Slayer’s Hand Print Left On Arm Of Girl

by Archivist on April 29, 2016

Slayer's Hand Print Left on Arm of Girl

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Hope for apprehension of the slayer of Mary Phagan has come to the police with the discovery of distinct finger prints, stamped in blood on the sleeve of the dead girl’s jacket.

The discovery was made by a Georgian reporter in the course of a minute inspection of the girl’s clothes yesterday evening.

The finger prints are on the right arm of the light silk dress. The imprints of two fingers are just below the shoulder, staining purple the lavender of the child’s dress and penetrating to the arm, as if they were established at the pressure of powerful fingers grasping her arm.

A third print is that of a thumb, blurred somewhat as with a great pressure, but offering possibilities of analysis. With the discovery of the finger prints, detectives employed in the case believe they have a tangible clew. The Bertillon system of detection will be brought into play, and suspects will be placed through its unfailing catechism.

The search for other finger prints will be made zealously. Detectives of the Pinkerton agency, several of whom are on the case, are known to affect largely this mode of detection, on the theory that every man has his distinctive finger prints, and that the impressions of the fingers of no two individuals are identical.

The evidence borne in finger prints is regarded as conclusive in modern courts. On this fact the police of Atlanta to-day are hoping more firmly than ever that they will be successful in their trail of the man who killed little Mary Phagan.

Dr. J. W. Hurt, County Physician, conducted last night a close examination of Mary Phagan’s body, in the effort to determine the nature of the injuries inflicted by her brutal slayer. He entered alone the chamber in which the dead girl lay, and at the conclusion of its inspection refused to make a report of what he had found out.

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Atlanta Georgian, April 29th 1913, “Slayer’s Hand Print Left on Arm of Girl,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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