A multi-part review by Leo Frank scholars about the book, “An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank“, the book was authored by children’s book writer Elaine Marie Alphin and released to the public in March, 2010. Elaine Marie Alphin wrote this book on the Leo Frank case intended for the audience of high school and college students.
Review Introduction by M. C., followed with the book review by Allen Koenigsberg.
Generic Book Information:
Title: An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank
Author: Elaine Marie Alphin
Reading level: Young Adult (High School and College Students)
Library Binding: 152 pages
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Published Date: March, 2010
Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Before reading any reviews of ‘An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’ here and on amazon.com, it is important for one to first familiarize oneself with the Author, Elaine Marie Alphin, her background, and the side she takes in the Leo Frank case, which is all clearly revealed on her web site, located here: http://www.lernerbooks.com/anunspeakablecrime/.
After reviewing the contents of Elaine Marie Alphin’s website, and becoming familiar with the views she expresses on the case, and the opinions she asserts, one should then follow through with reading the abridged version of the book, “An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank”, which provides numerous excerpts of the text pages of her book. Available to peruse free in its limited form, online from Google books, located here: An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank By Elaine Marie Alphin (Google Books Online). Though the free Google books version of her work is limited to an extent, there is still enough of the book available to give one an idea of her bias, sympathies and some of the racial assertions she makes — which will be quoted here.
Borrow, Don’t Buy!
Should one want to read the actual physical book, the best recommendation is to avoid purchasing it, because irregardless of the political position or side one takes on the Leo Frank case, the book is weak on the facts and filled with countless errors, several of which will be discussed at length. In these regards the best option is to save money and instead inquire to determine if one can borrow a free copy from a local library or through inter library loan. If a copy of the book is not available at your local library, consider buying a used version of the book, instead of a new copy. The used price of this item on Amazon.com should give you an indication of whether or not the reviews of this book are mostly accurate or inaccurate.
A complete digitized version of this book will likely make it’s way online in the future as all books are ultimately destined.
Start By Reading the Official Leo Frank Trial Documents:
To put everything in proper context, it is strongly urged, before obtaining a free copy of this book in question from the library, to carefully study primary sources of Leo Frank case legal documents concerning the trial and appeals (see the Georgia Supreme Court Archive 1913+ available). By reading and studying the dry leaves of the official records in the Leo Frank case one can make their own independent interpretation of the facts and evidence, without the skewed biases of the unilateral artificially created majority position created by secondary source writers who are typically Leo Frank partisans and weave together falsehoods on the trial and aftermath.
Becoming fairly acquainted with the Leo Frank trial evidence and testimony, reading the 1913 to 1915 newspaper accounts of the case will enable one to better understand the chain of events, so as to be able to clearly see the problems, flaws and issues (and what was left out) with Elaine Marie Alphin’s interpretation of the Leo Frank saga and why her version of the Leo Frank affair lacks truth, veracity and legitimacy. More importantly, understanding the facts and evidence in the Leo Frank case should make it clear why Elaine Marie Alphin can not be considered a reliable academic or scholarly source.
Is Elaine Marie Alphin perpetuating the bogus and artificially created popular-culture myth surrounding Leo Frank that his conviction was a vast bigoted anti-Jewish conspiracy and bigoted political-social injustice? Was Leo Frank really suspected and convicted on trumped up evidence because Leo Frank was a Northern Jew? These are questions that can only be answered by studying the primary sources of the Leo Frank case and early 20th century Georgian history.
From the Prosecution Side of the Leo Frank Equation: Elaine Marie Alphin, has joined the ranks of open and vocal Frankites (Leo Frank cult members), who have for the last century been perpetuating numerous lies, smears, slanders and defamation against the people associated with the “prosecution side” of Leo Frank case, the smears often include making broad sweeping racist, prejudiced and bigoted statements against Southerners. Elaine Marie Alphin, achieves these crass political and antagonistic social ends, utilizing a plethora of media tools and proselytizing media methodologies on her website, including using portions of her book, informational PDFs, audio and video, to: Frankite, “politically correct” and “transsexualize” the Leo Frank case from the prosecution of a pedophile, rapist and murder, flipping it into the struggle of a Promethean stoic hero, a noble Jewish martyr mellow dramatically being thrown on the funeral pyre of ethnoreligious racism, anti-Jewish prejudices and bigotry.
Reflections of the Jewish-Gentile Culture and Race War
From the European-American Perspective: Elaine Marie Alphin’s book represents pouring high octane gasoline on the smoldering Jewish-Gentile relations, the manifested and subtle “Jewish-Gentile ethnoreligious cultural race war and conflict” – which the “Leo Frank Case” was not in its beginnings, but has artificially become by Frankite agitators and trouble makers.
A Dirty Bloody Race War Between Jews and Gentiles
Tom Watson called Leo Frank partisans and followers of the Leo Frank rapist-pedophile-strangler exoneration cult – Frankites. The word seems quite appropriate, as years, decades and now a century later, there are people still misrepresenting the Leo Frank case in an attempt to socially exonerate and rehabilitate Leo Frank.
Elaine Marie Alphin and other Leo Frank partisans have been using the Leo Frank case to instigate a vicious culture and race war between Jews and Gentiles, and it’s working quite well, the rage in response to the lies, smears and fighting words are smoldering like a series nuclear bomb tests detonated underground with a steady stream of smears against Southerners and European-Americans as a whole coming from the Frankite camp.
To make matters worse Alphin is not even subtle about her disgusting smears against European-Americans, from beginning to end, Elaine Marie Alphin’s book takes every opportunity to engage in loathsome monstrous race baiting, trolling, hypocritical racism and she plays countless unsubstantiated accusations from the racecard deck. You can’t help but feel nausea as you turn the leaves of this “high-production” value book, with each and every weirdo race obsessed admonishment she uncouthly forces into the paragraphs of this culture-war Jewish-Gentile racial propaganda book.
From the European-American perspective, this book reads like the subtle instigation of that eternal war of revenge that has been tightly cycling through and between tribes of people throughout history and as a result Alphin has perpetuated the Leo Frank case into a 100 year culture war between Jews and Gentiles.
Famosus Libellus: Blood Libel Smears Against Everyone Not on the Side of Leo Frank
In the 100 year tradition of the Frankite Smear Mongers, Elaine Marie Alphin in her book basically perpetuates the worst kind of blood libel and racist slander possible against Southerners, Georgians, European-Americans, Christians, local newspapers and Atlantian Police detectives – the Latin phrase famosus libellus means a libelous writing.
Alphin suggests the Police suspected, railroaded, and framed Leo Frank because of anti-semitic and regional bigotry at the time, and the immediate emergence of Leo Frank into the status of prime suspect was catalyzed by the “media frenzy” which impelled the Police to do so (Elaine Marie Alphin WWW, Feb. 2011). Her statements suggest the Leo Frank case was a state sponsored antisemitic railroading, framing and murder supported by the general culture at the time, because Leo Frank was a Northern Jew lynch-crucified on a tree at the blind hands of regional and racial prejudices.
Evidence, Not Racism
People who have studied the Leo Frank case, know that Leo Frank was suspected, because of a mountain of evidence that immediately emerged against him, not because of virulent anti-Semitism, anti-Jewish prejudices, bigotry, media pressure or media frenzies. Jewish and Southern historians note that Anti-Semitism was virtually non-existent in the South and Jews were a respected people that participated successfully in Southern politics, business, law, manufacturing, finance, culture and education. Ironically, white racial separatist Southern culture suited the racially conscious collective Jewish community with a kind of genetic harmony, because Jews happily embraced their own brand and version of racial separatist philosophies in a Jewish assimilation context.
Smears Against the Honor of Southerners: Murder “Innocent” White Jews and Let Free “Guilty” Black Murderers
The ultimate insult.
The substanceless and slanderous statements don’t just stop with the “anti-semitic prejudiced police” and “instigating local newspapers media frenzy”, she implicates Southerners too – All of them. Her statements about Southerners amounts to the worst kind of blood libel defamation, because she is suggesting they didn’t suspect, convict, and lynch Frank because of the mountain of genuine ineluctable evidence which emerged against him, overwhelmingly proving his guilt, but instead because he was an “innocent” White Jew and a “guilty” black man was not worthy enough, in terms of some kind of value, to pay the price for the murder of little Mary Phagan (“even though Conley did it”). You have to read it to believe it! Websites can change, but chiseled in stone book editions can’t.
Does that overt supposition asserted in her book, like many others, pass the common sense test?
The assertion Alphin uses throughout her audio, video and writing tends to indicate she is implicating the whole of Southern people as part of of a vast murderous antisemitic conspiracy directed against Leo Frank because he was a Jew.
More than 100 years ago in 1913, Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold tried the same thing at the trial. Alphin stoops to the lowest, basest and most desperate position possible in her assertions, just like the original Leo Frank Defense team did when they realized they had a losing case, like them, she resorts to playing the antisemitism card to it’s fullest. (See: the two final speeches of Reuben Rose Arnold August and October 1913)
One Hundred Years of Smears: The Vast Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Against European-Americans
Elaine Marie Alphin is making what amounts to the false accusation of “Jewish Blood Libel” against the good people of Georgia and the South, it is the same one being made over the last one hundred years by the Jewish Community. A new artificially created Mythology of Leo Frank is born.
Alphin in the tradition of the Frankite cult is unleashing the ultimate century-old smear against Southern European-Americans, saying the people of Georgia openly, maliciously, intentionally and collectively convicted and assassinated an “innocent” man because Gentiles are collectively antisemitic hate mongers (for no reason?), this 100 year old hideous Frankite position is one which can not be substantiated by any reliable sources or factual evidence, and is made despite the fact there was virtually no recorded antisemitism in the South.
Southerners are politely demanding that these false accusations stop.
From the Far-Right Southerner Position:
Conservative Perspective on Elaine Marie Alphin: Elaine Marie Alphin like all the other Frankites of the last 100+ years are showing their true colors, they are the subversive subset and part of a much larger morbid movement within the blood stream of Western Civilization, a perfidious conglomeration of treacherous people undermining the United States, instigating a no holds barred dirty cultural war, from within, and against the people of the United States of America with these race war instigation fighting words. Her statements are a challenge to the honor of the good people of the South, European-Americans, Christians and American patriots, she is part of the movement instigating an unnecessary ethnoreligious cultural race war between Jews and Gentiles in the libraries, schools, colleges, universities and Internet. Many Southerners incensed by these insane accusations against them consider Elaine Marie Alphin to be a cultural terrorist trying to defame their Southern forefathers including, all Georgians, Georgian Police, Detectives, Government Officials and the DA’s Office with racial propaganda. To top it off Elaine Marie Alphin wants to be a pedophile cheerleader and exonerate a pedophile murderer.
According to Elaine Marie Alphin, Direct Quote:
A black watchman found Mary’s body brutally beaten and apparently raped. Police arrested the watchman, but they weren’t satisfied that he was the killer. Then they paid a visit to Leo Frank, the factory’s superintendent, who was both a Northerner and a Jew. Spurred on by the media frenzy and prejudices of the time, the detectives made Frank their prime suspect, one whose conviction would soothe the city’s anger over the death of a young white girl. (2011)
Take a closer look at the last part of this particular Elaine Marie Alphin Quote, “…one whose conviction would soothe the city’s anger over the death of a young white girl….” … this suggestion on her web site is more subtle and couched, compared to what she more openly and directly suggests in her book about racist White Southerners consciously choosing an “innocent” White Jew over a “guilty” Black Negro…
In the early part of her book, “An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank”, Elaine Marie Alphin, suggests the most perverse smear and outlandish claim that White racial separatist Southerners of 1913 are essentially so depraved, loathsome and antisemitic, that they would rather openly let a “guilty black pedophile-rapist and strangler” go free and instead railroad and frame-up an “innocent” White Jew. This instance will be discussed later with direct quotes from her book, but this little snap shot is to give you more of a warm up idea about one of the newest racial propaganda books to come out of the woodwork and into the limelight concerning the Leo Frank anti-Semitism hoax from 1913 to 2010 and onward.
Factoid: Back in the day circa 1913 to 1915, there was actually a large and successful national group which formed, calling itself the Leo Frank Defense League and their efforts live on today 100+ years later through the generations of new Leo Frank Mythologists.
More on the Elaine Marie Alphin Quote: “…Spurred on by the media frenzy and prejudices of the time, the detectives made Frank their prime suspect…”
The Prejudices of the Time (“media frenzy”)
From the time of the discovery of Mary Phagan’s dead body at 3:17AM on Sunday, April, 27, 1913, till the time Leo Frank was arrested about 56 hours later at 11AM on Tuesday, April 29, 1913, not a single word, sentence, paragraph or page was uttered by the media that was antisemitic, anti-Jewish, instigating or pushing Leo Frank as the prime suspect because he was Jewish or because the regional prejudices (including north vs. south tensions at the time) spurred the police on to arrest Frank and make him a prime suspect.
The prevailing artificial culture created by Frankites surrounding Leo Frank in terms of both its regionalism (or a civil war tension, 50 years after the civil war) and Gentile anti-Jewish racism claims are grossly over exaggerated.
Anti-Semitism was Virtually Non-Existent: Shared Freedom
The fact Anti-Semitism was virtually non-existent in the South is historically well known, and Jews shared in the liberties and religious freedoms that Christians enjoyed. Jews were respected as equals to Whites and Christians in the South, and many Jews were very successful and held prominent positions in politics, education, law, finance and business. The White Racial Separatist South was a free market boon to the Jewish community against the modern claims of the loudest opponents of Western Civilization.
The Media Frenzy Impelled Anti-Semitism and Bigotry?
Not a single anti-Semitic sentence open or covert was ever published in the “media frenzy” suggesting to wrongfully convict Leo Frank from the time of Leo Frank’s arrest on Tuesday, April 29, 1913 at 11AM to the affirmation of his conviction by Judge Leonard Strickland Roan on August 26, 1913.
More than a bakers dozen of higher level judges agreed Leo Frank got a fair trial.
Anti-Semitism: The Media Never Tipped off the People About a Leo Frank Murder Confession.
It was police leaks that made it into the media, not the other way around.
If anything the newspapers at the time “covered” for Leo Frank. In fact the newspapers at the time, never even revealed to the public that Leo Frank made what amounted to a shocking and blunderous murder confession on August 18, 1913 when Frank “unconsciously” went to the bathroom in the metal room at the same time he said Mary Phagan arrived in State’s Exhibit B. If anything they tended to side with him more than he should have fairly and neutrally received during his trial, the newspapers wanted a good fight, because the good fight ensures a total sellout of every newspaper published about the topic. Leo Frank got better coverage than deserving of him.
Ironically, concerning Leo Frank’s 4 hour testimony on August 18 1913, the newspapers said superficially it was far and away one of the best at the trial – even though it was a “ratcheting” rambling disaster filled with damaging and questionable statements which the prosecution attacked ruthlessly. The newspapers never provided deeper analysis on what Frank had said, the newspapers and “Alphin-created” media frenzies had clearly been neutral or favorable to Leo Frank when all things are considered and put on the balancing scale (See: The Atlanta Constitution, April 28, 1913 to August 27, 1913).
Not Even Tom Watson Made the Suggestion
In the last 100 years there has not been found a single piece of reliable primary source evidence, open or covert, that suggests Leo Frank – should, would, or could – have been arrested because he was a “Northern Jew”, nor was there any prejudiced groups of people or individuals calling for the police to make Leo Frank the prime suspect because he was Jewish. Nor was their any playing on prejudices, because Frank was a Yankee Northerner. The police made Leo Frank the prime suspect because a mount everest of suspicious clues Leo Frank created himself which tended to overwhelmingly pointed to the guilty finger inward, it was not because of a media frenzy or prejudices of the time. Leo Frank was not a very good manipulator against the police.
Leo Frank Incriminated Himself
The voluminous amount of evidence which came out against Leo Frank within the first 56 hours of the murder discovery will be discussed in long winded detail and is reviewed exhaustively on this web site. Both sides of the Leo Frank case including the prosecution and defense will be given representation on this site. This site intends to apply a telescope, magnifying glass, microscope, wide angle lens and electron microscope on every detail of this case, including putting testimony and evidence through the common sense test (which is sorely needed).
Could a Jew suggest a Blood Libel Smear Couched as the Antisemitism Card, would it have little place in the South?
The Ant-Semitism Card that was played at the Leo Frank trial, left Southerners perplexed. The Jewish community of Atlanta was not only highly assimilated, respected and perceived to be equal and Southern, their was virtually no anti-semitism, especially since thriving Jewish businesses, created countless thousands of jobs for the Gentile community. And despite Alphins expressions that Southern laborers in the South were paid much less than Northern laborers in the North, the locals did not perceive it that way, they were getting much better wages in the city verses their kinsmen that worked as farm staff or worked in the rural areas.
Atlanta was a thriving, alive and growing city. Jews were considered to be God loving people who went to “church”, and when Southerners described Jews going to “church” that didn’t mean they weren’t Jewish or that Jews went to church, that was just the Southern Christian and familiar way of expressing their general respect for Jews who were perceived on the surface as being a moral and righteous people (PvLF, 2009) because they went to their own temple synagogue services each weekend, where they sang, prayed and respected the Creator. On the surface Jews were considered good White people and most Southerners believed it was more than skin deep.
Steve Oney, derailed one of the central Anti-Semitism claims of the ADL and Bnai Brith, he corrected an important historical myth when he stated, authoritatively, that there is no evidence that crowds shouted “Hang the Jew or I’ll hang you,” through the allegedly “open windows of the steamy” Atlanta courtroom where Frank stood trial in the August heat of 1913. The Leo Frank trial court room was the coolest place in the city and had fans and ozoneators (precursors to air conditioners) cooling the air in the court rooms with closed windows. Even with the windows closed, no one was shouting outside “Hang the Jew or We’ll Hang You” or any variation of that Anti-Semitic Hoax.
According to Frey, even after the Frank case had played to its tragic climax in the later half of 1915, Victor Kriegshaber, a German-Jew, was elected president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, in 1916.
Jews Thrived in the South
Jews thrived in the South financially and lived the patrician good life, compared to their fellow Jew yorkers shivering their tooshies off in the cranky 6 to 8 months combined of shitty weather throughout the entire NY calendar year. There were certainly more opportunities to make big money in New York, but “quality of life” is not measured by working your ass off and life away to be buried in a solid gold coffin in NYC. The South had the advantage of milder winters and a lot more elbow room, plus the girls in NY are more stuck up, cold and have constipated personalities, where as the Southern girls are a lot prettier and friendlier on average.
Leo Frank Prime Suspect Because of Evidence, Not Bigotry and Media Pressure
The police made Frank their prime suspect and arrested him within 56 hours of the discovery of Mary Phagan, because many red flags went up concerning things pertaining to what Leo Frank said and what others said about his behavior on that infamous day, especially by the “Night Witch”, Newt Lee, AND NOT because of media pressure, frenzies or prejudices against Frank’s heritage and his former address in Brooklyn five years ago where he grew up.
Leo Frank, the Only Suspect to Act Peculiarly.
Before the police even told Leo Frank about the murder on the morning of Sunday, April 27, 1913, when they paid him a visit, they cautiously observed him, Frank was shivering and quivering like a crack baby (yes, they actually had pregnant women addicted to coke at the time). The body language of Leo Frank tended to be suspicious and he ended up giving himself away since no one else questioned or examined by police and detectives acted so nervous or behaved so peculiarly. This was obvious for detectives and the immediate analysis within the first 48 hours needed to have all eyes turned on him for numerous reasons which will be discussed at length.
Collar and Tie: April 27, 1913, Morning Time
Leo Frank the Superintendent was like anyone else who put on a tie day in and day out, like the average police officers and investigators who paid him a visit at 7AM on Sunday Morning, April 27th 1913, they could put on a collar and tie with their eyes closed, as surely as Frank had done so with ease for the last five years or more during his tenure at the National Pencil Company. However, on that morning of Sunday, April 27, 1913, when the police arrived, Frank had difficulty doing very simple tasks, he struggled and fumbled with his shirt, collar and tie. There were notions Frank was trying to delay going to the factory and trivialize things, these things would turn into questions for the police: Why?
Nervous Rapid Fire Questions
A visibly hung over and strung out Leo Frank was trembling, nervous, shaking, quaking, firing off questions at a million miles a second before the police could even attempt to answer them, and Frank was God awful ghostly pale blue. The voice of Leo Frank was trembling and terribly hoarse possibly from excessive chain smoking the night before, because these behaviors and physiological reflections were noted they may have raised possible red flags of suspicion early on for the police when they started adding things up later.
One simple observation by the police: Leo Frank was the only person freaking and bugging out to the max before the police even told him what it was about when they arrived at his house at 7AM on Sunday, April 27, 1913.
Psychology of Behavior and Emotions
When things in context do not make any sense and seem out of place, the psychology of body language also reveals a lot as well, these things are considered within their context as part of the many intuitive mental tools developed in the arsenal of every police detective investigator since the dawn of civilization, because it was part of their criminal science before they had the nanoscopic forensic sciences we have today. Intuition, wisdom and common sense are some of the most powerful tools then and today, even with the advent of modern sciences, the conscious mind is the most powerful tool in the universe.
Newt Lee Marinated and Interrogated
Once Newt Lee was arrested at the scene of the crime, he would have been drilled and jack hammered into exhaustion about every minute detail of the last 24 hours leading up to the discovery of Mary Phagan’s beaten, strangled and raped body, it would have all been recorded on paper. Another powerful tool in the police is the stenographer, one who captures things down and for later police and detective teams to cross reference it.
April 27 1913
What Newt revealed to the police about the behavior of his boss Leo Frank the day before on the afternoon of April 26, 1913, would be interpreted as suspicious by any intuitive detective and reasonably intelligent police staff member, at the very least it raised eye brows, suspicion and little red flags.
The First Arrest Was Very Revealing About Leo Frank’s Behavior
Given the demanding nature of the police and the relatively recent timing of the approximately ~16.5 hour aged murder and its 2nd alerted discovery by police at about ~3:45AM on April 27, 1913, the police would have wanted to know immediately everything that occurred within the 16.5 hours between Phagan’s arrival at the factory (based on Phagan’s Mom, Mrs. Coleman saying on Sunday that Mary Phagan had left for the factory at 11:45) noonish on April 26, 1913 and the 1st discovery of her dead body at 3:15AM in the morning the next day on April 27, 1913. The murder could only have occurred at the factory given common sense and Leo Frank admitted to being one of the only people at the shuttered factory from noon onward who had seen her last. In a virtually empty factory on August 26, 1913 Leo Frank admitted he alone was the last person to see her alive. Naturally this would have raised suspicions against Leo Frank.
Minty Fresh Memory: The Bossman is acting Distressed!
Even though Newt was tired because he had an hour less sleep and was deep into his shift, Newt Lee’s recollection would have been spearmint fresh about his arrival at just minutes before 4PM (3:57 PM) at the factory on April 26, 1913. Newt Lee would have recounted Leo Frank’s suspicious actions which were odd and out of place. Leo Frank was acting very NOTICEABLY weird, nervous, frenetic and unusual toward Newt Lee that day given what happened that day in the factory.
Calm and Cool to High Strung
On April 26, 1913 at 4PM Frank was bustling and behaving in a way that was not like his normal haughty, calm, cool and collected self as the be-throned king and bossman sat in his swivel chair in the second floor window front office and was the B’nai B’rith President.
Using common sense test: Do you think the police couldn’t figure out Newt Lee, the man framed in the contrived murder notes, was innocent considering Lee had started work 4 hours and then 6 hours after Phagan went missing at the factory? Was Phagan locked in a cage for 4 or 6 hours in the basement, until Newt Lee arrived to kill her? most probably not. The police also couldn’t come up with a motive for Newt Lee to set himself up and taken at face value Newt Lee “acted” like an innocent man by attempting to call the Superintendent Leo Frank for 8 full minutes and even though he failed reaching Mr. Frank at his home, Newt was successful when he called the police. The murder notes which obviously seemed to point to Newt Lee the long slim tall negro “nightwitch”, would make it seem odd that he would alert the police about the lifeless body of Mary Phagan. It was not considered typical negro behavior at the time for one to beat, rape and strangle a White girl to death, sit around and write literature pointing to yourself and then calling the poh-po-lice.
The Murder Likely Happened Within Minutes of Her Arrival.
The police and detectives were looking for things out of place, leads and clues which is standard protocol.
Newt Lee’s statements and Leo Frank’s noticeably different behavior don’t necessarily make anyone guilty per say, but it naturally would create some level of suspicion in the intuitive minds of police and detectives, when added to the fact Frank admittedly was the last person to see Phagan alive and the only person in the virtually empty building on his floor on a Saturday State holiday. The murder notes written in classical ebonix caused the police to acknowledge them as possibly “negro” notes and would have made Leo Frank aware of this when they put them in front of him to read.
Keep in mind that at this time Leo Frank does not even dare mention his employee the Negro Jim Conley to the Police at the early stages in the investigation. What makes Frank’s silence even more ironic, is that Leo Frank knows Jim Conley can write, because Frank has Conley’s signed pocketwatch pawn-layaway contracts in his top desk drawer.
The contrived murder notes written in quaint Southern Negro ebonix meant the police had to track down the Black writer and would naturally want to speak with every African-American employee at the factory.
Newt Lee Friday, April, 25, 1913, Circumstances Not Prejudice Made Leo Frank the Prime Suspect
Newt Lee going over the events on April 26, 1913, with the police, leading up to the discovery of the body, would have meant he specifically recounted every detail he remembered about Leo Frank telling him [Newt Lee] to come in to the factory an hour earlier when they spoke together at payroll on payday Friday, April 25, 1913 at 6pm the day before the infamous murder and then once Newt arrived an hour early like he was told to do, arriving on April 26, 1913, at 4pm in the afternoon, instead of his normal and usual 5pm in the evening (1 hour difference), a big red flag went up, when Leo Frank then assertively requested Newt Lee out of the factory at 4 PM, telling him to leave for 2 to 2.5 more hours and go have a good time, this would also raise red flags considering the evidence of the crime in the basement and the metal room. The Police would naturally ask why does Leo Frank try to create 2 to 2.5 more available hours in an empty factory during the late afternoon to evening period on a Saturday and State holiday?
Newt Lee Suggests He Would Rather Sleep for 2 hours. The police asked why not just let him nap in the packing room?
Despite Newt Lee resisting Leo Frank’s request to leave the building by telling Leo Frank he [Newt Lee] was tired because he had an hour less sleep last night, followed by Newt Lee requesting permission to sleep in the packing room for an hour or so, it was perceived as being avoided and rejected by Leo Frank. Newt begrudgingly left the building, something he had never been told to do before during his 3 week tenure.
Frank flat out denied Newt a chance to catch an hour of sleep in the packing room and instead practically pushed-forced Newt Lee out of the factory telling him to come back at either 6pm or 6:30pm and go out and have a good time. Newt Lee chose to leave for 2 more hours at his bosses request, even though he could have theoretically left for 2.5 hours. Newt Lee chose to come back at the much earlier end of the half-hour range given to him by Leo Frank encompassing 6PM to 6:30PM, the time span that Leo Frank gave him was an hour later than he normally was supposed to be there on Saturdays which was always locked in at 5pm.
What more did Leo Frank have to do during these 2 or 2.5 hours? After Police cracked Jim Conley, the question evolved into was he waiting for Jim Conley to come back and finish the job on the promise of $200 to dispose of the body in the cellar furnace?
Once the Night Watch Arrives He is Not to Leave the Premises of the Building
There was also a general non-negotiable rule for the factory nightwatchmen that once they entered the building, they were not allowed to leave the property of the building during their scheduled shift, except for smoking a cig in the doorway of the factory. No other exceptions were generally noted.
6PM April 26 1913
When Newt Lee arrived at minutes before 6pm after a two hour zombie hiatus to go out and “have a good time” after the parade was already over.
Twice as Long on Changing the Time Clock Slip
Frank, who had presumably spent the last 5 years (1908 to 1913) putting in and taking out time slips, for some reason at that exact time when Newt Lee returned from his 2 hours on the town, Frank bumbled and fumbled like a jitterbug with it the time card in front of Newt Lee, struggling to put the new time slip in and making lame excuses that it was difficult, something just didn’t fly with the police.
The police would later ask themselves why are Leo Frank’s hands quivering so intensely he can’t seem to put the time card in the punch clock in the standard normal time?
After taking twice as long to put in the new time slip, Newt Lee punched the time clock in Leo’s office and gingerly in his overalls pigeontoed downstairs to the first floor, then he went out to the main stone frame doorway to smoke an evening fag, inaugurating his long Saturday nightwatchman rounds, which also included the grave yard shift.
While the tall and slim red eye’d Newt Lee was sitting on a crate in the front doorway Bogarting away on a 1913 cigarette, an ex-factory employee known as Gantt arrived at the doorway in an unbeknownst manner, he too was a long legged man who just recently made long sweeping urgent steps from the saloon bar across the street. The arrival of Gantt had appeared before Newt and they started chatting away about one of the most important subjects in the universal cosmos, his shoes. Gantt had known Mary Phagan and her family for years, but Gantt wasn’t looking for her, he stopped by the factory to pick up something he would need to find a new job as he was recently made unemployed at the National Pencil Factory over “tudahllahs” to put it in Leo Frank’s Brooklynese.
Gantt came for Four Shoes in total, a black set and a tan set, he had forgotten and left them in the packing room 2 weeks before, the unemployed Gantt needed them to pound the pavement looking for a new job.
I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!
The former accounting employee had been dismissed by Leo because there was a shortage of $2 and he had been responsible for balancing the books properly and did not make good on the missing funds which were attributed to either him taking them, misplacing them or simply the result of poor fund management. When the frazzled Frank rushed out the factory door at 6:15PM, and ran into the former book keeping employee, Frank fell back scared practically trying to crawl away backwards, but it was too late, he was spotted, and had to compose himself. The fear Leo Frank expressed was not because he was scared of Gantt, the Negro Newt Lee could easily have taken that tall skinny bean stalk, Frank had an engram of something else. Frank was in a nearly imperceptibly short moment of fear because Gantt had known Phagan and her family quite well, the immediate mind flash assumption of Frank was Gantt might have been looking for Phagan. It was probably another heart pounding stomach churning moment for Leo Frank after a half day of them.
Black Shoes and Tan Shoes
When Gantt revealed he was only there to get his shoes he left behind, Frank was relieved beyond words, but still, he dropped his head dejectedly, and told Gantt he saw a negro sweep the lost shoes out of the building, (notice that Leo Frank does not mention the Negro sweeper Jim Conley by name, but genericizes it as some negro swept them out) but Gantt changed the shoe color adding another black pair to the mix and out maneuvered the cautiously resistant Frank who was in a rush to get the hell out of dodge and go home, without raising any more suspicions than he might have already created in this 6:15PM, April 26, 1913, little skirmish he acquiesced.
Avoid Drama at Any Cost
Moreover, the last thing Leo Frank really wanted was to create a big drama over the shoes as it might draw suspicion later as to why he doesn’t want someone who knows Mary Phagan from going into an empty and locked up factory to get his shoes. Frank instead told Newt Lee to follow Gantt up and stay with him during the entry, retrieval and exit. From the front door based on factory diagrams and repeating the distance one needs to cover, It takes less than 2 minutes to walk up the stairs, into the packing room and then down the stairs and out of the factory.
It would become stomach twisting and eat away at Leo Frank as he walked away toward the electric-car on his way home, wondering if Gantt was really there for only his shoes. Leo Max Frank had to be sure and couldn’t wait one minute more until he got home.
But before getting home, Leo Frank had something else very important he had to do. Frank continued briskly on his way home, stopped at a store and bought a big box of chocolates for his wife, perhaps out of some kind of normal guilt or remorse, as it certainly wasn’t a “special occasion” or was it?
Frank came home with a big box of chocolates.
Observers are wondering what is Leo Frank doing buying his heavy set wife who weighs more than him a box of chocolates, especially when Skinny Leo Frank always complained behind Lucille’s back about her being his “big fat wife”? There is certainly nothing wrong with buying your wife chocolates, indeed it should be encouraged, but when all things are considered, it suggested Leo Frank was possibly trying to pay down some kind of an invisible guilt and remorse, more than it reflected love. Men who know Men, tended to interpret the chocolate for what it really was, a partly feeble attempt by a guilty man to pay down on his remorse and betrayal.
The Late Evening
For another perspective on what happened at the Frank-Selig house hold that evening on April 26, 1913, Check out Minola McKnight’s affidavit, State’s Exhibit J, that will put that delicious box of chocolates into real perspective. It was one nightmarish late evening at the Selig-Frank residence for Lucy aka Mrs. Leo Frank, an incensed wife who waited nearly 2 weeks to visit her husband after he got arrested on Tuesday, April 29, 1913. Did those actions by Lucy betray she knew the truth, as Magnolia Mcknights affidavit suggests?
Back to 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM on April 26, 1913
Frank did something he had never done before concerning Newt Lee, he called Newt Lee at the factory twice, one time he got no answer at 6:30PM, and a second time he got Newt on the phone at 7PM to find out if everything was OK.
Frank was trying to see if everything went OK (no irony intended) with Gantt and if Newt had discovered the body or not during his rounds, because it was Newt Lee’s job to walk every square inch of the factory in 30 minute cycles. Newt Lee might have done a “half-assed” job when no one was looking and didn’t discover the body right away.
That night Leo Frank would chain smoke his cigarettes and guzzle down the liquor cabinet until he was a glutinous mess, shot gunning and swilling whiskey like it was goin’ out of style. A drink in one hand and one cigarette after the other dangling from his pretty mouth.
A Sense of Urgency: Early Morning, April 27, 1913
However, later when it was so early in the morning the next day, April 27, 1913, Newt Lee needed to use the “negro” toilet in the basement and get into the thinking man’s position, when he stood up after finishing his “bidness” and not wiping himself, he suddenly spotted something in the gloom, it looked like a leg or something. Newt Lee thought the scary looking thing next to cellar’s furnace was a prank — though it certainly was not Halloween — he began to approach it with his smokey lantern in the pitch black basement.
3:15PM, April 27, 1913, Newt Lee Discovers the Body of Mary Phagan
Newt Lee tried to call Leo Frank for 8 full minutes on the phone with no answer, Leo Frank was stone cold drunk in his bed alone, tossing and turning, while his “big fat wife” as he affectionately called her in real life behind her back, slept on the rug next to the bed at the request of Leo Frank (and if you want to know the inside scoup of the erratic events on that evening on April 26, 1913 in the Selig-Frank residence, you can re-read the section on Minola (Magnolia) McKnight).
Suicidal Leo Frank Confessed to His Wife Lucille
Frank nearly poisoned himself to death with whiskey, half-confessed the murder of Phagan to his wife, saying, “He didn’t know why he would murder” and called for his pistol so he could adolf-hitler himself, but the dinky coward had no shame and chose instead to humiliate himself, his wife, family and the Jewish community in a 100+ year ordeal which is still raging today thanks to the Jewish Frankite Cult and its Leo Frank cult activist members who have turned Leo Frank into a cultural icon against Christians, European-Americans and Western Civilization.
It can’t be sad enough, and the Frankites rarely mention that the suspicion against Leo Frank had everything to do with him being the last person to admit seeing Mary Phagan alive and in a virtually empty factory on a Saturday State Holiday, excepting for Frank on the second floor and 2 labor employees hammering away on the 4th floor tearing down a partition, there was no one else in the building in the afternoon — except Jim Conley — the person Leo Frank never brought up and later denies knowing was even there on August 26, 1913. (Brief of Evidence, 1913)
Newsie George Epps
There were also allegations from George Epps, that Phagan had confided in him that her creepy touchy feely boss Leo Frank was inappropriately flirting with her, winking at her, scaring her, running up in front of her when she tried to leave, getting a little bit too close “if you know what I mean” and making subtle sexual innuendos. What we might normally call today, adulterous and aggressive sexual harassment with a pedophile twist.
Bottom Line: Elaine Marie Alphin, Smear Monger or Truth Sayer?
The book by Elaine Marie Alphin is a fantastic collection of lies, disgusting smears, bigoted slander and outlandish accusations against Southerners accusing them of everything from them openly letting a black rapist killer go free so an innocent Jew can be blamed, to antisemitism and railroading Leo Frank because of media frenzy pressure toward the weak minded police — a vast prejudiced conspiracy because Frank was a Brooklyn Hebrew. The list of atrocious utterings in Alphins book are so numerous they must be debunked.
Unscholarly: Weak on the Facts Another Major Issue
This book is NOT a reliable source and should not be cited in scholarly research or papers. The book is not only weak on the facts, but makes every kind of weird racial, Frankite and politically correct accusation against Southerners you could possibly imagine. It reads like titty twister racial guilt and it notions egalitarianisms hunger to regress toward some kind of lower mean. This propaganda book should be labeled a Jewishesque style culture war hate book and for the unsubstantiated slanderous remarks she makes against Southerners in her books, it means she should never be used as any kind of serious source in any place of higher learning, except when educating people on the kinds of lies being perpetuated about the Leo Frank case.
An Unspeakable Crime was written by Elaine Marie Alphin, for high school and college students, it’s a smooth read with good stoppage and flow by a seasoned writer. Even if the book is profoundly weak on the facts, whips up wildly disgusting, psychotic and outlandish defamation, enraging people to a boiling crescendo, and not worthy of high school, college students, teachers, professor, researchers or anyone for that matter, the book is ultimately primarily for the self-deceiving Leo Max Frank extremist group known as the Frankites – not the general public. This proselytizing book is dangerous for the naive as well.
Normal US Grading System: A, B, C, D, F
Alphin gets a B+ for her writing style as the book was mostly a smooth read, it wasn’t quite an A- so it gets an 87 out of 100 for her writing style, but a BIG FAT (what Leo Frank called his wife behind her back) F (eff) for the substance of the book.
Alphin gets an F (failure) for Intellectual Honesty and Intellectual Heroism (telling the truth despite the consequences).
Aphin gets an F (failure) for Facts and Research
As a student reading Alphins book for the first time, I kind of feel like she doesn’t give enough detail, Alphin gets a D for details
Alphin gets an A for Racial Propaganda Political Correctness
Before we get to the book review let’s meet her:
Meet Elaine Marie Alphin
Elaine Marie Alphin was born on 30 October 1955 in San Francisco, California, and attended Lafayette Elementary School in San Francisco. Then her family moved to New York City, where she attended William H. Carr Junior High School. After that she moved to Houston, and went to Westchester High School and on to Rice University.
As an adult:
As you read this book it exudes this feeling like it was written by Alphins deadringer doppelganger, Annie Wilkes the psycho fictional character played by Kathy Bates in the Steven King movie called “Misery” (just add eye glasses)
Total Regurgitation Into the Minds of Children and College Students
Though the book, ‘An Unspeakable Crime’ by Elaine Marie Alphin is well written and easy to read, as it is a huge disastrous disappointment in terms of providing any revelations of quality research and because the book is filled with so many half-truths, mistakes and outright lies, it’s an unspeakable crime such a book will be used to indoctrinate, proselytize and deceive high school and college students about one of the most notorious criminal trials in US history. The bottom line is the book is a Frankite and culture war propaganda tool.
The Specifics: Uncountable Errors
Beyond Left and Right politics and Beyond Prosecution and Defense: The book makes a zillion factual errors, that are easily verified, too numerous to list them all, but the review by Allen Koenigsberg summarizes some of them. In fact some of the factual errors can be classified as such simple mistakes, even novice students of the Leo Frank case could easily point them out. In truth, it is mind boggling that the book was even allowed to be published in the first place, reflecting the declining quality standards of the editorial review process. What makes things even worse is high schools and colleges would let this book be used by them for teaching students about the case, it shows how low the research and educational standards are in the US.
The dumbing down of America is no longer debatable, it’s a fact – “Thank you”, Elaine Marie Alphin for being part of the downfall of Western Civilization, we the students and teachers of the United States “really” appreciate you and your book being part of school curriculum and your participation in destroying the educational standards of our country. Thank you for butchering the truth. Sarcasm Gratis.
High Expectations, Big Let Down
Many people have very high expectations when a new book comes out on the Leo Frank Case, hoping that some new, insightful and fresh analysis will be revealed about the case. Alas, ‘An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’ by Elaine Marie Alphin is a total and major shake your head let down, and might even be accurately described as the worst overt propaganda book made in bad taste on the Leo Frank case yet published in the first decade of the 21st century or even in the last 100 years. Congratulations to Elaine Marie Alphin.
Leo Frank or Bust!
The book provides nothing more than a regurgitation of the Leo Frank defense side of the equation, it lacks in any originality, pretense of subtlety and nuance of depth. The book is absolute total dishonest garbage, but don’t take our word on it, see if you can get a free copy at the library and compare this book against the official record, and primary sources of the Leo Frank case to see for yourself.
Elaine Marie Alphin Please Fix the Book
It is the sincerest hope that Elaine Marie Alphin will, pretty please, produce future editions of the book that will correct the uncountable factual errors and hopefully provide some interesting analysis instead of just the same old forgery and re-write of other peoples works for gaining some fast and dirty greenbacks. The book in its current form offers absolutely nothing to the Leo Frank Case, it might as well be considered a badly plagiarized re-hash of other peoples works on the Leo Frank case.
Tell Kids What to Think? or Teach them How to Think for Themselves?
What is sorely missing today are books which don’t tell kids what to think, but instead give them the tools and frameworks to think for themselves. ‘An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’ seems to push the Jewish, politically correct, racist and antisemitism victim mentality position in the Leo Frank Case, most children naturally trust adults and give them the benefit of the doubt, which is truly unfortunate in this situation, because this book, aside from making more factual mistakes than possible to mention here, it also makes the most ridiculous and outrageous racist race bending claims that defy logic and common sense. Is that good for high school students and college students? depends who you ask.
We told you earlier we would discuss this in more details…
Early on in the book Elaine Marie Alphin suggests the most shocking and outlandish claim that White racist and racial separatist Southerners of 1913 would essentially and intentionally overlook and let a “guilty murdering” Negro go free over the “miscegenation rape” and strangulation death of a White Girl, so that they could instead convict an an “absolutely innocent” White Jew (I know its too hard to believe, but you have to read this suggestion she puts forward in her book to believe it).
Alphin suggests the ultimate in infinite prejudiced antisemitism, that a “guilty” Negro was not worthy enough to be convicted for the rape, beating and murder of a White girl Mary Phagan because he was a lowly black janitor, so they instead went after a well educated, Northern and “innocent” White Jew to satisfy their antisemitic blood thirst. Sorry for being repetitive here, but the suggestion is so insolent and insulting to ones intelligence, one can not help but feel profound rage that such ideas are being pushed as the truth to high school and college students.
After reading that insanity, it is permanently impossible to ever take Elaine Marie Alphin serious again, she lost complete credibility and makes so many of these kinds of assertions and claims in her book you can’t help but feel indignant. This book is an outrage and because it is part of the culture war against Western civilization, it can not and will not be forgiven – EVER.
Back to the Educational Standards of Our Colleges
As a full time student, it is very frustrating, but speaks of the declining educational standards in the United States and moreover that books written and published for students are not more rigorously checked enough for factual errors and abject politically correct proselytizing. Hopefully the Internet will balance out the declining educational standards created by such authors as Elaine Marie Alphin. This is coming from a full time student.
For those students who become interested in the case, they will hopefully do independent research and come to their own independent conclusions after reading the original primary sources of the Leo Frank case which are now available to the public. What would be great is if there were a book published on the Leo Frank case which was written by a dispassionate researcher and helped students to understand both sides of the case equally well, not push one side or the other. It is unlikely such a book will ever be produced and therefore this web site will serve to present both sides of the case, even the most extreme to centrist positions from the defense and prosecution sides will be presented, so that people can make their own independent intelligent judgments.
Critical thinking requires that people be able to learn and understand many different perspectives and consider why people hold them, even the most outlandish, like the nonsense that comes from Elaine Marie Alphin. Moreover, the ultimate bottom line of critical thinking, requires more than just understanding different perspectives on things, but that people who are engaged in critical thinking should have or develop the evolving mental capacity to fully think for themselves without being gullible or easily influenced by the loudest position or voice. The loudest position on the Leo Frank case, is from the defense side, but how does it stack up against the official record and common sense? It’s a wobbly house of cards – antisemitism cards.
Dear Professors “An Unspeakable Crime”: Not Worthy of High School and College Students
Concerning ‘An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’ by Elaine Marie Alphin, No respectable professor knowledgeable about the Leo Frank case and not a Frankite, would have allowed this book to have been published in its current form, yet now the book is sadly making its way into many high schools and colleges in the United States for the Jewish culture war moveent and political correctness movement geared at dumbing-down America. Absolutely no mercy, this author should be added to the list of authors waging a culture war against Western civilization and this book will be added to the list of works written for the purpose of defaming and destroy Western civilization.
The unspeakable crime is that the book was ever allowed to be published. In terms of the prolific production of books by the carpel tunnel laden Elaine Marie Alphin, what ever happened to the philosophy, quality, not quantity? Elaine Marie Alphin, please stick to writing fiction books, stay as far away from non-fiction as possible, please for the sake of the children, high schoolers and college students (and the general public). You have no excuse.
The Worlds Foremost Expert on the Leo Frank Case
If there is one person perfect for reviewing any book about Leo Frank, it is Allen Koenigsberg, who is the single most knowledgeable person alive today on the case, he has mindfully focused on the deepest levels of research, source comparison, fact checking and analysis from every lens of the Leo Frank saga. He is the perfect man for reviewing, “An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank” by Elaine Marie Alphin.
Koenigsberg is so knowledgeable about the Leo Frank Case he has discovered numerous factual errors made by recognized Leo Frank authors who are considered the preeminent Leo Frank scholars, including Steve Oney, Leonard Dinnerstein, and others. Allen Koenigsberg, has gone to the most extreme, unimaginable and fanatical lengths to obtain primary source materials on the Leo Frank Case and analyzed them from many perspectives. Despite the fact Koenigsberg has not written a single book on the subject, he is more knowledgeable about the Leo Frank case than Steve Oney, Leonard Dinnerstein, and all the other living and deceased writers on the Leo Frank subject combined. In proof and vindication for Koenigsberg, the numerous errors in the books of Oney and Dinnerstein will likely be “quietly” corrected in future editions and releases of their books and moreover the future error corrected versions of their books will likely be published without attribution to him.
Though Elaine Marie Alphin is a lightweight in terms of academic and scholarly research, probably not worthy of being written about or reviewed, because biased Wikipedia, high schools and colleges are using her book as a “scholarly source”, it makes sense to show how depraved and low our educational system and Wikipedia have sunk in terms of using reliable sources.
Provided further below is a very short and concise book review by Allen Koenigsberg about one of the newest “treatments” of the Leo Frank Case, a book called: ‘An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’.
The Above Introduction was written by MC, below Allen Koenigsberg
Now, onto the Amazon.com book review by Allen Koenigsberg…
Allen Koenigsberg: Book Review of ‘An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank’ by Elaine Marie Alphin’.
In this latest book on the Leo Frank Case (152 pages), author Elaine Alphin takes for her title a post-lynching judgment by the Mayor of Atlanta (James Woodward): “a just penalty for an unspeakable crime.” But she has recast that harsh approval of Leo’s Midnight Ride, and added, “The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank.” This is clearly not a volume of subtleties and the reader is thus quickly informed of the writer’s sympathies. It is mostly about the trials and tribulations of the accused and there is little (correct) about Mary Phagan herself.
The book is aimed at young people, and Ms. Alphin notes that in all the literature on the case — despite the abundance of teenagers at so many stages of the events — there has not up to now been a retelling aimed for that audience. It is clearly written, with fine production values, with a large variety of vintage photographs, and rarely have they been reproduced so well. She is obviously entranced with this “miscarriage of justice” and has traveled widely and visited several of the major Archives – all are cited in the back along with the previous major books, and is so current that the recent PBS-TV Special (‘The People v. Leo Frank’) is mentioned.
Some of the original material was of a salacious nature, but all is handled here tastefully. The major problem is that even high-schoolers are entitled to an accurate accounting of this iconic case, and that is where this latest publication falls short. The basic narrative of the crime, and its ultimate resolution at the end of the lynchers’ rope, strikes our sensibilities to this day, and there are still many who would prefer that an innocent Leo Frank be the prime example of American justice gone wrong. But the Jury, in Georgia’s longest trial, heard all of the evidence, and the author seems unaware that the Atlanta newspapers were an excellent source for the day-to-day testimony. As she notes, the stenographic Court Transcript has been lost for some fifty years.
For reasons unknown, Ms. Alphin has Mary Anne Phagan born in Marietta, Georgia and her biological father also dying there. But Mary was born in Florence, Alabama, on June 1, 1899 and her father had died several months before she was born – she was a posthumous child. Fannie Phagan (Alphin wrongly calls her `Frannie’ throughout) raised her youngest daughter and siblings as a single parent and did not (re-)marry John Coleman until 1912 – she was essentially raised without a father. When Mary did not return home by 7pm, her step-father would indeed look for her on the evening of April 26, 1913, but the family never “called the police” as is claimed here. They would learn of their daughter’s death only after a night of waiting, 5:30 the next morning, from one of Mary’s chums.
We would not expect all material to be footnoted in a book like this, but the author (and her readers) would have benefitted from more explanatory Notes at the back. For example, on p. 11, it is claimed that Mary’s body showed bitemarks on her shoulder when found. This is rather a unique statement and was not reported at the time – actually, it derives from one book (‘To Number Our Days’ by Pierre van Paassen) published years later, in 1964, describing a visit by that author to Atlanta in 1922. Van Paassen said these marks had been “x-rayed” and were still preserved in a court folder. But who could (then or now) x-ray such indentations in human flesh? And surely Pierre van Paassen’s parallel claim (through lawyer Henry Alexander) that Leo Frank did not have a trial to overturn would make his report highly suspect. But Ms. Alphin does not question her sources, simply quoting what seems beneficial on each occasion – Oney’s book does the same with this incident (p. 617). Van Paassen would argue that Leo’s dental records (which he also says he saw in 1922) did not match the bites in Mary’s neck and hence he was innocent of the crime. But this is one man’s word at best and does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.
Although this is (or should be) a case where the devil is in the details, they come thick and fast but are often unverified or wrong. Ms. Alphin states that Leo’s father had retired by 1907 due to a railway accident, and that the family had their basic estate of $20,000 as a result of a financial settlement. However, there is no evidence for this claim, and the 1910 Census shows Rudolph Frank still working (as a salesman). Ms. Alphin does not give a source for this “accident” but it was only mentioned once, in a publication in 1947 by Burton Rascoe, who also gave no supporting details. When Rachel Frank (Leo’s mother) testified at the trial, she explained her husband’s absence by saying that he was too “nervous” to come to Atlanta and was broken down from his work.
Several times, Ms. Alphin refers to Leo and his family as “relatively poor” (but he earned $150 per month as Superintendent of the National Pencil Co.); however, the record shows he had traveled to Europe twice (in 1905 and 1908). Leo’s wealthy uncle, Moses Frank, is cited as having fought for the Confederacy, and this factoid is often mentioned in other books on the case, but it is not true and was only introduced (again without details) by one of Leo’s lawyers (Reuben Arnold) in October of 1913. Leo would later deny it.
It is claimed that the Seligs were a “high society family” but Lucille’s father was at the time a traveling salesman for the West Disinfecting Co., having earlier dealt in various liquor products. On p. 25, Lucille “announced her pregnancy” in the Spring of 1913, but no evidence from that period is offered. This remark apparently derives from Steve Oney’s book (p. 85), where the event is instead dated months later to the early Winter of 1913, but leading to a miscarriage (cited Interviews of 1986 and 1998). Oddly, in all the voluminous correspondence between Leo and Lucille (and many other family members), there is not a single reference (oblique or otherwise) to this lost ‘offspring’ (a tragic result if true). Only 73 years later is this supposed ‘miscarriage’ mentioned.
When one is truly immersed in a murder case, even decades after the fact, one can look at original documents with a new eye. For example, Ms. Alphin seems to have used some of the unpublished Pinkerton Reports generated by the NPCo.’s hiring of that detective agency. But Oney did so as well, and both report that two men in the factory, Ely Burdett and James Gresham, knew more than they were telling. These two indeed worked at the factory, but never testified; however, their names were actually Earl Burdett and James Graham. In a remarkable coincidence, their fathers were in the Forsyth Street building just minutes before Mary was killed.
I could go on…. It is claimed that the ADL was founded as a result of Leo’s lynching in 1915, but the newspaper backing up this assertion (illustrating the caption) is dated two years before, October 1913. Even then, the ADL did not state that it was established because of the crime, the trial, OR the lynching. Standard dates, such as the original Murder Indictment of May 24th (1913) and the lynching of Aug 17 (1915), are mangled and mis-cited.
The Jury had to confront many other details, some of which are omitted here. For example, Newt Lee had been told the day before (by Leo himself) to report early for his watchman’s duties on Saturday, 4pm instead of the usual 5. But when Newt dutifully appeared, on time and after confronting a locked door, Leo sent him away, telling him not to remain in the factory, and only come back at 6pm (an hour later than usual).
Having said all of this, can we surmise more accurately than those who came before us, what really happened on Confederate Memorial Day in 1913? Solicitor Dorsey would argue that it was a crime of passion, that Mary stood up for her Southern honor, and that Leo violently reacted to her refusal. Was that scenario indeed the truth? And was Dorsey (and others) driven mainly by anti-Semitism? Even Steven Hertzberg, author of a well-regarded history of the Jews of Atlanta, exculpates him from this charge. Tom Watson’s diatribes are mentioned and rightly excoriated, but Watson did not publish anything at all on the case until a year after the crime. And Jim Conley? Alphin makes him out to be a Machiavellian character, intelligent and articulate when he wanted, and folksy and charming at other times. Anyone who has studied the case for a while will surely acknowledge that Conley lied about several of his actions that day, but what was really being concealed? Did Jim bear a greater responsibility than he admitted, or was he instead the sole killer, lurking so close to his boss’ office? Why did Leo not permit cross-examination after his own long-courtroom Statement – under Georgia Law, since 1868 (Title VI), it WAS allowed (unsworn), IF the defendant agreed.
It is likely that the case will continue to be debated for a long time, even by anonymous reviewers. But those who argue it and present their best efforts on either side are encouraged to get the details right. First the facts, then the interpretations, not the other way around.
It has been suggested (on the Internet, right here!) that in matters of accuracy, a publisher’s Fact-Checking Dept is much more valid that any Reviewer’s comments. Here are the relevant words:
“…the type of fact-checking that a publisher requires before releasing a book such as this, so I’ve got a lot more faith in the book’s sources than his (the Reviewer’s).”
Alas, anyone who works in publishing knows that proper “fact checking” is a lost art, and physical books are as prone to errors as the world wide web. Let us look then at some “facts” that the publisher of ‘An Unspeakable Crime’ has (presumably) verified:
On p. 59, the remarks of Wm Mincey are, shall we say, “misrepresented.” Rosser had claimed he would implicate Conley with a confession from the day of the crime, but Mincey never testified, and the author’s claim of “several women” to confirm it evaporated. So who were these women? The author doesn’t tell us. Even Leo’s lawyers realized that Mincey made it up and refused to put him under oath.
On p. 76, it is argued that Mrs Selig (Lucille’s mother) was ill and hence did not discuss the girl’s murder (at home, over the weekend). But Mrs Selig played Bridge and Poker on those 3 successive nights (for hours) and the illness was never mentioned or specified at the time. So what’s the source – only a lawyer’s convenient claim? And Lucille’s supposed pregnancy? That was only mentioned by a family member in 1998, some 85 years later. Does that make it true?
On p. 131, the author claims that the modern musical ‘Parade’ was written in the year 2000. Yet it opened on Broadway (in NYC) in 1998. Ah, but the Publisher must have checked… and yet the information is still wrong (by two years).
The book claims (on pp. 48 & 138) that Leo Frank was formally indicted for murder on May 23, 1913. But he was indicted on May 24th. So who is right? Guess.
The author states that Alonzo Mann died on March 19, 1985 – only off by a day – he died on March 18th. Is the author or publisher aware that Mann lied about his age (by a full year) when he enlisted in the US Army? I don’t think they bothered to check.
On p. 111, the author quotes a letter from Leo’s niece Eleanore Stern without commenting on how remarkable it must have been for a 3-year-old child to write it. No one checks birthdates any more?
On p. 120, the author even gets wrong the date of the lynching, claiming it occurred on the morning of August 16, 1915. Who was asleep at the switch? The correct date of Aug 17 is then given on p. 139. Teenagers must like to have a choice…
Why the author repeatedly calls Leo Frank “relatively poor” remains a mystery. He was the head of a factory that employed 170 people and was the highest paid man there ($150 per month).
There are three pages of Source Notes (at the back), but no formal footnoting whatever. As a result, we have on p. 49 the unsourced claim that Jim Conley was on the chain gang twice, and once for attempted armed robbery. But Conley’s court records were introduced at the Trial, and this is not supported. It would have been helpful for the reader to know where the author got her “facts.”
There are many other examples of this basic problem in the book, and they may even seem petty to some. But if a work tries to be fair and accurate, it demands the highest standards, for both young and old.
Even teenagers should learn, by example, how to do history right. And that includes being careful with sources, citations, and the use of scholarly material. We don’t want people to think (on p. 10), because of some presumed ‘fact checking department,’ that Mary Phagan was really born in Marietta, Georgia. Census records (and Phagan family documents) show clearly that she was born in Florence, Alabama.
This case can indeed be discussed at the dinner table, and on the Internet as well. But first comes the hard part: genuine historical research. Then we can make up our minds as to the likely culprit. First the facts, then the interpretations. However, I must say that it is wonderful to see youngsters still interested in the past.
“I never truly understood why Alonzo Mann’s belated statements (post-1982) were considered significant by anyone.”
This is a fine point to be sure. But Conley had testified that he moved the body (at Frank’s behest) inside the factory elevator, directly from the second floor to the basement. Alonzo claimed that he came upon Conley carrying the body while on the first floor, and visible to him when supposedly returning to the building.
It does seem rather odd that Conley would leave the front door open if he were truly carrying the body of a white girl – an invitation to sure disaster in 1913 Atlanta.
Alonzo claimed at the Trial that he had called Herbert Schiff’s home twice that morning to remind the missing paymaster to report to work. But Herb never came in and we are left with another small mystery – why did Schiff (who prided himself on his perfect attendance record) not come to work that Sat morning? He would insist at the Trial that he “overslept.”
Mann had only been working at the factory for three weeks when all of this occurred. By 1982, Alonzo was somewhat alone (and lonely), having lost his wife (recently) and losing his only son years before. We can merely speculate why he suddenly came forth with such an odd story, nearly 70 years later. After all, back in April 1913, he reported back to work on Monday the 28th when Conley was still employed. If he truly told his parents what he saw, why would they allow him to return to the premises where he had been (supposedly) threatened with death?
The solution to this crime is one that no one will want.
Amazon.com, Unspeakable Crime Review
An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank
By Elaine Marie Alphin http://www.lernerbooks.com/anunspeakablecrime/. Retrieved February 2011.
Though Steve Oney and Elaine Marie Alphin, quote a woman 70 years later who suggested Lucille was pregnant and miscarried, but none of the voluminous letters written between Lucille and Leo hint at any pregnancy or miscarriage, condolences, or mentions, not even subtle or couched appear in them (Koenigsberg, 2010).
The Origin of the Leo M. Frank Teeth X-Ray Photos and Mary Phagan Bite Mark Hoax:
To Number Our Days, Published in 1964 By self-proclaimed Zionist Pierre van Paassen. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 64-13633. 404 Pages.
Short Stand in Dixieland, Page 237
Line 27: “The Jewish community of Atlanta at that time seemed to live under a cloud. Several years previously one of its members, Leo Frank, had been lynched as he was being transferred from the Fulton Tower Prison in Atlanta to Milledgeville for trial on a charge of having raped and murdered a little girl in his warehouse which stood right opposite the Constitution building. Many Jewish citizens who recalled the lynching were unanimous in assuring me that Frank was innocent of the crime.
I took reading all the evidence pro and con in the record department at the courthouse. Before long I came upon an envelope containing a sheaf of papers and a number of X-ray photographs showing teeth indentures. The murdered girl had been bitten on the left shoulder and neck before being strangled. But the X-ray photos of the teeth marks on her
To Number Our Days Page 238
body did not correspond with Leo Frank’s set of teeth of which several photos were included. If those photos had been published at the time of the murder, as they should have been, the lynching would probably not have taken place.
Though, as I said, the man died several years before, it was too late, I thought, to rehabilitate his memory and perhaps restore the good name of his family. I showed Clark Howell the evidence establishing Frank’s innocence and asked permission to run a series of articles dealing with the case and especially with the evidence just uncovered. Mr. Howell immediately concurred, but the most prominent Jewish lawyer in the city, Mr. Harry Alexander, whom I consulted with a view to have him present the evidence to the grand jury, demurred. He said Frank had not even been tried. Hence no new trial could be requested. Moreover, the Jewish community in its entirety still felt nervous about the incident. If I wrote the articles old resentments might be stirred up and, who knows some of the unknown lynchers might recognize themselves as participants in my description of the lynching. It was better, Mr. Alexander thought, to leave sleeping lions alone. Some local rabbis were drawn into the discussion and they actually pleaded with Clark Howell to stop me from reviving interest in the Frank case as this was bound to have evil repercussions on the Jewish community.
That someone had blabbed out of school became quite evident when I received a printed warning saying: “Lay off the Frank case if you want to keep healthy.” The unsigned warning was reinforced one night, or rather, early one morning when I was driving home. A large automobile drove up alongside of me and forced me into the track of a fast-moving streetcar coming from the opposite direction. My car was demolished, but I escaped without a scratch…. ”
To Number Our Days, Published in 1964 By self-proclaimed Zionist Pierre van Paassen. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 64-13633. 404 Pages.
The Questions to Ask About An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin:
What do you call a book which makes warped and racist blood-libel smears against Southern European-Americans which can not be substantiated by any genuine and reliable evidence? What do you call a book which perpetuates century-old lies, half-baked rumors and cheesy hoaxes as the truth? What do you call a book that cherry picks and re-writes history, giving a dishonest version of a well documented murder trial?
Elaine Marie Alphin Blog: http://elainealphin.blogspot.com/
In her book on the Leo Frank case, Elaine Marie Alphin perpetuates the 1964 Pierre van Paassen Mary Phagan Bitemark Hoax found in ‘To Number Our Days’ p. 237, 238: http://www.leofrank.info/library/pierre-van-paassen/to-number-our-days-by-pierre-van-paassen-1964.pdf. The coroner, police, undertakers, physicians or other professionals who examined Mary Phagan’s body never reported bitemarks on her neck and shoulder. Nothing about bitemarks on Mary Phagan is mentioned in any of the three local newspapers (Journal, Constitution, Georgian), the coroner’s inquest, trial, appeals, Governor’s commutation hearing or anywhere else for that matter until a crackpot tabloid journalist propounded this fraud.
Errors and Corrections:
Please politely snail mail errors and corrections about, “An Unspeakable Crime, The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank” to:
Elaine Marie Alphin
P.O. Box 11423
Bozeman, MT 59719
Update 2014, Frankite Author, Elaine Marie Alphin, died August 19, 2014.
Award-Winning Author Elaine Marie Alphin Dies at 58
Elaine Marie Alphin (1955 – 2014) Obituary