Frank Asked Room to Conceal Body Believes Lanford

frank-asked-room

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, June 2nd, 1913

Detective Chief Forms New Theory as to Reason Why Prisoner Is Said to Have Phoned Mrs. Formby.

HER DISAPPEARANCE PUZZLING TO OFFICERS

Lanford Says He Will Find Her in Time for Trial, But Does Not Know Where She Is Now.

That Leo M. Frank telephoned Mrs. Formby on the night of Mary Phagan’s murder for a room to which he would be able to remove the victim’s body and thereby lessen suspicion against himself, is the theory on which Chief Newport Lanford is basing a search for Mrs. Formby, which is extending over the entire south.

She mysteriously disappeared several days ago. Efforts to locate her have been futile. The entire detective department is puzzled. The Pinkertons are mystified. Her whereabouts is a matter that interests detectives and the Pinkertons.

Mrs. Formby, in a recent interview to a reporter for The Constitution, told him that she had been made several offers of money to leave Atlanta until the Mary Phagan trial had been completed. She also openly announced that within a short while she intended leaving the city for New Mexico, in which state she said she intended to live.

Chief Determined to Find Her.

Chief Lanford says, however, that he will produce her at the trial of Leo M. Frank, and that she will be an important witness. He admits, though, even with this announcement, that he has not yet been able to find her.

“We were able to find the girl’s murderer,” says the chief, “and surely we will be able to locate Mrs. Formby.”

His theory is that the suspected superintendent, after deliberating over the crime the chief accuses him of having committed, communicated over the telephone with Mrs. Formby to obtain a room to which he could remove the body, thereby lessening the suspicion which would likely cling to himself if the corpse remained in the factory basement. Continue Reading →

State Faces Big Task in Trial of Frank as Slayer

Luther Z. Rosser, who is leading attorney of counsel for the defense of Leo M. Frank, indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan at the National Pencil factory. Mr. Rosser, as usual, is playing a game of silence. He has not indicated his line of defense.

Luther Z. Rosser, who is leading attorney of counsel for the defense of Leo M. Frank, indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan at the National Pencil factory. Mr. Rosser, as usual, is playing a game of silence. He has not indicated his line of defense.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

What will be the defense of Leo M. Frank when he is called upon next month to answer to the charge of strangling little Mary Phagan?

With the confident announcement of the police Monday that they had completed a case against the factory superintendent that was as conclusive as it possibly could be without the testimony of actual eyewitnesses of the crime, this question naturally is being asked to-day by everyone who has any interest in the mystery, and that means practically every person in Atlanta.

The people will not get their answer from Luther Z. Rosser, the close-lipped and able attorney of Frank, until the trial actually begins. But even at this early date, when only the vaguest of hints have been given as to the course that will be followed in the battle to free Frank from all suspicion, it is patent that there are many openings offered the defense for attacks upon the theories of the State.

Burden of Proof on State.

Those who are close to the daily developments in Atlanta’s baffling murder mystery and who venture to predict the line of defense that will be offered are bearing in mind that, in the first place, the great burden of proof is upon the prosecution and not upon the defense.

It is absolutely necessary, due to the protection with which the law has hedged everyone under suspicion of crime, that the State in some manner, by some piece of evidence, connect Frank directly with the crime or establish his connection beyond a reasonable doubt.

Until the State is able to do this, Luther Z. Rosser may rest on his oars if he so desires. Leo Frank is innocent this moment in the eyes of the law. His innocence does not need to be proved. It is presumed. Continue Reading →

Lay Bribery Effort to Frank’s Friends

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

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

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

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

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

Haas Denies Charge.

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

Two Affidavits Alleged.

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

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

Others Will Be Involved In New Bribery Charges Intimates Chief Lanford

G. C. Febuary, Secretary to Chief Lanford.

G. C. Febuary, Secretary to Chief Lanford.

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

The probability of bribery charges to be made against others as well as Colonel Felder was intimated last night by Chief Lanford to a Constitution reporter.

Documentary evidence involving one or more men is rumored to be in Lanford’s possession. Also, his dictagraph [sic] is said to have reported secret conferences relating to the use of bribe money in the Mary Phagan case.

This new phase of the bribery charges is said to pertain only to the bribing of witnesses in the Phagan investigation. Rumors to this effect have been coming to police headquarters for several days. Corroboration of the reports came recently from Mrs. Mima [sic] Famby [sic], of 400 Piedmont avenue, a witness in the case.

Offered Money to Leave City.

Mrs. Famby declared to a reporter for The Constitution that she had received six offers of large sums of money to leave the city until the Mary Phagan trial has been finished. It is said that she has made an affidavit, naming the men who approached her, and that the document is in the hands of Chief Lanford.

Lanford declared to a Constitution reporter that he would not reveal his new bribery evidence until the trial. He would not state the nature of affidavits said to be in his hands.

Solicitor Dorsey has been apprised by Harry Scott of the position of the Pinkerton agency in the Phagan investigation. The solicitor said last night that Scott had told him that, primarily, the detective organization was in the employ of Frank’s defense, in that it was paid by the National Pencil company, and that reports of his progress were turned over to the suspect’s counsel. Continue Reading →

Frank Feeling Fine But Will Not Discuss His Case

Frank Feeling Fine

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Leo Frank was seen this morning by a reporter for the first time since he was put in jail. He absolutely refused to talk on the Mary Phagan murder mystery, saying he had been advised not to say a word.

“What do you know about the affidavit, charging that on the night of the murder of Mary Phagan you called Mrs. Nina Famby [sic] on the telephone and tried to engage a room for yourself and a young girl?”

“I will not talk,” said Frank. “I have been cautioned not to say one word.”

“Do you deny or admit it?”

“I refuse to answer,” replied Frank.

Frank is confined on the second floor of the county jail on the west side of the building. His cell is roomy, and as the reporter was admitted by the guard Frank arose from a chair in which he was sitting puffing on a cigar.

“How are you feeling?” Frank was asked. Continue Reading →

Indictment of Both Lee and Frank is Asked

National_Pencil_Company_diagram_Mary_Phagan_murder

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Great Mass of Evidence Carefully Prepared by Solicitor Submitted to Grand Jury.

CRIME STUDIED 3 HOURS, ADJOURNS TILL SATURDAY

Utmost Care Taken to Insure Secrecy at the Investigation, Diagram Studied.

The Phagan case is now in the process of investigation by the Fulton County Grand Jury.

Two bills for indictment of Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee, for the murder of Mary Phagan, were presented before that tribunal at its session Friday morning by Solicitor Dorsey.

A host of witnesses gave their testimony. The torn and blood-stained clothing of the slain girl also was turned over to the Grand Jury for inspection.

The Grand Jury studied carefully an elaborate diagram drawn by Bert Green, one of the Georgian’s staff artists, and setting forth in black and white the prosecutor’s theory of how the murder was probably committed. Intense interest was displayed in the drawing.

After being in session for nearly three hours, the Grand Jury adjourned until to-morrow morning at 10 o’clock, when the Phagan case will be taken up once more.

Woman Gives New Testimony.

Whether the sensational testimony of Mrs. Mima [sic] Famby [sic], 400 Piedmont Avenue—or Nina Famby [sic], as the woman says her name is—will be introduced at the Grand Jury probe, is a matter of doubt. Mrs. Fomby’s affidavit declaring that on the evening of the murder Frank called the affiant on the telephone and in an excited voice asked her to arrange a room for himself and a girl whose name he would not disclose, is in the hands of the Solicitor General.

Important as is the bearing which the alleged telephone conversation appears to have on the mystery of Mary Phagan’s death, doubts are already being expressed as to the part it will be permitted to play in the present hearing or any to come, owing to the chary wording of the law on such evidence. Continue Reading →