Second Chapter in Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

The Discovery of the Body of the Slain Factory Girl and Start of Hunt for Slayer.

CHAPTER II.

His heart pounding in superstitious fright, Newt Lee, the night watchman, forced himself to approach the strange object on the pile of debris in the pencil factory basement. A step nearer and he could make out what appeared to be a human foot. He recoiled and was on the point of precipitate flight.

But he must look closer, he thought. Perhaps, after all, it was only the ghastly prank of some of the factory employees who had manufactured a rude effigy and placed it there to scare him.

Determinedly he walked closer and thrust his lantern out over the mysterious object. He shrieked. Before his horrified eyes the shaky and uncertain light of his lantern disclosed the body of a little girl.

Grimed, bloody and mutilated the body lay on the flat of its back, as the terrified negro remembered it afterward, although the police, coming a few minutes later, found the body on its face, one arm drawn slightly up under the body and the other stretched full length at the side.

Discrepancy Not Explained.

This strange discrepancy never has been explained to the public except by the possibility that Lee, in his terror, was mistaken in the position he believed the body was in when he discovered it. Conley, telling his remarkable story three weeks later, said that he dumped the girl’s body face downward on the trash pile where it later was come upon by Lee.

Lee was to oappalled [sic] by his grewsome find to make a close investigation. He only saw that it was a little white girl and that she had been murdered. With frightened steps he hurried to the ladder at the other end of the basement. He was in a panic. He scuttled up the ladder and dropped the trap door over it. He felt a bit relieved away from the blackness of the basement and the awful thing that it contained.

Continue Reading →

Grim Justice Pursues Mary Phagan’s Slayer

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 20, 1913

As Famous Murder Case Nears Trial the Public Mind Again Reverts to the Discovery of the Crime; and Again the Great Question Comes Up:

“What Happened in the Pencil Factory Between Noon Saturday and 3:15 Sunday Morning?”

By Britt Craig.

Automobile in which detectives and newspaper men went to the scene of the murder. In the machine are Detective Starnes, Harry Scott, W. W. (Boots) Rogers and John Black.

There are things that happen right before our eyes that defy the pen of a god to describe. The mind of a master would find itself lamentably incompetent, and the words of a Demosthenes would become panic-stricken in the attempt.

One of these was the night Mary Phagan’s body was found. It was a night as dramatic as the fury of a queen and poignant as her sorrow. It wrote the first thrilling chapter of Atlanta’s greatest criminal case, and it will live forever in the minds of those who knew it.

This story is no effort at description, because description is impossible. It is just a plain, ordinary story of the happenings that night when Newt Lee went down into the basement to wash his hands and emerged, overcome with fear, the discoverer of a crime that put an entire state in mourning.

A week from tomorrow, Leo Frank, manager of the pencil factory, where Mary Phagan’s body was found, will be placed on trial charged with the murder of the young girl, and interest in this mysterious crime again goes back to the night when Newt Lee startled police headquarters with news of his grewsome find.

Finding the Body.

Continue Reading →

Prosecution Attacks Mincey’s Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 14, 1913

MRS. CRAWFORD BEGINS FIGHT FOR HER FREEDOM

STATE STILL CONFIDENT OF CASE

Story of Negro Who Says He Was Eyewitness of Slaying Disbelieved by Solicitor.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, engaged in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank, were induced Monday to break the silence they have maintained grilling the negro Jim Conley last week. They made their first public comments on the sensational developments of the last few days in the Phagan murder mystery.

Both declared emphatically that neither the affidavit of W. H. Mincey, insurance solicitor, nor the reported confession of the negro Will Green, who is said to have been an eyewitness of the attack upon Mary Phagan, gave evidence sufficient to shake their conviction of Leo Frank’s guilt.

Rumors that the State was preparing to change its theory and to ask for the indictment of Jim Conley were laughed at.

Mincey Affidavit Discounted.

Continue Reading →

Indictment of Conley Puzzle for Grand Jury

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 13, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Some text is blurred in the original document, and illegible text is marked by “[…]”. The text box insert is transcribed at the bottom of this post.

Old Police Reporter Declares True Bill Against Negro Might Alter Entire Frank Prosecution.

RULES OF EVIDENCE CITED

Mincey Affidavit May Have Important Bearing on Defense of Pencil Factory Manager.

By An Old Police Reporter.

Persistent rumors have been abroad of late that the present Grand Jury may indict James Conley for the murder of Mary Phagan.

This is interesting, for if the Grand Jury should indict Conley it would set up a situation immediately possible of most decided results.

Frank already has been indicted, for reasons presumably sufficient to the Grand Jury then acting upon his case.

Would the present Grand Jury be justified in proceeding to the indictment of Conley, notwithstanding the former Frank indictment?

Unquestionably it would, if the circumstances of the case warranted it—indeed, there are many who will think it should proceed to that, if in that way justice seemed more likely to be established.

In getting a point of view in this matter, I have found it necessary to go back to the beginning, and to ask myself this:

Would the Grand Jury, in possession of all the present facts and circumstances pointing toward either Conley or Frank as the guilty man, have indicted Frank or Conley, as a primary proposition?

Much Room for Speculation.

Continue Reading →

Seek Negro Who Says He Was Eye-Witness to Phagan Murder

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Fugitive, Reported to Have Been Traced to Birmingham, Declares That He Witnessed the Attack on the Girl Slain in the Pencil Plant.

LAYS CRIME TO BLACK WITH WHOM HE HAD GAMBLED

Loser at Dice, He Declares, Planned to Rob Victim as She Came From Getting Pay—Tried to Prevent the Crime and, Failing, Fled.

Report that a negro who has declared that he witnessed the attack by another negro upon Mary Phagan, which resulted in her death in the National Pencil Factory on the afternoon of April 26, has been apprehended in Birmingham, became known Saturday night.

If this information is substantiated, its substance is of such startling character as to revolutionize the present status of the Phagan case, casting down practically every bulwark which has been erected in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank for the murder.

In its present form, however, The Sunday American does not vouch for the correctness of the report. Only the fact that it comes from a source which is so near the defense of the pencil factory head as to make it authoritative and the admission by those connected with the actual legal defense of Frank, prompts this newspaper to present the sensational story, asking that it be taken for what, on its face, it is shown to be worth.

Negro Hunted Since May.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

Lee Must Remain Behind the Bars

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Does Not Believe the Negro Guilty of Any Part in Crime.

That Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey does not believe that Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the National Pencil factory, who was bound over by the grand jury with Superintendent Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan, is guilty, was the only matter of importance brought out yesterday at the hearing of the habeas corpus before Judge W.D. Ellis by which Lee’s attorneys, Graham & Chappell, sought to free him.

Judge Ellis denied the motion for habeas corpus and remanded Lee back to the custody of the sheriff to await the outcome of Frank’s trial. Attorneys L.Z. Rosser and Reuben Arnold were also successful in their fight to prevent Frank being brought into court to testify.

Solicitor Dorsey declared that he had not brought a bill against Lee before the grand jury because he believed he had no evidence which would indict Lee.

The negro’s attorneys secured from the sheriff a statement that Lee would be given more eexrcise [sic], as the darkey declared that this was all that was troubling him. He said he was getting stiff from staying in his cell.

“Frank has the entire freedom of the jail whenever he wants it,” declared Attorney Chappell, “and Lee ought to be allowed some chance to take exercise.”

The character of the darkey and his love for the juicy fruit of a Georgia watermelon came out when Lee was being taken back to jail in charge of Deputy Plennie Miner.

“Why don’t you get Mr. Miner to buy you a nigh beer, Newt?” said a bystander.

“Ah don’t want no beer; all Ah wants is er watermelon,” replied the negro, and his large eyes rolled hopefully in his head.

“Ah ain’t had er melon this summer, and it’s the fust time that July ever come ’round without me having er melon.”

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 13th 1913, “Lee Must Remain Behind the Bars,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Audio Book – The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man, part 4

Jim Conley, center, being led away in custody after his testimony

by Philip St. Raymond
for The American Mercury

WHEN LEO FRANK was first arrested for the murder of Mary Phagan, his and his defense team’s major focus was placing the blame on Newt Lee, the Black night watchman who discovered the murdered girl’s body. They were so eager to avoid any attention being given to another Black man, Jim Conley, the factory sweeper who later was shown to be Frank’s accessory after the fact — that they totally ignored the sighting of Conley by a witness on the day of the murder. This was a most unusual and revealing omission, since the sighting could have been used by the defense early on to place suspicion on Conley, but they deliberately decided not to do that. This lends considerable credence to the prosecution theory, backed up by Conley’s own testimony, that Conley helped Frank move the body.

In this, the fourth audio segment of this excellent book originally published by the Nation of Islam — the best book we have seen on this subject — we also learn how the Frank team, having failed to fix the murder on the watchman, suddenly “discovered” Jim Conley and tried to blame him for the crime.

Leo Frank even attempted to take credit for alerting investigators to the fact that Jim Conley could write (he had been feigning illiteracy to avoid any connection with the “death notes” found by Mary Phagan’s body), though the testimony of all the detectives, even the detectives hired by Frank, was that Frank had nothing to do with that discovery.

This new audio book, based on the Nation of Islam’s The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man, the best investigative effort made on the Leo Frank case in the last 100 years, will take you on a trip into the past — to the greatest American murder mystery of all time; a mystery that will reveal to you the hidden forces that shape our world even today.

To read all the chapters we’ve published so far, simply click on this link.

We at The American Mercury are now proud to present part 4 of our audio version of this very important book, read by Vanessa Neubauer.

Simply press “play” on the player embedded above — or at the end of this article — to hear part 4 of the book.

* * *

Click here to obtain a print or e-book copy of this important work, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 3; The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man.

For further information on the Nation of Islam Historical Research Group, readers are encouraged to visit their Web site, noirg.org.

More Affidavits to Support Mincey Claimed

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

Frank’s Attorneys Said to Have Corroborating Evidence, Newt Lee Denied Freedom

Joseph H. Leavitt, an attorney, with offices at 422 Grant building, the man who secured the affidavit of W.H. Mincey, who alleges that James Conley confessed to the killing of a girl on April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered, declares that a number of affidavits fully corroborating every word that Mincey has said, are in the hands of counsel for the defense of Leo M. Frank.

Mr. Leavitt states that the Mincey affidavit is really much stronger than the published reports, which have purported to give its substance.

The reports are correct as far as they go, Mr. Leavitt admitted to a Journal reporter, but the affidavit dictated and signed by Mincey contains still more testimony, damaging to Conley.

“Mincey is a good citizen,” Mr. Leavitt told a Journal reporter, “a man of education and of character. However, every assertion which he made in the affidavit has been corroborated.”

“Then you must mean that some one else heard the confession Mincey claims that Conley made?” the reporter asked.

“Yes, others head [sic] it,” was the answer of Attorney Leavitt.

While he states that he doesn’t know his address, Mr. Leavitt says that he is confidence [sic] that Mincey will be here when Leo M. Frank faces a jury on the charge of murdering Mary Phagan.

Mincey in his affidavit claims that he went to see Conley on the afternoon of April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered to solicit insurance from him, and that Conley became angered and told him that he had killed a little girl that day and did not want to have to kill another person.

The police make light of the Mincey affidavit, and say that Mincey once came to headquarters to identify a man he had seen drunk in the negro quarter. He saw Conley, they say, and then admitted that he had never seen the engro [sic] before.

Attorney Leavitt says that the affidavit will give a good reason for Mincey’s failure to make known at once the information, which he claims to have on the sensational murder case.

Solicitor General Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who will assist him in the prosecution of Frank, grilled James Conley at headquarters for more than an hour Friday afternoon. While Mr. Dorsey would not discuss the matter, it is understood that he questioned Conley closely about the statements alleged to have been to Mincey, and the negro claims that he never saw [the] insurance agent except at police headquarters.

LEE DENIED FREEDOM.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

Audio Book – The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man, part 2

by Philip St. Raymond
for The American Mercury

LOOK AT THE headline and lead article in the Atlanta Georgian newspaper of April 29, 1913, we have illustrated above. Simply click on the image to see a large and easy-to-read version. “LEE’S GUILT PROVED, Detectives Assert” — “SUSPICION LIFTS FROM FRANK” — “We Have Sufficient Evidence Now to Convict Negro Nightwatchman of Killing Mary Phagan” — “Additional clews furnished by the head of the pencil factory [Leo Frank] were responsible for the closing net around the negro watchman” — “what suspicion had rested on Frank was being rapidly swept away by the damaging evidence against the black man.”

Newt Lee, the nightwatchman of the National Pencil Company was being framed for the murder of Mary Phagan. We know now without the slightest doubt that Lee was innocent. But the pro-Frank forces, even at this early date in the case, were already engaging in the planting of evidence, impersonation of detectives, and other skulduggery in order to pin the crime on an innocent man — and this would not be the last time they would do this.

Just as there is no doubt today that Newt Lee was innocent, there should just as little doubt today that the principal behind this framing attempt was not innocent. The framing of a man who had nothing to do with the murder is not the act of an innocent man.

This new audio book, based on the Nation of Islam’s The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man, the best investigative effort made on the Leo Frank case in the last 100 years, will take you on a trip into the past — to the greatest American murder mystery of all time; a mystery that will reveal to you the hidden forces that shape our world even today.

We at The American Mercury are now proud to present part 2 of our audio version of this very important book, read by Vanessa Neubauer.

Simply press “play” on the player embedded above — or at the end of this article — to hear part 2 of the book.

* * *

Click here to obtain a print or e-book copy of this important work, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 3; The Leo Frank Case: The Lynching of a Guilty Man.

For further information on the Nation of Islam Historical Research Group, readers are encouraged to visit their Web site, noirg.org.

* * *

Source: The American Mercury

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.

Continue Reading →

Mincey’s Story Jolts Police to Activity

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 11, 1913

*Editor’s Note: The following column ran in the final edition of the Georgian with the title “Georgian’s Story Stirs Officials to Action,” and contains the following bracketed text in lieu of the first two paragraphs and preceding sub-headline.

[Mincey Affidavit Leads to Another Cross-Examination of Phagan Case Suspect.

[As a result of the publication by The Georgian exclusively Thursday of the sensational affidavit of W.H. Mincey, the insurance agent, which declared that Jim Conley had confessed on the afternoon of the Phagan murder, that he had killed a little girl, the negro sweeper was again put on the grill late Friday afternoon. The cross-examination was conducted by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey personally at the police station and was attended by utmost secrecy.

[Conley was taken into the Police Commissioners’ room on the second floor of the station house by a circuitous route to avoid being seen. In the room awaiting him were the Solicitor, his assistant, Frank J. Hooper, and Chief of Detectives Lanford. The negro was questioned for more than an hour. The result of the inquiry was not made known.

[That Mincey’s affidavit is of the utmost importance became obvious with this latest move by the prosecution. Undoubtedly its startling accusations, directing guilt at the negro, have shown themselves to the State to have foundation of more strength than Mr. Dorsey and his colleagues have so far cared to admit.]

Steps Taken Immediately to Discredit Affidavit Published Exclusively in The Georgian.

The Georgian’s exclusive publication of the sensational details of the W.H. Mincey affidavit, in which Jim Conley was alleged to have confessed to the killing of a girl the afternoon that Mary Phagan was slain, created a big stir Friday in police circles and immediate efforts were made to discredit the accusations against the negro.

Detectives set out at once on a still hunt for Mincey. Lines were thrown out to produce witnesses who would swear that Mincey’s word was not to be depended upon. The detective force, which virtually had been resting on its oars in the Phagan case for several weeks, was galvanized into action by the startling charges made in the affidavit of Mincey, which was first made public by The Georgian.

Police Deny Being Told.

Continue Reading →

Slaying Charge for Conley Is Expected

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 11, 1913

Speedy Indictment of Negro Is Likely Following Publication of Mincey Affidavit.

The speedy indictment of Jim Conley on the charge of murdering Mary Phagan was the strong possibility discussed in court circles Friday following the sensational turn given the strangling mystery by The Georgian’s publication Thursday of the accusation of William H. Mincey, an insurance solicitor, that he had heard the negro boast on the afternoon of the crime of killing a girl.

For nearly two months a self-confessed accessory after the fact of the murder of the little factory girl, Conley has been allowed to go without an attempt at bringing an indictment against him. The startling new evidence which indicates most strongly, if the credibility of the defense’s witness can be established, that Conley was not the accessory after the fact, but the actual principal in the crime, is expected to result in a thorough investigation by the Grand Jury of all the rumors and stories which have been in circulation of the negro’s connection with the pencil factory tragedy.

Counsel Relies on Mincey.

Continue Reading →

Conley Not Right Man, Says Mincey

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, July 11, 1913

Insurance Man Who Made Affidavit Says Conversation Was With Some Other Negro—Saw Conley at Station.

It was disclosed Thursday afternoon that William H. Mincey, the insurance agent who has made an affidavit to the effect that Jim Conley on the date of the Phagan murder drunkenly admitted that he had slain a girl had appeared at police headquarters during Conley’s grilling and had positively failed to identify the negro.

This was told a Constitution reporter by Detective Harry Scott of the Pinkertons and Detective Chief Newport Lanford. The insurance agent, they declared, had come to the police station while Conley was being cross-examined and had asked to see the prisoner.

He wanted to see if he could identify Conley as the negro whom he had seen drunk at the corner of Electric and Carter streets on the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. He was admitted to Conley’s presence. After asking the negro a number of questions pertaining to a conversation he had held with the black encountered at Electric and Carter streets, Mincey, the detectives assert, declared he could not identify the suspect.

He’s not the man I saw, Lanford and Scott say the insurance man declared.

Conley was asked by Mincey on that date if he had not talked with him about the issuance of a life insurance policy. Conley denied having ever seen the man. Mincey, the detectives say, was positive in his declaration that Conley was not the negro with whom he had held the conversation.

Did Not Approach Detectives

Continue Reading →

No Finger Prints Found by Expert on Phagan Envelope

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Examination of Portion of Slain Girl’s Pay Envelope Fails to Throw Any Light on the Murder Mystery

FLETCHER, AT FEDERAL PEN MAKES EXAMINATION

Fight for Release of Newt Lee on Habeas Corpus Resumed and Hearing Will Be Given Saturday Morning

That the murderer of Mary Phagan can never be identified by finger prints on the pay envelope found in the factory, and the “re-setting” of Newt Lee’s habeas corpus for 10 o’clock. Saturday morning, were two important developments of the sensational murder mystery Thursday.

According to Attorney Bernard L. Chappell, of Graham & Chappell, counsel for the negro night watchman, fifty witnesses among them the negro James Conley, confessed accomplice, and Leo M. Frank, accused of the crime, will be subpenaed for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is known that the solicitor general, Hugh M. Dorsey, will oppose the release from the Tower of Lee on the ground that he is a material witness.

Counsel for Frank will take no part in the fight to secure the release of Lee, but Attorney Reuben R. Arnold stated when the case was postponed that he would oppose any effort to bring Frank into the court for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is said that the counsel for Frank will oppose bringing him to the court on the ground that it is not lawful to force a defendant to give any testimony which relates to or bears on the crime for which he is to be tried.

This, as a result, will prevent the much talked of meeting of Frank and Conley.

According to the attorney for Lee, subpenas will be issued to the many detectives who have worked on the case, to the solicitor general and to the foreman of the grand jury that failed to indict Lee.

EXAMINED BY EXPERTS.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

Mary Phagan’s Pay Envelope is Found

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Discovery Made by Detectives Weeks Ago, But Is Just Announced

The discovery of the pay envelope given Mary Phagan on the day of her murder is believed by detectives to furnish the missing link in the chain of circumstancial [sic] evidence they declare they have forged.

The envelope was found by Detectives Harry Scott and John Black. It is now in possession of the solicitor general. It was discovered on the first floor of the plant building behind a radiator that is situated in immediate vicinity to the spot at which James Conye [sic], the negro sweeper, says he sat in waiting for his superintendent’s summons.

The production of the envelope as evidence will be a strong point in behalf of Frank’s defense according to his friends, however. It is rumored that his counsel is already preparing to use it as a basis of one of their many attacks upon the negro’s story.

The envelope was found three weeks after the discovery of the girl’s body. It was not made public, however, until Wednesday.

Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey won his point Wednesday and will keep Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, in the tower until the trial of Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan is held on July 28. Attorneys Graham and Chappell for Leo had secured an order directing that the sheriff show cause why he should hold their client but the solicitor held a conference with the negro’s lawyers shortly before the hearing and by mutual consent the affair was indefinitely postponed.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 10th 1913, “Mary Phagan’s Pay Envelope is Found,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →