Girl Tells Police Startling Story of Vice Ring

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 11, 1913

THREE NEW VICE WAR ARRESTS

Man Prisoner Declares He Will Bare the Whole System if Brought to Trial.

As a result of statements made to Chief Beavers Friday morning by Hattie Smith, the young girl who has been held for the Grand Jury in connection with the vice war, Detective Rosser at noon arrested three persons—two men and a woman—who were named by the Smith girl as contributing to her downfall and being involved in her white slavery charges.

The persons under arrest are Paul Estes, 52 Queen Street; Hoyt Monroe, Edgewood, and Mrs. Lola White, 768 Marietta Street.

The woman is a cousin of Hattie Smith and lives next door, while both Estes and Monroe are in the employ of the Collier Garage at Cone and James Streets, where the Smith girl says she met Lena Barnhardt, who later took her to the Cumberland Hotel.

Says She Went Joy Riding.

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Says Conley Confessed Slaying

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 10, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Articles with the titles “Tells of Conley Confession” and “Says Conley Confessed” also appeared in other editions of the Georgian.

NEGRO MADE BOAST OF KILLING A GIRL, AGENT DECLARES

Attorneys for Frank Will Put Main Reliance of Defense on the Startling Affidavit Made by W. H. Mincey and Now in Their Possession.

That Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil Factory, made a virtual confession to him that he attacked and killed Mary Phagan is the startling allegation made in an affidavit by William H. Mincey, until recently a solicitor for the American Insurance Company, of 115 1/2 North Pryor Street.

It became known Thursday that this affidavit, which is in the hands of the defense, will be the principal reliance, aside from the alibis which have been established for Frank, in bringing an acquittal of the accused man and obtaining a conviction against the negro.

No other evidence, in all of the more than two months’ investigation of the mystery, has been so damning and so direct. The defense has practically only to establish the credibility of Mincey to assure itself of victory.

Said He Had Killed Girl.

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Mary Phagan Pay Envelope Found

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

MYSTERY’S LOST LINK IS FOUND NEAR WHERE CONLEY SAYS HE SAT

Finding of Portion of Salary Envelope Bearing Victim’s Name Expected to Strengthen Defense’s Contention

CONTENTS OF ENVELOPE HAVE NEVER BEEN FOUND

Find Was Made by Pinkertons Just Three Weeks After the Murder, but Was Kept a Secret Until Wednesday.

The pay envelope, which was the quest of Mary Phagan’s visit to the National Pencil factory on April 26, when she met her death, has been found.

At least enough of the envelope to definitely identify it is in the hands of the authorities.

The upper corner of the pay envelope, bearing the name of the victim of the sensational murder mystery, was found on the first floor of the factory by Pinkerton detectives three weeks after the commission of the crime.

While attorneys for the defense and the prosecution have known of the find for weeks, the fact only became public Wednesday.

The corner of the pay envelope was found on the first floor of the factory, behind a radiator, about 15 feet from the stairway and about 8 feet from the place, where James Conley, the negro sweeper, says he sat for more than an hour on the day of the tragedy.

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Attitude of Defense Secret

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Attorneys for Accused Man Can Keep Him From Facing Accuser if They Wish.

That Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, and James Conley, Frank’s accuser in the Mary Phagan murder mystery, would be brought face to face Tuesday was the strong possibility presented by the contemplated application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the factory.

The plan of bringing Conley and Frank together may meet an insurmountable obstacle when it comes to getting the permission of Frank’s attorneys. The law allows an indicted man to testify or to refuse to testify. Frank has been willing to appear as a witness at any time, but he has placed himself under the instructions of his lawyers and the matter is entirely in their hands.

Arnold is Non-commital.

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State Sure Lee Will Not Be Released

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Dorsey Confident That Move, Which May Confront Frank With Conley, Is Futile.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey said Tuesday he was confident the State would be able to defeat any attempt to get Newt Lee out of the Tower, where he has been confined since April 27, first as a suspect in the Mary Phagan murder case and later as a material witness. He said he had advised Lee’s attorney not to take the action, as the negro was regarded as an important witness in making a complete chain of evidence against Leo M. Frank.

No petition was filed in behalf of the negro Tuesday forenoon. There was no judge before whom the petition could be brought in the afternoon, although in rare instances writs of habeas corpus are filed with the Ordinary of the county. Lee’s counsel has until Friday to file the application. It was the announced intention to subpena both Frank and Jim Conley to appear at the hearing on the write [sic].

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Grants Right to Demand Lee’s Freedom

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Negro’s Counsel Secures Chance to Argue for Habeas Corpus Writ Wednesday.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Leo M. Frank, communicated with Sheriff Mangum Tuesday afternoon directing him under no circumstances to permit the removal of Frank to appear Wednesday as a witness in the habeas corpus hearing to free Newt Lee.

“There is no law on earth to bring Frank to court under an order as a witness,” said Arnold. Attorney Rosser, chief of counsel, was absent from the city Tuesday.

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New Move in Phagan Case by Solicitor

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 6, 1913

Dorsey Will Endeavor to Force Defense to Disclose Their Documentary Evidence.

ACT IS COUNTERSTROKE

Frank’s Attorneys Said to Have Affidavits Exonerating Frank and Indicating Conley’s Guilt.

A sensational turn in the Phagan murder mystery, according to one of the attorneys for the defense, will develop next week when Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey issues a subpena duces tecum on Attorneys Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben Arnold, citing them to produce all the affidavits they have secured that bear on the crime.

The movement is in the nature of a counterstroke to block the pending subpenas duces tecum filed by the defense, citing the State to produce all the affidavits that have been secured.

The defense strongly maintains that it will win its point and that the prosecution will suffer. The attorneys say that the Constitution of the State clearly outlines the action of the court in such matters—”that the defendant is entitled to be faced with all the evidence against him”—while the prosecution will labor under the handicap that “a defendant is innocent until he is proven guilty.”

Dorsey Is Silent.

While no announcement would be made by Solicitor Dorsey relative to the contemplated subpenas duces tecum, it was intimated by him that such action might be taken at an early date, and that when it was the defense and the prosecution would lock horns in the first decisive battle in the sensational case.

Affidavits that are sought by the defense are the three different sworn statements of the negro, Jim Conley, the affidavit given by the negro cook at the Frank home, Minola McKnight, the Formby affidavit and the affidavit of Monteen Stover, the girl who stated that she entered Frank’s office at a time when he said he was there, and found the office deserted.

The State will seek to obtain affidavits contradicting their theory and placing the crime on the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. These affidavits are said to deal principally with the time different witnesses entered and left the factory April 26, the most vital question in the trial.

Affidavits of Defense.

The defense is said to be in possession of affidavits that show Monteen Stover entered and departed from the factory before Mary Phagan’s car reached the heart of the city; that the negro Jim Conley entered the factory earlier in the day than he said he did, and that he, instead of the indicted pencil factory superintendent, committed the murder, because the superintendent left the factory at least ten minutes before Conley said he helped him dispose of the body, and that the Formby affidavit, a one-time sensational bit of evidence substantiating the defense, was given by the woman at the behest of the police detectives without regard for its accuracy, and that Mrs. Formby has since admitted that she never knew Leo M. Frank or heard of him until he was held as a suspect in connection with the murder.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 6th 1913, “New Move in Phagan Case by Solicitor,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 6, 1913

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

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

BY AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indictment may Mean Much.

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New Testimony Lays Crime to Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 4, 1913

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

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

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

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

Writ Sought In Move to Free Negro Lee

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 3, 1913

Attorney for Watchman Declares Client Knows Nothing of the Actual Crime.

Bernard L. Chappell, attorney for Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the pencile [sic] factory, held in the Phagan case, stated Thursday morning that he would swear out a writ of habeas corpus for the release of the negro.

Attorney Chappell stated that he had come to the conclusion that there was nothing the negro knew about the crime except finding the body, and that the State had no right to keep him without some charge or as a material witness.

Lee was the first suspect arrested in connection with Mary Phagan’s murder. He was ordered held by the Coroner, but when a bill of indictment was offered the Grand Jury at the same time of the Frank indictment, no action was taken against the negro.

Weak Spots in Conley Tale.

Chappell said the writ of habeas corpus would compel the State either to order the negro held as a material witness or make some charge against him.

Conley, in relating his dramatic tale of carrying the body of Mary Phagan from the rear of the second floor and disposing of it at the direction of Frank in a dark corner of the gloomy basement, said that when he reached the elevator he had to wait until Frank went into his office for a key to the elevator door.

The defense will maintain, it is understood, that the elevator door had not been locked for some time. Witnesses will be called to testify that the door had remained unlocked in accordance with instructions from the firms with which the building was insured. From this alleged circumstance, it will be argued that the negro’s story is a fabrication devised to shield himself from the charge of murder and to shift the responsibility onto another man.

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New Audio Book: The American Mercury on Leo Frank – Rosser’s Closing Arguments, part 2

Leo Frank posing for Collier’s Weekly. The photo would later become the front cover for the book The Truth About the Frank Case by C.P. Connolly.

THIS WEEK in our audio book series we present part 2, the final part, of the powerful, skillful closing arguments of Luther Z. Rosser for the defense of Leo Frank (pictured) in his trial for the murder of Mary Phagan, read by Vanessa Neubauer. Rosser, possibly the most feared lawyer in Atlanta in his day, was a mouthpiece and “fixer” for the rich and powerful.

This series encompasses the American Mercury’s coverage of the 1913 trial and conviction of Jewish sex killer Leo Frank — a case which was one of the inspirations for the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). We will be presenting the extensive arguments, both for the defense and the prosecution, in order and in full — a monumental, book-length project. Today we present the concluding arguments of Luther Z. Rosser for the defense.

Mr. Rosser denies in his speech that the pro-Frank forces planted false evidence to implicate the Black night watchman, Newt Lee, in the murder:

Continue Reading →

New Audio Book: The American Mercury on Leo Frank – Rosser’s Closing Arguments, part 1

Luther Rosser

THIS WEEK in our audio book series we present part 1 of the powerful, skillful closing arguments of Luther Z. Rosser (pictured) for the defense of Leo Frank in his trial for the murder of Mary Phagan, read by Vanessa Neubauer. Rosser was respected — and feared — as one of the best attorneys of his generation. He was the “go to” man for the wealthy and powerful in early 20th-century Georgia who found themselves in legal difficulty and needed their troubles “swept away.”

This series encompasses the American Mercury’s coverage of the 1913 trial and conviction of Jewish sex killer Leo Frank — a case which was one of the inspirations for the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). We will be presenting the extensive arguments, both for the defense and the prosecution, in order and in full — a monumental, book-length project. Today we present the arguments of Luther Z. Rosser for the defense.

Mr. Rosser states in his speech, about the factory girls who testified that Frank had a bad character for lasciviousness:

Well, gentlemen, the older I get the gentler I get and I wouldn’t think or say anything wrong about those misleading little girls who swore Frank was a bad man. I guess they thought they were telling the truth. Well, did Miss Maggie Griffin really think Frank was a vicious man and yet work there three years with him! Don’t you think she heard things against him after the crime was committed and that when she got up here and looked through the heated atmosphere of this trial, she did not see the real truth! And Miss Maggie Griffin, she was there two months. I wonder what she could know about Frank in that time. There was Mrs. Donegan and Miss Johnson and another girl there about two months, and Nellie Potts, who never worked there at all, and Mary Wallace, there three days, and Estelle Wallace, there a week and Carrie Smith, who like Miss Cato, worked there three years. These are the only ones in the hundreds who have worked there since 1908 who will say that Frank has a had character. Why, you could find more people to say that the Bishop of Atlanta, I believe, had a bad character, than have been brought against Frank.

You can follow along with the original text here.

Mr. Rosser also makes light of the claim by the prosecution that Frank’s nervousness on the day after the murder was an indication of guilt:

Now, what else have they put up against this man! They say he was nervous. We admit he was. Black says it, Darley says it, Sig. Montag says it — others say it! The handsome Mr. Darley was nervous and our friend Schiff was nervous. Why not hang them if you’re hanging men for nervousness! Isaac Haas — old man Isaac — openly admits he was nervous. The girls — why don’t you hang them, these sweet little girls in the factory — all of whom were so nervous they couldn’t work on the following day! If you had seen this little child, crushed, mangled, mutilated, with the sawdust crumbled in her eyes and her tongue protruding; staring up from that stinking, smelling basement, you’d have been nervous, too, every mother’s son of you. Gentlemen, I don’t profess to be chicken-hearted. I can see grown men hurt and suffering and I can stand a lot of things without growing hysterical, but I never walked along the street and heard the pitiful cry of a girl or woman without becoming nervous. God grant I will always be so. Frank looked at the mangled form and crushed virginity of Mary Phagan and his nerves fluttered. Hang him! Hang him!

Rosser made no mention, however, of Frank’s extreme nervousness the day before, after the murder had taken place but before the body had been discovered.

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Frank Is Willing for State to Grill Him

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Accused Man Declares He’s Anxious Even for Prosecution to Cross-Examine.

Surpassing in interest any of the other testimony at the trial of Leo M. Frank will be the story related on the stand by the accused man himself. That Frank will make a detailed statement of his movements on the day that Mary Phagan was murdered is regarded as one of the certainties of the trial.

It was learned Wednesday that Frank was desirous of going even further than this by being sworn and submitting to a cross-examination by the attorneys for the prosecution. He will request his lawyers, Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, that the privilege of cross-examination be extended the State.

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

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, June 29, 1913

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

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

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

By An Old Police Reporter.

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading →

Conley Tale Is Hope of Defense

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 30, 1913

DEFENSE PLANS TO TEAR DOWN CONLEY TALE*

* This headline appeared on Page 3 of the Georgian.

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

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

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

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

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Call of Cool Sea Breezes and Promise of Judge to His Wife, Secrets of Frank Trial Delay

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 26, 1913

There Are Many Little Reasons, of Course, but the Biggest of These Is the Simplest—Judge Roan Just Had to Keep Promise to His Charming Wife—And Nobody’s Kicking, Either

The trial of Leo M. Frank, which is expected to be the most brilliant legal battle in the history of the state, has been postponed for a month.

There are many little reasons why the trial could not come up on June 30.

And, then, there is one great big reason.

The biggest reason, when analyzed, is also the simplest, as are most big things.

The big reason is the simple fact that Mrs. Judge L. S. Roan wants to go to the seashore early in July.

Of course Mrs. Roan might go to the seashore by herself with any of her many friends, but she wants her husband to make the trip with her, and long before the Phagan case developed Mrs. Roan had secured Judge Roan’s promise to take the trip with her.

When the judge called Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold before him Tuesday afternoon and told them that it would be best to agree upon a definite date for the trial of Mr. Frank, they looked a little puzzled for the moment.

Solicitor Dorsey appeared not to want a postponement, and flatly said so. In fact, he argued every time he got a chance, trying to get an early date, and finally asked the court if he wouldn’t set the case for the week of July 7.

EVERYBODY WAS PLEASED.

Then the court explained, and after he had explained a quick smile of complete understanding passed over the court room. Mr. Rosser smiled first, then Mr. Arnold, and finally Solicitor Dorsey.

Said the court with the usual dignity:

“Well, gentlemen, another reason is that some months ago I promised my wife that I would take her to the seashore on the week of July 4 and spend some days there with her.

“Of course, if there is any good reason why this trial should be taken up early in the month, if it will be impossible for you to reach it later, I can send Mrs. Roan with friends and remain here.”

The judge’s statement was made in the nature of a question, but it brought forth no answer. 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 →

Trial of Leo Frank Postponed by Judge

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Date of Trial Changed From June 30 Until July 28 at Plea of Attorneys for Defense.

The first appearance in open court of the indictment against Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan came yesterday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan, presiding over the criminal division of superior court, summoned attorneys for both sides, and after a hearing changed the date of trial from June 30, as set by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, to July 28.

This and the legal move by the defense in serving upon Solicitor Dorsey, Police Chief James L. Beavers, Detective Chief Newport Lanford and other detectives and officials for the state, with formal subpoenas duces tecum, commanding them to bring to court all affidavits they may have which bear upon the state’s case against Frank, were the only changes in the present situation.

Judge Roan also decided that the trial of Frank would be held not in the regular room in which he holds his division of court, but in one of the rooms in which the civil division of the superior court sits.

Where Trial Will be Held.

This was done, the judge explained, because the ceiling is very low in the courtroom in the Thrower building, where his court regularly sits, and the room is ventilated by windows only on one side. The trial will be held, according to present plans, in one of the courtrooms in the old city hall, corner South Pryor and East Hunter streets, where the ceilings are higher and windows can be thrown open on both sides of the room to allow ventilation. Continue Reading →

Reported Hoke Smith May Aid Leo Frank

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Rumor He Will Appear for Defense Emphatically Denied, However, by Senator.

By John Corrigan, Jr.

Washington, June 24.—Reports that Senator Hoke Smith will be associated with Luther Rosser and other lawyers for the defense in the trial of Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan were current here today.

These reports followed the visit to Washington on last Saturday of Luther Rosser, leading counsel for Frank and Ike Haas, president of the National Pencil company, which employed Frank as superintendent of the factory.

Investigate Early Life.

Mr. Rosser and Mr. Haas were on their way to Brooklyn to consult with the parents of Frank and endeavor to learn everything possible of his early life and associates. They called at the capitol to see Senator Hoke Smith, and according to reports later, went to his house and induced him to go to New York with them to talk over the matter further.

It is understood they had great difficulty in inducing Senator Smith even to consider the matter. He stated that his work here would be so engrossing for the next few months he could not think of undertaking any legal employment. It is said a big amount was offered him if he would aid the defense.

When seen today and asked about the matter, Senator Smith made an emphatic denial that he would be associated with Frank’s counsel, or even that he had been asked to do so.

Senator Denies Report.

“The report is absolutely unfounded,” he said. “I have all I can do here for the next few months with the tariff and currency questions.”

“Did you see Mr. Rosser and Mr. Haas when they were here?” he was asked.

“I heard they were in the senate gallery one day last week, and they sent in cards to me, but I missed them.”

“Did you accompany them to New York?”

“I did not.”

“Will you be connected with the case?”

“No; most certainly not. I am too busy here to undertake any outside work.”

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, June 25th 1913, “Reported Hoke Smith May Aid Leo Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Both Sides Are Ready for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Few Developments Expected Between Now and July 28, Conley Is Grilled

The statements made by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and by Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser, the counsel for the defense before the postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank from June 30, the date set by the solicitor, to July 28, indicate very strongly that neither side expects further developments of importance in the investigation.

Mr. Dorsey told the court that his case was complete and that he was ready for trial. All of the statements by Attorneys Arnold and Rosser indicate that they also have completed the preparation of the defense and are ready for the court fight.

One of the most interesting of the statements made by counsel was that of Mr. Arnold, who said that it would take two weeks to try the case, showing that the defense will have many witnesses, and will come to court prepared to fight every inch in the case.

The action of the defense in demanding through subpoenas duces tecum practically all of the affidavits of importance which have been made the detectives during the Phagan investigation seems to bear out the theory published in The Journal that the defense will consist of the corroboration of Frank’s story as told at the inquest by a number of witnesses, and of an effort to establish, largely by the detectives themselves, the thory [sic] that the negro James Conley is guilty of the crime with which Frank is charged.

It is certain that Conley’s story will be attacked through his many varying affidavits, and much evidence to assist Frank will be brought out through the city detectives, who charge him with the crime.

The substance of all of the affidavits demanded by the defense is known. Conley’s varying affidavits have long formed one of the sensations of the case. Miss Grace Hix, it will be remembered, identified Mary Phagan’s body, while Miss Monteen Stover declares that she came to the pencial [sic] factory of the date of the tragedy at 12:05 o’clock and found no one in the office, not even Frank, who had testified that he was there at that hour. Continue Reading →