Detective Harry Scott’s Hunch — Thrilling Story of How it Secured James Conley’s Confession

Caption reads: Detective Harry Scott (in Panama hat), of the Pinkertons, who played the hunch that Jim Conley, the negro, knew something of the girl’s murder. The accompanying figure is Detective John Black, of police headquarters, whose work in co-operation with the Pinkerton man did much to solve the crime. Great dependence will be put in their testimony at the coming trial of Leo Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan.

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 13, 1913

By Britt Craig.

Have you ever had a hunch that there wasn’t anybody around the table that held a higher hand than your Jacks over tens and consequently you shoved a ‘blue’ to the mahogany with the result that every hostile hand went to the discard?

Have you ever had a hunch that it was going to rain and you pulled in the rugs and took the clothes off the line and let down the windows just in time to see the elements express themselves in a downpour?

Have you ever had a hunch of any kind—one of those real, undeniable inner promptings that chases round and round in your bonnet and worries the life out of you and invariably forces you to do something that you really intended doing but about which you were sorely undecided?

If you’re human, you have.

Detective Harry Scott had one about Jim Conley, the negro sweeper in the Phagan mystery. It was one of those irresistible hunches that buzzes about like a June bug. He took it for its word with the result that he found the key that is predicted to unlock the secret of Atlanta’s most hideous murder.

Detectives are very normal beings. They have hunches like the weakest of us. They’re superstitious, too. You can’t find a single one that will walk under a ladder or fail to knock wood when he brags about himself.

A hunch is one of the most common of human afflictions. It is the very essence of a frailty that affects every normal somebody. The very fact that it is a weakness requires a nerve of steel and backbone of similar fortitude to play one to the limit like Detective Scott played his.

Good detectives, like genius, are utterly human. Genius frequently stalks about in its shirt sleeves without a shave and wearing suspenders. It has been known to chew tobacco and cuss volubly. Sometimes, it has a red nose and a thirst. It can sleep as contentedly on Decatur street as on Peachtree.

Detectives Very Human.

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Attempt by Colyar To Disbar Felder Is Halted; Tries Again

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 3, 1913

A petition filed Tuesday with the Clerk of the Superior Court by A. S. Colyar, Jr., asking for the disbarment of Colonel Thomas B. Felder from the practice of law in Georgia, has been withdrawn by Colyar on information that he first must submit his petition to the court for the determination of whether his grounds are sufficient to warrant an investigation and trial by jury.

Colyar said Wednesday he would apply for a rule nisi. Until this is done there can be no action on his petition. The petition includes as reasons for the disbarment of Colonel Felder the alleged irregular practices of which Colyar accused Colonel Felder in the sensational dictograph conversations furnished by Colyar to the police.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 3rd 1913, “Attempt by Colyar To Disbar Felder Is Halted; Tries Again,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

“No” Bill Is Returned Against A. S. Colyar

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Declines to Indict Colyar for Reply to Attack of Colonel Felder

[…]charging A. S. Colyar, of Nashville, with libel, the Fulton county grand jury at its session on Tuesda ymorning [sic] refused to indict the Tennessean, returning a “no bill” in the case. Mr. Colyar has been in the limelight recently as a principal in the sensational dictograph episode, and has been engaged in a heated controversy with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

The Tennessean was charged specifically with libelling Mr. Felder in a card published over his signature in The Journal of June 8, in which he excoriated the Atlanta lawyer.

The grand jury had the bill drawn of its own initiative, it is said, and considered it Tuesday morning. The only witness called before the grand jury was John Paschall, city editor of The Atlanta Journal.

In answer to questions of the grand jurors, Mr. Paschall stated that the card was furnished for publication by Mr. Colyar. Colyar has been given an opportunity to reply to an attack on his character, which Mr. Felder had embodied in a card, addressed to the editor of The Journal and which was published on the same day, the newspaper man told the jury in answer to further questions.

Attached to the bill, which was drawn against Mr. Colyar, was a copy of his card.

The grand jury was in session more than an hour considering the bill, before its decision not to return an indictment was reached.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “”No” Bill Is Returned Against A. S. Colyar,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Develops Sensational Sequel to Famous Dictograph Scandal.

A. S. Colyar, Jr., dictographer of Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones, was indicted by the Grand Jury on the charge of criminal libel Tuesday forenoon.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

Colonel Felder swore the records were padded. Largely on Colonel Felder’s representations, the indictment was procured. John Pascal, of The Journal, was the only witness called by the Grand Jury in considering Colyar’s case.

Chief of Detectives Lanford and Colonel Felder, indicted last week by the Grand Jury, obtained their freedom by making a $500 bond. It was expected that the same bond would be imposed upon Colyar.

Much of the time Tuesday was occupied by members of the Grand Jury in probing into police affairs. Without calling any witnesses, the scandal which has shaken the department was given serious consideration for nearly two hours. The result of the discussion was not made public.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

The Fulton County Grand Jury returned no bill against A. S. Colyar, Jr., Tuesday forenoon on the charge of criminal libel.  Colyar came into prominence a few weeks ago by dictographing Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones in Williams House No. 2.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Lanford and Felder Are Held for Libel

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 27, 1913

Grand Jury Indicts Lawyer and Head of Detectives for Attacks on Each Other.

Three indictments charging criminal libel were returned Friday by the Grand Jury against Colonel Thomas B. Felder, the Atlanta attorney, and Newport Lanford, Chief of Detectives, who accused each other of most everything in the category after the famous dictograph episode. There are two bills against Felder and one against Lanford.

The two men will be placed under bond and will be tried in the Fulton County courts under the misdemeanor act for unlawfully and maliciously accusing each other, according to the true bills.

The penalty for conviction of a misdemeanor is six months in the county jail, twelve months in the penitentiary, a fine not exceeding $1,000, either or all three.

Colonel Felder appeared at the Solicitor’s office about 2 o’clock and furnished the $500 bond required. Chief Lanford had not been located at that time, but was expected to do likewise.

The accusation against both men is based on recriminations issued against each other and published in the Sunday newspapers of May 25 and June 8.

In those statements Colonel Felder attacked Lanford bitterly, hurling a line of invectives that the greatest of the Roman orators might have envied. He attacked Lanford’s private and public character, accusing him of “hideous crimes.”

Lanford in Full Denial.

Continue Reading →

Lanford and Felder Indicted for Libel

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, June 28, 1913

Indictments Grew Out of the Dictagraph Episode and the Letters Which Followed.

Formal investigation into the invectives hurled between Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Detective Chief Newport Lanford resulted yesterday in indictments of criminal libel being returned by the grand jury against each of them for their cards and interviews in the daily papers in which they attacked each other’s character, after the dictagraph row.

Colonel Felder is held under two indictments on a bond of $500, while Chief Lanford has one indictment against him, and is free on the same bond.

The offenses charged against each are misdemeanors, and the punishment, in case of conviction, is six months in the county jail, twelve months in the penitentiary or a fine of not more than $1,000. It is in the discretion of the judge to impose any or all of these penalties after conviction.

In order to come clear at the trial it will be necessary for the man indicted for criminal libel to prove that the charges he made were true, and it is expected that the cases will develop into the most bitterly fought in the history of the Fulton courts.

Felder Will Not Talk.

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Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 11, 1913

Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford telegraphed Chief of Police Beavers in Washington, D. C., Wednesday morning to investigate the origin of the affidavit bearing the signature of George M. Gentry in connection with the dictograph plot.

The detective chief asked Chief Beavers to find Jeannette Henning, the notary in the national capital who swore Gentry to his statement, and ascertain if the stenographer signed the affidavit which was brought to Atlanta by Detective E. O. Miles. The telegram asked that a minute investigation of the statement be made and the conditions under which it was made be wired to him immediately.

Chief Lanford’s action was taken following his declaration that he did not believe the affidavit genuine. Lanford stated as his belief that the stenographer’s name had either been forged or that Gentry has been coerced into signing the document.

Police officials have also conducted a rigid investigation into the standing of Detective Miles. Miles, the investigation showed, is at the head of the Reed Detective Agency.

Thomas B. Felder was at one time one of the largest stockholders in the agency, Carl Hutcheson being also a stockholder and attorney. He it was who appeared before the Police Commission and urged that body to grant the permit from the agency’s operation in Atlanta.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 11th 1913, “Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Grand Jury Will Probe Affidavits About Dictagraph

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 12, 1913

Investigation of Charges and Counter Charges Will Begin at Early Date and Will Be Exhaustive One.

LANFORD SAYS GENTRY WILL DENY AFFIDAVIT

Affidavit Is Made Declaring Dictagraph Instrument Was Secured by Chief Lanford For Use in Phagan Case.

Following close on the heels of the publication of the George M. Gentry affidavit, in which the young stenographer states that his typewritten report of the dictagraph conversation was padded, and says that he left town after he had discovered that he had fallen in with a “crowd of crooks,” comes the assurance that the grand jury will at once make a searching probe of the detective department in an effort to establish the truth regarding the many charges and counter charges that have been afloat since the dictagraph sensation was sprung.

Members of the grand jury take the position that if the Gentry affidavit is true, it constitutes a stinging indictment of the detective department—an indictment which should not be allowed to stand longer than it will take to uncover the facts.

Records True, Says Lanford.

Chief of Detectives Lanford defends his department and his own personal connection with the sensation with the declaration that the dictagraph reports, as published, were absolutely correct, and that reports to the contrary are not only false, but will be proved untrue.

Impeiled by public sentiment the dictagraph incident created, it is authentically stated that the grand jury probe will be made at a very early date, and will be an exhaustive one.

While contradicted by Gentry’s affidavit and statements from the trio of dictagraph “victims”—Mayor Woodward, Colonel Felder and Charles Jones. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, stoutly maintas that the dictagraph notes were accurate and that there were no discrepancies whatever in the published copies. Continue Reading →

Dictograph Records Crooked, Says Gentry

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 11, 1913

NOTEBOOK WILL PROVE REPORTS WERE ‘PADDED,’ HE SAYS IN AFFIDAVIT

Young Stenographer, Who Made the Report of the Conversation in Room No. 31 Williams House, Voluntarily Makes Statement Before a Notary Public in the City of Washington D. C., Where He Is Employed.

ASSERTS THAT HE LEFT ATLANTA WHEN INFORMED OVER TELEPHONE HE MIGHT BE PUT UNDER ARREST

Swears That A. S. Colyar Has Made Effort to Purchase His Original Notes, Which Are Now in Possession of His Brotheró”Grand Jury Should Make an Investigation” Declares Mayor James G. Woodward.

The sworn charge that the dictagraph statements, alleged to have been made by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor James G. Woodward and Charles C. Jones, in Room No 31, Williams house, were “padded” was brought back to Atlanta last night by Ed O. Miles, a private detective, and turned over to Mayor Woodward.

The affidavit was composed and sworn to by George M. Gentry, the stenographer who took the dictagraph conversations. Detective Miles located Gentry in Washington, D. C., where he has been employed during the past two weeks. The affidavit was sworn to before Jeannette Henning, a notary public.

GENTRY WILLING TO RETURN WHENEVER HE IS NEEDED HERE.

“Gentry was willing to come back to Atlanta with me,” Detective Miles said last night. “He has promised to work out the remainder of the month, and has assured me that he will return at the end of that time, or earlier if he is wanted.”

Aside from the charge that his stenographic notes were “padded” by A. S. Colyar, and that he was paid $50 for the part he played in the dictagraph drama, Gentry says that he left Atlanta because he could not bear the humiliation which he knew he would suffer after he learned that his notes had been altered.

His affidavit bears out the statement made by Mayor Woodward, immediately after the publication of the dictagraph scandal, to the effect that he did not mention the names of Chief of Police James L. Beavers or Detective Chief Newport Lanford. Gentry also swears that a reporter called at his home after the publication of the dictagraph statements and informed him that warrants had been issued for the arrest of Colyar, Gay C. Febuary and himself (Gentry), and that he left the city upon being informed that he would not be allowed to give bond. Continue Reading →

Gentry Now Says Dictograph Record Was Tampered With

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 11th, 1913

Detective E. O. Miles Gives Out Affidavit From Young Stenographer Repudiating Transcript He Swore to

AFFIDAVIT OBTAINED IN WASHINGTON D. C.

G. C. Febuary Gives Out a Statement, Telling How Notes Were Transcribed and Affidavits Made

The accuracy of the now famous pictograph records of alleged conversations between Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward, C. C. Jones, E. O. Miles, G. C. Febuary and A. S. Colyar is attacked in an affidavit which E. O. Miles has turned over to Mayor Woodward and which he says he obtained from George M. Gentry, the young stenographer who took down the dictograph conversations.

This affidavit was made in Washington D. C., where Miles, one of the dictographed parties, who is a private detective, says he found Gentry. According to this affidavit, Gentry swears that a number of changes were made in the pictograph records after they were transcribed by him. The only specific change set out in the affdavit, however, is that the names of Police Chief Beavers and Detective Chief N. A. Lanford were written into the record of Mayor Woodward’s conversation by some one other than the stenographer.

In this affidavit Gentry explains his disappearance from the city by declaring that when he compared the published records with his stenographic notes he realized that he had been duped and did not care to face the humiliation which he anticipated would follow.

These dictographed records, duly sworn to by young Gentry and others, were published in The Journal, which declined to print these documents unless they were attested before a notary public. These records and affidavits are still in the possession of The Journal, and this paper has no knowledge concerning the alleged changes.

GENTRY READ PROOFS.

Young Gentry was permitted to use one of The Journal’s typewriters to transcribe his pictograph notes. He and Febuary were left alone in the news department Wednesday night, May 21, to do this work. They left a copy of the records in a desk drawer for The Journal. Early on the morning of May 23 Gentry furnished The Journal with an affidavit attesting the correctness of the records. Later he came to The Journal office with his notebook and read the proofs which compared with this shorthand notes, and in one or two places he made minor changes, as he said, to better conform to the original notes.

He was advised to preserve his notes so that in the event any question was raised as to their accuracy, he would have the stenographic record from which to make answer.

The Journal does not undertake to say whether there are or are not discrepancies in the transcribed records compared to the shorthand notes. It has simply relied upon the sworn records and statements furnished by Gentry and others, which records and statements, as stated above, are still in the possession of The Journal and in exactly the same condition as they were when turned over to this paper by Gentry, February and others. Continue Reading →

Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8, 1913

Declares That He Has Never Seen Gentry But Once in His Life.

“Tom Felder is a contemptible liar,” blazed Chief Lanford last night when informed of the contents of Colonel Felder’s letter directed to him through The Constitution. “I never saw this Gentry but once in my life, and that was before this dictagraph exposure ever happened. I have never seen him since.

“Gentry telephoned police headquarters Saturday, a week ago, however, and asked for Febuary, my secretary. Febuary happened not to be in at the time. I answered the telephone. Gentry wanted to know if a warrant was out against him. I told him I did not think there was, and that he had done nothing for which a warrant could be issued against him.

“I informed him that if a warrant was served on him, for him to notify me and I would help him out of his trouble. That was the last I heard of him until he left town. I did not have a thing to do with his departure. I have been trying to locate him, and wish I did know his whereabouts. I would bring him back to Atlanta and show by him that the charges that the dictagraph notes were padded is a lie from beginning to end.

“Felder’s row is hoed—he’s at his rope’s end. Give him rope enough and he’ll hang himself. He’s doing it now.”

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Atlanta Constitution, June 8th 1913, “Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Felder Makes Answer to Dictagraph Episode

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Well-Known Attorney Writes Four Cards Covering All the Phases of Situation and Answering All Charges.

DICTAGRAPH TRAP JUST “FRAME-UP,” HE SAYS

Col. Felder Asserts George Gentry, Who Took Down the Stenographic Notes, Will Return and Expose the Deal.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder has written four cards—to Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Chief of Police Beavers, James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, and Foster Coates, manager of The Georgian—all bearing on the late pictograph incident which was published in the three papers of Atlanta. He states the whole thing was a “frame-up” from beginning to end and says he will produce proofs of his statements. He says Gentry, who took down the stenographic notes, will return to Atlanta and tell the truth about the whole deal.

In his card to Newport Lanford, Colonel Felder brands him as a crook and applies to him various epithets.

The letters follow:

Apologizes to The Public.

[The letters to Newport Lanford, James Beavers and James Gray have been published on this website previously from the Atlanta Journal. Below is the continuation of this article with the letter to Foster Coates, newly published — Ed.]

Letter to Mr. Coates.

Atlanta, Ga., June 7, 1913.—Mr. Foster Coates, Manager of The Georgian, Atlanta, Ga.—Dear Sir: My acquaintance with you is very limited. It covers a period of but a few months, and, as I now recall, I have never conversed with you on more than half a dozen occasions. I have no claims upon you, either personally or professionally, except the claim that one gentleman has upon another—to decent and fair treatment. This has been accorded me by the newspaper whose policies you control and direct in Atlanta. Continue Reading →

Three Open Letters Given Out Saturday by Thos. B. Felder

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

In One of These Letters He Reopens His Controversy With A. S. Colyar About the Dictograph Episode

SAYS LANFORD CONSPIRED TO TAKE HIM TO S. C.

He Also Makes Another Personal Attack Upon Detective Chief—Declares Beavers Is Unfitted for His Office

Thomas B. Felder, the attorney who was dictographed by the city detectives, Saturday afternoon gave out open letters addressed to James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, Chief of Police James L. Beavers, and Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford. These letters purported to be an exposure of what Mr. Felder has characterized as the dictograph frame up. The letter addressed to James R. Gray is largely an attack upon A. S. Colyar, the man who assisted the city detectives in dictographing Mr. Felder. In the letter to Chief Beavers, Mr. Felder declares that he has never charged the chief with being corrupt, but states that he regards him as unfitted for the office of chief of police. In the letter to Chief of Detectives Lanford, Mr. Felder again attacks that official’s character and charges that he is in a conspiracy with Governor Cole Blease, of South Carolina, to kidnap Felder and carry him across the state line.

The communications as given out by Mr. Felder follow in full: Continue Reading →

Probe of Grand Jury Goes Over One Week

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Only Routine Matters Up Tuesday—Dictograph Controversy Not Considered

It will be week after next before the Fulton county grand jury resumes its investigation of the vice situation in Atlanta, if any further investigation is to be made at all.

This was made plain Friday afternoon by Foreman Lewis H. Beck, who stated that Solicitor Dorsey had advised the grand jury that he had sufficient routine works ahead to engage its attention for at least three days next week.

Mr. Beck feels that three days a week is sufficient to ask the members of the jury to give from their business affairs unless matters of very pressing importance demanded attention. The grand jury will meet next Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, and will consider the business which Solicitor Dorsey has in hand.

MAY PROBE FURTHER.

No agreement has been reached as to whether the vice probe would be resumed week after next. “We have gone pretty far already,” said Mr. Beck, “but it is possible that there may be some further inquiry which we will desire to make.”

The members of the grand jury apparently do not see much in the dictograph episode to justify their attention. They are inclined to regard it more in the nature of a newspaper controversy than anything else. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury May Drop Vice Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Foreman Beck De[c]lines to Talk of Probable Action of Jury—Felder to Issue a Public Statement.

“The grand jury has finished its questioning of witnesses with its adjournment, and unless members of the jury should desire that those of the several witnesses summoned, who have not been heard, should be brought before them, there is nothing more to do.” This was the statement made yesterday by L. H. Beck, foreman of the grand jury, which adjourned at 2 o’clock after a three-day probe in vice conditions in Atlanta.

Foreman Beck stated that the body would meet again Tuesday, but at the instance of the solicitor, and to take up the criminal business which the present probe and the lengthy examination preceding the indictment of Leo M. Frank had greatly delayed.

Asked as to the nature of the action that the grand jury would take in regard to the results of its vice probe, the foreman replied that he was not in a position to state this.

“We have tried to follow the words of Judge W. D. Ellis, who requested this jury to look into alleged vice conditions here,” he replied, “and whether we make definite indictments against offenders, or take action by giving a general report to a judge of the superior court, is something that has not been determined.”

Lanford Makes Statement.

Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, was the first witness to be called Thursday morning. According to his statement the grand jury members questioned him about conditions here principally, although they also asked him in regard to the pictograph affair, and also asked why there was a bitterness between him and Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

A. L. Collar, Jr., who sprung into prominence as a result of the recent dictagraph row, and who is now under arrest on forgery charges in Knoxville, was next called before the grand jury. With Collar and G. C. February, secretary to Chief James L. Beavers, the grand jury closed its examination and hearing of testimony. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Probe of Vice Conditions Finished Thursday

grand-jury-probeAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Jury Adjourned Until Next Tuesday Without Drawing Any Bills—Inquiry Not Likely to Be Resumed, It Is Said

LANFORD TELLS JURY OF COL. FELDER’S ENMITY

Declares It Dates Back to Case He Made Against Charlie Jones and Was Accentuated by Dictograph Episode

The most interesting testimony given to the Fulton county grand jury Thursday was that of Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, who a few minutes before he was called to the stand had engaged in a near-fight with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

Chief Lanford is himself authority for what transpired in the grand jury room, where he remained in the neighborhood of a half hour.

“I was questioned principally about vice conditions,” he said, “although a number of questions were asked me concerning the dictographing of Felder and others.”

“Some of the grand jurymen inquired why Felder seemed so bitter toward me. I told them that as far as I knew his feeling toward me dated back several years ago when I made a case against Charlie C. Jones for operating a disorderly house on Jenkins street. Felder was Jones’ attorney in that case.

“I also expressed the opinion that his bitterness had perhaps increased since I made public the dictograph records and certain affidavits showing that he was not duly employed in the Phagan case, and that he was no doubt further embittered by reason of the fact that these publications put a stop to his collection of public subscriptions with which to employ Burns detectives. Continue Reading →

Jury Will Probe Dictagraph Row

jury-willAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

A. L. [sic] Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary Summoned at Request of Chief Lanford

An investigation of the separate phases of the row resulting from the dictagraph traps laid by city detectives for Attorney Thomas B. Felder and Mayor James G. Woodward is believed to be forecast on the grand jury by the summoning before it of A. L. Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary. All these men played an important part of the performance and were summoned it is claimed at the request made by N. A. Lanford, chief of the detective department.

One of the most startling features of the afternoon session was the probing into the affairs of Police Commissioner William P. Fain. Allen Young, a real estate dealer, was put upon the stand and is said to have been asked to furnish proof in regard to the revelations in which Fain was said to have been the central figure in a carousal in an Ivy street house.

Whipping Charge Answered.

It is claimed that Fain also mistreated one of the women most brutally and that when the police answered the women’s screams and raided the place they arrested Fain, who was later given his liberty by order of higher police officials.

Mr. Fain made the following statement to a Constitution reporter:

“In answer to the charges which appeared against me in an afternoon paper, I beg to say in justice to my friends and the public that I am not in the least surprised at any accusations that have been or may be brought against me or any other city official who is publicly known as a strong supporter of James L. Beavers, chief of police and his administration of the police department.”

As the main issue was directed at him and his department, it is but natural that the same muckrakers would also attack his supporters with the hope of at least sway in public opinion to suit their ends regardless of the cost to others. Continue Reading →

Challenges Felder to Prove His Charge

challenges-felder-to-proveAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Attorney Reiterates Graft Accusations Following Lanford’s Defiance—Offers More Proof.

Newport A. Lanford, Chief of Detectives, issued a statement Thursday morning defying Colonel Thomas B. Felder, or anyone, to substantiate the charge of graft made against him and his department in the Grand Jury’s probe of vice conditions and alleged corruption in the detective and police departments.

“I defy Felder, or anyone, to prove to the Grand Jury that a penny of graft has ever gone into the detective department, and I defy him to substantiate one of his blackmailing utterances against me. He can’t do it, and he knows he can’t.”

Colonel Felder, in turn, reiterated Thursday morning every charge of corruption he has made against Chief Lanford and his detectives. He said he had presented a great amount of evidence along this line to the Grand Jury and was in readiness to present more when that body called him at its session to-day.

“Opens Grand Jury’s Eyes.”

“I have given the Grand Jury a great number of facts in this matter and I think they are beginning to see things about like a great many people in Atlanta see them.”

“In next Sunday’s issues of the Atlanta papers I will issue a statement setting forth in full the foundation for every statement I have made and showing the people how corrupt their Chief of Detectives really is. I will not comment here on how great a failure he is as a detective. When William J. Burns reads of some of his marvelous deductions in the Phagan case, the great detective will bow his head in shame and pronounce himself a timid amateur. Continue Reading →

Fain Named in Vice Quiz as Resort Visitor

Mayor James G. Woodward (left), leaving Grand Jury room after testifying in vice probe; Thomas B. Felder (middle), who exonerates Beavers of graft charges but declares war on Lanford; Carl Hutcheson (right), who gave Grand Jury list of "houses in our midst."

Mayor James G. Woodward (left), leaving Grand Jury room after testifying in vice probe; Thomas B. Felder (middle), who exonerates Beavers of graft charges but declares war on Lanford; Carl Hutcheson (right), who gave Grand Jury list of “houses in our midst.”

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

Police Commissioner Accused Before Grand Jury of Brawl in Disorderly House.

As a climax of revelations made before the Grand Jury in its probe of vice conditions in Atlanta, Police Commissioner William F. Fain was named as the central figure in a carousal said to have been held in a house on Ivy Street some months ago, according to evidence presented at the Wednesday afternoon session.

Mr. Fain was also accused of brutally treating one of the women in the party. When the police answered the woman’s screams and raided the place, it was said that Fain was arrested, but was immediately released by order of a man high up in police circles.

This startling information was given the Grand Jury by a real estate operator and friend of Fain’s who was summoned by the tribunal to give testimony.

Whisky For Resorts.

Before the witness left the hearing, it is declared that he laid bare one of the most sensational stories of vice ever brought to light in this city. That the Grand Jury will probably probe to the bottom of it, and that its veracity will be given the acid test before any action is taken is assured.

Another witness at the afternoon hearing was J. E. Skags, agent for the Southern Express Company. Mr. Skags was asked to testify as to shipments of whisky and other liquors into Atlanta to places of ill-fame.

Chief Beavers also was called before the Grand Jury during the afternoon session. The police official is declared to have told the jurors that to his knowledge Atlanta was better morally at this time than ever before. The chief will be called again later in the investigation.

Chief Beavers Cleared.

Elimination of Chief of Police Beavers from all charges of graft and corruption in the Police Department, made by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, marked the second day’s probe by the Fulton County Grand Jury.

Colonel Felder made this distinction to Chief Beavers personally, and in so doing renewed his accusations against Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford.

At the same time it was said evidence of corruption money being paid to the police had been given the Grand Jury. Continue Reading →