Chief Beavers Tells of Seeing Blood Spots on Factory Floor

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 3rd, 1913

Police Chief James L. Beavers followed Dr. Hurt upon the witness stand. Mr. Rosser immediately asked him if he had been in the courtroom, as he had not been named by the state when other witnesses were named, sworn and put under the rule. He replied that he had for a short time and Mr. Dorsey explained that in the beginning of the case he had no intention of using him.

“Were you present at the National Pencil factory on the Monday following the finding of the dead girl?” asked Mr. Dorsey.

“I was there not on Monday, I believe, I think it was on Tuesday,” he replied.

“Did you see the area of the floor around the girls’ dressing room?”

Mr. Rosser then arose and declared that he did not think that the court should allow Mr. Dorsey to get Chief Beavers in as a witness merely on his statement that at the time the other witnesses were sworn and put under the rule that he did not know he would need him.

Continue Reading →

Sweeper Swears No Spots Were on Floor Day Before Murder

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 1st, 1913

Mel Stanford, a sweeper and plater at the factory, was put on the stand at 12:20. He testified that he had worked there for about two years and was there on Friday, April 25, on the second floor.

“What did you do on Friday?” asked the solicitor.

“I swept up the entire floor in the metal room.”

“Were you there Monday, April 28?”


“See anything at water cooler near girls’ dressing room?”

“Yes; a spot which had a white substance over it.”
“Was it there Friday?”

“It was not there when I swept the floor between 9 and 12 o’clock Friday.”

“What sort of a broom did you use?”

“A small broom.”

“Do you know anything about a large broom?”

“Yes; there were several up there.”

Continue Reading →

Leo Frank Answers List of Questions Bearing on Points Made Against Him

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Monday, March 9, 1914

Stated That He Was Willing to Reply to Any Questions That Might Be in the Mind of the Public, and Asked to Answer Any Such That Might Be Propounded to Him.


Asserts That Very Fact That He Admitted He Had Seen Mary Phagan on the Day of the Murder, Thus Placing Himself Under Suspicion, Was Proof in Itself That He Was Innocent of Crime.

Probably the most interesting statement yet issued by Leo M. Frank in connection with the murder for which he has been sentenced to hang, is one that he has furnished to The Constitution in the form of a series of answers to questions which were propounded to him bearing on the case.

These questions were prepared by a representative of The Constitution who visited Frank at the Tower last week.

“Ask me any questions you wish,” Frank told the reporter.

In accordance with that, the reporter wrote out a list of questions which, he asserted, comprised the most salient points the prosecution had brought out against him, and to each of these Frank has given an answer.

Here Are Questions.

Continue Reading →

Frank’s Defense is Outlined


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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 2nd, 1913

Mary Phagan Met Death on First Floor, Is Claim

Defense Will Endeavor to Show That Conley Struck Her in Head and Threw Her Down Elevator Shaft


Blood Spots on Second Floor Explained by Fact That Employes Frequently Cut Fingers—Theory in Detail

From apparently reliable authority it was learned Monday that the theory to be advanced in defense of Leo M. Frank, the pencil factory superintendent, who has been indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan, will be that James Conley, the negro sweeper, and he alone, killed the girl and hid her body in the factory basement.

Notwithstanding Luther Z. Rosser, chief counsel for Frank, maintains his sphinxlike attitude and declines to discuss the theory of the defense, it is understood that the arguments in Frank’s favor will be based upon the idea that Conley was without assistance in the commission of the crime and that Frank had no knowledge whatever of it.

The defense will, it is said, take the position that Mary Phagan was killed on the first floor of the factory at the foot of the stairs where the negro admits he was in hiding. The suggestion of the girl having been killed on the second floor, as declared by Conley in his affidavit of confession, will, it is said, be ridiculed.

It will be contended that Conley was in hiding on the first floor from about 9 o’clock in the morning, most probably with the intention of robbing some of the women employes who came for their pay.

It will be shown that many of the incidents which the negro swears happened while he was secluded among the boxes by the stairs occurred before Frank went over to Nelson street, and therefore, the negro must be lying when he says that he met the superintendent at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth streets and followed him back to the factory sometime between 10:30 and 11 o’clock. Continue Reading →

Newest Clews in Phagan Case Not Yet Public

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 6th, 1913

Body of Slain Girl Exhumed and Bloodstains on Factory Floor Analyzed.


Solicitor Believes Victim May Have Been Thrown, Still Alive, Down Elevator Shaft.

Solicitor General Dorsey, Chief of Detectives Lanford, Chief of Police Beavers, and all men working under them in the Phagan case seem thoroughly satisfied with the progress they are making in the great mystery. They are actively engaged in many unknown directions—as they say, “piling up evidence to strengthen the case.”

What evidence the officials have other than that which has already been made public they refuse to divulge. Solicitor Dorsey declines to make public his case in the newspapers. He is investigating every phase of the matter through trusted men working under this own direction.

It is perfectly proper for the chief prosecuting officer to withhold any and all evidence until such time as he may present his case to the Grand Jury.

That there is new and startling evidence seems true, but just what it indicates the officials refuse to say, and the newspaper reporters, therefore, are merely guessing at what may be, or may not be, the actual facts. Continue Reading →

Analysis of Blood Stains May Solve Phagan Mystery

Analysis of Blood Stains May Solve Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 3rd, 1913

Three Former Employees at Pencil Factory Are Summoned to Testify. Expected That Frank and Watchman Will Be Questioned Further.

It was reported to-day that three young women, former employees of the National Pencil Factory, will be important witnesses for the Coroner’s jury in the Phagan case on Monday.

Dr. Claude Smith, city bacteriologist, was asked by the police to-day to make a chemical analysis of the bloodstains on the shirt found in the back yard of the home of Lee.

The garment was given to Dr. Smith by Detective Rosser. The detectives are hopeful that by scientific tests and comparisons it will be determined whether the garment was a ‘plant’ or not. Dr. Smith said that he could not make his examination until some time next week. Continue Reading →

Frank Tried to Flirt With Murdered Girl Says Her Boy Chum


At the left top is Detective Black, of the city, and at the right Detective Scott, of the Pinkertons. Below is a scene of the inquest. At the bottom is a sketch by Henderson of the negro, Newt Lee, whose straightforward story at the inquest has tended to lift suspicion from him.

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

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, May 1st 1913

Mary Phagan Was Growing Afraid of Advances Made to Her by Superintendent of the Factory, George W. Epps, 15 Years Old, Tells the Coroner’s Jury.


Newt Lee, Night Watchman, on Stand Declared Frank Was Much Excited on Saturday Afternoon—Pearl Robinson Testifies for Arthur Mullinax—Two Mechanics Brought by Detectives to the Inquest.


When a Constitution reporter saw Leo M. Frank early this morning and told him of the testimony to the effect that he had annoyed Mary Phagan by an attempted flirtation, the prisoner said that he had not heard of this accusation before, but that he did not want to talk. He would neither affirm nor deny the negro’s accusation that never before the night of the tragedy had Frank phoned to inquire if all was well at the factory, as he did on the night of the killing.

Evidence that Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the pencil factory in which the lifeless body of Mary Phagan was found, had tried to flirt with her, and that she was growing afraid of his advances, was submitted to the coroner’s jury at the inquest yesterday afternoon, a short time before adjournment was taken until 4:30 o’clock today by George W. Epps, aged 15, a chum of the murdered victim. Continue Reading →

Machinist Tells of Hair Found in Factory Lathe

Machinist Tells of Hair Found in Factory LatheAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday April 30th, 1913

R. P. Barrett, 180 Griffin Street, a machinist at the National Pencil Company, was one of the witnesses of the late afternoon.

He was asked:

Q. How long have you worked at the National Pencil Company?—A. Seven weeks the last time. I worked there about two years ago.

Q. Did you know Mary Phagan?—A. Yes.

Q. What did she do?—A. She ran a “tipping” machine.

Q. When did you last see her?—A. A week ago Tuesday.

Q. Did she work last week?—A. No.

Q. You say you worked in the same department with Mary Phagan? Were your machines close together?—A. Yes.

Q. When did you go to work?—A. Monday morning. Continue Reading →

City Chemist Tests Stains For Blood

City Chemist Tests Stains for BloodAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Pieces of wood, the stains on which are believed to be those of the blood of murdered Mary Phagan, are undergoing a chemical examination this afternoon by the city chemist.

The discovery of white powder on the factory floor strengthened the belief that a frantic effort had been made to erase the evidences of the crime. The powder resembled very much cleaning preparations that are used.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, April 28th 1913, “City Chemist Test Stains for Blood,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Chief and Sleuths Trace Steps in Slaying of Girl

Chief and Sleuths Trace Steps in Slaying of Girl

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

In the room where Mary Phagan was attacked and paid out her young life to the brutality of her assailant, across the floor where her limp form was dragged, down the stairs and down through the square trap-door into the dirty basement where her body was found, Chief of Police Beavers and two detectives trailed, step by step, every move of the girl’s murderer to-day.

Determined that not a clew should be overlooked in the efforts to fix guilt upon the man or men that took the young girl’s life, the Chief and his aides began at the very spot in the tip plant in the rear of the second floor where the bloodstains and the strands of matted hair indicated that the girl had put up such a desperate fight for her life and honor.

Curious Crowd About Factory.

Meanwhile the surging crowd of curiosity seekers on the outside of the building would be restrained, and that with the excitement of the employees made it necessary to close down the factory for the day.

Excited men in the throng, morbidly curious or filled with wrath at the inhuman deed, forced their way into the building and refused to turn back. A detective had an encounter with one insistent man who would not leave the building.

Inside the building the nervous tension of the employees was apparent in every department. With the ghost of the terrible crime stalking about, they could not work. After several hours of ineffectual work, the foreman saw that the girls and other employees were so wrought up over the tragedy that it was useless to keep them in the building longer. They were told to go. Continue Reading →

Story of the Killing as the Meager Facts Reveal It

Story of the Killing as Meager Facts Reveal ItAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

A new turn was given the mystery to-day when strands of blood-matted hair were found in a lathing machine on the second floor of the factory.

The discovery made it certain that the crime was committed in the factory by some one who had access to the building, a theory which had been without conclusive support previously.

Blood stains leading from the lathe to the door showed the manner in which the fiend had dragged the body of his victim and had taken her to the basement.

Appearances indicated that the murderer had sought to cover up the trail of his crime by endeavoring to efface the bloody stains.

Another name was brought into the case to-day by the testimony of pencil company employees. Detectives were hurried to the building and an arrest is expected momentarily. The new suspect is said to be a former employee who was seen about the building Friday and Saturday.

The blood-matted strands of reddish-brown hair were discovered this forenoon when L. A. Quinn, foreman in the tip plant on the second floor, sent R. P. Barrett, a workman, over to the lathe. Continue Reading →