The Case of Mary Phagan

The Case of Mary Phagan

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 4th, 1913

At the top is a sketch made by Henderson from the last photograph taken of little Mary Phagan, the 14-year-old girl of tragedy. Below is a photograph of her mother and step-father, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coleman, and her sister, Miss Ollie Phagan. The other picture was taken at the funeral.

Could you walk for hours in the heart of Atlanta without seeing a person you know?

What did Atlanta detectives do to keep murderer from “planting” evidence against suspects?

Are all the men who have been held as suspects marked men for the rest of their lives as the result of a caprice of circumstance?

This not the story of Mary Phagan. It is a story about the story of Mary Phagan.

All of the story of little Mary Phagan that can be learned has been told simply and without further sensation than the facts themselves afforded in the columns of The Atlanta Constitution from the time of this paper’s exclusive story of the grewsome discovery of the girl’s body last Sunday morning. It is, therefore, not for this story to shed light on the case, but merely to point out and discuss a few of the extraordinary phases of the most extraordinary case that has ever shocked a city. Continue Reading →

Impostors Busy in Sleuth Roles in Phagan Case

Impostors Busy in Sleuth Roles in Phagan CaseAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 4th, 1913

Representing Themselves as Pinkertons, Two Men Are Interviewing Leading Witnesses in Mystery.

DETECTIVES WORRIED BY PLANTED EVIDENCE

Men Working on Case Believe That Some Interests May Be Trying to Fix the Crime on Suspects.

What interests are promoting the planting of evidence in the Mary Phagan mystery?

This question confronted police headquarters yesterday. Further evidence of mysterious forces underhandedly at work on the baffling case was revealed when it became known that imposters, representing themselves to be Pinkerton detectives had been questioning leading witnesses.

This new disclosure, coupled with past discoveries of obviously “framed-up” evidence, has stirred the police and solicitor’s staff to action. Arrests are expected at any moment. If the bogus detectives are caught, Chief Lanford declared they will be thrown into prison, held without bond or communication, and put through a gruelling [sic] third degree.

Why Such Methods?

Although many theories have been advanced, the police are at a loss to fathom the cause of such methods. It has even been suggested that the real murderer is at liberty, and, in the effort to avert suspicion which might be cast upon himself, is endeavoring to weave the web tighter around the suspects already under arrest. Continue Reading →