“God’s Vengeance Will Strike Brute Who Killed Her,” Says Grandfather of Mary Phagan

God's Vengeance Will Strike Brute

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Calling upon God Almighty to visit speedy vengeance upon the murderer or murderers of his fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Mary Phagan, whose mutilated body was discovered Sunday morning in the basement of the National Pencil company’s factory on Forsyth street, W. J. Phagan, an elderly citizen of Marietta, declares that he will never rest until the fiend or fiends are brought to justice.

The old man almost collapsed when he learned of the awful crime, and he sobbed piteously as he prayed for divine aid in clearing up the mystery surrounding the murder of the girl.

“The living God will see to it that the brute is found and punished according to his sin,” declared Mr. Phagan. “I hope the murderer will be dealt with as he has dealt with that tender and innocent child. I hope that he suffers anguish and remorse in the same measure that she suffered pain and shame. No punishment is too great for him. Hanging cannot atone for the crime he has committed and the suffering he has caused both to his victim and her relatives.”

Mr. Phagan was so overcome that he had to take to his bed, but he declared that he would attend the inquest over the remains of his granddaughter Monday morning. However, his condition was such during the early morning that his relatives feared he would not be strong enough to make the trip to Atlanta and face the ordeal of the inquest.

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Atlanta Journal, April 28th 1913, “‘God’s Vengeance Will Strike Brute Who Killed Her,’ Says Grandfather of Mary Phagan,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

July 28 Is Date Agreed Upon for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Judge Names Date After Statement From Reuben R. Arnold, In Which He Said Trial Would Last Two Weeks


Subpenas Duces Tecum Issued, Demanding Production of Affidavits and Popers [sic] in Possession of Solicitor

Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan, will not be tried before superior court Judge L. S. Roan next Monday. The judge in a conference with attorneys at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon formally set the trial for Monday, July 28, and no attempt to reopen the questions of arraignment will be made. Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to this date.

Any attempt made to put Frank on trial on next Monday was silenced when Reuben R. Arnold, speaking for the defense, said flatly that the trial would take at least two weeks. The assurance that the trial would last some time and the fact that it likely would be held in the stuffy little court room in the Thrower building, if scheduled Monday, practically caused the postponement.

Solicitor Dorsey, for the state, and Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, for the prosecution, were summoned to the court house by Judge Roan at 3 o’clock and a discussion of the matter was opened.


Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was ready and made the declaration that his witnesses would not take more than two days at the outside. He said if the defense had any he didn’t think they would take any longer.

This remark brought a grunt from Luther Z. Rosser and the Arnold statement that the trial would take two weeks.

“We have the witnesses,” both of the lawyers for the defense asserted.

Both Attorneys Rosser and Arnold told the court that in the event of a postponement of the case for Monday that they desired it to go over until after the week of July 14, when both would be engaged in the trial of Mattie Flanders in Swainsboro. Mr. Rosser represents the defense of Mrs. Flanders and Mr. Arnold the prosecution.

This came when Solicitor Dorsey suggested that the case be tried on July 7.

Judge Roan, in fixing July 28 as a date suitable to all concerned, said that there would be no break in the week, as there would with July 4, that a good court room for the trial could be obtained about July 13, that the jail could be cleared of routine cases by that time and previously made engamenest [sic] would not be interrupted.

All lawyers concerned were in court and the judge asserted that lack of preparation could not be offered as an excuse when the case was called on July 28.

The attorneys for Leo M. Frank Tuesday afternoon secured subpoenas duces tecum to be served on Chief James L. Beavers, Chief N. A. Lanford, Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stevens, Hary [sic] Scott, of the Pinkertons; City Detectives John Black, Pat Campbell and J. N. tSarnes [sic], and Secretary of Chief Lanford, G. C. Febuary, calling upon them to produce in court Monday June 30, or any other day that the Frank case might be on trial, all affidavits or statements secured from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper; Monteen Stover and Grace Hix. Continue Reading →

Girl’s Grandfather Vows Vengeance

Girl's Grandfather Vows Vengeance

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Standing with bared head in the doorway of his Marietta home, with tears falling unheeded down his furrowed cheeks, W. J. Phagan cried to heaven for vengeance for the murder of his granddaughter, fourteen-year-old Mary Phagan, and vowed that he would not rest until the murderer had been brought to justice.

In a silence unbroken save by the sound of his own sobs and the noise of the gently falling rain, the old man lifted his quavering voice in a passionate plea for the life of the wretch who had lured the little girl into the darkness of a deserted building and strangled her to death. It was an infinite grief—the grief of an old and broken man—that Mr. Phagan expressed when, with hands outspread imploringly, he invoked divine aid in bringing the murderer of the child to justice.

“By the power of the living God,” prayed the old man, his voice rising high and clear above the patter of the rain and the roar of a passing train, “I hope the murderer will be dealt with as he dealt with that innocent child. I hope his heart is torn with remorse in the measure that his victim suffered pain and shame; that he suffers as we who loved the child are suffering. No punishment is too great for the brute who foully murdered the sweetest and purest thing on earth—a young girl. Hanging cannot atone for the crime he has committed and the suffering he has caused.”

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Atlanta Georgian, April 28th 1913, “Girl’s Grandfather Vows Vengeance,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)