Victim of Murder Prepared to Die, Believes Dorsey

Victim of Murder Prepared

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

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, May 15th, 1913

Identification Slip Carried by Mary Phagan in Her Pocketbook Causes Theory That the Victim Had Been Threatened With Violence.

Either threatened with death or warned by some dread premonition of an untimely end, Mary Phagan is believed by Solicitor Dorsey to have prepared for her tragic fate by writing the identification slip discovered hidden in a compartment of the metal pocketbook which she carried daily.

The slip was given the solicitor Wednesday morning by a reporter for The Constitution. The reporter also made an authorized statement of the source from which it was obtained. It was given him by J. W. Coleman, step-father of the girl victim.

The slip was written six days before the murder. Her parents have never known her to have possessed such an article. Its presence in her pocketbook is said by them to be as mysterious as her death. Mr. Dorsey values it highly.

Bases New Theory On the Slip.

On it he already has based a plausible theory. Members of his staff have been assigned to investigation of the motive which impelled the slain girl to strive so thoroughly, as she endeavored in the mysterious slip, to establish her identification in case of emergency. Continue Reading →

Caught Frank With Girl in Park, He Says

Caught Frank With Girl in Park

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

Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, May 11th, 1913

Robert T. House, a Special Policeman, Gives New Evidence to City Detectives.

In the evidence obtained Saturday in the Mary Phagan case, one piece that the detectives regard as the most important bore on Frank’s alleged conduct when he was in company with a young girl in Druid Hills Park.

The new evidence came from Robert F. House, a special policeman, who is in the employ of the Druid Hills Land Company. House declared that he had ejected a man from the park at one time from whom he obtained damaging admissions.

House visited the county jail and was taken to the cell of Frank. He identified Frank as the man whom he sent from the park. House told the officers that since reading of the Phagan murder he had recalled that the man he ejected from the park told him that he was superintendent of the National Pencil Company.

Came Frequently to Park.

The park guard related that the incident to which he referred occurred more than a year ago. He said that he had noticed the man come frequently to the park with the girl. When they appeared one afternoon shortly after 2 o’clock, he said he was determined to shadow them. He followed them and then suddenly surprised them by jumping into view. Continue Reading →

Guard of Secrecy is Thrown About Phagan Search by Solicitor

Guard of Secrecy is Thrown About Phagan Search by Solicitor

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 10th, 1913

Names of Witnesses Withheld by Dorsey to Prevent “Manufacturers of Public Opinion” Getting in Touch with Them—Satisfied with Progress.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey declared Saturday afternoon that he was very well satisfied with the progress made in the investigation of the Phagan murder mystery and made the significant remark that he would not reveal the names of new witnesses so that manufacturers of public opinion could not get to them.

The Solicitor held a conference with Dr. H. F. Harris, of the State Board of Health, who examined the girl’s body. Dr. Harris said he would rush his report in time for presentation to the Grand Jury when that body takes up the mystery next week. The Solicitor would not reveal just what the physician has learned so far.

The examination of the bloodstained shirt in the back yard of Newt Lee’s home was also continued, and the Solicitor was far from convinced that its significance had been rightly determined.

Mr. Dorsey worked all day Saturday on the case and announced that he would continue all of Sunday so that he could present his evidence to the Grand Jury as early as possible next week.

Confers With City Sleuths

A conference was held with the city detectives, who are working in co-operation with the State, but none of the details could be learned. Strict secrecy is being maintained regarding new developments. Continue Reading →

Stains on Shirt Were Not Made While Shirt Was Being Worn

Stains on Shirt Were Not Made While Shirt Was Being Worn

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

A number of new witnesses had been summoned for the inquest, and the indications were said to be that the session (promised as final in the coroner’s investigation) might last all day.

It became known, before the inquest convened, that several witnesses whom the detectives have discovered would not be introduced there at all. The evidence that they can furnish, whatever it may be, will not become public until some later time, it was said.

It was stated further Thursday morning that the report by Dr. Claude A. Smith, city bacteriologist, upon the analysis by him of stains upon the shirt supposed to have been found at the house of Newt Lee, the negro, had been mailed to Chief of Police Beavers late Wednesday afternoon. The report set forth, it was said, that the stains are not old, and that probably they are stains of human blood. Continue Reading →

Stains of Blood on Shirt Fresh, Says Dr. Smith

Stains of Blood on Shirt Fresh

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

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

City Bacteriologist Makes His Report After Examination of Garment of Negro Which Was Found in Trash Barrel.

LEE’S CELLMATE MAY TESTIFY AT INQUEST

Witness Spent 24 Hours in Same Cell With Phagan Prisoner — Body of Girl Exhumed for Second Time.

DAY’S DEVELOPMENTS IN PHAGAN MYSTERY

Dr. Claude Smith, city bacteriologist, completes examination of negro’s blood-stained shirt, and finds that the blood stains are new.

Body of Mary Phagan was exhumed shortly after noon on Wednesday for the purpose of making a second examination.

Mrs. Mattie Smith, wife of one of the mechanics who were last men to leave pencil factory, tells detectives that shortly before 1 o’clock, when she left the building, she saw strange negro near elevator.

Bill Bailey, negro convict who was placed in cell with Newt Lee for twenty-four hours, now at liberty, and will probably be called upon at inquest today to testify.

Leo Frank will be placed upon the stand again today at 9:30 o’clock, when the coroner’s inquest is resumed.

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey holds a long conference in cell with Newt Lee, but declines to tell what passed.

Detectives announce they are searching for a Greek, who is now believed to be in Alabama.

Chief Lanford declares that somebody is blocking Phagan investigation, silencing witnesses, and “planting” evidence.

The report of Dr. Claude A. Smith’s analysis of the bloodstains on the shirt found in the home of Newt Lee, who is held in connection with the Mary Phagan murder, has been submitted to the detective department. It reveals that the stains were caused by human blood, not more than a month old. Continue Reading →

Phagan Girl’s Body Again Exhumed for Finger-Print Clews

Phagan Girl's Body Again Exhumed

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Third Time Unfortunate Victim’s Remains Have Been Exhumed—Dorsey Says Officials Are Not Looking for Finger Prints, but Other Clews.

The body of Mary Phagan was exhumed early Wednesday for the second time in two days.

The unofficial explanation is that the exhumation is made for the purpose of making a microscopic and minute examination of every wound on the body for finger prints and other clews as well.

Solicitor Dorsey let it be known that the police are not working on the idea that the finger prints would be helpful in solving the mystery, if indeed there are any finger prints to be found, as the body has been embalmed and has been handled by many persons since it was first discovered in the basement of the pencil factory.

Nevertheless, it may be safely said that a microscopital [sic] examination will be made of every mark on the body.

It was reported before the departure was made for Marietta that a Bertillon expert had been engaged and that if any finger prints were found, photographs would be taken and the most careful measurements made for the purpose of comparison. Continue Reading →

Employe of Lunch Stand Near Pencil Factory is Trailed to Alabama

Employe of Lunch Stand Near Pencil Factory isAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Detectives Figure Strangling Was a Typical Mediterranean Crime—Solicitor Dorsey Grills Watchman Lee in Effort to Get New Points.

A new and sensational interpretation was given the Phagan mystery Wednesday afternoon when it was revealed that Pinkerton detectives are trailing a Greek now missing who was employed in a restaurant near the National Pencil factory before the crime was committed.

The reasons that the city detectives give for the adoption of the new theory are:

The slaying of Mary Phagan was not a negro crime, as the only negro who has been suspected in the case, Newt Lee, would have fled from the scene.

The notes which were left with the evident intention of diverting suspicion from the actual criminal were too subtle for Lee to have framed.

Strangulation, the method by which Mary Phagan was killed, is not a negro method of killing.

But this method is typical of the Mediterranean countries.

Working along these new lines, the detectives are of the opinion that the crime was not committed inside the National Pencil Factory. They believe that the girl was attacked outside the factory and that her body was taken inside with the intention of hiding it ultimately in the furnace, although the body never reached there. Continue Reading →