Two Maundering Notes Add Mystery to Crime

Strand of Hair in Machine on Second Floor May Be Clew Left by Mary Phagan 2

1—Mary Phagan’s own handwriting, as shown in her address she wrote for Sunday School teacher. 2—Written by Lee at suggestion of detectives for purpose of comparison. 3—One of notes found in cellar. 4—Also written by Lee at suggestion of detectives.

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, April 28th, 1913

City detectives, detailed to run down the murderer or murderers of fourteen-year-old Mary Phagan, are endeavoring to clear up the mystery surrounding the authorship of two crudely written and badly composed notes which were found near the corpse of the murdered girl in the basement of the pencil factory.

These notes were written in lead pencil. They are misspelled, incoherent and nearly unintellible [sic]. They present two questions to the minds of the detectives:

First: Were they really written by the girl while suffering the last throes of a delirious death?

Second: Are they the handiwork of the murderer, to divert suspicion from himself toward a fictitious negro.

One of the notes reads as follows:

“He said he wood love me laid down like the night witch did it but that long tall black negro did by his sleb.”

Here is the other:

“mama that negro hired down here did this I went to get water and he pushed me down this hole a long tall negro black that has it woke long lean tall negro I write while play with me.”

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Atlanta Journal, April 28th 1913, “Two Maundering Notes Add Mystery to Crime,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)