Mullinax Held in Phagan Case

Mullinax Held in Phagan Case

National Pencil Co. Building at 37-39 S. Forsyth St. in which the Phagan girl was slain [The young girl was discovered by the night watchman, who at first thought the body was there as a practical joke, until he realized it was a dead girl. She was so covered with soot and dirt, the policemen couldn’t determine whether she was White or not at first glance — Ed.]

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Former Street Car Conductor Arrested as He Leaves the Home of His Sweetheart on Bellwood Avenue.

As he was leaving the home of his sweetheart, Miss Pearl Robertson [sic], on Bellwood avenue, early last night, Arthur Mullinax, a strikingly handsome youth, was arrested by Detective Rosser and carried to police headquarters. He is being detained under suspicion of having been implicated in the slaying of Mary Phagan.

E. R. Sentell, a resident of 82 Davis street, came to the office of Detective Chief Lanford Sunday afternoon and was closeted with that official for considerable while. When he left the office it was learned that he had told the chief he had seen Mullinax and the dead girl together shortly after midnight Sunday.

Sentells story, according to the detectives, was that as he was walking along Forsyth street about 12:30 o’clock Sunday morning, he encountered Mullinax and Miss Phagan walking slowly across Hunter street in the direction of the pencil factory in which she was killed. He recognized both, he said, as they crossed under the street lamps.

Mullinax Given Third Degree.

Chief Lanford also declares that he has other information to the effect that Mullinax was seen with Miss Phagan in the vicinity of the National factory near midnight. Mullinax was brought immediately to headquarters, and at 9 o’clock was subjected to a rigid third degree in the office of Chief Lanford. Continue Reading →

Girl is Assaulted and then Murdered in Heart of Town

Girl is Assaulted and then Murdered in Heart of Town

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Chum Identifies Victim as Mary Phagan, of 146 Lindsay Street, Then Swoons. Girl Had Just Resigned From National Pencil Company, in Which Plant Her Body Was Found.

MOTHER AND FATHER STAY UP ALL NIGHT WAITING HER RETURN

Negro Watchman Is Under Arrest on Suspicion—Police Believe That She Was Lured to Building by Three Young Companions, Assaulted Despite Her Vigorous Struggles, and Then Killed to Shut Her Lips.

Continue Reading →

Where and With Whom Was Mary Phagan Before End?

Where and With Whom Was Mary Phagan Before EndAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Detectives to-day are using all their resources to learn where Mary Phagan was every minute of Saturday and Saturday night, whom she saw, with whom she talked, and what she said.

There are wide blanks in the story of her movements. These must be filled.

12:10 p. m.—Mary Phagan appeared at the National Pencil Factory at ten or fifteen minutes after 12 o’clock noon, Saturday, and drew the pay due her, $1.60. She chatted a few minutes with friends. The manager is sure she then left the building.

She told her mother she was going to see the Memorial Day parade.

Did she go straight from the factory to see the procession? Who joined her? Where did she stand? When the procession had passed, where did she go? Did someone, that early in the day, start weaving around her the net which later caused her death?

10 p. m.—E. S. Skipper, 224 1-2 Peters Street, saw a girl answering the description of Mary Phagan at about 10 o’clock Saturday night. She was walking up Pryor Street near Trinity with three youths. She was crying, and seemed to be trying to get away from her companions. She seemed to be under the influence of an opiate, not of drink.

Was this, in truth, Mary Phagan? If so, who were the youths? Where had they been, and where did they go? Continue Reading →

Arrested as Girl’s Slayer

John_M_Gant_Accused_of

Photograph of Mary Phagan showing her in street dress. [The almost fourteen-year-old girl was found slain in the dingy basement of her work establishment, beaten and strangled to death. — Ed.]

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

JOHN M. GANT [sic] ACCUSED OF THE CRIME; FORMER BOOKKEEPER TAKEN BY POLICE

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

J. M. Gant [sic], arrested in Marietta for the murder of Mary Phagan, gave to a reporter for The Georgian his story of his actions that led to his arrest. He protested his innocence, and declared he was home in bed at the time the crime is supposed to have been committed.

In striking contradiction to this statement is the assertion of Mrs. F. C. Terrell, of 284 East Linden Street, where Gant said he slept Saturday night, that she had not seen Gant in three weeks.

“I watched the Memorial Day parade in Atlanta,” said Gant, as he sat in the Marietta police station, “and after the parade was mostly over I went out to the ball game. After the game I remembered that I had left some old shoes at the pencil factory, and decided to go over and get them. I went over there at 6 o’clock and Superintendent Frank let me in.

“He told the negro watchman to help me find my shoes, and both of them saw me get them and also saw me leave the building.

Continue Reading →

Horrible Mistake, Pleads Mullinax, Denying Crime

Horrible_Mistake_Pleads_Mullinax

This youth, formerly a street car conductor, is held in connection with the investigation of the slaying of Mary Phagan in the basement of the National Pencil Factory in South Forsyth Street. He stoutly denies any connection with the crime, and declares his arrest as a “horrible mistake.” He has accounted for himself, and likely will be released.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Arthur Mullinax, identified as the man who was with Mary Phagan at midnight Saturday, a few short hours before her dead body was found, and now a prisoner in solitary confinement at police headquarters, declared to a Georgian reporter that his arrest was a terrible mistake.

He declared that he had never seen the girl except as “the sleeping beauty” in a church entertainment in which both took part last Christmas. Here is his complete story:

“I had absolutely no connection with this affair and have been wrongfully accused. Sentell is horribly mistaken when he says he saw me in company with Mary Phagan shortly after midnight Sunday morning in Forsyth Street. I did not even know the girl—that is, never had been introduced to her—and had never been anywhere with her in my life.

“Sleeping Beauty.”

“I had seen her one time. That was last Christmas at an entertainment given in the Western Heights Baptist Church. We both took part in that entertainment. She played the part of ‘ the sleeping beauty,’ and I did a black face act and also sang in a quartet. Continue Reading →

Police Question Factory Superintendent

Police Question Factory Superintendent

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

STRAND OF HAIR CLEW IN KILLING OF PHAGAN GIRL

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Body of Mary Phagan Is Found in Basement of Old Granite Hotel in Forsyth Street—Mute Evidence of Terrible Battle Victim Made for Life

WHITE YOUTH AND NEGRO ARE HELD BY THE POLICE

After Being Beaten Into Insensibility Child Was Strangled and Dragged With Cord Back and Forth Across Floor—Incoherent Notes a Clew.

Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Company plant, in which Mary Phagan was employed, was taken to police court this morning by Detective Black to tell what he knows in connection with the girl’s death. The police say he is not under arrest.

At the same time Geron Bailey, the negro elevator boy employed in the factory, was arrested. One theory names Bailey as the man to whom the incoherent letters apply that were found by the side of the dead girl, and that evidently were written in an effort to describe her assailant.

Policemen Mack, Phillips and Starnes went to the factory this morning upon the statement that blood and matted hair, evidence of a terrible struggle had been found on the third floor of the factory. It was on this visit that they summoned Frank and arrested Bailey.

They conducted a minute investigation of the signs of the struggle of the third floor, going so far as to tear up several sections of the plank flooring in their inspection.

A new and terrifying turn was given the gruesome Mary Phagan strangling mystery to-day when strands of blood-matted hair were found in a lathing machine on the third floor of the National Pencil Company’s factory, 37-39 South Forsyth Street. Continue Reading →

Man Held for Girl’s Murder Avows He Was With Another When Witness Saw Him Last

Man Held for Girl's Murder Avows

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Arthur Mullinax, Trolley Conductor, Denies That E. L. Sentell Saw Him Saturday Night With Mary Phagan

Arthur Mullinax, identified by E. L. Sentell, of 22 Davis street, clerk for the Kamper Grocery company, as the man whom he saw with Mary Phagan, the murdered girl, at midnight Saturday, vehemently denies any part in the atrocious crime, and declares that he will be able to prove an alibi. Subjected to a quizzing in the office of Chief of Police Beavers, he told an apparently straightforward story of his actions on the night preceding the finding of the body. Investigation of his statement by the police, however, developed discrepancies, they say. He is kept in solitary confinement on a tentative charge of suspicion.

Sentell, who was an acquaintance of the dead girl, told the police that he saw her at Forsythe and Hunter streets with Mullinax at 12:30 o’clock Sunday morning. He said he spoke to her and that the former street car man tipped his hat in response to the salutation.

In the presence of Chief Beavers, Chief of Detectives Lanford, Police Captain Mayo and Detective Black, the clerk and Mullinax were brought face to face. The clerk reiterated his identification. Pointing at the prisoner, he said:

“That is the man who was with the girl last night. I’m positive. There’s no doubt about it.”

“It’s false! It’s a lie!” cried the man accused. “I was at home asleep, and I can prove it.” Continue Reading →