Tobie is Studying Mary Phagan’s Life

Tobie is Studying

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

Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, May 21st, 1913

Burns Operative Finds New Theory in Detailed Study of Life of Girl Who Was Murdered.

Investigation into the life of Mary Phagan from the time she was a child until the day upon which she was murdered has been the work for the past several days of C. W. Tobie, the investigator who is preceding William J. Burns in the attempt to find the perpetrator of the crime.

The detective will not reveal his specific reasons for accumulating a record of the girl’s life, but steadily he has been familiarizing himself with every detail which it has been possible to learn. When his chief reaches Atlanta he will have practically every detail in the life of the murdered girl at his finger tips. Tobie states that this is an important part of his criminal investigation.

All of Tuesday morning was spent in interviewing Mrs. James W. Coleman, mother of the dead girl, at her home, 146 Lindsay street. The grief-stricken parent broke into tears before the examination was finished. Tobie learned that on the morning of Mary’s disappearance she had arisen early to help her mother with the day’s housework.

Ironing Sunday Frock.

Up until the time she caught the trolley car for town, shortly after 11 o’clock, she had been ironing a summer frock which she intended wearing to Sunday school the following Sunday. It still lies carefully spread across the chair upon which she had folded it, a cherished memento of her bright young life. Continue Reading →

Finger Print Expert Works With Dorsey to Solve Mystery

Finger Print Expert

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 21st, 1913

P. A. Flak, of New York, visits Scene of Crime and Also Takes Finger Prints of Men in the Tower


He is Said to Be Convinced That Negro Is Innocent—Pinkertons Still Busy in Search for Additional Evidence

The employment by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey of one of the best known finger print experts in the world on the Phagan mystery was Wednesday’s principal development in the sensational case.

P. A. Flak, of New York City, noted criminologist, and a recognized expert on finger prints, was brought to Atlanta by the “Southeastern Banker” and introduced to Mr. Dorsey.

The expert and the prosecuting officer spent the entire day Wednesday in an effort to find the murderer of Mary Phagan through finger prints.

Together they visited the scene of the crime, and also the jail, where they are said to have secured the finger prints of Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the pencil factory, and Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, the two men held by the coroner’s jury.

Finger prints, which may lead to the conviction of the murderer were found on the notes left beside the dead girl’s body, and they were closely examined by Mr. Flak and the solicitor general.

Mr. Flak recently attended a meeting of the Georgia Banker’s association at Macon and consented at the request of representatives of the Southeastern Banker to come here and look into the Phagan mystery. Continue Reading →

T. B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank

TB Felder

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 21st, 1913

Stories That He Was Retained by Prisoner’s Friends Silly, He Declares.

Mystery piles up upon mystery in the Phagan case.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder was asked Wednesday afternoon by The Georgian to reply to rumors circulating on the street, all making the general charge that he had been retained by friends of Leo Frank, prisoner in the Phagan case, and that his object in bringing the great detective, William J. Burns, here, was not to aid the prosecution.

Colonel Felder said:

“Any stories to that effect are silly and ridiculous—if nothing worse. Anybody who knows me or Mr. Burns knows that we would not lend ourselves to any scheme to block justice. Mr. Burns in hunting down a criminal can not be stopped. He could have made a million dollars by listening to the importunities of friends of the McNamaras in the dynamiting cases, but he is above price.”

Loath to Discuss Rumors.

Mr. Felder said that he was loath to discuss the rumors on the street because he wanted to avoid injecting into the case any issues that might impede a speedy solution of the mystery.

He stated also that he had never said he was retained by the family of the dead girl, but that a committee of citizens had been the moving spirits in getting him to take hold and using his influence to bring Burns’ talents to bear on the case. Continue Reading →

The Phagan Case Day by Day

The Phagan Case Day by DayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 12th, 1913

The history of the baffling Phagan mystery, daily recorded, is briefly as follows:

Sunday April 26—Girl’s body found in basement of pencil factory. Newt Lee, negro night watchman, who made discovery, arrested. Arthur Mullinax, street car employee, also arrested. Both held on suspicion.

Monday—Leo M. Frank, factory superintendent, detained, but later released. J. M. Gantt, former bookkeeper of pencil concern and friend of dead girl, arrested in Marietta. Negro elevator boy also taken into custody. Pinkertons enter case.

Tuesday—Bloody shirt found at negro watchman’s home. Planted evidence theory advanced. Mary Phagan’s body buried. Sleuths announce they have evidence to convict. Frank confers with negro suspect.

Wednesday—Inquest begins. Newt Lee testifies. One hundred and fifty pencil factory employees summoned before coroner. George Epps, newsboy, tells of ride to uptown with Mary Phagan on her last trip.

Thursday—Frank and Lee ordered to Fulton tower on warrants issued by Coroner Donehoo. Trip made without incident. Continue Reading →

Find Guilty Man, Frank’s Lawyer Told Pinkertons

Find Guilty ManAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 12th, 1913

“You Are Employed to Hunt Down Murderer, It Matters Not Who He Is,” Luther Rosser Informs Detectives.


Solicitor Dorsey States That He Wants All the Evidence Ready to Submit to Jurors Before Opening Hearing.

Officials of the Pinkerton National Detective agency, who were brought into the Phagan case through Leo M. Frank, recently went to authorities of the National Pencil company. It is stated, and in the presence of Leo M. Frank’s counsel, Luther Z. Rosser, said:

“We want to make our position clear. The Pinkertons have been employed to apprehend the murderer of Mary Phagan. That is our intention, and if anybody can find her slayer we can. Shall we continue on the case?”

Mr. Rosser, who has been retained as Frank’s attorney since the superintendent was first arrested, spoke up:

“Find the murderer of Mary Phagan. Work in co-operation with the police—work with anyone, work any way which might lead you to success. Let your chips fall where they may. You are employed to hunt the murderer until he is found and convicted. It matters not who is guilty.”

Five Men on Case.

Five picked men, under command of Assistant Superintendent Harry Scott, are working exclusively on the mystery. Scott, through Detective John Black, of headquarters, is working in co-operation with the police. Continue Reading →

Guard of Secrecy is Thrown About Phagan Search by Solicitor

Guard of Secrecy is Thrown About Phagan Search by Solicitor

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 10th, 1913

Names of Witnesses Withheld by Dorsey to Prevent “Manufacturers of Public Opinion” Getting in Touch with Them—Satisfied with Progress.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey declared Saturday afternoon that he was very well satisfied with the progress made in the investigation of the Phagan murder mystery and made the significant remark that he would not reveal the names of new witnesses so that manufacturers of public opinion could not get to them.

The Solicitor held a conference with Dr. H. F. Harris, of the State Board of Health, who examined the girl’s body. Dr. Harris said he would rush his report in time for presentation to the Grand Jury when that body takes up the mystery next week. The Solicitor would not reveal just what the physician has learned so far.

The examination of the bloodstained shirt in the back yard of Newt Lee’s home was also continued, and the Solicitor was far from convinced that its significance had been rightly determined.

Mr. Dorsey worked all day Saturday on the case and announced that he would continue all of Sunday so that he could present his evidence to the Grand Jury as early as possible next week.

Confers With City Sleuths

A conference was held with the city detectives, who are working in co-operation with the State, but none of the details could be learned. Strict secrecy is being maintained regarding new developments. Continue Reading →