Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
August 12th, 1913
Sensational Charge Hurled By Physician in Testimony Given at Afternoon Session
Dr. Westmoreland, Answering Question of Attorney Reuben R. Arnold, Declares He Never Heard of a Chemist Who Had Made Examination by Himself and Then Destroyed the Organs Without Bringing Them Into Court
Three experts took the stand Monday afternoon at the trial of Leo M. Frank to repudiate the conclusions reached by Dr. H. F. Harris to the effect that the condition of the cabbage in the stomach of Mary Phagan showed that she must have died within an hour after eating, and that the distended blood vessels showed that she had suffered violence of some sort immediately prior to her death.
Dr. Thomas H. Hancock and Dr. Willis Westmoreland both declared that Dr. Harris’ conclusions were not justified. Dr. Hancock said that no physician in the world could have told from the evidence that Dr. Harris had before him how long the cabbage and bread had been in the little girl’s stomach. He exhibited to the jury a number of specimens of cabbage taken from the stomachs of five different people at different periods after it had been eaten to illustrate that very little if anything could be told by an examination of the food.
An attack upon the ethics of Dr. Harris for having made his examination without calling in any other chemist or physician and then having destroyed the stomach, was made by Attorney Arnold. He asked the following question of Dr. Westmoreland:
“Have you ever known a chemist to make an examination of a corpse nine days after death and utterly destroy the organ and not bring it into court to exhibit it to the jury or give it to the other side for investigation and examination?”
Dr. Westmoreland replied in the negative, after Judge Roan had ruled that the question shouldn’t be allowed.