Thursday May 1st, 1913
Was the man who first assaulted and then brutally killed Mary Phagan last Saturday night hiding in the basement of the National Pencil company when the watchman, Newt Lee, came down and discovered the girl’s mutilated body early Sunday morning?
This is the question that rose to everyone’s mind, following the testimony of the negronight watchman, at the coroner’s inquest Wednesday. In direct contradiction to the evidence of every policeman who had been on the scene, the negro declared that he found the body, lying face up, with the head toward the wall. When the police arrived, the body was lying face down, with the head pointing toward the front of the building.
The most severe cross examination could not shake the negro. He stuck to his story, never seeming to waver for an instant. So convincing was his air that it became the general idea that the murderer must have been in the cellar at the time, waiting to burn the body of his victim. Lee’s coming down into the cellar may have frightened him away.
He declared that when he reported for work at 4 o’clock on the afternoon before the tragedy, his employer told him to go home until 6 o’clock. Frank looked nervous and excited at the time, he said. He also said that Frank had called him up later in the night, to find if everything was all right, something that he had never done before. Continue Reading →