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 →

Second Phagan Indictment Probable

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

*Editor’s Note: A small section of text is missing from the article due to scanning blur near a page fold.

CONLEY NEGRO MAY BE INDICTED OVER DORSEY’S PROTEST

New Grand Jury Will Take Up Case and Make an Effort to Get a True Bill Against Negro as Principal

NEGRO HAS ALREADY ADMITTED COMPLICITY

Solicitor Dorsey Is Expected to Vigorously Oppose Jury’s Move—Negro Sweated Again by Detectives

It was learned Wednesday by The Journal, on reliable authority, that there is a strong probability of the Fulton county grand jury which was recently organized by the election of W.D. Beattie as foreman will take up the case of Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory, and confessed accomplice to the murder of Mary Phagan, before the trial of Leo M. Frank, who is accused of the crime by the negro, is entered upon.

If the grand jury takes up the negro’s case, it is believed that a bill charging the negro with the crime as a principal will be considered and if an indictment is brought it seems probable that murder will be the charge.

The grand jury will take up Conley’s case over the vigorous protest of Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, who it is stated, has not changed his theory about the murder.

Solicitor Dorsey has from the beginning taken the position that Conley should be held as a material witness and that this was not the time for the grand jury to investigate his connection with the Phagan murder. If the grand jury takes up the negro’s case there seems little doubt that the solicitor will bitterly oppose its action.

An indictment of Conley prior to the trial of Frank as principal would undoubtedly greatly weaken the state’s case, and the solicitor is expected to use […] jury to persuade if not to consider an indictment.

MEETS THIS WEEK.

Continue Reading →

Conley Not Right Man, Says Mincey

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, July 11, 1913

Insurance Man Who Made Affidavit Says Conversation Was With Some Other Negro—Saw Conley at Station.

It was disclosed Thursday afternoon that William H. Mincey, the insurance agent who has made an affidavit to the effect that Jim Conley on the date of the Phagan murder drunkenly admitted that he had slain a girl had appeared at police headquarters during Conley’s grilling and had positively failed to identify the negro.

This was told a Constitution reporter by Detective Harry Scott of the Pinkertons and Detective Chief Newport Lanford. The insurance agent, they declared, had come to the police station while Conley was being cross-examined and had asked to see the prisoner.

He wanted to see if he could identify Conley as the negro whom he had seen drunk at the corner of Electric and Carter streets on the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. He was admitted to Conley’s presence. After asking the negro a number of questions pertaining to a conversation he had held with the black encountered at Electric and Carter streets, Mincey, the detectives assert, declared he could not identify the suspect.

He’s not the man I saw, Lanford and Scott say the insurance man declared.

Conley was asked by Mincey on that date if he had not talked with him about the issuance of a life insurance policy. Conley denied having ever seen the man. Mincey, the detectives say, was positive in his declaration that Conley was not the negro with whom he had held the conversation.

Did Not Approach Detectives

Continue Reading →

Hooper Sees Conley for the First Time

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 27, 1913

Attorney Who Will Aid Solicitor Hears Negro Sweeper Recite His Story

Frank A. Hooper, the attorney who will assist Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey in the prosecution of the case against Leo M. Frank, indicted for the murder of little Mary Phagan, interviewed James Conley, the negro sweeper, for the first time on Friday morning.

The attorney talked with the negro in the office of the police board for nearly an hour. Detective Starnes, who has been working under the direction of the solicitor, was the only officer with him.

Mr. Hooper simply made the trip to hear from Conley’s own lips his story of the crime, and the interview is said not to have been occasioned by any new developments in the case.

Mr. Hooper said that he had the negro tell him the “whole story.”

“The negro talks in a clear, straight-forward manner,” the attorney declared, “and his statement had the earmarks of the truth on it.” Mr. Hooper characterized the negro as a “good witness.”

While Solicitor Dorsey has interviewed Conley a number of times, he has never made any statement relative to the value of the negro’s story in a court room nor has he said anything relative to the manner in which the negro tells his story. Continue Reading →

Trial of Leo Frank Postponed by Judge

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Date of Trial Changed From June 30 Until July 28 at Plea of Attorneys for Defense.

The first appearance in open court of the indictment against Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan came yesterday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan, presiding over the criminal division of superior court, summoned attorneys for both sides, and after a hearing changed the date of trial from June 30, as set by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, to July 28.

This and the legal move by the defense in serving upon Solicitor Dorsey, Police Chief James L. Beavers, Detective Chief Newport Lanford and other detectives and officials for the state, with formal subpoenas duces tecum, commanding them to bring to court all affidavits they may have which bear upon the state’s case against Frank, were the only changes in the present situation.

Judge Roan also decided that the trial of Frank would be held not in the regular room in which he holds his division of court, but in one of the rooms in which the civil division of the superior court sits.

Where Trial Will be Held.

This was done, the judge explained, because the ceiling is very low in the courtroom in the Thrower building, where his court regularly sits, and the room is ventilated by windows only on one side. The trial will be held, according to present plans, in one of the courtrooms in the old city hall, corner South Pryor and East Hunter streets, where the ceilings are higher and windows can be thrown open on both sides of the room to allow ventilation. Continue Reading →

Both Sides Are Ready for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Few Developments Expected Between Now and July 28, Conley Is Grilled

The statements made by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and by Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser, the counsel for the defense before the postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank from June 30, the date set by the solicitor, to July 28, indicate very strongly that neither side expects further developments of importance in the investigation.

Mr. Dorsey told the court that his case was complete and that he was ready for trial. All of the statements by Attorneys Arnold and Rosser indicate that they also have completed the preparation of the defense and are ready for the court fight.

One of the most interesting of the statements made by counsel was that of Mr. Arnold, who said that it would take two weeks to try the case, showing that the defense will have many witnesses, and will come to court prepared to fight every inch in the case.

The action of the defense in demanding through subpoenas duces tecum practically all of the affidavits of importance which have been made the detectives during the Phagan investigation seems to bear out the theory published in The Journal that the defense will consist of the corroboration of Frank’s story as told at the inquest by a number of witnesses, and of an effort to establish, largely by the detectives themselves, the thory [sic] that the negro James Conley is guilty of the crime with which Frank is charged.

It is certain that Conley’s story will be attacked through his many varying affidavits, and much evidence to assist Frank will be brought out through the city detectives, who charge him with the crime.

The substance of all of the affidavits demanded by the defense is known. Conley’s varying affidavits have long formed one of the sensations of the case. Miss Grace Hix, it will be remembered, identified Mary Phagan’s body, while Miss Monteen Stover declares that she came to the pencial [sic] factory of the date of the tragedy at 12:05 o’clock and found no one in the office, not even Frank, who had testified that he was there at that hour. Continue Reading →

July 28 Is Date Agreed Upon for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Judge Names Date After Statement From Reuben R. Arnold, In Which He Said Trial Would Last Two Weeks

DEFENSE TAKES STEPS TO GET STATE’S EVIDENCE

Subpenas Duces Tecum Issued, Demanding Production of Affidavits and Popers [sic] in Possession of Solicitor

Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan, will not be tried before superior court Judge L. S. Roan next Monday. The judge in a conference with attorneys at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon formally set the trial for Monday, July 28, and no attempt to reopen the questions of arraignment will be made. Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to this date.

Any attempt made to put Frank on trial on next Monday was silenced when Reuben R. Arnold, speaking for the defense, said flatly that the trial would take at least two weeks. The assurance that the trial would last some time and the fact that it likely would be held in the stuffy little court room in the Thrower building, if scheduled Monday, practically caused the postponement.

Solicitor Dorsey, for the state, and Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, for the prosecution, were summoned to the court house by Judge Roan at 3 o’clock and a discussion of the matter was opened.

SOLICITOR ANNOUNCED READY.

Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was ready and made the declaration that his witnesses would not take more than two days at the outside. He said if the defense had any he didn’t think they would take any longer.

This remark brought a grunt from Luther Z. Rosser and the Arnold statement that the trial would take two weeks.

“We have the witnesses,” both of the lawyers for the defense asserted.

Both Attorneys Rosser and Arnold told the court that in the event of a postponement of the case for Monday that they desired it to go over until after the week of July 14, when both would be engaged in the trial of Mattie Flanders in Swainsboro. Mr. Rosser represents the defense of Mrs. Flanders and Mr. Arnold the prosecution.

This came when Solicitor Dorsey suggested that the case be tried on July 7.

Judge Roan, in fixing July 28 as a date suitable to all concerned, said that there would be no break in the week, as there would with July 4, that a good court room for the trial could be obtained about July 13, that the jail could be cleared of routine cases by that time and previously made engamenest [sic] would not be interrupted.

All lawyers concerned were in court and the judge asserted that lack of preparation could not be offered as an excuse when the case was called on July 28.

The attorneys for Leo M. Frank Tuesday afternoon secured subpoenas duces tecum to be served on Chief James L. Beavers, Chief N. A. Lanford, Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stevens, Hary [sic] Scott, of the Pinkertons; City Detectives John Black, Pat Campbell and J. N. tSarnes [sic], and Secretary of Chief Lanford, G. C. Febuary, calling upon them to produce in court Monday June 30, or any other day that the Frank case might be on trial, all affidavits or statements secured from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper; Monteen Stover and Grace Hix. Continue Reading →

Solicitor Will Fix Frank Trial for June 30, He Says

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 23, 1913

Unless “Showing” Is Made in Open Court Why the Case Should Be Deferred, Trial Will Proceed

MONTEEN STOVER AGAIN FIGURES IN THE CASE

Detectives Question Her With View to Attacking Theory That Girl Was Slain on the First Floor

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, it was definitely learned Monday, will set the case of the State against Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, for June 30, and the solicitor will insist that a legal “showing” be made by the defense before a postponement is allowed.

During the day Monday or early on Tuesday morning the court calendar for the week of June 30 will be made up and then a small army of bailiffs and deputies will commence to summon talesmen. Owing to the unusual interest in the case it is probable that more than 150 talesmen will be summoned to the court in order that twelve jurors to try Frank may be picked from them.

COURT WON’T INTERFERE.

It is understood that the court of its own volition will not interfere in the matter, and if a postponement of the case is secured it will be on a “legal showing” made in open court next Monday by the attorneys, who represent the accused man.

The illness of one of counsel or the absence from the city of a material witness or the engagement of counsel in another court, or any one of several other perfectly good excuses constitute legal grounds for the postponement of case, so the uncompromising attitude of the state by no means makes the trial of the case on June 30 a certanity [sic].

Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, the able attorneys, who represent Frank, will give no intimation of their attitude towards entering into the case next Monday.

The published rumor that John W. Moore, another noted Atlanta lawyer, would assist Attorneys Arnold and Rosser and Herbert Haas in the case is without foundation, according to Mr. Moore and the other attorneys connected with the case.

WITNESS QUESTIONED.

What is believed by the prosecution of Leo M. Frank to be a refutation of the defense’s theory that Mary Phagan was slain at the foot of the stairs on the first floor of the pencil factory, occurred at police headquarters Sunday afternoon, when Jim Conley, the negro, identified Monteen Stover, aged 14, 17 South Forsyth street, as the girl in the raincoat and “easy walkers” who went to the office on the second floor at 12:05 o’clock and came down the stairs five or ten minutes later and left the building.

The little Stover girl was taken before Conley in the detectives’ room Sunday and positively identified by the negro, according to the detectives who were present, Chief Lanford and Detectives Campbell and Starnes.

Conley declared that she was the girl he watched while he was hid at the foot of the tsairs [sic]. The Stover girl entered the building, went up the stairs to the office, stayed there some five or ten minutes, and then came down and went out.

J. C. Hines, who went to headquarters with Walter Sudderth and Mr. Edmundson, pointed out Monteen Stover as the girl whom he saw enter the building. Continue Reading →

Date of Frank Trial Still In Much Doubt

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, June 21, 1913

Belief Grows That Case Will Not Come Up Before July 14 or 28

Interest in the Phagan case still centers on the time of the trial of Leo M. Frank. Indications still are that the case will not be tried the week of June 30.

Solicitor Dorsey has never finally committed himself on the matter but Colonel Frank A. Hooper, who is associated [with] him, still expects the case to be set for that date.

Mr. Hooper expects the trial to last a week. The jail will not have been cleared by June 30, according to court attaches, and it is the general policy of the court to clear the jail of as many cases as possible before entering into a lengthy trial. In addition the Fourth of July, a holiday, comes in the week of June 30 and this might mean that the jury would be locked up during a day that the court was not in session. Still further there is the possibility that the defense will ask for a postponement.

Judge L. S. Roan will not have to hold court in the Stone Mountain circuit on either the week of July 14, or the week of July 28, and as a result it is now considered extremely probable that Frank will face a jury on one of those dates.

Apparently the Phagan case is at a standstill. Saturday both Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, who will be associated with the defense in all probability, were out of the city, on business said not to be connected with the case.

Mr. Hooper, who is in charge of the state’s case during the absence in New York of Solicitor Dorsey, states that there have been no developments of importance, and that the state is ready for the trial, whenever Mr. Dorsey returns and sets it on the court calendar.

Mr. Hooper was not interested in the return of Mrs. Mima [sic] Formby, maker of a sensational affidavit, to the city. The state made no effort to find her when she left the city, and apparently there is no chance of her being used as a witness unless the defense puts Frank’s character in issue.

During the absence of Solicitor Dorsey, Detectives Starnes and Campbell have been working under his instructions, smoothing over rough places in the state’s case, but nothing of importance has been developed.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, June 21st 1913, “Date of Frank Trial Still In Much Doubt,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Constitution Picture Will Figure in Trial

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Monday, June 16, 1913

Solicitor Wants Photograph of Spot Where Mary Phagan’s Body Was Found

A flashlight picture, made by The Constitution’s staff photographer is to be used as evidence by the prosecution in the trial of Leo M. Frank. This was made evident Sunday afternoon when Detective John Starnes applied to a Constitution reporter for the photograph of the spot in the pencil factory basement, where Mary Phagan’s body was discovered.

Starnes would not state why he wanted the picture, saying only that it would be used by the prosecution. He was extremely desirous of getting it, and it will be put in his possession this morning. It is rumored that by the picture an effort will be made to corroborate certain statements of James Conley, the negro sweeper when he is placed on the witness stand.

Starnes told the reporter that the prosecution was ready for trial. He expressed confidence that the mystery would be cleared at the coming trial, which he believes will be held on the thirtieth. In case of postponement, he says, it will be the fault of the defense, as the state is ready.

Starnes has been intimately associated with the solicitor general during the murder investigation. In fact, he has been more closely in touch with Dorsey than any other official concerned in the case. He is a detective attached to headquarters and associated with Detective Pat Campbell who has been identified with many big criminal cases, which the detective department has solved.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, June 16th 1913, “Constitution Picture Will Figure in Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Sensational Affidavit Made by Minola M’Knight, Negro Cook at Home of L. M. Frank

sensational-affidavit

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

In This Affidavit Minola Tells of Conversation That Occurred Between Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Selig, In Which Mrs. Frank Is Alleged to Have Said Frank Was Drinking on Night of Tragedy, and That He Wanted a Pistol to Kill Himself

MRS. FRANK SAID, SO NEGRO COOK SWEARS, THAT FRANK MADE HER SLEEP ON THE FLOOR THAT NIGHT

Negro Says Further That Frank Came Home at 1:30 o’Clock on Fatal Saturday, but Remained Only About Ten Minutes, and That He Left Without Eating His Dinner—Affidavit Is Vague and Confused—It Is Given Here In Full

An affidavit, sworn to by Minola McKnight, the negro servant at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, where Leo M. Frank and his wife live, was made public by Chief of Detectives N. A. Lanford Wednesday afternoon. In the affidavit Minola McKnight tells of alleged conversations at the Selig home in which Mrs. Frank is quoted as having said that Frank was drunk on Saturday night, April 26, and that he made her sleep on a rug. The negro quotes Mrs. Frank further as saying that Mr. Frank couldn’t understand how he could be guilty of murder, and that Frank had begged her for a pistol that he might shoot himself.

The negro says in her affidavit that she has been kindly treated and gives this as the reason for not having made her statement sooner. She swears that the affidavit is made of her own free will.

The affidavit is nearly all hearsay evidence, and therefore inadmissible in court.

The affidavit follows in full: Continue Reading →

Lanford Tells Why Conley Was Placed in Police Station

lanford-tells-why

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 1st, 1913

Chief of Detectives Gives Out Statement Relative to Transfer of Prisoner From the Tower to Headquarters

FURTHER QUESTIONING IS PLANNED BY DETECTIVES

No Arrangement Yet Made for Negro to Confront Frank—Report of Finding Girl’s Purse Proves Without Foundation

The prosecuting officials connected with the Phagan case all denied Saturday evening that the state’s theory of the murder has been changed by anything that the negro sweeper Conley has said, but the fact that the negro was transferred t police headquarters, where he can be freely examined by the detectives, seems to show that the officials are not fully satisfied with Conley’s story of the crime as it now stands.

Conley was permitted to leave the jail on an order signed by Judge L. S. Roan, of the superior court. Conley was perfectly willing to accompany the officers anywhere they desired to take him.

From the jail he was carried by Deputy Newt Garner to the solicitor’s office, and it is said that only after the solicitor had talked with the negro two hours and gone over all of the “rough places in the story” was the decision to take him to police headquarters, rather than the jail reached.

REASON FOR TRANSFER.

Two reasons are assigned by Detective Chief N. A. Lanford for the removal of Conley from the Fultin [sic] county jail back to the state cell in police headquarters, where he was imprisoned for more than three weeks.

The first, according to the chief, is that Conley requested that he be transferred back, stating in explanation or his request that he was greatly annoyed Friday night by persons who came to visit in the tower. Continue Reading →

Leo Frank Trial: Week Four

Leo-Frank-closeup-340x264Originally published by the American Mercury on the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank trial.

Join The American Mercury as we recount the events of the final week of the trial of Leo Frank (pictured) for the slaying of Mary Phagan.

by Bradford L. Huie

ON THE HEELS of Leo Frank’s astounding unsworn statement to the court, the defense called a number of women who stated that they had never experienced any improper sexual advances on the part of Frank. But the prosecution rebutted that testimony with several rather persuasive female witnesses of its own. These rebuttal witnesses also addressed Frank’s claims that he was so unfamiliar with Mary Phagan that he did not even know her by name. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One,  Week Two, and Week Three of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)

Here are the witnesses’ statements, direct from the Brief of Evidence, interspersed with my commentary. The emphasis and paragraphing (for clarity) is mine. The defense recommenced with a large contingent of Frank’s friends, business associates, and employees who would say that Leo Frank was of good character and had not, to their knowledge, made any improper sexual approaches to the girls and women who worked under him: Continue Reading →

The Leo Frank Trial: Week One

Newt-lee-custody1-340x264

Originally published by the American Mercury on the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank trial.

100 years ago today the trial of the 20th century ended its first week, shedding brilliant light on the greatest murder mystery of all time: the murder of Mary Phagan. And you are there.

by Bradford L. Huie

THE MOST IMPORTANT testimony in the first week of the trial of National Pencil Company superintendent Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan was that of the night watchman, Newt Lee (pictured, right, in custody), who had discovered 13-year-old Mary’s body in the basement of the pencil factory during his nightly rounds in the early morning darkness of April 27, 1913. Here at the Mercury we are following the events of this history-making trial as they unfolded exactly 100 years ago. We are fortunate indeed that Lee’s entire testimony has survived as part of the Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, certified as accurate by both the defense and the prosecution during the appeal process. (For background on this case, read our introductory article and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.) Continue Reading →

Investigation Just Begun Says Detective Lanford

Investigation Just BegunAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 9th, 1913

General satisfaction was expressed Friday morning by the detectives working on the Phagan case at the action of the coroner’s jury.

Chief of Detectives Lanford, however, declares that the work of his department is just now getting under way.

“We are going to continue right on with the investigation,” said the officials, “and try to dig down to the truth of this matter.”

“We have a theory as to who committed the crime, but we are ready to change it if we can possibly unearth any evidence, which will prove that theory wrong. We are going to make an impartial investigation and we are not going to leave anything undone, which might tend towards the solution of the mystery.

“My men will not be so pushed for time now and they can make systematic and deliberate investigation of every point of importance in the case, and they have much hard work before them. Even if nothing new develops, we have enough work outlined on the case to keep half a dozen men busy for the next week.”

Detectives Campbell, Starnes, Black, Bullard and Bass Rosser, who have been working on the case, are still detailed to the investigation.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 9th 1913, “Investigation Just Begun Says Detective Lanford,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Black Testifies Quinn Denied Visiting Factory

Black Testifies Quinn Denied Visiting Factory

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

John Black, city detective, followed Scott.

Q. Tell about the shirt.—A. Sergeant Bullard and I went out to the rear of 40 Henry Street and searched Newt Lee’s room.

Q. What did you find?—A. Lots of things.

Q. Tell about finding the shirt?—A. We found it in the bottom of an old barrel.

Q. Was the shirt on the top or in the bottom of the barrel?—A. In the bottom.

Q. When was this?—A. On Wednesday after the murder.

Q. Did you see the shirt Lee wore Sunday morning?—A. Yes. Continue Reading →

Lemmie Quinn Grilled by Coroner But He Sticks to His Statement

Lemmie Quinn Grilled by Coroner but he Sticks to his Statement

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

L. A. Quinn was called to the stand. He lives at 31B Julliam street, he said, and is foreman of the metal department at the National Pencil factory. Mary Phagan worked in his department, he said. The last time he saw her was on the Monday preceding the murder, he said. She left the plant about 2 o’clock that Monday, said he. That was earlier than usual, but she left because the metal with which she worked had run out and she wanted to hurry to the matinee. He didn’t know any of her intimate friends, said he. She worked with Helen Ferguson and Grace Hix and Magnolia Kennedy, said he, and Henry Smith and John Ramey also worked in that department.

He worked on Friday, April 25, until 5:30 o’clock, said Quinn. He got his pay and left with the understanding that he would come to work on Monday.

The next morning, Saturday, he got up about 7 o’clock. Later he went uptown with his wife to get a picture made of their baby. Then they went back home. He came up town again, said he. He was stopped there, and questioned closely about hours and minutes.

He left home about 9:30 o’clock, he said. He and his wife and baby went straight to Kuhn’s photograph studio. They were there about ten minutes, he said. Continue Reading →

Inquest Scene is Dramatic in its Tenseness

Miss Hattie Hall, Superintendent Leo M. Frank's stenographer, who testified to-day at the Phagan inquest.

Miss Hattie Hall, Superintendent Leo M. Frank’s stenographer, who testified to-day at the Phagan inquest.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

Crowd in Small, Smoke-Filled Room Breathlessly Follows the Phagan Slaying Inquiry.

FATHER WEEPS SILENTLY

Jurors, Officials and Detectives Manifest Intense Interest in Replies of Witnesses.

In a small, crowded and smoke-filled room at police  headquarters, Coroner Donehoo on Thursday morning began what it is thought will be the last session of the jury impaneled to inquire into the death of Mary Phagan, strangled to death in the basement of the National Pencil Factory April 26.

The situation was tense and pregnant with possibilities. The fact that the investigation of the case is rapidly drawing to a close, coupled with the admissions of officials that new and important evidence would develop the examination of the witnesses to-day, brought out a large and curious crowd.

At one end of the long table, heaped with notebooks and typewriters, sat Coroner Donehoo, flanked on each side by members of the jury. At the foot of the table sat the newspaper reporters and the official stenographers, four in number. Facing Coroner Donehoo and the jury sat the witness. Ranged along the wall were curious spectators, relatives of the dead girl and friends of the witnesses. Long before the inquest was called every available chair in the room was taken, and late comers ensconced themselves on the window ledges.

Dorsey Takes Active Part.

Prominent among the spectators were the attorneys for Frank, Pinkerton and city detectives and county and State officials. Solicitor Hugh Dorsey sat just behind Coroner Donehoo, and took an active part in the questioning of the witnesses. While Mr. Dorsey asked no questions himself, several times he conferred with the Coroner on the best manner in which to examine the witnesses. Continue Reading →

Phagan Inquest in Session; Six Witnesses are Examined Before Adjournment to 2:30

Lemmie Quinn, foreman, who testified that he visited the factory and talked to Mr. Frank just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have left with her pay envelope. He was given a searching examination by the coroner Thursday, but stuck to his statement.

Lemmie Quinn, foreman, who testified that he visited the factory and talked to Mr. Frank just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have left with her pay envelope. He was given a searching examination by the coroner Thursday, but stuck to his statement.

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

Lemmie Quinn, the Factory Foreman, Was Put Through a Grilling Examination, but He Steadily Maintained That He Visited the Factory Shortly After the Time Mary Phagan is Supposed to Have Left With Her Pay Envelope

FRANK’S TREATMENT OF GIRLS IN FACTORY DESCRIBED AS UNIMPEACHABLE BY ONE YOUNG LADY EMPLOYEE

Mr. Frank’s Manner at the Time He Was Informed of the Tragedy by Officers at His Home on Sunday Morning is Told of by Former Policeman — Both Frank and the Negro Night Watchman Are Expected to Testify During Afternoon, When Inquest Will Be Concluded

The coroner’s inquest into the mysterious murder of Mary Phagan adjourned at 12:55 o’clock Thursday to meet again at 2:30. At the hour of adjournment, six witnesses had testified. They were “Boots” Rogers, former county policeman; Lemmie Quinn, foreman of the pencil factory; Miss Corinthia Hall, an employee of the factory; Miss Hattie Hall, stenographer; J. L. Watkins and Miss Daisy Jones. L. M. Frank and Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, were both present at headquarters during the morning session, but neither had been recalled to the stand when recess was ordered. Both are expected to testify during the afternoon, when an effort will be made to conclude the inquest and return a verdict.

Though put through a searching examination by the coroner in an effort to break down his statement that he had visited the factory on the day of the tragedy shortly after noon just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have received her pay envelope and left, Quinn stuck to his story. He declared that he had recalled his visit to Mr. Frank, and that Mr. Frank told him he was going to communicate the fact to his lawyers. Continue Reading →

Handwriting of Notes is Identified as Newt Lee’s

Handwriting of Notes is Identified as Newt Lee'sAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday April 30th, 1913

F. M. Berry, one of the most important witnesses of the afternoon, identified the handwriting on the notes found near Mary Phagan’s body as practically the same as that of Newt Lee, who wrote a test note for the detectives.

Mr. Berry said that he had been connected with the Fourth National Bank for 22 years and is at present assistant cashier. During these 22 years he said that he had studied handwriting continually. He was given both notes found by the body of the girl and was asked if they were written by the same person. He said they were.

He then was given another of other notes and asked to pick out the one written by the same person that had written the notes found by the body of the dead girl. He selected two and said that they had been written by the same person that had written those discovered beside the girl. Berry was dismissed and Detective Starnes called. Continue Reading →