Grim Justice Pursues Mary Phagan’s Slayer

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 20, 1913

As Famous Murder Case Nears Trial the Public Mind Again Reverts to the Discovery of the Crime; and Again the Great Question Comes Up:

“What Happened in the Pencil Factory Between Noon Saturday and 3:15 Sunday Morning?”

By Britt Craig.

Automobile in which detectives and newspaper men went to the scene of the murder. In the machine are Detective Starnes, Harry Scott, W. W. (Boots) Rogers and John Black.

There are things that happen right before our eyes that defy the pen of a god to describe. The mind of a master would find itself lamentably incompetent, and the words of a Demosthenes would become panic-stricken in the attempt.

One of these was the night Mary Phagan’s body was found. It was a night as dramatic as the fury of a queen and poignant as her sorrow. It wrote the first thrilling chapter of Atlanta’s greatest criminal case, and it will live forever in the minds of those who knew it.

This story is no effort at description, because description is impossible. It is just a plain, ordinary story of the happenings that night when Newt Lee went down into the basement to wash his hands and emerged, overcome with fear, the discoverer of a crime that put an entire state in mourning.

A week from tomorrow, Leo Frank, manager of the pencil factory, where Mary Phagan’s body was found, will be placed on trial charged with the murder of the young girl, and interest in this mysterious crime again goes back to the night when Newt Lee startled police headquarters with news of his grewsome find.

Finding the Body.

Continue Reading →

Conley Star Actor in Dramatic Third Degree

conley-star-actor

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

In all the grim annals of Atlanta’s criminal history an illiterate negro, Jim Conley, stands out to-day the principal figure in one of the most remarkable and dramatically impressive “third degrees” ever administered by the city police.

A chief of police, ordinarily stolid and unmoved, and chief of detectives and members of his force, a Pinkerton operative—all men in daily touch with every sort of crime and evil—hung with tensest interest on each word as it came from the lips of the negro, and watched, as wide-eyed as any tyro in man-hunting, the negro’s every move as he re-enacted Friday afternoon what he steadfastly asserted was his part in the ghastly Mary Phagan tragedy.

Factory Men Look On.

Dumb under the spell of the drama in which Conley played a triple role—first in his own personality, then as Leo M. Frank, and, finally, as the young girl victim—two employees of the factory listened to the damning accusations that unconcernedly, almost glibly, were made against their superintendent. They were Herbert Schiff, chief clerk, and E. F. Holloway, the timekeeper.

Both had reckoned Frank innocent. They had said many times that he could not have committed the shocking deed. More likely, they had declared, it was the negro himself. Yet here they were the spectators of a grewsome performance in which Frank was represented as nervous and shaking and half in a panic as he directed the carrying of Mary Phagan’s limp and lifeless body to the elevator on the second floor of the factory and down into the dark and dirt-strewn basement. Continue Reading →

Conley Was in Factory on Day of Slaying

Conley Was in Factory

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Police Secure Admission From Negro Sweeper During Examination for Phagan Clews.

Admission that he was in the National Pencil factory on the day of the murder of Mary Phagan was gained from James Conley, the negro sweeper on whom suspicion has turned, after cross-examination by detectives at police headquarters.

The negro, who became the center of attention with his amazing story that Leo Frank had told him to write the death notes, changed his narrative again to-day. Confronted by E. F. Holloway, a foreman in the plant, he admitted having been in the factory after having steadily maintained that he was on Peters Street between 10 and 2 o’clock that fatal Saturday and at home all other hours of the day.

Says Confession Is Near.

Holloway, after leaving the secret grilling at which the admission was obtained, declared he was sure it was only a matter of hours before Conley would confess. He asserted that if he had been allowed to put questions to Conley he could have gotten important information.

The police questions were, of course, all put with the idea of gaining information against Frank.

Chief Lanford had announced that he would go before Judge Roan with a request for an order allowing him to confront Frank with the negro, so that Conley’s statement would be admissible in court. Lanford, however, failed to carry out his plans, although he would not admit they had been abandoned.

Found Negro Falsified.

Conley told the officers when he was first arrested that he could not write. Later they found releases that he had written for watches, and he admitted he had been lying. He gave them an address on Tattnall Street when they took him in custody. It later was found that he had not lived there for six months or a year. Continue Reading →

Burns Man Quits Case; Declares He Is Opposed

Burns Man Quits

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

C. W. Tobie, chief criminal investigator for the Burns Detective Agency, formally withdrew from the Phagan investigation Tuesday morning. The calling off of the Burns forces was announced by Dan P. Lehon, superintendent of the Southern branch, after Tobie had stated explicitly that he would not withdraw from the case.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder, who brought the Burns detectives into the Phagan case, would make no statement relative to their withdrawal but announced that it did not mean the end of his investigation or connection with the case.

Tobie made up his mind last Friday to drop the Mary Phagan investigation so he said Tuesday—but deferred action until, Monday night, when he announced his intention to withdraw to Solicitor General Dorsey.

Disgusted With “Fuss.”

Acute disgust at the “four or five cornered fuss” raised by the Phagan investigation was assigned by Tobie as the cause. This disgust was superinduced by the direct charge and general impression that the Burns Agency was pretending to ferret out the Phagan case, when in reality its purpose in Atlanta was to investigate the police department.

Tobie said to-day that while he has quit and was going to leave Atlanta, still the withdrawal of the Burns Agency need not be permanent. Continue Reading →

The Leo Frank Trial: Closing Arguments, Solicitor Dorsey

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

by Bradford L. Huie

THE AMERICAN MERCURY now presents the final closing arguments by Solicitor Hugh Dorsey (pictured) in the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan — a powerful summary of the case and a persuasive argument that played a large part in the decision of the jury to find Frank guilty of the crime. It is also riveting reading for modern readers, who have been told — quite falsely — that the case against Frank was a weak one, and told, equally falsely, that “anti-Semitism” was a major motive for the arrest, trial, and conviction of Frank.

Here we present it for the first time on any popular periodical’s Web site. Not until the Mercury began its efforts have these or the other arguments in this case and relevant contemporary articles been presented on a popular Web site in correctly formatted, easy-to-read type with OCR errors removed.  (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One,  Week Two, Week Three and Week Four of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)

_____

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR THE STATE.

Mr. Dorsey:

Gentlemen of the Jury: This case is not only, as His Honor has told you, important, but it is extraordinary. It is extraordinary as a crime — a most heinous crime, a crime of a demoniac, a crime that has demanded vigorous, earnest and conscientious effort on the part of your detectives, and which demands honest, earnest, conscientious consideration on your part. It is extraordinary because of the prominence, learning, ability, standing of counsel pitted against me. It is extraordinary because of the defendant — it is extraordinary in the manner in which the gentlemen argue it, in the methods they have pursued in its management. Continue Reading →

Col. Felder Ridicules Idea of Grand Jury Investigation of City Detectives’ Charges

thorough_cleaning_needed

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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Declares Chief Beavers Is Only Bluffing, and That if All the Allegations Made by the Police Were True, It Wouldn’t Be a Case for the Grand Jury, as He Has Violated No Law in Seeking Evidence of Corruption In Police Department

CHIEF BEAVERS CONFERS WITH SOLICITOR DORSEY IN REFERENCES TO LAYING WHOLE MATTER BEFORE JURY

He Expects the Solicitor’s Co-operation — James Conley Is Identified by Mrs. Arthur White as the Negro She Saw Lurking Near the Elevator of the Pencil Factory on Day of the Tragedy—“This Is H— of a Family Row and No Place for a Stranger,” Says Tobie

Colonel Thomas B. Felder Tuesday ridiculed the statement of Police Chief James L. Beavers that he would insist upon the grand jury making a searching investigation of the charges against Colonel Felder and also the countercharges published by the latter against the police and detective departments.

Colonel Felder appeared to be very much amused while discussing Chief Beavers’ declaration, which he branded as bluff and bluster. “I don’t believe Beavers has the least idea of going b[e]fore the grand jury,” he said, “but even should he do so there is nothing for the grand jury t[o] consider.

“If all the charges which the police and detectives have made against me were true no law has been violated. I have a perfect right to seek truthful evidence from whatever source I may choose.

“If the grand jury cares to investigate my charges against the police and detective departments I will have no hesitancy in supplying it with a list of the disorderly houses and gambling places which are operated in Atlanta without police interference, and an amazingly long list it will be, too.

“Why, there are more houses of an immoral character in the territory between the Baptist Tabernacle and the governor’s mansion than ever existed in the old segregated district, and places of this kind are scattered throughout the city, no section being immune from them. 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 Three

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

The trial of Leo Frank (pictured) for the murder of Mary Phagan ended its third week 100 years ago today. Join us as we break through the myths surrounding the case and investigate what really happened.

by Bradford L. Huie

AS THE THIRD WEEK of the trial dawned, the prosecution had just made its case that National Pencil Company Superintendent Leo Max Frank had murdered 13-year-old laborer Mary Phagan — and a powerful case it was. Now it was the defense’s turn — and the defense team was a formidable one, the best that money could buy in 1913 Atlanta, led by Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser. And many would argue that the city’s well-known promoter and attorney Thomas B. Felder was also secretly working for Frank and his friends, along with the two biggest detective agencies in the United States, the Burns agency — sub rosa, under the direction of Felder — and the Pinkertons — openly, cooperating with the police, and under the direction of the National Pencil Company. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One and Week Two of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)

As the defense began its parade of witnesses, few suspected that the defendant himself, Leo Frank, would soon take the stand and make an admission so astonishing that it strained belief. Continue Reading →

Rooming House Sought by Frank Declares Woman

ROOMING HOUSE

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Mrs. Mima Famby Swears Suspected Man Wanted a Room for Himself and a Girl on Murder Night.

TO PRESENT AFFIDAVIT TO GRAND JURY TODAY

Mysterious Telephone Message Caused Detectives to Interview Woman Who Conducts Rooming House.

Mrs. Mima [sic] Famby [sic], who conducts a rooming house at 400 Piedmont avenue, near Currier street, has signed an affidavit to the effect that on April 26 Leo M. Frank called her up repeatedly by telephone and endeavored to secure a room for himself and a young girl.

The affidavit was signed Monday, May 11, but had been kept a secret. Mrs. Famby attached her signature to the document in the office of Detective Chief Lanford in police headquarters, and was sworn by Recorder Nash Broyles to the presence of Probation Officer Sidney J. Coogler. The affidavit was then turned over to Solicitor Dorsey.

Detectives say this is one of the most important bite of evidence they hold. It will, in all probability, be submitted to the grand jury when it takes up the Phagan case this morning at 10 o’clock. It was gained through a mysterious telephone call which came to police headquarters only a short while after the body had been discovered.

Some one, who refused to give a name, telephoned Chief Lanford, giving this message:

“Look up Mrs. Mima Famby. She knows more than she has told.” Continue Reading →

Weak Evidence Against Men in Phagan Slaying

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey, in a characteristic pose, examining a witness. On Solicitor Dorsey is placed dependence for the solving of the puzzling Phagan slaying case. He is making every effort to unravel the mystery.

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey, in a characteristic pose, examining a witness. On Solicitor Dorsey is placed dependence for the solving of the puzzling Phagan slaying case. He is making every effort to unravel the mystery.

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

NO REAL SOLUTION OF PHAGAN SLAYING MYSTERY

EVIDENCE AGAINST MEN NOW HELD IN BAFFLING CASE WEAK, SAYS OLD POLICE REPORTER

Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, May 11th, 1913

Detectives in Coroner’s Jury Probe Admit They Have Nothing on Which to Convict Anyone in Mysterious Tragedy of Atlanta.

TESTIMONY BROUGHT OUT NO INCRIMINATING POINTS

BY AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The most sensational testimony offered at the Coroner’s inquest in the Phagan case was lost sight of entirely by the newspapers.

Juror Langford asked Detective Black, who was on the witness stand: “Have you discovered any positive information as to who committed this murder?”

Detective Black replied, “No, sir, I have not!”

Coroner Donehoo asked Detective Scott of the Pinkerton force on the witness stand:

“Have you any definite information which makes you suspect any party of this crime?”

Detective Scott replied, “I would not commit myself. I am working on a chain of circumstances. Detective Black has been with me all the time on the case and he knows about the circumstances I refer to.”

As you read this over and consider it carefully, you will be impressed by the fact that the two most important detectives engaged for a period of two weeks on the Phagan case testify under oath that they have no positive information as to who committed the crime—in fact really know nothing about it at all.

I am setting down here my own thoughts and ideas, without intending the slightest disrespect to any official, and further, I believe I am at liberty to do so because of Scott’s and Black’s testimony.

MYSTERY STILL WITHOUT SOLUTION.

In The Sunday American of last week I published an article saying that the developments of the preceding week had led nowhere, and that the mystery was then as dark and deep as any mystery that ever puzzled police and detectives. Continue Reading →

Best Detective in America Now is on Case, Says Dorsey

Miss Nellie Pettis, at top, who testified against Frank at the inquest. At the bottom, Mrs. Lillie Pettis, her sister-in-law, former employee at the pencil factory.

Miss Nellie Pettis, at top, who testified against Frank at the inquest. At the bottom, Mrs. Lillie Pettis, her sister-in-law, former employee at the pencil factory.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 9th, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Says He Has Secured Powerful Aid in Search for Slayer of Girl—Woman Says She Heard Screams in Pencil Factory.

Shelby Smith, chairman of the Fulton commission, declared Friday afternoon that the board would back Solicitor Dorsey in any and all expense he might incur in the state’s exhaustive investigation into the Phagan murder mystery. Smith said;

“We have instructed Dorsey to obtain the best possible detective skill for his probe and he would be backed by the county commission to the last ditch in the money the spent.

“The fact that he hired a good detective Friday is news to me, but he has the sanction and backing of the board in the matter.”

HIRE’S BEST DETECTIVE, HE SAYS.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey said Friday afternoon that he had the best detective in America working on the mystery of the Mary Phagan strangling.

Important developments had ensued already, he declared, and he was confident that an early solution of the case would be reached by the new expert of national reputation who had been placed at work on the clews. Continue Reading →

Character Witnesses are Called in the Case by City Detectives

Character Witnesses are Called in the Case by City Detectives

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 9th, 1913

Tom Backstock, of 21 Hightower street, a youth of about sixteen or seventeen years, testified that he worked at the pencil factory about a year ago. He didn’t know Mr. Frank personally, he said, but knew him when he worked at the factory.

“Did you have any opportunity to observe his conduct with the women there?” the lad was asked.

“I saw him ‘pick’ at the girls,” was the reply.

“Who were they?” the coroner asked.

“I couldn’t tell their names now,” he said. “I didn’t work there long enough to get very well acquainted.”

The coroner asked how Mr. Frank had acted and the boy said he had placed his hands on some of them. He didn’t know how many times he had seen this.

In reply he mentioned the name of a girl, but said he had simply heard a rumor since the crime was committed. He knew nothing of his own knowledge. Continue Reading →

Frank and Lee Ordered Held by Coroner’s Jury for Mary Phagan Murder

Leo M. Frank, factory superintendent, who, with Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, was held for the grand jury.

Leo M. Frank, factory superintendent, who, with Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, was held for the grand jury.

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, May 9th, 1913

Sensational Statements Made at Inquest by Two Women, One of Whom Had Been an Employee, Who Declared That Frank Had Been Guilty of Improper Conduct Toward His Feminine Employees and Had Made Proposals to Them in the Factory.

EVIDENCE IN BAFFLING MYSTERY THUS FAR, IS CIRCUMSTANTIAL, IS ADMISSION MADE BY DETECTIVES

Frank and Lee Both Go on Stand Again and Are Closely Questioned in Regard to New Lines of Evidence and Forced to Reiterate Testimony Formerly Made to Coroner’s Jury. They Will Remain in Jail Pending Action of the Grand Jury.

Leo. M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil factory, and Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, suspects in the Mary Phagan murder, were ordered by the coroner’s jury to be held under charges of murder for further investigation by the Fulton grand jury.

With this verdict the inquest closed at 6:28 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Frank and the negro will be held in the Tower until action is taken by the grand jury and solicitor general. The decision was reached within twenty minutes after the jury had retired.

Although much important testimony was delivered at the inquest, probably the most significant was the admission made by Detective Harry Scott, of the Pinkertons, and Detective John Black, of headquarters, both of whom declared in answer to questions that they so far had obtained no conclusive evidence or clues in the baffling mystery, and that their only success had been attained in the forging of a chain of circumstantial evidence. Continue Reading →

Mr. Frank’s Treatment of Girls Unimpeachable, Says Miss Hall

Mr. Frank's Treatment of Girls

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

Miss Corinthia Hall, an employe in the factory, was the first of the young women employed there to testify before the coroner from their viewpoint regarding Mr. Frank’s attitude and demeanor toward them.

She declared his conduct toward the young women in the factory to be irreproachable.

She works in the varnish department on the fourth floor of the pencil factory, and lives at 19 Waverly street, Kirkwood, she told the coroner. She has been working at the factory about three years, she said.

About 11:45 o’clock on the morning of April 26, she said, she left the pencil factory. She had been there for about ten minutes with Mrs. Emma Freeman, a bride of a day, formerly employed there, to get Mrs. Freeman’s coat. She remembered looking at the clock as they went out. She and Mrs. Freeman spoke to Mr. Frank. He asked Mrs. Freeman, “How’s the bride?” Continue Reading →

Two New Witnesses in Phagan Mystery to Testify Thursday

Two New Witnesses in Phagan Mystery to Testify ThursdayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Detectives Said to Attach Much Importance to Testimony That Two Girls Will Give When Inquest Resumes

INQUEST WILL BE ENDED THURSDAY, SAYS DONEHOO

Paul P. Bowen Has Been Released by Houston Officials—Chief Detective and 14 Policemen Are Discharged

Two new witnesses, whom the detectives have recently located, are expected to give testimony of importance at the final session of the Phagan inquest Thursday.

One of the witnesses is Miss Grace Hix, of 100 McDonough road, daughter of James E. Hix. Miss Hix worked at the same machine with Mary Phagan, but has not been to the factory since the latter was slain. Miss Hix was closeted for two hours with the detectives Tuesday evening, but it is not known just what her testimony will be. [Appears to be missing words in the printing—Ed.] day Mary Phagan was killed, but did not see her, according to a statement she made to a Journal reporter Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 o’clock. Continue Reading →

Solicitor Dorsey Orders Body Exhumed in the Hope of Getting New Evidence

Solicitor Dorsey Orders Body Exhumed in the Hope of Getting New EvidenceAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Inquest, To Be Resumed Thursday, Will Bring Out Important Facts Not Yet Made Public—Medical Experts To Be Called by Coroner.

New mystery was added to the Mary Phagan case on Wednesday, when the authorities for some reason not yet disclosed, did not follow out the order given by Solicitor Dorsey for the exhumation of the remains.

It was said by Solicitor Dorsey that he had given this order in the hope that new clews might be discovered.

A difference of opinion as to the advisability of the exhumation evidently has arisen, but the officials concerned were reticent. Coroner Donehoo admitted that Dorsey’s order had been given, but said it had not been carried out. He would make no further statement.

The report published in an early edition of The Georgian that the body had been exhumed was made on statements by officials, and that it was for the purpose of making a microscopic examination of every wound on the body for finger prints and other clews.

It is undoubtedly the intention of the authorities to exhume the body again. Continue Reading →

Third Man Brought into Phagan Mystery by Frank’s Evidence

Third Man Brought Into Phagan Mystery by Frank's Evidence

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

Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, May 6th, 1913

Lemmie Quinn, Foreman of the Department in Which the Little Girl Worked, Was in His Office Just a Few Minutes After She Received Her Pay on the Day of the Murder, He Tells the Coroner’s Jury at Inquest on Monday Afternoon.

LEO FRANK INNOCENT NEW WITNESS TELLS ATLANTA DETECTIVES

Quinn Declares That Officers Accused Him of Being Bribed to Come to the Aid of Superintendent — Frank Is on Stand for Four Hours Answering Coroner’s Questions—Body of Mary Phagan Exhumed and Stomach Will Be Examined.

The Mary Phagan murder mystery assumed a new aspect yesterday afternoon, when Leo M. Frank, the suspected factory superintendent, introduced a third man in the baffling mystery, who the witness stated, called to see him after the girl had drawn her pay and departed.

Frank was testifying before the coroner’s inquest when he startled his audience with the declaration that he was visited by Lemmie Quinn, a pencil plant foreman, less than 10 minutes after the girl of the tragedy had entered the building Saturday.

Quinn immediately was summoned before Chief Lanford and Harry Scott, of the Pinkertons. He corroborated Frank’s story in detail. After being quizzed for an hour or more, he was permitted to return to his home at 31-B Pulliam street. Continue Reading →

Frank on Witness Stand

Frank-On-Witness-StandAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Makes Statement Under Oath; Nervous, But Replies Quickly

Phagan Inquest, Starting Late Monday Afternoon, Attracts Throng—200 Girls and Women Summoned As Witnesses, at Police Station.

The Coroner’s inquest into the Phagan mystery did not really begin until 3 o’clock on Monday afternoon, instead of 2 o’clock, the hour set for the hearing.

Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee left the jail in charge of Chief of Police Beavers, Detectives Lanford and Starnes and entered the patrol wagon for the trip to police headquarters.

A curious crowd waited around the jail doorway to get a look at the two prisoners.

Both men appeared nervous. Frank walked with a quick step between Beavers and Lanford. He was freshly shaved, wore a dark suit and a derby hat. Starnes followed with Lee. Neither man was handcuffed.

[The following is the opening paragraph of a later article in the same newspaper on Tuesday, May 6th, 1913 that covered the questioning of Leo Frank.—Ed.]

Leo M. Frank, Superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, was a witness late Monday afternoon in the Coroner’s inquest into the death of Mary Phagan. Continue Reading →

Sleuths Believe They Can Convict Phagan Murderer

Sleuths Believe They Can Convict Phagan Murderer

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Detectives Are of Opinion They Have in Their Possession All Evidence That Is Needed by the Jury.

INFORMATION SECURED FROM MYSTERIOUS GIRL

Coroner’s Jury Will Resume Inquest at 2 O’Clock This Afternoon — Factory Girls Will Be Witnesses.

Detectives working on the case of Mary Phagan, the 14-year-old murdered girl whose body was found in the basement of the National Pencil company at daybreak Sunday morning a week ago, believe that today they have in their possession evidence which will lead to the conviction of the girl’s murderer, according to the statement of Harry Scott the Pinkerton man on the case, Sunday afternoon.

So important in fact, do the detectives consider the new evidence declared Mr. Scott, that its nature will not be publicly disclosed even at the coroner’s inquest which is resumed today.

No particulars would be given out except that the information came from a girl who has not heretofore figured even in speculation in the case. Continue Reading →

Women Inspectors Urged to Protect Factory Girls

Women Inspectors Urged to Protect Factory Girls

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 5th, 1913

Dr. Holderby took occasion during his Sunday morning service at Moore Memorial church to refer to the recent horrible Phagan tragedy, which has shocked the entire community, and urged the people not to discuss the matter with their children.

He said:

“It is unaccountable to me why people should be so hysterical and become so frightened because one demon has perpetrated a crime.

“This unspeakable crime is bad enough, and every effort should be made to find the guilty party—and every effort is being made by the detective departments—and this should satisfy the public.

“During the past week Atlanta has been greatly excited and torn up through the publicity of the details of this sickening crime and the whole city has been demoralized. Continue Reading →