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 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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New Evidence in Phagan Case Found

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

iGrl [sic] Called to Tell of Negro She Saw in Pencil Factory—Lee Stays in Jail.

A sensation in the Phagan murder mystery developed Wednesday afternoon when Solicitor Dorsey summoned Miss Mattie Smith under a special subpena to question her in regard to a negro she saw in the National Pencil Factory the morning of the Saturday that Mary Phagan was murdered.

Miss Smith told a Georgian reporter that she saw a negro there that morning and believed it was between 9 and 10 o’clock. She thought she might be asked to identify Conley. If she identifies the negro, it will disprove Conley’s statement that he did not go to the factory until after he had met Frank Saturday.

Judge W. D. Ellis Wednesday morning postponed indefinitely the hearing on the application for a writ of habeas corpus to liberate Newt Lee, material witness in the Phagan murder mystery.

The action came as a result of an agreement reached between Graham & Chappell, attorneys for Lee, and Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey. It is believed to mark the end of all efforts to gain the negro’s freedom before the trial of Leo M. Frank July 28.

The most unconcerned person in the courtroom was Newt Lee. He was brought before Judge Ellis by Deputy Sheriff Miner.

Lee is Unconcerned.

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Girl Springs Sensation in Phagan Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

PART OF PAY ENVELOPE FOUND

Discovered Shortly After Tragedy by Detectives, but Find Was Kept Secret.

*Editor’s Note: The following headlines also appeared:

(Night Edition):

NEW PHAGAN EVIDENCE FOUND

PART OF PAY ENVELOPE HELD BY POLICE

(Extra Final Edition):

PHAGAN PAY ENVELOPE FOUND

Two sensational developments marked the Phagan case Wednesday. One was the testimony of Miss Mattie Smith, an employee of the National Pencil factory, that she had seen a negro sitting on the first floor of the factory betwen [sic] 9 and 10 o’clock, at a time when Conley had denied being there. The second was the announcement of the finding of a part of a pay envelope declared to be the envelope of Mary Phagan.

A piece of an envelope bearing Mary Phagan’s number was found on the first floor of the National Pencil factory behind a radiator, only a few feet from where Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the plant, was sitting on the day the little factory girl was murdered, according to information made public Wednesday afternoon.

Robbery Again Suspected.

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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 →

Solicitor Will Fix Frank Trial for June 30, He Says

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 23, 1913

Unless “Showing” Is Made in Open Court Why the Case Should Be Deferred, Trial Will Proceed

MONTEEN STOVER AGAIN FIGURES IN THE CASE

Detectives Question Her With View to Attacking Theory That Girl Was Slain on the First Floor

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, it was definitely learned Monday, will set the case of the State against Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, for June 30, and the solicitor will insist that a legal “showing” be made by the defense before a postponement is allowed.

During the day Monday or early on Tuesday morning the court calendar for the week of June 30 will be made up and then a small army of bailiffs and deputies will commence to summon talesmen. Owing to the unusual interest in the case it is probable that more than 150 talesmen will be summoned to the court in order that twelve jurors to try Frank may be picked from them.

COURT WON’T INTERFERE.

It is understood that the court of its own volition will not interfere in the matter, and if a postponement of the case is secured it will be on a “legal showing” made in open court next Monday by the attorneys, who represent the accused man.

The illness of one of counsel or the absence from the city of a material witness or the engagement of counsel in another court, or any one of several other perfectly good excuses constitute legal grounds for the postponement of case, so the uncompromising attitude of the state by no means makes the trial of the case on June 30 a certanity [sic].

Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, the able attorneys, who represent Frank, will give no intimation of their attitude towards entering into the case next Monday.

The published rumor that John W. Moore, another noted Atlanta lawyer, would assist Attorneys Arnold and Rosser and Herbert Haas in the case is without foundation, according to Mr. Moore and the other attorneys connected with the case.

WITNESS QUESTIONED.

What is believed by the prosecution of Leo M. Frank to be a refutation of the defense’s theory that Mary Phagan was slain at the foot of the stairs on the first floor of the pencil factory, occurred at police headquarters Sunday afternoon, when Jim Conley, the negro, identified Monteen Stover, aged 14, 17 South Forsyth street, as the girl in the raincoat and “easy walkers” who went to the office on the second floor at 12:05 o’clock and came down the stairs five or ten minutes later and left the building.

The little Stover girl was taken before Conley in the detectives’ room Sunday and positively identified by the negro, according to the detectives who were present, Chief Lanford and Detectives Campbell and Starnes.

Conley declared that she was the girl he watched while he was hid at the foot of the tsairs [sic]. The Stover girl entered the building, went up the stairs to the office, stayed there some five or ten minutes, and then came down and went out.

J. C. Hines, who went to headquarters with Walter Sudderth and Mr. Edmundson, pointed out Monteen Stover as the girl whom he saw enter the building. Continue Reading →

Lay Bribery Effort to Frank’s Friends

Mrs. Nina Fomby, woman who made affidavit that Leo M. Frank had telephoned to her on the day of Mary Phagan's death trying to get a room for himself and a girl.

Mrs. Nina Fomby, woman who made affidavit that Leo M. Frank had telephoned to her on the day of Mary Phagan’s death trying to get a room for himself and a girl.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Chief of Detectives Lanford was given two papers Monday accusing friends of Leo M. Frank of attempting to bribe a man and a woman to swear that they saw Mary Phagan at 10:30 Saturday night, April 26, at a soda fountain at Marietta and Forsyth Streets.

These papers were given Lanford by A. S. Colyar, whose entrance into the Phagan case has been marked by one sensation after another. Colyar told Lanford that the papers were copies of sworn affidavits and that he had the originals which he would produce at the proper time. The copies are not signed.

Haas Denies Charge.

Emphatic denial that he had in any manner resorted to bribery in behalf of Frank was made by Herbert Haas, well-known Atlanta attorney and friend of the pencil factory superintendent. Mr. Haas further declared that any intimation that he had sought to bribe anyone was absolutely false.

Two Affidavits Alleged.

Colyar said that one of the affidavits was signed by the woman it was sought to bribe and the other by the man, a traveling salesman. Five hundred dollars each is said by the alleged of the affidavits to have been offered to the man and the woman for their testimony.

Colyar alleges that the woman was brought here from Birmingham with the intention of inducing her to swear to the statement that she saw Mary Phagan late Saturday night. He said that he knew where she was at the present time, although the friends of Frank though that she had left the city. Continue Reading →

Frank’s Attorneys Make No Comment

Frank's AttorneysAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Saturday, May 24th, 1913

Neither L. Z. Rosser Nor Herbert Haas Had Any Statement to Make

“Not a word to say,” was Attorney Luther Z. Rosser’s comment when informed by a Journal reporter that his client, Leo M. Frank, had been indicted by the grand jury for the murder of Mary Phagan.

Mr. Rosser held in his hand a Journal extra telling of the affidavit by the negro, James Connally [sic], that on the day before the tragedy Mr. Frank called him into his (Frank’s) office and asked him to dictate two notes, and that he believes the notes he dictated are the same ones found beside the murdered girl’s body in the pencil factory basement.

Asked if he would permit The Journal to interview Mr. Frank, Mr. Rosser said he would not.

“I have no statement to make. You’d better see Mr. Rosser,” was the reply of Attorney Herbert Haas when seen a few moments later by the same reporter and informed of Mr. Frank’s indictment.

Mr. Haas is associated with Mr. Rosser in the defense.

He likewise declined to permit Mr. Frank to be interviewed.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 24th 1913, “Frank’s Attorneys Make No Comment,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Detective Harry Scott’s Testimony as Given Before Coroner’s Jury

Detective Harry Scott's Testimony as Given Before

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 9th, 1913

An unexpected turn was given to the coroner’s inquest into the mysterious murder of Mary Phagan, Thursday afternoon, when Harry Scott, the Pinkerton detective who has been representing that agency in its work on the case, was called to the stand by the coroner. Mr. Scott was in the room at the moment.

One new detail that he revealed was in a reply to a direct question from the coroner, when he stated that Herbert Haas, attorney for Leo M. Frank and attorney for the National Pencil factory, requested him and superintendent of the Pinkerton agency in Atlanta to withheld [sic] from the police all evidence they gathered until he, Mr. Haas, would consider it.

Their reply, said Mr. Scott, was that they would withdraw from the case before they would do that.

He proceeded to say that he and his firm still are retained by the pencil company.

Mr. Scott was called to the stand when Assistant Superintendent Schiff, of the pencil factory, left it. Continue Reading →