Witnesses Positive Murdered Girl Was Same Who Created Scene at the Terminal Station on Friday

by Archivist on April 29, 2016

Witnesses Positive Murdered Girl was Same Who Created Scene at the Terminal Station on FridayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Gatemen, T. R. Malone and H. P. Sibley, After Viewing Corpse, Declare Mary Phagan, Sobbing Loudly and Displaying Vehement Feelings, Prevented Strange Man From Boarding Train for Washington—Neither of Men Detained by Police Is Mysterious Stranger

H. P. SIBLEY, gateman and T. R. Malone, special officer at the Atlanta Terminal station, have identified the dead body of little Mary Phagan as the same girl whom they saw dramatically prevent a man from leaving on train No. 38 for Washington, D. C., Friday morning at 11:01 o’clock.

Both men declare a young man apparently about twenty-five years of age, blue eyes, light hair, weight about 135 pounds and between 5 feet 8 or 9 inches tall, dressed in a dark business suit and wearing a derby hat, reached the gate that led down to the tracks from which 38 left a few minutes before train time.

“Just as the man reached the gate,” said Mr. Sibley, “and showed me his ticket to Washington, a pretty little girl in her early teens slipped up behind him and caught him by the arm. He seemed irritated and pushed her away. ‘You are trying to get away from me,’ she cried stamping her foot. ‘You are trying to leave me and you shan’t do it.’

HE REFUSED TO KISS HER.

“The man refusing to kiss her, again, jerked away, saying he had paid $1 taxi hire to tell her goodbye. ‘No you didn’t,’ screamed the girl, ‘you are trying to slip away from me and you can’t do it.’ The man then appealed to me to quiet her and winking, asked me if I had seen him come up to the gate before and then go away. I replied that I had but, of course, did not know where he had gone. This did not seem to quiet the child at all and again she accused him of trying to leave her.

“The fellow started down the steps and the girl set up the worst screams I have ever heard and attempted to get past me. I caught her by the arm and held her but she made so much noise and stamped her feet so in her fury that he came bac and the two went over to the other side of the promenade to talk it over. She was still very much excited and was crying.

“In a few minutes the man came to me and Mr. Malone who was attracted by the noise, and asked if his tickets would be good on another train. We told him that the railroad ticket was good until the date punched in the margin had expired, but that he would have to get another Pullman ticket.

THEY LEFT STATION TOGETHER.

“Both of them went out together and we have seen neither of them since that time. The girl was still crying, but her companion was apparently composed. Mr. Malone said, however, that he thought the man was nervous and showed his discomfort.

“Neither one of us thought anything more of the incident until the news of the murder and the pictures in the papers two days later.

“I recognized the likeness of the girl at the station in The Journal Monday morning and called the attention of Mr. Malone to it. We were pretty sure then that it was one and the same person but to satisfy ourselves went down to Bloomfield’s chapel to have a look at the remains.

“There she was and I am morally certain that the murdered girl who lay in the coffin was none other than the one we had seen keep the fellow from going off on his train.

“Another thing that points towards the positive identification is a remark a bystander made just after the dramatic scene had come to an end. I don’t know who he was but both Mr. Malone and I overheard him say that he knew the girl. Her name was Mary something, he couldn’t remember her last name, he said, but declared that he had seen her in Marietta and knew who she was.”

STRANGER’S IDENTITY UNKNOWN.

Both Mr. Malone and Mr. Sibley have seen Mullinax and declare he is not the man who was the central figure in the little drams enacted at the gate to train No. 38. They have not seen Gantt, but are positive from his pictures and description that neither is he the one. Gantt is a large man, nearly five inches taller than the person seen by them, and he is also of the brunette type.

In company with two Journal reporters, Mr. Malone went to police station Tuesday afternoon and saw Leo M. Frank, who was being questioned by detectives in the office of Chief Lanford. He is positive that neither of the three men mentioned is the same as the one at the station.

Mr. Malone stated that the clerk in the Pullman office said the stranger came back Friday and purchased a ticket on the 2:35 sleeper. Later he saw him walking about the lobby. The girl was not with him. The man was not seen to enter the gate by any of the attendants and it is not known whether he finally went away or remained in the city.

At best it appears that this latest angle in the mysterious case has brought another party into it, who, heretofore, had not been connected with the matter in any way. If he took the afternoon train for Washington, no one saw him aboard his Pulllman. Likewise no one who had witnessed the incident of the morning saw him leave the depot.

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Atlanta Journal, April 29th 1913, “Witnesses Positive Murdered Girl Was Same Who Created Scene at the Terminal Station on Friday,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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