A background on the creation and analysis of State’s Exhibit B, followed by the specific police stenographed April 28, 1913, statement of Leo M. Frank contained in his 1913 Trial Brief of Evidence and included within the official record of the Georgia Supreme Court Case File on Leo M. Frank during his state appeals (1913 and 1914). The original document is presented and also converted into OCR text.
State’s Exhibit B was one of the most important documents presented as evidence at the 1913 trial of Leo M. Frank, accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, because the unsigned statement had come directly from Frank within the critical forty-eight-hour period during a murder investigation. Despite the fact that it was generally understood in 1913 that office wall clocks are typically accurate to within plus or minus three minutes on any given day, Leo Frank’s Monday, April 28, 1913, statement roughly placed bookends around the precise range of minutes regarding when Mary Phagan had arrived at the National Pencil Company factory on Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, at noon, and when Leo Frank claimed she walked into his second floor office.
Forty Seconds According to Leo Frank Partisan Berry Benson, 1915
From the entrance of the National Pencil Company on 37-41 South Forsyth Street, it takes roughly forty seconds to reach Leo Frank’s office (Berry Benson, 1915). The forty second time segment required a number of brief stages: First, one had to enter the NPCo through the arched front doorway into the first-floor lobby. Second, one needed to walk diagonally to the right about ten paces to reach the foot of the ascending staircase. Third, one had to climb the fourteen foot tall staircase to reach the second-floor lobby. And fourth, one needed to turn right to then walk into Leo Frank’s window front office overlooking South Forsyth Street.
Early in the Murder Investigation Leo M. Frank Gave Two Separate Times Concerning the Arrival of Mary Phagan
Mary Phagan’s arrival time at the National Pencil Company on Saturday, April 26, 1913, was thus according to Leo Frank on Monday, April 28, 1913, precisely 12:05 p.m. to 12:10 p.m., even though Frank had the day before on Sunday, April 27, 1913, told the police investigators who escorted him to the National Pencil Company that Phagan arrived in his inner office on the second floor on April 26, 1913, at about 12:02 to 12:03 p.m.
The two separate times given by Leo Frank during the earliest days of the Mary Phagan murder investigation created an eight-minute span of time. More concretely, from 12:02 p.m. to 12:10 p.m. became the established “maximum” time range of when Mary Phagan had arrived at the NPCo factory on Saturday, April 26, 1913, based on what Frank had said to the police during the first two days of the murder investigation. At the coroner’s inquest and the Leo M. Frank capital murder trial, he would change the time Mary Phagan arrived two more times.
In early May 1913, at the coroner’s inquest, Leo Frank gave his third separate time frame concerning Mary Phagan’s arrival and said she entered his office on Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 12:10 p.m. (Coroner’s Inquest, May, 1913).
On August 18, 1913, when Leo Frank gave a four-hour statement at his capital murder trial, to counter Monteen Stover’s testimony that his office was empty on April 26, 1913, for five minutes between 12:05 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., Frank changed the time Mary Phagan arrived on April 26, 1913, to 12:12 p.m. to 12:17 p.m. This fourth time frame gave at least a two-minute gap between the time Monteen Stover left Leo Frank’s office and when Mary Phagan arrived, to ensure they would not bump into each other.
Because Leo Frank changed the April 26, 1913, noontime arrival of Mary Phagan four separate times according to the official record, it tended to damage his credibility and make him seem unreliable.
Atlanta, Georgia, Monday Morning, April 28, 1913
At the crack of dawn on Monday morning, on the 28th of April, 1913, the whole city of Atlanta was awakening from its yawning slumber and began to buzz with life as people were getting themselves ready and preparing to rush off to work. The normal business workweek of Monday through Saturday had begun each day at 6:30 a.m. for the general populace of workers hustling and bustling to make a living.
Minola McKnight’s Breakfast Special
A phone call was made from the Atlanta police station to the home of Leo Frank at the Selig residence on 68 East Georgia Ave. The telephone was indeed a luxury in 1913, and at the Selig home, it was mounted on the wall in the dining room. When the telephone rang, Leo Frank asked Minola to answer it. A prominent voice on the other end asked if it was the Selig residence, and Minola responded in the affirmative. The police officer identified himself and barked a request to speak with Leo Frank. Minola informed Leo M. Frank that the police needed to speak with him, and he took the call. The officer informed Leo Frank detectives needed to perform routine questioning concerning the Mary Phagan murder investigation and that officers would be sending a car to pick him up and carry him to the Atlanta Police Station.
Leo Frank was called in to appear at the police station for a second round of questioning, this time it would be more detailed and stenographed, because a lot of information had been gathered in one day, since Sunday, April 27, 1913, when they first encountered Frank and detectives questioned him at the NPCo factory. Leo M. Frank normally woke up bright and early during the normal workweek, but the police phone call had interrupted him while he was in the middle of eating a hot morning breakfast. After the jarring phone call had created a sense of urgency, Leo Frank wolfed down the remainder of his breakfast plate containing a fresh fried chicken egg, toasted sweetbread, pickled cabbage, and to wash it all down, he slurped a steamy cup of black coffee. Leo Frank knew he had no more than twenty minutes to get ready, and his stomach was likely in uneasy knots.
Arrival at the Police Station
Well after 8:30 a.m., Leo M. Frank arrived at the Atlanta Police Station and was whisked away into the Interrogation Conference Room. The clock was ticking on the Phagan murder investigation. At that time, more than twenty-nine hours had passed since the grisly discovery made by Newt Lee, so the police had to work quickly to make headway.
Leo M. Frank sat fully present, wearing one of his typical work suits, and had a full stomach. The official stenographer, Mr. G. C. February, was setting up his equipment in preparation for capturing a series of police questions and Leo Frank’s responses. The questions and answers would be captured in an official manner and then stitched together into a statement without the actual questions, but only the answers, very much like the murder trial (July 28 to August 21, 1913) brief of evidence, which has the official record of the trial testimony of witness answers without the questions recorded from the defense and prosecution lawyers.
Ratified by the Defense and State’s Prosecution Attorneys
The statement of Leo Frank captured on Monday morning, April 28, 1913, would become State’s Exhibit B and would be part of the official record, and both the State’s Prosecution Team and the Leo M. Frank Defense Team would ratify it.
The Official 3,647 Page Leo M. Frank Trial Transcript
The official stenographed trial transcript, which contains both the questions and answers, went missing circa the 1960s, during the time Harry Golden published his book, A Little Girl Is Dead, and Leonard Dinnerstein was writing his PhD dissertation on the Leo Frank case – what a striking coincidence. In terms of who took it and the motive, the higher probability is that Leo Frank partisan revisionists (Frankites) stole it because they had the most to gain from its destruction in terms of clouding what was said in the courtroom during the trial. It is partially possible to revive most of the questions during examination by state’s prosecution and the Leo M. Frank defense team, as the original three major local newspapers at the time published most of what transpired in the court room. Fortunately, the Frankites didn’t get the chance to steal the original 1,800-page official Georgia Supreme Court Case File and 318+ page original 1913 Brief of Evidence, which survived into the 21st century within the vaults of the Georgia State Archives.
The Leo Frank Trial Transcript, July 28, to August 21, 1913
The Leo M. Frank Trial Brief of Evidence was ratified by both the state’s prosecution and Leo Frank legal defense team. It provides the witness testimony, evidence, exhibits and affidavits, along with the animus for the unmistakeable conclusions of any reasonably formed jury of impartial peers and two years of appellate tribunal review affirming the jury’s verdict of guilt. Then and now, the 1913 Leo M. Frank Trial Brief of Evidence is timeless concerning the clarity of guilt it provides for Leo M. Frank, from any reasonable person to conclude, barring that one is not swept into self-delusion or self-deception.
Take the Leo M. Frank challenge. Read the 1,800-page official Georgia Supreme Court Case File on Leo M. Frank and determine for yourself if the Georgia Supreme Court was indeed correct for sustaining the verdict of guilt given to Leo M. Frank at the conclusion of his trial on August 25 and 26, 1913.
One can and should compare the period Atlanta newspaper articles against the official 1913 Brief of Evidence available on the Internet.
Monday Morning, April 28, 1913, 8:30 a.m.
When Luther Zeigler Rosser and Herbert Haas showed up on behalf of Leo Frank at the police station before Frank was even accused or suspected of anything, it immediately raised eyebrows and “red flags” of suspicion. The perplexed police and detectives were scratching their heads in disbelief, wondering why a factory superintendent, who makes only a professional white collar middle class salary of $150 a month (about $37.50 a week) and lives at home with his in-laws, has the most expensive, powerful, and well-connected criminal lawyers money can buy in all of the State of Georgia representing him. To paraphrase Steve Oney, Luther Z. Rosser had a reputation for being the bludgeon of the wealthy, for well to do people needing to have legal inconveniences swept away (People v Leo Frank, 2009). Moreover, Oney describes Luther Z. Rosser as one earning an unheard of six-figure salary back in 1913 (Oney, 2003).
Back in the budding years of the early 20th century, as hard as it is to fathom, people did not usually have or request lawyers to be present when police were doing routine questioning at this stage of an investigation. For the police, something just wasn’t right. The whole thing came off as a trifle odd and excessively defensive. Leo Frank was pulling out the heavy artillery, when he was not actually charged with anything nor was he under suspicion or about to be put under arrest that day. Moreover, the police followed normal procedures when they were just asking Leo Frank standard protocol questions, because the twenty-nine-year-old superintendent had been the last known person to admit seeing Phagan alive in a factory that was virtually empty on the Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913.
Two Major Situations Occurred Leading to the Belief in Leo M. Frank as the New Prime Suspect in the Phagan Murder Investigation
The April 28, 1913, Monday morning meeting between Leo Frank, his council, and the police would become the crucial turning point in the Mary Phagan murder investigation, and it would result in strong suspicion turning toward Leo M. Frank when all the pieces of the puzzle started coming together after the meeting.
Two major events would tip the balance against Frank:
First, Leo Frank tried to deflect suspicion to a number of dead-end leads, including a specific and suspicious allegation toward his night watchmen Newt Lee and John M. Gantt. Leo Frank reported to his Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott that John M. Gantt had been “intimate” with Mary Phagan. This accusation resulted in Gantt being arrested and given the third degree. Leo M. Frank also gave conflicting reports about Newt Lee’s April 26 and 27, 1913 time card.
Second, an early bird employee of the pencil factory made a major forensic discovery while State’s Exhibit B was being created at the police station. By the time police had a chance to connect these two major events, Leo Frank had already made his statement and left his home, going to his second floor office at the National Pencil Company manufacturing plant at 37 to 41 South Forsyth Street, Atlanta, Georgia.
Major Event One: Newt Lee’s Time Card
Concerning the first major situation, which was more of a contradiction than anything else, Leo Frank on Sunday, April 27, 1913, in front of the police reviewed his Negro night watchman Newt Lee’s time card and said was punched perfectly. But the next day, Monday, April 28, 1913, Leo Frank explained to the police that after a second review of the night watchman’s time card, he noticed three or four vacancies in his punch card disparately from the evening of April 26, 1913, and morning of April 27, 1913, the day the murder was discovered. Newt Lee was normally supposed to punch his time card every half hour, but the new artificially created vacancies resulted in four separate windows of one hour that Lee could not account for himself. Also, the discovery of the contrived “death notes” next to the body of Mary Phagan that were written in Ebonics implicated Newt Lee a little too precisely without using Lee’s name — “the nightwitch did it.” Thus, the more Leo Frank tried to implicate his honest Negro night watchman with contradictory information, the more the police began to reflect on this fact later in the day and suspect Frank was up to no good. The pointed implicating finger of Leo M. Frank suggesting suspicion of Newt Lee revealed the true ugliness of the most shocking murder in early 20th Southern history; a high-profile Jewish pedophile-strangler intentionally tried to pin a most grisly crime on an innocent and honest Negro.
Forensic Revelations in the Phagan Murder Investigation: Blood and Hair
A major breakthrough in the investigation emerged from an eyewitness employee who had made a startling discovery on Monday morning, April 28, 1913, which was later revealed to the police that same day. Factory worker Robert P. Barret had found what looked like it might be the blood and hair of Mary Phagan in the metal room. In the metal room, blood was found on the floor in front of the ladies’ dressing room and bloody hair discovered on the bench lathe. Leo Frank was not under suspicion at the time of the forensic discovery, so it was not clear who had created the unmistakable forensic evidence in the metal room. Word about the bloody hair wrapped around the bench lathe handle spread to the other 100+ employees at the factory, and soon enough there was a parade of child laborer employees who had turned into morbid gawkers. Employees flocked to the metal room and examined the half-dozen to dozen bloody hairs and determined they looked like the hair of Mary Phagan. It was a jaw-dropping moment, and many of the preteen and teenage girl employees went into dizzying hysterics, as to be expected. After all, one of their friends and co-workers had recently been strangled to death in a grisly manner and discovered in the basement, but the forensic evidence suggested Mary Phagan had been attacked in the metal room.
An Inspection of Clothing
Monday afternoon was the major turning point in the investigation, when all the evidence collected came into critical mass and revealed who would become the new prime suspect. Leo Frank had left the police station by the skin of his teeth by convincing them to go to his home and inspect his laundry. The police found no forensic evidence with the naked eye. The suggestion by Leo Frank for the police to investigate his laundry intimated they should also examine Newt Lee’s laundry at his “nigger shack,” and the police would the next morning.
Police Reflections on Leo M. Frank Retaining Luther Rosser and Herbert Haas Before Their Law Office Even Opened on Monday, April 28, 1913!
What tripped the police up later that Monday afternoon was when they thought back about their morning interview with Leo Frank. They reflected on the whole picture of questioning Frank flanked by his high-priced lawyers Luther Z. Rosser and Herbert Haas, and because it was so early in the day, they realized something concerning the timing of the situation.
Most law offices were not yet open at 8:00 a.m., so they could not be called into action on a moment’s notice. This would imply that Luther Z. Rosser and Herbert Haas must have been hired as counsel the day before on April 27, 1913, for Leo Frank, which made things even stranger, because lawyers did not work at the office on Sunday and never took personal calls at home for new business. Back in those days, lawyers and the vast majority of people didn’t work on Sundays; it was part of the predominant Christian culture so integral in Southern life in the early 20th century. It was simply the way things were done at the time, because it was culturally ingrained in a once Christian Protestant Southern America as the non-negotiable respect “God’s Day of Rest.” Neither Jew nor Gentile worked on Sundays.
Only a serious, well-connected, money-oiled, powerful, and motivated client would have the personal home phone number of Luther Z. Rosser to get him on the horn on his Sunday off and then convince him to take on a new client in a possible murder case; some serious cash would have to be exchanged to make Rosser and Haas available at a moment’s notice Monday morning sharp, April 28, 1913.
Though that whole reflection had raised a little red flag of peculiarity for the police, when they kept rolling it over and over, there was something even more odd that raised an even bigger red flag. Who hired Luther Rosser?
The “Who Hired Luther Rosser” Question
The question would find its way circling through the police investigators discussing things as the day went on after Leo Frank had left for his home, and his captured statement was being reviewed amongst the police. It would spark the question: Why on Sunday, the day of the murder discovery, was Leo Frank, by proxy or some other means of his well-connected and wealthy associates, hiring Luther Rosser to represent him? Luther Z. Rosser was regarded as the number #1 “underworldish” and “mafiaesque” criminal attorney, the most expensive lawyer in all the state of Georgia.
The police would roll this query over and over, until it would become a rhetorical question after a while because as the day went on, many other pieces of evidence were setting off little red flags. They were popping up and blooming all over the place like spring flowers concerning the actions, “posture,” and demeanor of Leo M. Frank. The keyword of Monday April 28, 1913, for the police would have been the 1913 equivalent to the concept of Proxy. Who hired Luther Rosser? They did not have an answer to this question, because Leo Frank did not even know.
Leo Frank Pitches a Left-Handed Curve Ball
What would later be considered one of the biggest curve ball tangents thrown by Leo Frank when the police were discussing the perplexing Luther Rosser question was concerning what happened that Monday morning on April 28, 1913. Leo Frank would make a most unusual, bizarre claim, that it was a total surprise that some unknown associate had hired the pit bull Luther Z. Rosser and Herbert Haas on his behalf, without Frank even “knowing about it” or how or why. It left the police stunned and scratching their heads in disbelief, raising yet another possible red flag. How could Leo Frank not know?
Many months further along in the investigation it was live leaked that Luther Z. Rosser was retained for a handsome unheard-of-sum, $12,500 (Atlanta Publishing Company, The Frank Case, 1913) to $15,000, which might not seem like a lot of money in today’s over inflated FED U.S. dollars having considerably declined by 99% in value over the last one hundred years. But back then in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was also just born and did not have enough time to erode the value of the U.S. dollar into OBLIVION by geometric paper printing and digital growth.
To put things into context, $12,500 to $15,000 was enough money back in the 1910s to buy an absolutely fabulous estate outside of greater Atlanta. If Luther’s $12,500 seemed exorbitant, Reuben Arnold later joined the Leo Frank defense dream team for an equally whopping $10,000 (Atlanta Publishing Company, The Frank Case, 1913). Before the trial even started, at least $22,500 had been released to the two “top of the top” lawyers in the state of Georgia–not to mention they were the leaders, part of an expensive dream team totaling eight lawyers for the Leo M. Frank defense. The black ops fund on behalf of Leo Frank was to the tune of six figures and hemorrhaging NY Jewish media mogul greenbacks to the likes of Jewish advertising magnate Albert Davis Lasker (May 1, 1880 – May 30, 1952) and New York Times owner Adolph Simon Ochs (March 12, 1858 – April 8, 1935).
The Leo M. Frank Treasury
Later, the media backed mega-financed Leo Frank slush fund surged to colossal proportions thanks to advertising Magnate Albert Lasker and media mogul Adolph Ochs, owner of the New York Times. Big Jewish money was pouring in from every direction via countless different Jewish groups, and it would insure there would be a golden fortune of funds spent on Leo Frank’s frivolous appeals from 1913 to 1915 (Affidavits, 1913, 1914, 1915).
Most observers felt that because Leo Frank had the best legal team money could buy, a team that grew into eight top-notch lawyers and a black ops wing of ancillary criminals manufacturing and fabricating evidence, the fact he was convicted unanimously by the thirteen-man panel of the presiding Judge Leonard Strickland Roan and jury of twelve, followed by two years of court reviews rendering majority decisions he had a fair trial, meant he was likely guilty. This is especially true in light of the 1986 decision where Leo Frank received a highly political pardon without disturbing the verdict of the jury and without exonerating him of the crime he was convicted.
The August 18, 1913, Leo Frank incriminating statement also made it seem impossible that he could be innocent, but many had the unsettling feeling after hearing all the evidence, seeing the demeanor of the witnesses, and thinking things over, that despite Frank being unquestionably guilty, both Leo Frank and Jim Conley hadn’t told everything they knew. If only they had used waterboarding on Leo Frank and Jim Conley, they could have extracted every detail of what really happened.
I Don’t Know Any Mary Phagan and I Don’t Know Mary Phagan’s Name Either
On Sunday, April 27, 1913, Leo Frank told the police he did not know any Mary Phagan that he would have to check his accounting books to figure out the name of the girl who came at 12:02 or 12:03 to pick up her pay envelope. During Leo Frank’s statement given on Monday, April 28, 1913, Leo Frank claimed he didn’t know the name of the little girl he paid off at noon on Saturday April 26, 1913, was Mary Phagan, employee number #186, so yet another red flag went up, because it would later be determined that Mary Phagan had worked at the factory for about a year or nearly thirteen months. Leo Frank would perpetuate this lie of not knowing Mary Phagan on Monday, April 28, 1913, in a roundabout way, as captured in State’s Exhibit B.
On Monday afternoon, April 28, 1913, now hours after Leo Frank left the police station and went home, as more information was revealed from employees about how business operated at the factory, detectives began wondering how it was even remotely possible that Leo Frank could not have known Mary Phagan, especially after having paid off her salary 50+ times, over the last fifty-two weeks in the year she had worked at the factory from the spring of 1912 to late April 1913.
When looking at the workweek hours, police asked themselves how Leo Frank could possibly claim to not know this little girl’s name when she worked under his clock for eleven-hour shifts, five days a week during normal factory hours, when Phagan worked on Frank’s same floor and not far from his office! 11 hours x 5 days a week = 55 hour workweeks and at 7.36 cents an hour she was paid $4.05 a week.
One Set of Adjacent Toilets on the Second Floor in the Metal Room
The adjacent set of bathrooms in the rear of the second floor became an item of interest, because the contrived “death notes” written in Negro dialect had suggested Mary Phagan went to the bathroom before she was assaulted, and because Mary was last seen on the second floor by Leo Frank. So the police turned their focus on the toilet on the second floor.
Since everyone working on the second floor, like Leo Frank, had to pass directly by the workstation of Mary Phagan each day to get to the bathroom to urinate or use the toilet, police wondered how Frank could pass her workstation presumably every day for a year and not know her. Mary Phagan literally sat the closest to the “closet” (the word Southerners used to describe the toilet stalls); her workstation was less than two or three feet from the door of the bathroom, which could only be reached by walking within and through the metal room. People had to practically brush against Mary Phagan each time they needed to reach the entrance of the metal room bathroom. This particular second-floor bathroom was a room containing three separate toilets side by side separated by a thin partition.
Nearly one month after Leo Frank gave his State’s Exhibit B, the police cracked Jim Conley wide open using the third degree. Great significance would be placed on the infamous and contrived murder notes that also seemed to point Mary Phagan going to the bathroom, which also has her going through the metal room given the layout of the factory in State’s Exhibit A and floor plans submitted into the evidence (BOE, 1913). What was the most interesting tidbit of eyewitness testimony is that Jim Conley had found Mary Phagan dead and splayed out in the second floor bathroom contained in the metal room and not the metal room itself (Affidavits of James Conley, May, 1913). This revelation by Conley about finding Mary Phagan in the toilet foyer connected the blunderous “death notes,” which revealed Mary had been assaulted after going to the toilets. Mary certainly didn’t climb a flight of stairs to go to the bathroom upstairs, nor did she use the restroom on the first floor, which was inaccessible and had belonged formerly to another company.
Though it would later be revealed that Leo Frank lured Mary Phagan into the metal room to see if her work had come, which he knew had not, it is less likely but still possible that she had gone to the metal room to use the toilet.
The Bathroom, The Bathroom, The Bathroom: April 27, 1913, to August 18, 1913
Everything seemed to be pointing to the bathroom in the metal room–the murder notes discovered on April 27, 1913, Jim Conley in late May 1913 said he found Mary Phagan there in the second floor metal room bathroom after Leo Frank said to look for her there, and then finally, the Leo Frank incriminating statement on August 18, 1913, has Leo going to the toilet in the metal room with an “unconscious” bathroom visit.
Where Is the Bathroom on the Second Floor?
When the 3D detail became determined that there was only one set of bathrooms on the second floor and that one had to go into and through the metal room to reach them, the chain of evidence began to concatenate forming an intricate, tight, narrow, and clear chronology of possible events that became like a focused laser on Leo Frank. The police began to create permutations of possibilities of what could have happened, much akin to game theory. It was and has always been what police, detectives, and investigators do; they think up all the possibilities and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
How Many Times Did Leo Frank Go to the Bathroom Each Day at the Office?
In terms of Leo Frank passing by Mary Phagan, how many times would Leo Frank typically have to use the toilet during an eleven-hour workday, given that he guzzled coffee on a daily basis like it was going out of style?
How Many Hours Did Mary Phagan Work at the Pencil Factory from the Spring of 1912 until April 26, 1913?
In terms of the police taking out a mental calculator and adding up the hours of her presence at the factory, Mary had worked eleven-hour shifts, five days a week (barring holidays), during the time period from spring 1912 to April 26, 1913. How could a girl who had worked for Leo Frank logging more than 2,500++ hours not be known by him? After all, he was the accountant for the factory in charge of tallying punched time cards in his office and administering the standard wages for specific employees, logging earnings, and paying them off directly with envelopes that had the employee’s number and initials.
State’s Exhibit B and Questions Police Asked Themselves
Mary Phagan typically earned $4.05 a week or 7.5 cents an hour. Leo Frank described her pay envelope as having “#186, MP” written on it. Did Leo Frank not know who 186 was? Did he not know who MP was? Mary Phagan was also known to be a very attractive and well-developed girl for her age, so what are the chances Leo Frank didn’t know Mary Phagan and didn’t know her name?
The question observers really want to know the answer to: Why was Leo Frank pretending not to know Mary Phagan? Why was Leo Frank, an accountant and mathematician, distancing himself from Mary Phagan given that the chances of him not knowing her are slim to none? Was it a harmless white lie? Was Leo Frank just pretending not to know Mary so he could deflect suspicion from himself during the investigation, or did he deny knowing her because he killed her?
Step Inside the Metal Room:The Real Scene of the Crime Is Discovered
When the police discovered that the employees at the National Pencil Company on the second floor of the factory found some unusual evidence in the metal room at the exact same time that Monday morning Leo Frank was being questioned, the little red flags started to became medium red flags. But the frustrated police kept reminding themselves Leo Frank had left the police station by then and was temporarily relieved, until they could get him the next day.
Check My Body
At the police station that morning, Leo Frank told the police to check his body for marks of a struggle and to search the laundry at his home. No evidence of resistance was found, nor were there any bloody clothes at Leo Frank’s home. This meant Newt Lee was next. The police would do a deeper investigation of Newt Lee’s house Monday evening, because Leo Frank had also changed his original story from Sunday when he said Newt Lee’s time card was punched perfectly and then Monday morning claimed three punches were missing from the time card of Newt Lee.
Police found a bloody shirt at the bottom of Newt Lee’s laundry barrel — it appeared to have been planted, because the blood was high up in the armpits and on the front and back. The shirt was also clean and didn’t have the distinctive Negro funk on it.
The Details of the Forensic Discovery
At the same time Leo Frank was being questioned on Monday morning, April 28, 1913, employees at the factory discovered strands of bloody hair wrapped around the handle of the lathe and a five inch wide fan-shaped sunburst bloodstain pattern on the floor in the metal room. The bloodstain had been deliberately smeared and rubbed with a white powder haskolene, as if someone was trying to hide it, but it only made it more conspicuous because the blood didn’t soak very well into the dirty greasy floor. Instead, the dark blood bled through the white powder creating a suspicious and conspicuous pink-red stain in front of the girls’ changing room.
A month later after the bloodstain was discovered, Jim Conley would give an interesting tidbit of information about what caused it.
The Strength of State’s Exhibit B, Leo M. Frank’s Statement to Police April 28, 1913
Visualize Leo Frank accompanied by Luther Rosser and Herbert Haas next to the window, two of the most seasoned, expensive, powerful, and “mafia like” lawyers in the state of Georgia. And then watch Leo Frank make a statement of the details of that infamous day, April 26, 1913, while it was being captured by stenographer G. C. February in front of Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford, and witnessed by encompassing officers, officials, law enforcement agents, and other sleuths at the police station, who circled around Frank in the interrogation conference room. All of these men who were participating in the Mary Phagan cold case investigation were clutching pencils and notepads, and others were simply listening and intently watching the proceedings, as they would hang on every word uttered by Leo Frank.
Leo Frank and the Golden Rule of Detective Investigation
Concerning the procedural methods that are so essential in a murder investigation, one golden rule in detective science would stand above all. It would defy the test of time and space, before, then, and now, becoming an integral historical and eternal part in any serious attempts at fact-finding in a criminal investigation. In the Leo Frank case particularly, it would serve as becoming a textbook example about how police detective investigation and intuitive dissection works effectively, as both an art and science, and why it is incalculably essential to get documented statements from witnesses within forty-eight hours of a murder. Not even the most long-winded praise of the immediate timing factor concerning this investigation protocol can convey the utmost decisive, critical, and essential nature of it.
Moreover, regardless of the degrees of candor and honesty given by such associated witnesses, whether the affiliated deponents tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, embellish with numerous half-truths, or make outright lies, capturing it is important. The reason being, the investigators will later determine the levels of quality and veracity concerning statements made, whether information was held back or too much was given, and every possible combination there within and without. These variables also give the investigators the ability to determine on many levels the general reliability and trustworthiness of a witness when it comes to them telling everything they know. Intuition and common sense play a big part in the investigation of a murder, as it was then and in the present. The other issue is highly refined and intuitive bullshit detector of investigators that is honed and perfected over the years. For the police, they aren’t just seeking possible lies; they are also looking to see if things sound contrived or don’t pass the common sense test.
Concerning Leo Frank, each one of these factors would come into play during the 1913 systematic inquiry into the murder of Mary Phagan by police and detectives in unraveling the “who dunnit” mystery, and later at the trial, numerous differing statements given by Frank about when Phagan arrived in his office and where he was at the time created contradictions and would be used against him in a successful attempt to discredit and impeach his reliability as a witness. This offers students of criminal investigation a superb example to study and analyze — one of the most important avenues of how investigators cracked wide open a witness in one of the most important and sensational criminal murder cold cases within the annals of U.S. history.
State’s Exhibit B in Contemporary and Modern Times
In terms of the Mary Phagan cold case murder investigation, it is perplexing that Frank’s statement State’s Exhibit B is not only one of the most important documents in the Leo Frank case when all things are considered, but it is also one of the most ignored documents by Leo Frank partisans, especially when they write books or articles on the subject. The truth of why contemporary Leo Frank partisan writers seldom discuss, review, or analyze State’s Exhibit is because it threatens to shatter the century-long myth, the proposition that James “Jim” Conley, the factory sweeper, was the star witness in the Leo Frank case and that the entire case can be reduced to Jim Conley’s word vs. Leo M. Frank’s word.
From the Leo Frank partisan writer and article published on his website: “Wrongly Accused, Falsely Convicted and Wantonly Murdered” by Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law,
Steve Oney’s book, [‘And The Dead Shall Rise, The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank’ published by Pantheon Books in 2003], (as literary critic Theodore Rosengarten reminds us) does not “come flat out and say who killed Mary [Phagan].” Although the book does assert that the weight of the evidence “strongly suggests Frank’s innocence,” it also claims that “the argument [over whether Frank or Conley is the guilty party]” will “never move beyond that of Conley’s word versus Frank’s.” On the other hand, in a recent press interview Oney stated that “I’m pretty certain that Frank was innocent,” and “I’m 95 percent certain Conley did it.” And in a short magazine article published in March 2004 Oney “declared [his] belief in Frank’s innocence.”
State’s Exhibit B reveals the truth of the Leo Frank case and forever elevates Monteen Stover into the position as the star witness in the Frank trial above Jim Conley. In many respects, it reduces the entire Leo Frank case, distilling it down to Monteen Stover’s word that she looked for Frank in his inner and outer office for five minutes between 12:05 and 12:10 vs. Leo Frank’s word that Monteen Stover couldn’t see him in his office because he was either hiding behind the safe door or going to the bathroom in the metal room between 12:05 to 12:10.
Jewish Racial Supremacy Games: The Word of a White Skin vs. Black Skin
For the Jewish community and Frank partisans, they would rather the Leo Frank case be reduced to a biased and unfair white racial superiority context when it benefits them, and in this case, they want the entire case reduced to the word of an “upstanding,” clean-cut, and well-educated white man (with no criminal record at the time) Leo Frank vs. a drunk half-literate Negro Jim Conley (one with a record of six or seven charges of incidents of drunken sloppy slurring buffoonery and disorderly conduct on the street). Jewish Hollywood knows they can sell more movies, books, and Broadway play seats if the gladiatorial battle is between a Jewish Aristocrat vs. “Sub Human” Negro. For the Jewish community, Mary Phagan’s murder becomes nothing more than an unfortunate plot device to unravel the soul-disfigured Jewish interpretation of the case.
Even worse, for the Jewish community and Leo Frank partisans, then and now, who regularly obsess about non-existent racism and bigotry against them, however when the tables are turned and it benefits them, they want to play the racial dynamic in the Leo Frank case to harness the natural healthy instincts of racially conscious whites in favor of the white separatist South to make the Leo Frank case a black vs. white conflict. But when their black vs. white racism didn’t work, they then had to turn it into a white vs. Jew conflict. Since the Jewish-spun conspiracy that the half-illiterate Jim Conley was really a diabolic mastermind against Leo Frank wouldn’t hold, they had to find a new racial angle to play. White Jew vs. White Christian. When people dig deeper beneath the Jewish claims of the Leo Frank case, they discover a fantastic collection of pathological lies.
Jewish Racial Supremacy Games: Jews vs. Gentiles
Because Monteen Stover was a white girl of unblemished character when she testified at the Leo Frank trial for the murder of Mary Phagan and was determined in truth to be the star witness and Jim Conley reduced to an accomplice after the fact, the black vs. white context spun by the Jewish community fell apart. So a new racial context had to be manufactured: White Jew vs. White Christian, with the entire Leo Frank case being transfigured into a vast anti-Jewish conspiracy to railroad and scapegoat an innocent white Jew, but that falls apart too. And since no facts can substantiate it, the Jewish community uses the Big Lie method invented by their forefathers to create a prevailing cultural context by making sure they create nearly all the movies, books, magazine articles, booklets, and newspaper articles pushing the rewriting of history that Jim Conley was the real murderer. This is what Western Civilization is up against, a tiny minority, the collective Jewish parasites, 30 to 50 million strong worldwide, relentlessly waging a dirty cultural race war against Gentiles.
Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, High Noon
The importance of State’s Exhibit B is that Leo Frank told the police when Mary Phagan had arrived into his possession, thus the chronology had been marked with specific time posts, immovable monuments that could not be changed, revoked, massaged, or removed. The most incriminating part of the Leo Frank statement would be the precise arrival time he provided that Mary Phagan stepped into his second-floor office between “12:05 and 12:10, maybe 12:07” to receive her pay envelope and immediately thereafter she inquired about whether or not she would have her job back (ironically) on Monday, April 28, 1913, when State’s Exhibit B was created. Leo Frank would give four different times during the entire investigation concerning when Mary Phagan entered his office.
Time Is Everything in an Investigation
The importance in the time line concerning Leo Frank making this statement was that it had been made Monday, April 28, 1913, at 8 a.m., the day following the murder discovery on Sunday, April 27, 1913, at 3:18 a.m. by Newt Lee, and consequently there was a real “freshness memory factor” because it had been made within less than forty-eight hours of the murder. It thus provided the police with two potential advantages in their investigation: First, it is presumed that the sooner a statement is made after a crime, the less likely one has a chance to engineer and manufacture or “really rethink things through,” discuss things over with lawyers, oneself, or associates, and thus limits the ability to massage and embellish the truth with great complexity, flexibility, and nuance. Second, even if one chooses to “flat out lie” or obfuscate the truth about how things really happened at such an early stage in the investigation, it gave detectives more opportunities to find inconsistencies, mistakes, flaws, and discrepancies within the statement. These two paradigms offer discretionary positions and options for investigators, creating significant advantages for police and detectives. These are clues that would later come into play in the discovery process for the state, which would immediately turn against Leo Frank because everything began to point in his direction. Within twenty-four hours of creating the final product of State’s Exhibit B, Leo Frank would be arrested and incarcerated the next day on Tuesday, April 29, 1913 at 11:30 a.m., which was about fifty-six hours from the time of the murder discovery was reported to police on April 27, 1913, at 3:30 a.m. by the night watch Newt Lee.
Time Keeps on Slipping, Slipping, Slipping, into the Future (you know that song?)
Leo Frank would “tweak” the time Mary Phagan had arrived at his office each time he was asked about it, giving several slightly contrasting versions to different officials in the case as the investigation continued. Each new modification of meeting time given by Leo Frank about Mary Phagan’s arrival and departure increased by numerous minutes inching upward in time, and when all the versions are held up to each other, the time increased by as much as eighteen minutes. And this eighteen-minute range was the approximate time Leonard Dinnerstein accurately describes as unaccounted time for Frank (Dinnerstein, 1968 onward) — that is to say, no one can substantiate the whereabouts of Leo Frank during this eighteen minutes of time. This time is unaccountable for Leo Frank, because he was unable to find or produce a witness, real or contrived, to testify to his whereabouts during this specific time frame. And if one does not believe the veracity of the contrived testimony given by Lemmie Quinn, Frank’s unaccounted moments surrounding the time of the murder increases to more than thirty minutes (12:03 to 12:34), instead of Leonard Dinnerstein’s eighteen minutes. The real amount of time Leo Frank scholars believe was thirty-one minutes, because Lemmie Quinn sets off our highly refined bullshit detectors based on his affidavit stating he was on the other side of town at that time at a pool hall (Lemmie Quinn Affidavit, Leo Frank Trial, Official Brief of Evidence, July Term, 1913). Mrs. White momentarily popped back into the building at 12:35 to check on her husband and raid his wallet for $2 (Leo Frank, State’s Exhibit B, April 28, 1913), stopping in Leo Frank’s office for a moment, reporting she scared him at first, because he was putting something in his safe (presumably Mary Phagan’s purse). Then she began asking Leo Frank for his permission to go up to the fourth floor, and at his approval, she climbed two more flights of stairs, arriving at the fourth floor to raid poor Mr. White’s wallet.
It would be presumed from the position of Leo Frank scholars, his perpetual changes of Mary Phagan’s arrival and departure times may have been influenced by communication opportunities that had occurred with Jim Conley on Saturday, April 26, 1913, the day of the murder and after it occurred. Two days later on Monday, April 28, 1913, Leo Frank would have had another opportunity to speak with Jim Conley, immediately after Frank was released from the police station. He also had an urgency to talk things over in his mind, with lawyers, and rethink things.
As more evidence came forth and was revealed during the three-month investigation, Jim Conley would break down under police third-degree interrogation methods and would agree to testify at the trial that he spoke with Frank immediately after the murder of Phagan, revealing that another unknown little girl had come and gone, while Frank was presumably occupied in the metal room finishing off the strangulation of Mary Phagan. The problem for Leo Frank was who was this girl? And what if in the investigation and interviewing process, they discover who this girl is, considering everything paid out was recorded in the book and Mary Phagan was the last female employee entry in the books that day.
This girl that Jim Conley did not know at the time, who had gone to the second floor at 12:05 and waited for Frank for five minutes and then left at 12:10, would later be publicly identified as Monteen Stover on May 10, 1913, by the local newspapers, more than two weeks after the Phagan murder. This “unknown future star witness” was discovered between two and three weeks before Jim Conley had finally given up halfheartedly shielding Leo Frank and being half-mum with the police, opening up almost fully on May 28 and 29, 1913. Everything was starting to unravel for Leo Frank; Monteen Stover cracked his alibi about him claiming he was in his office every minute from noon to 12:35.
In order to understand the importance of State’s Exhibit B, become familiar with the layout of the second floor of the National Pencil Company floor plan (BOE, States Exhibit A, 1913), including the location of Leo Frank’s office and the metal room down the hall, which contained the dressing room, bathroom, and toilets. The factory floor plan diagrams are made available for your review in the Brief of Evidence, July Term, 1913.
When Did Mary Phagan Arrive?
Pay close attention to State’s Exhibit B where Leo Frank described the approximate time Mary Phagan came into his office “12:05 to 12:10, maybe 12:07”. After reading State’s Exhibit B, compare it with Leo M. Frank’s trial testimony on August 18, 1913, where he never mentioned seeing Monteen Stover, but instead countered her testimony about why he was not in his office with an “unconscious” bathroom visit in the metal room and that his safe door was open so he could not see Monteen Stover and she could not see him (BOE, Leo Frank Statement, August 18, 1913). Also compare the different times that Leo Frank said Mary Phagan came into his office and note how each statement about the Mary Phagan disembarkation time becomes later and later as time goes on during the investigation leading up to the trial.
The box of chocolates for Lucille appeared to reflect an effort by Leo Frank to assuage his guilt.
Inconsistencies and Common Sense
Discovering and pointing out inconsistency is one of the most important tools in the arsenal of police detectives, and it would be the inconsistencies in Leo Frank’s four changing time statements to various people and investigators that tended to destroy his credibility.
Now, onto State’s Exhibit B–the moment you have been waiting for.
STATE’S EXHIBIT B. Monday Morning April 28, 1913
Frank’s statement made before N. A. Lanford, Chief of Detectives, on Monday morning, April 28, 1913, this statement being unsigned:
“I am general superintendent and director of the National Pencil Company. In Atlanta I have held that position since August 10, 1908. My place of business is at 37 to 41 S. Forsyth St. We have about 107 employees in that plant, male and female. I guess there are a few more girls than boys. Saturday, April 26th, was a holiday with our company and the factory was shut down. There were several people who came in during the morning. The office boy and the stenographer were in the office with me until noon. They left about 12 or a little after. We have a day watchman there. He left shortly before 12 o’clock. After the office boy and the stenographer left, this little girl, Mary Phagan, came in, but at the time I didn’t know that was her name. She came in between 12:05 and 12:10, maybe 12:07, to get her pay envelope, her salary. I paid her and she went out of the office. I was in the inner office at my desk, the furtherest office to the left from the main office. It was impossible to see the direction she went in when she left. My impression was that she just walked away. I didn’t pay any particular attention. I didn’t keep the door locked downstairs that morning because the mail was coming in. I locked it at 1:10 when I went to dinner. Arthur White and Harry Denham were also in the building. They were working on the machinery, doing repair work, working on the top floor of the building, which is the fourth floor, towards the rear or about the middle of the building, but a little more to the rear. They were tightening up the belts; they are not machinists; one is a foreman in one department and the other is an assistant in another, and Denham was assisting White, and Mrs. White, the wife of Arthur White, was also in the building. She left about 1 o’clock. I went up there and told them I was going to dinner and they had to get out, and they said they had not finished and I said, ‘How long will it take?’ and they said until some time in the afternoon, and then I said, ‘Mrs. White, you will have to go, for I am going to lock these boys in here.’ Anyone from the inside can open the outside door, but not the inside door, which I locked. You can go in the basement from the front through the trap door. No, sir, they could get up the steps if I was out. I looked the outer door and the inner door. I got back at 3 o’clock, and maybe two or three minutes before, and I went to the office and took off my coat and then went upstairs to tell those boys I was back, and I couldn’t find them at first, they were back in the dipping room in the rear, and I said,’ Are you ready,’ and they said,’We are just ready,’ and I said, ‘All right, ring out when you go down to let me know when you go out,’ and they rang out, and Arthur White come in the office and said, ‘Mr. Frank, loan me $2.00,’ and I said,’ What’s the matter; we just paid off,’ and he said, ‘My wife robbed me,’ and I give him $2.00 and he walked away, and the two of them walked out. I locked the outer door behind them. When I am in there is no need of locking the inner door. There was only one person I was looking for to come in, and that was the night watchman. He got there at 20 minutes to four. I had previously arranged for him to get there. On Friday night I told him, after he got his money. I give him the keys and I said, ‘You had better come around early tomorrow because I may go to the ball game,’ and he come early because of that fact; I told him to come early and he came 20 minutes to 4. I figured that I could leave about 1 o’clock and would not come back, but it was so cold I didn’t want to risk catching cold and I come back to the factory as I usually do. He come in and I said ‘Newt, you are early,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir,’ and he had a bag of bananas with him and he offered me a banana; I didn’t see them but he offered me one and I guess he had them. We have told him once he gets in that building never to go out; I told him he could go out; he got there so early and I was going to be there. He come back about 4 minutes to six; the reason I know that I was putting the clock slips in and the clock was right in front of me. I said, ‘ I will be ready in a minute,’ and he went downstairs and I come to the office and put on my coat and hat and followed him and went out. When I went out, talking to Newt Lee was J. M. Gantt, a man I had fired about two weeks previous. Newt told me he wanted to go up to get a pair of shoes he left while he was working there, and Gantt said to me, “Newt don’t want me to go up,’ and he said, ‘You can go with me, Mr. Frank,’ and I said ‘That’s all right, go with him, Newt,’ and I went on home, and I got home about 6:25. Nothing else happened; that’s all I know. I don’t know what time Gantt came down after he went up. I saw him go in and I locked the door after him, but I didn’t try them. I telephoned Newt. I tried to telephone him when I got home; he punches the clock at half hour intervals, and the clock and the phone is in the office, and I didn’t get an answer and at 7 o’clock I called him and asked him if Gantt got his shoes and he said yes, he got them, and I said is everything all right and he said yes, and the next thing I knew they called me at 7:30 the next morning. I don’t know that our watchman has been in the habit of letting people in the factory at any time. I have never heard of it. I never had any trouble with the watchman about it. As to whether any of our employees go there at night, Gantt did when he was working there; he had a key and sometimes he would have some work left over. I never have seen him go out until I go out. I go out and come back, but he had come back before I left, but that is part of his duty. I took a bath Saturday night at my home. I changed my clothes. The clothes that I changed are at home, and this is the suit of clothes I was wearing Saturday. After I left the shop I went to Jacob’s Pharmacy and bought a box of candy for my wife and got home about 6:25.”
See: Trial Testimony of Monteen Stover and compare it against State’s Exhibit B.
Testimony of Jim Conley: http://www.leofrank.org/jim-conley-august-4-5-6/
Leo Frank vs. Harry Scott: Trial Brief of Evidence
According to Leo Frank, after Mary Phagan had received her pay envelope, walked away, and reached the outer door, she asked her last known question, “Mr. Frank, has the metal arrived?”
Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, hired by the NPCo on behalf of Frank, stated at the Leo M. Frank trial — when he and Leo Frank were alone talking — Leo responded to the last question, “I don’t know” instead of “No” in response to Mary Phagan’s inquiry on April 26, 1913, at 12:05 p.m., about whether or not the brass sheets had arrived. The Pinkerton detective’s original reports had recorded Leo Frank’s response as, “No,” leaving many to believe Harry Scott was Anti-Leo (Koenigsberg, 2011) or had framed Leo Frank (Goldfarb, 1996).
When Harry Scott was confronted at the trial over this variation, Scott claimed it was a report “typo” (BOE, 1913). Either Leo Frank statement “No” or “I don’t know” was suspicious, but “I don’t know” was more damaging. If Leo Frank had said, “No” like he claimed on Monday Morning, April 29, 1913 (State’s Exhibit B), and August 18, 1913 (Leo Frank Trial Statement), the natural question in response to “No” you would expect from Mary Phagan would be along the lines: “Well, sir, do you know about when it’s coming?” or “Has the metal been re-ordered?” or “Do you know in general when it is coming?” Mary would have asked these questions because the National Pencil Company wasn’t all of a sudden shutting down or going out of business on account of some brass sheet metal supplies, so Mary Phagan would have wanted to know when she was to have her job back after being temporarily laid off. She did, after all, work at the factory for more than a year (thirteen months), and her income was a vital component for helping her poverty-stricken family make ends meet. So, when Frank claimed to have said No and then Mary just left, it didn’t make sense in the minds of the police and later the jury. And looking back one hundred years later, it sets off everyone’s highly refined bullshit detector.
If Leo Frank said, “I don’t know,” as Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott said he did, then the natural response would have been “Well, let’s go find out.” It created three-dimensional motion from Leo Frank’s inner office, as Mary and Leo walked to the back of the metal room to check to see if the brass metal sheets had arrived yet.
How State’s Exhibit B was created with its questions: http://www.leofrank.info/library/atlanta-journal-constitution/mary-phagan-murdered-within-hour-after-dinner-aug-2-1913.pdf.
The Monday morning, April 28, 1913, interrogation went like this (Atlanta Constitution, August 2, 1913):
Q. What is your position with the company?
A. I am general superintendent and director of the company.
Q: How long have you held that position?
A: In Atlanta I have held that position since August 10th, 1908. My place of business is at 37-41 South Forsyth Street.
Q: About how many employees have you there?
A: About 107 in that plant?
Q: Male or female?
A: Mixed. I guess there are a few more girls than boys.
Q: On Saturday, April 26, I will get you to state if that was a holiday with your company?
A: Yes, sir, it was a holiday. The factory was shut down.
Several People in Building.
Q: Who was in that building during the day?
A: Well, there were several people who come in during the morning?
Q: Was anyone in the office with you up, to noon?
A: Yes, sir, the office boy [Alonzo Mann] and a stenographer.
Q: What time did they leave?
A: About 12 or a little after.
Q: Have you a day watchman there?
A: Yes, Sir.
Q: Was he on duty at 12 o’clock?
A: No, sir, he left shortly before.
Q: Who came in after the stenographer and the office boy left?
A: This little girl. Mary Phagan, but at the time I didn’t know that was her name. She came in between 12:05 and 12:10, maybe 12:07, to get her pay envelope, her salary.
Frank Pays Mary Phagan:
Q: You paid her?
A: Yes, sir, and she went out of the office.
Q: What office was you in at that time?
A: In the inner office at my desk, the furtherest office to the left from the main office.
Q: Could you see the direction she went in when she left?
A: My impression was she just walked away I didn’t pay any particular attention.
Q: Do you keep the door locked downstairs?
A: I didn’t that morning, because the mail was coming in. I locked it at 1:10 p.m. when I went to dinner.
Q: Was anyone else in that building?
A: Yes, sir, Arthur White and Harry Denham, they were working on machinery, doing repair work, working on the top floor of the building, which is the fourth floor, toward the rear, or about the middle of the building, but a little more to the rear.
Q: What kind of work were they doing?
A: They were tightening up the belts; they are not machinists, one is a foreman in one department and the other is an assistant in another, and Denham was just assisting White, and Mrs. White, the wife of Arthur White, was also in the building. She left about 1 o’clock. I went up there and told them I was going to dinner, and they had to get out and they said they had not finished, and I said, “how long will it take?” and they said until some time in the afternoon, and then I said, “Mrs. White, you will have to go, for I am going to lock these boys in here.”
Door was Locked:
Q: Can anyone from the inside open those doors?
A: They can open the outside door, but not the inside door, which I locked.
Q: In going in the outside door, is there any way by which anyone could go in the basement from the front?
A: Yes sir, through the trap door.
Q: They would not necessarily have to go up the steps?
A: No, sir, they couldn’t get up there if I was out.
Q: You locked the outer door?
A: Yes, sir, and I locked the inner door.
Q: What time did you get back?
A: At 3 o’clock, maybe two or three minutes before, and I went to the office and took off my coat and then went upstairs to tell those boys I was back, and I couldn’t find them at first, they were back in the dipping room, in the rear, and I said, Are you ready? and they said, We are just ready, and I said, all right, ring out when you go down, to let me know when you go out, and they rang out, and Arthur White come in the office and said, Mr. Frank, loan me $2, and I said, What’s the matter? We just paid off, and he said, My wife robbed me, and I gave him $2 and he walked away, and the two of them walked out.
<p>Newt Lee Arrives.
Q: And you locked the doors behind them?
A: I locked the outer door, when I am in there, there is no need of locking the inner door. There was only one person I was looking for to come in, and that was the nightwatchman.
Q: What time did he get there?
A: I saw him twenty minutes to 4 [3:40 p.m]
Q: Had you previously arranged for him to get there?
A: Yes, sir. On Friday night I told him, after he got his money, I gave him the keys and said you had better come around early tomorrow, because I may go to the ball game, and he came early because of that fact. I told him to be there by 4 o’clock and he came 20 minutes to 4. I figured I would leave about 1, and would not come back, but it was so cold I didn’t want to risk catching cold, and I came back to the factory as I usually do. He came in, and he said, Yes, sir, and he had a bag of bananas with him, and he offered me a banana. I didn’t see them, but he offered me one, and I guess he had them. We have told him, once he gets in that building never to go out. I told him he could go out, he got there so early, and I was going to be there. He came back about four minutes to 6, the reason I know that, I was putting the clock slips in, an the clock was right in front of me. I said, I will be reading in a minute, and he went downstairs and I came to the office and put on my coat and hat, and followed him and went out.
Saw Newt and Gantt Talking
Q: Did you see anybody with him as you went out?
A: Yes, sir; talking to him was J.M. Gantt – a man I had fired about two weeks previous.
Q: Did you have any talk with Gantt?
A: Newt told me he wanted to go up to get a pair of shoes he left while he was working there, and Gantt said to me, Newt don’t want me to go up, and he said you can go with me, Mr. Frank, and I said, that’s all right, go with him Newt and I went on home and I got home about 6:25 p.m.
Q: Is there anything else that happened that afternoon?
A: No, sir, that’s all I know.
Q: You don’t know what time Gantt came down after he went up?
A: Oh, no, I saw him go in and I locked the door after him, but I didn’t try them.
Q: Did you ask Newt?
A: Yes, sir, I telephoned him. I tried to telephone him when I got home. He punches the clock at half hour intervals, and the clock and the phone is in the office and didn’t get an answer, and at 7 o’clock I called him and asked him if Gantt got his shoes, and he said yes, he got them and I said is everything all right, and he said yes, and the next thing I know they called me at 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
Did Lee Let People In?
Q: Do you know whether your watchman at any time has been in the habit of letting people in there any time?
A: No, sir.
Q: did you ever have any trouble with any watchman about such as that?
A: No, sir.
Q: Do you know whether any of your employees go there at night?
A: Yes sir, Gantt did when he was working there, he had a key and sometimes he would have some work left over. I never have seen him go but until I go out, I go out and come back, but he has come back before I left, but that is part of his duty.
Q: Did you take a bath yesterday or Saturday night?
A: Yes, sir. Saturday night at home.
Q: Did you change your clothes?
A: Yes sir.
Q: The clothes that you changed are at home?
A: Yes sir, and this is the suit of clothes I was wearing Saturday. After I left the shop I went to Jacobs Pharmacy and bought a box of candy for my wife and got home about 6:25.
Last Updated: 2014