Schiff Testimony Contradicts That Given by Dalton and Negro Conley

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

Saturday by Far the Best Day for the Defense Since Start of the Frank Trial Two Weeks Ago.


Lawyers for State and Defense in Frequent Clashes During the Testimony of Frank’s Assistant at the Factory.

By far the best day the defense in the Frank trial has had came to a close Saturday afternoon at 12:30 o’clock when a recess was taken until 9 o’clock Monday morning, at which time Herert Schiff, assistant to Leo M. Frank, will again be on the stand to undergo a thorough cross-examination at the hands of Solicitor Dorsey.

Schiff’s direct testimony Saturday was of a convincing nature and the defense will largely bank on it to disprove the idea that Frank could have committed the murder and afterward done the intricate mathematical work he claims to have done during the afternoon of Memorial day. Just how Schiff’s testimony will stand up under the cross fire of Solicitor Dorsey is a question which Monday alone will answer. Thus far his testimony has been the most convincing of any that has been introduced by the defense. He is an extremely bright young man, ready with his answers and he possesses a good memory. When court adjourned Saturday Solicitor Dorsey had failed to shake him on any material testimony or point.

Never Seen Women There.

Schiff testified that it had been his practice for many months to work at the factory on Saturdays and that he had never seen any women visit Frank except his wife. If women had come there he would have seen them.

He stated that he did not know C. B. Dalton, the man who swore he had frequently visited the factory with Daisy Hopkins for immoral purposes. He knew Daisy Hopkins, however.

The financial sheet which Frank asserts he made out Saturday was brought into court and was identified by Schiff. He said the handwriting was normal. In great detail he explained the various items that entered into the making of the financial sheet, such as production, cost of production, kinds of material used, etc. Many mathematical calculations were necessary to make out the sheet, he said, and the work required the expenditure of several hours.

Schiff also gave important testimony as to the actions of Jim Conley on the Monday following the murder and said he (Conley) was very nervous and excited during the presence of the crowd and had remarked that he would give a million dollars if he had a white man’s skin.

He was questioned as to the chute in the rear of the building and asked if it would be possible to throw a person’s body down it. He replied that it would.

He was questioned as to Thanksgiving day—the day Conley swore he “watched for” Frank—and the witness said he remembered the day perfectly, that it was snowing. He said Conley had come to the factory that day according to instructions to pile up some boxes. He and Frank had left the office together and he had seen Frank take the Washington street car about 12 o’clock.

On cross-examination Schiff confessed that it might have taken Frank a shorter length of time to make certain entries than he had stated; that […]


[…] his first answer of half an hour was largely guess work.

To Discredit Epps Boy.

The little newsboy, George Epps, who testified that he had ridden to town on the same car with Mary Phagan on the day she was murdered, was placed on the stand by the defense. He denied he had stated to a reporter for The Georgian that the last time he had seen Mary Phagan was Thursday. He said he was in the house at the time the reporter was there, but had made no such statement. He explained his absence from the courtroom by saying he had grown tired of hanging around, but was not trying to dodge being a witness.

John Minar, a reporter for The Georgian, stated he had called at the Epps boy’s home shortly after the murder and that the boy had failed to tell him he had seen Mary Phagan since Thursday before the murder.

Crowd Grows Smaller.

Saturday completed the second week of the Frank trial and yet the end is nowhere in sight. It may continue for a week, ten days, or two weeks. No one can tell until the defense makes clear its position in regard to character witnesses. If these are introduced the trial will run well into two weeks longer. Judge Roan has instructed that he will place no limit on the time of the speakers and these will unquestionably consume three to four days.

Interest in the trial continues unabated, but the extremely hot weather of the past few days has served to thin out the crowd to some extent, although every seat in the courtroom is filled each day. Judge Roan’s order that no women be allowed to enter the room has been generally approved.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 10th 1913, “Schiff Testimony Contradicts That Given by Dalton and Negro Conley,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)