Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 25th, 1913
Negro Is Taken in Chief’s Auto to Sections He Claims to Have Visited on Murder Night.
Jim Conley, the negro sweeper and most important figure in the Phagan case, was taken from police headquarters in the automobile of Chief Beavers yesterday afternoon and carried over the ground on which he accounts for his whereabouts during the afternoon of the murder.
He was in charge of Chief Beavers and Detectives Pat Campbell and John Starnes, headquarters men who have been attached to the solicitor’s office throughout the investigation.
He was driven through the Peters street neighborhood in which he says he spent most of the time on the afternoon of April 26, and he pointed out to the detectives and police head familiar spots he visited on that date.
An effort was also made to determine definitely whether or not W. H. Mincey, the insurance agent who says Conley admitted having killed a girl when they met at Carter and Electric streets on the murder afternoon, could have seen the negro at the designated spot.
A number of residents of sections through which Conley says he passed that afternoon were interviewed and examined in the prisoner’s presence. It is said some corroborated his story of his whereabouts.
Also, many persons who had seen negroes who resembled Conley that Saturday were confronted with him Thursday afternoon for identification. The result is not known, as neither Campbell, Starnes or their chief would talk of the excursion.
The negro was taken from headquarters late in the afternoon, place immediately into the chief’s auto and rushed uptown. Upon returning, the chief announced that he would have nothing whatever to say, and that he had instructed the detectives to keep similar silence. Neither would he even explain the nature of the trip.
Chief Lanford told reporters Thursday that Conley, of late, has insisted upon facing Frank, declaring that if he can confront the white man with his story, he will obtain admission. Regarding this attitude of the negro’s, the chief had to say:
“We can’t get to see Frank ourselves. None of our men can see him. It seems impossible to have Conley get to him.”