Dalton Corroborates Statements Contained in Conley’s Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8th, 1913

C.B. Dalton a railroad carpenter who was heralded as one of the star witnesses for the defense was called to the stand by Solicitor Dorsey whe[n] court convened Thursday morning. The most startling statement uttered by Dalton from the stand was that he used the basement of the National Pencil company factory for clandestine meetings with girls and women.

Although not an employee of the factory and although his acquaintance with Frank was a [1 word illegible] Dalton testified that the factory superintendent knew of his visits to the basement with women. Dalton named three females with whom he went into the basement. He told Solicitor Dorsey that Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the factory, allowed him to use the basement. He gave the negro a quarter to watch on one occasion.

Dalton admitted to Attorney Luther Rosser that he did not know his birthplace.

“Were you ever employed at the National Pencil factory?” asked Solicitor Dorsey after a perfunctory examination of the witness.

“No, sir,” Dalton replied.

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Bits of Circumstantial Evidence, as Viewed by State, Strands in Rope

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913


They call it a chain that the State has forged, or has tried to forge, to hold Leo Frank to the murder of Mary Phagan.

But isn’t it a rope?

A chain, you know, is as strong as its weakest link. Take one link out, and the chain comes apart.

With a rope, it’s different.

Strand after strand might be cut or broken, and the rope still holds a certain weight. Then might come a time when the cutting of one more strand would cause the rope to break.

The point is, the finished rope will sustain a weight that would instantly snap any one of its several strands.

Bits of Evidence Threads.

And that is what the various bits of circumstantial evidence might better be called—strands or threads.

Edgar Allen Poe, in “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” has nearly exhausted the philosophical phase of accumulative circumstance and its relation to evidence.

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Scott Put Conley’s Story in Strange Light

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Harry Scott, of the Pinkerton agency, showed up the “confessions” of Conley in a peculiar light when he was called to the stand by the Frank defense Thursday afternoon.

The detective, questioned by Luther Rosser, told the jury that Conley, when he “had told everything,” when he had accused Frank of the killing and had made himself an accessory after the fact by declaring that he assisted in the disposal of the body; when every motive for holding anything back had been swept away by his third affidavit, still denied to him (Scott) many of the alleged circumstances to which he testified, while he was on the stand the first three days of the week.

It will be the contention of the defense that these many additions to Conley’s tale, inasmuch as all reason for concealing them had passed after Conley had come out with his accusations against Frank and his confession of his own part in the crime, are pure fabrications of the black man’s imagination, as are the other details of his tale.

Scott said that he had grilled and badgered Conley repeatedly about seeing Mary Phagan enter the factory. Even after the negro had made all his incriminating statements, he steadfastly denied seeing the girl victim go up the stairs to the second floor.

Denied He Had Seen Purse.

He denied also to Scott, the detective said, that he ever had seen the girl’s mesh bag or parasol, of that he ever had heard a girl’s scream while he was sitting on the first floor. He told the detectives that he did not see Lemmie Quinn or Monteen Stover enter the factory, although he later declared he had seen them both and so testified on the stand.

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State, Tied by Conley’s Story, Now Must Stand Still Under Hot Fire

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913


As the defense in the Frank case gets under way, it is evident enough, as it has been from the beginning of this case, that there is but one big, tremendously compelling task before it—the annihilation of Conley’s ugly story!

The State climaxed its case thrillingly and with deadly effect in the negro.

He came through the fire of cross-examination, exhaustive and thorough, in remarkably good shape, all things considered. He unfolded a story even more horrible than was anticipated. Certainly, in every conceivable way, he has sought to damage the defendant—even going to the extent of lodging against him another crime than murder!

Through the cross-examination, however, there an an evident vein of deadly purpose upon the part of the defense. Conley was given full limit to go his length. He went it—no disputing that!

The question is, did he go TOO FAR?

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Witnesses Attack Conley Story

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Say Mary Phagan Did Not Reach Factory Before 12:10


The vital time element which may serve alone to convict Leo Frank or set him free, entered largely into the evidence presented Friday by the defense at the trial of the factory superintendent. Two witnesses testified that Mary Phagan did not arrive at Broad and Marietta streets the day she was murdered until about 12:071/2 o’clock, the time the English Avenue car on which she rod[e] from home was due there. One witness, W. M. Matthews, motorman on the car, testified that Mary did not get off at Forsyth and Marietta, but continued on the car and rode as far as Broad and Hunter where the car arrives at about 12:10 o’clock, [t]he conductor corroborated Matthews.

This testimony strongly supports the contention of the defense that Mary Phagan did not enter the factory until after 12:10 o’clock and that Monteen Stover, therefore, was in the factory and had left before the Phagan girl ever entered the doors. If the defense succeeds in establishing this, the visit of the Stover girl to the factory will be of tremendous significance because it is in direct conflict with the explicit testimony of James Conley that Mary Phagan entered the factory and supposedly was strangled before the Stover girl went up the stairs. Miss Stover testified that she did not see Frank in his office, but admitted she did not enter the inner office and [t]he defense will try to show Frank could have been writing at his desk and the girl not have seen him.

Seeks to Discredit Epp’s Story.

Arnold Throws Doubt on Epps.

Attorney Arnold, who was conducting the examination during the forenoon, sought aslo [sic], to throw a deep shadow of suspicion upon the story of young George Epp’s, who testified that he rode uptown with Mary Phagan the day she was killed.

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New Video from The American Mercury: Leo Frank Is Guilty

by Philip St. Raymond

WE ARE very pleased to present here a new American Mercury video based on the widely reprinted 2013 Mercury article by Bradford L. Huie, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty, and using the audio book read by Miss Vanessa Neubauer as its basis. The article was written for our centenary retrospective of Mary Phagan’s 1913 murder. It provides in cinematic form an assessment of the Leo Frank case — perhaps the most amazing and intriguing murder mystery in American history — that simply cannot be found in the controlled media.

This ultra-high-resolution video is freely available to download so that you may keep it on your personal hard drive and re-upload it to video sharing platforms.

Today, the noose of censorship is being pulled ever-tighter by a media/government complex that is desperate to keep its lies and its crimes hidden from the public. Thus this video — exposing one of the first major operations on American soil of that complex — is very timely and important today. The American Mercury is proud to, once again in our 97-year history, bear witness to the truth.

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Source: The American Mercury

Hugh Dorsey Wins His Spurs; Crowd Recognizes Gameness

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

By Sidney Ormond

When the spectators at the Frank trial Wednesday broke into a ripple of applause, after Judge Roan had announced his decision that the damaging evidence of Jim Conley that he had “watched out for Frank on several occasions prior to the murder and had encountered him in an attitude which set him apart from normal men would remain in the records—when this applause came—it was not that any man contributing to it necessarily thought Frank guilty. It was simply a spontaneous tribute to Solicitor Hugh Dorsey who has fought so doggedly against such enormous odds to get before the jury a mass of evidence which, woven together, forms the whole fabric of the state’s case. The applause was a recognition of the ability of a young man who, say what you will of the guilt or the innocence of Leo M. Frank, has demonstrated that he is an an agonist of whom any man need feel fear.

The applause was simply an expression of the desire of the average person for fair play. Feeling for or against Frank seemed to be suspended. It was, more than anything else, an expression of approval for work well done by a young man who was passing through a strenuous ordeal. Interest in the actual evidence in question and its possible effect on the fate of the defendant seemed to be set aside for just the brief interval that it took for the clapping of hands.

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While Murder Trial Goes on Witnesses While Away Time With Old Camp Meeting Songs

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

By Britt Craig.

There is one woman with no connection whatever with the Frank case who sits undisturbed in an obscure corner of the courtroom. Throughout Jim Conley’s testimony, she remained in her seat while court deputies removed women from all parts of the place and sent them outside at order of the judge.

She is Mrs. Hattie Barnett, a detective, and a woman who has seen more of the world and knows more of its multivaried phases than many of Atlanta’s most successful business men. She has seen and heard enough not to be touched by the negro’s sordid story. She has rubbed shoulders with all manner of mankind long enough not to be affected by anything which might develop in the trial.

Mrs. Barnett is attending the Frank case to study human nature and to study court procedure in a state’s biggest trial. To her, it will be a liberal education. She will learn many things that will be of inestimable value in her work.

Spectators have watched her as she sits alone in the obscure corner and listens intently to all of the trial. They have wondered at who she is and why she is able to remain there unmolested in a courtroom where all women have been barred. If the truth were known there is room for but little wonderment.

She is there for an education in a line of work she follows daily. A peculiar education it might be but a valuable education it is.

Mrs. Barnett is a middle aged woman who has been an investigator for the larger part of her life. She has been connected in many of the state’s biggest criminal cases and at first, did a deal of work on the Phagan investigation. Since the movement has been started in police headquarters to employ female detectives, it has been suggested that she be put at the head of the squad of women.

Witnesses Sing Time Away.

Sitting quietly for hours and hours in a large room is enough to try the patience of a modern Job. Thirty or more witnesses for both the state and defense in the Frank trial are cooped up in the second floor of the [1 word illegible] court building whiling away the long and tedious days by gossiping and talking and reading and dodging the newspaper cameras.

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Judge’s Decision Admits Conley Testimony in Full

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

At the continuation of the argument on the subject of Judge Roan’s reserved decision, Solicitor Dorsey cited extracts from many legal volumes, many of which pertained to the untimeliness of objections in just such cases as the one which he argued.

“It makes no difference if the act in question was a separate or distinct crime,” he said, “just so it shows a course of conduct and has sufficient [1 word illegible] value to the case on trial. It is absolutely admissible.

“We contend that the defense has stopped at this late hour, after examining extensively, and [1 word illegible] along the point and have attempted to do something which is deplorably irrelevant. We object to the ruling out of this testimony because we propose to substantiate the truth of Conley’s statement by other witnesses, including C. B. Dalton, George Epps and others.

“We intend to introduce Epps to show that Mary Phagan, fifteen minutes before she went to her death, expressed fear of Leo Frank because he had been flirting with her and making continued advances.”

At this the solicitor cited the case of a trial in which the deceased, a woman, stated upon leaving home that there were two persons in a nearby alley and that she thought one was her husband, the other his sweetheart, and that she would go see. She went into the alley never to return alive. Her body was found there late.

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Because He is Patriotic Mincey is Here for Trial

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

W. H. Mincey, witness for the defense in the Leo M. Frank trial whose substantial affidavit that Jim Conley had told him of killing a white girl on the day Mary Phagan was murdered was published some weeks ago was a conspicuous figure in front of the courthouse Wednesday.

Mincey is a country school teacher and has been for twenty years. He is not used to city ways, he says, and the excitement of the crowd around the courthouse seemed to worry him.

“I have great patriotism,” said Mr. Mincey, “and that is the sole reason I am here. I felt it was my duty to throw any light I could on the case. No, I will not talk at the present time. I’ll do my talking when I get on the stand.”

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Atlanta Constitution, August 7th 1913, “Because He is Patriotic Mincey is Here for Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Mrs. Coleman Tells of Cooking Cabbage for Dr. H. F. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, followed Dr. Harris to the stand. She told of cooking an amount of cabbage at the chemists request for his experiments with the four men.

She stated that it had been ground finely as she had prepared it on the day of Mary’s last meal and had boiled it for an hour. She remained on the stand but for a few minutes and was asked but a few questions by either the state or defense.

She was asked to describe Mary’s pocketbook answering that she had already given a description when she first went upon the stand at the opening of the trial.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 7th 1913, “Mrs. Coleman Tells of Cooking Cabbage for Dr. H. F. Harris,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Applause Sweeps Courtroom When Dorsey Scores a Point

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Following Conley’s departure from the stand the jury was allowed a five minute recess and on their return Solicitor Dorsey tendered in evidence a picture of the pencil factory basement which was taken by Francis B. Price, The Constitution staff photographer on the morning that the body was found a [1 word illegible] of which appeared in The Constitution. He also tendered a scratch pad sample of one of those around the factory the murder notes and the pad found near the body.

There were no objections from the defense.

“Bring in C. B. Dalton,” called out the solicitor. Dalton is the man named by Conley as having gone into the factory with Frank when the latter chatted with women and had Conley act as lookout. Dalton took his place on the stand but was excused because the judge had not made his final decision with reference to the protested Conley testimony and Mrs. John Arthur White was called in.

Conley was brought back and Mrs. White was asked if he was the negro she claimed to have seen on April 26 concealed behind some boxes on the first floor of the factory.

She could not say that he was or was not but declared that he looked more like the man than anyone else she had seen and that he was about the same statue. The defense entered frequent objections while this was being brought out.

“Mrs. White,” the solicitor then asked, “on April 28 didn’t you tell your brother Wade Campbell, an employee of the pencil company that you had seen a negro there on the previous Saturday?”

Mr. Rosser objected.

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Mary Phagan Was Strangled Declares Dr. H. F. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Dr. Roy F. Harris, the pathologist, head of the state board of health, and the expert who exhumed and examined the body of Mary Phagan, went on the stand at the close of the argument over Judge Roan’s reserved decision to continue the testimony from which he was interrupted Friday by a fainting spell in the courtroom.

He still suffered from weakness and was allowed to sit in a heavily-upholstered armchair.

He was questioned first by Solicitor Dorsey.

“Dr. Harris, what is your particular branch of medicine?”
“My usual line is pathology, chemistry and chemical work, as well as diagnosis.”

“Can you indicate the signs of what you saw on Mary Phagan’s body which showed strangulation?”

Died by Strangulation.

“It was out of the question that her death was caused by a blow on the head—it was not sufficient to even produce noticeable pressure. The only thing evident from which death could have resulted was the deep indentation along the throat, obviously inflicted during life. There were other signs as well—the protruding tongue, congested blood in the face and hands, all of which indicated that strangulation had caused death.”

“Did you notice the larynx?”

“Yes; there seemed no damage done.”

“Did you see the windpipe?”

“Did you take it out?”

“No; there seemed but little damage to it. I did not remove it because I did not want to mutilate the poor child any more than necessary.”

“Did you see the lungs?”
“Yes, but the lungs were congested, due to the use of formaldehyde used in embalming.”

The solicitor asked the defense for the bloody stick found by Pinkertons on May 10 in the pencil factory. It was produced and shown to the physician.

“Do you think the blow you found on the child’s head could have been inflicted by a cudgel like this?”
“In my opinion, I would think not—the gash evidently was inflicted with some sharp instrument.”

“Did you make a scientific examination of the female organs?”

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Unable to Shake Conley’s Story Rosser Ends Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

On the opening of court Wednesday morning when Judge L. S. Roan announced that he would postpone his final decision in regard to the admissibility of Jim Conley’s evidence in regard to Leo Frank’s alleged misconduct and also to the negro’s acting on previous occasions as his “lookout,” Luther Rosser began his final effort to break the negro down.

Conley stayed on the stand until 10 o’clock and was then excused. He had been testifying for fifteen hours in all and of this thirteen hours had been under the merciless grilling of Attorney Rosser.

The negro stuck to the last to the main points of his story, and, while admitting that he had lied on previous occasions, swore that he had only tried to save himself and that about the murder he was telling the whole truth. No amount of effort could break him from this declaration.

Conley also added a new point to his story when under additional questioning from Solicitor Hugh Dorsey he swore that he had seen Frank hide Mary Phagan’s meshbag in his safe. Before that both sides had declared that they could not account for the disappearance of the pocketbook or bag in which the girl had carried her money.

Reads Black Affidavit.

Mr. Rosser opened the morning cross-examination by reading to the negro the second affidavit he made to Detective John R. Black and Harry Scott. It was in this that the darkey swore he had left home at about 9 o’clock and after visiting several saloons and poolrooms, among which was one bearing the name of the “Butt-In” saloon, he had won 90 cents at dice and then gone to the factory at about 1 o’clock. In it he had admitted to writing the murder notes, but made no mention of helping Frank dispose of the body.

Then the lawyer read the next affidavit in which the negro declared he had aided Frank in taking the dead girl’s body to the cellar in which, despite the fact that he had put into it the claim that he was telling the whole truth, he had not told certain things which he waited until he got on the stand to tell.

Mr. Rosser made Conley acknowledge to having made these affidavits and with particular emphasis called his attention to the various discrepancies between them and also between the final one and his sworn testimony.

Then the lawyer asked the witness about several conversations he is alleged by the defense to have had with various factory employees after the murder was discovered and before he was arrested.

“Jim,” began Mr. Rosser, “soon after the murder weren’t you working near where Miss Rebecca Carson was and did she say to you, ‘Jim, they ain’t got you yet for this,’ and didn’t you say, ‘No, and they ain’t goin’ to, ‘cause I ain’t done nothin’?’”

“No, sir,” replied Conley: “dat lady ain’t never said nothing like dat to me and I ain’t never said nothing like dat to her.”

“Didn’t she say, ‘Well, they’ve got Mr. Frank and he ain’t done nothing,’ and didn’t you then say, ‘Mr. Frank is ez innocent as you is and de Lord knows you ain’t guilty’?”

“No, sir,” replied Jim positively: “no, sir, Mr. Rosser, wasn’t nothing lak dat passed ‘tween us.”

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Spontaneous Applause Greets Dorsey’s Victory

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913


Reuben Arnold Threatens to Call for Mistrial if There Should Be Recurrence of Applause Which Marked Reception of the Decision. Judge Announces That the Court Room Would Be Cleared if There Was Any More Disorder.


Dr. Roy Harris Testifies in Afternoon, Declaring That Death Was Caused by Strangulation—Tells of Experiments With Four Men in Digestion of Cabbage Cooked by Mrs. Coleman, Mother of Girl Who Was Murdered—C. B. Dalton Testifies Today.

When, shortly after the noon recess Wednesday, after he had heard lengthy argument on both sides, Judge Roan reversed his decision of the day previous thereby admitting as evidence the statements of Jim Conley that on numerous occasions he had acted as “lookout” for Leo M. Frank while he was engaged with women on the second floor of the National Pencil factory, the state and Solicitor Dorsey won a victory which was perfectly patent to every one in the court room, and the news was quick to reach the street and to be circulated by word of mouth all over the city.

As soon as Judge Roan announced his decision spontaneous applause broke out in the court room and Reuben Arnold jumped to his feet, exclaiming:

“If that happens again I shall move for a mistrial.”

Judge Roan announced that he would have to clear the room if there was a recurrence of the disorder.

Interest at Keen Pitch.

At no single stage of the long drawn-out trial has interest been so keen as when Judge Roan announced on Tuesday that he would reverse his decision on the admissibility of this evidence until Wednesday morning. The evidence was of such an important nature and its introduction came as such a complete surprise that it was the sole topic of conversation all day Monday and Tuesday. When Conley had blandly told of the occurrences which would seem to indicate a course of conduct on the part of the defendant which would throw light on the crime, and stamp him as apart from other men, there was profound surprise in the court room that the astute attorneys for the defense did not strenuously object.

But on second thought the impression seemed to be that Mr. Rosser and Mr. Arnold, confident they could break the negro down, were opening wide the bars and were giving Conley all the rope necessary to hang himself.

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Judge Roan Decides Conley’s Testimony Must Stand

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

Attorney William M. Smith, who clashed in the court room Tuesday with Attorneys for Leo M. Frank, who didn’t want him to consult with client until Conley had finished his testimony.

Atlanta Journal
August 7th, 1913

Defense Asks Mistrial When Crowd in the Court Applauds Announcement of the Decision

Judge Roan, However, Refuses to Stop Trial—Dr. Harris on Stand During Afternoon and Again Asserts that Mary Phagan Suffered Violence Just Before Death—Dalton Called to Corroborate Conley But Court Adjourns Before He Testifies

Dr. H. F. Harris, secretary of the state board of health, was the first witness called for the Wednesday afternoon session after the jury was called into the room. The direct examination under Solicitor Dorsey was resumed.

Dr. Harris again asserted very positively that Mary Phagan had suffered violence of some kind immediately preceding her death, and explained in detail his reasons for reaching this conclusion.

The secretary of the state board of health was excused from the witness stand at 5 o’clock before his cross-examination had been finished. He was very weak, he said in response to the court’s inquiry, and was permitted to stop his testimony, which was resumed Thursday. Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, was the last witness examined before adjournment.

C. B. Dalton, mentioned by Conley, as having visited the factory in company with two women, was called just before court adjourned but did not testify.

Great excitement prevailed in the court room Wednesday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan announced his decision to reverse himself on his ruling of Tuesday, striking out parts of Conley’s testimony. From the spectators gallery the crowd cheered the decision, but quieted down after Attorney Arnold, for the defense, made a motion to clear the room. Judge Roan refused to clear the court of spectators but warned the spectators not to repeat the demonstration. Attorney Arnold then moved for a mistrial, in this he was also overruled by the judge.

Judge Roan, in his ruling, held that all of Conley’s testimony would remain in the record of the case and that Solicitor Dorsey would be allowed to introduce witnesses to corroborate the negro’s charges against Frank’s conduct in his presence. As to allowing the Epps boy to testify as to what Mary Phagan told him regarding her fears of Frank, the judge held that inadmissible and the newsie will not be recalled.

When court reconvened at 2 o’clock, Solicitor Dorsey resumed his argument. The solicitor renewed his contention, citing authorities to back it up, that as a general rule failure to make objection to incompetent evidence at the time of introduction is a waiver of that right.

In this instance, said he, the court should hold that the defense had waived the right to object. In case of doubt as to the relevancy of evidence, said he, it should be left to the jury for that body to determined its weight.

The solicitor said that he cited several Georgia cases, among them some very old decisions. The solicitor stated that no fixed rule can be observed regarding the introduction of evidence of acts similar to the crime charged. The law says simply, says he, there must be some logical connection which proves or tends to prove the other. It must be one of a system of mutually dependent crimes, said he.

“I intend to show,” said he, “that this crime was one of a system of mutually dependent crimes.”

The solicitor contended that he had the right to introduce evidence of transactions which serve to illustrate the state of mind of the defendant or his intention or purpose.

“The fact,” he said, “that they are simply crimes, does not make them inadmissible.”


The solicitor asked if he should proceed with argument on his second proposition—involving his right to enter testimony corroborative of Conley’s. Judge Roan told him to proceed with that argument.

While the solicitor argued Attorney Rosser sat in the witness’ chair, lolling back, with his legs crossed, rubbing his head.

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Dr. Harris’ Testimony is Attacked by Defense Expert

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

Atlanta Journal
August 7th, 1913


Dr. Childs Characterizes Conclusions Similar to Those Made by Dr. H. F. Harris and Dr. J. W. Hurt as Remarkable Guesses—He Says Cabbage Is Most Indigestible of All Vegetables and Might Stay in Stomach for Many Hours


Dalton Swears He Has Visited Pencil Factory in Company With Women, That Frank Knew of His Presence and That Jim Conley, the Negro Sweeper, Was There—He Tells of Frank’s Visitors

When recess was ordered at 12:30 o’clock Wednesday in the trial of Leo M. Frank charged with the murder of little Mary Phagan, Dr. Leroy Childs, called by the defense as its first witness, was on the stand. Dr. Childs had already testified in answer to a hypothetical question framed by Attorney Reuben R. Arnold, that a post mortem examination nine days after death would not show whether a blow on the head, such as that described by Attorney Arnold, had produced unconsciousness, or whether it had been delivered before or after death. Dr. Childs declared that such a blow as that described by Mr. Arnold might even have produced death. He characterized any statement to the effect that such a blow procured unconsciousness and that it could not have produced death, as nothing short of a remarkable guess.

Dr. Harris also declared that cabbage was the most indigestible of all vegetables and that it might remain in the stomach as long as four hours and a half. Looking at the cabbage taken from the stomach of Mary Phagan and submitted as evidence at the Frank trial, Dr. Childs said that it was impossible to tell how long this food had remained in the stomach.

Dr. Childs followed Dr. H. F. Harris, secretary of the state board of health, who was the concluding witness for the state. At the close of Dr. Harris’ cross-examination, the state rested. Answering the questions of Attorney Arnold, Dr. Harris reaffirmed the testimony given by him previously, namely, that Mary Phagan was killed within less than an hour after eating the cabbage and bread found in her stoamch; that the cause of her death was strangulation; that the blow on her head produced unconsciousness but could not have produced death and that she had suffered violence immediately before she was killed.

It is the evident purpose of the defense as shown by the testimony already drawn from Dr. Childs to vigorously dispute the evidence of Dr. Harris fixing the time of the little girl’s death. Other medical experts, no doubt, will follow Dr. Childs.

It is now believed that the defense will put Frank’s character in evidence, as the state has already succeeded in making an attack upon it through the testimony of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, and C. B. Dalton. Should the defense put up witnesses to prove Frank’s good character, the state will be permitted to rebut this testimony with any evidence it may have that is detrimental to Frank’s character.

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Trial Experts Conflict on Time of Girl’s Death

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

Here is a sample of the testimony of Dr. Harris, for the State, given Wednesday afternoon, and conflicting evidence given for the defense by Dr. Childs on Thursday:

Dr. Harris said:

“I want to state that the amount of secretive juice in this stomach was considerably less than would have collected in an hour. The hydrochloride acid had not been in long enough to become free. The amount of confined hydrochloric was 32 degrees. In a normal stomach, the amount would have been 55 or 60 degrees. It was just about the amount one would have supposed to have collected in half an hour or 35 to 40 minutes. I can say with absolute certainty that she was unconscious within 30 or 40 minutes after she ate the cabbage.”

Shortly after the defense opened Mr. Arnold held up a sample of cabbage taken from the Phagan girl’s stomach.

Q. Would you hazard a guess that this cabbage had only been in a stomach one half hour before death?—A. I would not.

Q. Why?—A. For the reasons I have stated. The cause of the psychic influences I know not of that might have been brought to bear and because of the varying effects of stomachs on such a substance.

Q. Do you think a doctor could give an accurate scientific opinion by making such a statement?—A. I do not.

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Atlanta Georgian, August 7th 1913, “Trial Experts Conflict on Time of Girl’s Death,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Roan’s Ruling Heavy Blow to Defense

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

Judge Roan administered a severe blow to the defense Wednesday when he ruled that all of Conley’s story should stand, although portions of it, he acknowledged, would have been inadmissible had objection been made at the time the testimony was offered.

Judge to Rule as Case Proceeds.

It was a particularly difficult allegation to combat. Unlike many allegations, it was exactly as hard to fight in the event it was false as in case it was founded on fact.

Judge Roan said in regard to the testimony of Dalton that he did not know what it was to be and that he would allow it to be presented so that he might rule on its admissibility as it came up.

Solicitor Dorsey put the final rivet in his case so far as it rested upon the testimony of Conley when at the close of his redirect examination of the negro he brought to light the State’s theory of the disposition that had been made of the Phagan girl’s mesh bag.

Practically no mention of the mesh bag had been made during the week and a half of the trial. The only reference made to it was in the examination of Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of the slain girl, and of the officers who visited the scene of the crime immediately after police headquarters was called by the negro nightwatchman, Newt Lee.

Tells of Mesh Bag.

Mrs. Coleman testified that Mary left home with the mesh bag in her hand. The detectives and policemen all testified that they were able to find no trace of it either the morning after the crime or in the search that had been conducted since then.

“Did you ever see the murdered girl’s mesh bag?” Dorsey asked Conley, just as it appeared that he had finished his questioning.

“Yes, sah, I see it,” Conley replied.

“Where was it?”
“It was right on Mr. Frank’s desk when I went in there to write the notes.”

“Did you see what became of it?”
“Yes, sah; Mr. Frank went and put it in his safe.”

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Trial as Varied as Vaudeville Exhibition

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

Every Change in Chromatic Scale Rung—All Georgia Types Seen in Court.

By L. F. Woodruff.

Every change in the chromatic scale has been rung in the Frank trial. With the single exception of the skyrocket oratory that will mark the last stage of the trial, everything that has ever been done in the trial of a criminal case has been enacted in the fight to fix on the superintendent of the National Pencil Factory the guilt of the murder of Mary Phagan.

There has been comedy. There has been tragedy. There has been periods as dull as a hookworm victim. There have been occasions as startling as the feat of a circus daredevil. There have been pathos and performances worthy of a clown. The somber has been mixed with the gay until the entire trial seems the work of a futurist artist who has had a hard night with the drinking cups before he started the painting.

Jim Conley was on the stand something like sixteen hours. His story was a ragtime composition, with the weirdest syncopations, and then came Dr. Harris right on his heels and gave evidence full of soundness and learnedness. To the spectators it seemed that they had just heard “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” played and then a Bach fugue for an encore.

One Simple, Other Complex.

Conley’s story was as simple in words as “Old Black Joe,” while Dr. Harris’ was as complex as a Wagnerian overture.

Jim Conley spoke in terms of the street, of the near-beer saloon, of the blind alley crap game. Dr. Harris spoke in the language of the laboratory and the library.

Jim Conley could not enunciate a word of more than one syllable. Dr. Harris was as polysyllabic as the word “heterogeneous.” And the spectators had to gasp after the shift.

Conley’s story, while it was as full of contradictions as a hive is of bees, was as easy to understand as a baby’s “da-da” is to a fond parent. Dr. Harris evidence was as loaded with medical lore as a physician’s library.

And, although it seems impossible, there is more still to come. Before the trial has ended practically every type that Georgia knows will have been paraded in the courtroom.

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