Mystery of 14-Year-Old Mary Phagan’s Tragic End Adds One to Long List of Atlanta’s Unsolved Crimes

Mystery of 14Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 11th, 1913


The mystery surrounding the murder of Mary Phagan, the young factory girl who met a tragic and a terrible death in the heart of a city whose streets were thronged with holiday crowds, may add another chapter to Atlanta’s record of unsolved and unpunished crimes.

Can such things be? is asked. Can murder, red-handed, find a victim in the midst of a populous city when the sun is smiling in God’s skies of blue and where the protecting power of the law and the vengeance of justice are near, and the criminal go uncaught and the crime unpunished? History answers “Yes,” for Atlanta’s criminal annals show that there have been, ever since the city was a village, murder mysteries that remained unsolved, despite the tireless efforts of human ingenuity to bring the murderers to justice.

Murder Will Not Always Out.

That “murder will not always out” is shown by the tragedies that are here recited, for of tragedies that left unfulfilled the mandate of Jehovah, “who sheds man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed,” Atlanta has had its full quota. Nor is this city more flecked with the blood of unavenged victims than other communities. Ever since the first murder of the world, when only fratricide’s God knew of the crime, punishment has come alone from some power greater than that of man.

The stories here recorded of “Atlanta’s Murder Mysteries” had all the elements of boldness and brutality to defy the skill of Gaborian’s “LeCoq” or Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes.” Many clues were followed up and arrests were made.  In some of the cases the officers were positive they had caught the guilty criminals, as the evidence appeared convincing and conclusive, but in the end the mystery still remained a mystery. Continue Reading →