Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
August 7th, 1913
Dalton Corroborates Jim Conley’s Story
DR. CHILDS IS CALLED BY DEFENSE TO REBUT DR. HARRIS’ EVIDENCE
With the cross-examination of Dr. H. F. Harris, the State Thursday afternoon rested its case against Leo M. Frank accused of the murder of Mary Phagan.
Dr. L. W. Childs was called by the defense as its first witness to rebut the testimony of Dr. Harris.
The mysterious C. B. Dalton, who was expected to make sensational revelations of incidents in which Leo Frank was alleged to have participated in the National Pencil Factory, proved a very tame and commonplace witness when he was called Thursday.
The most that Dalton could say was that, on several of his visits to the factory, he had seen women in Frank’s office. He told of no compromising situations. He was not even able to identify the women. He did not know whether or not they were members of Frank’s own family. All that he knew was that they did not appear to be stenographers as he never saw them writing.
Dalton, when he was questioned by Luther Rosser, was not even sure of his own birthplace. He thought it was somewhere in Laurens County. He explained his presence by saying that he had gone to the factory with a Miss Daisy Hopkins. He said that he saw Frank in the office with two or three women, and that cool drinks generally were in evidence. On one occasion he said Frank and his visitors were drinking beeer.
Detective Rosser on Stand.
Detective Bass Rosser was on the witness stand for a few minutes and was questioned briefly. He testified that when he saw Mrs. Arthur White the Monday after the crime she failed to tell him that she had seen a negro in the factory the Saturday the girl was killed. He said he did not get possession of this information until May 6 or 7. It is the contention of the State that the defense suppressed these facts.
At the conclusion of Detective Rosser’s testimony, Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was prepared to rest as soon as Dr. H. F. Harris had completed the testimony which was interrupted by adjournment Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Harris was unable to appear when court opened at 9 o’clock. The prosecution had nothing more to present at 9:45 and a recess was taken until Dr. Harris arrived at 11:10.
Reuben Arnold began at once on a cross-examination of Dr. Harris as soon as the physician took the stand. He forced Dr. Harris to say that there is much uncertainty in drawing conclusions about digestive functions and their time limitations.
Solicitor Dorsey also asked for the submission of the National Pencil Company’s cash book and bank book before he rested his case. This was agreed to by Frank’s lawyers.
The defense announced that its first witness probably would be Dr. L. W. Childs, who would be called to start an immediate attack upon the testimony presented by Dr. Harris.
Dr. Childs to Combat Harris Story.
Dr. Childs is a physician and surgeon and was expected to testify in regard to the wounds on Mary Phagan’s body as well as in respect to the wounds on Mary Phagan’s body, as well as in respect to the certainty with which the lapse of time between a person’s eating and his death may be determined.
One of the most interesting pieces of evidence for the purpose of demonstration in the possession of the defense is a large size model of the National Pencil Company constructed on an accurate scale.
Frank chatted with his wife and mother in the intermission while the court was awaiting Dr. Harris, and a little later engaged in conversation with his attorneys. Dr. Childs entered the courtroom and talked several minutes with the defendant.
Attorney Rosser said that he would turn over the direct examination of the defense’s witnesses to Arnold. Mr. Arnold said that the defense’s first witness would be Dr. Leo A. Childs, who would give expert testimony in rebuttal of such testimony offered by the State.
Mr. Arnold said:
“Further than this witness I don’t know what line we will […]
DEFENSE TRIES TO BREAK DR. HARRIS’ TESTIMONY; CALL ITS OWN EXPERTS
[…] pursue at present.”
“Did you ever work for the National Pencil Company?” was the first question the Solicitor asked Dalton.
Mr. Arnold interrupted.
“Your honor,” he said, “we want it understood that we object to this testimony—all of it.”
Judge Roan overruled the objection.
“Well, we want our objection recorded,” said Rosser.
Dorsey continued his questioning.
“Do you know Leo Frank and Jim Conley?” continued the Solicitor. A. Yes; I know them both.
Q. Were you ever in the factory of the National Pencil Company?—A. Yes; two or three times.
Q. Did you ever go to Frank’s office with Miss Daisy Hopkins?—A. Yes.
Was in Basement.
Q. Was Frank there?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you ever go down in the basement?—A. Yes.
The witness then pointed out on the diagram the spot he was in in the basement.
Q. Did you ever see Conley on those visits?—A. Yes; and one time I saw another negro, a watchman.
Q. Did Frank know you were in the basement?—A. He knew I was in the factory. I don’t know whether he knew I was in the basement or not.
Dorsey then turned the witness over to the defense for the cross-examination.
“When was the first time you saw Frank at the pencil factory?” asked Mr. Rosser.
“Last fall some time.”
Q. Where was Frank at that time?—A. At his office.
Q. Who was in there with him?—A. Some ladies.
Q. Were there any other men in there with him?—A. No; he was the only man.
Q. Who was you with?—A. Miss Daisy Hopkins.
Q. Do you know the names of the ladies in the office with Mr. Frank?—A. No.
Q. Where did you go?—A. I went to the basement.
Q. Was Miss Daisy with you?—A. Yes.
Q. When did you go to the factory again?—A. Right before Christmas.
Q. Who introduced you to Frank?—A. Miss Daisy Hopkins.
Q. She just said to Mr. Frank, “This is my friend, Mr. Dalton,” did she?—A. Yes.
Went to Basement.
Q. You were never in his office after Christmas?—A. No.
Q. When you went into the factory with Miss Daisy, you went down to the basement with her, didn’t you?—A. Yes.
Q. Where did you go down into the basement?—A. We went down the ladder by the elevator.
Q. Where did you go in the basement?—A. Right to where there were some boxes in the little room in the rear.
Q. Where did you live last year?—A. No. 337 East Hunter street.
Q. Who did you work for?—A. Mr. Heflin, a contractor.
Q. Where did you work after that?—A. With Captain John McGinnis.
Q. What time did you see Frank in his office?—A. Some time between 2 and 3 o’clock.
Q. Were the windows up?—A. I don’t know.
Q. Did you see any curtains?—A. No, but the office was very light.
Q. There were two windows in each office, weren’t there?—A. Yes.
Q. Do you know whether there was anyone else in the factory when you saw Mr. Frank?—A. Yes; the negroes were there.
Saw Negro Watchman.
Q. What time at night was it when the night watchman was there?—A. I don’t know.
Q. Was it a negro watchman?—A. Yes.
Q. Was that this year?—A. No.
Q. Were you ever in Walton County?—A. I lived there twenty years.
Q. How long were you away from there?—A. I went to Lawrenceville for about a year.
Q. How long ago?—A. I don’t know. I forget just how long ago it was.
Q. Did you ever go with anyone to the pencil factory except Miss Daisy Hopkins?—A. Yes, I used to go to the Busy Bee and wait for the factory to close to walk home with the girls.
Q. Can you name the girls?—A. Yes; Miss Laura Atkinson and a Miss Laura Smith, of No. 148 South Pryor street.
Q. Do you go there any more?—A. No; I haven’t been to the Busy Bee in a long time.
Q. Where were you born?—A. I don’t know.
Q. When you first woke up, where were you?—A. Somewhere in Walton County.
Gave Conley Money.
Q. As a matter of fact, you know where your family lived when you were born, don’t you?—A. Somewhere near Lawrenceville.
Solicitor Dorsey took the witness on the redirect examination.
Q. Did you ever give Jim Conley anything?—A. Sometimes I would give him a quarter and sometimes 50 cents. Sometimes they would have cold drinks and sometimes they would have beer.
Rosser took the witness again.
Q. When did you see beer there?—A. On Saturday afternoons—I don’t remember the dates.
Q. Can you name specifically any time last fall that you went there?—A. Not the day, but it was some time after 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Mr. Frank would have the cold drinks on a waiter in his office.
Can’t Give Women’s Names.
Q. And that is as definite as you can fix it?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you know the women besides the ones you name?—A. No.
Q. Can you describe them?—A. No.
City Detective S. L. Rosser took the stand.
Q. Since April 26, have you been engaged in this case?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you visit Mrs. Arthur White subsequent to that date?—A. Yes.
Q. At what time?—A. Monday, April 28.
Q. Did she say anything about seeing a negro at the pencil factory Saturday?—A. No.
Q. What was the first time she mentioned to you seeing a negro at the factory?—A. May 6.
“I want to record an objection to that, your honor,” said Rosser.
Rosser took the witness.
She Made Statement.
Q. Did you ask her?—A. No; but she made a statement.
Dorsey took the witness on redirect.
Q. Did you take anything to Dr. Claude Smith—A. Yes; some chips.
Q. Are these the chips?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you make a search of the areaway around the elevator?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you find anything like this (showing the bludgeon alleged to have been found by the Pinkertons)?—A. No.
Q. Would you have found it?—A. Yes.
Attorney Rosser took the witness again.
Q. Don’t you know this roller has been in that factory two years?—A. It may have been, but it was not on the first floor when we made our search.
State Wins Ruling.
Q. You made a good search?—A. Yes.
Q. Do you know these are the same chips?—A. Yes, I am sure of that.
The witness was excused.
Dorsey addressed the court:
“I don’t know whether we tendered that bloody shirt or not. If we did not, I want to tender it now. I also want to enter these chips.”
“They haven’t been identified.”
“They were identified by Detective Starnes and Chief Beavers,” said Dorsey.
Judge Roan ruled that he would let them go to the jury.
State’s Case Nearly Finished.
“Now, I want the cash book and the bank book of the National Pencil Company.”
Arnold said they would be furnished.
“I want it understood as soon as Dr. Harris is able to complete his testimony the State is ready to rest its case.”
“Mr. Dorsey,” said Arnold, “will you tell Mr. Dalton not to leave. We may want to recall him.”
Judge Roan declared a recess until Dr. Harris could reach the court. He said it would be about 10 o’clock.
Dalton Recalled for Moment.
Dorsey recalled the witness.
Q. Were you ever in the pencil factory with Daisy Hopkins?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you go to the factory with her?—A. Yes.
Q. Where was Frank?—A. In his office.
Q. Where did you go?—A. In the basement.
Q. Did he know you were there?—A. Yes.
Q. Did Conley know you were there?—A. Yes.
Q. Who else?—A. The night watchman at one time.
Court then had a recess until Dr. H. F. Harris, who was excused from the witness stand Wednesday on account of illness, could arrive in court. The recess lasted for more than an hour. Dr. Harris, when he arrived upon the stand, was questioned upon cross-examination by Attorney Reuben Arnold.
Q. Unfavorable circumstances sometimes retard digestion, don’t they?—A. Well, that is a very grave matter, and there is so little data on the subject it is hard to answer.
About External Circumstances.
Q. You would not say then that external circumstances, some undue mental excitement, might delay digestion?—A. I really don’t’ know. There was an old Roman proverb that a person should take a walk after eating. Others say sleeping after a meal aids digestion.
Q. Then there is no set rule for digestion? Everybody is a rule unto themselves?—A. Not altogether. The average normal stomach is about the same in digestion.
Q. There is no indication on the outside of the body that would indicate how far digestion has gone?—A. None whatever.
Q. Don’t the pulse or temperature show indigestion?—A. No. Very many people have indigestion several years and don’t know it. They don’t even feel it themselves.
Q. How long does the stomach take to free itself when it is full?—A. That has been investigated rather thoroughly, but it varies. I would say about 7 1-2 hours.
Q. How long does it take some substance that the stomach does not digest to pass out?—A. That is hard to say. They probably pass through in a foreign body.
Q. How long would it take?—A. That depends. The stomach doesn’t like to free itself of meat until it is emulated. Then it goes out very freely.
About Digestion of Cabbage.
Q. That is just the point. Does the stomach emulsify cabbage or corn?—A. Oh, yes; there is always a constant churning motion.
Q. How about corn?—A. It might pass through without emulsifying.
Q. Peas?—A. Yes.
Q. You would not attempt to enumerate what vegetables would pass through the stomach to the intestines?—A. No, I would not.
Q. Is it not a fact that the first knowledge of digestion comes from that Canadian case?—A. Yes.
Q. Is it not a fact that the only experiments before that time were made on rabbits and other animals for vegetables, and animals for meat?—A. Yes.
Q. Is there any animal that eats everything that man does?—A. Yes, the swine.
Q. Any other?—A. I rather think the cat does.
Q. Well isn’t the wildcat a carniverous [sic] animal strictly?—A. I don’t know. I never associated with one.
Q. You will admit that the experiments along this line are very limited with the exception of the Canadian case?—A. Yes.
Processes Not All Understood.
Q. It is practically in its infancy?—A. Well, I would not say that. We are fairly familiar with the various juices and the process of digestion. But there is still much to learn.
Q. Just what part does the mouth and saliva play in connection with the stomach and the gastric juices, and the lower bowels? Is not this something that is not definitely known?—A. Yes, that is true.
Q. Don’t you practice vivisection on these animals?—A. Yes.
Q. And you have never done it on humans, and you don’t know how the processes take place in the human like you do in the animals?—A. Except with the stomach.
Q. What is the hardest vegetable to digest? I mean, leaving your experiments and speaking from the viewpoint of science.—A. I don’t know that science has ever determined that.
Q. Isn’t cabbage regarded as one of the hardest vegetables to digest?—A. I probably have heard that. It may be that after cabbage has gone through the stomach, trouble may be caused in the small intestines that may be what has given the general idea that cabbage is hard to digest.
Q. Didn’t you say when you first testified that you couldn’t tell anything about the bread in the stomach?—I don’t think I made that statement.
Mr. Arnold read his testimony previously given.
Dr. Harris: “If I said that, I did not mean it in that sense. I meant that you could tell nothing about it by observing it with the naked eye.”
Q. You said it was impossible to state absolutely how long that cabbage had been in Mary Phagan’s stomach?—A. I meant I could not state within a minute.
Q. Could you tell within two minutes?—A. No, not within 3, or 4, or 5. Probably not within 10 minutes. But I could tell that it was somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes.
Q. Doesn’t it all depend on how much digestion is delayed?—A. To an extent.
Q. All you are attempting to say, then, is that the process of digestion had only gone on a certain length of time?—A. Yes.
Q. Didn’t you say that certain circumstances retard digestion?—A. Yes, but I didn’t’ say that anything could retard the flow of the digestive juices. No one has ever shown that anything could retard the process of digestion.
* * *
[Below is added testimony as a continuation after this point as printed in the “extra” of the Atlanta Georgian.]
Head Wound Not Serious.
Q. I believe you said that wound on the head did not cause any pressure on the brain?—A. Yes.
Q. Was it cut through to the skull?—A. Yes.
Q. What arteries were there?—A. Only some trifling blood vessels.
Q. I believe you said it might have bled a good deal?—A. Yes, it might. A cut on the head usually causes a good deal of blood to flow.
Q. I believe you said it was not sufficient to have caused death?—A. Yes, I did.
Solicitor Dorsey then took the witness.
Q. Mr. Arnold was asking you yesterday about poisons. Was there any evidence on the mucous membrane of poisons?—A. There could not have been any irritant poisons. Their evidence is always unmistakable.
Dr. Harris was excused.
Dorsey addressed the court: “Your honor, I wish to tender these samples of cabbage as evidence.”
Arnold—We want to object to all except that taken from Mary Phagan. […]
FRANK DEFENSE OPENS WITH ATTACK ON DR. HARRIS’ EVIDENCE
Dalton Corroborates Jim Conley’s Story of Women Calling at Pencil Factory
OPINIONS AS TO TIME OF GIRL’S DEATH GUESSES, IS DR. CHILDS’ TESTIMONY
[…] We don’t want to argue it. We just want to be recorded as objecting.
Judge Roan permitted all of the samples to go in.
Solicitor Dorsey asked for the bank book and the cash book of the National Pencil Company. They had not been secured.
Dorsey—We will rest our case, anyway.
The State rested its case exactly at 12 o’clock.
Dr. L. W. Childs, a prominent young surgeon of Atlanta, was the first witness called by the defense.
Attorney Arnold questioned Dr. Childs.
Q. What is your occupation?—A. Surgery and general medicine.
Q. Where did you graduate?—A. University of Michigan in 1906.
Q. Where did you practice?—A. I was first assistant at the Michigan University Hospital.
Q. How long have you been in Atlanta?—A. About five years.
Q. A body is found at 3 o’clock in the morning. It is not embalmed until 10 o’clock that morning. It is dug up nine days later and a cut is found in back of the head. There is only a drop of blood found on the skull. There was no pressure on the brain. Could a physician have said whether that blow produced unconsciousness?
A. He might hazard a guess. He could not tell.
Calls Opinion Mere Guess.
Q. The process of a drop of blood would have had nothing to do with it? A. Absolutely nothing. There was no pressure, you said.
Q. No pressure at all.—A. Then its effect was negligible.
Q. Now is there any way for a doctor telling definitely whether or not that blow caused unconsciousness?—A. I should say it would be a guess.
Q. Is it possible to tell whether a wound or cut such as I have described with the appearance of blood was inflicted before or after death?—A. If it was inflicted in from one to three hours after death it would have the appearance of having been inflicted just before death.
Q. Would you say that such a wound as I have described could have been inflicted one hour after death?—A. It would practically be a guess to say so.
Q. Would the fact that this body had been embalmed and buried for nine days add to the difficulties of making an examination or not?—A. It would greatly add to the difficulties.
Q. Have you ever heard of a case on record when an opinion on unconsciousness and the length of time the person was unconscious before death was placed on what data we have?—A. Absolutely no.
Blows Often Cause Death.
Q. Have you heard of cases of blows on the head causing death without fracturing the skull?—A. Yes, I have seen several cases of sandbagging where the person would die of concussion of the brain and there would only a slight swelling where the blow had been struck.
Q. Then there is absolutely no way of telling the exact result of a blow on the head after a post-mortem held nine days after internment?—A. No.
Q. What class of food does cabbage come in?—A. Carbohydrates.
Q. Are they considered hard to digest?—A. As such they are not but, but in cabbage the carbohydrate is mixed with cellulose, a woody fiber on which the digestive juices have practically no effect, therefore, it is very hard.
Q. Look at this sample (Arnold showed the witness the cabbage taken from Mary Phagan’s stomach). Was that well masticated?—A. Not very well.
Q. Isn’t it a fact that cooked cabbage is harder to digest than raw cabbage?—A. Yes; raw cabbage is the easiest of all forms of cabbage to digest.
Cabbage in Digestive State.
Q. What part does the saliva play?—A. It acts on carbohydrates.
Q. What part of the cabbage is the carbohydrates?—A. Seven or eight per cent.
Q. So saliva only affects that part of the cabbage?—A. Yes.
Q. Does the stomach do anything about digesting cabbage?—A. The muscular effect—the churning—might break it up to some extent.
Q. So the juices of the stomach instead of digesting cabbage merely retard it?—A. Yes.
Q. Then where is cabbage really digested?—A. In the small intestines.
Q. How long would it take boiled cabbage to pass out of the stomach?—A. About four and one-half hours.
Q. Then when it goes out of the stomach it is really undigested, is it not?—A. Yes. It may pass out of the body entirely in the undigested form.
Digestion Easily Retarded.
Q. Are there not a great many things that retard digestion?—A. Yes, the psychic causes—fright, anger and sudden mental excitement—materially retard it.
Q. Would walking retard it?—A. Yes, if the walking was immediately after the meal, digestion would be retarded. These other causes might totally stop digestion.
Q. Isn’t it a fact that you might find substances in a stomach that had laid there quite a while and practically no digestive action had begun?—A. Yes, if the psychic influence had taken place.
Q. Don’t stomachs differ as much as minds?—A. Yes. To understand a stomach you must study it as an individual.
Mr. Arnold held up a sample of cabbage taken from the Phagan girl’s stomach.
Q. Would you hazard a guess that this cabbage had only been in a stomach one half hour before death?—A. I would not.
Q. Why?—A. For the reasons I have stated. The cause of the psychic influences—I know not of—that might have been brought to bear and because of the varying effects of stomachs on such a substance.
Denies Accurate Opinions.
Q. Do you think a doctor could give an accurate scientific opinion by making such a statement?—A. I do not.
Q. How long would you say it was possible for cabbage like this to stay in the stomach?—A. I have seen cabbage less digested than that which had been in the stomach for twelve hours.
Q. When the process of digestion begins, it begins very slowly, doesn’t it?—A. Yes, it is really indeterminate. It has not advanced very far when the food goes to the stomach.
Q. How long would it take wheat bread?—A. I would say about two and one-half hours.
Q. Then solids like cabbage and wheat bread would be at least two and one-half hours passing out of the stomach, would they not?—A. Yes.
At this point court was adjourned until 2 o’clock.
‘Blow Would Discolor Eyes.’
Q. Please state whether a bruise could be inflicted over the eye after death similar to a wound in life.—A. Yes, as much after two hours.
Q. Could a blow on the back of the head cause a discolored eye?—A. Yes, or both eyes.
Q. What becomes of that epithelim after death?—A. Before or after embalming?
Q. Would it be decomposed before embalming?—A. It would.
Solicitor Dorsey then took the witness. His brother, Dr. Rufus T. Dorsey, a prominent Atlanta physician, sat by the questioner and frequently coached him in his examination of the witness.
Q. How old are you?—A. 31.
Q. Where have you lived?—A. Ann Arbor and Atlanta.
Q. How long have you practiced?—A. Seven years.
Q. What do you practice?—A. Surgery and general medicine.
Q. Don’t most specialists confine themselves to one study and find their hands full?—A. They learn more by branching out.
Q. Do you undertake to tell this jury that digestion begins in the mouth?—A. Yes.
Q. I thought mastication was the office of the mouth?—A. It is.
Q. Then doesn’t digestion begin as much when the food begins to cook as in the mouth?—A. No; the digestion begins when the salivary glands begin to yield their juices.
Q. Is a turnip of about the saem [sic] property as a cabbage?—A. Yes.
Q. Do you consider Dr. Crittenden, of Yale, an authority?—A. Yes.
Q. Are you familiar with his table on the relative properties of food?—A. Yes.
Differs With Authority.
Q. If he says it takes about 3 1-2 hours to digest a cabbage and the same time for a turnip it is about right, is it not?—A. I think he says that he is at variance with the other authorities.
Q. Then you are at variance with him?—A. Yes.
Q. Who is your authority?—A. Dr. Peterson, an eminent medical expert and authority.
Q. In speaking of digestion of cabbage and turnips, you have as a standard, a normal stomach?—A. Yes.
Q. How long after taking food into a stomach would you find pure hydrochloric acid?—A. It is in the stomach before food is taken in and you will find it there at any stage.
Q. Do you mean to give this as your opinion?—A. It would depend upon the condition of the glands of the gastric membrance [sic].
Q. I am speaking of a normal stomach. Are you familiar with the Ewald breakfast test? According to this test, how long would it be before you would find pure hydrochloric acid?—A. It would depend on the glands.
Q. I am asking you about a normal stomach.
Judge Warns Against Haste.
Arnold objected—He does not give the witness time to answer.
Judge Roan cautioned Dorsey regarding this.
Q. How much acid would occur in a normal stomach one hour after the Ewald breakfast test?—A. About 2 grams.
Q. Give me the amount in degrees.—A. That is essentially a question for a laboratory man. We don’t use those terms in general practice.
Q. Well, standard authorities use degrees.—A. It is essentially a laboratory test and I would prefer not to answer.
Q. Well, if you can’t answer it I will try you on something else. Is this man Hemeter an authority?—A. If he gives any tables he is.
Q. Do you know of him?—A. I have heard of him.
Q. Is he a standard?—A. Yes.
Q. I want you to give this jury the acidity of an Ewald test breakfast one hour after taking.—A. That is a question for a laboratory man.
Q. Well, if you can’t that I will ask you something else. Can you give me the percentages of the gastric juices in digestion?—A. No, that is in a branch that is seldom taught.
Q. Don’t you know that they teach that as one of the fundamental principles of medicine?—A. I take exception with you on that.
Q. Can you tell me the functions of the gastric juices.—A. Yes.
Dr. Childs then gave an extensive scientific explanation after which Dorsey propounded a long hypothetical question, to bring out, if possible, an admission that the cabbage might not have been in the stomach more than an hour. Dr. Childs replied that it would be the wildest guess to try and place the time within two hours.
Q. I will get you to tell the jury why?—A. I will cite a case that came to my attention when cabbage was taken from a stomach after twelve hours.
Arnold Protests at Mirth.
Q. I am speaking of a normal stomach.—A. That might have been a normal stomach.
Q. Well, it certainly would not have been normal if it was that diseased, so diseased the cabbage had to be taken from it.—A. The structure was normal.
Q. Will you tell the jury that the juices were normal?—A. No.
Dorsey remarked: “Why, of course not,” and there was a ripple of laughter in the courtroom when Attorney Arnold jumped to his feet to object to the Solicitor’s comment.
“Your honor,” Arnold said, “that laughter will have to cease. There is a bunch of hoodlums back there who laugh at my friend’s witticisms.”
Judge Roan—You will have to keep order in the courtroom, Mr. Sheriff.
Q. What is a normal stomach?—A. A normal stomach is one that is under normal conditions will digest a normal amount of food in a normally accepted time.
Q. Did you ever see any experiment except in that case where you made a man vomit?—A. No, I am not quoting myself.
Scott Called to Stand.
Q. If a little girl were found sixteen to twenty hours after she was murdered with a moist blood spot on her hair, with a scar on the back of her head, deep indentations in her neck, her tongue out, her nails blue, what would you say caused her death?—A. I would certainly say it was not the blow on the head.
The witness was excused.
Harry Scott, the Pinkerton detective employed by the National Pencil Company, who has already appeared as a witness for the prosecution, was called by the defense. Attorney Rosser questioned him.
Q. Mr. Scott, you knew on Monday after the crime that Mrs. Arthur White saw a negro near the stairway on the Saturday before?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you tell the city detectives?—A. It is my recollection that I did.
Q. Did you ever ask Mr. Frank if Conley could write?—A. No.
Q. When did you discover Jim Conley could write?—A. Sunday, May 18.
Q. On May 18, you dictated to Conley “that long, tall, black negro did it by hisself.” How long did it take him to write it?—A. About six or seven minutes.
Q. You were present when he was brought before Mrs. White?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he move his lips?—A. Yes; he chewed his lips and looked very excited.
Q. Did he look nervous, and, if so, why?—A. Well, he could not stand still. He twirled a cigarette and looked very excited.
Q. Did he deny on May 18 that he had anything to do with the murder or had been to the factory?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you try to make him talk?—A. Yes.
Treated Him ‘Pretty Roughly.’
Q. How did you talk to him?—A. I was very stern with him. I tried to get from him a confession of the murder.
Q. Did you give you the third degree?—A. That depends on what you call the third degree.
Q. Well, you tell me what did?—A. Oh, we just talked to him, and cursed him and treated him pretty roughly.
Q. Did you beat him?—A. No.
Q. Just a scientific third degree?—A. Well, we did everything we could.
Q. You and the city detectives worked in harmony, each one giving the other what he had discovered, did you not?—A. Yes.
Mr. Rosser showed Scott the first statement made by Jim Conley.
Q. Did you hear him make this statement?—A. Yes, I wrote it.
Q. Is that all he said?—A. Yes.
Q. You didn’t know he could write?—A. Yes, I had already discovered he could write.
Q. This information that he could write came from Schiff and Darley, of the pencil factory, didn’t it?—A. Yes.
Brings Up Second Statement.
Q. When Conley made that second statement about the notes, was that gone over with Mr. Dorsey?—A. Yes.
Q. He said: “It did not say anything about the little girl’s body”?—Yes.
Q. He repeated again the buying of the beer and whisky on Peters street?—A. Yes.
Q. Conley told you the second time he was going to tell the truth?—A. Yes. He sent for Mr. Black and made a voluntary statement.
Q. That was his first sworn statement?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. On May 25, after that statement, you and Black called on Conley again and questioned him, didn’t you?—A. Yes. About three hours.
Q. You gave him the same third degree you illustrated just now, didn’t you?—A. No, I was stern, but nothing more.
Q. On May 27 you question him again didn’t you?—A. Yes.
Q. Then you told him Mr. Frank would not have written those notes on Friday and that his story would not fit?—A. Yes.
Q. How long did you question him?—A. Five or six hours.
Q. The next day you had him again, didn’t you?—A. Yes.
Q. How long?—A. About Five or six hours.
Q. And he told you he had already told the truth and would tell no more?—A. Yes.
Changed Day to Saturday.
Q. On May 28, he made you another long statement, after being told that his former statement showed deliberation and would not fit; then he changed the date to Saturday?—A. Yes.
Q. He told you he had made up his mind to tell you the whole truth?—A. Yes.
Q. But he still stuck to the statement that he got up that morning about 9 or 9:30 o’clock and later went to the “Butt In” saloon and bought a glass of beer?—A. Yes.
Q. He told you about writing the notes? How many notes did he say he wrote?—A. He said he wrote three on white paper, as I remember.
Q. Did he say Mr. Frank took a piece of green paper and wrote something like an “M” on it?—A. Yes.
Q. Still, he didn’t say anything about seeing the body?—A. No.
Q. Mr. Scott, what sort of a looking negro was Conley the first time you saw him?—He was dirty and ragged.
Q. You saw him here the other day and he was spick as an onion, wasn’t he?—A. Yes.
Tells of Frank’s Arrest.
Q. What time of the day was Frank arrested?—A. About 2 or 3 o’clock.
Q. Didn’t you go to the factory and get him at 11:30 o’clock?—A. Yes.
Q. Is it not true that all I did about it was to get him a guard so that he would not be put in a cell?—A. Yes.
Q. Conley told you that the reason he had been washing the shirt was that he had been wearing it three weeks?—A. Yes.
Q. Is it not true that you told Conley every time you thought he was lying, “That won’t do you will have to do better than that”?—A. Yes.
Q. Didn’t he say when he gave you that final affidavit that it was the whole truth?—A. Yes.
The jury at this moment took a five minutes recess, during which time they were served with soft drinks.
Q. Conley stated nothing about Frank asking him to watch for him?—A. No.
Q. He said nothing about seeing Monteen Stover go up to the steps?—A. No.
Q. He said nothing about Mr. Frank stamping for him?—A. No.
Q. He said only that Mr. Frank whistled for him?—A. Yes, that was all.
Q. Did you ever get him to tell you about that little mesh bag?—A. Yes, I did my best.
Q. He never intimated at that time that he saw it in Frank’s office?—A. No.
Said Nothing of Parasol.
Q. Did you ever ask him about the parasol?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he tell you he saw it, or not?—A. My memory is not clear.
Q. Do you want to refresh your memory (Rosser handed Scott the affidavit)?—A. No, he did not tell me anything about it.
Rosser paused to partake of a soft drink, smacking his lips, he remarked, “I wish it was little more sustaining.”
Q. Mr. Scott, he didn’t tell you anything about Mr. Frank’s stumbling on the floor of the elevator and hitting him on the back, did he?—A. No, sir.
Q. How long did he tell you he stayed in that wardrobe?—A. Fifteen or twenty minutes, I think, I am not clear.
Q. In his last statement he said he wrote only one note, didn’t he?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. How long before the beginning of this trial did you cease communicating with Conley?—A. May 29.
Q. He gave you two statements in which he said he told all the truth?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he tell you he had money and cigarettes in a box, or money and cigarettes in a cigarette box?—A. I understood him to say in a cigarette box.
Q. Did he tell you that he never saw Lemmie Quinn go in or out of the factory?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he ever tell you that poor little unfortunate girl was named Mary Perkins?—A. No.
Didn’t Tell of Screams.
Q. Did Conley ever tell you he heard screams?—A. No.
Q. Did you ask him?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he tell you Mr. Frank told you he had hit her too hard, or had dropped her?—A. He said he let her fall.
Q. Did he say anything about hearing someone running?—A. No.
Q. Did he tell you Frank stamped first and the next thing he heard was whistling?—A. No.
Q. Did he tell you when he got to the top of the stairs, that Frank was standing there with a cord in his hand?—A. No.
Q. Did you find cords like the one we have been exhibiting here?—A. Yes.
Q. He didn’t say anything about a rope about the girl’s neck, did he?—A. No.
Q. Didn’t he say she had a piece of underskirt around her neck?—A. He did not.
Q. What time did he tell you Frank whistled when he went up to steps?—A. Four minutes to 1 o’clock.
While Mr. Rosser studied his notes, Mrs. Leo Frank leaned over and whispered in his ear. Rosser remarked loud enough to be heard at the press table: “No, I won’t question him about that.”
Looks for Discrepancies.
Q. He told you Frank sent him back there and he hollered back, “This girl is dead,” and Frank hollered back, “Bring her up here, anyway.” He didn’t say he went up to Mr. Frank and told him the girl was dead?—A. That is the way he stated it.
Q. He told you it was a crocus sack that he wrapped her up in didn’t he?—A. Yes.
Q. What did Jim tell—
Dorsey interrupted: “Your honor, if I am not mistaken, Conley has admitted all of this.”
Rosser: “No, he didn’t. He said he told Mr. Scott and Mr. Black, and I want to show that he didn’t if I can.”
Q. Did he tell you he put this sack with the girl’s body in it over his shoulders and it dangled about his legs?—A. No, sir.
Q. I will get you to state if you said anything about a slipper or a ribbon being near the body upstairs?—A. He mentioned the slipper and the hat, but he didn’t say anything about a ribbon.
Q. He told you that Frank stumbled at the top floor and not at the bottom floor, didn’t he?—A. Yes.
Q. He didn’t tell you anything about Frank leaving the elevator unlocked, did he?—A. No.
Q. Did he say anything to you about complaining to Mr. Frank after he had been in the wardrobe—“you got me in a tight place?”—A. No, he said he told Mr. Frank he was sweaty.
Q. He told you Mr. Frank gave him $200 and then took it back?—A. Yes.
Q. I noticed that in his written statement there is some writing in long hand in addition to the typewritten statement. Explain how that happened.—A. The stenographer took down his statement and wrote it out I remembered that all of Conley’s statement about the $200 was not in it. We had him repeat it and added it to the statement in long hand.
Q. Did you ask him whether there was any thought of burning the body?—A. He said he didn’t know anything about that.
Q. Did he tell you that he promised to come back in 40 minutes and burn the body, but he went to sleep and forgot it?—A. No.
Q. Did he say anything about telling Mr. Frank, “You are a white man and you done it. You go down there and do it; I am scared?”—A. No.
Q. Did he say anything about Frank saying there would be a way for him to get into the factory when he came back?—A. No.
Q. Did he tell you anything about going across to the saloon and taking a fish and liver sandwich and looking up at the clock?—A. No.
Q. Did he tell you the reason he didn’t go back and burn the body was that he fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 6 o’clock?—A. No.
Q. Did Conley tell you that he talked to Frank on the steps or on the fourth floor?—A. The fourth floor.
Q. Did he tell you that Frank said to him: “If you had come back there Saturday and done what I told you, there would not have been any trouble?”—A. No.
Q. Describe to me the scene when you convinced Conley he could write?—A. I called him up to Chief Lanford’s office and told him I heard he had told Detective Black he could not write. I told him learned he could write and that if he didn’t write we would produce the source of our information. He took up a pencil and wrote as I dictated.
Q. You had to convince him you knew he could write before he would write for you?—A. Yes.
Solicitor Dorsey took the witness.
Q. Mr. Scott, did you get any information from the people at the National Pencil Factory about Conley being able to write?—A. Not personally.
Q. Didn’t you get it from people wholly disconnected with the factory?—A. Yes.
Q. Didn’t the National Pencil people know that Conley was arrested May 1?
Dorsey said that it was desired to show the connection between these people and the defendant Judge Roan sustained the objection.
Q. What official did you tell about Mrs. White seeing a negro on the steps?
Says Pinkertons Divided.
Rosser objected again. The objection was overruled.
A. I told Mr. Black, Chief Lanford and Detective Rosser.
Q. Wasn’t Attorney Rosser the first man told?—A. He was among the first.
Q. Wasn’t it May 7 and wasn’t he the first one you told?—A. It was soon after I heard of it. I am not sure of either fact.
Q. What time did the State first learn of this big stick?
Rosser objected and Dorsey said he was trying to show the attitude of “these people.”
“I want to prove,” he said, “that the Pinkertons were divided. Part of them went with the defense. Mr. Scott is the only one who sought to aid the State.”
Q. Were you denied seeing Frank?
Arnold interrupted, “I object to all of this as being irrelevant.”
Judge Roan: “He can state when he tried to see him.
A. With Detective Black and Jim Conley I went to the jail. Sheriff Mangum went up to see Frank.
A[r]nold objected and was sustained by Judge Roan. In his objection to statements on the part of the witness that were conclusions.
Q. When was the last time you saw Leo M. Frank?—A. May 3.
Q. Was there any difference in his appearance from the first time you saw him?—A. No.
Conley Made “Things Fit.”
Q. Did Conley eliminate any of the statements you objected to?—A. Yes.
Q. Did the changes come from the detectives or from Conley?—A. They come from Conley.
Rosser Took the Witness Again.
Q. You all would say “Jim, this don’t fit,” and then Jim would change it, wouldn’t he?—A. He made changes after we told him his statements wouldn’t fit.
Judge Roan said here that he had received a request from the jury to allow three musicians among them to play the piano at the Kimball House. He granted the request.
Court then adjourned until 9 o’clock Friday morning.
* * *
Atlanta Georgian, August 7th 1913, “State Ends Case Against Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper articles series (Original PDF)