Every Bit of Evidence Against Frank Sifted and Tested, Declares Solicitor

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Solicitor-General Hugh Dorsey, who will prosecute the case against Leo M. Frank, last night gave the Sunday American the following statement:

Without going into the merit of the State’s case against Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of little Mary Phagan, the possibility of a mistake having been made is very remote.

To say why the State believes Frank to be guilty of this murder would be hurtful, and lay before the defense the evidence we have so carefully guarded.

Continue Reading →

Prominent Atlantans Named On Frank Trial Jury Venire

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

The venire of 144 men from which twelve will be selected to decide the fate of Leo M. Frank is considered to be one of the most representative ever drawn from a petit jury box in Fulton County. Prominent among the prospective jurors are Joel Hurt, Dr. E. L. Connally and J. W. Alexander, capitalists: David Woodward, president of the Woodward Lumber Company; George Law, of Law Brothers; R. F. Shedden, of the Mutual Life Insurance Company; Thomas D. Meador, vice president of the Lowry National Bank, and Edwin F. Johnson, advertising man.

The complete jury list is printed below:

Continue Reading →

State Bolsters Conley

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Solves Discrepancies of Time

Mistaken Identity To Be Plea

Leo M. Frank Goes to Trial for the Slaying of Mary Phagan Monday, With Both Prosecution and the Defense Confident.

All Preparations Are Made for Big Crowds—Judge Roan to Be on Bench, Despite Recent Illness—Bitter Battle Expected.

Leo M. Frank will go on trial for his life to-morrow forenoon. With the beginning of the great legal battle, hardly more than 24 hours distant, it has been learned that the prosecution has overcome to its own satisfaction the greatest obstacle with which it has been confronted—the reconciling of the negro Conley with that contained in the statements of all the persons who visited the factory and were seen by Conley the day that Mary Phagan was murdered.

The most powerful argument against the truthfulness of the remarkable affidavit in which Conley told of helping Frank dispose of the body of the slain girl was contained in the fact that Conley’s original story in its designation of the time of various occurrences at the factory was in direct conflict with the statements of a number of the factory employees.

Miss Mattie Smith, one of the young women working for the National Pencil Company, told when she was first questioned of leaving the factory at about 9:30. Foreman M. B. Darley walked down the steps with her and said at the Coroner’s inquest that the hour was about 9:30.

Continue Reading →

Frank Fights for Life Monday

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Dorsey Ready to Avenge Mary Phagan

Mystery of Months Is Still Unsolved

Most Bitter Legal Battle in History of Atlanta Courts Is Expected—Case Will Probably Last for Weeks.

After three months of mystery in the death of Mary Phagan, a climax is at hand more tense, more dramatic, more breathlessly interesting to Atlanta and all Georgia than any situation of fiction. Leo M. Frank, employer of the little girl whose tragic death, April 26, stirred a State, will be brought to trial Monday on the charge that he killed her.

Frank’s trial is the crowning event of the hundred thrilling circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Whatever the outcome, regardless of Frank’s conviction or acquittal, the incidents that follow the trial will come as an anti-climax. The prosecution has cast almost all its chances for solving the mystery into the case it has prepared against Frank. Its heavy guns are trained against the factory superintendent. It has opposed the indictment of the single other suspect, the negro Jim Conley. The enthralled interest of a public has been pitched about the question: Is Leo Frank guilty?

FRANK DRAMA’S CENTRAL FIGURE.

Even the pitiful figure of the little factory girl, mysteriously slain, has become subordinate in interest to that of Frank. The young man’s own personality, his steadfastly loyal and loving family, his friends who affirm his innocence in the face of a dark suspicion, all have become factors in making Frank the central figure of the crime drama.

Continue Reading →

Pinkerton Men Brand Lanford Charges False

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

Atlanta Georgian (Hearst’s Sunday American)
July 27th, 1913

Emphatic denial of the charges by Chief of Detectives Lanford that he had kept bad faith with the city department in connection with the investigation of the murder of Mary Phagan was made by H. B. Pierce, superintendent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Atlanta, Saturday night.

Chief Lanford’s accusations against the Pinkerton official were mainly that he had withheld evidence from the city police, especially the bloodstained stick and the pay envelope of the Phagan girl, both of which were found by Pinkerton operatives on the first floor of the factory and were later reported in possession of the defense. The Chief intimated that the Police Board would be asked to take action against Pierce personally.

“The stick was submitted to Chief Lanford by myself,” declared Mr. Pierce. “The Mary Phagan pay envelope was shown him by our representative, Harry Scott.

Continue Reading →

Chapter 5 in Phagan Case

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

The Negro Conley’s Confession That He Was Frank’s Accomplice and Events Leading Up to Trial.

Chapter VI.

“He (Leo Frank) told me that he had picked up a girl back there and had let her fall, and that her head had hit against something—he didn’t what it was—and for me to move her, and I hollered and told him the girl was dead.”

With this startling accusation Jim Conley introduced his third confession. Under the rack of a merciless third degree, continued through the long afternoon of May 29, he weakened or became desperate toward the last and came out with his remarkable affidavit, which laid the responsibility for the killing of Mary Phagan directly upon the shoulders of the young factory superintendent.

Either it was all true or all false. If it were true, the negro simply had wilted under the ceaseless fire of the detectives’ questions and had decided to own up to his share in the crime and to seek to protect Frank no longer. If it were false, Conley, driven to bay, had, as a forlorn hope of saving his own neck, concocted the marvelous tale to thrust the suspicion of guilt upon the innocent Frank.

Defense Attacks Confession.

The latter is the theory of Frank’s lawyers, and they will advance it and bring evidence to support it and argue in its favor with all the ability at their command when the trial, set for next Monday, is under way.

Continue Reading →

Present New Evidence Against Frank

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

Both Sides Hide Vital Phagan Facts

State’s Prosecutor Shrouds Identity and Stories of Scores of Witnesses in Secrecy.

Prosecution and defense continued their preparations for the Frank trial Saturday, the last-hour hurry of interviewing new witnesses and gathering up the stray ends of evidence giving a fair promise that the trial will start as scheduled next Monday forenoon.

That Solicitor Dorsey has nearly a score of important witnesses whose testimony has been carefully guarded from the defense and the general public is well known. These witnesses have come to his office from time to time, and the Solicitor has refused to give out the vaguest intimation of the line of testimony they would give at the trial.

The prosecution has reserved their evidence to spring as a surprise during the trial. On these persons the State depends to clinch its case against the young factory superintendent. Some of them will be called to bear out different portions of the negro Conley’s affidavit, in which was told the story of the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body. The Solicitor is understood to have witnesses who will corroborate portions of Conley’s story which have been under the severest fire.

Continue Reading →

Pinkerton Chief Scored by Lanford

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 26th, 1913

Says Pierce Broke His Promise

Detective Head Also Asserts Phagan Evidence Private Sleuth Unearthed Was Plant.

Chief of Detectives Lanford roundly scored H. B. Pierce, head of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Atlanta, Saturday for what he termed questionable procedure in connection with the Phagan murder investigation.

When application was made by the agency for permission to operate in Atlanta and the matter was under consideration by the Police Board, the promise was made that the Pinkerton’s would work in harmony with the city detective department and would co-operate in the apprehension of criminals.

This promise, according to Lanford, has been kept by all connected with the agency with the exception of Pierce. The Chief intimated that the Police Board would be asked to take action against Pierce personally.

Continue Reading →

Witnesses for Frank Called

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 25th, 1913

Despite Judge’s Statement All Is In Readiness, Move for Postponement Is Expected.

Despite the fact that Superior Judge L. S. Roan stated everything was in readiness for the trial of Leo M. Frank next Monday, that State’s Attorney Hugh M. Dorsey has announced he will fight a delay, and that the defense actually commenced summoning witnesses, the impression still prevailed Friday that a motion for continuance would be made by the defense when the case is opened.

Attorneys Luther Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, declined flatly to say whether they would permit the trial to proceed without introducing some motion for a postponement, and the report was that witnesses had been summoned to be on the safe side in the event a request to put off the trial is refused.

Continue Reading →

Frank Trial Delay up to Roan

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

STATE READY AND WILL FIGHT A DELAY

Solicitor Disappointed When Court Fails to Draw Jury Panels at Time Planned.

With the belief growing that a serious effort is being made to delay the trial of Leo Frank, set for next Monday, Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Thursday renewed his protest against further postponement in a vigorous statement, declaring the prosecution is ready with a complete case against the National Pencil Company factory head, accused of killing Mary Phagan.

The trial date rests entirely with Judge Roan, who is in Covington. The drawing of the jury venire awaited word from him, expected some time during the afternoon. At his home it was said the Judge would not return until to-morrow.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Frank, was said to have consulted with Judge Roan in Covington and presented arguments for delay, but the truth of this report could not be established.

Continue Reading →

Third Chapter in Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

Arrests of Suspects in the Factory Slaying. Sensation as Leo Frank, Manager Was Taken Into Custody.

CHAPTER III.

Everything that occurred, trivial or important, during those first few days after the body of little Mary Phagan was discovered in the pencil factory basement took on a dramatic aspect. The people were keyed to so high a pitch by the revolting crime that for for a time it seemed to require only a spark to fire them to violent deeds.

Let a strange person so much as appear at the police station to confer with Chief of Detectives Lanford and wild rumors spread about the whole city like magic. Let one of the detectives drop a careless remark and in a flash everyone mysteriously understood that a complete confession had been made to the police by the murderer.

So it was a sinister reception that the first catch in the detectives’ dragnet received from the group of angry men when he was hurried to police headquarters Sunday night of the day after the factory girl had been slain.

Continue Reading →

Veneir [sic] is Drawn to Try Leo M. Frank Monday

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

JUDGE ANNOUNCES HE IS READY TO TRY CASE; 144 MEN EMPANELLED

Says He Has Not Even Been Asked for Postponement, and Sees No Reason Why Trial Should Not Begin On Date Fixed.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil Factory, was taken from the police station late Thursday afternoon by Detectives Starnes and Campbell to verify certain of his statements and to point out certain witnesses, who, he told the detectives, would be able to refute the affidavit of W. H. Mincey by showing that he was not at the point where Mincey swears the negro confessed he “had killed a girl” on the afternoon of the murder. The detectives would not divulge the location of the places to be visited.

Judge L. S. Roan, home from Covington, late Thursday, declared to a Georgian reporter that he saw no reason why the trial of Leo M. Frank, accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, should not begin Monday.

Continue Reading →

Let the Frank Trial Go On

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

Leo Frank should be placed on trial Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan.

The crime was committed April 26; Frank was arrested April 28; he was indicted Mary 23 and his trial set for June 30.

At the suggestion of the judge in whose court the trial is to take place, a postponement was agreed on, and the date of the trial moved up to July 28.

Now attempts are being made to secure another postponement. The only reason given to the public is that the weather is hot and it would be disagreeable to hold the trial in the summer.

Of course it is hot, but it isn’t any hotter in the court room than it is in jail.

Both the prosecution and the defense have had ample time to prepare their cases. If Frank is guilty, the State can prove his guilt as well now as later on; if he is innocent, the defense can prove his innocence as well in summer as in winter.

The public has taken a keen interest in the Phagan case and it will demand that the man who killed her be punished, whether that man is Frank or someone else. Furthermore, it is tired of delays.

Public sentiment is where it was on the date first set for Frank’s trial and it will be at the same place if the trial is delayed for a year.

Atlantans are awaiting the trial with open minds. They are not holding themselves up as judges. They know the law is supreme and they want it to take its course. But they want that course taken without seemingly endless delays.

Grand Jury Defers Action on Conley

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22nd, 1913

TALK OF POSTPONING FRANK TRIAL TILL FALL

Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L. S. Roan who will preside at the Frank trial had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

Continue Reading →

Defense Asks Ruling on Delaying Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22, 1913

Hearing of Crawford Case May Conflict

Conference Planned to Decide Which Shall Take Precedence. Ready to Draw Venire.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Leo M. Frank, announced Tuesday that he proposed to seek a conference of the attorneys in the Frank case and in the Crawford will hearing to determine which case should be postponed next Monday, the date set for the beginning of the trial of Frank on the charge of slaying Mary Phagan.

Mr. Arnold, Luther Z. Rosser, chief of counsel for Frank, both also are attorneys in the Crawford will case, and it would be impossible on this account to conduct the two cases simultaneously. The Crawford hearing will resume Wednesday before a special auditor in a branch of the Superior Court, and undoubtedly will be in progress next week if it is not stopped by a postponement.

The will hearing, because of the fact that it already is under way, would have a natural precedence over the Frank trial. This may be waived, however, in order to take up the Phagan mystery.

None of the attorneys for the defense will say that they intend to ask for a postponement of the Frank trial, but the hot weather and the fact that the Crawford case is in progress at this time appear to be combining to bring about such a consummation.

Judge Roan has stated that the case would be called Monday, but he probably will accede to the request for a conference some day this week to discuss the matter.

Court Likely to Accede.

Attorney Arnold will ask that the jurymen be not summoned until a definite decision is reached as to which of the cases is to take precedence.

Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Meets to Consider Conley Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Protest of Solicitor Will Be Heeded

Foreman Declares Inquisitorial Body Will Not Ride “Roughshod” Over Dorsey.

With Solicitor Dorsey reaffirming his certainty that Jim Conley will not be indicted before the tral [sic] of Leo M. Frank and declaring that he will fight with all his vigor any movement in that direction, the Grand Jury members gathered in the Thrower Building Monday morning in response to the call of Foreman Beatie to decide whether they will reopen their investigation of the Phagan murder mystery.

A strong probability that no action would be taken during the day arose when it became known that there were only eighteen of the grand jurors in the city, a bare quorum. In the event that all of the eighteen did not appear, there still was the opportunity to go out and summon talesmen at random to serve on the Grand Jury, but no statement was made as to whether this legal privilege would be exercised.

No Witnesses Called.

Continue Reading →

Doctor And Girl Are Taken On Vice Charge

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Dr. M. W. Lewis, a prominent physician of Carrollton, was arrested Monday morning and placed under $1,000 bond on a charge of disorderly conduct. He is charged with registering as man and wife at the Hotel Scoville, on Mitchell street, with Miss Effie McColman, who is held as a witness in the case. The trial will be held before Recorder Broyles Tuesday afternoon. The arrest was deloyed [sic] until the physician had finished a difficult operation at a sanitarium.

According to the charges, Dr. Lewis arrived in Atlanta Monday morning with Miss McColman, registering at the Hotel Scoville with her as Dr. Lewis and wife.

This is denied by Dr. Lewis, who says someone, who evidently has it in for him, added the “and wife.”

Dr. Lewis and the girl, who is only 19 years old, were arrested on information furnished to the police by an alleged friend of the couple, who saw them on the train Monday morning.

According to Dr. Lewis, the girl came to Atlanta with him to have some work done on her teeth. The girl says she came with the doctor with her parents’ permission. The McColmans live in the country about ten miles from Carrollton.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 21st 1913, “Doctor And Girl Are Taken On Vice Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L.S. Roan, who will preside at the Frank trial, had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

Defense Said To Be Willing.

Continue Reading →

Four Women Caught In Vice Net Escape From Martha Home

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Four young women, three of whom had been caught in Chief Beavers’ vice dragnet last week, escaped from the Martha Home during chapel exercises Sunday night.

The women were Effie Drummond, who after being caught in a raid on Mrs. Lula Bell’s place at Peters and Fair streets, declared she was a minister’s daughter from North Carolina, and had been the victim of a white slaver; Maude Doughetry, apprehended at the same house; Beatrice Renfro, companion of A.N. Trippe, a Whitehall street clerk, arrested on complaint of Tripp’e [sic] wife, and Myrtle Bell, who was placed in the home at the request of her parents.

The dragnet has been recast for the fugitives.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 21st 1913, “Four Women Caught In Vice Net Escape From Martha Home,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Dorsey Fights Movement to Indict Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Solicitor Is Bombarded With Letters to Proceed Against Negro as Slayer of Mary Phagan.

THE GRAND JURY IS CALLED

Hottest Battle of Famous Case To Be Waged Behind Closed Doors of Inquisitory Body.

Solicitor Dorsey is fighting vigorously the movement in the Grand Jury to indict Jim Conley Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan, despite the bambardment [sic] of letters from many citizens and by the sentiment of some of its own members.

It is for the consideration of these letters and petitions, asking the reopening of the Phagan matter, that the meeting has been called.

It was in the face of Solicitor Dorsey’s bitterest opposition that the meeting was called at all. Foreman Beattie issued his defi [sic] after a previous Grand Jury had been defeated in its efforts to reopen the case with a view of indicting Jim Conley and after Dorsey explicitly had expressed his strongest disapproval of such a move.

Crucial Battle Coming.

Continue Reading →