Sergeant Dobbs Resumes Stand At Tuesday Afternoon Session

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

Sergeant L. S. Dobbs took the stand again at the afternoon session.

“Did you help take the girl’s body from the basement?” Attorney Rosser questioned.

“I was there when the undertakers came,” answered the sergeant.

“Who cleaned the girl’s face?”

“Sergeant Brown, I believe.”


“With a piece of paper.”

“How was the body removed?”

“In a corpse basket.”

Here the examination was taken up by the solicitor general.

“What is the distance from the ladder to the spot where the body was found?”

“About 150 feet.”

Found Slipper and Hat.

“Did you discover anything on a trash pile in the basement?”

“I found a slipper and saw a blue hat.”

“Is this the hat?”

(The wide blue straw hat worn by Mary Phagan was held before the witness.)

“Yes—that’s it.”

“Did you many experiments in the basement?”

“About 10 o’clock that night I went to the basement in company with other policemen. We put a bundle in the spot on which the body was found, and, with a lantern similar to the watchman’s, were able to see it from the point at which Lee said he had first seen the body.”

“Were you satisfied that Newt could see the body from the point which he had described?”

(An objection made by the defense to this question was sustained.)

“Could an ordinary man carry a body through the scuttle hole in the first floor?”

“I hardly think so. It is difficult for a man to get through it alone.”

“Were there signs of a body having been dragged in the basement in front of the elevator shaft?”


“How did the staple in the back door appear to have been extracted?”

“Pulled straight out.”

Body Cold and Rigid.

“Any indication that it had been forced out by pressure from outside the door?”


“Was the girl’s body warm or cold?”

“Cold and rigid.”

“Describe it’s condition.”

“The hands were folded across the breast, and it lay stretched out, head toward the scuttle hole.”

“Did you search the first floor for scratch pads or clues?”


“Find any?”


The defense resumed the interrogation.

“Do you know how the staple was extracted?”

“No—I have only an idea.”

“Wouldn’t it be possible for a man to drop a body through the scuttle hole?”

“Yes, if he dropped it through headfirst.”

It was clearly evident from the nature of questions put by Mr. Rosser that the defense would attempt to show that Mary Phagan’s body had been lowered through the scuttle hole and not carried down upon the elevator as argued by the prosecution.

Sergeant Dobbs was then excused.