Frank’s Testimony Fails to Lift Veil of Mystery

Frank's Testimony Fails to Lift Veil of Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 6th, 1913

Factory Superintendent’s Statements on the Witness Stand Considered Distinctly Favorable to Him.

Leo M. Frank’s testimony before the Coroner’s inquest threw no new light upon the Phagan case. Indeed, if it did anything it strengthend the belief in the minds of many persons that the mystery is far from solved.

Frank’s testimony was distinctly favorable to him. He was on the witness stand for several hours. He answered every question in a straight-forward manner. He was not more nervous than any other man in the room. He never halted for a word to make reply. The impression made upon those present was good.

The bringing into the case of another man not heretofore mentioned as having been in the factory on the day of Mary Phagan’s death does not seem to have in any way helped to clear the mystery.

Quinn Talks Freely.

Lemmie Quinn, foreman, whose name was mentioned by Frank, apparently had nothing to conceal either, for her talked with the detectives and police without reserve, and gave a clear statement of his work in the factory. His testimony did more, if anything, than the testimony of any other person to shift the suspicion that has been attached to Frank. Continue Reading →

Crowds at Phagan Inquest

Crowds at Phagan Inquest

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

Grand Jury Instructed to Probe Deeply

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Evidence Secured by Detectives May Not Be Presented at Coroner’s Inquest—Lee and Frank to Testify. Many Other Witnesses Are Ready.

The Phagan inquest began at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon at police headquarters.

There was a great throng of witnesses in attendance.

A large force of police was on hand to keep the crowd of curiosity seekers in order.

Frank and Lee were taken from the Tower to police headquarters in charge of Deputy Sheriff Minor. A small crowd congregated about the jail in anticipation of the transfer and another crowd even larger was in front of headquarters when the two prisoners were brought in.

There was no demonstration, and the brief trip was made without event. Continue Reading →

Frank on Witness Stand

Frank-On-Witness-StandAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Makes Statement Under Oath; Nervous, But Replies Quickly

Phagan Inquest, Starting Late Monday Afternoon, Attracts Throng—200 Girls and Women Summoned As Witnesses, at Police Station.

The Coroner’s inquest into the Phagan mystery did not really begin until 3 o’clock on Monday afternoon, instead of 2 o’clock, the hour set for the hearing.

Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee left the jail in charge of Chief of Police Beavers, Detectives Lanford and Starnes and entered the patrol wagon for the trip to police headquarters.

A curious crowd waited around the jail doorway to get a look at the two prisoners.

Both men appeared nervous. Frank walked with a quick step between Beavers and Lanford. He was freshly shaved, wore a dark suit and a derby hat. Starnes followed with Lee. Neither man was handcuffed.

[The following is the opening paragraph of a later article in the same newspaper on Tuesday, May 6th, 1913 that covered the questioning of Leo Frank.—Ed.]

Leo M. Frank, Superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, was a witness late Monday afternoon in the Coroner’s inquest into the death of Mary Phagan. Continue Reading →

Coroner’s Jury Likely to Hold Both Prisoners

Hugh Dorsey, Solicitor General, on left, and Judge W. D. Ellis. The former is hard at work on the Phagan case. The latter has charged the Grand Jury to probe the slaying thoroughly.

Hugh Dorsey, Solicitor General, on left, and Judge W. D. Ellis. The former is hard at work on the Phagan case. The latter has charged the Grand Jury to probe the slaying thoroughly.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 5th, 1913

In the following story will be found the developments in the Phagan case up to the time the inquest was resumed Monday afternoon:

It is said, but without authority, that a great deal of very important evidence has been accumulated, but that it will not be presented at the Coroner’s inquest. Instead, it will go directly into the hands of Solicitor Dorsey, who, as the chief prosecuting officer of Fulton County, is really in charge of the case now, although it has never been the duty of a prosecuting officer to interfere with the functions of the Coroner.

May Hold Both Lee and Frank.

It seems probable that both Frank and Lee will be held for the Grand Jury. The testimony brought out at the Coroner’s inquest will be turned over to Solicitor Dorsey, who will study it carefully and make such further investigations as he may deem necessary, using the detective force of the city for that purpose. Continue Reading →

Sleuths Believe They Can Convict Phagan Murderer

Sleuths Believe They Can Convict Phagan Murderer

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Detectives Are of Opinion They Have in Their Possession All Evidence That Is Needed by the Jury.

INFORMATION SECURED FROM MYSTERIOUS GIRL

Coroner’s Jury Will Resume Inquest at 2 O’Clock This Afternoon — Factory Girls Will Be Witnesses.

Detectives working on the case of Mary Phagan, the 14-year-old murdered girl whose body was found in the basement of the National Pencil company at daybreak Sunday morning a week ago, believe that today they have in their possession evidence which will lead to the conviction of the girl’s murderer, according to the statement of Harry Scott the Pinkerton man on the case, Sunday afternoon.

So important in fact, do the detectives consider the new evidence declared Mr. Scott, that its nature will not be publicly disclosed even at the coroner’s inquest which is resumed today.

No particulars would be given out except that the information came from a girl who has not heretofore figured even in speculation in the case. Continue Reading →

Phagan Girl’s Body Exhumed

Phagan Girl's Body ExhumedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 5th, 1913

[Coroner and County Physician Will Have Girl’s Stomach Examined — Added from May 6th article — Ed.]

The reason for the delay in beginning the Coroner’s inquest was that Coroner Donehoo was in Marietta up to 2:30 o’clock.

The body of Mary Phagan was exhumed by direction of the Coroner who went to Marietta for the purpose. An examination of the contents of the stomach will be made for the purpose of determining whether the child had been poisoned before she was attacked on the day of her death.

It will probably be several days before this examination can be completed.

The examination was done very quietly, and few people in Marietta knew anything about it.

[With the coroner were Dr. J. W. Hurt, County Physician, and Dr. H. F. Harris, of the State Board of Health, acting under the direction of Solicitor Dorsey.

It is understood that the analysis of the stomach’s contents will be made by Dr. Harris at the laboratory of the State Board of Health at the capitol.

Aside from this the State official made a thorough examination of the — section added from May 6th article — Ed.]

Frank’s Father-In-Law Summoned to Testify.

Frank’s father-in-law and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E. Selig, 68 East Georgia Avenue were summoned as witnesses at the inquest late Monday afternoon to testify as to Frank’s whereabouts on the night of the slaying and the following morning.

Orders for their appearance were issued by Coroner Donehoo just before the inquest was resumed, following a short conference with Chief Lanford.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, May 5th 1913, “Phagan Girl’s Body Exhumed,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Coroner’s Inquest Resumed 2:30 p. m.; Frank Will Testify

Coroner's Inquest Resumed

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Factory Superintendent Was Expected to Be the Chief Witness, Though 200 Others Had Been Subpoenaed

NEW GRAND JURY URGED TO PROMPT INVESTIGATION

A Thousand Violations of Law Against Vice Do Not Equal Crime of Mary Phagan’s Murder, Says Judge Ellis

The jury empanelled a week ago by Coroner Paul Donehoo resumed its probe into the mystery of the murder of little Mary Phagan on Monday afternoon shortly after 2:30 o’clock.

Although police headquarters was crowded by nearly 200 witnesses, mostly employees at the National Pencil factory, where Mary Phagan met her death, it was said at the opening of the session that only a few witnesses would be called upon to testify.

The coroner, the chief of detectives and the solicitor general held a short conference just before the inquest was resumed.

It is said that the conference was held in order that the officials might reach a decision as to just what witnesses it will be necessary to bring before the inquest. It is said to be the desire of Solicitor Dorsey that the inquest may proceed without disclosing any more of the “state’s hand’ than is absolutely necessary. Continue Reading →

Slayer of Mary Phagan May Still be at Large

Slayer of Mary Phagan May Still Be At Large

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

Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, May 4th, 1913

The mystery of the death of pretty Mary Phagan enters upon its second week to-day with the police authorities admitting that they are still without a conclusive solution. So far as the public has been permitted to learn, the detectives are not even certain that they have in custody the person or persons responsible for her death.

In the light of present developments, the police believe that no more arrests will be made, but they admit that the entrance of another theory might entirely change the aspect of the case. The detectives base their present belief that they have the guilty man or men on the well-supported theory that Mary Phagan never left the National Pencil factory from the time she received her pay envelope on Saturday noon until her lifeless body was taken from the basement of the building.

If this police supposition is correct, guilt can rest only on one or more of the men who were in the building after noon on the day of the tragedy. The police officers have been able to learn only five who were in the factory Saturday afternoon or night, most of the employees being absent because of the Memorial Day parade. Continue Reading →

Girl in Red Dress May Furnish Clue to Phagan Mystery

Girl in Red Dress May Furnish Clue to Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday May 4th, 1913

[The top part of this article is cut off including the headline and the sub-headings – Ed.]

A 17-year-old miss, [several words illegible] blonde and who weighs about [several words illegible] 140 pounds, and who was in [several words illegible] in Marietta last Wednesday afternoon wearing a dark red dress and a [1 word illegible] leghorn hat, may furnish the vital clue in the mystery of the murder of Mary Phagan.

Who is she?

Where does she live?

Is it true that she was the last friend of Mary Phagan’s to see the murdered girl alive on Saturday afternoon, April 26?

She alone can answer. It is but a matter of hours until her identity is revealed.

If she knows what she is said to know, she can tell the officers of the law something that they are very anxious to learn. Continue Reading →

Impostors Busy in Sleuth Roles in Phagan Case

Impostors Busy in Sleuth Roles in Phagan CaseAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 4th, 1913

Representing Themselves as Pinkertons, Two Men Are Interviewing Leading Witnesses in Mystery.

DETECTIVES WORRIED BY PLANTED EVIDENCE

Men Working on Case Believe That Some Interests May Be Trying to Fix the Crime on Suspects.

What interests are promoting the planting of evidence in the Mary Phagan mystery?

This question confronted police headquarters yesterday. Further evidence of mysterious forces underhandedly at work on the baffling case was revealed when it became known that imposters, representing themselves to be Pinkerton detectives had been questioning leading witnesses.

This new disclosure, coupled with past discoveries of obviously “framed-up” evidence, has stirred the police and solicitor’s staff to action. Arrests are expected at any moment. If the bogus detectives are caught, Chief Lanford declared they will be thrown into prison, held without bond or communication, and put through a gruelling [sic] third degree.

Why Such Methods?

Although many theories have been advanced, the police are at a loss to fathom the cause of such methods. It has even been suggested that the real murderer is at liberty, and, in the effort to avert suspicion which might be cast upon himself, is endeavoring to weave the web tighter around the suspects already under arrest. Continue Reading →

Gov. Brown on the Phagan Case

Gov Brown on the Phagan Case 1Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Let the Law Take Its Course, He Says

‘Guilty Will Be Punished, Innocent Free’

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 4th, 1913

I desire to commend, with all the emphasis at my command, the Hearst newspapers’ timely suggestion to the people of Atlanta and Georgian that they remember the sanctity and majesty of the law of the land, and the sure operation of justice through the courts, in contemplating a recent horrible and unspeakable murder in our midst. I desire to offer the Hearst newspapers a word of praise in that they—leading newspapers of the South—while being brave enough to print the news as it developed from day to day, still were brave enough to caution their constituency that it was, after all, merely the news of the day, and not evidence that might considered competent in a court of law.—GOVERNOR JOSEPH M. BROWN

Georgia’s Executive Gives High Praise to Hearst Newspapers for Their Stand for Law and Order and Fair Trial for Accused.

Joseph M. Brown, Governor of Georgia, last night gave to Hearst’s Sunday American the following ringing and significant interview, in respect of the Phagan murder mystery.

By GOVERNOR JOSEPH M. BROWN.

I DESIRE  to commend, with all the emphasis at my command The Hearst’s newspapers’ suggestion to the people of Atlanta and Georgia that they remember the sanctity and majesty of the law of the land, and the sure operation of jusict through the courts, in contemplating a recent horrible and unspeakable crime committed in our midst. 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 →

Detectives Confer With Coroner and Solicitor Dorsey

Detectives Confer with Coroner and Solicitor Dorsey

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

Atlanta Journal

Saturday, May 3rd, 1913

Following Meeting Lasting Two Hours, Officials Investigating Murder Mystery Visited Scene of Tragedy

NO CHANGE IN PLANS FOR INQUEST MONDAY

Progress Has Been Made In Developing Evidence, It Is Said, but its Nature Has Not Been Divulged

The three central figures in the investigation of the Phagan murder case—the solicitor general, the coroner and the chief of detectives—held a conference Saturday morning, which lasted for more than two hours. The officials discussed the evidence in the case and the many theories which have been advanced, but refused to divulge any definite information about the long conference.

It is said, however, that the officials have decided to lend their efforts towards building their case on the ground that Mary Phagan never left the pencil factory.

New evidence, strengthening this view, is said to have been developed during the day by Detectives Black and Scott and Starnes and Campbell, but they refuse to divulge its nature. Continue Reading →

Police Still Puzzled by Mystery of Phagan Case

Police Still Puzzled by Mystery of Phagan Case

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 2nd, 1913

200 Witnesses To Be Called When Inquest Into Slaying of Factory Girl Is Resumed Next Monday—Felder to Aid State.

The exact facts in the Phagan case as this edition of The Georgian goes to press can be stated as follows:

First. The Coroner’s inquest is not yet ended. It has been adjourned until Monday afternoon next; and until it is ended the State is not likely to take hold of the case except in so far as Solicitor General Dorsey may deem it necessary to acquaint himself with facts that may aid him when the Coroner’s jury renders its verdict. After this is done the case is turned over to the Solicitor General, as the chief prosecuting officer of Fulton County.

SECOND—It is reported that a large number of witnesses—200—are to be subpoenaed by the Coroner’s jury, and that both Lee and Frank will testify.

THIRD—The functions of a Coroner’s jury consist of hearing preliminary testimony, and holding persons under suspicion for the Grand Jury, which is the legal body that finds indictments against those accused of crime. Investigation before the Grand Jury is on evidence and is much more complete than before the Coroner’s jury. Continue Reading →

Dorsey Puts Own Sleuths Onto Phagan Slaying Case

Dorsey Puts Own Sleuths onto Phagan Slaying Case

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 2nd, 1913

200 Witnesses To Be Called When Inquest Into Slaying of Factory Girl Is Resumed Next Monday—Detectives Are Busy.

Coroner Declares Inquiry Will Not Be Made Hastily—Every Clew To Be Probed Thoroughly. Lee and Frank Are in Tower.

Grand Jury Meets, but Considers Only Routine Matters—Was No Truth in Report That Militia Had Been Ordered to Mobilize.

[There were no developments of importance in the Phagan case to-day. This does not mean that the detectives and police force are not hard at work on the mystery. They are. Many so-called “clews” are being investigated, but scores of them have been followed up by detectives and found valueless.

The grand jury met this morning and considered only routine matters. The Phagan case was not taken up at all. — A portion of text from the same article in the Georgian but from the “Home” edition of the newspaper — Ed.]

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey this afternoon engaged private detectives to run down clews which have not as yet been fully developed by the men already working on the Phagan case.

The detectives are to investigate certain phases of the mystery which have previously received little attention and which he thinks may be of importance. Continue Reading →

Frank and Lee Held in Tower; Others Released

This snapshot was taken just as the factory superintendent got out of auto in which he was transferred Thursday afternoon from the police station to the county jail.

This snapshot was taken just as the factory superintendent got out of auto in which he was transferred Thursday afternoon from the police station to the county jail.

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, May 2nd, 1913

Grand Jury May Take Up Phagan Investigation Following Conference Between Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford.

MULLINAX AND GANTT ARE GIVEN FREEDOM

Coroner’s Jury Will Resume Hearing on Monday, Following the Subpoenaing of 200 Witnesses.

Thomas B. Felder, member of the firm of Felder, Anderson, Dillon & Whitman, has been engaged to assist the solicitor general in the prosecution of the murderer of Mary Phagan. He was retained yesterday by a committee of citizens from the Bellwood community, in which the dead girl lived. The counsel fund has been subscribed by residents.

Mr. Felder said last night to a reporter for The Constitution that within a day or so he would be abundantly supplied with convincing evidence. He already has started private investigation, he said, but would not divulge its form. He would not discuss the rumor that the Burns detective agency had been employed. Continue Reading →

Solicitor Dorsey is Making Independent Probe of Phagan Case

Solicitor Dorsey is Making Independent Probe of Phagan Case

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 2nd, 1913

Outside of Solicitor’s Activity There Have Been No Developments Since the Suspects Were Transferred to Tower

GROUNDLESS RUMORS DENIED BY OFFICIALS

Chief Lanford’s Busy Running Down Tips—Coroner’s Inquest Will Be Resumed on Monday Afternoon at 2

The Atlanta Journal has published every fact and development in connection with the mysterious murder of Mary Phagan. The Journal will continue to print news of further developments and additional evidence as the investigation proceeds. No fact has been suppressed nor will any news relating to the hunt for solution of the crime be withheld from the public. Many silly reports about a confession having been made by one or both of the prisoners held on suspicion in the case have been circulated, but they are without the slightest foundation.

AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION.

Forces in the employ of the solicitor general, Hugh M. Dorsey, are making an independent investigation of the Phagan murder case, it was learned Friday. Continue Reading →

State Enters Phagan Case; Frank and Lee are Taken to Tower

State Enters Phagan Case; Frank and Lee are Taken to Tower

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 1st, 1913

Watchman and Frank Go on Witness Stand This Afternoon—Dorsey, Dissatisfied, May Call Special Session of Grand Jury To-morrow.

Coroner Donohuoo [sic] late to-day issued a commitment against Leo M. Frank, superintendent at the National Pencil Company, and Newt Lee, night watchman, charging them with being suspected in connection with the death of Mary Phagan and remanding them to the custody of the sheriff. They were later taken to the Tower.

Arthur Mullinaux [sic], held since Sunday, was released.

Frank’s commitment read as follows:

To Jailor: Continue Reading →

Frank Not Apparently Nervous Say Last Men to Leave Factory

Frank Not Apparently Nervous Say Last Men to Leave Factory

Miss Ella Maud Eubanks, stenographer for Leo M. Frank

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

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday May 1st, 1913

Following Mechanic Barrett’s declaration that there were two men at work Saturday at noon on the top floor of the factory building, Coroner Donehoo ordered detectives to accompany the machinist to the plant and bring the two employees to police headquarters.

They were brought immediately into the inquest. Their names were given as Harry Denham and J. Arthur White. Denham was first placed on the stand. His examination began immediately upon arrival.

“Did you see the blood on the lathing machine?”

“I saw it Monday.”

“Were you on that floor Saturday?”

“No. I was on the top floor.”

“Did you see Frank at any time of the day?”

“Yes.”

Asked When They Would Finish.

“Did he offer you holiday as the others had been given?” Continue Reading →

Frank Tried to Flirt With Murdered Girl Says Her Boy Chum

frank-case-2016-03-31-at-1.05.34-PM

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.

BOY HAD ENGAGEMENT TO MEET HER SATURDAY BUT SHE DID NOT COME

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.

LEO FRANK REFUSES TO DISCUSS EVIDENCE

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 →