in which was told the story of the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body. The Solicitor is understood to have witnesses who will corroborate portions of Conley’s story which have been under the severest fire.
Thinks Conley Story True.
The Solicitor several times has announced that he believes Conley is telling the truth in the essential statements of his affidavit. He has strengthened his belief by interviewing many people who were in a position to know of different circumstances mentioned in Conley’s story. The only possibility of an alteration in the State’s theory is that the time element may be modified in certain respects.
Similar surprises may be expected from the defense. Attorney Rosser has not been communicative with the newspaper men. The few bits of his evidence that have become known to the public were obtained in spite of him. Except for the Mincey affidavit, published in The Georgian, most of the important evidence of the defense has been so carefully guarded as to make it still a matter of conjecture. The general plan of Frank’s defense can be surmised, but the contents of the hundred or more affidavits in the possession of Attorney Rosser remain a deep mystery.
“Plant” Generally Suspected.
No one expects at this time that the pay envelope, the bloody club or the piece of rope found on the first floor will play any large part in the trial. Neither side is convinced of their genuineness. The suspicion of a “plant” has prevailed from the time of their discovery.
Two operatives who began turning up this sort of startling evidence the moment they were placed on the case soon were taken off the Phagan mystery by the Pinkerton agency.
Both sides announce themselves ready for the trial to proceed. It is regarded as doubtful that the defense will ask for another continuance, except on account of the absence of material witnesses or the illness of counsel. About 150 witnesses already have been summoned by the defense.