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 →

Frank’s Trial Set For Next Monday

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Indications Are Case Will Begin on That Day—Jury Panel Not Yet Drawn by Judge Roan.

The trial of Leo M Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, now under indictment for the murder of Mary Phagan on April 26 in the factory, has been definitely set for next Monday. This was the announcement of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey last night after he had been working upon the court calendar for the coming week.

Solicitor Dorsey announced Sunday upon his arrival from New York city where he had spent the past two weeks that he intended to set the case for that date unless something unforeseen should come up. While he did not complete his calendar on Monday, he reached the Frank case and placed it definitely upon the docket.

The defense has indicated that it is ready to go [to] trial and it appears now that the case will actually be taken up on that day. Should it be postponed, it will be after a showing has been made in open court and a postponement granted by Judge L. S. Roan presiding in the criminal division of the superior court where Frank’s fate will be decided.

Panel Not Yet Drawn

The panel of venireman from which the jury to try Frank will be selected is expected to be drawn some time today or Wednesday. This is the duty of Judge Roan. It was rumored that the panel would be drawn from the jury list Monday afternoon, but this was not done. The list of prospective jurymen will not be made public after the drawing and only after their names are called when the trial has started and the task of picking the jury is begun will it be officially known who are the men who compose it.

It is expected that a special venire will be drawn containing the names of about 150 citizens as it is expected that many names will be stricken off the list before lawyers for the state and the defense are finally satisfied. Continue Reading →

State Ready for Frank Trial on June 30

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 23, 1913

Defense Has Announced Its Case Is Complete and Judge Roan Is Free.

Prosecuting Attorney Hugh M. Dorsey announced for the State Monday morning that the trial of Leo M. Frank would be placed on the calendar for the week of June 30.

The defense had announced that its case was completed and no continuance would be asked unless some unforeseen contingency arose.

The trial judge, L. S. Roan, will have the most to say about the date for the trial. He intimated he would be ready on this date and would personally make no move for a continuance. He said, however, that in the event of it being impossible to open the trial June 30, he would be at leisure between July 14 and 28, and it is not improbable the trial may be advanced to that date.

Dorsey Back From East.

Solicitor Dorsey returned to Atlanta Sunday afternoon from a week’s vacation in New York. He called a conference with his assistants, E. A. Stephens and F. A. Hooper, at his home Sunday evening. Following it he announced that he would be ready for trial on June 30 and that unless the defense or the trial judge moved to have the trial postponed he would commence at once summoning witnesses and getting ready. Continue Reading →

Leo M. Frank’s Trial June 30, Says Dorsey

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Monday, June 23, 1913

Solicitor General Hears Report That John Moore Will Assist in the Defense.

“Unless something now turns up of which I have no knowledge at present, I will set Leo Frank’s trial for June 30,” said Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey yesterday on his return from a week’s stay in New York city.

While the solicitor’s announcement has set at rest the rumors that the state would wait and set the trial for July 14 or 28, it does not necessarily mean that the trial will actually be held on that date, as the defense may desire to postpone it and make a showing to the court that would alow [sic] such a postponement. It means at least that the trial will come off at an early date.

“I have talked with Colonel Stephens,” added the solicitor, referring to E. A. Stephens, his assistant, “and there is apparently nothing new in the case, and from all that I know the state is ready to go to trial.

Has Moore Entered Case?

“I see that Reuben Arnold and John Moore have entered the case for the defense since I left,” said the solicitor. Continue Reading →

Mrs. Formby Here for Phagan Trial

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, June 19, 1913

Woman Declares She Will Appear in Court and Will Corroborate Sensational Affidavit to Police.

Mima [sic] Formby, the rooming housekeeper of 400 Piedmont avenue, who made the affidavit declaring that Leo Frank had telephoned her on the night of Mary Phagan’s murder in an endeavor to rent a room to which he could bring a girl, has returned to Atlanta after a disappearance of several weeks.

To a reporter for The Constitution she stated yesterday afternoon that she intended remaining in the city until time of the Phagan trial and that she would appear before the court and deliver testimony corroborating the sensational affidavit to which she has attested.

Why She Left City.

Mrs. Formby’s recent disappearance created considerable mystery. The police of several different cities were notified to be on the lookout for her, and while the police and detective bureau of Atlanta scoured the city, widespread efforts were made to locate her by the solicitor general’s office.

She declares that she was persuaded by no one to leave town, and that her departure was of her own accord. She had gone away, she said, to avoid notoriety which was incurred by her affidavit, and to remain out of the city until the sensation subsided. She visited Chattanooga, Bristol and Sulphur Springs, Tenn., while on the trip, she said.

Chief Lanford said Wednesday afternoon that he expected the woman’s return and had felt no fears of her absence at time of trial.

Says Frank Wanted Room.

Mrs. Formby’s affidavit was one of the most sensational obtained by the detectives, excepting, of course, the James Conley statement. She swore that on the night of April 26 Leo Frank had telephoned her frequently between the hours of 6:30 and 10 o’clock in an effort to get a room to which he could bring a girl.

She testified that he even declared it was a matter of life and death, and that he even threatened her life when she refused to rent him an apartment. He telephoned her six times, she stated, and finally she was rid of him only after she had told him she was leaving her home on an automobile ride.

Mrs. Formby has returned to her home at the Piedmont avenue address. Continue Reading →

Will Reuben R. Arnold Aid Frank’s Defense?

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 18, 1913

Mr. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser Both Decline to Discuss Report Circulated

The rumor that Reuben R. Arnold, famous Georgia lawyer, will be associated with the defense of Leo M. Frank, indicted for the Mary Phagan murder, is persistent.

Luther Z. Rosser, who has been retained in the case since Frank was first arrested, refused to deny or affirm the rumor. It is intimated, however, that negotiations are not complete as yet.

Mr. Arnold himself, when questioned about the rumor, refused to discuss it in any way, and his silence has added weight to the report that he will be in the case.

With Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold leading the defense of Frank one of the greatest legal battles in a criminal case in the history of the south is promised. Mr. Arnold and Mr. Rosser have been pitted against each other in the famous McNaughton-Flanders case and in other well known trials, and each time they met there was a legal battle royal. With the two famous lawyers together, a hard and brilliant fight is certain to be given Hugh M. Dorsey, and Frank A. Hooper, the experienced prosecutor who has been engaged to assist the state in the case.

Despite the entry of Mr. Arnold there is said to be little chance that Solicitor Dorsey will have assistance other than that of Mr. Hooper.


Mr. Arnold during the past several weeks has been engaged in the trial before an auditor of the famous Crawford will case. He is said to have closely followed the many developments in the Phagan murder investigation, however, and if he enters the trial, it will not mean necessarily that a postmentment [sic] will be asked by the defense, although it will make a postponement of the trial more probable.

The calendar for the criminal division of the superior court for the week commencing June 23 has been made up and published by E. A. Stephens, the assistant solicitor general.

The calendar for the week commencing June 30 will not be made up until the return next Sunday of Solicitor General Dorsey from Atlantic City, according to Mr. Stephens, who states that as yet he is not certain that the[…]

(Continued on Page Six, Col. 5.)


(Continued From Page 1.)

[…]superior court will be in session on that date.

It is said that there is sufficient business of a routine nature pending before the court to occupy it not only during the week of June 23, but through the week of June 30 as well. It is known, however, although there has been no definite announcement, that it is the intention of Solicitor General Dorsey to bring the case against Leo M. Frank to trial on June 30, if possible. Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who will assist Mr. Dorsey in the case, has declared that the state is ready to go to trial at once, and he intimates that efforts to push the trial will be made.


As a result of the attitude of the state’s officials, speculation over the case turns to the defense. Will Attorney Luther Z. Rosser announce ready, if the case is called Monday week?

Mr. Rosser will not discuss the matter. It is known that he has been engaged in the courts in trial of various civil cases practically since the time of Frank’s indictment, and for that reason it is said that he probably would want a postponement of the case.

However, it is known also that regardless of the amount of work he has on hand, Mr. Rosser seldom asks for the postponement of a trial. In fact, he is more often found announcing “ready” than are the majority of other attorneys in Atlanta.


If an effort is made to postpone the case at all, it is said that it will be to postpone it until early fall.

The courts generally take a vacation during the months of July and August, and the trial of Mrs. Daisy Grace last July demonstrated the general unpleasantness of a big criminal trial during the summer.

Last year during the Grace trial it was so stifling and hot in the poorly ventilated criminal court room on the fourth floor of the Thrower building, that it was generally considered dangerous to the health of those engaged in the case and of the spectators who thronged there, to hold the trial in the room.

As a result it is probable that the scene of activity will probably be transferred to the old city hall, if the Frank case does come to trial in June. All of the civil courts will not be in session in the first week in July, and one of those rooms probably will be utilized.

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The Atlanta Journal, June 18th 1913, “Will Reuben R. Arnold Aid Frank’s Defense?,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Rush Plans for Trial of Leo Frank

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 18, 1913

Extensive Preparations Made to Accommodate Great Crowd Expected at Hearing.

When twelve books of evidence of more than 100 pages each were turned over to the Solicitor’s office Wednesday morning by his stenographers, Assistant Solicitor General E. A. Stephens announced the State could now go to trial on 48 hours’ notice. No evidence would be introduced, he said, except by witnesses who had already been questioned by the Solicitor.

To bring out the salient points in the evidence of each witness, the Solicitor plans to question them from the books. They will be carried over the same ground they were when they made the statements, and they will be asked no questions further than those they have already answered.

By his plan the Solicitor hopes to have the mind of each witness fresh and after he finishes the examination, according to his well arranged books of questions and answers, he thinks the defense will have difficulty in injuring the evidence on cross-examination.

Rush Plans.

Plans are being rushed to stage the trial. On account of the poor ventilation of the court room and the absence of ante-rooms to accommodate the scores of witnesses who will in all probability be sequestered, the court in the Thrower Building had been adjudged inadequate by Judge L. S. Roan and Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey.

Before leaving for New York he instructed his deputy to discuss with Judge Roan some new place to hold the trial where the large crowd could be accommodated and the heat would not be so excessive. The county board will be called upon to furnish a place and Mr. Dorsey will approve the selection when he returns from New York Saturday.

All plans for the trial will be completed before Saturday and the greater number of witnesses summoned. The week before June 30 the Superior Court officers will be busy with a mass of unimportant criminal cases. They will be unable to spare any time to prepare for the Frank trial and the necessary arrangements will have to be made this week.

Judge Thomas May Preside.

Judge W. C. Thomas, of the Superior Court, Valdosta, Lowndes County, was in a lengthy conference Wednesday with Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stephens, giving rise to the rumor that he might be asked to preside at the Frank trial, which will be called June 30.

Judge Thomas has presided at several other trials in Fulton County in which there was considerable local feeling, one of the most notable being the jail bond case. Judge L. S. Roan was to have presided at the Frank trial, but it is supposed that the intense local interest in the murder mystery will make him willing to turn the case over to an outside judge if the Solicitor’s office suggests the move.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 18th 1913, “Rush Plans for Trial of Leo Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)