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.

Continue Reading →

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 →

Both Sides Called in Conference by Judge; Trial Set for July 28

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford Summoned to Appear June 30 With All Affidavits They Have Secured Relative to the Phagan Slaying Case.

Just before the conference with both sides in the Frank case started Judge Roan intimated strongly that he would set the case for July 14 or July 28 and hold it in some more commodious court room than the one in which he sits on the fourth floor of the Thrower building. Judge Roan’s personal inclination leans to a date in July, and it is not likely that the State or defense will object to acceding to his wishes.

The date was definitely fixed for July 28 at the conference.

The first important legal move by the defense in the battle for the life and freedom of Leo Frank, accused of the strangling of Mary Phagan, was made Tuesday in the issuance of subpenas duces tecum for the prime movers in the prosecution of the factory superintendent.

The following have been subpenaed to appear:

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, who will prosecute the prisoner.

Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was the leader in obtaining incriminating affidavits.

Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, to whom is generally given credit for the admissions gained from Conley.

All other city detectives who have worked on the case.

All of them are ordered to produce any affidavits they may have bearing on the case in court June 30, indicating that the defense will be prepared to go on with the trial at that time.

Judge Roan, however, had called a conference of the attorneys on both sides of the case for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when he announced that he would set the date definitely after the attorneys had been given an opportunity to say whether or not their cases would be in shape to present if the trial were called the last of this month.

Plan to Use Same Evidence.

The startling move on the part of the defense was taken to mean that Frank’s lawyers propose to use to free their client the very evidence the detectives and Solicitor General have collected to send him to the gallows.

The most significant demand is made upon Chief Beavers, who is commanded to bring into court the famed series of affidavits made by the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. It is evident that Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, who are conducting the defense, intend to tear the contradictory stories of the negro to tatters and make his statements so utterly ridiculous and improbable that the jury not only will refuse to accept them, but will interpret them as an effort of Conley to get from under the blame for a crime that he committed himself. Continue Reading →

July 28 Is Date Agreed Upon for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Judge Names Date After Statement From Reuben R. Arnold, In Which He Said Trial Would Last Two Weeks

DEFENSE TAKES STEPS TO GET STATE’S EVIDENCE

Subpenas Duces Tecum Issued, Demanding Production of Affidavits and Popers [sic] in Possession of Solicitor

Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan, will not be tried before superior court Judge L. S. Roan next Monday. The judge in a conference with attorneys at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon formally set the trial for Monday, July 28, and no attempt to reopen the questions of arraignment will be made. Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to this date.

Any attempt made to put Frank on trial on next Monday was silenced when Reuben R. Arnold, speaking for the defense, said flatly that the trial would take at least two weeks. The assurance that the trial would last some time and the fact that it likely would be held in the stuffy little court room in the Thrower building, if scheduled Monday, practically caused the postponement.

Solicitor Dorsey, for the state, and Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, for the prosecution, were summoned to the court house by Judge Roan at 3 o’clock and a discussion of the matter was opened.

SOLICITOR ANNOUNCED READY.

Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was ready and made the declaration that his witnesses would not take more than two days at the outside. He said if the defense had any he didn’t think they would take any longer.

This remark brought a grunt from Luther Z. Rosser and the Arnold statement that the trial would take two weeks.

“We have the witnesses,” both of the lawyers for the defense asserted.

Both Attorneys Rosser and Arnold told the court that in the event of a postponement of the case for Monday that they desired it to go over until after the week of July 14, when both would be engaged in the trial of Mattie Flanders in Swainsboro. Mr. Rosser represents the defense of Mrs. Flanders and Mr. Arnold the prosecution.

This came when Solicitor Dorsey suggested that the case be tried on July 7.

Judge Roan, in fixing July 28 as a date suitable to all concerned, said that there would be no break in the week, as there would with July 4, that a good court room for the trial could be obtained about July 13, that the jail could be cleared of routine cases by that time and previously made engamenest [sic] would not be interrupted.

All lawyers concerned were in court and the judge asserted that lack of preparation could not be offered as an excuse when the case was called on July 28.

The attorneys for Leo M. Frank Tuesday afternoon secured subpoenas duces tecum to be served on Chief James L. Beavers, Chief N. A. Lanford, Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stevens, Hary [sic] Scott, of the Pinkertons; City Detectives John Black, Pat Campbell and J. N. tSarnes [sic], and Secretary of Chief Lanford, G. C. Febuary, calling upon them to produce in court Monday June 30, or any other day that the Frank case might be on trial, all affidavits or statements secured from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper; Monteen Stover and Grace Hix. 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 →

Arnold Declares Frank Innocent and Enters Case

He Will Aid Frank Defense

REUBEN R. ARNOLD,
Able attorney, who declares he would not have entered case were he not firmly convinced of Leo M. Frank’s innocence.

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 22, 1913

Famous Lawyer Says He Wouldn’t Defend Man Accused of Such Crime Unless Sure of His Innocence

SCORES CITY DETECTIVES FOR HOLDING TO THEORY

Mr. Arnold Says Detectives Have Tried to Prejudice the Case by Unfair Means—Has Studied Evidence

Reuben R. Arnold, famous Georgia lawyer, has officially entered the Phagan case in the defense of Leo M. Frank, as exclusively forecasted by The Journal last Thursday.

Mr. Arnold comes into the case with a ringing statement declaring his firm belief in the innocence of his client, and asserting that he would never defend a person charged with such an atrocious crime if he were not fully convinced of his innocence. Mr. Arnold says that he has reached the conclusion that there is no room to believe Frank guilty, after carefully studying the evidence in the case.

Mr. Arnold declares that it is surprising that the detectives should continue to put the crime on Frank with the incriminating statements of Conley before them. He scores the detectives because of the publication of the Formby affidavit, declaring that by this and other means they have done Frank a great injustice.

With Mr. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser working in his behalf a great legal battle is made a certainty when Frank faces a jury in the criminal division of the superior court. Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey and Frank A. Hooper, who is associated with him, will have charge of the state’s case. Lawyers and court attaches predict the most brilliant legal battle ever known in a criminal case in this state.

The date of the trial is still a matter of interesting conjectures, although it may be settled Monday after the return of Solicitor Dorsey to the city.

Mr. Dorsey still expects to set the trial of the case on the court calendar for June 30, but any number of things may interfere. An attorney associated with the defense stated Saturday afternoon that he knew of no reason why there should be a postponement, but would make no more definite statement.

While they know nothing definite it is the opinion of court attaches that the trial of the case will not be reached before July 14 or July 28, and their guess is generally expected to prove correct.

In a statement which he gave the public Mr. Arnold, who has been long regarded as one of the ablest criminal lawyers in the south, intimated that he is thoroughly familiar with all phases of the case, and as a result it is not considered probable that a postponement will be asked on his account.

“It is true that I have accepted employment to assist in the defense of Mr. Leo M. Frank, but I wish to state that before I agreed to take the case, I made it a condition that I should have time to study critically all the evidence delivered at the coroner’s inquest and all the affidavits that have reached the public through the newspapers, so I could form an opinion for myself as to Frank’s innocence or guilt. I would not defend any man if guilty of such a murder as the one in this case.

“After studying the evidence as critically as I can, I am satisfied that I hazard not a thing in saying that there is no room to believe Mr. Frank guilty of this horrible murder. I do not believe that any white man committed the crime.

“Indeed, it is surprising to me that the detectives should continue to try to put this crime on Frank with the positively incriminating affidavits of Conley before them. People of common sense, unless under great excitement, ought not to give a moment’s credence to either the Formby or Conley statements in so far as they attempt to incriminate Mr. Frank.

“I see the detectives are gradually giving it out that Mrs. Formby will not be called as a witness, although her affidavit has been paraded before the public before the unqualified endorsement of the detective department as being perfectly reliable and true. Worse than this, as intimation was published in the newspapers that Frank’s friends had persuaded her to leave town. In this and in many other ways our client has been done a very great injustice. The effort seems to have been not to find the criminal but to try by all means to put the crime on Frank.

“However, I think we will be able to clarify the situation in due time.”

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The Atlanta Journal, June 22nd 1913, “Arnold Declares Frank Innocent and Enters Case,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Date of Frank Trial Still In Much Doubt

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, June 21, 1913

Belief Grows That Case Will Not Come Up Before July 14 or 28

Interest in the Phagan case still centers on the time of the trial of Leo M. Frank. Indications still are that the case will not be tried the week of June 30.

Solicitor Dorsey has never finally committed himself on the matter but Colonel Frank A. Hooper, who is associated [with] him, still expects the case to be set for that date.

Mr. Hooper expects the trial to last a week. The jail will not have been cleared by June 30, according to court attaches, and it is the general policy of the court to clear the jail of as many cases as possible before entering into a lengthy trial. In addition the Fourth of July, a holiday, comes in the week of June 30 and this might mean that the jury would be locked up during a day that the court was not in session. Still further there is the possibility that the defense will ask for a postponement.

Judge L. S. Roan will not have to hold court in the Stone Mountain circuit on either the week of July 14, or the week of July 28, and as a result it is now considered extremely probable that Frank will face a jury on one of those dates.

Apparently the Phagan case is at a standstill. Saturday both Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, who will be associated with the defense in all probability, were out of the city, on business said not to be connected with the case.

Mr. Hooper, who is in charge of the state’s case during the absence in New York of Solicitor Dorsey, states that there have been no developments of importance, and that the state is ready for the trial, whenever Mr. Dorsey returns and sets it on the court calendar.

Mr. Hooper was not interested in the return of Mrs. Mima [sic] Formby, maker of a sensational affidavit, to the city. The state made no effort to find her when she left the city, and apparently there is no chance of her being used as a witness unless the defense puts Frank’s character in issue.

During the absence of Solicitor Dorsey, Detectives Starnes and Campbell have been working under his instructions, smoothing over rough places in the state’s case, but nothing of importance has been developed.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, June 21st 1913, “Date of Frank Trial Still In Much Doubt,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Justice Aim in Phagan Case, Says Hooper

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, June 21, 1913

I have not been employed in the case to prosecute Leo M. Frank, but to help find and convict the murderer of Mary Phagan. If the trial proves we are wrong, we will begin work on another angle. We have but one object and idea. It is that justice and the law be vindicated. We are, however, convinced we have a strong case against the accused.

FRANK A. HOOPER,
Attorney.

Mrs. Mina [sic] Formby and her sensational affidavit will not be used by the State in the trial of Leo M. Frank, according to a statement Saturday from Attorney Frank A. Hooper, assisting the prosecution.

Mr. Hooper said the State had never attached any importance to the affidavit, except for the first few days, and that when Mrs. Formby mysteriously disappeared from the city, the State eliminated her from the case entirely and made no effort to locate her. He said time set forth in the affidavit and the alleged facts were at too wide a variance with anything the State expected to prove, and there had been no trouble in making the case without her.

Affidavit Did Not Fit.

“The woman’s affidavit did not fit in anywhere in our case,” said Mr. Hooper. “If it had we would have looked around a long time for witnesses to substantiate it before we put her on the stand. When she left Atlanta we considered her gone for good, and built without her. Mr. Dorsey and myself discussed her statement several times, and we decided she could not be used to any advantage.”

Mr. Hooper said it has been decided to put the Frank case on the calendar for the week of June 30 and the State would be ready for trial on that day.

“When Mr. Dorsey returns from New York to-night or Sunday, we will go into a conference and definitely outline the case to be presented by the State,” said Mr. Hooper. “We had decided to have it called Monday morning, June 30. Unless the defense asks for a continuance, the case will probably be tried then.”

No Weak Points Remain.

He said that he had been acquainted with every bit of evidence that was in the hands of the State and had studied it carefully with the Solicitor. For one week, he said, he and Mr. Dorsey worked incessantly on the sworn statements secured from the probable witnesses.

“Where there was a weak point we either strengthened it or eliminated it entirely. We have not depended on the evidence of any one person alone to build our case on [sic] make it stand up. We are prepared for any emergency, and feel that we have left no stone unturned in our investigation. We are confident there are no more mysterious witnesses to be heard from, for we feel that we have questioned everyone who could possibly know anything of importance.”

Mr. Hooper would not discuss the many conflicting statements of the negro Jim Conley and the part he was expected to play in the State’s case.

The strong probability that Leo Frank will not be called for trial June 30 was discussed Saturday by persons interested in the case. The attorneys for the accused man have stated that they were prepared to go into court at any time, although it is not usual to give the defense so little time in a capital case.

Frank was arrested April 29. If his case is called June 30, only two months will have elapsed since he was seriously suspected of being involved in the crime. More time than this ordinarily is given the attorneys for the defense to investigate every circumstance and story which may point to the innocence of their client. Continue Reading →

Formby Woman May Not Be A Witness

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 20, 1913

State Declares Its Case Against Frank Is Now Complete Dorsey Still Absent

Because of the inconsistency of her statement with the state’s outline of prosecution, Chief Lanford intimates that Mima Formby [sic], the roominghouse keeper of 400 Piedmont avenue, will not be called to the stand in Leo Frank’s trial. He does not state this positively, however, but it is the general opinion that such will be the prosecution’s action.

Mrs. Formby has stated to a Constitution reporter that she is ready to testify against the factory superintendent and that she will remain in Atlanta until time of trial. It is said that a number of occupants of her Piedmont avenue home who were in on the night she alleges Frank telephoned her several times to obtain a room to which he could bring a girl have testified that no such telephone calls came and that the phone did not ring more than once or twice during the entire evening.

Frank Hooper, the well known attorney, who is to be associated with Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey in the prosecution, has returned from his recent trip to Cincinnati. Although much speculation was created over his journey in view of the fact that Col. T.B. Felder, who has been an active figure in the Phagan investigation, was in Cincinnati at the same time on a trip, the nature of which he declined to disclose.

Also, importance was attached to the fact that the solicitor general was out of the city at the same time. Each of the trio, however, declared that their visits out of the city had nothing whatever to do with the Phagan case. None but the solicitor, though, would tell the mission of his trip. He went on a vacation to Atlantic City, he told reporters.

“The state’s case is regarded as complete,” Mr. Hooper said Thursday, shortly following his return to town. “There have been no new developments. We are waiting now for time of trial.”

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The Atlanta Constitution, June 20th 1913, “Formby Woman May Not Be A Witness,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Hooper Returns and Takes Up Phagan Case

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 19, 1913

Declares Trip to Cincinnati Had Nothing to oD [sic] With Murder Mystery

Frank A. Hooper, the experienced prosecutor, who has been engaged to assist Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey in the trial of the case against Leo M. Frank, returned Thursday from a three days’ trip to Cincinnati, and set at rest the rumors that he went to the Ohio city on a matter connected with the investigation of the Phagan murder mystery.

Mr. Hooper declared that his private business called him to Cincinnati, and that his trip was in no way connected with the Phagan case.

While away Mr. Hooper states that he did not see Solicitor Dorsey nor did he see Attorney Thomas B. Felder, who went to the same city on a matter, which he said before leaving, was not connected with the Phagan case nor with the famous dictograph episode.

Mr. Hooper declares that so far as he knows there are no new developments in the Phagan mystery.

“The state’s case is regarded as complete,” Mr. Hooper said, “and we are simply waiting for the hour of the trial to come.”

Mr. Hooper would not discuss the testimony of Mrs. Mima [sic] Formby, who returned to the city Tuesday after an absence of several weeks.

Mrs. Formsby [sic] made an affidavit for the detectives in which she alleged that Leo M. Frank phoned her residence at 400 Piedmont avenue, a number of times between the hours of 6:30 p. m. and 10 p. m. on the evening of the tragedy, and each time begged her to let him bring a girl to her house.

WON’T BE CALLED.

It is considered improbable, however, that Mrs. Formsby will be called as a state’s witness when the case against Frank is tried, for it has been known from the first that her story did not fit in with the theory of the state as to Frank’s actions on the night of the tragedy.

The fact that Mrs. Formsby had returned to the city first became known to the detective department, when she phoned headquarters that practically all of the furniture left in her apartment had mysteriously disappeared. 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.

DATE OF TRIAL.

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.)

WILL REUBEN R. ARNOLD AID FRANK’S DEFENSE?

(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.

WILL DEFENSE BE READY?

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.

POSTPONEMENT TILL FALL.

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)

Two New Witnesses Sought by Officers

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 18, 1913

Former Girl Employee and a Machanic [sic] May Testify Against Frank.

Two new witnesses may be used by the state in the prosecution of Leo Frank when his trial is held on June 30. Chief Lanford is investigating the reported statement of a young girl living near Roswell and of a mechanic who resides near East Point.

The former, a lass of 17, is said to have been employed in the pencil factory two years ago. For the past year or more she has been living with her parents at their home just outside Roswell. The nature of the statements she is alleged to have made is being kept secret by the detectives. It is hinted, however, that in case she is placed on the stand, her testimony will deal with the character of the superintendent.

The testimony of the East Point mechanic is said to relate to the girl’s story, and [in the] event he is used by the prosecution, his testimony will be for the purpose of corroborating that of the girl.

The departure of Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who has been associated with Solicitor General Dorsey in the prosecution of the Phagan case, adds interest to the mystery. Mr. Hooper, it is said at his home, has gone to Indianapolis. His family declare his trip has no connection whatever with the Phagan case.

Solicitor Dorsey announced before leaving that he was going to Atlantic City to spend several days’ vacation. He said that he would have nothing to do with the Phagan case while away. He left at 2:45 Saturday afternoon, accompanied by Mrs. Dorsey.

Much speculation has also been created by a trip on which Colonel T. B. Felder embarked Sunday afternoon, less than twenty-four hours after the solicitor’s departure. Mr. Felder says he goes to Cincinnati on business entirely foreign with the Phagan investigation or the dictograph charges.

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The Atlanta Constitution, June 18th 1913, “Two New Witnesses Sought by Officers,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Hooper Wants a Rest For Public From Case

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 16, 1913

Attorney Associated With Prosecution, Says State Is Ready for Frank Trial

With Solicitor General Dorsey away on a short vacation, the state’s case against Leo M. Frank, who is charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, is now in charge of Frank A. Hooper, the well known attorney, who is associated with the solicitor.

“The state’s case is complete,” Mr. Hooper said Monday morning, “and we are waiting quietly for the trial on the 30th of the month to come.”

“If the defense will stop writing cards,” continued Mr. Hooper, “and stop having their friends write them, the public can be given a needed rest from the case until the trial.”

Mr. Hooper’s statement that the prosecution is quietly waiting for the trial on June 30 is the most authoritative announcement of the date of the trial yet made.

Solicitor General Dorsey has steadfastly refrained from any definite announcement about the time of the trial, but it has been generally understood for some time that the solicitor set the case on the court’s calendar for June 30, and it will then remain with the defense as to whether there is a postponement.

While Mr. Hooper’s name was not publicly connected with the case until Sunday, it is understood that the solicitor general has been consulting with him for several weeks, and it is said that Mr. Hooper is familiar with every phase of the investigation.

With the state’s case regarded as complete, it is said that the attorneys and detectives identified with the prosecution are now devoting their energies to preparing for any surprises the defense may spring when the case goes before the court.

It was rumored Monday that the grand jury on Tuesday would take up the case of James Conley, the negro who is a self-confessed accessory after the fact in the killing, but this rumor was without foundation. It was occasioned by an error in the issuance of subpenas. The grand jury, according to its foreman, will devote the entire session Tuesday to routine cases, which have piled up during the vice investigation.

The grand jury foreman, L. H. Beck, also denied the rumor that it had taken up any investigations of third degree work by the detectives in the Phagan or in any other case. “No such investigation is even likely,” he said.

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The Atlanta Journal, June 16th 1913, “Hooper Wants a Rest For Public From Case,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Guessers See a Mystery in Dorsey-Hooper Trips

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 17, 1913

Speculation About Departure of Phagan Case Figures Not Credited, However

What is believed to be but a coincidence in the unheralded out-of-town trips of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who is to assist the solicitor in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank, and Attorney Thomas B. Felder, has given rise to a rumor that these lawyers really have gone on a secret mission of importance and one connected with the Phagan case.

Solicitor Dorsey left Atlanta Saturday afternoon, saying he was going to Atlantic City and New York for a week’s rest; Mr. Felder went away on Sunday, announcing that he was headed for Cincinnati, where he had business that was not of interest to the public; and Mr. Hooper left Monday afternoon, it being stated by his family that he had gone to Indianapolis on business and would return to Atlanta either Thursday or Friday.

Those who profess to scent a mystery in the departure of the three attorneys are allowing their speculations free range. One of the rumors set in motion is to the effect that Messrs. Dorsey, Hooper and Felder have arranged to meet in some eastern city to discuss some important feature of the Phagan case.

Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, and others who are posted as to the progress of the Phagan case, do not believe that the trips of the three lawyers have any relation whatever.

Chief Lanford and Detective Scott continue to accept as true the statement of the negro sweeper, James Conley, who swore that the only part he played in the Phagan murder was to assist Superintendent Frank to dispose of the body and to write the notes, which he says he did at the dictation of Frank.

It is claimed that Solicitor Dorsey and his investigators have in their possession evidence which strongly corroborates Conley’s story and that they are guarding this evidence very jealously in an effort to keep any inkling of it away from the defense. It was this evidence, it is said, which satisfied the solicitor general that the case against Frank was complete and that he could afford to take a much-needed vacation before the trial.

On the other hand the defense continues to ridicule the efforts made by the prosecution to substantiate Conley’s confession. The defense, it is said, has a few cards up its sleeve which it promises to play at the trial and which may result in some surprises.

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The Atlanta Journal, June 17th 1913, “Guessers See a Mystery in Dorsey-Hooper Trips,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Sensations in Phagan Case at Hand

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 17, 1913

Out-of-Town Trips Believed To Be of Great Importance—Defense Has Strong Evidence.

Frank A. Hooper, associate counsel with Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey in the prosecution of the Phagan murder mystery, left Atlanta Monday for a trip to Indianapolis. Attorney Hooper was the third man closely connected with the Phagan case to leave town within a space of three days.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder, who took an active part in the hunt for the slayer of Mary Phagan until the dictograph controversy arose, left Sunday, saying that he was going to Cincinnati. He said that it was a business trip and intimated that it was related either to his quarrel with Chief of Detectives Lanford or directly with the Phagan case.

Solicitor Dorsey left the previous afternoon. He gave out that the prosecution entirely had completed its preparation of the Phagan case and that he was going away for a week’s rest at Atlantic City and New York.

Deny Mystery.

At the Hooper home Tuesday it was admitted that Mr. Hooper’s trip was on business, but denial was made that it was in connection with the Phagan case or that there was any significance in his departure practically at the same time as that of Solicitor Dorsey and Colonel Felder.

Rumors are circulating, however, that material witnesses in the case have been uncovered and that their testimony may have a most important bearing in determining the person who strangled Mary Phagan. It is said that the sudden trips out of town of Solicitor Dorsey and his associate, Attorney Hooper, may not be unrelated to these new developments.

The prosecution has been aware for some time that the attorneys for the defense have been weaving a strong net of damaging evidence around the negro sweeper, Jim Conley.

But Attorney Luther Z. Rosser, following his custom of silence, has let neither the public nor the prosecution in on the secret of the source of this important evidence. He has scores of affidavits. That much is known by the prosecution, but by whom they are signed will probably remain a deep mystery until the Frank trial begins. Continue Reading →

Dorsey Aide Says Frank Is Fast In Net

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 16, 1913

Attorney Hooper Declares State Is Prepared for Any Move the Defense May Make.

Frank A. Hooper, the well-known criminal lawyer who has been engaged to assist Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey in the trial of Leo M. Frank for the alleged murder of Mary Phagan, said Monday that the case was complete and was ready for presentation in court at any time.

Mr. Hooper asserted that the attorneys interested in the prosecution had investigated every angle of the mystery so thoroughly and fortified themselves against any defense that Frank will present, that practically nothing remained to be done until the case was called for trial. The departure of Solicitor Dorsey for a week’s vacation, he said, was an indication of the preparedness of the prosecution.

No new developments are expected by the prosecution, according to Mr. Hooper. All of the stories and rumors have been run down to their original source. The defense, in his opinion, will be able to spring no surprise that has not been anticipated by the prosecution.

Mrs. Frank Gives Interview.

The American printed Sunday an exclusive interview with Mrs. Frank, whose husband, Leo M. Frank, is under indictment chraged with the murder of 14-year-old Mary Phagan. It was the first time that Mrs. Frank had permitted himself to be interviewed since the Coroner’s jury a month ago recommended that the Grand Jury hold her husband for trial.

She broke her silence to tell the thousands who have been gripped by the remarkable murder mystery just why she is absolutely confident and positive that Frank could not have been the author of the terrible deed. She made no plea for sympathy, but expressed herself as fully reconciled to the processes of the law, even though they temporarily caused her the greatest sorrow and kept her husband behind the cars as a man suspected of one of the most brutal crimes thinkable. The loyal wife said that she was able to bear the present belief because of the assurance of Frank’s ultimate and complete vindication.

Why She Believes Husband.

On the fact that she believes from her life with the suspected slayer that any gross or immoral act is utterly apart from his nature, she bases much of her belief in his entire innocence. Continue Reading →

Frank A. Hooper to Aid State in Frank Trial

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 15, 1913

Former Solicitor at Americus Engaged to Assist Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey

That the trial of Leo M. Frank will be a legal battle as brilliant as any ever fought in Atlanta is assured by Solicitor Dorsey’s announcement that Frank A. Hooper, Atlanta lawyer and former solicitor general of the southwestern superior court circuit, has been retained to assist the prosecution.

With the case of the state in the hands of Solicitor Dorsey and Mr. Hooper and the defense resting with Luther Z. Rosser and Herbert Haas the contest is certain to be replete with the unexpected.

Frank A. Hooper, who is Solicitor Dorsey’s choice to help the fight of the state, is distinguished as a state’s solicitor of twelve years experience. No lawyer at the Atlanta bar has seen a similar service as a prosecuting attorney. For this period he acted as solicitor to the southwestern superior court circuit at Americus. Following his term as prosecutor he practiced law in Americus being recently identified with such criminal trials as the Childers trial in Americus and the Cain trial in Cordele. In each of these cases in which the accused was acquitted Hooper appeared for the defense.

He came to Atlanta four years ago as an associate of the late Governor J. M. Terrell.

Pitted against Solicitor Dorsey and Mr. Hooper will be Luther Z. Rosser sometimes known among his confreres as “the best all-around lawyer in Atlanta;” Herbert Haas, a young but experienced attorney, and possibly others.

The report has been persistent in Atlanta for a week that another prominent Atlanta attorney known as a brilliant criminal lawyer is to be associated with the defense. While this report has not been verified there are those who are confident that the defense will be augmented by his weight before Frank faces a jury in the stuffy little Thrower building court room.

In making his announcement that Mr. Hooper was to assist in the Frank prosecution Solicitor Dorsey said that while Mr. Hooper had been his choice, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coleman, parents of the slain girl, had been consulted, and they directed him to employ such counsel as he deemed fit. The solicitor asserted that the Colemans had approved the employment of Mr. Hooper.

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The Atlanta Journal, June 15th 1913, “Frank A. Hooper to Aid State in Frank Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Frank Hooper Aids Phagan Prosecution

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 15, 1913

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey Announces His Associate in Big Case.

Just before leaving yesterday afternoon for New York, Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey announced that Attorney Frank A. Hooper would be associated with him in the prosecution growing out of the murder of Mary Phagan.

Saying that Mr. Hooper was his personal choice, Dorsey also stated that Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coleman, parents of the victim, had been consulted and had directed him to employ such counsel as he desired and that his choice of Mr. Hooper satisfied the Colemans.

Attorney Hooper has been a well-known figure at the Atlanta bar for four years. Shortly after coming to this city, he was associated with ex-Governor Joseph M. Terrell, with whom he was connected until the governor’s death. He was for twelve years the solicitor general of the southwestern judicial circuit at Americus, Ga.

Among many notable cases with which he played a conspicuous part were the Childers trial in Americus and the famous Cain murder case in Cordele. He was counsel for the defense in each case. He will be in charge of the solicitor’s affairs which relate to the Phagan case during Mr. Dorsey’s absence on his present trip.

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The Atlanta Constitution, June 15th 1913, “Frank Hooper Aids Phagan Prosecution,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

The Leo Frank Trial: Closing Arguments of Hooper, Arnold, and Rosser

Leo-Frank-and-attorneys-340x264

Originally published by the American Mercury on the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank trial.

The American Mercury continues its centenary coverage of the trial of Leo Frank for the slaying of Mary Phagan with the closing arguments presented by the prosecution and defense.

by Bradford L. Huie

IT’S A LONG READ — but an essential one for everyone who wants to consider himself well-informed on the Leo Frank case: the closing arguments from indefatigable Fulton County Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and his assistant Frank Hooper, and from Leo Frank’s brilliantly skilled defense attorneys Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser. Continue Reading →