Defense Digs Deep to Show Conley is Phagan Girl Slayer

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, June 7th, 1913

Getting New Evidence to Show Negro Was Located in Factory—Theory Explains Mystery of Staple Pulled From Back Door of Basement.

The defense of Leo Frank against the charge of murdering Mary Phagan will be more than a mere attempt to clear Frank’s skirts of the crime. It will seek directly to fix upon James Conley, negro, full and complete responsibility for the crime.

Despite the secretiveness and the silence of Frank’s attorneys, it has been ascertained with a reasonable degree of authority that the foregoing is the program of the defense, and that the defense believes itself abundantly prepared to take care of itself along that line.

An ironclad alibi, covering all the time cited in the Conley statement with a substantial margin of time to spare, will be set up by Frank.

In addition to this, it will be shown that Conley was in the factory at the time he himself says Frank committed the murder, and for a long time before. Continue Reading →

A. S. Colyar Is Again Released From Custody

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Tennessee Requisition Papers Not Forthcoming, So Judge Orders His Release

A. S. Colyar, who was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy Thursday while waiting to be called as a witness before the Fulton county grand jury, was released from custody by Judge J. T. Pendleton Friday afternoon.

Colyar was arrested on a warrant from Knoxville, Tenn., said to be the same warrant upon which he was arrested several days ago by the police. Sheriff C. W. Mangum wired the chief of police of Knoxville to send the necessary requisition papers.

Not having heard from his telegram the sheriff fent [sic] before Judge Pendleton Friday afternoon to whom Colyar had applied for a writ of habeas corpus and stated the facts in the case. It was then that Judge Pendleton ordered Colyar’s release. Colyar was represented by Attorney John Y. Smith.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, June 6th 1913, “A. S. Colyar Is Again Released From Custody,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Felder and Lanford Come Near to Blows

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Personal Encounter in Solicitor’s Office Is Narrowly Averted by Bystanders.

What threatened to be a serious personal encounter between Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Detective Chief Newport Lanford was narrowly averted Thursday morning in Solicitor Hugh Dorsey’s office by the interferences of bystanders.

The two men who for several weeks have been hurling ugly charges at each other were facing each other at the time after the passage of a few words when they were seized and hustled away from each other.

Out of the seriousness of the near fight grew a laughable incident through the failure of the flashlight apparatus of a newspaper photographer. When the men summoned at the grand jury probe began to arrive the air was pregnant with impending trouble and the photographer held his camera in hand ready for instant action. By his side walked an assistant with a full load of powder in the pan of the flashlight instrument.

Colonel Felder had barely replied to Chief Lanford’s request that he rise and face him and the men were preparing to rush to each other when, before anyone could seize them, the photographer got into action with his camera and yelled for his assistant to touch off the flash. The trigger was pulled but the cap refused to explode and one of the best action pictures ever taken went to naught.

Warnings Received By Felder.

The affair that directly precipitated the near fight grew out of the arrival of Chief Lanford and his “good morning gentlemen” addressed to a crowd of men in the solicitor’s office. Colonel Felder had been warned by anonymous communications and by the phone call that he would be assaulted by the detective chief during the session and apparently expected it. Continue Reading →

Probe of Grand Jury Goes Over One Week

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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Only Routine Matters Up Tuesday—Dictograph Controversy Not Considered

It will be week after next before the Fulton county grand jury resumes its investigation of the vice situation in Atlanta, if any further investigation is to be made at all.

This was made plain Friday afternoon by Foreman Lewis H. Beck, who stated that Solicitor Dorsey had advised the grand jury that he had sufficient routine works ahead to engage its attention for at least three days next week.

Mr. Beck feels that three days a week is sufficient to ask the members of the jury to give from their business affairs unless matters of very pressing importance demanded attention. The grand jury will meet next Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, and will consider the business which Solicitor Dorsey has in hand.


No agreement has been reached as to whether the vice probe would be resumed week after next. “We have gone pretty far already,” said Mr. Beck, “but it is possible that there may be some further inquiry which we will desire to make.”

The members of the grand jury apparently do not see much in the dictograph episode to justify their attention. They are inclined to regard it more in the nature of a newspaper controversy than anything else. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Probes Detective “Leaks”

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Court Officials Worried Over News Growing Out of the Phagan Murder Mystery.

It is understood on good authority that the grand jury has been called upon to make a searching investigation in the apparent “leakage” in the detective department, which has enabled the newspapers to publish every important development in the Phagan murder mystery before such development had, often times, been brought to the official attention of the solicitor general’s office. It is said that certain court officials deemed the matter of such importance that they called the attention of the grand jury to it in the hope that the responsibility might be properly placed and a repetition of the “leaks” prevented.

It is a matter of history that as soon as some new angle to the case developed it was given the widest publicity, and the case of the state, in all its details, is today known to the attorney for the defense as thoroughly as it is known to the solicitor general.

Don’t Blame Reporters.

No blame is attached to the newspapers for printing the news. Court officials recognize that that is the province of a paper but they deplore the apparent ease with which the news has been secured.

The policy of Solicitor Dorsey has been one of absolute silence. To all reporters he has stated that he had nothing to give out. Continue Reading →

Report Negro Found Who Saw Phagan Attack


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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 6th, 1913

St. Louis, June 6.—That a negro, who is alleged to have said he witnessed the murder of Mary Phagan in Atlanta, is under arrest in Cairo, Ill., and is about to be returned to Atlanta by a Pinkerton detective, was the information brought into St. Louis today by a passenger who declared he overheard a conversation betwene [sic] the detective and an attorney in the case who were on the train en route to Cairo.

According to the passenger, the negro has admitted that he was in Atlanta with a show at the time of the murder, and was shooting craps in the basement of the National Pencil Factory with a negro watchman when the watchman told him that he would attack the Phagan girl, which was done in his presence.

Inquiry at Cairo failed to-day to verify the report of the arrest of the negro.

Strenuous denials of any knowledge of the mysterious affidavit reported to have been made by Jim Conley, in which he was said to have confessed to A. S. Colyar that he murdered Mary Phagan, was made to Chief of Detectives Lanford Friday by both men.

Conley, on the grill, declared that he had never heard of Colyar until he read his name in the newspapers in connection with the pictograph controversy. The negro said he had never either talked with him or seen him, and that he had at no time made an affidavit other than the ones given to the police.

Colyar made a similar denial. Following the examination, Lanford declared that the whole report was wholly without foundation. He also stated that Conley had reiterated the truth of his former affidavit and that there was nothing further to add to it.

“I attribute this report to Colonel Felder’s work,” said the chief. “It merely shows again that Felder is in league with the defense of Frank; that the attorney is trying to muddy the waters of this investigation to shield Frank and throw the blame on another. Continue Reading →

Jail Sentence for Woman Convicted in Vice Crusade

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-04-16-pmAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Mrs. N. Powell, Charged With Operating Disorderly House on Spring Street, Gets Heavy Sentence


Case is One of Few on Record Where a Woman Is Sentenced to Jail Without Alternative of Paying Fine

Mrs. N. Powell, of 95 Spring street, was convicted in the city criminal court Friday on the charge of operating a disorderly house, and was sentenced to serve a term of four months in jail by Judge A. E. Calhoun.

This is one of the few cases on record where a woman, charged with operating a disorderly house, has received a straight jail sentence without the alternative of paying a fine.

It is understood that Mrs. Powell through her attorneys, Jackson and Gober, will appeal from the decision of the city court.

The case of Mrs. Powell is made doubly interesting by the fact that she some time ago secured a temporary injunction restraining Chief of Police Beavers from raiding her house or forcing her to move.

Chief Beavers had given Mrs. Powell instructions to move before she secured the injunction, and the police official, when blocked in his effort to move the woman by the order of the superior court, resorted to the city court, where she was indicted on a charge of operating a disorderly house. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury May Drop Vice Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Foreman Beck De[c]lines to Talk of Probable Action of Jury—Felder to Issue a Public Statement.

“The grand jury has finished its questioning of witnesses with its adjournment, and unless members of the jury should desire that those of the several witnesses summoned, who have not been heard, should be brought before them, there is nothing more to do.” This was the statement made yesterday by L. H. Beck, foreman of the grand jury, which adjourned at 2 o’clock after a three-day probe in vice conditions in Atlanta.

Foreman Beck stated that the body would meet again Tuesday, but at the instance of the solicitor, and to take up the criminal business which the present probe and the lengthy examination preceding the indictment of Leo M. Frank had greatly delayed.

Asked as to the nature of the action that the grand jury would take in regard to the results of its vice probe, the foreman replied that he was not in a position to state this.

“We have tried to follow the words of Judge W. D. Ellis, who requested this jury to look into alleged vice conditions here,” he replied, “and whether we make definite indictments against offenders, or take action by giving a general report to a judge of the superior court, is something that has not been determined.”

Lanford Makes Statement.

Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, was the first witness to be called Thursday morning. According to his statement the grand jury members questioned him about conditions here principally, although they also asked him in regard to the pictograph affair, and also asked why there was a bitterness between him and Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

A. L. Collar, Jr., who sprung into prominence as a result of the recent dictagraph row, and who is now under arrest on forgery charges in Knoxville, was next called before the grand jury. With Collar and G. C. February, secretary to Chief James L. Beavers, the grand jury closed its examination and hearing of testimony. Continue Reading →

Chief Says Law Balks His War on Vice

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Resort in Spring Street Flourishes While Injunction Prevents Police Interference

It became known Friday that Chief of Police James L. Beavers made the startling charge before the vice investigating Grand Jury that the courts of the State of Georgia made it impossible for him to close the most notorious resort that had ever operated in Atlanta.

S. C. Glass, a member of the Grand Jury, who was not present at the session Thursday when it was announced the vice probe had been concluded, said Friday that he, too, knew of the existence of the place and would demand at the next session that the tribunal go deeper into vice conditions and take some decisive action.

Mr. Glass made the emphatic statement that conditions were worse than they were before the restricted district was closed and that it was up to the jury to do something to relieve the situation. He said the Philadelphia ministers had not far exaggerated the street evil; that the respectable community was being encroached upon by houses of ill fame, and that women of questionable character walked the streets of Atlanta daily brushing elbows with the wife and school girl.

Resort is in Spring Street.

The house in question is in Spring Street. The place was raided several months ago. Recorder Broyles ordered the woman held for the City Court and asked Chief Beavers to have her moved from that locality. The woman’s lawyers applied for and secured an injunction from the Fulton Superior Court restraining the police from moving her. The restraining order still is in effect.

The case of Mrs. N. P. Powell, of 95 Spring Street, was on trial before Judge Andrew Calhoun, in the City Court, Friday. Chief Beavers, who appeared against her, stated that the house was still being operated in violation of the law, but that he was powerless to act. He said the woman, if found guilty, would pay a fine and go back and he could do nothing but make a new case, which, he said, would be several weeks in getting to court. Continue Reading →

Conley Sticks to His Story; Declares Detective Chief


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

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th 1913

Report of a Confession, Different From One Given to the Detectives, Is Ridiculed by Chief Lanford


No More News of Phagan Case to Be Given to Newspapers Except Through Head of Detectives

Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford gave out a statement Friday morning in which he characterized as absurd the rumor that James Conley, the negro pencil factory sweeper, had ever made any confessions other than those contained in the affidavits given the detectives.

The chief stated that he had questioned Conley on this subject both Thursday evening and Friday morning and that the negro had positively denied that he had made any other confessions.

This rumor is said to have originated at the court house Thursday following certain questions which the members of the grand jury are said to have put to A. S. Colyar, a witness. Colyar is said to have been asked if he had at any time drafted or had in his possession an affidavit of confession from Conley.

Colyar emphatically denied that he had ever discussed such an affidavit with any one. The only information he had of Conley’s confessions, said Colyar, he had obtained from the newspapers.

Chief Lanford says that he talked with Colyar over the telephone Friday morning and that he denied ever having or claiming to have such an affidavit, much less offering one for sale. “He also told me,” said the chief, “that he had never talked with Conley in his life and stated that he had only seen the negro once and that was when he happened to glance in the door of my office when we were questioning Conley.

“Last night Conley was brought up to my office and I asked him if he had ever intimated to anybody that he knew anything about the murder of Mary Phagan before he confessed to us. He stated that he had not. This morning he said he had never seen nor heard of Colyar.” Continue Reading →

Dorsey Replies to the Charges of Mrs. L. Frank

dorsey-repliesAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Says the Wife of an Accused Man Would Be the Last to Learn of Her Husband’s Guilt.


Detective Department Not at All Disturbed Over Denial of the McKnight Woman That She Signed Affidavit.

The wife of a man accused of crime would probably be the last person to learn all of the facts establishing her husband’s guilt, and certainly would be the last person to admit his culpability, even though it be proved by overwhelming evidence.

Perhaps the most unpleasant feature incident to the position of prosecuting attorney arises from the fact that punishment of the guilty inevitably brings suffering to relations who are innocent of participation in the crime, yet who must share the humiliation following from its exposure.”

These statements are contained in a signed letter for publication given The Constitution yesterday afternoon by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey shortly following the issuance of a letter criticizing him by Mrs. Leo Frank, wife of the man indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan.

Scores the Detectives.

Mrs. Frank’s letter rings with caustic denunciation of the solicitor and the detectives for imprisoning the servant girl, Minola McKnight, and issuing the sensational affidavit purported to have been signed by the negress. She declares belief in her husband’s innocence and expresses confidence that he will be acquitted.

She arraigns the circulators of unsavory and “untrue” stories regarding her alleged unhappy married life and asserts that the suspected man could not have been “the good husband he had been to her if he were a criminal.” It is the first public statement issued by any member of the Frank family and created wide interest. Continue Reading →

Cook Repudiates Entire Affidavit Police Possess


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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Utter repudiation of the affidavits which she was alleged to have sworn to incriminating conversations in the home of Leo M. Frank, indicted for the slaying of Mary Phagan, was made Thursday by Minola McKnight, negro cook for the accused factory superintendent and his wife’s parents.

The woman denies absolutely every statement attributed to her by the police, and denies that she even signed the paper made public by the police.

The Georgian presented the McKnight affidavit to its readers with the distinct admonition that it must not be accepted as credible evidence until passed on in a court of law. The affidavit was so full of strange incoherencies and the need for some explanation was so apparent that a further investigation was decided upon.

The cook’s statement, giving the case a new and startling turn, is therefore presented just as the police affidavit was—for what it is worth and not as evidence. It is an utter and absolute repudiation of the affidavit printed Wednesday and which purported to have been signed and sworn to by her.

She denied unequivocally that she had made the startling statements in the alleged affidavit which might send Leo Frank to the gallows could their truth be established beyond a doubt.

Repudiates Whole Affidavit.

She repudiated the alleged affidavit as a whole and in detail. She made her denials willingly and emphatically. There was no hesitation in her replies. Her first comment on the alleged affidavit constituted a complete and absolute denial of its truth.

Her statements were made at her home in the rear of 351 Pulliam Street. Only her husband, Albert McKnight, and the Georgian reporter were present. No member of the Frank family was about to influence her replies in any manner. If any influence could have been exerted it would be supposed to have been in the opposite direction, as it was her husband who was said indirectly to have furnished the information which resulted in her arrest and the three hours “third degree” in the office of Chief Lanford.

McKnight, however, furnished another sensation by declaring that he never had heard his wife say those things which he is reported to have told at the hardware shop of Beck & Gregg, and which resulted in her grilling. Continue Reading →

New Conley Confession Reported to Jury

George Gentry, operator of the dictograph, alleged to have trapped Colonel T. B. Felder and Mayor Woodward. Gentry now is missing.

George Gentry, operator of the dictograph, alleged to have trapped Colonel T. B. Felder and Mayor Woodward. Gentry now is missing.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Probers Question Colyar and Febuary About Alleged Admissions by Negro.

Chief Lanford, in discussing the near-fight between himself and Attorney Felder in Solicitor Dorsey’s office Thursday morning, characterized his opponent as all bluff.

“Felder is a coward and void of all truth,” declared Chief Lanford. “If I had been left with him alone for one minute I would have showed the rascal up. I wouldn’t have cared if he had a dozen pistols. Felder hasn’t the nerve to pull the trigger anyway.

“I would have taken a thirty-day suspension just to have given Felder what he deserves. Felder knows that I meant to do it, too, and he did not rise out of his chair to face me until he saw that there were plenty of men about to prevent a conflict.”

It became known this afternoon that the Grand Jury Thursday had investigated a sensational story that A. S. Colyar, the dictograph man, had been trying to dispose of what purported to be a confession from James Conley, negro sweeper, that he had killed Mary Phagan in the National Pencil factory.

The Grand Jury was told that such a document had been displayed to various persons and that Colyar had offered it to W. C. Tobie, the Burns man who worked on the case some time.

Colyar was summoned before the jury. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, was also summoned because the Grand Jury had heard that he took down the alleged confession. Both Colyar and Febuary denied the existence of such an affidavit. Febuary, questioned very closely, said that every affidavit made by Conley and taken down by him had been made public and that in none of them did Conley confess to the killing.

Jury Probes Vice Reports.

In an atmosphere pregnant with excitement and at times so threatening that Solicitor General Dorsey was forced to appoint a deputy sheriff to preserve peace in his office, the Fulton County Grand Jury continued, its investigation of vice conditions in Atlanta Thursday morning.

Gathered in the ante-room to where the hearing is being conducted were the leaders of the opposing factions, Colonel Thomas B. Felder, for the one side, and Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Police Chief Beavers, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, for the other. Sympathizers with each were present, crowding the offices and adding to the general uneasiness that prevailed.

The first sensation of the morning occurred with the rearrest of Colyar on request of the Chief of Police of Knoxville, Tenn. Colyar was taken into custody by Deputy Sheriff Plen[n]ie Miner when he appeared, at the Thrower Building to testify before the Grand Jury. Continue Reading →

Colyar Arrested Again on Knoxville Warrant

colyar-arrestedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Deputies in Sheriff’s Office Take Him in Custody When He Appears as Witness

A. S. Colyar, waiting upon the grand jury’s summons as a witness, Thursday morning at the court house, was arrested by deputies from the sheriff’s office, adjoining the grand jury room. The deputies exhibited a warrant from Knoxville, Tenn., charging forgery alleged to have been committed several years ago.

No requisition accompanied the warrant. The sheriff wired to Knoxville that a requisition must be filed and approved within a reasonable time or he will release Colyar. Colyar was not jailed. He was retained near the grand jury room, to await the jury’s call. Bond was to be fixed later by the sheriff, and it was expected that would be furnished.

Colyar was arrested not long ago by the city police upon what is said to have been and appears to have been this same charge now embodied in a warrant, the arrest being made then in response to a telegram from the Knoxville police. He was released without bond when the formal legal procedure was not compiled with in a reasonable time.

Acting as his own attorney Colyar took out a writ of habeas corpus before Judge Pendleton, of the superior court, just before 1 o’clock, and Judge Pendleton set 11 o’clock Saturday as the time of the hearing upon it. Continue Reading →

‘I Know My Husband is Innocent,’ Asserts Wife of Leo M. Frank

Portrait of Lucille Selig Frank

Portrait of Lucille Selig Frank

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Following the complete denial by Minola McKnight, cook in the household of Leo M. Frank, of the statements she is alleged to have made in the sensational police affidavit given out Wednesday, Mrs. Leo M. Frank Thursday made her first public statement on the Mary Phagan mystery.

Mrs. Frank makes an eloquently pathetic defense of her husband and attacks Solicitor General Dorsey’s methods in the securing of evidence, charging torture and a deliberate determination to distort facts. Mrs. Frank denies absolutely that her husband in any way demeaned himself so as to indicate he had been involved in a tragedy on the day Mary Phagan was slain or any other day. Here is Mrs. Frank’s complete statement: Continue Reading →

Negro’s Affidavit Not Given Much Credence

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Even the City Detectives, It Is Said, Attach Very Little Importance to Document

Very little importance, it is said, is attached by the city detectives to the sensational and incoherent affidavit of Minola McKnight, the negro cook at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, 68 East Georgia avenue, where Leo M. Frank, the pencil factory superintendent, and his wife reside.

Attorney Luther Rosser, chief counsel for the indicted superintendent, read the affidavit with apparent amusement. He had no comment to make, but it was evident that Mr. Rosser did not regard the affidavit seriously.

Mr. and Mrs. Selig and Mrs. Frank read the affidavit in The Journal, and although they would make no statement for publication, they appeared to view the negro woman’s testimony as absurd and ridiculous on the face of it.

But little of the cook’s testimony, even should she stick to her story until the day of the trial, will be admissible in court. It is largely alleged hearsay evidence and, therefore, barred.

The woman, in her affidavit, swears that Frank came home to lunch on the Saturday of the Mary Phagan murder, about 1:30; that he did not eat anything and that he remained only about ten minutes. If the negress knows of her own knowledge that this is true she can so testify in court. However, Mr. Selig, Frank’s father-in-law, will swear as he did before the coroner’s inquest, that Frank ate lunch with him and afterwards lay down on a lounge for a nap. Mrs. Selig will reiterate her testimony at the inquest, which was to the effect that Frank came home about 1:30 o’clock and that she and her daughter, Mrs. Frank, were dressed and ready to go to a grand opera matinee; that soon after his arrival they left.

The McKnight woman, in her affidavit, declares that some time on Sunday she overheard Mrs. Frank tell her mother, Mrs. Selig, that Frank came home drunk the night before, that he was very restless and acted queerly; that he told her (Mrs. Frank) that he was in trouble and begged her to get his pistol in order that he might kill himself. Continue Reading →

Lanford and Felder Come Near Fighting

lanford-and-felderAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Deputies Step Between Belligerents Before a Blow Is Struck by Either

A physical encounter between Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford and Colonel Thomas B. Felder, attorney, was averted narrowly by the interference of bystanders in the grand jury ante-room at the court house Thursday morning at 10:30 o’clock.

Colonel Felder was sitting in the ante-room, awaiting the grand jury’s pleasure, taking with others there.

He declared that he had received an anonymous letter warning him that he was going to be assaulted Thursday morning. During the morning, said he, a telephone message had confirmed the letter. He jokingly besought Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor to stand by him if anything happened.

At that juncture Chief of Detectives Lanford stepped through the door into the room, having arrived just at that moment from police headquarters.

“Good morning,” said he generally.

“You didn’t speak to me,” said Colonel Felder, as Chief Lanford was taking a chair.

“Walk over here and I’ll speak to you,” said Lanford.

“You come to me. I’m sitting down,” said Mr. Felder.

Chief Lanford walked over to the lawyer. “Get up,” said the chief, “I want you to be standing up.”

Colonel Felder got up, but immediately several outsiders were between them. “Turn them loose!” shouted Colonel Felder, while the chief struggled to get at him. “Turn him loose!” Continue Reading →

Mother Here to Aid Frank in Trial


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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

With the time when Leo M. Frank will go on trial for the murder of Mary Phagan rapidly approaching, perhaps no greater reinforcement to the accused pencil factory superintendent in facing his ordeal has been made than that in the person of his mother, who is now in Atlanta at the Selig home.

Mrs. Frank came on from Brooklyn, where she makes her home, and where Frank himself formerly resided. She will remain until after the trial.

A woman of considerable age, Mrs. Frank has shown wonderful bravery in coming to share her son’s burden.

Stands by Son.

Mrs. Frank has taken her place in the Selig household as the pillar of cheerfulness and hope, friends of the family declare. Her unbounded confidence in the ultimate release of her son, despite the horrible accusations made against him, is said to have prove the saving grace of the stricken household.

Since her arrival the mother has thrown aside every interest except that centered in her son. She reads everything that is obtainable regarding the Phagan case and is as well posted on it as anyone of the many who have followed the local reports of the mystery since its start.

Mrs. Frank has visited her son and at the of her son’s parents-in-law comforted them and their daughter.

Mrs. Frank is a woman of rare intelligence and understanding. She has introduced many variations into the Selig home to draw off the monotony of discussion, which has paralyzed all else in the family. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Probe of Vice Conditions Finished Thursday

grand-jury-probeAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Jury Adjourned Until Next Tuesday Without Drawing Any Bills—Inquiry Not Likely to Be Resumed, It Is Said


Declares It Dates Back to Case He Made Against Charlie Jones and Was Accentuated by Dictograph Episode

The most interesting testimony given to the Fulton county grand jury Thursday was that of Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, who a few minutes before he was called to the stand had engaged in a near-fight with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

Chief Lanford is himself authority for what transpired in the grand jury room, where he remained in the neighborhood of a half hour.

“I was questioned principally about vice conditions,” he said, “although a number of questions were asked me concerning the dictographing of Felder and others.”

“Some of the grand jurymen inquired why Felder seemed so bitter toward me. I told them that as far as I knew his feeling toward me dated back several years ago when I made a case against Charlie C. Jones for operating a disorderly house on Jenkins street. Felder was Jones’ attorney in that case.

“I also expressed the opinion that his bitterness had perhaps increased since I made public the dictograph records and certain affidavits showing that he was not duly employed in the Phagan case, and that he was no doubt further embittered by reason of the fact that these publications put a stop to his collection of public subscriptions with which to employ Burns detectives. Continue Reading →

Jury Will Probe Dictagraph Row

jury-willAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

A. L. [sic] Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary Summoned at Request of Chief Lanford

An investigation of the separate phases of the row resulting from the dictagraph traps laid by city detectives for Attorney Thomas B. Felder and Mayor James G. Woodward is believed to be forecast on the grand jury by the summoning before it of A. L. Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary. All these men played an important part of the performance and were summoned it is claimed at the request made by N. A. Lanford, chief of the detective department.

One of the most startling features of the afternoon session was the probing into the affairs of Police Commissioner William P. Fain. Allen Young, a real estate dealer, was put upon the stand and is said to have been asked to furnish proof in regard to the revelations in which Fain was said to have been the central figure in a carousal in an Ivy street house.

Whipping Charge Answered.

It is claimed that Fain also mistreated one of the women most brutally and that when the police answered the women’s screams and raided the place they arrested Fain, who was later given his liberty by order of higher police officials.

Mr. Fain made the following statement to a Constitution reporter:

“In answer to the charges which appeared against me in an afternoon paper, I beg to say in justice to my friends and the public that I am not in the least surprised at any accusations that have been or may be brought against me or any other city official who is publicly known as a strong supporter of James L. Beavers, chief of police and his administration of the police department.”

As the main issue was directed at him and his department, it is but natural that the same muckrakers would also attack his supporters with the hope of at least sway in public opinion to suit their ends regardless of the cost to others. Continue Reading →