Wikipedia Biased on Behalf of Leo Frank

Leo Frank Research Library Disclaimer: Accusations by Christians, Political Conservatives and non-Jews, claiming Wikipedia is biased, have been widely and vociferously made across the Internet. We will present these conclusions here, but it is up to the reader to decide if these accusations have merit or not, by doing their own research and testing on Wikipedia. Try the wikipedia test.

Test the veracity of these claims in Wikipedia, try to put academic and scholarly supported facts critical of Jews, Judaism and Israel, in those relevant areas of Wikipedia (make sure you provide the source) and count how many minutes it takes for them to be deleted. When they don’t get deleted you will know these claims of Jewish control over Wikipedia are false. Try the wikipedia test.

No Serious Institution of Higher Learning Accepts Wikipedia as a Reliable Source

It is uncommon knowledge, but a readily verifiable fact, accredited academic institutions including Colleges, Universities and schools of higher learning in the United States of America, Canada and the rest of the Western world tend to fully disregard Wikipedia as a scholarly source of reliable information when the subject articles notoriously attract religious, social or political tensions. Try the wikipedia test.

The Allegations from non-Jews and the Conservative Right:

The lack of acceptance of Wikipedia as a dependable source of knowledge by conservatives and non-Jews is mainly because Wikipedia has become an unyielding and inflexible besieged fortress, defended as a battle ground by aggressive left wing and a broad political spectrum coalition of Jewish activist editors, moderators and administrators, who all share uncompromising religious, social and political agendas, ensuring the left wing and pro-Jewish status quo and position is rigorously maintained in specific areas, topics and subjects on Wikipedia which relate to Jews in the most remote way possible.

Hey atleast they admit it: Jewish Occupation of Wikipedia

Conservatives and non-Jews have with good reason accused Wikipedia of being a Jewish and left wing controlled encyclopedia. This accusation only has merit because the leadership of Wikipedia is begrudgingly and admittedly leftist and any subject even remotely pertaining to issues of Jews, Judaism, and Israel are fanatically and closely guarded and protected, maintaining an uncompromising strictly pro-Jewish leaning, flavor and substance. Because these leftist and Jewish blocs are intensely motivated and fully entrenched, it ensures these political, social and religious positions will likely read this way indefinitely. However, outside these left wing and Jewish bastions that are strictly controlled areas which often attract neurotic emotions and tensions from the left and right, Wikipedia is at least a good starting point of information.

Leo Frank Article is Biased for the Defense and Jewish Position

The Leo Frank article on Wikipedia is no stranger to this phenomena of ethnoreligious tensions and struggle by left wing and Jewish activist editors and administrators. The Leo Frank article has been locked because of neutral editors fighting to make the Leo Frank article more along the lines of reflecting the scholarly work of a dispassionate researcher and therefore resulting in skirmishes erupting with pro Leo Frank partisan activist editors, over the issue of blatant cherry picking of pro-Frank facts and quotes.

The Zionist military wing of wikipedia has sent in a small army of its activist editor troops disguised as neutral editors to take up permanent position there on “Leo Frank” and established a garrison fortress in the shape of a hexagram. Members of the Jewish occupation army of Wikipedia have been openly and carefully selecting every single pro-Frank sentence within the numerous books produced by partisan Leo Frank academics and Frankites over the last century, and generously putting pro-Frank quotes and snippets into the Leo Frank Wikipedia article in ways that appear very stealthy and non-obvious in terms of giving up their Frankite position.

Victory for Frankites

The siege of the Leo Frank article (Fortress) on Wikipedia is over, Jewish Pro-Frank partisans have won the struggle over the neutral editors, toppling them and taken full control of this particular article (like so many countless others pertaining to Jews), and putting Josh “Beria” Gordon (wiki user: JPGordon) in charge of the Stalinist Gulag and execution wing of Wikipedia, purging any countering forces fighting for academic neutrality, and thus further consolidating power and control for the Jewish position on Leo Frank and Wikipedia as a whole.

Improved Subtlety and Couched Bias

Lately though, Wikipedia tends to be more carefully biased on behalf of Leo Frank and is no longer so blatantly obvious, now that Jewish forces have occupied and taken control there is more subtlety, but the pro-Frank position is the same. Wikipedia should not be considered a reliable source on the Leo Frank case by any stretch of the imagination from a neutral standpoint, however from a pro-Frank position it’s perfectly fine, despite its countless factual errors and numerous unsourced claims in the article. If you want the best attempt of the amateur Frankites on the Leo Frank subject visit today.

Below is a 2010 snap shot version provided of the best and most accurate version about Leo Frank on Wikipedia in its entire history of existence, and this is despite the obvious unsourced errors — after this version however, the article was taken over by the Jewish occupation army of Wikipedia and Frank partisans, thus the Leo Frank article went down hill from there, until its current and present form available today, which is only half-reliable.

Though Wikipedia is not considered a reliable source of information by academics, it does provide a good attempt and overview of the Leo Frank case from the defense side of the equation, it should be read for the fun of it and for knowing the best way to present the Leo Frank defense point of view in modern times in a way that’s easy to dupe the public. It’s a decent attempt by Frank partisans to produce an interesting Jewish and left leaning article. Check it out, it is well worth the read. invites all Leo Frank supporters to Wikipedia, you have almost free reign as long as you maintain the pro-Frank position and do so with some level of subtlety and “scholarly” referencing. Source:

Wikipedia Leo Frank 2010:

Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884 – August 17, 1915) was a Jewish-American businessman whose lynching in 1915 by a lynch party of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia, turned the spotlight on antisemitism in the United States and led to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League [2] of B’nai B’rith.

The superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Frank was convicted August 26, 1913 for the murder of one of his pencil factory workers, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. She was found dead in the factory cellar on April 27 with a cord around her neck that a pathologist said had been used to strangle her the day before. Frank had been one of the few people in the factory that day; he had met Phagan there when she came in for her wages, which made him the last person known to have seen her alive, and there were stories that he had flirted with Phagan in the past.[3] Franks trial became the focus of powerful class and political interests. Raised in New York City, he was cast as a representative of Yankee capitalism, “a rich, punctilious northern Jew lording it over vulnerable, impoverished working women”, as one writer put it.[4] Former U.S. Representative and Senator Thomas E. Watson used the case to push for a revival of the Ku Klux Klan, calling Frank a member of the Jewish aristocracy who had pursued “Our Little Girl” to a hideous death.[5] Frank and his lawyers resorted to stereotypes too: Jim Conley, a suspect who testified against Frank, was a “filthy, lying nigger,” they said, just the kind who would commit such a brutish crime.[6]

There was jubilation in the streets when Frank was found guilty, but Georgia’s governor, John M. Slaton, expressed doubts about the verdict and in June 1915 he commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment—to great public outrage, in part because he was a partner in the law firm that had defended Frank. A crowd of 5,000 marched on Slaton’s home, and two months later Frank was kidnapped from prison by a lynch party of 25 armed men—the “Knights of Mary Phagan”—who drove him 150 miles to Frey’s Mill, near Phagan’s home in Marietta, and hanged him.[7] After the hanging one man repeatedly stomped on Frank’s face, while others sold photographs of him as souvenirs, along with pieces of his nightshirt and bits of the rope used to hang him.[2]

On March 11, 1986, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Frank a pardon, citing the state’s failure to protect him or prosecute his killers, though they stopped short of exonerating him of the murder. The names of those who took part in the lynching were not made public until January 1, 2000, when Stephen Goldfarb, a former history professor and now librarian in Atlanta, published a list on his website. The Washington Post writes that the list contains several prominent citizens—including a former governor, the son of a senator, a Methodist minister, a state legislator, and a former state Superior Court judge—their names matching those on Marietta’s street signs, office buildings, shopping centers, and law offices today.[8]

* 1 Background
o 1.1 Leo M. Frank
o 1.2 Mary Phagan
o 1.3 At the factory, April 26
* 2 Murder investigation
o 2.1 Body found, April 27
o 2.2 Frank is contacted
o 2.3 Suspicion falls on Frank
o 2.4 Jim Conley
+ 2.4.1 Conley’s statements to the police
+ 2.4.2 William Smith
+ 2.4.3 Other witnesses
o 2.5 April 26 time line
+ 2.5.1 Time of death (11:00 am through 1:20 pm)
+ 2.5.2 Minola McKnight (1:20 pm through 2:00 pm)
+ 2.5.3 Return to office (2:00 pm through 7:00 pm)
o 2.6 Local newspaper coverage
* 3 Conviction of Frank
o 3.1 Grand jury indictment
o 3.2 Trial
o 3.3 Frank’s testimony
o 3.4 Closing and verdict
o 3.5 Appeals
o 3.6 Clemency
* 4 Lynching
o 4.1 “Knights of Mary Phagan”
o 4.2 Hanging
o 4.3 Aftermath
* 5 Developments in the 1980s
o 5.1 Alonzo Mann’s affidavit
o 5.2 Posthumous pardon without exoneration
o 5.3 Memorials
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading

Leo M. Frank
Leo Frank

Leo Max Frank was born in Cuero, Texas to Rudolf and Rachel Frank, and the family moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1884, when he was three months old. A sister, Marian, was born there. Frank was educated at public schools and the Pratt Institute, where he played basketball and read a lot. After graduating he studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University from the Fall of 1902 to Spring of 1906, where during his college years he joined the debating team, and took up landscape photography as a hobby.

Frank took a job after Cornell in June 1906 as a draftsman for the B.T. Sturtevant Company in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, 6 months later he returned to New York to work for the National Meter Company as a testing engineer and draftsman for about 10 months. In the middle of October 1907 his uncle, Moses Frank and associates, invited Frank to Atlanta and suggested that he come to work for the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, which Moses, himself a southerner, had just invested in. Frank agreed and after spending 2 weeks in Atlanta returned to NYC momentarily and then traveled to Germany for 9 months to study pencil manufacturing at Eberhard Faber, and in August of 1908 returned to NYC and then moved to Atlanta. Frank become superintendent of the Forsyth street National Pencil Company factory responsible for purchasing supplies and machinery, accounting, operations and insuring the final production quality exceeded that of competitors. Frank was also a part time general supervisor of the Lead plant on Bell Street. [9]

Frank was introduced to Lucille Selig shortly after he arrived in Atlanta. She came from a prominent and wealthy Jewish family of industrialists who two generations earlier had founded the first synagogue in Atlanta,[10] though she was very different from Frank, and laughed at the idea of speaking Yiddish. They were married on November 28, 1910 and lived together with their inlaws Mr. and Mrs. Selig at 68 East Georgia Avenue. [11] Shortly before this Frank was elected president of the Atlanta chapter of the B’nai B’rith. The Jewish community in Atlanta was the largest in the South, and the Franks moved in a cultured and philanthropic milieu whose leisure pursuits included opera and bridge.[12] But although Frank was happy, he was not popular. He was a Yankee and an industrialist; Aphin writes that although the Old South was not known for its antisemitism, his being a Jew was enough to add to the sense that he was different.[13]
Mary Phagan
Mary Phagan

Mary Anne Phagan (June 1, 1899 – April 26, 1913) a posthumous child, was born four months after her father died, into a family that had farmed in Georgia for generations.[14] Her paternal grandfather, W.J. Phagan, provided Phagan’s mother and four siblings a home near his in Marietta,[15] but Phagan’s mother moved her family instead to East Point, where she opened a boarding house, and the children took jobs in the local mills.[16] Phagan left school at the age of ten to work part-time in a textile mill, then was hired in 1911 by a paper manufacturer.[17] In 1912 her mother remarried and her last name changed to Coleman, and she and the children moved into the city. In the spring of 1912, Phagan took a job with the National Pencil Company in the 2nd floor metal room, where she would sit for up to 12 hours a day running a tipping machine[18] that inserted rubber erasers into brass pencil metal bands.[19] At the time of Phagan’s death she was 4’11” and weighed about 110 to 115lbs. Aphin writes that wages were low for everyone—ten to fifteen cents an hour, one-third of the average wage in the North—and most of the production-line workers were teenagers, an issue that fueled resentment against the factory owners, regularly attacked by the Atlanta Georgian.[20]
At the factory, April 26

Phagan worked in the metal room on the second floor of the factory, down the hall from Leo Frank’s office.[21] On Saturday, April 26, celebrated locally as Confederate Memorial Day, she went to Franks second floor office in the pencil factory building to claim her pay. George Epps, 14, a fellow factory worker, neighbor, and friend, testified at the trial that he had ridden the streetcar with her that morning. She reportedly told him that Frank had winked at, flirted with and scared her.[22] According to Epps, he and Phagan agreed to meet mid-afternoon to watch the parade together.[23] Governor Slaton, examining the trial transcripts in 1915, determined that Phagan had reached the pencil factory door just after noon, some time between 12:05 and 12:10.[24] Late that same evening Epps ran over to the Phagan home, to find out why she had not met him as planned.[25] Phagan’s mother later told someone at the Pinkerton Detective Agency that she doubted her daughter had arranged to meet Epps as Phagan had told her mother she detested him; the mother also said she had never heard her daughter say anything about Frank flirting with her.[26]

Epps at the trial said he rode the train with Mary, and that they got off several minutes after noon at Forsyth and Marietta Streets.[27] According to Epps, he and Phagan had agreed to meet each other near Elkin-Watson’s at 2pm to see the Memorial Day parade.[28] After the trial he recanted his testimony, stating in a 3,500-word affidavit, that “at both the coroner’s inquest and the trial of Leo Frank I swore falsely. I now state that I was persuaded to give the false testimony … by Detective John Black.”[29] Epps later repudiated his recantation, claiming that he had been lured by Jimmie Wrenn and C.W. Burke (employed by the Leo Frank defense team), taken to Birmingham Alabama and forced by threat of violence[30] to recant his testimony. Epps was in police custody in the state reformatory where he was serving a sentence for theft when he made this last statement.[31] C.W. Burke in an affidavit denied that Epps had been forced to go to Alabama. He claimed, “Epps told us he was afraid of John Black and wouldn’t make a statement in Atlanta.”[32]

The week before, a shortage of metal for Mary’s machine had led to a reduction in her hours.[33] Her wages, usually about $6.00 per week, were only $1.20 for the week[34] and Leo Frank stated her pay envelope was inscribed with employee number #186 and initials M. P. (Mary Phagan), that it contained two silver half-dollars and two silver dimes.[35] Mary worked typically 55 hours a week and was paid about 12 cents an hour.[36] Leo Frank earned $150 per month [37] and shared in the factory’s profits.[38] Phagan’s pay was issued to her by Frank. According to Frank, Mary asked him if the metal had come in yet; he said no,[39] and she left the office.[40] Detective Harry Scott, the Superintendent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, hired by pencil factory owner Moses Frank and representing the defense, at the trial testified that Frank told him that when Mary had asked, “if the metal came in yet?”, that Leo Frank said he told her, “I don’t know”.[41] The prosecution used this statement as a pretext in their case against Frank, that he lured Phagan from his 2nd floor office into the Metal Room down the hall, where he strangled her.[42] Leo Frank was the last person to admit seeing Mary Phagan alive somewhere between 12:05 and 12:15.
Murder investigation
Body found, April 27

Around 3:00 a.m. on April 27 the factory’s night watchman, Newt Lee, went to the factory basement to use the Negro toilet. There he discovered the body of a dead girl.[43] Lee called the police and said, “A white woman has been killed up here.” Around 3:30 Lee met the police at the front door and led them to the body through a tiny scuttle hole and down a wooden plank ladder that led to the basement. The only other access to the basement from above was through an elevator that was located on the second floor when the police arrived.[44]

The basement was 200 feet long and very narrow. The only illumination was from a gas jet at one end of the room. The boiler and toilet were at one end and a storage shed was at the other. The Mary Phagan’s body, face down, was partially hidden near the shed. Her dress was pulled up around her knees. Her face and head were bruised and battered and blood came from her mouth and ears. A seven foot strip of 3/4 inch wrapping cord was tied around her neck. Initially there was an appearance of rape. The first analysis, based on the observation that “the grinds and ashes that were everywhere had adhered to her skin”, was that Phagan and her assailant had struggled in the basement.[45]

One shoe was on and the other was found near the body. There was a bloody handkerchief behind the body and a straw hat was close by. A service ramp at the rear of the basement led to a sliding door that opened into the alley; the police found that it had been tampered with so that it could be opened without unlocking it. Later examination found bloody fingerprints on the door as well as a metal pipe that had been used as a crowbar.[46]

Some evidence at the crime scene was improperly handled by the police investigators. The boards from the door with the bloody prints were removed and subsequently lost before any analysis could be done. Bloody fingerprints were found on the victim’s jacket, but there is no indication that they were ever analyzed.[47] A trail in the dirt along which police believed Phagan had been dragged was trampled and no footprints were ever identified.[48]
One of the murder notes

Perhaps the most significant evidence found at the scene were the so-called “murder notes”. The two notes were found in the pile of rubbish where Phagan’s head rested. One said, “he said he wood love me land down play like the night witch did it but that long tall black negro did boy his slef.” The other said, “mam that negro hire down here did this i went to make water and he push me down that hole a long tall negro black that hoo it wase long sleam tall negro i write while play with me.” The immediate effect of the discovery was to cast suspicion on Newt Lee.[49]

Another significant discovery was made, however the significance was not recognized until after the trial. In the elevator pit policeman R. M. Lassiter discovered “a fresh mound of human excrement that looked like someone had dumped naturally.” The feces was left where it was found.[50]
Frank is contacted

When first interviewed by detectives at the factory on Sunday April 27th, Frank took out the time sheet from the clock and said that Newt Lee’s time card was complete from 6pm, April 26th to 3am, April 27th. It was supposed to be punched every half hour during the night watchman’s rounds. However days later, Frank said Newt Lee had not punched the card at three consecutive intervals, throwing new suspicion on Newt Lee as the lapse in time created unaccounted time. Frank said the time intermission would have given Newt Lee an hour to have gone to his house and back.[51] The police investigated a variety of suspects, and arrested both Newt Lee and two friends of Phagan’s for the crime. Gradually the police and detectives became convinced that they were not the culprits. A detective snuck into Newt Lee’s apartment and found a blood-soaked shirt at the bottom of a clothes barrel with blood stains intentionally smeared on both sides of the shirt. The prosecution later claimed that the shirt had been planted by a Frank crony in order to continue to incriminate Lee. Suspicion did not fall on Frank immediately, but he was eventually arrested on Tuesday April 29th at 11:00 AM. Newt Lee spent eight minutes trying to call Leo Frank just before 4 A.M. after he had called the police around 3:25 AM. The police arrived at the factory just after 4 A.M and tried to call Frank with no response. The police called Franks house again between 5 and 6 A.M. and Frank answered, the police asked him to accompany them to the factory.[52] When the police arrived after 7 A.M. without telling the specifics of what happened at the factory, Frank seemed extremely nervous, trembling, pale, his voice was hoarse, he was rubbing his hands and asking questions before the police could answer. When the police asked Leo Frank if he knew Mary Phagan, Frank replied,

“Does she work at the factory? I can not tell whether she works there or not, until I look at my payroll book. I know very few of the girls that work there. I pay them off, but I very seldom go back in the factory and I know very few of them, but I can look on my payroll book and tell you if a girl by the name of Mary Phagan works there.” [53][54]

The detectives took Leo Frank to the morgue to view the body of Mary Phagan. The mortician Mr. Gheesling turned the face of Phagan toward Leo Frank and the detectives. Mr. Frank moments later stepped aside into Mr. Gheesling’s sleeping room[55] and was shortly asked if he knew the girl, and he replied again that he didn’t know whether he did or not, but that he could tell by looking at his payroll book.[56]

Both of Frank’s references to not knowing Mary Phagan were to take on greater significance, because it would come out during the investigation and then affirmed again at the murder trial, Phagan had worked down the hall from Frank’s 2nd floor office for nearly a year, having drawn more than 50 pay envelopes from Frank and that Frank would have to pass immediately by Phagan’s work station to get to the bathroom.[57] Several employees testified at the trial that Leo Frank spoke with Mary on a first name basis and would pass through the metal room each day where Phagan worked and looking around.[58][59]

Frank pointed out at the trial that the police had refused to tell him the nature of their investigation when they arrived at his house in the morning and made him accompany them to the factory, which was why he was so nervous. The Atlanta Constitution broke the story. Soon after there was a frenzied competition for readers between the Constitution and the Georgian, a formerly sedate local paper that had recently been bought by the Hearst syndicate and revamped to compete using the standard Hearst formula of yellow journalism. As many as 40 extra editions came out the day Phagan’s murder was reported. The Georgian published a doctored morgue photo of Phagan, in which her head was shown spliced onto the body of another girl.[60]

Some evidence went missing when it was ‘borrowed’ from the police by certain reporters. The two papers offered a total of $1,800 in reward money for information leading to the apprehension of the murderer. The high reward offer elicited excessive leads that the police found to be false or irrelevant.
Suspicion falls on Frank
An Atlanta Georgian headline on April 29, 1913, showing that the police suspected Frank and Newt Lee.

The National Pencil Company owners hired the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, considered the best private investigators in the industry, before Frank was arrested, to protect the National Pencil Company and to “work with and assist the city detectives in ferreting out the crime.”[61] Some observers interpreted this negatively, as the Pinkerton agency had a reputation as the violent enforcers for American industrialists. Frank later produced alibis for the entire time during which the crime could have been committed; however, suspicion was aroused by the fact that he waited over a week — saying that he had forgotten — to bring forward one crucial witness, Lemmie A. Quinn the foreman of the tipping department.

Gradually the Georgian began to take Frank’s side, responding to outrage from Atlanta’s Jewish community.[62] The Constitution continued to criticize the police for their slow progress.
Jim Conley
Conley’s statements to the police
Jim Conley, the factory’s janitor, is the person most often mentioned as a suspect after Frank.[63]

On May 1, Jim Conley, the pencil factory’s janitor, was arrested after he was caught by the plant’s day watchman, E.F. Holloway, washing a dirty blue work shirt. Conley tried to hide the shirt, then said the stains were rust from the overhead pipe on which he had hung it. Detectives examined it for blood, found none and returned it.[64] Conley was still in police custody two weeks later when he gave his first formal statement. He said that, on the day of the murder, he had been visiting saloons, shooting dice, and drinking at home. He offered some details, such as 40 cents spent on a bottle of rye, 90 cents won at dice, and 15 cents for beer, twice.[65] His story was called into question when a witness told detectives that “a black negro… dressed in dark blue clothing and hat” had been seen in the lobby of the factory on the day of the murder. Further investigation also determined that Conley could read and write, something he had initially denied.[66]

After initially sticking to his claim that he couldn’t write, he was threatened with perjury charges, and eventually told police, “White folks, I’m a liar.” He was asked to write portions of the murder notes, and although the police found similarities in the spelling, he continued to deny having written them. The interview ended and Conley was placed in a basement isolation cell.[67] A week later, on May 24, he called for a detective and admitted he had written the notes. In a sworn statement he said Frank had called him to his office the day before the murder, and had apparently said: “Why should I hang? I have some wealthy people in Brooklyn.”[68]

[H]e asked me could I write and I told him yes I could write a little bit, and he gave me a scratch pad and … told me to put on there “dear mother, a long, tall, black negro did this by himself,” and he told me to write it two or three times on there. I wrote it on a white scratch pad, single ruled. He went to his desk and pulled out another scratch pad, a brownish looking scratch pad, and looked at my writing and wrote on that himself.[69]

After testing Conley again on his spelling—he spelled “night watchman” as “night witch”—the police were convinced he had written the notes, but they were skeptical about the rest of his story, because it not only implied premeditation on the part of Frank, but also that Frank would have confessed this to Conley and involved him. For the next three days, two detectives played good cop/bad cop with Conley, one accusing him of the murder, the other offering him food and consolation.[70]

On May 28 Conley was confronted by both E. F. Holloway and a Georgian newspaper headline that said suspicion in the case had turned to Conley. The article said that Holloway believed Conley had strangled Phagan when he was drunk.[71] As a result, in a new affidavit (his second affidavit and third statement) Conley admitted that he had lied about his Friday meeting with Frank. He now said that he had met Frank on the street on Saturday, and was told to follow him to the factory. Frank told him to hide in a wardrobe to avoid being seen by two women who were visiting Frank in his office. He said Frank then dictated the murder notes for him to write, gave him cigarettes, and told him to leave the factory. Afterward, Conley said he went out drinking and saw a movie. He said he did not learn of the murder until he went to work on Monday.[72] The police were satisfied with the new story and both The Atlanta Journal and the Georgian gave the story front-page coverage. Three officials of the pencil company were not convinced and said so to the Journal. They contended that Conley had followed another employee into the building intending to rob her, but instead found that Phagan was a more ready target.[73] The police placed little credence in the employees’ theory, but had no explanation for the failure to locate the purse, and were concerned that Conley had made no mention that he was aware that a crime had been committed when he wrote the notes. To resolve their doubts, the police attempted on May 28 to arrange a confrontation between Frank and Conley. Frank exercised his right not to meet without his attorney, who was out of town. The police announced that this refusal was an indication of Frank’s guilt, and the meeting never took place [74] even when Frank’s lawyer was back in town.

On May 29 Conley was subjected four hours to a ruthless grilling.[75] His new affidavit said that Frank told him that “he had picked up a girl back there and let her fall and that her head hit against something.” Conley said that he and Frank took the body to the basement via the elevator, then returned to Frank’s office where the murder notes were dictated. Conley then hid in the wardrobe after the two had returned to the office. Frank then supposedly gave Conley two hundred dollars, but took it back, saying “Let me have that and I will make it all right with you Monday if I live and nothing happens.” Conley’s affidavit concluded, “The reason I have not told this before is I thought Mr. Frank would get out and help me out and I decided to tell the whole truth about this matter.”[76] At trial, Conley changed his story concerning the $200. He said the money was withheld until Conley had burned Phagan’s body in the basement furnace.[77]
William Smith
William Smith represented Conley, but after the trial declared him guilty.[78]

The Georgian hired William Smith to be Conley’s lawyer and offered to pay his fees. Smith was known for specializing in representing black clients, and had successfully defended a black man against an accusation of rape by a white woman. He had also taken an elderly black woman’s civil case as far as the Georgia Supreme Court. Although Smith believed Conley had told the truth in his final affidavit, he became concerned that Conley was giving long jailhouse interviews with crowds of reporters. Smith was concerned about reporters from the Hearst papers, who had taken Frank’s side. He arranged for Conley to be moved to a different jail, and severed his own relationship with the Georgian.[79]
Other witnesses

Two witnesses came forward to incriminate Conley. Will Green, a carnival worker, said he had been playing craps at the factory with Conley, and had run away from him when Conley had declared his intention to rob a girl who walked by. William Mincey, an insurance salesman, said he had met an intoxicated Conley on the street, and that Conley told him, “I have killed one today and do not wish to kill another,” but Mincey thought it was a joke. Neither man signed an affidavit or testified in court.[80]
April 26 time line
Time of death (11:00 am through 1:20 pm)

The prosecution realized early on that issues relating to time would be an essential part of its case.[81] At trial, both sides would present witnesses to support their version of the time line for the hours before and after the murder. The starting point was the time of death and by the time of the trial the prosecution, relying on the analysis of stomach contents by its expert witness, argued that Phagan died between 12:00 and 12:15 pm. Monteen Stover, who had come into the office to get her paycheck, said that she had looked for Frank in his office waiting between 12:05 and 12:10 pm[82] and had not found him. This would seem to contradict Frank’s initial statement to police that he had not left the office between noon and 12:30.[83]

Testimony at trial indicated that Phagan exited the trolley between 12:07 and 12:10. From the stop it was a two to four minute walk. Conley had said that Phagan arrived before Stover, indicating either Conley or Stover was wrong. Frank had also originally placed Phagan in his office between 12:05 and 12:10, the same time that Stover said she was there.[84] Lemmie Quinn, a plant foreman, testified that he saw Frank at his desk at 12:20. Frank had not mentioned Lemmie Quinn when the police first interviewed him about his whereabouts in the noon period of April 26th. Frank had said at the coroner’s inquest that Quinn arrived less than ten minutes after Phagan had left his office[85] and during Frank’s murder trial said Lemmie arrived hardly five minutes after Phagan left.[86]

Conley said that the ladies he had hidden from in the wardrobe, that Frank told him were Emma Clark and Corinthia Hall. In his third affidavit this occurred after Phagan’s body had been moved to the basement. At trial, both Clark and Hall testified that they had been in the office between 11:35 and 11:45 am, contradicting one of the most vivid parts of Conley’s testimony.[87]

According to Conley and others, it would have taken at least thirty minutes to murder Phagan, take the body to the basement, return to the office, and write the murder notes. By the defense’s calculations, Frank’s time was fully accounted for from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm with the exception of eighteen minutes between 12:02 and 12:20.[88] Hattie Hall, a stenographer, stated at trial that Frank had specifically requested that she come in that Saturday and that Frank had been working in his office from 11:00 to nearly noon. As noted above, Quinn placed Frank in his office at 12:20. [89]

Frank said he had left the factory for lunch by 1:10. Helen Kerns reported seeing Frank, who she recognized from a job interview, at 1:10 waiting for the trolley to take him home. A neighbor, Mrs. Albert Levy stated that she saw him exiting the trolley at 1:20.[90] Franks in-laws also placed him arriving home at 1:20. Conley however, in his third affidavit, had Frank dictating the murder notes to him at 1:00. All of this presented a problem for the prosecution since Frank could not have finished the notes, go upstairs and check on two workers, Arthur White and Harry Denham, escort Mrs. White out of the building, take a ten minute trolley ride, and still arrive home at 1:20.[91]
Minola McKnight (1:20 pm through 2:00 pm)

A few days after Conley gave his third affidavit, Minola McKnight, age 20, the African-American cook for Lucille Frank’s parents who shared their home with their daughter and son-in-law, was brought in for questioning. At first she corroborated Frank’s story concerning the times he arrived home for lunch and returned to the factory. She was agitated, believing her husband, who she had recently had a serious falling out with, was telling lies to the police to get back at her. After several hours of interrogation in which she consistently upheld Frank’s version of events, she was placed under arrest. Throughout the night she kept saying through the cell window that both she and Frank were innocent.[92]

After spending the night in jail and after several hours of intense questioning, McKnight signed a statement that still affirmed the 1:20 arrival for lunch, but now stated that rather than spending a half hour at home Frank left very quickly. The implication was that Frank needed to return to the factory to continue his work with Conley. She also added details concerning events in the home later that night. She said she overheard Frank’s wife say Frank was drunk made her sleep on the rug and Frank kept asking for his pistol so he could shoot himself because he didn’t know why he would murder. She said that Frank had told her, “It is mighty bad, Minola. I might have to go to jail about this girl, and I don’t know anything about it.” Finally she implied that she had been bribed by her employer, Mrs. Selig, “as a tip for me to keep quiet.”[93]

The same day she was released by the police, McKnight denied that she had legal representation[94] as reported and said of the statement, “It’s most all a pack of lies”. At trial she declared that the entire statement had been false: “I signed it to get out of jail, because they said they would not let me out.” On cross-examination she said, “The statement that I signed is not the truth.”[95] Mrs. Selig denied under oath ever having raised McKnight’s wages.[96]
Return to office (2:00 pm through 7:00 pm)

Frank’s attorneys were able to locate witnesses to dipute the alleged early departure from lunch. A neighbor of Frank’s, Hennie Wolfsheimer, a relative of Mrs. Frank, and Mrs. M. G. Michael all confirmed that they saw Frank get on the trolley at 2:00. Rebecca Carson, a former employee of the pencil factory testified that she saw Frank near Rich’s Department Store at 2:25 and at Jacob’s Pharmacy around 2:35.[97]

At 3:00 Frank said he returned to the office. The two workers White and Denham, who Frank had left at the locked up factory, were still there. The time cards indicated that they checked out at 3:15. Frank recollected that Mr. White stopped in his office before he left and received an advance on his pay. [98] Newt Lee, the night watchman, arrived at work at just minutes 4:00 and Frank who was normally calm, came bustling out of his office.[99] Frank told Lee that he had not yet finished his own work and asked Lee to return at 6:00.[100] Newt Lee noticed that Frank was very agitated and asked if he could sleep in the packing room, but Frank was insistent that Lee leave the building and told Lee to go out and have a good time in town, before coming back. [101]

When Lee returned at 6:00 he punched the time clock and went downstairs, sitting just outside the factory door, James Gantt had arrived requesting to go into the factory. Lee told police that Gantt, a former employee that had been fired by Frank after $2 was found missing from the cash box, wanted to look for two pairs of shoes he had left at the factory in the packing room. When Frank came down the stairs to check on Newt, he jumped back scared when he saw Gantt. [102] Frank allowed Gantt in, although Lee indicated Frank appeared to be upset by Gantt’s appearance.[103] Frank arrived home at 6:25 and he called Lee at 6:30 with no response and finally reached Lee at 7pm [104] to determine if everything had gone all right with Gantt.[105] Newt Lee testified that Frank did not ask about Gantt, but asked if everything was alright at the factory. Newt Lee responded, As far as I know. Frank then said, Goodbye. [106] Newt Lee said that Frank had never called at the factory before to check up. [107]
Local newspaper coverage

When local newspapers discovered the Mary Phagan case, their sensational headlines and news stories instantly captured the public’s attention — filling their own coffers in the process. In many of their early articles the papers openly assumed that Frank was guilty. During the murder investigation, papers published every new detail of hearsay, gossip, conflicting rumors and shifting conspiracy theories, thus ensuring continued interest — and continued circulation — during the trial, outcome and appeal stages of the case. Historian Albert Lindemann writes:

In astonishingly irresponsible competition with one another for sensational details, they simply fabricated stories or resorted to the most lurid, absurd speculations. If the argument that opinion in certain segments of Atlanta’s population rapidly hardened into something like religious faith has merit, then there is little question that these early sensationalistic releases by Atlanta’s newspapers were essential to the process.[108]

The three major Atlanta newspapers: The Atlanta Journal, The Atlanta Constitution and The Atlanta Georgian published detailed accounts of the trial’s daily testimony in 1913. Today these newspaper accounts, as well as the brief of evidence from the 1913 trial (which still exists on microfilm), comprise the most thorough records that remain of the proceedings. The official seven large volumes stenographed on legal cap paper, comprising over 3,500 pages[109] of the Leo Frank trial transcript disappeared from the courthouse archive room during the 1960s.[110][111] A significantly abridged, annotated version of the transcript was published in 1918 called American State Trials volume X by John D. Lawson[112] and a complete version of the testimony ratified by both the Leo Frank defense and prosecution teams exists titled, ‘Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Brief of Evidence’ at the Georgia State Archives.[113]
Conviction of Frank
Grand jury indictment
The first day of the trial in the racially segregated courtroom. The stenographer squats next to Newt Lee, who is being questioned by prosecutor Hugh Dorsey.

The grand jury convened on May 23, 1913. The prosecutor, Hugh Dorsey, had decided to present only enough information to obtain an indictment. He provided witnesses that suggested that the murder occurred on the second floor of the building, that Frank was anxious on both the day of the murder and the day of his arrest, and that Mary Phagan had been raped. The rape determination was not made by the medical examiner, J. W. Hurt (who would testify at the later trial that he could not determine if a rape had occurred), but by two non-experts, a police officer and the undertaker.[114]

No physical evidence was presented or discussed. The murder notes were not mentioned. Dorsey assured the jury that additional information would be provided during the trial and the next day, after five minutes of deliberation, the jury voted for an indictment.[115] The grand jury consisted of twenty three sworn jurors [116] which included at least four [117][118] or five Jews.[119][120] Two Grand Jurors where not present on the day of the vote, George Gershon, a Jew and M. Beutell, a Gentile.[121] The Grand Jury voted unanimously 21 to 0 in favor of indicting Leo M. Frank. The indictment read:

In the name and behalf of the citizens of Georgia, charge and accuse Leo M. Frank, of the County and State aforesaid, with the offense of Murder, for that the said Leo M. Frank in the County aforesaid on the 26th day of April in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and thirteen, with force and arms did unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill and murder one Mary Phagan by then and there choking her, the said Mary Phagan, with a cord place around her neck contrary to the laws of said State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.[122]

Author Lindemann suggests, “[T]hey were persuaded by the concrete evidence that [prosecutor] Dorsey presented.”[123] Lindemann notes that none of Conley’s testimony was presented to the grand jury and that at criminal trial, Dorsey “explicitly denounced racial anti-Semitism” and “indulged in … philo-Semitic rhetoric.”[123] However author Steve Oney, after Dorsey referred to a number of historical figures, most of them Jews, who had committed crimes, noted, “That Dorsey … was attempting to stir anti-Semitic sentiments there can be no doubt.”[124]
Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey.
Lead defense lawyer Luther Rosser.

Frank’s trial began at 9:00AM on July 28, 1913, [125] ironically on the 2nd floor of the court house. Because of the heat, the windows were left open. In addition to the spectators inside, a large crowd gathered outside.

The judge was Leonard S. Roan, who had been serving as a judge in Georgia since 1900.[126] The prosecution team was led by Hugh M. Dorsey, Solicitor General, Frank A. Hooper, and E. A. Stephens, Assistant Solicitor.[127] Frank was represented by a team of eight lawyers, including jury selection specialists, led by Luther Rosser, Reuben Arnold and Herbert Haas.[127] The defense used peremptory challenges to eliminate the only two black jurors among the pool. After peremptory challenges, the defense and prosecution agreed to a jury of twelve white men.

The prosecution’s theory was that Conley’s affidavit explaining the immediate aftermath of the murder was true, that Frank was the murderer, and that Frank had dictated the murder notes in an effort to pin the crime on Newt Lee, the night watchman. The defense argued that Conley was the murderer, and that Newt Lee, the night watchman, helped Conley write the two murder notes. The defense brought numerous witnesses who attested to Frank’s alibi, which did not leave him enough time to have committed the crime.

A number of employees, including female factory workers, testified that they had never seen Frank flirting or touching the girls and that they considered him to be of good character.[128] In their rebuttal case, the prosecution produced witnesses who testified that Frank had a “bad” reputation for lasciviousness.[129] Defense witnesses testified that on that particular day, a Confederate holiday and a Saturday, there were too many people in the factory for Frank to have had trysts there. They also pointed out that the windows of Frank’s second floor office lacked curtains.

Conley reiterated his testimony from his affidavit. He added to it by describing Frank as regularly having sex with women in his upstairs second floor office on Saturdays while Conley kept a lookout on the first floor. Although Conley admitted that he had changed his story and at first lied repeatedly to cover for Frank, this did not much damage the prosecution’s case. Conley admitted to having been an accessory, so observers did not think it surprising that he had lied. Many white observers assumed that a black man could not have been intelligent enough to make up such an elaborate and complicated story. The Georgian wrote, “Many people are arguing to themselves that the negro (Jim Conley), no matter how hard he tried or how generously he was coached, still never could have framed up a story like the one he told unless there was some foundation in fact.”
Frank’s testimony

Frank spoke on his own behalf by making an unsworn statement as allowed by Georgia Code, Section 1036; it did not permit any cross-examination without his consent, and no cross-examination occurred. He began by describing his preparation of the payroll records on Friday, April 25. In rebuttal of a claim that another employee had attempted to collect Mary Phagan’s check that day, Frank stated that “No one came into my office who asked me for a pay envelope or for the pay of another.[130] Frank then went on, spending hours, describing in boring and mind numbing details[131] the minutia of his accounting activities on Saturday, the day of the murder. Author Steve Oney writes:

Frank’s presentation, dispassionate and cool, was the antithesis of Jim Conley’s testimony. But rather than continue in this same formal yet accessible manner, the superintendent plunged into the fine points of the dozen or so invoices. Evidently he believed he needed to establish that the work was so involved that it had required him, just as several witnesses had sworn, to defer the all-important financial sheet until the afternoon. Yet from the start there was something unnerving about the resulting assembly line of details.[132]

When a brief recess was called after Frank “had been ratcheting on for the better part of two and a half hours”, Oney concluded that he “may have convinced” some listeners on the time issue, but it was more likely that the audience reacted with “suspicion and disbelief. If the testimony had ended at this point Oney believes “it would have been judged an unmitigated disaster.”[133]

Frank provided an explanation of his nervousness after he saw the dead body of Mary Phagan at the morgue on Sunday April 27th, but he stopped short of explaining why he was nervous on Saturday afternoon, April 26th, the day of the murder, as testified to by Newt Lee the night watch. Frank also did not explain why he was acting nervous in front of the police on Sunday morning before being taken to the morgue, when the police first arrived at his residence, before they had told him about finding the dead body of Mary Phagan in the factory:

Gentlemen, I was nervous. I was completely unstrung. Imagine yourself called from sound slumber in the early hours of the morning, whisked through the chill morning air without breakfast, to go into that undertaking establishment and have the light suddenly flashed on a scene like that. To see that little girl on the dawn of womanhood so cruelly murdered — it was a scene that would have melted stone. Is it any wonder I was nervous.[134]

Concerning the testimony by C. B. Dalton about Leo Frank and him using Franks second floor office to meet up with prostitutes as corroborated by Jim Conley, Frank said:

…If Dalton was ever in the factory building with any woman, I didn’t know it. I never saw Dalton in my life to know him until this crime. [135][136]

Regarding rumors about the reason why Lucille, Leo Frank’s wife, had not visited him for two weeks while he was in jail, Frank proclaimed:

The date I was taken into custody, my wife was there. But I thought I would save her the humiliation of seeing me in those surroundings. I expected to be turned loose and returned once more to her side at home. Gentlemen, we did all we could to restrain her… She was perfectly willing to be locked up with me and share my incarceration. [137]

In response to the testimony of Monteen Stover, that she was waiting in Leo Frank’s empty 2nd floor office from 12:05 to 12:10, Frank stated:

…to the best of my recollection I didn’t stir out of the office, but it’s possible that, in order to answer a call of nature, I may have gone to the toilet or to urinate, these are things that a man does unconsciously and can’t tell you many times nor when he does it.

Concerning the murder of Mary Phagan and the whereabouts and testimony of Jim Conley, Leo Frank stated:

Gentleman, I know nothing whatsoever of the death of little Mary Phagan. I had no part in causing her death, nor do I know how she came to her death after she took her money and left my office. I never even saw Jim Conley in the factory or anywhere else on that date, April 26th 1913. ..The statement of the negro Jim Conley is a tissue of lies from first to last. I know nothing whatever of the death of Mary Phagan and Conley’s statement as to his coming and going up and helping me dispose of the body, or that I had anything to do with her or to do with him that day is a monstrous lie… The story as to women coming into the factory with me for immoral purposes is a base lie and the few occasions that he claims to have seen me in indecent positions with women is a lie so vile that I have no language with which to fitly denounce it. …

Frank finished his 4 hour testimony:

Gentlemen, some newspaper men have called me “the silent man in the tower,” and I have kept my silence and my counsel advisedly, until the proper time and place. The time is now; the place is here; and I have told you the truth, the whole truth. [138][139][140]

Oney states that the final testimony, coming as it did after the earlier “tedious tabulations and rote recitations” “moved nearly all who had heard it. A reporter for the Georgian wrote that “Frank was far and away the very best witness the defense has put forward,”and the Constitution said that his testimony “carried the ring of truth in every sentence.”[141]
Closing and verdict

In closing statements, the defense used racial stereotypes and bias to attempt to divert suspicion from Frank to Conley. Lead defense attorney Luther Rosser said to the jury: “Who is Conley? He is a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying, nigger.”[142] Frank had issued a widely publicized statement questioning how the “perjured vaporizings of a black brute” could be accepted in testimony against him.[142] The prosecutor Hugh Dorsey compared Frank to the fictional character(s) of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He said that Frank had killed Phagan to keep her from talking. During the trial, the prosecution alleged bribery and witness tampering attempts by the Frank legal team.[143][144]

The defense requested a mistrial because it believed the jurors had been intimidated by the people inside and outside the courtroom, but the motion was denied.[145] Fearing for the safety of Frank and his lawyers in case of an acquittal, Roan and the defense agreed that neither Frank nor his defense attorneys would be present when the verdict was read.[146] On August 25, 1913, after less than four hours of deliberation, the jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict.[147] There was pandemonium outside.[148] The Constitution described the scene as Dorsey emerged from the steps of City Hall: “The solicitor reached no farther than the sidewalk. While mounted men rode like Cossacks through the human swarm, three muscular men slung Mr. Dorsey on their shoulders and passed him over the heads of the crowd across the street.”[149]
Tom Watson, publisher of Watson’s Magazine and The Jeffersonian, whipped up public opinion against Frank.

On August 26, the day after the decision of guilty was reached by the jury, Judge Roan brought counsel into private chambers and sentenced Leo Frank to death by hanging with the date set to Oct 10th. The defense team issued a public protest, published August 26 in the Atlanta newspapers, the theme of which they were to carry through all the appeals:

The temper of the public mind was such that it invaded the court room and invaded the streets and made itself manifest at every turn the jury made; and it was just as impossible for this jury to escape the effects of this public feeling as if they had been turned loose and had been permitted to mingle with the people. In doing this we are making no criticism of the jury. They were only men and unconsciously this prejudice rendered any other verdict impossible.[150]

On the same day the defense filed a motion for a new trial which over time was amended to include over 100 grounds of error. On October 31 Judge Roan denied the motion, but added, “Gentlemen, I have thought about this case more than any other I have ever tried…I am not certain of this man’s guilt…. But I do not have to be convinced. The jury was convinced.”[151]

The cause of seeking a new trial was taken to the Supreme Court of Georgia on a writ of error.[152] Among other arguments the defense cited Judge Roan’s remarks as proof that “the judge had put forward the discretion of the jury as an excuse for not exercising his own.”[153] On February 17, 1914, a judgment was rendered rejecting the arguments and affirming the judgment of conviction by the Superior Court of Fulton County by 4 to 2, and on February 25 unanimously denying the motion for a rehearing.[154] Frank was re-sentenced to hang by his Trial Judge, Judge Roan on April 17, 1914,[155] his birthday.

There followed several more appeals between April 1914 and May 1915.[156][157] Frank’s appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court failed in November. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Lamar denied a writ of habeas corpus sought by Frank’s lawyers. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes also denied habeas corpus, although he wrote a short opinion stating that “I very seriously doubt if the petitioner … has had due process of law … because of the trial taking place in the presence of a hostile demonstration and seemingly dangerous crowd, thought by the presiding Judge to be ready for violence unless a verdict of guilty was rendered.”

On December 28, Justice Lamar granted a writ of error allowing Frank to appeal to the full U.S. Supreme Court, which heard Frank’s appeal in April 1915. On April 19, in the case of Frank v. Mangum, Frank’s appeal was denied on a 7-2 vote. Holmes and Justice Charles Evans Hughes dissented, with Holmes writing that “Mob law does not become due process of law by securing the assent of a terrorized jury.”[158]
Indignation in the press about the commutation of Frank’s sentence.

On May 31, 1915, Frank pleaded to the Georgia State Prison Commission that his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. On June 9 the Commission submitted a divided report to the departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton.[159]

Slaton heard arguments on both sides of the clemency issue from attorneys who had tried the case. He introduced a letter from Judge Roan, who had died in March, which became an object of contention at the hearing.[160] He reviewed more than 10,000 pages of documents, visited the pencil factory (which the jury did not do), and examined new evidence that tended to incriminate Conley, including studies comparing Conley’s speech patterns to the language of the murder notes.[161][162] He noted later to reporters that “some of the most powerful evidence in [Frank’s] behalf was not presented the jury which found him guilty.”[163] During the hearing former Governor Brown had warned Slaton, “In all frankness, if Your Excellency wishes to invoke lynch law in Georgia and destroy trial by jury, the way to do it is by retrying this case and reversing all the courts.”[162]

On June 21, 1915, Slaton commuted Frank’s sentence to life in prison, “assuming that Frank’s innocence would eventually be fully established and he would be set free.”[161] “I can endure misconstruction, abuse and condemnation,” Slaton said, “but I cannot stand the constant companionship of an accusing conscience which would remind me that I, as governor of Georgia, failed to do what I thought to be right…. [F]eeling as I do about this case I would be a murderer if I allowed this man to hang. It may mean that I must live in obscurity the rest of my days, but I would rather be plowing in a field for the rest of my life than to feel that I had that blood on my hands.”[164]

The commutation was issued June 21, six days before the new governor was to take office and one day before Leo Frank was scheduled to hang. According to Steve Oney, “I think Slaton made a decision of conscience… That said, there was a clear and troubling appearance of a conflict of interest.” During the Frank trial Slaton was made a partner in the law firm headed by Rosser, Frank’s lead defense counsel.[165][166] Tom Watson railed against the decision and urged the lynchings of both Frank and Slaton.[167] Slaton had been a popular governor throughout his term, but he and his wife left Georgia immediately.[163]

Frank had been taken to the Milledgeville State Penitentiary the day before.[168] A mob threatened to attack the governor at home. A detachment of the Georgia National Guard under the command of Major Asa Warren Candler, along with county policemen and a group of Slaton’s friends who were sworn in as deputies, dispersed the mob.[169][170]

At the Milledgeville prison a fellow inmate attempted to kill Frank, slashing his throat and nearly severing his jugular vein.[168] The attacker told the authorities he wanted to keep the other inmates safe from mob violence, that Frank’s presence was a disgrace to the prison, and that he was sure he would be pardoned if he killed Frank.[171] On August 4 Frank wrote his wife, “I hope you did not yesterday or today hear the rumor I heard—viz: that I was dead. I want to firmly and decisively deny that rumor. I am alive by a big majority.”[172] But the summer heat was keeping his wound from healing well.[173][174]
Joseph Mackey Brown (1851–1932), one of the ringleaders. He served two terms as the Governor of Georgia, 1909–1911, and 1912–1913.

The commutation drove Tom Watson to new heights of ferocity.[175] In the pages of The Jeffersonian and Watson’s Magazine, he reminded his readers that in a democracy, lynching parties were a tool of justice. “Hereafter, let no man reproach the South with lynch law: let him remember the unendurable provocation; and let him say whether lynch law is not better than ‘no law at all….’ [W]hen mobs are no longer possible liberty will be dead.”[176] “This country has nothing to fear from its rural communities. Lynch law is a good sign; it shows that a sense of justice lives among the people.”[177] On June 25, a marble slab six feet long was laid over Mary Phagan’s grave in Marietta. On it was carved an inscription, written by Tom Watson, which began, “In this day of fading ideals and disappearing land marks, little Mary Phagan’s heroism is an heirloom than which there is nothing more precious among the old red hills of Georgia.”[178]
“Knights of Mary Phagan”

The Knights of Mary Phagan began openly organizing a plan to kidnap Frank from the state prison farm at Milledgeville and take him to Marietta for lynching.[179] The organizers recruited between 25 and 28 men with the necessary skills. An electrician was to cut the prison wires, car mechanics were to keep the cars running, and there was also a locksmith, a telephone man, a medic, a hangman, and a lay preacher.[180] The ringleaders were named as:[181]

* Joseph Mackey Brown, former governor of Georgia
* Emmet Burton, police officer
* Eugene Herbert Clay, former mayor of Marietta, son of Senator Alexander S. Clay
* E.P. Dobbs, mayor of Marietta at the time
* William J. Frey, former Cobb County sheriff
* George Hicks, Cobb County deputy sheriff
* William McKinney, Cobb County deputy sheriff
* Newton Augustus Morris, twice a superior court judge of the Blue Ridge Circuit
* Newton Mayes Morris, in charge of the Cobb County chain gang
* Fred Morris, general assemblyman who later organized Mariettas’s first Boy Scout troop
* George Swanson, Cobb County sheriff

* John Augustus Benson, merchant
* D.R. Benton, Mary Phagan’s uncle
* “Yellow Jacket” Brown, electrician
* Bolan Glover Brumby, manufacturer, owner of the Marietta Chair Company
* Jim Brumby, garage owner who serviced the cars
* Luther Burton, coal yard operator
* George Exie Daniell, merchant
* Cicero Holton Dobbs, taxi driver
* John Tucker Dorsey, who later served as the Circuit’s district attorney

* C.D. Elder, physician
* Gordon Baxter Gann, lawyer, later mayor of Marietta and a state legislator
* Robert A. Hill, banker who helped fund the group
* Horace Hamby, farmer
* Lawrence Haney, farmer
* Ralph Molden Manning, contractor
* L.B. Robeson, railroad freight agent who provided a car
* Moultrie McKinney Sessions, lawyer and banker
* “Coon” Shaw, mule trader

Moultrie Sessions, with Herbert Clay, had been part of the Marietta delegation at Governor Slaton’s June clemency hearing; his statement was to remind the governor of the “bloodthirsty” maligning and misrepresentation of Georgia by news reports from other states.[182][163]
The man on the far right in the straw hat is Newton A. Morris, a superior court judge.[183]
The crowd sold souvenirs of the lynching, including pieces of his nightshirt and rope.

On the afternoon of August 16, the eight cars of the lynching party left Marietta one by one, heading for Milledgeville. They arrived at the prison shortly before midnight and cut the telephone wires, emptied the gas from the prison’s automobiles, handcuffed the warden, seized Frank and drove away. The 175-mile trip took seven hours, through small towns on back roads. Lookouts in the towns telephoned ahead to the next town as soon as they saw the line of open cars pass by. A site at Frey’s Gin, two miles (3 km) east of Marietta, had been prepared, complete with a rope and table supplied by former sheriff William Frey.[184]

According to a New York Times article dated August 18, 1915, one of the lynchers said to Frank: “Mr Frank, we are now going to do what the law said to do—hang you by the neck until you are dead. Do you want to make any statement before you die?” Frank reportedly answered, “No.” The lyncher asked him: “We want to know whether you are guilty or innocent of killing little Mary Phagan.” The lynchers said Frank replied: “I think more of my wife and my mother than I do of my own life.” The Times reports that he did not ask permission to write a letter, or make any other request.[185]

The lynchers tied a piece of brown canvas around his waist. He was otherwise wearing a nightshirt and undershirt, and was handcuffed. They tied a new three-quarter-inch manila rope in a hangman’s knot so it would throw his head back and his chin up. It was placed around his neck and slung over a branch of a large Georgia oak. He was turned to face the direction of the house Phagan had lived in, and was hanged at around 7 am.[185]
This image was published as a postcard.

One of the onlookers, Robert E. Lee Howell—related to Clark Howell, editor of The Atlanta Constitution—wanted to have the body cut into pieces and burned, and began to run around, screaming, whipping up the crowd, shouting that the body might be a dummy. Judge Newt Morris tried to restore order, and asked for a vote to ask whether the body should be returned to the parents intact; only Howell disagreed. When the body was cut down, Howell started stamping on Frank’s face and chest, but Morris quickly placed the body in a basket, and he and his driver John Stephens Wood drove it out of Marietta.[185]

Pieces of Frank’s nightshirt were torn off his body to keep as memorabilia. Low-hanging branches of the tree were cut down and carried away as souvenirs. Postcards featuring pictures of the Knights of Mary Phagan and others posing in front of Frank’s hanging body were sold for years in Georgia stores. The Marietta hardware stores sold out of rope.[186] In Atlanta thousands besieged the undertaker’s parlor, demanding to see the body; after they began throwing bricks they were allowed to file past the corpse.[187] The New York Times wrote at the time that the vast majority of Cobb County believed Frank had received his just deserts, and that the lynch party had simply stepped in to uphold the law after Governor Slaton arbitrarily set it aside.[185] Frank was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, Queens, New York.
Newspaper article after the lynching.

After Frank’s lynching, approximately half of Georgia’s 3,000 Jews left the state.[188] Many American Jews saw Frank as an American Alfred Dreyfus. The intensity of the national and international attention on the case was comparable to that in the 1932 kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s son. In part because Frank was the president of the B’nai B’rith chapter in Atlanta, Georgia, the organization decided to create the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in 1913. Adolph Kraus, president of B’nai B’rith, invited 15 prominent members in Chicago to form the ADL in September that year, one month after Frank’s conviction.[189]

Two weeks after the lynching, in the September 2, 1915 issue of The Jeffersonian, Watson looked to the future by looking back. He reminisced that he had been only a young boy in the days of the old Ku Klux Klan, and to the warning “we will meet the Leo Frank League with a Gentile League, if they provoke us much further;” he added, “another Ku Klux Klan may be organized to restore HOME RULE.'” Of the murder of Frank, he observed that “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”[190] In 1914, when Watson began hammering home his anti-Frank message, The Jeffersonian’s circulation had been 25,000; by September 2, 1915 its circulation was 87,000.[191]
Criticism of the lynching.

On October 16, 1915, two months to the night after Frank was taken from the Milledgeville prison, members of the Knights of Mary Phagan burned a gigantic cross atop Stone Mountain.[192] Southerners who believed Frank was guilty saw similarities between the Frank trial and The Birth of a Nation.[193] There was class and sectional resentment against educated northern industrialists, for whom many southerners worked in factories. The Georgia politician and publisher Watson used the case as a stepping stone to build personal political power and support for a rebirth and revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the lynch party decided to create a new Klan. They inaugurated it on Thanksgiving night, 1915, before a burning cross at the top of Stone Mountain. The group was led by William J. Simmons and attended by 15 charter members and a few aging survivors of the original Klan.[194]

Reflecting contemporary fears of rapid social change, including the waves of new Catholic and Jewish immigrants from southern and eastern Europe who poured into the late 19th and early 20th century United States, the new Klan had an antisemitic, anti-Catholic, and nativist slant. The Klan grew rapidly in major cities of the Midwest, such as Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis, where there were dramatic population growth and industrialization. The Klan also grew in Southern industrializing cities that grew rapidly from 1910–1930, such as Dallas and Houston. In all these cities, neighborhoods changed quickly, people moved from farms into cities for the first time, competition for jobs and housing was fierce, the housing market could not keep up with demand, and competition led to violence among groups struggling for place. After World War I, the Klan continued to grow as a result of postwar social strains, and the effort to assimilate thousands of veterans into the job market. It declined rapidly after the late 1920s.
Developments in the 1980s
Alonzo Mann’s affidavit

In 1982, nearly 70 years after the murder, Alonzo Mann, who had been Frank’s office boy, volunteered that he had seen Jim Conley alone at the factory carrying Phagan’s body. This contradicted Conley’s testimony that Frank had paid him to move the girl’s dead body. Mann swore in an affidavit that Conley had threatened to kill him if he reported what he had seen, and when he told his family, his parents made him swear not to tell anyone. He finally decided to make a statement in what he called an effort to die in peace. He passed a lie detector test, and died three years later at the age of 85.
Posthumous pardon without exoneration

The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Frank a pardon in 1983. It was hindered in its investigation by the lack of available records. Conley could not be located and was probably dead. The state’s files on the case were lost and with them the opportunity to apply modern forensic techniques, such as comparing Frank’s dental records with photographs of bite marks on Phagan’s body. It concluded that, “After exhaustive review and many hours of deliberation, it is impossible to decide conclusively the guilt or innocence of Leo. M. Frank. For the board to grant a pardon, the innocence of the subject must be shown conclusively.” A second application was submitted in 1986 by lawyers representing Jewish groups, this one asking the state only to recognize its culpability over his death.[195] The board granted the pardon on March 11, 1986.[196] It said:

Without attempting to address the question of guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the State’s failure to protect the person of Leo M. Frank and thereby preserve his opportunity for continued legal appeal of his conviction, and in recognition of the State’s failure to bring his killers to justice, and as an effort to heal old wounds, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, in compliance with its Constitutional and statutory authority, hereby grants to Leo M. Frank a Pardon.[197]


The site of the hanging was marked by a plaque on a nearby building, reading “Wrongly accused. Falsely convicted. Wantonly murdered,” placed there by Rabbi Steven Lebow of Temple Kol Emeth on the 80th anniversary of the lynching.[8] On March 7, 2008, another plaque was erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, and Temple Kol Emeth, on the building at 1200 Roswell Road, Marietta. It reads:

Near this location on August 17, 1915, Leo M. Frank, the Jewish superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, was lynched for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory employee. A highly controversial trial fueled by societal tensions and anti-Semitism resulted in a guilty verdict in 1913. After Governor John M. Slaton commuted his sentence from death to life in prison, Frank was kidnapped from the state prison in Milledgeville and taken to Phagan’s hometown of Marietta where he was hanged before a local crowd. Without addressing guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the state’s failure to either protect Frank or bring his killers to justice, he was granted a posthumous pardon in 1986.[198]

See also

* Antisemitism in the United States
* Murder in Harlem (1935)
* The Gunsaulus Mystery (1921)

About the Frank case

* Parade (musical) (1998)
* The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988)
* They Won’t Forget (1937)


1. ^ “Leo Frank”, Find a Grave, accessed August 21, 2010.
2. ^ a b Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank]. Carolrhoda Books, 2010, pp. 124, 139. For the founding of the ADL, see Blakeslee, Spencer. The Death of American Antisemitism. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 81.
* Also see “Hang the Jew, Hang the Jew”, Anti-Defamation League, accessed August 20, 2010.
3. ^ Steinberg-Brent, Sally. “The Leo Frank Murder Case”, in Bruce Afran, Robert A. Garber, Jews on trial. KTAV Publishing House Inc, 2005, pp. 95–100, 106.
4. ^ Lindemann, Albert S. The Jew Accused. Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 239; Dinnerstein, Leonard. The Leo Frank Case. University of Georgia Press, 1987, p. xiii;
* Also see Ravitz, Jessica. “Murder case, Leo Frank lynching live on”, CNN, November 2, 2009.
5. ^ Wade, Wyn Craig. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Simon and Schuster, 1987, p. 143.
6. ^ Lindemann, Albert S. The Jew Accused. Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 245, 258, 268.
7. ^ Coleman, Kenneth. A History of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 1991, p. 292; also see “Body of Frank is found dangling from a tree near the Phagan home”, Associated Press, August 17, 1915.
8. ^ a b Sawyer, Kathy. “A Lynching, a List and Reopened Wounds; Jewish Businessman’s Murder Still Haunts Georgia Town”, The Washington Post, June 20, 2000. For the list of alleged lynchers, see Goldfarb, Stephen. “Leo Frank Lynchers”,, January 1, 2000, accessed August 22, 2010.
9. ^ Brief of Evidence, Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Frank’s statement to the trial Jury, page 174.
10. ^ The Selig Company Building – Pioneer Neon Company. Marietta Street ARTery Association
11. ^ Brief of Evidence, Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Frank’s statement to the trial Jury, page 174.
12. ^ Lawson pp. 211, 250; Phagan p. 111.
13. ^ Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime. Carolrhoda Books, 2010, p. 25ff.
14. ^ Phagan, pp. 10–16, Oney pp. 4–7.
15. ^ Phagan, p. 12.
16. ^ Phagan p. 12.
17. ^ Oney, chapter 1.
18. ^ Brief of Evidence, p. 202
19. ^ Oney, p. 6.
20. ^ Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime. Carolrhoda Books, 2010, p. 26.
21. ^ Lawson, pp. 193, 342.
22. ^ 1st Affidavit of George W. Epps, submitted by Solicitor General, Hugh M. Dorsey to the State vs. Leo M. Frank, Fall Term 1913, Fulton County Superior Court, Presided by Judge L.S. Roan, Brief of Evidence;
* 2nd Affidavit of George W. Epps, Brief of Evidence, p.195, May 4th 1914, Hugh M. Dorsey files a response to the extraordinary motion by Leo M. Frank to have the verdict set aside;
* Affidavit by Detective John R. Black, stating he had a conversation with Mr. Coleman, Phagan’s father told him on Sunday and Monday night about a conversation between Coleman and Epps about Phagan being afraid of Frank
23. ^ George Epps testified that Mary got off the streetcar at about 12:07. Lawson p. 190; “The Leo Frank Trial”: Testimony of George Epps.
* The defense fixed Phagan’s arrival at the factory door at approximately 12:12 p.m; the prosecution maintained she arrived at approximately 12:05. Lawson pp. 207, 241, 300. In a signed affidavit after the coroners inquest, Frank said Phagan came in to get her pay just moments after office boy Alonzo Mann had left at noon. He said that he handed her her pay envelope at 12:10; see Lawson p. 195.
24. ^ The Leo Frank Trial: Clemency Decision
25. ^ The Frank Case, Atlanta Publishing Company, 1913, Page 18, paragraph 7
26. ^ Oney, p. 114.
27. ^ Brief of Evidence. State of Georgia vs. Leo M. Frank. p.2
28. ^ American State Trials Volume X (1918) by John D. Lawson, LL.D. p. 190 Leo M. Frank
29. ^ Oney, p. 373.
30. ^ Affidavit, May 4th 1914, George W. Epps for Hugh M. Dorsey, in response to Extraordinary Motion by Leo Frank to have the verdict set aside, p. 195 to p. 202
31. ^ Dinnerstein p. 86
32. ^ Oney p. 417
33. ^ Lawson, pp. 209-210.
34. ^ Lawson, p. 182.
35. ^ Interview with Leo Frank by Detective Harry Scott, Superintendent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Monday April 28th 1913 in the office of Leo M. Frank, about his whereabouts
36. ^ Oney, p. 9.
37. ^ Lawson, p. 207
38. ^ Golden, pp. 5-6.
39. ^ Frank may have said “I don’t know.” In his statement to the jury he said that he told her, “No.”
40. ^ Lawson p. 226.
41. ^ Lawsons American State Trials Volume X (1918)review testimony by Detective Scott and Black
42. ^ Hugh Dorsey, Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey at the Trial of Leo Frank (Atlanta: Johnson-Dallis Company, 1914)
43. ^ Dinnerstein p.1
44. ^ Oney p. 18-19
45. ^ Oney p. 18-19
46. ^ Oney p. 20-22
47. ^ Dinnerstein p. 4.
48. ^ Oney pp. 30–31.
49. ^ Oney p. 20-21, 379. During the trial “night witch” was interpreted to mean “night watch[man]”; when read the note night watchman Newt Lee said, “Boss, that’s me.” During the first appeal, however, Southern attorney Henry Alexander wrote that a night witch was a creature of superstitious terror, well-known to children in the South but which would have been unknown to Leo Frank.
50. ^ Oney p. 30. Dinnerstein p.3
51. ^ Brief of Evidence, 1913, p. 31
52. ^ Phagan-Kean p. 76
53. ^ Brief of Evidence 1913, p. 18
54. ^ Phagan-Kean p.77
55. ^ Brief of Evidence, 1913, p. 25
56. ^ Brief of Evidence, 1913, p.20
57. ^ Hugh M. Dorsey, Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey, Solicitor General, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, at the Trial of Leo M. Frank, Charged with the Murder of Mary Phagan. Published by N. Christophulos, 411 Third Street, Macon Ga. 1913, 1914, 1915. (Also published by Johnson-Dallis Company, Atlanta, 1914).
58. ^ In the Supreme Court of Georgia, Fall Term, 1913. Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term, 1913. The Official Brief of Evidence.
59. ^ American State Trials, Volume X, (1918) by John D. Lawson
60. ^ Oney p. 35
61. ^ Lawton p. 233. “[A]t no time was there even an intimation that the agency or any of its employees were to be in Frank’s employ and to work only in his interest.” “About the Frank Case; Harry Scott, Pinkerton Detective Who Worked On It, Answers Critics.” The New York Times, April 18, 1915.
62. ^ The Georgian, a Hearst newspaper, published an editorial in the relative quiet of April 1914 expressed its conviction that “four-fifths, if not nine-tenths, of the thinking people of Atlanta” wanted Frank to have “another chance…if the law and the evidence will permit it.” “Atlantans Favor New Frank Trial.” The New York Times, April 19, 1914.
63. ^ For example, Lindemann p. 254: “The best evidence now available indicates that the real murderer of Mary Phagan was Jim Conley, perhaps because she, encountering him after she left Frank’s office, refused to give him her pay envelope, and he, in a drunken stupor, killed her to get it.
* Woodward p. 435: “The city police, publicly committed to the theory of Frank’s guilt, and hounded by the demand for a conviction, resorted to the basest methods in collecting evidence. A Negro suspect [Conley], later implicated by evidence overwhelmingly more incriminating than any produced against Frank, was thrust aside by the cry for the blood of the ‘Jew Pervert.'”
* Dinnerstein p. 114: “The new development which stirred Atlanta and those working to save Frank was the announcement, made on October 2, 1914, by William M. Smith, lawyer for Jim Conley, the state’s key witness at the trial, that his own client had murdered Mary Phagan.”
64. ^ Lawson p. 187; Oney p. 118.
65. ^ Oney pp. 118–119.
66. ^ Oney p. 128–129.
67. ^ Oney pp. 129–131.
68. ^ “The People versus Leo Frank”, PBS, 2009, 36 mins, accessed August 23, 2010.
69. ^ Oney, p.131.
70. ^ Oney, p.133.
71. ^ Oney, pp. 133-134.
72. ^ Conley’s May 28 statement, Lawson, p. 246–48; Oney, pp. 134–136.
73. ^ Oney, p. 136.
74. ^ Lawson, pp. 206, 219, 366–367; Oney, p. 137–138.
75. ^ Oney, p. 138. Dinnerstein, p. 24. Dinnerstein notes that the Georgian reported that Conley was submitted to a “merciless sweating” as the police “dragged sentence by sentence from the frightened negro.”
76. ^ Oney, p.139–140.
77. ^ Oney, p. 242.
78. ^ Dinnerstein, pp. 114-115.
79. ^ Oney, pp. 147–148.
80. ^ “Indicted for Girl’s Murder”, The New York Times, May 25, 1913.
81. ^ Oney, p. 115
82. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials V. X
83. ^ Dinerstein, pp. 37–40. Oney, p. 50, 100
84. ^ Dinnerstein, p. 48. Oney pp. 50, 197, 266. Both the motorman, W. M. Matthews, and the conductor, W. T. Hollis, testified that Phagan got off the trolley at 12:10. In addition they both testified that Epps was not on the trolley. Epps said at trial that Phagan got off the trolley at 12:07. From the stop where Phagan exited the Trolley, according to Atlanta police officer John N. Starnes, “It takes not over three minutes to walk from Marietta Street, at the corner of Forsyth, across the viaduct, and through Forsyth Street, down to the factory”.Lawson’s American State Trials Volume X (1918) Frank stated in his intial police deposition that Phagan “came in between 12:05 and 12:10, maybe 12:07 …”.
85. ^ Oney, pp. 87, 285
86. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials Volume X (1918) Frank’s testimony to the Jury
87. ^ Oney, pp. 139, 283. Oney writes, “The women’s stories were replete with so many convincing specifics (each recalling seeing Hattie Hall, who went home at noon, at work at the superintendent’s desk) that in the space of just a few minutes they had negated one of Conley’s most vivid claims, in the process raising doubts as to the credibility if his entire account.”
88. ^ Dinnerstein p. 49
89. ^ Oney, pp. 278, 285
90. ^ Oney, p. 288
91. ^ Oney, p. 162
92. ^ Oney, pp. 162–163. Oney writes, “The interrogation of Minola McKnight was, by all accounts, an ugly spectacle.” Dinnerstein, p. 26. Dinnerstein writes, “Reporters heard Mrs. McKnight screaming from behind locked doors that she was going to be hanged for a crime that she knew nothing about,”
93. ^ Lawson, p. 244, Oney, pp. 163–165.
94. ^ Oney pp. 165-166. On the second day of interrogation, before the police came in she met with her husband, a lawyer named George Gordon, and two employees of Beck & Gregg, a hardware store that employed Mr. McKnight. The owner of the store was L. H. Beck who was the foreman of the grand jury which indicted Frank. Gordon did not accompany McKnight in the interrogation, only reappearing when it was time to finalize the statement.
95. ^ Oney p. 163-165. Lawson p. 210.
96. ^ Lawson p. 216.
97. ^ Oney p. 288.
98. ^ Oney p. 50.
99. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials Volume X (1918)
100. ^ Dinnerstein p. 2
101. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials Volume X (1918), and Mary Phagan Kean. The Murder of Little Mary Phagan, 1987
102. ^ American State Trials Volume X 1918
103. ^ Oney p. 47-48
104. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials V. X, Leo Frank’s final unsworn statement
105. ^ Oney p. 50-51
106. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials V. X, Newt Lee testifies
107. ^ Lawson’s American State Trials V. X, Newt Lee testifies
108. ^ Lindemann p. 246
109. ^ Bass Rosser, Sworn for the state, Response to Ground #4, p.84, Brief of Evidence
110. ^ Interview with the Georgia State Archivist A. Smith, 2010
111. ^ Steve Oney p.
112. ^ Lawson’s American Trials, Volume X, pp. vi-xii and 182-414. A PDF copy exists on
113. ^ A copy of the 1913 Brief of Evidence from the Leo Frank Trial can be obtained from: Georgia Government Archives, Attn: Archival Services, 5800 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta, GA 30260 (cost is $135)
114. ^ Oney (2003) pp.115-116, 236
115. ^ The State, vs. Leo M. Frank, Bill of Indictment, The 24th day of May 1913, No. 9410, Fulton Superior Court, May Term 1913, L.H. Beck, Grand Jury Foreman + 20 Grand Jurors; The Leo Frank Case, Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery, 1913, states the Grand Jury Voted Unanimously; Mary Phagan Kean, p. 221. ..grand jurors, thought Frank guilty… Oney p. 116. Speaking of the four Jews on the jury, Oney wrote, “… it’s not known how these men voted”.
116. ^ The State, vs. Leo M. Frank, Bill of Indictment, p1., The 24th day of May 1913, No. 9410, Fulton Superior Court, May Term 1913, L.H. Beck, Grand Jury Foreman
117. ^ Oney at p. 116 names four.
118. ^ Mary Phagan Kean p. 221
119. ^ Lindemann at p. 251 states there were five Jews on the Grand Jury
120. ^ The Leo Frank Case, Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery, 1913, states there were five Jews on the Grand Jury
121. ^ Atlanta Constitution, May 24th 1913
122. ^ Bill of Indictment, No. 9410, Fulton Superior Court, May (24th) Term 1913, p1 and 2.
123. ^ a b Lindemann p. 251.
124. ^ Oney pp. 328-329
125. ^ Linder, Douglas (2008). “The Trial of Leo Frank: An Account.” Social Science Research Network
126. ^ Leonard S. Roan, 1913-1914. Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia
127. ^ a b John D. Lawson, LL.D., American State Trials Volume X (1918) p. 189
128. ^ Lawton p. 223.
129. ^ Oney, p. 309. During the appeals process, Oney writes that “For openers came affidavits from Dewey Hewell, Nellie Pettis, Nelie Wood, Ruth Robinson, Marie Karst, Mamie Kitchens and Carrie Smth — all state’s witnesses — announcing that they had either been coached into making false accusations of sexual impropriety against their former boss or had done so unwittingly.” p. 389
130. ^ Oney p. 299
131. ^ Brief of Evidence, Fulton County Superior Court, 1913 Term, Leo Frank’s 2.5 hour description of the detailed accounting calculations + exhibits
132. ^ Oney pp. 299-300
133. ^ Oney pp. 302-303
134. ^ Oney p.303
135. ^ John D. Lawson, LL.D., American State Trials Volume X (1918) p.236
136. ^ Brief of Evidence, Leo M. Frank in Error from Fulton Superior Court, July Term, 1913, p. 218
137. ^ Brief of Evidence, Leo M. Frank in Error from Fulton Superior Court at July Term, 1913, p. 218
138. ^ Oney p. 304
139. ^ American State Trials X (1918), p.236 by John D. Lawson, LL.D.
140. ^ Brief of Evidence, Leo M. Frank in Error from Fulton Superior Court at July Term, 1913, p. 219
141. ^ Dinnerstein p. 49, 51
142. ^ a b Levy pp. 261-70.
143. ^ Mary Phagan Kean, The Murder of Little Mary Phagan, New Horizon Publishing, 1987, p. 160.
144. ^ Hugh M. Dorsey, Brief of Evidence, Atlanta, GA: 1913. Copy at Georgia State Archive
145. ^ In its motion for a mistrial the defense presented examples of the crowd’s behavior to the court. Lawson pp. 398-9.
146. ^ This was challenged as a violation of Frank’s due process rights in Frank’s appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court in November 1914, Lawson, p. 410 fn.2, and in his U.S. Supreme Court appeal, Frank v. Mangum (1915). Appellate Decisions in the Leo Frank Case University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
147. ^ Lawson, footnote p. 407. The Atlanta Journal reported the next day that deliberation took less than two hours; at the first ballot one juror was undecided, but within two hours, the second vote was unanimous; Linder, Douglas O. “The Leo Frank Trial: A Chronology.” University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
148. ^ Descriptions by the Constitution and the Journal of the crowds outside the courthouse and their reaction to the news: Lawson, p. 407, footnote.
149. ^ The New York Times, December 14, 1914.
150. ^ Lawton p. 409.
151. ^ Linder, “New Evidence and Appeals,” The Trial of Leo Frank: An Account; Dinnerstein p. 79; Freedman 1477-80 with footnotes 39-52.
152. ^ Frank v. State.
153. ^ Freedman p. 1480, citing Dinnerstein pp. 163-5, “reprinting excerpt from the appellate brief.”
154. ^ Lawson p. 410.
155. ^ Lawton p. 410 and fn 1.
156. ^ Appellate Decisions in the Leo Frank Case University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law; Lawson pp. 410-12 and footnotes. After the defense’s extraordinary motion for a new trial, filed April 16, 1914, was denied, the judge ordered a sanity test, although Frank had been scheduled to die the next day. Throughout the appeals Frank was twice re-sentenced to die.
157. ^ The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Frank v. Mangum (1915) summarizes all previous petitions and decisions.
158. ^ Woodward p. 436
159. ^ Lawson p. 412.
160. ^ After the commutation Slaton told reporters that Judge Roan “could have set the verdict aside, and that he did not do so was a regret that followed him to the grave…. Had Judge Roan expressed his doubts to me in writing instead of orally at the time of the trial there can be no question but that the Supreme Court of Georgia would have granted a new trial to Frank…. There are things appellate courts cannot do in sweeping aside technicalities, and there is where the Governor, as the safety valve in the administration of justice, comes in, and it was my duty to correct the errors the courts themselves could not correct.” “Slaton Here; Glad He Saved Frank.” The New York Times, June 30, 1915. However, at the clemency hearing former Governor Brown had echoed essentially what the appeals courts had said in their denials, that justice is not mercy, and “I do not find anywhere in the printed record where Judge Roan said he believed the jury made a mistake…. Judge Roan knew that in a case of circumstantial evidence it was within his discretion to pass a sentence of life imprisonment.” “Begin Last Frank Appeal to Governor.” The New York Times, June 13, 1915.
161. ^ a b The New Georgia Encyclopedia: The Leo Frank Case.
162. ^ a b “Begin Last Frank Appeal to Governor.” The New York Times, June 13, 1915.
163. ^ a b c “Slaton Here; Glad He Saved Frank.” The New York Times, June 30, 1915.
164. ^ “A Political Suicide”. Time Magazine. January 24, 1955.,9171,861129,00.html. ; “Life Term Is Given Frank.” Florence Times, June 25, 1915.
165. ^ Dinnerstein pp. 123-24. “Slaton could have avoided the case by claiming ‘personal involvement.’ He had this option because he was the law partner of Leo Frank’s attorney, Luther Rosser.”
166. ^ The Associated Press. “Rabbi Seeks NFL Censure for Remarks About 1915 Lynching.” Macon Telegraph, September 9, 2000. “Steve Oney, a writer who has spent 13 years researching and writing a book on the case, said there is no evidence the governor was bribed into the action that ruined his political career. ‘I think Slaton made a decision of conscience,’ he said. ‘That said, there was a clear and troubling appearance of a conflict of interest.'”
167. ^ “Are the old lessons lifeless? Are the old glories gone? Are there no feet that tread the old paths? Once, there were men in Georgia — men who were afraid of nothing, save to do wrong; men who sprang to arms, and went to death, on a bare question of principle…. [O]ur grand old Empire State HAS BEEN RAPED! …. We have been violated, AND WE ARE ASHAMED!” Scott 160-1.
168. ^ a b “Leo Frank’s Throat Cut by Convict.” The New York Times, July 17, 1915; “Frank Survives Assassin’s Knife.” The New York Times, July 19, 1915.
169. ^ The New Georgia Encyclopedia: John M. Slaton (1866-1955)
170. ^ Gov Harris’s memoir
171. ^ “Frank’s Assailant Before Governor.” The New York Times, July 25, 1915.
172. ^ Brandeis Special Collections Spotlight; Phagan p.
173. ^ “Frank’s Head in Braces; Excessive Heat Delaying Recovery from Wound in Throat.” The New York Times, August 2, 1915.
174. ^ Governor Harris, Governor Slaton’s successor, visited Frank’s attacker, and then Frank, at the Milledgeville prison. He was shocked by the horrific wound and asked the doctor “immediately, with a good deal of sympathy in my voice, ‘Won’t that wound attack his lungs before it heals?’ Frank laughed, a queer sort of laugh, a laugh that showed, at least to me, a hard, careless heart, and the doubt, which I had about his guilt, was lessened greatly, as I heard the laugh…I felt then that the man was undoubtedly a hardened criminal or a reckless prisoner.” Harris memoir
175. ^ Woodward p. 439.
176. ^ Features: Cast of Characters in the Leo Frank Case. May 5, 2004. Flagpole
177. ^ Woodward p. 432. “Lynchings were taking place almost daily in the South.” Phagan p. 30. About two dozen people were lynched each year in Georgia; in 1915 the number was 22. Oney p. 122.
178. ^ “Text of the inscription over Mary Phagan’s grave”, Law School, University of Missouri, Kansas City
179. ^ Recalling her father’s memories, Mary Phagan Kean wrote that “everyone knew the identity of the lynchers.” Phagan p. 27. Oney at p. 526 quotes a resident, Carl Abernathy, as saying, “They’d go to a man’s office and talk to him or … see a man on the job and talk to him,” and quotes an unidentified lyncher: “The organization of the body was more open than mysterious.”
180. ^ Phagan p. 223.
181. ^ Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank]. Carolrhoda Books, 2010, p. 117.
* Newt Morris, who “had experience in mob-quelling,” appeared at the hanging tree, and was commended for controlling the second mob; see “Grim Tragedy in Woods.”, New York Times, August 19, 1915. Also see Lawton. p. 413.
182. ^ Sawyer, Kathy. A Lynching, a List and Reopened Wounds,” The Washington Post, June 20, 2000.
183. ^ “The lynching of Leo Frank”,, accessed August 22, 2010.
184. ^ “Parties Unknown.”, Boston Evening Transcript, August 24, 1915.
185. ^ a b c d “Grim Tragedy in Woods”, The New York Times, August 18, 1915.
186. ^ “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times”, The Jewish Americans (2008), dir. David Grubin; Phagan p. 225.
187. ^ “Full Inquiry Is Ordered; Body Saved from Burning at Hands of an Angry Throng”, The New York Times, August 18, 1915.
188. ^ Theoharis, Athan, and John Stuart Cox (1988). The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, p. 45.
189. ^ Blakeslee, Spencer. The Death of American Antisemitism. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 81.
190. ^ Woodward p. 446.
191. ^ Woodward p. 442.
192. ^ Wade p. 144.
193. ^ Stokes p. 358.
194. ^ Wade pp. 144-5. Though Wade states that members of the Knights of Mary Phagan attended Simmons’s swearing-in ceremony, MacLean in Behind the Mask of Chivalry points out that “no one has ever documented a direct connection between the two [groups]. The ‘truth’ of the link lay less in personnel than in a common vigilante spirit.” MacLean (1994) p. 12.
195. ^ Oney, pp. 647–648.
196. ^ “American Notes”, Time magazine, March 24, 1986.
197. ^ Dinnerstein, Leonard. “Leo Frank Case”, New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia, August 3, 2009.
198. ^ Historical Marker Dedication: Leo Frank Lynching, The Georgia Historical Society, accessed August 22, 2010.


* Bernstein, Matthew. Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television. University of Georgia Press, 2009.
* Brundage, William Fitzhugh. Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South. University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
* Dillard, Phillip D., and Randall Hall (eds.) The Southern Albatross: Race and Ethnicity in the American South. Mercer University Press, 1999.
* Dinnerstein, Leonard. The Leo Frank Case. University of Georgia Press, 1987.
* Frank v. Mangum, 237 U.S. 309 (1915) Justia
* Harris, Nathaniel E. The Story of an Old Man’s Life”. The J.W. Burke Company, 1925.
* Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. 1988.
* Golden, Harry. The Lynching of Leo Frank. Cassell & Co, 1966.
* Horn, Stanley F. Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1871. Patterson Smith Publishing Corporation, 1939.
* Knight, Alfred H.The Life of the Law. Oxford University Press, 1996.
* Lawson, John Davison (ed.). American State Trials Volume X (1918), available for download, contains the abridged Leo Frank trial testimony starting on p. 182, accessed August 23, 2010.
* Levy, Eugene. “Is the Jew a White Man?” in Maurianne Adams and John H. Bracey. Strangers & Neighbors: Relations Between Blacks & Jews in the United States. University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.
* Lindemann, Albert S. The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank), 1894-1915. Cambridge University Press, 1991.
* Linder, Douglas O. “Famous Trials: The Leo Frank Trial, 1913”. University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law]
* Maclean, Nancy. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. Oxford University Press, 1994.
* MacLean, Nancy. “The Leo Frank Case Reconsidered: Gender and Sexual Politics in the Making of Reactionary Populism.” The Journal of American History Vol. 78, No. 3, December 1991, pp. 917–948
* Melnick, Jeffrey Paul. Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South. University Press of Mississippi, 2000. Google Books
* Oney, Steve. And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank. Random House, 2003.
* Phagan, Mary. The Murder of Little Mary Phagan. Horizon Press, 1987.
* Scott, Thomas Allan. Cornerstones of Georgia History: Documents that Formed the State. University of Georgia Press, 1995.
* Stokes, Melvyn. D. W. Griffith’s the Birth of a Nation. Oxford University Press, 2007.
* Wade, Wyn Craig. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Simon and Schuster, 1987.
* Woodward, Comer Vann. Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel. Oxford University Press, 1963.

Further reading

* Arguments of Hugh M. Dorsey in the 1913 Leo Frank Murder Trial Some, but not all of Solicitor General Hugh Manson Dorsey (Atlanta Judicial Circuit) nine hours of closing arguments made on Aug. 22nd, 23rd and 25th, 1913. Held at Internet Archive in Adobe PDF format 146 pages.
* Allen, James (ed.), Hilton Als, Jon Lewis, and Leon F. Litwack. Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. Twin Palms Publishers, 2000.
* Arnold, Reuben. The Trial of Leo M. Frank, Reuben Rose Arnold’s Full Address to the Court in his Behalf Introduction by Alvin V. Sellers. Classic Publishing Co., Baxley GA and The Trow Press, New York. Published in 1915, 69 Pages. Held at Internet Archive in adobe PDF 33.6M.
* Dinnerstein, Leonard. “The Fate of Leo Frank”, American Heritage, 47 (October 1996), pp. 98–109.
* Dinnerstein, Leonard. The Leo Frank Case written by University of Arizona Professor, Dr. Leonard Dinnerstein, who did his dissertation on the subject. Available for download in Adobe PDF format from
* Freedman, Samuel J. “Never Forget”, Salon, January 12, 1999.
* Gaines, Luan. Review of Stephen Oney, And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and Lynching of Leo Frank,, 2003, accessed August 23, 2010.
* Greene Ward, Death in the Deep South A fictional account of a rape of a young girl committed by a factory owner and his resultant lynching at the hands of a lynch mob. The storyline closely parallels that of the infamous Leo Frank case which the story is based and inspired the book.
* Glover, James Bolan, V, and Joe McTyre and Rebecca Nash Paden. Marietta, 1833-2000. Arcadia Publishing, 1999.
* Golden, Harry. A Little Girl is Dead 363 pages, published in 1965. Held at Internet archive in Adobe PDF.
* Hertzberg, Steven. Strangers Within the Gate City: The Jews of Atlanta, 1845-1915. The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1978.
* Leo Frank RSS updated news source for Leo Frank articles in mainstream media.
* Kean, Mary Phagan. “The Murder of Little Mary Phagan”. New Horizon Press, 1987. Held at the Internet Archive in Adobe PDF.
* Mamat, David. The Old Religion. The Overlook Press, 2002. * Egelman, Sarah Rachel. Review of David Mamet, The Old Religion, accessed August 23, 2010.
* Melnick, Jeffrey. Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South. University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
* Oney, Steve. And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank. adobe PDF source listed
* Ravitz, Jessica. “Murder case, Leo Frank lynching live on”, CNN, November 2, 2009.
* Rodriguez, Yolanda. “Story of Jewish businessman’s lynching gets new attention”], Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 14, 2005.
* Supreme Court of Georgia (1914). Frank v. State. Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia at the October Term, 1913, and March Term 1914. PDF format 25.5 megs and 552 Pages.
* The Cincinnati Post. “Letters probe killer’s mind: Frank pleads his innocence”, August 5, 2002.
* The New York Times. “Leo Frank Wrote His Own Alibi””, August 22, 1915.
* Union Recorder (Milledgeville). “Leo. M. Frank Taken from State Farm and Lynched”, August 17, 1915.
* Wilkes, Donald E., Jr. “Politics, Prejudice, and Perjury”, University of Georgia School of Law; also see “Wrongly Accused, Falsely Convicted, Wantonly Murdered”, University of Georgia School of Law, accessed August 23, 2010.
* “The Frank Case” The Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery The first book published on the Leo M. Frank murder trial. Published anonymously in 1913 by Atlanta Publishing Company. 144 Pages. Digitized by Harvard Library in Adobe Acrobat PDF [1] 15 megs
* The Leo Frank Case: New Documents Found.
* The Leo Frank Trial Collection, 1909-1961. Brandeis University Library and Technology Services
* Leo M. Frank Case Research Library an archive of Leo M. Frank primary and secondary sources.
* Description of the Leo Frank Trial Collection, with images of four letters. Brandeis Special Collections Spotlight
* The Leo Frank Collection, 1915-1986. Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
* “Marietta’s Shame: The Lynching of Leo Frank.” Atlanta Nation
* Leo Frank at the Jewish Virtual Library
* A few seconds of Alonzo Mann, Posthumous pardon to Leo Frank denied (1984) YouTube
* Mary Phagan at Find A Grave
* Leo Frank at Find A Grave
* People v Leo Frank Review of the Documentary People v Leo Frank (2009) a film about Leo Frank by Ben Loeterman with short video excerpts of the movie.
* Video clips of People v. Leo Frank ADL training guide on Leo Frank with Leonard Dinnerstein Interview.
* Images of original documents related to the clemency petition, recommendations and decision, including Gov. Slaton’s notes from which he read his decision. Leo Frank Clemency File Georgia Archives
* Watson’s Magazine Volume 20 No. 3. See page 139 for the Leo Frank Case. Jeffersonian Publishing Company, Thomson, Ga. The Internet Archive
* The Full Review of the Leo Frank Case By Tom Watson (March 1915) Volume 20. No. 5. See page 235 for ‘A Full Review of the Leo Frank Case’. Jeffersonian Publishing Company, Thomson, Ga. The Internet Archive
* Watson’s Magazine August 1915 volume 21 no. 4 featuring Leo Frank Mary Phagan Murder Trial A review of the Leo Frank trial by Tom Watson. Available online in adobe PDF format for download from
* The Official Record in the Case of Leo Frank, Jew Pervert, September 1915 By Tom Watson, of historical importance, the Antisemitism directly responsible for getting Leo Frank lynched.
* Rich Jews Indict the State of Georgia (October, 1915) By Tom Watson, historically important. Tom Watson uses Antisemitism to accuse big money and inflames Southern states against the Jewish Community.


* The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987),, accessed August 23, 2010. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher, and Kevin Spacey, and won an Emmy in 1988.

The New York Times. “The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987)”, accessed August 23, 2010.

* The People versus Leo Frank” (2009), review, accessed August 23, 2010.

Other dramatizations

* During the trial an Atlanta musician and millworker, Fiddlin’ John Carson, wrote and began performing a murder ballad, “Little Mary Phagan.” During the mill strikes of 1914 Carson sang “Little Mary Phagan” to crowds from the Fulton County courthouse steps. An unrecorded Carson song, “Dear Old Oak in Georgia,” sentimentalizes the tree from which Leo Frank was hanged.
* The 1964 television series “Profiles in Courage” dramatized Governor John M. Slaton’s decision to commute Frank’s sentence, The episode starred Walter Matthau as Governor Slaton and Michael Constantine as Tom Watson.
* Lem Hawkins’ Confession (1935)
* Jamie Saft wrote a song, The Ballad of Leo Frank. The story of Frank’s trial and eventual lynching is included in the liner notes of Saft’s album entitled Black Shabbis.