First Two Days of Frank Trial Only Skirmishes Before Battle

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

Atlanta Constitution
July 30th, 1913

During the two days’ progress of the Frank trial public interest has centered around the case and all eyes seemed turned to it. To date, the interest has really been in watching the struggle between the skilled attorneys who are fighting for position and whose clashes over the preliminary witnesses are merely the skirmishes of the pickets before two mighty armies come together.

Thus far the interest, while to a certain extent centered on the maneuvering, has been mostly of the future tense. Every one is looking forward to what is to come. A fierce skirmish that almost engaged the two sides in real and earnest conflict came over the cross-examination of Newt Lee, and in it the state won. It was rather through the rare character of the negro testifying and his unbreakable spirit that the state won its first skirmish than through the efforts of its lawyers.

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Many Experts to Take Stand in Frank Trial

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, June 29, 1913

Great Array of Finger-Print and Blood-Stain Students Will Give Their Views.

The trial of Leo M. Frank will bring forth the most prominent array of criminal and medical experts ever grouped in a Southern court room.

This became known Saturday when Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey began making preparations to have the skilled investigators who have worked in the Phagan case return to Atlanta for the trial, July 28.

The defense has not been idle and is prepared to have an expert on almost every conceivable angle to introduce in rebuttal.

Fingerprint experts were brought into the case almost immediately after it was taken from the hands of the police by Solicitor Dorsey. One of the most prominent of these, who has figured in solving many New York mysteries, was the first to be brought South. He spent several days in a minute investigation of the scene of the crime, articles of clothing and the fingerprints of every suspect in the case. Other experts in the same line followed him.

Solicitor Dorsey did not trust wholly to the examination of Dr. Hurt, the Coroner’s physician, who could not qualify as an expert in the Appelbaum trial, but sent with him some of the most prominent of the Atlanta medical men.

Blood Stains Important.

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Here is Testimony of Witnesses Given at the Final Session of Coroner’s Jury in Phagan Case

Here is Testimony of Witnesses Given at the Final Session of Coroner's Jury

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 9th, 1913

Full Story of Hearing Thursday Afternoon When Frank, Newt Lee, Detectives Black and Scott and Several Character Witnesses Were Placed on the Stand

The verdict of the coroner’s jury that Mary Phagan came to her death by strangulation and its recommendation that both Mr. Frank and Lee be held for investigation by the grand jury was rendered at 6:30 o’clock Thursday afternoon and marked by the conclusion of one of the most remarkable inquests ever held in this state.

Deputy Plennis Minor carried the news of the coroner’s jury verdict to Mr. Frank and to the negro. Mr. Frank was in the hallway of the Tower, reading an afternoon paper, when the deputy approached him and told him that the jury had ordered him and the negro held for an investigation by the grand jury.

“Well, it’s no more than I expected at this time,” Mr. Frank told the deputy. Beyond this he made no comment.

Newt Lee, says Mr. Minor, was visibly affected. He seemed very much depressed and hung his head in a dejected manner.

The jury was empaneled by Coroner Paul Donehoo on Monday, April 28, and has held four long and tedious sessions for the taking of testimony in addition to meeting to inspect the body and the scene of the crime. Twice the body of Mary Phagan was exhumed at the order of the coroner, in order that physicians might search more thoroughly for clues and evidence. 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.


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 →

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 →