Counsel of Frank Says Dorsey Has Sought to Hide Facts

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, in a Statement to the Press, Make Bitter Attack on Solicitor for His Conduct of Phagan Case.

Call Attention to Secrecy Maintained by Prosecution, and Declare Action of State’s Attorney Has Inflamed Public Opinion.

Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, attorneys for Leo M. Frank, who will be tried July 29 on the charge of killing Mary Phagan, joined Saturday in a bitter attack upon the policy of Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, whose procedure in the case, they said, had inflamed public opinion and had placed the Solicitor far below the dignity of his office.

In a formal statement, they charged that Dorsey had ignored his constitutional and legal functions and had sought to usurp those of the Grand Jury by his attempt to block the indictment of Jim Conley by that body.

They described his action as unprecedented and dangerous in the extreme, and represented Dorsey and Conley as partners in “a harmonious concert.”

The document, which is one of the few public statements issued by the defense, is bristling with criticism of the Solicitor’s conduct throughout the investigation of the murder mystery, and charges that Dorsey has maintained his belief in Frank’s guilt apparently for no other purpose than to convict Frank.

Call Attention to Secrecy.

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Frank’s Lawyers Score Dorsey for His Stand

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold Declare He Is Going Out of His Way to Dictate to the Grand Jury.

EXCEEDS PROVINCE OF SOLICITOR GENERAL

Grand Jury Will Meet at 10 O’Clock Monday Morning to Take Up Conley Case. Call Is Sent Out.

In reply to Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey’s statements in regard to the proposed indictment by the grand jury of James Conley, the negro who has confessed complicity in the murder of Mary Phagan, Attorneys Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser issued a statement Saturday afternoon in which they openly attacked the stand taken by the solicitor in protesting against the indictment of the negro.

That the solicitor is exceeding his legal functions as a state officer is one point that the lawyers defending Leo M. Frank make in their statement, and they also severely criticise the solicitor for his detective work in the Phagan murder.

The card also contains a reference to the statement made in The Constitution Saturday morning by Attorney William M. Smith, representing the negro Conley. The card of the Frank defense takes Attorney Smith to task for rushing to the aid of the solicitor.

Solicitor General Dorsey also issued a statement in which he declared that he no more believed that the grand jury, when it meets Monday, would indict James Conley than he believes that Judge J.T. Pendleton will accede to the request of Frank attorneys to draw the venire for the trial jury from the box containing names of grand jury veniremen.

Roan Out of City.

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Dorsey Adds Startling Evidence

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article also ran in the Final (Box Score) Edition under the headline “State Finds New Frank Evidence.”

Solicitor Declares Prosecution’s Plans Are Unchanged—Doesn’t Expect Conley Indictment.

That affidavits as sensational and direct against Leo M. Frank, accused of murdering Mary Phagan, as the Mincey statement was against the negro, Jim Conley, are in the hands of the State and will be substantiated by witnesses at the trial, July 28, was admitted by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Wednesday morning.

The Solicitor and Frank A. Hooper, associated with him in the prosecution, made it plain that in their opinion the Mincey affidavit had in no way hurt the State’s case against Frank, and that they could anticipate no development that would make Conley instead of Frank the principal in Atlanta’s greatest murder mystery.

They say they do not expect the Grand Jury to indict the negro before the trial of Frank, and do not hesitate to say that any move in that direction will meet with opposition from the Solicitor, who would necessarily have to introduce witnesses to secure the indictment.

State’s Case Complete.

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Prosecution Attacks Mincey’s Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 14, 1913

MRS. CRAWFORD BEGINS FIGHT FOR HER FREEDOM

STATE STILL CONFIDENT OF CASE

Story of Negro Who Says He Was Eyewitness of Slaying Disbelieved by Solicitor.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, engaged in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank, were induced Monday to break the silence they have maintained grilling the negro Jim Conley last week. They made their first public comments on the sensational developments of the last few days in the Phagan murder mystery.

Both declared emphatically that neither the affidavit of W. H. Mincey, insurance solicitor, nor the reported confession of the negro Will Green, who is said to have been an eyewitness of the attack upon Mary Phagan, gave evidence sufficient to shake their conviction of Leo Frank’s guilt.

Rumors that the State was preparing to change its theory and to ask for the indictment of Jim Conley were laughed at.

Mincey Affidavit Discounted.

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Affidavits to Back Mincey Story Found

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Attorney Leavitt Declares Tale That Conley Admitted Killing Girl Will Stand Test.

NEWT LEE STILL HELD IN JAIL

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey Promises to Present a Bill Against Him as Suspect.

That several negro women overheard Jim Conley when he ran the insurance agent, Mincey, away with the alleged statement that he had just killed a girl and didn’t want to kill anyone else, and that the affidavits from the women are in the hands of the attorneys for the defense, was stated Saturday by Attorney J.H. Leavitt, who aided in obtaining the sensational affidavit from Mincey.

Attorney Leavitt defended the character of the man who made the affidavit and denied emphatically that Mincey even asked about the money he would receive as a witness, except whether his railroad fare would be paid if he were out of the city.

Explains Dukes’ Doubts.

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Conley Again Quizzed by Prosecutor Dorsey

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

[*Editor’s Note: The first sentence in this article contains two sentence fragments due to a publishing error by the original newspaper.]

Solicitor and Hooper Grill Negro at Police Headquarters for Three Hours

For two hours and a half Solicitor Dorsey did practically all of the ques- […] Phagan case, Frank A. Hooper, quizzed Conley at police headquarters Friday afternoon. Two detectives stood guard on the outside of the door of the police commissioner’s room in which the questioning was done, but no one except the officials and the negro were inside the room.

Conley was grinning when he emerged from the room. The questioning ended shortly before 7 o’clock, and Solicitor Dorsey and Mr. Hooper left the station immediately. They would not discuss the quiz.

While the three were in the room Solicitor Dorsey made frequent reference to various papers which he drew from a leather case that he had brought with him to headquarters. Solicitor Dorsey did practically al [sic] of the questioning, with an occasional suggestion from Mr. Hooper.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, July 12th 1913, “Conley Again Quizzed by Prosecutor Dorsey,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

More Affidavits to Support Mincey Claimed

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

Frank’s Attorneys Said to Have Corroborating Evidence, Newt Lee Denied Freedom

Joseph H. Leavitt, an attorney, with offices at 422 Grant building, the man who secured the affidavit of W.H. Mincey, who alleges that James Conley confessed to the killing of a girl on April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered, declares that a number of affidavits fully corroborating every word that Mincey has said, are in the hands of counsel for the defense of Leo M. Frank.

Mr. Leavitt states that the Mincey affidavit is really much stronger than the published reports, which have purported to give its substance.

The reports are correct as far as they go, Mr. Leavitt admitted to a Journal reporter, but the affidavit dictated and signed by Mincey contains still more testimony, damaging to Conley.

“Mincey is a good citizen,” Mr. Leavitt told a Journal reporter, “a man of education and of character. However, every assertion which he made in the affidavit has been corroborated.”

“Then you must mean that some one else heard the confession Mincey claims that Conley made?” the reporter asked.

“Yes, others head [sic] it,” was the answer of Attorney Leavitt.

While he states that he doesn’t know his address, Mr. Leavitt says that he is confidence [sic] that Mincey will be here when Leo M. Frank faces a jury on the charge of murdering Mary Phagan.

Mincey in his affidavit claims that he went to see Conley on the afternoon of April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered to solicit insurance from him, and that Conley became angered and told him that he had killed a little girl that day and did not want to have to kill another person.

The police make light of the Mincey affidavit, and say that Mincey once came to headquarters to identify a man he had seen drunk in the negro quarter. He saw Conley, they say, and then admitted that he had never seen the engro [sic] before.

Attorney Leavitt says that the affidavit will give a good reason for Mincey’s failure to make known at once the information, which he claims to have on the sensational murder case.

Solicitor General Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who will assist him in the prosecution of Frank, grilled James Conley at headquarters for more than an hour Friday afternoon. While Mr. Dorsey would not discuss the matter, it is understood that he questioned Conley closely about the statements alleged to have been to Mincey, and the negro claims that he never saw [the] insurance agent except at police headquarters.

LEE DENIED FREEDOM.

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Conley Kept on Grill 4 Hours

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, July 12, 1913

After Gruelling Third Degree, Officials Refuse to Deny or Affirm Negro Confessed.

Habeas corpus proceedings to release Newt Lee collapsed in the court of Judge Ellis Saturday morning.

By agreement, Bernard L. Chappell, representing Lee, withdrew his application for a habeas corpus; Solicitor Dorsey promised to present a bill against Lee as a suspect in the Phagan murder case, with the expectation that a “no bill” would be returned. This appeared satisfactory to the attorneys for Lee, as well as to the State.

Luther Z. Rosser, Reuben R. Arnold and Herbert J. Haas, of counsel for Frank, were in court to fight against the appearance of Frank as a witness. William M. Smith represented Conley, one of the witnesses subpenaed.

Jim Conley underwent a racking third degree late Friday afternoon at the hands of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper in an effort to verify or discredit the W.H. Mincey affidavit, in which the negro was charged with confessing to the murder of a girl on the afternoon that Mary Phagan met her death.

The grilling of nearly four hours followed The Georgian’s publication of the details of Mincey’s accusations and was undertaken with the utmost secrecy, an attempt being made to avoid knowledge of the “sweating” becoming public by taking Conley to the Commissioners’ room on the second floor of the police station by a circuitous route.

Negro’s Most Severe Ordeal.

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Says Women Heard Conley Confession

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, July 12, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article also ran with the headlines “Says Women Overheard Conley Confess” and “Says Women Heard Conley Confess” in the Final and Home Editions, respectively. The headline used here is from the Night Edition.

AFFIDAVITS SUPPORT MINCEY STORY

Attorney Leavitt Declares Tale That Negro Admitted Killing Girl Will Stand Test.

That several negro women overheard Jim Conley when he ran the insurance agent, Mincey, away with the alleged statement that he had just killed a girl and didn’t want to kill any one else, and that the affidavits from the women are in the hands of the attorneys for the defense, was stated Saturday by Attorney J.H. Leavitt, who aided in obtaining the sensational affidavit from Mincey.

Attorney Leavitt defended the character of the man who made the affidavit and denied emphatically that Mincey even asked about the money he would receive as a witness, except whether his railroad fare would be paid if he were out of the city.

Explains Dukes’ Doubts.

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Phagan Case Centers on Conley; Negro Lone Hope of Both Sides

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 6, 1913

*Editor’s Note: See insert article, “Decisions Which May Aid Defense of Frank”, at the conclusion of this post.

Frank Expects Freedom by Breaking Down Accuser’s Testimony, and State a Conviction by Establishing Truth of Statements.

BY AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The developments in the Phagan case have been of late highly significant and interesting.

During the past week, it became evident that the very heart and soul of both the prosecution and the defense is to center largely about the negro, James Conley.

He is at once apparently the hope and the despair of both sides to the contest!

This circumstance, however, while tending to add much to the dramatic and the uncertain, in so far as the outcome is concerned, is not by any means an unusual thing in cases of this kind.

It frequently happens in mysterious murder cases that both the State and the defense must pin their faith to one and the same witness.

Of late there has been some talk of the Grand Jury indicting Conley, even over the Solicitor General’s head, which, of course, it would have a perfect right to do.

The thought occurred to me some time ago that the case might take that direction, but in the article in which that point was discussed, I mentioned it incidentally, rather than as a likely thing.

Indictment may Mean Much.

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New Testimony Lays Crime to Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 4, 1913

Frank Defense Locates Witness Who Points to the Negro Sweeper as Slayer.

A new witness, said to have the most damaging evidence yet produced against Jim Conley, the negro sweeper in the National Pencil factory, entered the Phagan case Thursday and made an affidavit, the contents fo [sic] which are carefully guarded by attorneys for Leo M. Frank, charged with causing the death of the factory girl.

The identity of the witness is as much a secret as the exact nature of his testimony. It was learned, though, that the affidavit was made in the law office of Joseph Leavitt in the Grant Building and was witnessed by Mr. Leavitt’s stenographer.

It is said the testimony of this man connects Conley more directly with the crime than any other statement or affidavit yet procured by the defense. The witness is understood to have seen Conley on the afternoon of the crime and to have heard him make remarks in his drunken condition which were extremely incriminating. Continue Reading →

May Indict Conley in Phagan Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

JURY LIKELY TO GO OVER DORSEY’S HEAD

Indictment of Negro Sweeper Would Be Severe Blow to Prosecution of Frank.

That the Fulton County Grand Jury will go over the head of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and indict Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, for the murder of Mary Phagan, in connection with Leo M. Frank, was a probability which came to light Tuesday.

While the report was not verified, its origin was such as to throw a bomb into the camp of the prosecution, as it will mean the indictment of the star witness in the State’s case against Frank.

In the event that Conley is indicted it will mean also that he will be taken from the custody of the police, where he has been carefully guarded from the defense, and will be placed in the county jail, where Frank is being held.

Rumors that Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the National Pencil factory, had made sensational disclosures to his attorney, Bernard L. Chappell, and would be one of the State’s most important witnesses in the trial of Leo M. Frank, were set at rest Tuesday by Mr. Chappell.

The negro’s attorney said after the inquest that he would make no effort to procure the release of Lee, as he believed his client was a vital witness and it would be the wisest plan for him to remain in the protection of the State.

His statements at this time and up to the date of the indictment found against Frank led to the impression that Lee had confided in his lawyer significant circumstances which he had told neither to the detectives nor to the members of the Coroner’s jury.

Denies Confession Reports.

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May Indict Conley as Slayer

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Reported as Seriously Considering Connection of Negro With the Crime.

A well founded rumor Tuesday was to the effect that the Grand Jury had Jim Conley’s connection with the Mary Phagan murder mystery under serious consideration with a view of finding an indictment against the negro on the charge of causing the death of the little factory girl.

Announcement was made after the close of Tuesday’s session that the present Grand Jury would hold its last session Wednesday, and it was reported that if action were not taken on Conley’s case before adjournment, recommendations would be left with the next Grand Jury suggesting that the negro’s connection with the crime be rigidly investigated.

If the indictment is returned against the negro it will mean that he will be taken from the custody of the detectives and placed in the Tower. He also will bear a different relation to the case in the future, being a defendant instead of a material witness. Attorneys interested in the case said they had heard nothing of the proposed action by the Grand Jury.

Rumors that Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the National Pencil factory, had made sensational disclosures to his attorney, Bernard L. Chappell, and would be one of the State’s most important witnesses in the trial of Leo M. Frank, were set at rest Tuesday by Mr. Chappell.

The negro’s attorney said after the inquest that he would make no effort to procure the release of Lee, as he believed his client was a vital witness and it would be the wisest plan for him to remain in the protection of the State.

His statements at this time and up to the date of the indictment found against Frank led to the impression that Lee had confided in his lawyer significant circumstances, which he has told neither to the detectives nor to the members of the Coroner’s jury.

Denies Confession Reports.

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New Frank Evidence Held by Dorsey

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 27, 1913

Solicitor Closely Guards Data of Which City Detectives Have No Knowledge.

New activity was injected into the Phagan case Friday when James Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil Factory, was removed secretly from his cell in police station and closely questioned by Frank Hooper, who will aid Solicitor Dorsey in the prosecution of Leo Frank.

The move was surrounded with the utmost secrecy. The negro was taken from his cell by Detective Starnes, and behind locked doors questioned anew in the room used by the Police Commissioners. He had been in for many minutes before the action became known.

Mr. Hooper asked Conley various new questions, and after the quizzing was over hurried away from the police station.

Dorsey Has New Evidence.

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Hooper and Goldstein Join Little & Powell

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, June 28, 1913

Former Solicitor of Southwestern Circuit and Popular Atlantlan [sic] Join Firm

Frank A. Hooper, who is to assist the solicitor general in the prosecution in the Phagan case, and M.F. Goldstein, a well known young attorney, will join the law firm of Little & Powell on July 1.

The senior members of the firm are John D. Little and Judge Arthur Powell. After July 1 the firm will be styled Little, Powell, Hooper & Goldstein.

Mr. Hooper served in the southwestern circuit for twelve years as solicitor general, but removed from Americus to Atlanta a few years ago to become general counsel for the Empire Life Insurance company.

In connection with the formation of the new firm, Mr. Hooper states that his new association will in no way affect his connection with the Phagan case, and he will continue to personally assist the solicitor general in the prosecution, while his firm will have no connection with the case.

Mr. Goldstein, the junior member of the new firm, is a graduate of the University of Georgia and of Yale. In four years’ practice here he has established an enviable record at the local bar.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, June 28th 1913, “Hooper and Goldstein Join Little & Powell,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

State Secures New Phagan Evidence

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, June 28, 1913

[HOOPER SECURES NEW EVIDENCE FROM CONLEY]*

[NEW FACTS GIVEN BY NEGRO]

[Admissions to Prosecutor’s Aide Strengthens Rumor That He Saw Girl Just Before Crime.]

Conley’s Admission Strengthens Rumor That He Saw Child Just Before Slaying.

Frank A. Hooper, associated with Solicitor Dorsey in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank on the charge of strangling Mary Phagan, admitted Saturday that Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil Factory, had made important additions to the story of his part in the murder mystery and had told of circumstances on the day of the crime which he had revealed in none of his previous statements.

A persistent report that Conley had made the startling admission that he had seen Mary Phagan enter the factory on the day she was slain arose at the time the negro was questioned more than an hour by Solicitor Dorsey early in the week, and this rumor was heightened after Attorney Hooper’s interview with the negro Friday.

In all of his statements to the detectives Conley denied he saw the girl at all on the day of the crime until he was horrified by the sight of her dead body lying in the rear of the second floor where he was directed by Leo Frank. Solicitor Dorsey is believed to have wrung the statement from him that he did see Mary Phagan when she came in the door of the factory and went to the second floor to Frank’s office.

Hooper Mum on Topic.

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Brilliant Legal Battle Is Sure as Hooper And Arnold Clash in Trial of Leo Frank

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, June 29, 1913

[BRILLIANT BATTLE SURE IN FRANK TRIAL IN CLASH OF HOOPER AND ARNOLD]*

[Order Has at Last Been Rested and Indications Are That Struggle of Attorneys Will Be Waged in the Most Ethical Manner.]

* Alternate headline from another page is shown in brackets above.

By An Old Police Reporter.

As deplorable as the Phagan case is in all its melancholy details, it already is evident enough that there will come of it eventually much that the community may be thankful for.

In the first place, Atlanta and Georgia, and incidentally the entire South will have learned a good lesson in law and order, justice and fair play, and to that extent may be the better prepared for the next case of the kind that comes to their attention.

In the second place, there will be in the future no such wretched bungling and frenzied appeal in and from police headquarters, as for a time marked the Phagan case unique among its kind.

It looks now as if the decks have been pretty well cleared for action and that Leo Frank’s trial may be expected to proceed in dignity and order, and that in its final analysis the truth of Mary Phagan’s murder may be established, at least to the extent of Frank’s real or suspected participation therein.

If Frank should be convicted, that would mean the subsequent indictment and conviction of the negro Conley, as an accessory after the fact.

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Conley Tale Is Hope of Defense

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 30, 1913

DEFENSE PLANS TO TEAR DOWN CONLEY TALE*

* This headline appeared on Page 3 of the Georgian.

Expect to Prove Frank Innocent By Discrediting Negro’s Story Of Phagan Crime.

Warned that the State is basing practically all of its expectations of sending Leo M. Frank to the gallows on the dramatic story told by Jim Conley, the defense this week is completing the collection of a strong line of evidence with which it is planned utterly to discredit the negro’s statements and his testimony in court.

Conley again has insisted on confronting Frank. He says he is certain if he can meet the factory superintendent face to face he can make him “tell the whole story.” The negro has told the detectives he not only is willing, but is eager to repeat in the presence of Frank the story of the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body just as he has related it a dozen times since he first made the sensational acknowledgment that he had a part in the crime.

It is regarded as most unlikely that the two will be brought together. Luther Z. Rosser, attorney for Frank, has refused to make any definite statement of his attitude in the matter, but it is known he looks with suspicion on every word and every act of the negro. He has given the impression that he is not unwilling for his client to face the negro, but that he regards the court room as the proper place for the meeting and the actual trial of Frank as the proper time. For this reason, the dramatic moment when accuser and accused confront each other in all probability will be saved for the time when the legal battle is in progress for Frank’s life.

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Hooper Sees Conley for the First Time

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 27, 1913

Attorney Who Will Aid Solicitor Hears Negro Sweeper Recite His Story

Frank A. Hooper, the attorney who will assist Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey in the prosecution of the case against Leo M. Frank, indicted for the murder of little Mary Phagan, interviewed James Conley, the negro sweeper, for the first time on Friday morning.

The attorney talked with the negro in the office of the police board for nearly an hour. Detective Starnes, who has been working under the direction of the solicitor, was the only officer with him.

Mr. Hooper simply made the trip to hear from Conley’s own lips his story of the crime, and the interview is said not to have been occasioned by any new developments in the case.

Mr. Hooper said that he had the negro tell him the “whole story.”

“The negro talks in a clear, straight-forward manner,” the attorney declared, “and his statement had the earmarks of the truth on it.” Mr. Hooper characterized the negro as a “good witness.”

While Solicitor Dorsey has interviewed Conley a number of times, he has never made any statement relative to the value of the negro’s story in a court room nor has he said anything relative to the manner in which the negro tells his story. Continue Reading →

Conley, Put on Grill, Sticks Story

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Police Resume Questioning of the Negro Sweeper Who Accuses Leo Frank.

Puzzled by several of the statements of Jim Conley in regard to his part in the happenings the day that Mary Phagan was killed, the police have resumed the questioning from which the negro had been free since he was taken to the police station by the detectives.

One point that has not been cleared up is why Conley saw every one else that went into or left the factory and yet failed to see Mary Phagan.

Conley, on Sunday, was confronted by Monteen Stover. He identified her as the girl he saw enter the factory shortly after 12 o’clock on the day of the crime. Yet he still maintains that he did not see Mary Phagan, although Mary must have entered the factory either just before or just after the Stover girl was in the building. The evidence in the possession of the State shows that there could hardly have been more than three to five minutes intervening between the times that the two girls were in the factory.

Want Clearer Statement.

Conley has been asked to explain this apparently improbable circumstance. Conley at first denied that he had seen Lemmie Quinn in the factory on the Saturday of the murder. Later he said he had seen the factory foreman. Which statement is believed by the State is not known. What explanation is made by the negro for lying in regard to the matter also is conjectural.

Mary Phagan left her home on April 26 at about 11:50 o’clock. Living in Bellwood, it is regarded as unlikely that she reached the factory in less than 25 minutes, or at 12:15. Monteen Stover had testified that she visited the factory at about 12:10, which would be just before Mary Phagan had entered the factory, if the times testified to are correct.

Conley, on this account, has been asked if he saw, from his vantage point behind the boxes, Monteen Stover enter the factory at 12:10 o’clock, and Lemmie Quinn enter at 12:20, why he did not see Mary Phagan when she entered in the interval between the visits of the Stover girl and Lemmie Quinn.

Sticks to His Story.

Another point on which he has been questioned is as to how he could have left his home at the time he has testified and visit all the saloons of which he has told and still meet Frank at Nelson and Forsyth Streets as Frank was on his way to Montag Bros. factory. Frank, according to the statements of members of the Montag firm, was in their building by 10 o’clock. Yet the things that Conley has testified to doing would have taken him until considerably after 10 o’clock, according to a conservative estimate. Continue Reading →