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Default Leo Frank Trial Week TWO

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two

Published by Editor on August 16, 2013
The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two thumbnail

The trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan ended its second week 100 years ago today. Join us as we delve into the original documents of the time and learn what the jurors learned.

by Bradford L. Huie

THE EVIDENCE that National Pencil Company Superintendent Leo Frank had murdered 13-year-old child laborer Mary Phagan was mounting up as the second week of Frank’s trial began in Atlanta, and passions were high on both sides as star witness Jim Conley (pictured) took the stand.

The attempt to frame the innocent black night watchman, Newt Lee, had failed, despite 1) the “death notes” left near the body implicating him, 2) the bloody shirt planted in his trash barrel, and 3) the forged time card supposedly showing that he had left his post for several hours the night the murder was discovered. Although no one of significance suspected Lee at this point, the defense would still try to attack the medical testimony that placed the murder near midday on April 26, and would introduce Lee’s second alleged time card, provided by Frank, purporting to show that Lee had many hours unaccounted for on the night of the 26th and the early morning hours of the 27th of April.

Newt Lee’s testimony of Frank’s peculiar behavior that afternoon and evening was compelling. Another African-American was about to become pivotal in this case: factory sweeper Jim Conley would testify that he had helped Frank by keeping watch while Frank “chatted” with Mary alone in his office, and by assisting Frank in moving her body to the basement after she was accidentally killed. Conley was about to become central to the defense’s case, too — they would allege that Conley was the real killer. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)
Leo M. Frank

Leo M. Frank: Why was he so unbelievably nervous the day of Mary Phagan’s murder, and the day after — wringing his hands, shaking and trembling, and unable to unlock his own company’s door, operate its time clock, or operate its elevator?

As Week Two opened, the Atlanta Georgian’s James B. Nevin conceded that the case against Frank was impressive so far and that Jim Conley’s testimony — and ability to hold up under defense insinuations and accusations — would be crucial to the case’s outcome:

The State HAS definitely shown that Leo Frank might have murdered Mary Phagan and that he DID have the opportunity to accomplish it. Having shown that the OPPORTUNITY was there, and that the murder likely was consummated during the time limits of that opportunity, the elements of the case need but be knitted properly together to make dark the outlook for Frank…

Did Leo Frank, between 12 o’clock and the time he left the pencil factory, after paying Mary Phagan her pittance of wages, lure or follow her into the back of the second floor, there assault her and kill her? Did he then secure the services of Jim Conley to conceal the body? Or did Jim Conley, half drunk, loitering in the dark hallway below, seeing little Mary Phagan coming down the steps with her mesh bag in her hands, brooding over his lack of funds wherewith to get more whisky, find in this setup an opportunity to secure a little money — the violent killing of the girl following?

Prior to the trial, Jim Conley had made one admission after another under the withering blast of police interrogation. He would make three statements in all, in each one admitting to more and more participation in the crime. Despite his slow, reluctant, and grudging admissions — and the obvious contradictions among his initial affidavits — investigators, and even some who had been doubtful about Conley’s account, were finally convinced that they had gotten the truth out of him. Police and factory officials accompanied Conley when he was brought back to the scene of the crime. Conley guided them through the factory and recounted and re-enacted the events of April 26, 1913 — the day of the murder — step by step as he had experienced them. The account was so minute in its details, so consistent with the known facts, so precisely matched with evidence which Conley could not possibly have known about unless he had really been there, and presented in such an open and frank manner that even skeptics were convinced by it.
Jim Conley

Jim Conley

Let’s continue with this extremely important testimony (paragraphing and emphasis are mine):

JAMES CONLEY, sworn for the State.

I had a little conversation with Mr. Frank on Friday, the 25th of April. He wanted me to come to the pencil factory that Friday morning, that he had some work on the third floor he wanted me to do.

All right, I will talk louder. Friday evening about three o’clock Mr. Frank come to the fourth floor where I was working and said he wanted me to come to the pencil factory on Saturday morning at 8:30; that he had some work for me to do on the second floor. I have been working for the pencil company for a little over two years.

Yes, I had gone back there that way for Mr. Frank before, when he asked me to come back. I got to the pencil factory about 8:30 on April 26th. Mr. Frank and me got to the door at the same time. Mr. Frank walked on the inside and I walked behind him and he says to me, “Good morning,” and I says, “Good morning, Mr. Frank.” He says, “You are a little early this morning,” and I says,” No, sir, I am not early.” He says, “Well, you are a little early to do what I wanted you to do for me, I want you to watch for me like you have been doing the rest of the Saturdays.”

I always stayed on the first floor like I stayed the 26th of April and watched for Mr. Frank, while he and a young lady would be upon the second floor chatting, I don’t know what they were doing. He only told me they wanted to chat. When young ladies would come there, I would sit down at the first floor and watch the door for him. I couldn’t exactly tell how many times I have watched the door for him previous to April 26th, it has been several times that I watched for him.

I don’t know who would be there when I watched for him, but there would be another young man, another young lady during the time I was at the door. A lady for him and one for Mr. Frank. Mr. Frank was alone there once, that was Thanksgiving day. I watched for him. Yes, a woman came there Thanksgiving day, she was a tall, heavy built lady. I stayed down there and watched the door just as he told me the last time, April 26th.

He told me when the lady came he would stomp and let me know that was the one and for me to lock the door. Well, after the lady came and he stomped for me, I went and locked the door as he said. He told me when he got through with the lady he would whistle and for me then to go and unlock the door. That was last Thanksgiving day, 1912.

On April 26th, me and Mr. Frank met at the door. He says, “What I want you to do is to watch for me to-day as you did other Saturdays,” and I says, “All right.”

I said,”Mr. Frank, I want to go to the Capital City Laundry to see my mother,” and he said, “By the time you go to the laundry and come back to Trinity Avenue, stop at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth Streets until I go to Montags.” I don’t know exactly what time I got to the corner of Nelson and Forsyth Streets, but I came there sometime between 10 and 10:30.

I saw Mr. Frank as he passed by me, I was standing on the corner, he was coming up Forsyth Street toward Nelson Street. He was going to Montag’s factory. While I was there on the corner he said, “Ha, ha, you are here, is yer.” And I says, “Yes, sir, I am right here, Mr. Frank.” He says, “Well, wait until I go to Mr. Sig’s, I won’t be very long, I’ll be right back.” I says, “All right, Mr. Frank, I’ll be right here.” I don’t know how long he stayed at Mon- tag’s. He didn’t say anything when he came back from Montag’s, but told me to come on. Mr. Frank came out Nelson Street and down Forsyth Street toward the pencil factory and I followed right behind. As we passed up there the grocery store, Albertson Brothers, a young man was up there with a paper sack getting some stuff out of a box on the sidewalk, and he had his little baby standing by the side of him, and just as Mr. Frank passed by him, I was a little behind Mr. Frank, and Mr. Frank said something to me, and by him looking back at me and saying something to me, he hit up against the man’s baby, and the man turned around and looked to see who it was, and he looked directly in my face, but I never did catch the idea what Mr. Frank said. Mr. Frank stopped at Curtis’ Drug Store, corner Mitchell and Forsyth Streets, went into the soda fountain. He came out and went straight on to the factory, me right behind him.
The National Pencil Company factory, 1913, where Mary Phagan met her death

The National Pencil Company factory, 1913, where Mary Phagan met her death

When we got to the factory we both went on the inside, and Mr. Frank stopped me at the door and when he stopped me at the door he put his hand on the door and turned the door and says: “You see, you turn the knob just like this and there can’t nobody come in from the outside,” and I says, “All right,” and I walked back to a little box back there by the trash barrel.

He told me to push the box up against the trash barrel and sit on it, and he says. “Now, there will be a young lady up here after awhile, and me and her are going to chat a little,” and he says, “Now, when the lady comes, I will stomp like I did before,” and he says, “That will be the lady, and you go and shut the door,” and I says, “All right, sir.”

And he says, “Now, when I whistle I will be through, so you can go and unlock the door and you come upstairs to my office then like you were going to borrow some money for me and that will give the young lady time to get out.” I says, “All right, I will do just as you say,” and I did as he said. Mr. Frank hit me a little blow on my chest and says, “Now, whatever you do, don’t let Mr. Darley see you.” I says, “All right, I won’t let him see me.”

Then Mr. Frank went upstairs and he said, “Remember to keep your eyes open,” and I says, “All right, I will, Mr. Frank.” And I sat there on the box and that was the last I seen of Mr. Frank until up in the day sometime.

The first person I saw that morning after I got in there was Mr. Darley, he went upstairs. The next person was Miss Mattie Smith, she went on upstairs, then I saw her come down from upstairs. Miss Mattie walked to the door and stopped, and Mr. Darley comes on down to the door where Miss Mattie was, and he says,” Don’t you worry, I will see that you get that next Saturday. ” And Miss Mattie came on out and went up Alabama Street and Mr. Darley went back upstairs. Seemed like Miss Mattie was crying, she was wiping her eyes when she was standing down there. This was before I went to Nelson and Forsyth Streets.
N.V. Darley, assistant superintendent under Frank

N.V. Darley, assistant superintendent under Frank

After we got back from Montag Brothers, the first person I saw come along was a lady that worked on the fourth floor, I don’t know her name. She went on up the steps. The next person that came along was the negro drayman, he went on upstairs. He was a peg-legged fellow, real dark. The next I saw [was] this negro and Mr. Holloway coming back down the steps. Mr. Holloway was putting on his glasses and had a bill in his hands, and he went out towards the wagon on the sidewalk, then Mr. Holloway came back up the steps, then after Mr. Darley came down and left, Mr. Holloway came down and left. Then this lady that worked on the fourth floor came down and left. The next person I saw coming there was Mr. Quinn. He went upstairs, stayed a little while and then came down.
Factory foreman Lemmie Quinn

Factory foreman Lemmie Quinn

The next person that I saw was Miss Mary Perkins, that’s what I call her, this lady that is dead, I don’t know her name. After she went upstairs I heard her footsteps going towards the office and after she went in the office, I heard two people walking out of the office and going like they were coming down the steps, but they didn’t come down the steps, they went back towards the metal department.

After they went back there, I heard the lady scream, then I didn’t hear no more, and the next person I saw coming in there was Miss Monteen Stover. She had on a pair of tennis shoes and a rain coat. She stayed there a pretty good while, it wasn’t so very long either. She came back down the steps and left.

After she came back down the steps and left, I heard somebody from the metal department come running back there upstairs, on their tiptoes, then I heard somebody tiptoeing back towards the metal department. After that I kind of dozed off and went to sleep.

Next thing I knew Mr. Frank was up over my head stamping and then I went and locked the door, and sat on the box a little while, and the next thing I heard was Mr. Frank whistling. I don’t know how many minutes it was after that I heard him whistle. When I heard him whistling I went and unlocked the door just like he said, and went on up the steps.

Mr. Frank was standing up there at the top of the steps and shivering and trembling and rubbing his hands like this. He had a little rope in his hands–a long wide piece of cord. His eyes were large and they looked right funny. He looked funny out of his eyes. His face was red. Yes, he had a cord in his hands just like this here cord.

After I got up to the top of the steps, he asked me,” Did you see that little girl who passed here just a while ago?” and I told him I saw one come along there and she come back again, and then I saw another one come along there and she hasn’t come back down, and he says, “Well, that one you say didn’t come back down, she came into my office awhile ago and wanted to know something about her work in my office and I went back there to see if the little girl’s work had come, and I wanted to be with the little girl, and she refused me, and I struck her and I guess I struck her too hard and she fell and hit her head against something, and I don’t know how bad she got hurt. Of course you know I ain’t built like other men.”

The reason he said that was, I had seen him in a position I haven’t seen any other man that has got children. I have seen him in the office two or three times be- fore Thanksgiving and a lady was in his office, and she was sitting down in a chair (and she had her clothes up to here, and he was down on his knees, and she had her hands on Mr. Frank. I have seen him another time there in the packing room with a young lady lying on the table, she was on the edge of the table when I saw her).

He asked me if I wouldn’t go back there and bring her up so that he could put her somewhere, and he said to hurry, that there would be money in it for me.

When I came back there, I found the lady lying flat of her back with a rope around her neck. The cloth was also tied around her neck and part of it was under her head like to catch blood. I noticed the clock after I went back there and found the lady was dead and came back and told him. The clock was four minutes to one.

She was dead when I went back there and I came back and told Mr. Frank the girl was dead and he said “Sh-Sh!” He told me to go back there by the cotton box, get a piece of cloth, put it around her and bring her up. I didn’t hear what Mr. Frank said, and I came on up there to hear what he said. He was standing on the top of the steps, like he was going down the steps, and while I was back in the metal department I didn’t understand what he said, and I came on back there to understand what he did say, and he said to go and get a piece of cloth to put around her, and I went and looked around the cotton box and got a piece of cloth and went back there.

The girl was lying flat on her back and her hands were out this way. I put both of her hands down easily, and rolled her up in the cloth and taken the cloth and tied her up, and started to pick up her, and I looked back a little distance and saw her hat and a piece of ribbon laying down and her slippers and I taken them and put them all in the cloth and I ran my right arm through the cloth and tried to bring it up on my shoulder.

The cloth was tied just like a person that was going to give out clothes on Monday, they get the clothes and put them on the inside of a sheet and take each corner and tie the four corners together, and I run my right arm through the cloth after I tied it that way and went to put it on my shoulder, and I found I couldn’t get it on my shoulder, it was heavy and I carried it on my arm the best I could, and when I got away from the little dressing room that was in the metal department, I let her fall, and I was scared and I kind of jumped, and I said, ‘Mr. Frank, you will have to help me with this girl, she is heavy,” and he come and caught her by the feet and I laid hold of her by the shoulders, and when we got her that way I was backing and Mr. Frank had her by the feet, and Mr. Frank kind of put her on me, he was nervous and trembling, and after we got up a piece from where we got her at, he let her feet drop and then he picked her up and we went on to the elevator, and he pulled down on one of the cords and the elevator wouldn’t go, and he said, “Wait, let me go in the office and get the key,” and he went in the office and got the key and come back and unlocked the switchboard and the elevator went down to the basement, and we carried her out and I opened the cloth and rolled her out there on the floor, and Mr. Frank turned around and went on up the ladder, and I noticed her hat and slipper and piece of ribbon and I said, “Mr. Frank, what am I going to do with these things?” and he said, “Just leave them right there,” and I taken the things and pitches them over in front of the boiler, and after Mr. Frank had left I goes on over to the elevator and he said, “Come on up and I will catch you on the first, floor,” and I got on the elevator and started it to the first floor, and Mr. Frank was running up there.

He didn’t give me time to stop the elevator, he was so nervous and trembly, and before the elevator got to the top of the first floor Mr. Frank made the first step onto the elevator and by the elevator being a little down like that, he stepped down on it and hit me quite a blow right over about my chest and that jammed me up against the elevator and when we got near the second floor he tried to step off before it got to the floor and his foot caught on the second floor as he was stepping off and that made him stumble and he fell back sort of against me, and he goes on and takes the keys back to his office and leaves the box unlocked.

I followed him into his private office and I sat down and he commenced to rubbing his hands and began to rub back his hair and after awhile he got up and said, “Jim,” and I didn’t say nothing, and all at once he happened to look out of the door and there was somebody coming, and he said, “My God, here is Emma Clarke and Corinthia Hall,” and he said “Come over here Jim, I have got to put you in this wardrobe,” and he put me in this wardrobe, and I stayed there a good while and they come in there and I heard them go out, and Mr. Frank come there and said, “You are in a tight place,” and I said “Yes,” and he said “You done very well.”

So after they went out and he had stepped in the hall and had come back he let me out of the wardrobe, and he said “You sit down,” and I went and sat down, and Mr. Frank sat down. But the chair he had was too little for him or too big for him or it wasn’t far enough back or something.

He reached on the table to get a box of cigarettes and a box of matches, and he takes a cigarette and a match and hands me the box of cigarettes and I lit one and went to smoking and I handed him back the box of cigarettes, and he put it back in his pocket and then he took them out again and said, “You can have these,” and I put them in my pocket, and then he said, “Can you write ?” and I said, “Yes, sir, a little bit,” and he taken his pencil to fix up some notes.

I was willing to do anything to help Mr. Frank because he was a white man and my superintendent, and he sat down and I sat down at the table and Mr. Frank dictated the notes to me. Whatever it was it didn’t seem to suit him, and he told me to turn over and write again, and I turned the paper and wrote again, and when I done that he told me to turn over again and I turned over again and wrote on the next page there, and he looked at that and kind of liked it and he said that was all right.

Then he reached over and got another piece of paper, a green piece, and told me what to write. He took it and laid it on his desk and looked at me smiling and rubbing his hands, and then he pulled out a nice little roll of greenbacks, and he said, “Here is $200,” and I taken the money and looked at it a little bit and I said, “Mr. Frank, don’t you pay another dollar for that watch man, because I will pay him myself,” and he said, “All right, I don’t see what you want to buy a watch for either, that big fat wife of mine wanted me to buy an automobile and I wouldn’t do it.”

And after awhile Mr. Frank looked at me and said, “You go down there in the basement and you take a lot of trash and burn that package that’s in front of the furnace,” and I told him all right. But I was afraid to go down there by myself, and Mr. Frank wouldn’t go down there with me. He said, “There’s no need of my going down there,” and I said, “Mr. Frank, you are a white man and you done it, and I am not going down there and burn that myself.”

He looked at me then kind of frightened and he said “Let me see that money” and he took the money back and put it back in his pocket, and I said, “Is this the way you do things?” and he said, “You keep your mouth shut, that is all right.”

And Mr. Frank turned around in his chair and looked at the money and he looked back at me and folded his hands and looked up and said, “Why should I hang? I have wealthy people in Brooklyn,” and he looked down when he said that, and I looked up at him, and he was looking up at the ceiling, and I said,” Mr. Frank what about me?” and he said, ” That’s all right, don’t you worry about this thing, you just come back to work Monday like you don’t know anything, and keep your mouth shut, if you get caught I will get you out on bond and send you away,” and he said, “Can you come back this evening and do it?” and I said “Yes, that I was coming to get my money.”

He said, “Well, I am going home to get dinner and you come back here in about forty minutes and I will fix the money,” and I said, “How will I get in?” and he said, “There will be a place for you to get in all right, but if you are not coming back let me know, and I will take those things and put them down with the body,” and I said, “All right, I will be back in about forty minutes.”

Then I went down over to the beer saloon across the street and I took the cigarettes out of the box and there was some money in there and I took that out and there was two paper dollar bills in there and two silver quarters and I took a drink, and then I bought me a double header and drank it and I looked around at another colored fellow standing there and I asked him did he want a glass of beer and he said “No,” and I looked at the clock and it said twenty minutes to two and the man in there asked me was I going home, and I said, “Yes,” and I walked south on Forsyth Street to Mitchell and Mitchell to Davis, and I said to the fellow that was with me “I am going back to Peters Street,” and a Jew across the street that I owed a dime to called me and asked me about it and I paid him that dime.

Then I went on over to Peters Street and stayed there awhile. Then I went home and I taken fifteen cents out of my pocket and gave a little girl a nickel to go and get some sausage and then I gave her a dime to go and get some wood, and she stayed so long that when she came back I said, “I will cook this sausage and eat it and go back to Mr. Frank’s,” and I laid down across the bed and went to sleep, and I didn’t get up no more until half past six o’clock that night, that’s the last I saw of Mr. Frank that Saturday.

I saw him next time on Tuesday on the fourth floor when I was sweeping. He walked up and he said, “Now remember, keep your mouth shut,” and I said, “All right,” and he said, “If you’d come back on Saturday and done what I told you to do with it down there, there wouldn’t have been no trouble.” This conversation took place between ten and eleven o’clock Tuesday.

Mr. Frank knew I could write a little bit, because he always gave me tablets up there at the office so I could write down what kind of boxes we had and I would give that to Mr. Frank down at his office and that’s the way he knew I could write.

I was arrested on Thursday, May 1st.

Mr. Frank told me just what to write on those notes there. That is the same pad he told me to write on (State’s Exhibit A). The girl’s body was lying somewhere along there about No. 9 on that picture (State’s Exhibit A). I dropped her somewhere along No. 7. We got on [the] elevator on the second floor. The box that Mr. Frank unlocked was right around here on side of elevator.
The mysterious death notes - click for high resolution

The death notes found near Mary Phagan’s body – click for high resolution

He told me to come back in about forty minutes to do that burning. Mr. Frank went in the office and got the key to unlock the elevator. The notes were fixed up in Mr. Frank’s private office. I never did know what became of the notes.

I left home that morning about 7 or 7:30. I noticed the clock when I went from the factory to go to Nelson and Forsyth Streets, the clock was in a beer saloon on the corner of Mitchell Street. It said 9 minutes after 10. I don’t know the name of the woman who was with Mr. Frank on Thanksgiving day. I know the man’s name was Mr. Dalton. When I saw Mr. Frank coming towards the factory Saturday morning he had on his raincoat and his usual suit of clothes and an um- brella. Up to Christmas I used to run the elevator, then they put me on the fourth floor to clean up. I cleaned up twice a week on the first floor under Mr. Holloway’s directions.

The lady I saw in Mr. Frank’s office Thanksgiving day was a tall built lady, heavy weight, she was nice looking, and she had on a blue looking dress with white dots in it and a grayish looking coat with kind of tails to it. The coat was open like that and she had on white slippers and stockings. On Thanksgiving day Mr. Frank told me to come to his office. I have never seen any cot or bed down in the basement. I refused to write for the police the first time. I told them I couldn’t write.


I am 27 years old. The last job I had was working for Dr. Palmer. I worked for him a year and a half. I worked before that for Orr Stationery Company for three or four months. Before that I worked for S.S. Gordon. Before that I worked for Adams Woodward and Dr. Honeywell. Got my first job eleven years ago with Mr. S.M. Truitt. Next job was with W.S. Coates. I can’t spell his name.

I can’t read and write good. I can’t read the newspapers good. No, sir; I don’t read the news- paper. I never do, I have tried, I found I couldn’t and I quit. I can’t read a paper right through. I can’t go right straight down through the page, and that’s the reason I don’t read newspapers, I can’t get any sense out of them. There is some little letters like” dis” and” dat” that I can read. The other things I don’t understand. No, I can’t spell “dis” and “dat.” Yes, I can spell “school,” and I can’t spell “collar,” I can spell “shirts.” I can spell “shoes,” and “hat.” I spell “cat” with a “k.” I can spell “dog,” and most simple little words like that. I don’t know about spelling “mother.” I can spell “papa.” I spell it p-a-p-a. I can’t spell “‘father ” or “‘jury” or “judge” or “stockings.” I never did go to school further than the first grade. I went to school about a year. I can spell” day,” but not “daylight,” I can spell “beer” but not “whiskey.” I couldn’t read the name “whiskey.” No, I can’t read any letter on that picture there (Exhibit A, State).

I can’t figure except with my fingers. I know the figures as far as eight, as far as twelve. I knows more about counting than I do about figuring. I don’t know what year it was I went to school. I worked for Truitt about two years, for Mr. Coates five years, for Mr. Woodward and Mr. Honeywell about a year and a pressing club about two years, Orr Stationery Company three or four months, Dr. Palmer about a year and a half, and then I went to work for the pencil factory.

Mr. Herbert Schiff employed me at the pencil factory. Sometimes Mr. Schiff paid me off, sometimes Mr. Gantt, sometimes Mr. Frank. I don’t remember when I saw Mr. Frank pay me off or how many times. I drawed my money very seldom.

I would always have somebody else draw it for me. I told Mr. Holloway to let Gordon Bailey draw my money mostly. He’s the one they call “Snowball.” The reason why I didn’t draw it myself I would be owing some of the boys around the factory and I didn’t have it to pay, and I would leave the factory about half past eleven so that I didn’t have to pay it, and then I would have Snowball draw my money for me mostly. I would see him afterwards and he would give me the money. Sometimes I would go down through the basement out the back way to keep away from them.

The reason I let them draw my money I owed some of them, and some of them owed me and I wanted them to pay me first before I paid them. I didn’t want to get my money on the inside because I didn’t want them to see such a little I was drawing to what they were drawing. I wasn’t drawing but $6.05. Snowball was drawing $6.05. As to who it was I didn’t want to see what I was drawing, there was one named Walter Pride; he’s been there five years. He said he drew $12.00 a week. Then there was Joe Pride, he told me he drew $8.40 a week. They were down in the basement and asked me how much I was drawing. I told them it wasn’t none of their business. Then there was a fellow named Fred. I don’t know how much he drew. The next one was the fireman. I don’t know how much he drew. There were two or three others, but I didn’t have no talk with them. I was just hiding what I drew from Walter Pride. As to whether I couldn’t draw my money after Walter drew his without his knowing it, well he would always be down there waiting for me. As to whether I couldn’t get my money without his being behind me and seeing what I got, he could see if I tore open the envelope. I had to open it to pay them with. That’s the reason I didn’t go and draw my money. I know I could have put it in my pocket, but I couldn’t tear it open unless I took it out. Yes, the reason I didn’t draw my money was because I didn’t want to pay them. That’s the reason I let Snowball draw my money. They could have slipped up behind me and looked. As to whether I couldn’t walk off and keep them from seeing it, if I didn’t tear it open, then they would keep up with me until I did. He would follow me around.

No, I wasn’t trying to keep out of paying them. As to what I was trying to do, if they paid me then I would pay them. The way I liked to settle with them, I liked to take them to the beer saloon and buy twice as much as they get. If I was there when they come in on me, I would say, “I owe you, let’s drink it up.” Yes, I would get out of it if I could, but if they saw me walk up and pay them that way. I paid Walter Pride sometimes that way and sometimes the other way. I would say, “I owe you fifteen cents, I buy three beers, and you owe me fifteen cents, and that be three beers.” I say if I would be in the beer saloon when they come in there, I would do that, but if I could get out before they saw me, I would be gone.

I never did know what time the watchman come there on Saturday, or any Saturday. I never have seen the night watchman in the factory. I have seen young Mr. Kendrick come and get his money. He always comes somewhere about two o’clock to get his money. I have seen him lots of times Saturday and get his money. He always got it from Mr. Frank at two o’clock.

No, I didn’t know Newt Lee. I heard them say there was a negro night watchman, but I never did know that he was a negro. I knew they paid employees off at twelve o’clock. I don’t know what time the night watchman would come there to work. Mr. Holloway stays until 2:30.

I couldn’t tell the first time I ever watched for Mr. Frank. Sometimes during the last summer, somewhere just about in July. As to what he said to get me to watch for him that was on a Saturday, I would be there sweeping and Mr. Frank come out and called me in his office. I always worked until half past four in the evening. I would leave about half past twelve, ring out and come back about half past one or two. Sometimes I would ring in when I came back and sometimes I wouldn’t. I ringed in every morning when I came. I never did ring in much. I would do it after they got after me about it. It was my habit not to do it. As to how they would know how much to pay me if I didn’t ring in, I knew they paid me $1.10 a day, all the time. No, they didn’t pay me by the clock punches, they paid me by the day, they paid me 11 c. an hour. Sometimes I would punch the clock when I got there; that was my duty.

Sometimes I was paid when I didn’t work, I don’t know how that happened, but Mr. Frank would come and tell me I didn’t take out that money for the time you lost last week. I don’t know on what date he ever did that on. Yes, I always got my money in envelopes. As to how they would know how much to put in the envelope, when I didn’t punch, they would come and ask if I was here every time I didn’t ring in, and they would ask Mr. Holloway if I was here. If the clock didn’t show any punch, they would ask me if I was here at that hour. No they wouldn’t ask how many hours I was here, they would just ask if I was here a certain hour and then they would pay me for the full day, whether I punched the clock or not, just so I punched it in the morning.

The lady that was with Mr. Frank the time I watched for him sometime last July was Miss Daisy Hopkins. It would always be somewhere between 3 and 3:30. I was sweeping on the second floor. Mr. Frank called me in his office. There was a lady in there with him. That was Miss Daisy Hopkins. She was present when he talked to me. He said “You go down there and see nobody don’t come up and you will have a chance to make some money.”

The other lady had gone out to get that young man, Mr. Dalton. I don’t know how long she had been gone. She came back after a while with Mr. Dalton. They came upstairs to Mr. Frank’s office, stayed there ten or fifteen minutes. They came back down, they didn’t go out and she says, “All right, James.” About an hour after that Mr. Frank came down. This lady and man after she said “All right, James” went down through the trap door into the basement. There’s a place on the first floor that leads into another department and there’s a trap door in there and a stairway that leads down in the basement, and they pull out that trap door and go down in the basement. I opened the trap door for them. The reason I opened the trap door because she said she was ready, I knew where she was going because Mr. Frank told me to watch, he told me where they were going.

I don’t know how long they stayed down there. I don’t know when they came back. I watched the door all the time. Mr. Dalton gave me a quarter and went out laughing and the lady went up the steps. Then the ladies came down and left, and then Mr. Frank came down after they left. That was about half past four. He gave me a quarter and I left and then he left.

The next Saturday I watched was right near the same thing. It was about the last of July or the first of August. The next Saturday I watched for him about twelve o’clock he said “You know what you done for me last Saturday, I want to put you wise for this Saturday.” I said, “All right, what time ?” He said, “Oh, about half past.”

After Mr. Holloway left, Miss Daisy Hopkins came on in into the office, Mr. Frank came out of the office, popped his fingers, bowed his head and went back into the office. I was standing there by the clock. Yes, he popped his fingers and bowed to me, and then I went down and stood by the door. He stayed there that time about half an hour and then the girl went out. He gave me half a dollar this time.

The next time I watched for him and Mr. Dalton too, somewhere along in the winter time, before Thanksgiving Day, somewhere about the last part of August. Yes, that’s somewhere near the winter. This time he spoke to me on the fourth floor in the morning. Gordon Bailey was standing there when he spoke to me. He said, “I want to put you wise again for to-day.”

The lady that came in that day was one who worked on the fourth floor; it was not Miss Daisy Hopkins. A nice looking lady, kind of slim. She had hair like Mr. Hooper’s. She had a green suit of clothes on. When Miss Daisy Hopkins came she had on a black skirt and white waist the first time. I don’t know the name of that lady that works on the fourth floor. Yes, I have seen her lots of times at the factory, but I don’t know her name. She went right to Mr. Frank’s office, then I went and watched. She stayed about half an hour and come out. Mr. Frank went out of the factory and then came back.
Daisy Hopkins; she denied going to the pencil factory for immoral purposes, where Jim Conley said he saw her

Daisy Hopkins; she denied going to the pencil factory for immoral purposes, where Jim Conley said he saw her

I stayed there and waited for him. He said, “I didn’t take out that money.” I said, “Yes, I seed you didn’t.” He said “That’s all right, old boy, I don’t want you to say anything to Mr. Herbert or Mr. Darley about what’s going on around here.”

Next time I watched for him was Thanksgiving Day. I met Mr. Frank that morning about eight o’clock. He said “A lady will be in here in a little while, me and her are going to chat, I don’t want you to do no work, I just want you to watch.”

In about half an hour the lady came. I didn’t know that lady, she didn’t work at the factory. I think I saw her in the factory two or three nights before Thanksgiving Day in Mr. Frank’s office. She was a nice looking lady. I think she had on black clothes. She was very tall, heavy built lady. After she came in that Thanksgiving Day morning, I closed the door after he stamped for me to close it. She went upstairs towards Mr. Frank’s office. Mr. Frank came out there and stamped, and I closed the door. Mr. Frank said, “I’ll stamp after this lady comes and you go and close the door and turn the night latch.” That’s the first time he told me about the night lock. And he says, “If everything is all right you kick against the door,” and I kicked against the door. After an hour and a half Mr. Frank came down and unlocked the doors and says, “Everything is all right.” He then went and looked up the street and told the lady to come on downstairs. After she came down, she said to Mr. Frank, “Is that the nigger ?” and Mr. Frank said, “Yes,” and she said, “Well, does he talk much ?” and he says, “No, he is the best nigger I have ever seen.” Mr. Frank called me in the office and gave me $1.25.

The lady had on a blue skirt with white dots in it and white slippers and white stockings and had a gray tailor-made coat, with pieces of velvet on the edges of it. The velvet was black and the cloth of the coat was gray. She had on a black hat with big black feathers.

I left a little before 12 o’clock. I didn’t see anybody else there that day at the office.

The next time I watched was way after Christmas, on a Saturday about the middle of January–somewhere about the first or middle. It was right after New Year, one or two, or three or four days after. It was on a Saturday. He said a young man and two ladies would be coming. That was that Saturday morning at half past seven. I was standing by the side of Gordon Bailey when he come and told me, and he said I could make a piece of money off that man. Yes, Snowball could hear what he said.

The man and ladies came about half past two or three o’clock. They stayed there about two hours. I didn’t know either one of the ladies. I can’t describe what either one of them had on. The man was tall, slim built, a heavy man. I have seen him at the factory talking to Holloway, he didn’t work there. I have seen him often talking to Holloway, through the week.

You asked me what I did the second Saturday after I watched for him, well, I don’t remember. As to what I did the Saturday I watched for him the second time, I disremember what I did. The Saturday after that, I think about the first of August, I did some more watching for him. I don’t remember what I did the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day. I don’t remember what I did the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. I don’t remember what I did the next Saturday. I don’t know, sir, what I did the next Saturday.

The next Saturday I did some watching for him. I watched for him somewhere about the last of November after Thanksgiving Day. No, I don’t remember any of those dates. Couldn’t tell you to save my life what time I left home the first time I watched for him. I couldn’t tell you what time I got to the factory the second time I watched for him, nor what time I left home. I don’t know whether I drew my money on the first Saturday I watched for him. I disremember whether anybody else drew my money for me the second Saturday I watched for him. I don’t know how much I drew. I couldn’t tell you whether I drew my money Thanksgiving Day or not. I don’t know how much I drew. I don’t remember what time I got down or what time I left. I don’t know when I got to the factory the day before Thanksgiving, or how long I worked there. I don’t remember how many hours I worked the first Saturday I watched for him or the second, or the third, or Thanksgiving Day. No, I don’t know how much I drew on those days.

The first time I was in prison was in September. The next was sometime before Christmas, I can’t remember the date. I was there thirty days. It was somewhere along in October. A year before that I was in prison too, about thirty days. I have been in prison three times since I have been with the pencil company. I have been in prison about three times within the last three or four years. I have been in prison seven or eight times within the last four or five years. I can’t give you any of the dates, nor how long I stayed there any of the times that I was there. I don’t know what month or what day it was, nor how long I stayed there.

I knew the factory was not going to be run on April 26th. Yes, Snowball and I drank beer together sometimes in the building. Yes, we used to go down in the basement and drink together, but he ain’t the only man.

I never was drunk at the factory. Snowball wasn’t there the first Saturday I watched for Mr. Frank. I think he laid off. I don’t know whether he was there the second or third Saturdays, I didn’t see him Thanksgiving morning, but I saw him the day before Thanksgiving. That was the time that Mr. Frank told me to watch for him. He talked to me before Snowball. I don’t know whether Snowball was there in January when I watched. Snowball was there in January in the box room when Mr. Frank told me to watch for him. I don’t know whether Mr. Frank knew he was there or not. There were eight niggers in all working in the factory. Snowball, the fireman and me did just plain manual labor, the rest of the negroes had better jobs. Snowball, the fireman and I were the last negroes to get jobs there. We were the new darkies; the others had been working there before we went there.

Mr. Frank used to laugh and jolly with me. I couldn’t tell you the first time he did this. Mr. Darley has seen him jollying me. They would jolly me together. They would play and go on around there with me. It has been so long ago I can’t tell you any of the jokes. Mr. Schiff and Mr. Holloway has seen him joking with me. He would say, “Come on I am going to make a graveyard down there in the basement if you don’t hurry and bring that elevator back up here.” Mr. Holloway heard him say that. Mr. Schiff has seen him playing with me. He would goose me and punch me and tell me I was a good negro. I don’t remember anything else he said. Yes, Mr. Darley would goose me and kick me a little bit, just playing with me. Mr. Schiff would crack jokes with me. I don’t remember the time.

The time Mr. Frank came in the elevator and told me about watching for him, he didn’t know Snowball was in there. Snowball was standing right there by me. Mr. Frank could have seen him and he could have heard anything that was said. He saw Snowball standing there.

I have been at the factory over two years. I don’t remember the day or month I went there. It was some time in 1910. I don’t remember whether it was summer or winter. Miss Daisy Hopkins worked on the fourth floor in 1912. I don’t know when she quit. I saw her working from June, 1912, up until about Christmas. Yes, I worked on the same floor with her, I don’t know whether she worked there in 1913. Miss Daisy was a low lady, kind of heavy, and she was pretty, low, chunky kind of heavy weight. I don’t know what color hair she had or eyes, or her complexion. She was light skinned. She looked to be about twenty-three. I know she was there in June, because she gave me a note to take down to Mr. Schiff. I remember that because the note had June on it. Mr. Schiff said it had “June” on it when he read it. I can’t read but he read that note and he read “June something,” it was on the outside of the note. It was on the back of the note. “June” was written on the back of that note. She wrote the note and folded it up and he read “June” on the back of it and he laughed at it. The reason I know she left the factory during Christmas because Mr. Dalton told me she wasn’t coming back. He told me that one Saturday coming down to the factory.

I never have seen Mr. Dalton except at the factory. No, he doesn’t work there. I saw him somewhere along in January. He came out that time by himself. He and a lady had been down in the basement. The last time I saw him the detectives brought him down at the station house and asked if I had ever seen him in there. I saw Mr. Holloway at the factory the first Saturday I watched for Mr. Frank. The next Saturday I watched, he was sick and wasn’t there. He was sick two Saturdays in June.

I disremember whether I saw Mr. Schiff and Mr. Darley. I remember seeing Mr. Darley at the factory on Thanksgiving Day. I don’t remember what time he left. I couldn’t tell you anybody who came to the factory the first Saturday I watched. The second time I think there were some young ladies working up on the fourth floor. I don’t know about the third time. I don’t know whether anybody was working there Thanksgiving or not. I didn’t see Mr. Schiff at all. I will swear that he was not in the office with Mr. Frank.

I don’t know whether any ladies were working there the next time or not. I have been back in the metal department, but I never have been on the right hand side where the machines are. I have swept on the second floor, but not in the metal department. I don’t know where those vats are back there. I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know anything about the plating room. I never have been in Mr. Quinn’s office. I have put disinfectants in the ladies’ and gentlemen’s closets back there. I wouldn’t go inside. I would only go to the door. I stood outside of the door and sprinkled it in a little way.

Outside of that, and going to Mr. Quinn’s office, I have never been on the left hand side of the factory. I have been there where they wash the lead at, and I have stuck bills in Mr. Quinn’s office. Yes, I have been back in there where that dark place is. I don’t know how many times I have stacked some boxes back there. I have been back there three times altogether. Sometime before Christmas. Yes, sir, you can see from the top of the stairway back in there. I have been back there three times altogether. Sometime before Christmas.

Yes, sir; you can see from the top of the stairway to Mr. Frank’s inside office. A man sitting at Mr. Frank’s desk can see people coming up the stairway if he is watching for them. If the safe door is open I don’t hardly think he can see them. If it is shut he can. I am certain of that. I thought you were talking about the third floor. He couldn’t see people coming up from the first floor. He can see them after they get along by the clock.

I left the factory 5:30 Friday afternoon, before the factory stopped. I think I punched when I went out. One of them was ten minutes fast. That was the one on the right, I left there without drawing my money because I knew I wasn’t going to draw but $2.75 and I owed the watchman a dollar and I knowed I wouldn’t have enough for me and to pay him and I told Mr. Holloway to let Snowball draw it for me. Snowball drew it for me and met me at the shoe shop at the corner of Alabama and Forsyth Street. He gave me $3.75. I wasn’t supposed to draw but $2.75, and Mr. Frank taken that dollar for the watchman and stuck an extra dollar in my envelope and that made $3.75.

I don’t remember how many beers I drank Friday. Yes, I told Mr. Scott I got up at 9 o’clock that morning. That wasn’t true. I ate breakfast about seven. Yes, I told Mr. Black I ate at 9:30. That wasn’t true. I left my house between 7 and 7:30. I told Mr. Scott I left somewhere between 10 and 10:30. No, that wasn’t true. I got to Peters Street about 25 minutes to 8. I don’t know how long I stayed there. Some things in my affidavit that I made that are true. Yes, there are some things in my last affidavit that are true.

I was arrested on the first of May. I sent for Mr. Black to come down when I made my first statement on May 18th. Yes, I denied I had been to the factory in that statement. I made that statement in the detectives’ office. Mr. Black and Mr. Scott were present. They didn’t question two or three hours. I did some writing before then, before that statement was made. Yes, I know I did some writing before May 18th. I did some writing in Chief’s office that Sunday. I told Black I bought whiskey on Peters Street at about 10:30. I told them I paid forty cents for ft. I don’t remember telling them that I bought the whiskey at 11 o’clock. Yes, I told them I went into the Butt-In Saloon after I went to Earley’s for the whiskey.

Some of it I told them was the truth and some of it wasn’t. They asked me if I was lying and I held my head down. I held back some of the truth, and when they asked me if that was the truth I hung my head down. I didn’t want to give the man away, but I wanted to tell some and let him see what I was going to do and see if he wasn’t going to stick to his promise as he had said [Frank’s promise to help Conley if he “kept his mouth shut.” — Ed.].

I told them I went into Butt-In Saloon and saw some negroes at tables shooting dice and I won ninety cents and bought a glass of beer. I told them that I went to three beer saloons. I told them after I went home at 2:30, I went to Joe Carr’s saloon and got 15c. worth of beer. I don’t remember telling them that I went there between 3:30 and four o’clock.

The detectives talked to me nearly every day after I made my first statement. Sometimes hours at a time. No, they didn’t cuss me.

Yes, I sent for Black on May 24th. When the statement came out in the papers that’s the time I sent for him. As to how I knew it came out in the papers, I heard the boys across the street hollering extra papers. Mr. Black came down after I sent for him and I told him it’s awful hot in here, and I told him I was going to tell him something, but I wasn’t going to tell him all of it now. I told him that I would tell him part and hold part back. Scott and Black were both there.

Yes, I told Mr. Black on May 24th, the time I made the second statement, that I helped tote the little girl. I sure remember that. I think I told them about Mr. Frank getting me to watch for him, that he told me he struck a girl and for me to go back and get her. I didn’t give Mr. Frank clear away that time. I kept some things back. I don’t remember now whether I told them at that time or not. I don’t know whether I told them about going down the basement or not. The first time I told them I wrote the notes on Friday. They didn’t tell me my story wouldn’t fit. I don’t remember them telling me anything about changing my statement. I told them that was all I had to say.

They never told me they wanted me to tell anything else. They didn’t say anything to me that it didn’t sound right. Mr. Black talked to me right smart and Mr. Lanford talked to me a little. No, they never talked to me a whole day. As to why I changed my statement from Friday to Saturday, I put it on Saturday, because I was at the factory on Saturday. As to why I didn’t put myself there on Saturday, the blame would be put on me. I didn’t want them to know that I had written any notes for Mr. Frank. Yes, in that statement I told the officers I was going to tell the whole truth.

I told them that I got up at nine o’clock, because there was nothing doing at the factory that day at the time. I said I was there at 9 o’clock, because he had done told me where to meet him at. Yes, I told them that I was going to tell the whole truth. Yes, the reason I told them I left home at 9 or 9:30, because there was not anything doing at the factory at that time. I told them it was about 9 o’clock when I looked at the clock, because I don’t know what time it was when I looked at the clock, and I told them I had some steak and some sausage for breakfast and a piece of liver and I drank some tea and bread. Well, there was some sausage, but I don’t know whether I ate it or not. Yes, I had steak, liver and sausage for breakfast. I know I ate the steak and a piece of liver, and drank a cup of tea and ate some bread. I got up that morning at six o’clock. Yes, I told the officers I got up at 9 or 9:30. I don’t remember anything else I told them. Yes, I told them that I went straight to Peters Street and went in the first beer saloon there, and drank two beers and gave a fellow a beer, that had a whip around his neck. I told them three saloons and I called two names. I don’t know whether I told them about this whiskey or not. I told them I bought it between 10 and 10:30.

No, that is not true. I told them that on account of my saying I didn’t leave home until about 9 or 9:30. I bought it about a quarter to eight. The reason I told these lies about the time was because I didn’t want to put myself at the factory twice, because there wasn’t anything doing at the factory that morning. That is the only reason I told that story.

I don’t know when the first time was I told them I got there at 8 o’clock instead of 10 or half past, it was after I got out of jail up there. I guess I made most of these changes after I got out of jail. I don’t know who the detective was I told about my not leaving home at 9 o’clock. Four of them were talking to me, all at the same time. I think it was Starnes and Campbell that I told that to, about changing the time. I don’t remember whether I told them then that I was going to tell the whole truth. I told them that after I got out of jail, after I got back to headquarters. If you tell a story you know you’ve got to change it. A lie won’t work, and you know you’ve got to tell the whole truth.

Yes, I knew it was bound to come when I told it the first time. I didn’t tell the whole truth then, because I didn’t want to give the whole thing away then. In the statement where I told about my moving the little girl for Mr. Frank, the reason why I didn’t correct it then about the time I bought the liquor, I don’t know whether I did it then or not, but I did tell them.

I told them I drank four or five beers that morning. I told them at the first saloon I bought two beers. I didn’t tell them I bought any wine at that time. I told them I had some wine put in my beer. What they call wine. It wasn’t any wine though. I don’t know whether I told them that in the statement I made about moving the little girl or not. The wine was put in my beer at Mr. Earl’s beer saloon on Saturday morning. I told that to Mr. Black and Mr. Scott, I don’t remember when.

As to my not testifying about that yesterday, you didn’t ask me that. I remember telling you that yesterday. I remember saying I didn’t buy any wine. No, I didn’t say anything about putting beer in wine yesterday, but I remember I said something about putting wine in beer. I know I told you that yesterday.

I don’t remember telling them I started straight from Peters Street to Capital City Laundry. I told them I started for the laundry after leaving Mr. Frank at the factory. If they have got it down there, I must have said so. I don’t remember saying it. I told them I met Mr. Frank at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth Street before I went to the factory. Yes, I told them I went from Peters Street and met him at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth before I went to the factory. As to why I told them that story, because I did meet him there. No, I didn’t go straight from Peters Street to meet him at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth as I told them. I went straight from Peters Street to the pencil factory.

I don’t remember when the first time I told the truth about it. I told it either to Mr. Starnes, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Black or Mr. Scott. I told it after I got out of jail, I remember telling the officers when he said “Ah, ha,” when I met him at the corner. I don’t remember telling the officers that he asked me where I was going and I told him I was going to the Capital City Laundry to see my mother. I don’t remember saying that to the officers. If I did say that it was not the truth. As to why I lied about that, because I did tell Mr. Frank down there when I left the factory that I was going to see my mother. I told the officers he stayed at Montag’s about 20 minutes. I did tell you yesterday that I didn’t have any idea how long he stayed there, because I haven’t any idea now. As to why I didn’t say yesterday that it was 20 minutes, because you didn’t ask me. I didn’t tell Mr. Dorsey how long it was, because he didn’t ask me what I told detectives about it, but I told detectives that. I told them that story because I didn’t have any idea how long he stayed there. I don’t know how long Mr. Frank stayed there. I told the officers 20 minutes as that was the best I could do about it, so I just told him 20 minutes.

I told the detectives about wanting me to watch for him when I got back to the factory. I don’t know why I didn’t tell them that at the time I told them about moving the body. I don’t remember who I told it to or when, but I told them. I did tell them about Mr. Frank stamping his foot. I don’t know whether I told them at the time I told about helping move the body. I told it to Mr. Scott, Mr. Black, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Starnes and Mr. Dorsey. Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell wasn’t in there sometimes when I told it. No, I didn’t tell it to Mr. Scott and Mr. Black. They dropped the case and Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell taken it up.

They came down and was talking to me for a month or more in my cell. Yes, I told Mr. Black about Frank stomping his foot and Mr. Scott. I told them all about it. Yes, I told the detectives that the first party I saw going up the factory after I got back from Montag’s was Miss Mattie Smith. That was a mistake. I didn’t see Mr. Darley go up after I got back from Montag’s. No, I didn’t say yesterday that I saw him go up after I got back from Montag’s. I don’t know whether Mr. Darley saw me or not. I was sitting right there at the box. He could have seen me if he had looked, so could Miss Mattie Smith. The rest of them could have seen me if they had looked. Yes, I told the officers the first time I saw them go up was after I got back from Montag’s. That was not so. I was just mistaken about it. Don’t know when I corrected the mistake or to whom. Yes, I stated it to Mr. Dorsey. It was after I came from jail. I have corrected it to Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell too.

It was about 11:30 when Mr. Darley left the factory, right after we got back from Montag’s. It may have been about 11 o’clock. Miss Mattie Smith left the factory somewhere about 9:30. It was after we got back from Montag’s that I saw Mr. Darley leave. Mr. Holloway and the peg-legged negro went upstairs and came down before Mr. Darley left the factory. They could have seen me sitting on the box, as they came out the factory. Mr. Holloway left about 10 or 15 minutes after Mr. Darley left. It may have been four or five minutes. After Mr. Holloway left, I told them Mr. Quinn came in. I may have told them that a lady dressed in green was the next one. That wasn’t true. A lady in green did go up before Mr. Darley came down. She came down before Holloway and Darley left. If I told the officers that she went up after they left, I made a mistake.

Mr. Quinn was the next man that went up after Mr. Holloway came down. Yes, I said that yesterday. Yes, I said yesterday Mr. Quinn was the last man I saw come down. No, I didn’t say yesterday Miss Monteen Stover came down after Mr. Quinn came down. I might have told the officers that I saw Mr. Holloway return upstairs, turn to the right toward Hunter Street and go in the factory. If I did, I made a mistake. I don’t remember all the mistakes I made. No, I have never told about a lady going up there after them six or seven minutes, I was mistaken. I don’t know whether I have ever corrected that mistake or not. She went upstairs and Mr. Quinn went up and came down before she did. If I told the officers she stayed there 7 or 8 minutes and came right down, I made a mistake. I don’t think I corrected that mistake at all. I don’t know how long it was after she came down before anybody else went up and down. If I told the officers it was 10 or 15 minutes that was a mistake. I don’t think I corrected that mistake at all. I haven’t got any idea at all how long before the lady in green came down that anybody else went up. Yes, I told Mr. Scott and Mr. Black that the only people who went up at all were Miss Mattie Smith, Darley, Holloway and the woman in green, and nobody went up and down until Mr. Frank whistled.

No, that wasn’t true. The reason why I told that story was because I didn’t want them to know that these other people passed by me, for they might accuse me. The reason why I didn’t tell them was because I didn’t want people to think that I was the one that done the murder. I told them that I saw those four men go up because I didn’t think they saw me sitting there, and I didn’t tell of seeing the other people for fear they would report on me. The reason why I told the police about those four going up there, because that is all I could remember that went up and down. I don’t know when my memory got fresher about other people going up and down. I think it was after I got out of jail. I think I corrected that with Mr. Starnes, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Dorsey, at police headquarters.

After I corrected with the detectives down at headquarters, they took me to Mr. Dorsey’s office. I have been in Mr. Dorsey’s office three times. Mr. Dorsey was down at headquarters with me I think about four times. As to whether it took Mr. Dorsey about seven times to get my testimony straight, it didn’t take him that long to get it straight, it took that long for me. As to why I didn’t tell it all, I didn’t want to tell it all. I was intending to hold back some. I didn’t want to tell it all right at one time. I just told a little and kept back a little. Yes, and Mr. Dorsey went down seven times while I was telling some and holding back some. They didn’t ask me to take back any stories. No, it didn’t take Mr. Dorsey seven times to tell the story. Yes, I said I added to it every time he went down. But he wouldn’t came back and try to do anything with it. I didn’t tell the officers that I went to a moving picture show after I left the factory. I said I looked at the pictures from the outside. I told them I went on Peters Street and looked at the pictures from the outside. I stayed there about ten or fifteen minutes. I drank two glasses of beer.

I don’t know whether it was in the first, second or third statement that I told about watching for Mr. Frank. Two of the detectives were there.

Yes, I locked the front door that Saturday of the murder. I don’t know what time. It was somewhere after dinner. I can’t give you any estimate. It was later than 12 o’clock. It wasn’t one o’clock, because it was four minutes to one after I went upstairs and came downstairs and unlocked the door. Yes, I heard the stamping before I locked the door, and I heard the scream before I heard the stamping. After he stamped for me I went and locked the door. I couldn’t tell to save my life how long the door stayed locked. I was upstairs between the time I locked the door and the time I went down and unlocked it. I unlocked the door before I went upstairs. I locked the door when he stamped and I unlocked it when he whistled. As soon as he whistled I unlocked the door and went upstairs. Mr. Frank sent me back in the metal department. He wouldn’t go back there with me.

When he whistled that was the signal for me to unlock the door and the stamping was for me to unlock the door. He showed me how to lock the door that day. He showed me how to lock the door on Thanksgiving Day too. I don’t know how he came to show it to me again. I guess he thought I forgot it. When I went down to leave the door were unlocked, both doors were unlocked.

The only thing I remember Mr. Frank telling me was not to let Mr. Darley see me around the door, that a young lady would be up there after awhile to chat, and he wanted me to watch for him.

No, he didn’t tell me what he wanted me to meet him at Nelson and Forsyth Street for. Yes, I could have come back to the factory just as well as going to meet him at Nelson and Forsyth Street if he had told me that. I don’t know why he told me to meet him at Nelson and Forsyth. I don’t remember telling the officers that I met him accidentally at Nelson and Forsyth Street. Mr. Frank sayed at Montag’s about an hour. Mr. Frank went to Montag’s between 10 and 10:30 and stayed about an hour. I guess it was about a half an hour. Mr. Frank didn’t say a thing about why he wanted me at the corner of Nelson and Forsyth Street.

Before we went to Montag’s he said he didn’t want me to say anything to Mr. Darley that there was going to be a young lady there after a while, and he told me that again after we came back from Montag’s. Mr. Frank gave me the signal about stamping and whistling on Thanksgiving Day and he repeated it again that day. I told yesterday how he done it, like I am telling now. I think I am telling the truth now.

We had been hack from Montag’s about five minutes when the lady in the green dress went up. She stayed up there a good little while, ten or fifteen minutes. I didn’t tell the officers the peg- legged negro went up first. I didn’t tell them in the first statement. I may have told them in the next statement. The peg-legged negro didn’t stay upstairs no time. Came back down with Mr. Holloway. Mr. Darley came down five or ten minutes after Mr. Holloway came down. Yes, that was after he came back from Montag’s. I have no idea what time it was. After Holloway came down, the lady with the green dress came down. She went on out and Mr. Quinn came in. He went up and came down before Monteen Stover came in and before Mary Phagan came in. Yes, I am certain of that.

No one else came in after Mr. Quinn except Mary Phagan. Mr. Quinn, Monteen Stover and Mary Phagan went in almost the same time. They went and came out almost together. Quinn first, Mary Phagan next and Monteen Stover next. Mr. Quinn had already come out of the factory when Mary Phagan went up. I didn’t see Mrs. Barrett, or Miss Corinthia Hall or Miss Hattie Hall or Alonzo Mann, or Emma Clarke. I didn’t see none of them. I never saw Mrs. White go in there at all that day. I was sitting on the box all the time. I got up twice to make water. I made water against the elevator door, right in front of the elevator shaft.

Miss Stover had done gone then, and Mr. Quinn also. I went to sleep after Miss Monteen Stover came down. Don’t know how long I was asleep, maybe ten or fifteen minutes. I heard the scream before I went to sleep, before Monteen Stover ever went in there. Mr. Quinn had already gone.

I told the officers I didn’t see Mary Phagan go up at all. I didn’t tell them I heard any scream. I don’t know when I first told that story. I told Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell. That was after I got out of jail. I said I heard the scream before I went to sleep, which I did. Monteen Stover came up and went down before I went to sleep. I told Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell about somebody running back on tiptoes. I don’t know when I told them. He woke me up stamping, then I locked the door, and went to the box and kicked on the side of the elevator door. It was about ten or fifteen minutes after he stamped that I heard him whistle. When he whistled I unlocked the door.

I don’t know when I first told about Mr. Frank standing at the top of the stairs, trembling and nervous. I told Mr. Dorsey, Mr. Starnes and Campbell. I don’t know why I didn’t tell it the day I told them I was going to tell the whole truth. I didn’t mean to keep back anything then. That day I told them everything I remembered.

When I got to the top of the stairs, Mr. Frank had that cord in his hands. I don’t remember when I first told about that. I didn’t tell it that day when I said I was telling the whole truth, I just didn’t remember it. When I told Black and Scott that I was telling the whole truth I didn’t say anything about Mr. Frank having hit the little girl. I thought I had told them that. I have told that to some of the officers. I remember now that I told them that. He told me to get her out of there some way or other. He didn’t say she was dead. I didn’t know she was dead.

I went back there and found the cord around her neck. When I looked at the clock it was four minutes to one. That was after I went and seen the girl was dead, and he told me to bring her up there. I was standing at the steps. I could see the clock from there. Then I went back and got a piece of striped bed tick, something like your shirt there, had whitish looking stripes on it. I taken the cloth and spread it down and rolled the little girl in the cloth and tied it up. When I laid her down in the cloth, I tied the cloth around her. I did my best. Her feet were hanging out of the cloth, also her head.

If I didn’t tell Black and Scott anything about the hat and the slippers and the ribbon, they must not have asked me. I know I took the things and pitched them in front of the boiler. The elevator don’t hit hard when it hits the ground. The wheels at the top don’t make any noise. The motor makes a little noise, something like a June bug. The elevator hits the dirt at the bottom, but it don’t make any noise.

I left the factory about 1:30. The reason why I didn’t tell Scott and Black before I wrote four notes instead of two, they didn’t ask me how many I wrote. Another reason why is, because Mr. Frank taken that and folded it up like he wasn’t going to use it. I wrote three notes on white and one on green paper. The green one is the one he folded up like he wasn’t going to use it. I don’t know how long it took me to write those notes. I took me somewhere about two minutes and a half, I reckon.

The reason I didn’t tell Scott and Black about burning the body, because someone had done taken them off the case. Mr. Scott told me. The first time I told that was to Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell after I came back from jail. I don’t remember telling the officers that Mr. Frank told me he was going to send those notes to his folks up North. If they have got it down there I must have said it.

He told me he was going to write to his mother and tell her that I was a good negro. The reason I didn’t take the parasol down with the shoes, it was too far back for me to see it.

I got my hair cut last week. My lawyer sent the barber. They gave me a bath and bought me clean clothes. My wife gave me my shirt. I didn’t read any newspapers on Monday about this crime. It don’t do me no good because I can’t make any out. I didn’t try to read any that day. I washed that shirt on Thursday, May 1st, in the metal room about half past one or two.

As to how that dung came to be in the elevator shaft, when Mr. Frank had explained to me where he wanted to meet me and just as I started out of the place that negro drayman came in there with a sack of hay and I gave him a drink of whiskey that I bought at Earley’s saloon on Peters Street that morning, and he suggested that I go down in the basement and do it, there’s a light down there, and I went down the ladder and stopped right by the side of the elevator, in front of the elevator, somewhere about the edges of it.

No, I didn’t see the two white men go up and talk to Mr. Frank in his office that day. No, I didn’t see a man by the name of Mincey at the corner of Carter and Electric Avenue that day. I didn’t tell him that I killed a girl that day. I didn’t say I killed one to-day and I didn’t want to kill another. I didn’t tell Harlee Branch that Mary Phagan was murdered in the toilet room on the second floor, or that the body was stiff when I got back there, or that it took at least thirty minutes to get the body downstairs and write the notes. I don’t remember telling Miss Carson on May 1st, that Mr. Frank was innocent. I didn’t have any conversation with Miss Mary Pirk on April 28th and she didn’t say that I committed the crime and I didn’t shoot out of the room immediately after she said that I didn’t tell Miss Carson on Monday that I was drunk all day Saturday. I didn’t see her at all on Monday.

I didn’t tell Mr. Herbert Schiff on Monday that I was afraid to go on the street, that I would give a million dollars if I was a white man. I said if I was a white man I would go on out. I didn’t say nothing about no million dollars because I don’t know what it takes to make a million. I didn’t ask Miss Small on Monday what the extra had in it and I didn’t say Mr. Frank is just as innocent as you are. I didn’t ask Miss Fuss on Wednesday for an extra, I didn’t tell her that I thought Mr. Frank was as innocent as the angels in heaven.


I never was in jail until April 26th. I have been down at police head- quarters several times. First time I was arrested was for throwing rocks. I was a small boy then. I was arrested another time for fighting black boys, then I was arrested about drinking and disorderly, and the last time I was arrested was about fighting again. I never have fought with a white man or white woman.

Police officers took me down to jail and to [the] door where Mr. Frank was. I never did see Mr. Frank in jail. The last time I saw Mr. Frank was in the station house before I had talked. He looked at me and smiled and bowed his head.

While I was writing the notes, Mr. Frank took the pencil out of my hand and told me to rub out that “a” I had down there on the word “negro.” I saw Mary Phagan’s pocketbook, or mesh bag, in Mr. Frank’s office after he got back from the basement. It was lying on his desk. He taken it and put it in the safe. When I went back to see about the girl, it wouldn’t have taken more than about a minute to go down and lock and unlock the door. He had time enough to do it.

Mr. Scott talked to me about three hours and a half one Thursday. Mr. Frank told me he would send me away from here if they caught me. He would get me out on bond and send me away.

I never saw Mincey before seeing him at the station house in Mr. Lanford’s office. I had orders from Mr. Frank to write down how many boxes we needed and give it to him. I didn’t tell Mr. Black or Mr. Scott about the mesh bag because they didn’t ask me. I disremember when I first told about it. I think it was after I was in jail. I told Mr. Dorsey about it after I came out of jail.

Mr. Frank knew for a whole year that I could write. I used to write for him the word “Luxury,” “George Washington,” “Magnolia,” “Uncle Remus,” “Thomas Jefferson,” that’s the name of pencils. I spell “Uncle Remus” “O-n-e Rines. ” I spell “Luxury” I ‘ “L-u-s-t-r-i-s.” I spell ” I Thomas Jefferson” ” T-o-m J-e-f-f- or J-e-i-s-s.” I spell “George Washington” “J-o-e W-i-s-h- t-o-n.” After Mr. Frank found out what I meant he understood it. I spell “ox” “o-x.” Yes I wrote him orders to take money out of my wages.

The pocketbook was a wire looking whitish looking pocketbook, had a chain to it. You could take it and fold it up and hold it in one hand. When I wrote the word “Luxury” and “Thomas Jefferson,” I didn’t have anything at all to copy from. I was writing it down for Mr. Frank.

After Conley’s direct testimony, Leo Frank called it “the vilest and most amazing pack of lies ever conceived in the perverted brain of a wicked human being.” But, as you have read above, Conley held up well under the ferocious attack of the defense. He freely admitted that he had been confused on a few occasions and had lied in his first two statements — first, to protect himself, and second to protect Frank, who he still expected would come up with bail money and get him out of town — and he also provided a wealth of new detail about Leo Frank’s “chats” with young women.
Leo Frank's co-lead attorney Luther Rosser

Leo Frank’s co-lead attorney Luther Rosser

At one point, Frank’s attorney Luther Rosser, referring to the recent haircut and clean set of clothes that Conley had been given, snidely remarked “They put some new clothes on you so the jury could see you like a dressed-up nigger” — possibly inflaming racial feelings among the all-White jury. It was widely believed at the time that Conley would be disbelieved by many simply because he was black and because Leo Frank, a white man, and Frank’s attorneys would contradict Conley and accuse him of the murder — a woe be unto any black man in 1913 Atlanta accused of harming a white girl.

Nevertheless Conley, a simple and poorly educated man, gave not an inch on his most damaging claims against Frank even when the most skilled attorneys money could buy cross-questioned him for more than 13 hours.

Much has been made of Conley’s testimony that Frank stated “I wanted to be with the little girl, and she refused me, and I struck her and I guess I struck her too hard and she fell and hit her head against something, and I don’t know how bad she got hurt. Of course you know I ain’t built like other men.” Conley himself said he thought that Frank meant by not being “built like other men” that he, Frank, was sexually abnormal in some way that prevented normal intercourse, adding that he had glimpsed Frank with young women in positions implying oral sex. Later medical testimony, however, would show no physical abnormality in Frank. But “I ain’t built like other men” might have had reference instead to Frank’s thin, light physique, and the implication that he might strike a girl and never imagine the blow could do her serious harm. Such a bit of self-exculpation is quite understandable under the circumstances — though the strangulation, evidently done to ensure her silence after she had been knocked down and injured, is disgusting and heinous in the extreme.

Testifying before Conley had been Helen Ferguson, who indicated that Frank would not give Mary’s pay to Mary’s friend (who had offered to take it to her) the day before the murder, suggesting that Frank wanted to ensure that Mary would come to him personally in his office the next day:

MISS HELEN FERGUSON, sworn for the State.

My name is Helen Ferguson, I worked at the National Pencil Company on Friday the 25th. I saw Mr. Frank Friday, April 25th, about 7 o’clock in the evening and asked for Mary Phagan’s money. Mr. Frank said “I can’t let you have it,” and before he said anything else I turned around and walked out.

I had gotten Mary’s money before, but I didn’t get it from Mr. Frank.


When I got Mary’s money before I went up there and called my number and called her number, and I got mine and hers. I didn’t ask the man that was paying off this time to let me have it. I don’t remember whether Mr. Schiff was in the office or not when I asked Mr. Frank for Mary’s money. Some of the office force were there, but I can’t recall their name.

I worked in the metal department about two years. I never saw little Mary Phagan in Mr. Frank’s office. I don’t think Mr. Frank knew my name, he knew my face. It has been some time since I asked for Mary’s pay by number. I do not believe that I ever saw Mr. Frank speak to Mary Phagan.


I don’t know who paid off on Friday, April 25th.

After Conley, Dr. Henry F. Harris was recalled to the stand with more autopsy testimony proving that the murder had been committed around noon on April 26. Though the defense tried to imply that the hour of death really couldn’t be determined, Dr. Harris’s words made it clearer than ever that Newt Lee could not have committed the crime, that the only possible killers were Frank or Conley, and that the bloody shirt found in Newt Lee’s trash barrel and Lee’s alleged time card with missing punches were evidence, not of Lee’s guilt, but of a malevolent effort by Frank partisans to shield the real murderer.
Mary Phagan autopsy photo; the indentation in her neck from the cord which strangled her clearly visible

Mary Phagan autopsy photo; the indentation in her neck from the cord which strangled her clearly visible

A low character, C.B. Dalton’s testimony confirmed Conley’s statement about his keeping watch for Frank during Frank’s trysts with young women:

C.B. DALTON, sworn for the State.

I know Leo M. Frank, Daisy Hopkins, and Jim Conley. I have visited the National Pencil Company three, four or five times. I have been in the office of Leo M. Frank two or three times. I have been down in the basement. I don’t know whether Mr. Frank knew I was in the basement or not, but he knew I was there. I saw Conley there and the night watchman, and he was not Conley. There would be some ladies in Mr. Frank’s office. Sometimes there would be two, and sometimes one. May be they didn’t work in the mornings and they would be there in the evenings.


I don’t recollect the first time I was in Mr. Frank’s office. It was last fall. I have been down there one time this year but Mr. Frank wasn’t there. It was Saturday evening. I went in there with Miss Daisy Hopkins. I saw some parties in the office but I don’t know them. They were ladies. Sometimes there would be two and sometimes more. I don’t know whether it was the stenographer or not.
C.B. Dalton

C.B. Dalton

I don’t recollect the next time I saw him in his office. I never saw any gentlemen but Mr. Frank in there. Every time I was in Mr. Frank’s office was before Christmas. Miss Daisy Hopkins introduced me to him. I saw Conley there one time this year and several times on Saturday evenings. Mr. Frank wasn’t there the last time. Conley was sitting there at the front door.

When I went down the ladder Miss Daisy went with me. We went back by the trash pile in the basement. I saw an old cot and a stretcher. I have been in Atlanta for ten years. I have never been away over a week. I saw Mr. Frank about two o’clock in the afternoon. There was no curtains drawn in the office. It was very light in there. I went in the first office, near the stairway. The night watchman I spoke of was a negro. I saw him about the first of January. I saw a negro night watchman there between September and December. I lived in Walton County for twenty years. I came right here from Walton County. I was absent from Walton County once for two or three years and lived in Lawrenceville. I have walked home from the factory with Miss Laura Atkins and Miss Smith.


I gave Jim Conley a half dozen or more quarters. I saw Mr. Frank in his office in the daytime. Mr. Frank had Coca-Cola, lemon and lime and beer in the office. I never saw the ladies in his office doing any writing.


Andrew Dalton is my brother-in-law. John Dalton is a first cousin. I am the Dalton that went to the chain gang for stealing in Walton County in 1894. We all pleaded guilty. The others paid out. I don’t know how long I served. I stole a shop hammer. That was in case No. L. There were three cases and the sentences were concurrent. One of the other Daltons stole a plow and I don’t know what the other one stole. I was with them. In 1899 at the February term of Walton Superior Court I was indicted for helping steal [a] bale of cotton. In Gwinnett County I was prosecuted for stealing corn, but I came clear.


It has been 18 or 20 years since I have been in trouble. I was drunk with the two Dalton boys when we got into that hammer and plow stock scrape.


I don’t know whether I was indicted in 1906 in Walton County for selling liquor. I know Dan Hillman and I know Bob Harris. I don’t know whether I was indicted for selling liquor to them or not.


Miss Daisy Hopkins knows Mr. Frank. I have seen her talking to him and she told me about it.

Dalton’s checkered and criminal past was brought out by the defense, but since he was freely admitting involvement in immoral activities as part of his direct testimony, the revelation of his criminal record had little sting.

Several witnesses were called or recalled to clarify points made earlier in the trial; the most significant of these was Pinkerton agent Harry Scott:

HARRY SCOTT, re-called for State.

It took Jim Conley two or three minutes to write out the notes that I dictated to him [testing to see if Conley could have written the death notes — Ed.].
Detectives Harry Scott and John Black

Detectives John Black and Harry Scott


I knew on Monday that Mrs. White claimed she saw a darkey at the pencil factory [Conley, watching at the bottom of the steps near the front door for Frank according to the prosecution theory; lying in wait to attack Mary Phagan according to the new defense theory. — Ed.]. I gave that information to the police department.

Mr. Frank gave me the information when I first talked to him. I never inquired of Frank or any of the pencil factory people if Conley could write. Sunday, May 18th, I was present when Conley made his statement. May 18th. I wrote it out myself. (Defendant’s Exhibit 36). He made no further statement on that day. He stated that he did not go to the pencil factory at all that day. At that time I knew he could write. [It had been claimed by the defense that the information that Conley could write had first come from Leo Frank. — Ed.]

He told me everything that was in that statement. The information that Conley could write came from the pencil factory on May 18th. On May 18th I dictated to Conley these words: “That long tall black negro did by himself.” I dictated each word singly and I should judge it took him more than six or seven minutes to write it. He writes quite slowly.

When he was brought before Mrs. White to see if she could identify him he was chewing his lips and twirling a cigarette in his fingers. He didn’t seem to know how to hold on to it. He could not keep [his] feet still. He positively denied on May 18th that he had anything to do with the murder of Mary Phagan and that he was at the factory at all.

We talked very strongly to him and tried to make him give a confession. We used a little profanity and cussed him. He made that statement after he knew that I knew he could write. We had him for about two or three hours that day. He made another statement on May 24th which was put in writing. (Defendant’s Exhibit 37). He was carried to Mr. Dorsey’s office that day and went over the statement with Mr. Dorsey. He still denied that he had seen the little girl the day of the murder. He swore to all that the statement contains. That statement was a voluntary statement from him. He sent for Mr. Black and we went there together. We questioned him again very closely for about three hours on May 25th. He repeated the story that he told in his statement of May 24th.

We saw him again on May 27th in Chief Lanford’s office. Talked to him about five or six hours. We tried to impress him with the fact that Frank would not have written those notes on Friday. That that was not a reasonable story. That showed premeditation and that would not do. We pointed out to him why the first statement would not fit. We told him we wanted another statement. He declined to make another statement. He said he had told the truth. On May 28th Chief Lanford and I grilled him for five or six hours again, endeavoring to make clear several points which were far-fetched in his statement. We pointed out to him that his statement would not do and would not fit. He then made us another long statement on May 28th (Defendant’s Exhibit 38), having been told that his previous statement showed deliberation; that that could not be accepted. He told us then all that appears in the statement of May 28th. He never told us [then — Ed.] anything about Mr. Frank making an engagement for him to stamp for him and for him to lock the door. He told us nothing about seeing Monteen Stover. He did not tell us about seeing Mary Phagan. He said he did not see her. He didn’t say he saw Lemmie Quinn.

Conley was a rather dirty negro when I first saw him. He looked pretty good when he testified here.
Jim Conley, center, being led away in custody after his testimony

Jim Conley, center, being led away in custody after his testimony

Frank was arrested Tuesday morning at about 11:30; on May 29th we had another talk with him [Conley — Ed.]. Talked with him almost all day. Yes, we pointed out things in his story that were improbable and told him he must do better than that. Anything in his story that looked to be out of place we told him wouldn’t do. After he had made his last statement we didn’t wish to make any further suggestion to him at that time.

He then made his last statement on May 29th (Defendant’s Exhibit 39). He told us all that appears in that statement. We tried to get him to tell about the little mesh bag. We tried pretty strong. He always denied ever having seen it. He never said that he saw it in Frank’s office, or that Frank put it in his safe. We asked him about the parasol. He didn’t tell us anything about it. He didn’t tell us anything about Frank stumbling as he got on the street floor at the elevator and hit him.

Since making this statement on May 29th I have not communicated with Conley and have not seen him. He never told us that he came from his home straight to the factory. He denied knowing anything about the fecal matter down in the basement in the elevator shaft. He never said he went down there himself between the time he first came to the factory and went to Montag’s. He never said he thought the name of the little girl was Mary Perkins. He never said anything at all about Mary Perkins. We pressed him that day as to whether he saw Mary Phagan or not. He finally told us that he saw her dead body. He never did tell us that he heard a lady scream though we asked him about it. He said he did not hear anybody scream while he was sitting on the box. He said he didn’t hear anything at all that day. He never said any thing about Mr. Frank having hit her, and having hit her too hard. He never said anything about somebody running on tiptoes from the metal department and back again. He said he did not hear any stamping. He did not tell us anything about Mr. Frank telling him how to lock the door. He did not tell us anything about Frank having a cord in his hand at the top of the steps or that Frank looked funny about his eyes or that his face was red. He didn’t tell us that he went back there and found the little girl with a rope around her neck and a piece of underclothing or that he went back to Mr. Frank and told him the girl was dead, or that he wrapped her in a piece of cloth. He said it was a crocus sack. He did not say anything about Mr. Frank saying “Sh-sh.” He didn’t say that he put the sack on his shoulder and that body dangled round about his legs. He said he never saw the ribbon; didn’t know where it was. We asked him whether there was any thought of burning the body and he said not. He didn’t know anything about that. He never said anything about his promising to come back and burn the body or that he said to Mr. Frank “You are a white man and done it, and I am not going down there and burn it myself;” or that Mr. Frank had arranged to give his bond and send him away; or that Frank said he would have a place to get in by when he came back to burn the body, or said he owed a Jew ten cents and paid it.

He did not tell us of any conversation he had with Mr. Frank on Tuesday after the murder in which Mr. Frank said “If you had come back on Saturday and done what I told you there wouldn’t have been any trouble.” As to the scene between Conley and me when I undertook to convince him that I knew he could write on Sunday, May 18th, I called him up at Chief Lanford’s office, gave him a paper and pencil and told him that we understood he said he couldn’t write and now we knew he could write and we wanted him to write what we told him. He sat there and looked at us while we were talking and I told him to write as I dictated and he picked up the pencil and wrote immediately. We convinced him that we knew he could write and then he wrote.


I got information as to Conley writing through my operations while I was out of town. McWorth told me when I returned. I got no information personally about Conley being able to write from the pencil company people. Personally I did not get information as to Conley’s being able to write from [the] pencil company. I got it from outside sources, wholly disconnected with the pencil company. As to whom I first communicated anything about Mrs. White’s statement about seeing a negro down there, my impression is I told it in my many conversations with Black, and Chief Lanford and Bass Rosser. Don’t know the day. It was shortly after April 28th. After Conley made his last statement Chief Beavers, Lanford and I went to the jail with Conley and saw the sheriff and he went to Frank’s cell.

The last time I saw Frank was Saturday, May 3rd. As to whether Mr. Frank refused to see me, only through Sheriff Mangum, as to the number of matters I told Conley didn’t fit the first time and those I told him didn’t fit the last time, I could not name those, that would almost be impossible unless I had the statement clear in my head. I never suggested what to put in or what to substitute or what to change. They came from Conley himself.


Scott’s grilling at the hands of the defense had mainly proved only that Conley had changed his story several times, which Conley himself admitted he had done to protect himself — and to protect Frank, who had, Conley said, offered to help him skip town if he “kept his mouth shut.”

* * *

Next came the defense — and no one in Atlanta was ready for the shocking revelation that would soon come from Leo Frank himself as he took the stand.

Be sure to read about it in next week’s installment here at The American Mercury.

* * *

For further study we recommend the following resources:


Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank

Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913, Brief of Evidence

The American Mercury is following these events of 100 years ago, the month-long trial of Leo M. Frank for the brutal murder of Miss Mary Phagan, in capsule form on a regular basis until August 26, the 100th anniversary of the reading of the verdict. Follow along with us and experience the trial as Atlantans of a century ago did, and come to your own conclusions.

Read also the Mercury’s coverage of Week One of the Leo Frank trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.

A fearless scholar, dedicated to the truth about this case, has obtained, scanned, and uploaded every single relevant issue of the major Atlanta daily newspapers and they now can be accessed through as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
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Default Leo Frank Mounts the Witness Stand August 18, 1913

100 Years Ago Today: Leo Frank Takes the Stand

Published by Ann Hendon on August 18, 2013

In a few days the Mercury will present Week Three of the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan. Today, on the 100th anniversary of Leo Frank taking the stand in his own defense, we present a digest of opinion and contemporary sources on his statement.

AT THE CLIMAX of the Leo Frank trial, an admission was made by the defendant that amounted to a confession during trial. How many times in the annals of US legal history has this happened? Something very unusual happened during the month-long People v. Leo M. Frank murder trial, held within Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Courthouse in the Summer of 1913. I’m going to show you evidence that Mr. Leo Max Frank inadvertently revealed the solution to the Mary Phagan murder mystery.

Leo Frank

In addition to being an executive of Atlanta’s National Pencil Company, Leo Frank was also a B’nai B’rith official — president of the 500-member Gate City Lodge in 1912 — and even after his conviction and incarceration Frank was elected lodge president again in 1913. As a direct result of the Leo Frank conviction, the B’nai B’rith founded their well-known and politically powerful “Anti-Defamation League,” or ADL.

When Leo Frank mounted the witness stand on Monday afternoon, August 18, 1913, at 2:15 pm, he orally delivered an unsworn, four-hour, pre-written statement to the 250 people present.

The Leo Frank trial

Epic Trial of 20th Century Southern History

The audience sat in the grandstand seats of the most spectacular murder trial in the annals of Georgia history. Nestled deep within the pews of the Fulton County Superior Court were the luckiest of public spectators, defense and prosecution witnesses, journalists, officials, and courtroom staff.

Hugh M. Dorsey

Like gladiators in an arena, in the center of it all, with their backs to the audience, seated in ladder-back chairs, were the most important principals. They were the State of Georgia’s prosecution team, made up of three members, led by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Frank Arthur Hooper. Arrayed against them were eight Leo Frank defense counselors, led by Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben Rose Arnold. The presiding judge, the Honorable Leonard Strickland Roan, sitting in a high-backed leather chair, was separated by the witness stand from the jury of 12 white men who were sworn to justly decide the fate of Leo Frank.

Crouched and sandwiched between the judge’s bench and the witness chair, sitting on the lip of the bench’s foot rail, was a stenographer capturing the examinations. Stenographers clicked away throughout the trial and were changed regularly in relays.

Reuben R. Arnold

Surrounding the four major defense and prosecution counselors were an entourage of uniformed police, plainclothes detectives, undercover armed security men, government staff, and magistrates.

The first day of the Leo Frank trial began on Monday morning, July 28, 1913, and led to many days of successively more horrifying revelations. But the most interesting day of the trial occurred three weeks later when Leo Frank sat down in the witness stand on Monday afternoon, August 18, 1913.

The Moment Everyone Was Waiting For

What Leo Frank had to say to the court became the spine-tingling climax of the most notorious criminal trial in US history, and it was the moment everyone in all of Georgia, especially Atlanta, had waited for.

Leo Frank posing for Collier’s Weekly. The photo would later become the front cover for the book The Truth About the Frank Case by C.P. Connolly.

Judge Roan explained to the jury the unique circumstances and rules concerning the unsworn statement Leo M. Frank was to make. Then, at 2:14 pm, Leo Frank was called to speak. When he mounted the stand, a hush fell as 250 spellbound people closed ranks and leaned forward expectantly. They were more than just speechless: They were literally breathless, transfixed, sitting on the edges of their seats, waiting with great anticipation for every sentence, every word, that came forth from the mouth of Leo Frank.

But listening to his long speech became challenging at times. He had a reputation as a “gas jet” from his college days (see his college yearbook entry), and he lived up to it now with dense, mind-numbing verbiage.

Three Out of Nearly Four Hours: Distractions and Endless Pencil Calculations

To bring his major points home during his almost four-hour speech, Leo Frank presented original pages of his accounting books to the jury. For three hours he went over, in detail, the accounting computations he had made on the afternoon of April 26, 1913. This was meant to show the court that he had been far too busy to have murdered Mary Phagan on that day nearly 15 weeks before.

Leo Frank’s reputation as a “hot air artist” — and service as a debating coach — shown in his college yearbook entry

One point emphasized by the defense was how long it took Frank to do the accounting books: Was it an hour and a half as some said, or three hours? Can either answer ever be definitive, though? No matter how quickly one accountant works, is it beyond belief that another could be twice as fast?

The Ultimate Question Waiting to be Answered

Monteen Stover

The most important unanswered question in the minds of everyone at the trial was this: Where had Leo Frank gone between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm on Saturday, April 26, 1913? This was the crucial question because Monteen Stover had testified she found Leo Frank’s office empty during this five-minute time segment – and Leo Frank had told police he never left his office during that time. And the evidence had already shown that Mary Phagan was murdered sometime between 12:05 and 12:15 pm in the Metal Room of the same factory where Leo Frank was present.

There weren’t a plethora of suspects in the building: April 26, 1913, was a state holiday in Georgia — Confederate Memorial Day — and the factory and offices were closed down, except for a few employees coming in to collect their pay and two men doing construction work on an upper floor.

Two investigators had testified that Leo Frank gave them the alibi that he had never left his office from noon until after 12:45. If Leo Frank’s alibi held up, then he couldn’t have killed Mary Phagan.

Everyone wanted to know how Leo Frank would respond to the contradictory testimony clashing with his alibi. And, after rambling about near-irrelevancies for hours, he did: Frank stated — in complete contradiction to his numerous earlier statements that he’d never left his office — that he might have “unconsciously” gone to the bathroom during that time — placing him in the only bathroom on that floor of the building, the Metal Room bathroom. The Metal Room bathroom is where Jim Conley stated he had first found the lifeless body of little Mary Phagan, near the Metal Room proper where Mary Phagan’s blood was found, and where the prosecution had spent weeks proving that the murder had actually taken place.

Paul Donehoo

This was doubly amazing because weeks earlier Leo Frank had emphatically told the seven-man panel led by Coroner Paul Donehoo at the Coroners Inquest, that he (Leo Frank) did not use the bathroom all day long — not that he (Leo Frank) had forgotten, but that he had not gone to the bathroom at all. The visually-blind but prodigious savant Coroner Paul Donehoo — with his highly-refined “B.S. detector” was incredulous as might be expected. Who doesn’t use the bathroom all day long? It was as if Leo Frank was mentally and physically, albeit crudely and unbelievably, trying to distance himself from the bathroom where Jim Conley said he found the body.

Furthermore, Leo Frank had told detective Harry Scott — witnessed by a police officer named Black — that he (Leo Frank) was in his office every minute from noon to half past noon, and in State’s Exhibit B (Frank’s stenographed statement to the police), Leo Frank never mentions a bathroom visit all day.

And now he had reversed himself!

Why would Leo Max Frank make such a startling admission, after spending months trying to distance himself from that part of the building at that precise time? That is a difficult question to answer, but there are clues. 1) The testimony of Monteen Stover (who liked Frank and who was actually a supportive character witness for him) that Frank was missing from his office for those crucial five minutes was convincing. Few could believe that Stover — looking to pick up her paycheck, and waiting five minutes in the office for an opportunity to do so — would have been satisfied with a cursory glance at the room and therefore somehow missed Frank behind the open safe door as he had alleged. 2) The evidence suggests that Frank did not always make rational decisions when under stress: Under questioning from investigators, he repeatedly changed the time at which Mary Phagan supposedly came to see him in his office (and State’s Exhibit B shows that Frank, in the presence of his lawyers, told police that Mary Phagan was in his office with him alone between 12:05 and 12:10 pm); he reportedly confessed his guilt to his wife the day of the murder; he, if guilty, reacted out of all proportion and reason to being spurned by his teenage employee; and he maintained the utterly unbelievable position throughout the case that he did not know Mary Phagan by name, despite indisputably knowing her initials (he wrote them on the company books by hand some 52 times!) and interacting with her countless times.

Mary Phagan

Frank had also said (to paraphrase his statement) that to the best of his recollection when he was in his second floor office from 12:00 to 12:45 pm, and that aside from temporary visitors, the only other people continuously in the building he was aware of were Mr. White and Mr. Denham on the fourth floor, banging away and doing construction as they tore down a partition. That’s it, three people. One can understand investigators, after hearing Frank’s statement that there were only three people in the building, asking the question: If there are three people in the factory, and two of them didn’t do it, who is left?

Even if only one of these lapses is true as described, it is enough to show a pronounced lack of judgement on Frank’s part. A man with such impaired judgement may actually have been unable to see that by explaining away his previous untenable (and now exposed as false) position of “never leaving the office” with an “unconscious” bathroom visit, he was placing himself at the scene of the murder at the precise time of the murder.

Thus are men who tell tales undone, even as they fall back upon a partial truth.

Georgia: Right to Refuse Oaths and Examination

Under the Georgia Code, Section 1036, the accused has the right to make an unsworn statement and, furthermore, to refuse to be examined or cross-examined at his trial. Leo Frank made the decision to make an unsworn statement and not allow examination or cross examination.

The law also did not permit Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey or his legal team to orally interpret or comment on the fact that Leo Frank was not making a statement sworn under oath at his own murder trial. The prosecution respected this rule.

The jury knew that Leo Frank had had months to carefully prepare his statement. But what was perhaps most damaging to Leo Frank’s credibility was the fact that every witness at the trial, regardless of whether they were testifying for the defense or prosecution, had been sworn, and therefore spoke under oath, and had been subject to cross-examination by the other side — except for Leo Frank.

Thus it didn’t matter if the law prevented the prosecution from commenting on the fact Leo Frank had refused cross examination, opting instead to make an unsworn statement, because the jury could see that anyway. Making an unsworn statement and refusing to be examined does not prove that one is guilty, but it certainly raises eyebrows of doubt.

Leo Frank takes the stand

The South an “Honor Bound” Society

Could a sworn jury upholding its sacred duty question Leo Frank’s honor and integrity as a result of what Southerners likely perceived as his cowardly decision under Georgia Code, Section 1036? If so, greater weight would naturally be given to those witnesses who were sworn under oath and who contradicted Leo Frank’s unsworn alibis, allegations, and claims. It put the case under a new lens of the sworn versus the unsworn.

The average Southerner in 1913 was naturally asking the question: What white man would make an unsworn statement and not allow himself to be cross-examined at his own murder trial if he were truly innocent? Especially in light of the fact that the South was culturally white separatist — and two of the major material witnesses who spoke against Leo Frank were African-Americans, one claiming to be an accomplice after the fact turned accuser. In the Atlanta of 1913, African-Americans were perceived as second class citizens and less reliable than whites in terms of their capacity for telling the truth.

Today, we might ask: Why wouldn’t Leo Frank allow himself to be cross examined when he was trained in the art and science of debating during his high school senior year and all through his years in college, where he earned the rank of Cornell Congress Debate Team coach? (Pratt Institute Monthly, June, 1902; Cornellian, 1902 through 1906; Cornell Senior Class Book, 1906; Cornell University Alumni Dossier File on Leo Frank, retrieved 2012)

Odd Discrepancies

Newt Lee

Most Leo Frank partisan authors omit significant parts of the trial testimony of Newt Lee and Jim Conley from their retelling of the Leo Frank Case. Both of these black men, former National Pencil Company employees, made clearly damaging statements against Frank.

The evidence Newt Lee brought forward was circumstantial, but intriguing — and never quite adequately explained by Leo Frank then, or by his defenders now.

He stated that on Friday Evening, April 25, 1913, Frank made a request to him, Lee, that he report to work an hour early at 4:00 pm on Confederate Memorial Day, the next day. The stated reason was that Leo Frank had made a baseball game appointment with his brother-in-law, Mr. Ursenbach, a Gentile who was married to one of Frank’s wife Lucille’s older sisters. Leo Frank would eventually give two different reasons at different times as to why he canceled that appointment: 1) he had too much work to do, and 2) he was afraid of catching a cold.

Newt Lee’s normal expected time at the National Pencil Company factory on Saturdays was 5:00 pm sharp. Lee stated that when he arrived an hour early that fateful Saturday, Leo Frank had forgotten the change because he was in an excited state. Frank, he said, was unlike his normal calm, cool and collected “boss-man” self. Normally, if anything was out of order, Frank would command him, saying “Newt, step in here a minute” or the like. Instead, Frank burst out of his office, bustling frenetically towards Lee, who had arrived at the second floor lobby at 3:56 pm. Upon greeting each other, Frank requested that Lee go out on the town and “have a good time” for two hours and come back at 6:00 pm.

Because Leo Frank asked Newt Lee to come to work one hour early, Lee had lost that last nourishing hour of sleep one needs before waking up fully rejuvenated, so Lee requested of Frank that he allow him to take a nap in the Packing Room (adjacent to Leo Frank’s front office). But Frank re-asserted that Lee needed to go out and have a good time. Finally, Newt Lee acquiesced and left for two hours.

At trial, Frank would state that he sent Newt Lee out for two hours because he had work to do. When Lee came back, the double doors halfway up the staircase were locked – very unusual, as they had never had been locked before on Saturday afternoons. When Newt Lee unlocked the doors and went into Leo Frank’s office he witnessed his boss bungling and nearly fumbling the time sheet when trying to put a new one in the punch clock for the night watchman – Lee – to register.

The National Pencil Company building around 1913

It came out before the trial that Newt Lee had earlier been told by Leo Frank that it was a National Pencil Company policy that once the night watchman arrived at the factory – as Lee had the day of the murder at 4:00 pm – he was not permitted to leave the building under any circumstances until he handed over the reigns of security to the day watchman. Company security necessitated being cautious – poverty, and therefore theft, was rife in the South; there were fire risk hazards; and the critical factory machinery was worth a small fortune. Security was a matter of survival.

The two hour timetable rescheduling – the canceled ball game – the inexplicable sudden security rule waiver – the bumbling with a new time sheet – the locked double doors – and Frank’s suspiciously excited behavior: All were highlighted as suspicious by the prosecution, especially in light of the fact that the “murder notes” – found next to Mary Phagan’s head – physically described Newt Lee, even calling him “the night witch.” And, the prosecutor asked, why did Leo Frank later telephone Newt Lee, not once but two or more times, that evening at the factory?

A “Racist” Subplot?

The substance of what happened between Newt Lee (and janitor James “Jim” Conley – see below) and Leo Frank from April 26, 1913 onward is most often downplayed, censored, or distorted by partisans of Leo Frank.

From the testimony of these two African-American witnesses, we learn of an almost diabolic intrigue calculated to entrap the innocent night watchman Newt Lee. It would have been easy to convict a black man in the white separatist South of that time, where the ultimate crime was a black man having interracial sex with a white woman — to say nothing of committing battery, rape, strangulation, and mutilation upon her in a scenario right out of Psychopathia Sexualis.

Luther Z. Rosser, for the defense

The plot was exquisitely formulated for its intended audience, the twelve white men who would decide Leo Frank’s fate. It created two layers of African-Americans between Frank and the murder of Mary Phagan. It wouldn’t take the police long to realize Newt Lee didn’t commit the murder, and, since the death notes were written in dialect, it would leave the police hunting for another black murderer. As long as Jim Conley kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t hang. So the whole plot rested on Jim Conley – and it took the police three weeks to crack him.

The ugly racial element of this defense ploy is rarely mentioned today. The fact that it was Leo Frank, a Jew (and considered white in the racial separatist Old South), who first tried to pin the rape and murder of Mary Phagan on the elderly, balding, and married African-American Newt Lee (who had no criminal record to boot) is not something that Frank partisans want to highlight. The Leo Frank cheering section also downplays the racial considerations that made Frank, when his first racially-tinged defense move failed and was abandoned, change course for the last time and formulate a new subplot to pin the crime on Jim Conley, the “accomplice after the fact.”

If events had played out as intended, there would have likely been one or two dead black men in the wake of the defense team’s intrigue.

Jim Conley knew too much. He admitted he had helped the real murderer, Leo Frank, clean up after the fact. To prevent Conley, through extreme fear, from revealing any more about the real solution to the crime, and to discredit him no matter what he did, a new theory was needed. Jim Conley certainly was scared beyond comprehension, knowing what white society did to black men who beat, raped, and strangled white girls.

The Accuser Becomes the Accused

Jim Conley

The new murder theory posited by the Leo Frank defense was that Jim Conley assaulted Mary Phagan as she walked down the stairs from Leo Frank’s office. Once Phagan descended to the first floor lobby, they said, she was robbed, then thrown down 14 feet to the basement through the two-foot by two-foot scuttle hole at the side of the elevator. Conley then supposedly went through the scuttle hole himself, climbing down the ladder, dragged the unconscious Mary Phagan to the garbage dumping ground in front of the cellar incinerator (known as the “furnace”), where he then raped and strangled her.

But this grotesque racially-tinged framing was to fail in the end — in part because because physicians noticed that the scratch marks on Mary Phagan’s face — she had been dragged face down in the basement — did not bleed, strongly suggesting she was already quite dead when the dragging took place.

Investigators arranged for a conversation to take place between Leo Frank and Newt Lee, who were intentionally put alone together in a police interrogation room at the Atlanta Police Station. The experiment was to see how Frank would interact with Lee and determine if any new information could be obtained.

Once they thought they were alone, Leo Frank scolded Newt Lee for trying to talk about the murder of Mary Phagan, and said that if Lee kept up that kind of talk, they both would go straight to hell.

Leo Frank in the courtroom; his wife Lucille Frank behind him

Star Witnesses

The Jewish community has crystallized around the notion that Jim Conley was the star witness at the trial, and not 14-year-old Monteen Stover who defended Leo Frank’s character — and then inadvertently broke his alibi.

Leo Frank partisans downplay the significance of Monteen Stover’s trial testimony and Leo Frank’s attempted rebuttal of her testimony on August 18, 1913. Governor John M. Slaton also ignored the Stover-Frank incident in his 29-page commutation order of June 21, 1915.

Many Frank partisans have chosen to obscure the significance of Monteen Stover by putting all the focus on Jim Conley, and then claiming that without Jim Conley there would have been no conviction of Leo Frank.

Could they be right? Or could Leo Frank have been convicted on the testimony of Monteen Stover, without the testimony of Jim Conley?

It is a question left for speculation only, because no one ever anticipated the significance of Jim Conley telling the jury that he had found Mary Phagan dead in the Metal Room bathroom.

It was not until Leo Frank gave his response to Monteen Stover’s testimony – his explanation of why his second floor business office was empty on April 26, 1913 between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm – that everything came together tight and narrow.

Tom Watson resolved the “no conviction without Conley” controversy in the September 1915 number of his Watson’s Magazine, but perhaps it is time for a 21st century explanation to make it clear why even the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the evidence and testimony of the trial sustained Frank’s conviction.

August 18, 1913: You Are the Jury

The four-hour-long unsworn statement of Leo Frank was the crescendo of the trial. (Later, just before closing arguments, Frank himself was allowed the last word. He spoke once more on his own behalf, unsworn this time also, for five minutes, denying the testimony of others that he had known Mary Phagan by name and that he had gone into the dressing room for presumably immoral purposes with one of the company’s other employees.)

The jury that convicted Leo Frank

Frank would also reaffirm his “unconscious visit” admission in a newspaper interview published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March 9th, 1914.

A Poignant Excerpt from Frank Hooper’s Final Arguments:

There was Mary. Then, there was another little girl, Monteen Stover. He never knew Monteen was there, and he said he stayed in his office from 12 until after 1 — never left. Monteen waited around for five minutes. Then she left. The result? There comes for the first time from the lips of Frank, the defendant, the admission that he might have gone to some other part of the building during this time — he didn’t remember clearly…

I will be fair ‘with Frank. When he followed the child back into the metal room, he didn’t know that it would necessitate force to accomplish his purpose. I don’t believe he originally had murder in his heart. There was a scream. Jim Conley heard it. Just for the sake of knowing how harrowing it was, I wish you jurymen could hear a similar scream. It was poorly described by the negro. He said it sounded as if a laugh was broken off into a shriek. He heard it break through the stillness of the hushed building.

* * *

Be sure and read this week’s installment of “The Trial of Leo Frank” by Bradford L. Huie three days from now, exclusively on The American Mercury.


Week One

Week Two

* * *

Appendix: Essential Reading

To gain a full understanding of the Leo Frank case, and the tissue-thin “anti-Semitic conspiracy” theories advanced by the media today, it is necessary to read the official record without censorship or selective editing by partisans. Here are the resources which will enable you to do just that.

• Leo M. Frank Brief of Evidence, Murder Trial Testimony and Affidavits, 1913

• Leo M. Frank unsworn trial statement (BOE, Leo Frank Trial Statement, August 18, 1913)

• Leo Frank trial, State’s Exhibit B

Original State’s Exhibit B:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Complete Analysis of State’s Exhibit B (required reading): The full review of State’s Exhibit B

• Leo Frank Case files from the Georgia Supreme Court, Adobe PDF format:

• Atlanta Constitution issue of March 9, 1914 (Leo Frank Answers List of Questions Bearing on Points Made Against Him, March 9, 1914)

• Compare the analysis of the bathroom statement by reading: Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey, followed by Argument of Mr. Frank Hooper — also compare with Tom Watson’s version

• Minola McKnight statement (Minola Mcknight, State’s Exhibit J, June 3, 1913) and cremation request in the 1954 Notarized Last Will and Testament of Lucille Selig Frank

• 2D and 3D National Pencil Company floor diagrams

The National Pencil Company in 3 Dimensions

3-Dimensional Floor Plan of the National Pencil Company in 1913:

The Defendant Leo Frank’s Factory Diagrams Made on His Behalf:

2-Dimensional Floor Plan of the National Pencil Company in 1913. Defendants Exhibit 61, Ground Floor and Second Floor 2D Birds Eye View Maps of the National Pencil Company: Plat of the First and Second Floor of the National Pencil Company.

1. State’s Exhibit A (Small Image) or State’s Exhibit A (Large Image).

2. Different Version: Side view of the factory diagram showing the front half of the factory

3. Bert Green Diagram of the National Pencil Company

• James “Jim” Conley’s testimony (James Conley, Brief of Evidence, August, 4, 5, 6, 1913)

• Staged late defense version of events

• The Jeffersonian Newspaper 1914-1917 and Watson’s Magazine (August and September, 1915) series on the case

• Defense and prosecution both ratify the original Brief of Evidence: Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Brief of Evidence

• John Davison Lawson’s American State Trials 1918, Volume X

• Mary Phagan Kean’s analysis of the Leo Frank Case: The Murder of Little Mary Phagan

• State’s Exhibit A and Defendant's Exhibit 61.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
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Default Leo Frank Trial Week THREE

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Three

Published by Editor on August 26, 2013
The Leo Frank Trial: Week Three thumbnail

The trial of Leo Frank (pictured) for the murder of Mary Phagan ended its third week 100 years ago today. Join us as we break through the myths surrounding the case and investigate what really happened.

by Bradford L. Huie

AS THE THIRD WEEK of the trial dawned, the prosecution had just made its case that National Pencil Company Superintendent Leo Max Frank had murdered 13-year-old laborer Mary Phagan — and a powerful case it was. Now it was the defense’s turn — and the defense team was a formidable one, the best that money could buy in 1913 Atlanta, led by Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser. And many would argue that the city’s well-known promoter and attorney Thomas B. Felder was also secretly working for Frank and his friends, along with the two biggest detective agencies in the United States, the Burns agency — sub rosa, under the direction of Felder — and the Pinkertons — openly, cooperating with the police, and under the direction of the National Pencil Company. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One and Week Two of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)

As the defense began its parade of witnesses, few suspected that the defendant himself, Leo Frank, would soon take the stand and make an admission so astonishing that it strained belief.

The testimony of Jim Conley for the prosecution was still fresh in every spectator’s and juror’s mind. Conley, an African-American sweeper for the pencil company, had admitted to helping Leo Frank move the lifeless body of Mary Phagan from the pencil factory’s Metal Room bathroom on the second floor to a spot in the basement just in front of the gaping maw of the furnace, adding that Frank had asked him to come back later and burn the body in return for a promised payment of $200 — an appointment that was never kept. He also told a rapt courtroom how he had written the black-dialect “death notes” at Frank’s instruction.
Jim Conley on the witness stand; prosecutor Hugh Dorsey; ladies in the audience

Jim Conley on the witness stand; prosecutor Hugh Dorsey; ladies in the audience

Conley said that Frank had admitted to striking the girl, when she refused his advances, and accidentally killing her. (Conley evidently missed seeing the marks of strangulation, probably being deceived by a ripped piece of lace underwear that the killer had placed around Mary’s neck to conceal the deep lacerations made by the cord.)

Not only had Conley stood up to one of the most intense cross-examinations imaginable, but, before the trial, he had led investigators on an on-location step-by-step re-enactment of his part in the crime that was so detailed and factual that it convinced almost all observers that he was telling the truth. The Atlanta Georgian‘s James B. Nevin, whose paper was beginning to show sympathy for Frank, nevertheless expressed the popular view when he wrote:

If the story Conley tells IS a lie, then it is the most inhumanly devilish, the most cunningly clever, and the most amazingly sustained lie ever told in Georgia!
With the final confession of Conley, police believed they had fully solved the case.

With the final confession of Conley, police believed they had fully solved the case.

W.W. Matthews, a motorman for the Georgia Railway & Electric Co., was sworn for the defense and stated that Mary Phagan got off his car at 12:10, meaning that if the motorman’s watch and memory were accurate she must have arrived shortly after Monteen Stover, not before her as other witnesses had testified. W.T. Hollis, a streetcar conductor, was called to confirm Matthews’ timing. Here is their testimony:

W.W. MATTHEWS, sworn for the Defendant.

I work for the Georgia Railway & Electric Co. as a motorman. On the 26th day of April I was running on English Avenue. Mary Phagan got on my car at Lindsey Street at 11:50. Our route was from Bellwood to English Avenue, down English Avenue to Kennedy, down Kennedy to Gray, Gray to Jones Avenue, Jones Avenue to Marietta, Marietta to Broad, and out Broad Street. From Lindsey Street to Broad Street is about a mile and a half or two miles. We make frequent stops. We were scheduled to arrive at Marietta and Broad at 12:07(1/2). We were on schedule. We stayed on time all day. Our car turned up Broad St.
Atlanta circa 1913, as viewed from Hunter Street

Atlanta circa 1913, as viewed from Hunter Street

Mary Phagan got off at Hunter and Broad. It takes generally from two and a half to three minutes to go from Broad and Marietta to Broad and Hunter. That is a very congested street and you must go slow. I was relieved at Broad and Marietta by another motorman, but sat down in the same car one seat behind Mary Phagan. Another little girl was sitting in the seat with her. We got to Broad and Hunter about 12:10. Mary and the other little girl both got off and walked to the sidewalk and they wheeled like they were going to turn around on Hunter Street, both of them together. The pencil factory is about a block and a half from where they got off at Hunter and Broad. Nobody got on with Mary at Lindsey Street. There wasn’t any little boy with her. The first time I noticed the little girl sitting with Mary was when we left Broad and Marietta Streets and I went back into the car and saw this little girl sitting with her. I know the little Epps boy. I have seen him riding on my car. He did not get on the car with her at Lindsey Street. I saw Mary’s body at the undertaker’s. It was the same girl that got on my car.


I did not tell one of the detectives that we might have been running three or four minutes ahead of schedule that day. I remember that Mary did not get off the car at Broad and Marietta because there was a street car conductor sitting behind me, an ex-conductor and he had a badge on his coat and I looked at it and it had a little girl’s picture and I reached over to where Mary was and said, “Little girl, here is your picture,” and she said, “No, it is not.” I don’t know who the other little girl was sitting with her. The other little girl was dressed something like Mary. I didn’t pay much attention to their dresses, but they looked sort of alike. Mary’s dress wasn’t black. It was light colored. I know Epps since this case came up. I could identify him. I never paid much attention to her hat. It was light colored I reckon but I am not sure. It just seemed that way.


I identified Mary’s body Sunday afternoon after the murder at the undertaker’s. There was no doubt about her being the same girl. I knew her well by sight. She rode on my car lots.


I can’t tell you whether that is the hat or not she wore.

W. T. HOLLIS, sworn for the Defendant.

I am a street car conductor. On the 26th of April I was on the English Avenue line. We ran on schedule that day. Mary Phagan got on at Lindsey Street at about 11:50. She is the same girl I identified at the undertaker’s. She had been on my car frequently and I knew her well. No one else got on with her at Lindsey Street. Epps did not get on with her. I took up her fare on English Avenue, several blocks from where she got on. And no one was sitting with her then. I do not recollect Epps getting on the car at all that morning. Don’t know whether anybody else afterwards sat with Mary or not. We got to Broad and Marietta seven and a half minutes after twelve, schedule time. I was relieved at Forsyth and Marietta Streets, where I got off. Mary was still on the car when I got off. It takes two and a half minutes to run from Broad and Marietta to Broad and Hunter. I have timed the car again and again since then. I identified the little girl at the undertaker’s Sunday afternoon. Didn’t notice the color of her clothes.
Defense witnesses Hollis, Matthews, and Kaufman: Ira Kauffman testified that Mary Phagan's body could have been pushed down the scuttle hole to the basement, in idea essential to the defense's theory that Jim Conley was the killer.

Defense witnesses Hollis, Matthews, and Kaufman: Ira Kauffman testified that Mary Phagan’s body could have been pushed down the scuttle hole to the basement, an idea essential to the defense’s theory that Jim Conley was the killer.


Mary rode with us two or three times a week. So did Epps. I don’t know where he got off or where he got on. We are not supposed to come in ahead of time. We never come in two or three minutes ahead of time. We are a little late sometimes. I never noticed anybody sitting with Mary. She was sitting by herself when I got her fare. There wasn’t but two or three passengers on the car and I know there wasn’t anybody sitting with her. If Epps was on the car I don’t recollect it. I don’t re- call the name of any other passengers except Mary Phagan. As to what attracted my attention to Mary getting on the front end of the car, as a general rule when she would catch our car Mr. Matthews would say to her “You are late to-day,” and sometimes she would come in and remark that she was mad; that she was late to-day and when she came that morning Mr. Matthews said to her, “Are you mad to-day?” and she said, “Yes, I am late.” And sort of laughed and came on in the car and sat down. She usually caught our car when she came in the morning, the one due in town at 7:07. I didn’t know Mary’s name, I just recognized Mary’s face as the little girl who traveled with us.


I heard of the murder the next day. Newspaper reporters asked us to go down and identify the girl. There was no doubt about her being the little girl who was on our car. Oliver Street is the next street to Lindsey. I did not see Epps get on at Oliver Street. It is against the rule of the company to get to the city ahead of time.


It is not against the rules to get in behind time. Sometimes we might get there a few minutes ahead of time, but hardly ever. We always look at our watches at the main destination, just at Broad and Marietta. We are supposed to do that.

But — and this issue dogs both sides of this case — how accurate were watches and clocks in 1913? (Even in 2013, my quartz watch is sometimes off by a few minutes, especially when the battery is over a year old, and my remaining spring-wound watch is, to put it charitably, just approximate even when freshly-wound.) And, if Mary really didn’t get off the car until 12:10, why didn’t Monteen Stover meet her, then? And a later-arriving Mary Phagan still doesn’t explain Leo Frank’s empty office while the factory clock ticked off every second from 12:05 to 12:10 in Monteen Stover’s presence.
Herbert Schiff

Herbert Schiff

Herbert G. Schiff, the factory’s assistant superintendent directly under Leo Frank, then testified, stating that he’d never seen women brought to the office as the prosecution had alleged, nor had he seen Conley “watching” for Frank. He stated that he, not Frank, had paid off Helen Ferguson the Friday before the murder, and that Ferguson has not asked for Mary Phagan’s pay. He also went into excruciating detail — thousands of words’ worth — about how the books were kept at the factory, with the unstated implication being that Frank would have simply been too busy calculating sums and making entries to have entertained young ladies — or killed them. This “too busy” line of reasoning would be returned to again and again by the defense, and would form the larger part of Leo Frank’s own statement in his own defense. It was reinforced by the next witness, public accountant Joel Hunter, and yet another accountant, C.E. Pollard.

Hattie Hall, the plant stenographer, confirmed that she had worked with Frank until about noon, and had punched out at 12:02, seeing no one come in as she went out. Interestingly, Hall said of the important financial sheet that supposedly took up so much time every Saturday that “I didn’t see Mr. Frank working on any of these books that day, that I was in the outer office and he was in the inner office. There wasn’t any such looking sheet as the financial on his desk. When I was in there he was at work on a pile of letters and things like that.”
Corinthia Hall: Why would Conley have had to hide when she and friend visited Leo Frank's office?

Corinthia Hall: Why would Conley have had to hide when she and a friend visited Leo Frank’s office?

Emma Clarke Freeman and Corinthia Hall then testified that they had come briefly to the factory at 11:45, contradicting Jim Conley’s testimony that they had arrived at 12:45 when he had gone into Leo Frank’s wardrobe to hide from them while they talked to Frank. If the women spoke the truth, and it’s hard to imagine a reason for them not to do so, it does appear that Conley was mistaken about the time, but why would he deliberately lie about it? The timing of their visit isn’t crucial in any way — even its complete absence would just have given Frank and Conley a few more minutes to move Mary Phagan’s body and write the death notes. But it is interesting that, according to Conley’s testimony, Frank obviously didn’t want to be seen with Conley that day, which is odd and suspicious in itself — what’s wrong with being seen talking with the factory sweeper? Maybe a lot is wrong with it, if you’re planning to use him to facilitate a secret sexual tryst with an underage girl.

Pinkerton detective Harry Scott was recalled by the defense, mainly to show that Jim Conley had changed his story and contradicted himself thereby many times. But there wasn’t too much sting in that for the prosecution, since Conley himself had freely admitted as much.

Miss Magnolia Kennedy challenged the idea that Helen Ferguson had asked for Mary’s pay, but confirmed that the hair found on the lathe in the Metal Room looked like Mary’s, and that she had never seen blood on the floor there until after the murder:
Misses mcMurtrey, Kennedy, and Johnson said they had never experienced inappropriate behavior from Leo Frank.

Misses McMurtrey, Kennedy, and Johnson said they had never experienced inappropriate behavior from Leo Frank.

MISS MAGNOLIA KENNEDY, sworn for the Defendant.

I have been working for the pencil factory for about four years, in the metal department. I drew my pay on Friday, April 25th, from Mr. Schiff at the pay window. Helen Ferguson was there when I went up there. I was behind her and had my hand on her shoulder. Mr. Frank was not there, Mr. Schiff gave Helen Ferguson her pay envelope. Helen Ferguson did not ask Mr. Schiff for Mary Phagan’s money. I came out right behind Helen Ferguson. We waited for Grace Hicks and then went down stairs. Helen didn’t say anything about Mr. Frank at all. We went down stairs about five minutes to six. We saw Helen Ferguson start up Forsyth Street.


On Monday, April 28th, Mr. Barrett called my attention to the hair which he found on the machine. It looked like Mary’s hair. My machine was right next to Mary’s. There is a good deal of water over there by Mr. Quinn’s room. Mary’s hair was a light brown, kind of sandy color. You could plainly see the dark spots and white spot over it ten or twelve feet away. [The smear of Haskoline or other white substance, apparently placed over the blood spots. — Ed.] Helen and Mary were the best of friends and were neighbors. Helen made mention that Mary was not there when we were paid off. I have never noticed any spots around the metal room. That’s the first time I had ever seen anything like that.
Machinist R.P. Barrett

Machinist R.P. Barrett


I have never looked for spots before. It’s a dirty floor, full of oil dirt. I don’t know whose hair that was. Helen did not ask Mr. Schiff for Mary’s money. She did not have any business going to Mr. Frank when Mr. Schiff was there paying off. She did not go in and ask Mr. Frank for Mary’s money. I left with her. I went one way and she went another.


Mr. Frank paid off sometimes. If there is any trouble about the amount of our money, we would go to anybody that was in the office. Mr. Frank was not paying off that day.

Pencil factory employee Wade Campbell was then sworn and told of his interactions on the day of the murder. The defense hoped he could cast doubt on the blood spot evidence and Frank’s interactions with Conley, but note well his testimony about how cheerful and playful Frank was before noon:

WADE CAMPBELL, sworn for the Defendant.

I have been working for the pencil factory for about a year and a half. I had a conversation with my sister, Mrs. Arthur White, on Monday, April 28th. She told me that she had seen a negro sitting at the elevator shaft when she went in the factory at twelve o’clock on Saturday and that she came out at 12:30, she heard low voices, but couldn’t see anybody. On April 26th, I got to the factory about 9:30. Mr. Frank was in his outer office. He was laughing and joking with people there, and joked with me. He thought I wanted to borrow some money. I stayed about five or ten minutes and left the factory. That was about 9:40. I have never seen Mr. Frank talk to Mary Phagan. On Tuesday after the murder I went up on the fourth floor with Mr. Frank. I did not see the negro Conley talk to him at all that time.


My sister said she saw the negro when she went in the factory. When she heard the voices coming out, she was coming down the steps from the second floor. I saw the spots where they claim was blood, close to the girls’ dressing room on second floor. I couldn’t say whether it was blood or not. I deny that I ever said that my sister said she saw the negro on the box when she came out of the factory. He was sitting on a box between the elevator shaft and the staircase. That looks like my signature. I don’t know whether it is or not. Yes, I corrected certain statements in that paper.


I went to Mr. Dorsey’s office because he subpoenaed me. I thought I had to obey it. Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell and the stenographer were there. All of them asked me questions. I signed a statement about twenty-one pages long. I have seen Jim Conley reading newspapers up on the fourth floor, twice since the murder. It is not unusual to see spots all over the metal room floor.


Conley was sitting by the elevator when he was reading those papers, during working hours. The other time he was reading down at the rear end of the building. It was an extra, but I don’t know what paper it was. I knew that he could write because I had seen him do it several times, with pen and ink. I don’t know whether he was making up his report of boxes, but I have seen him writing. Yes, I have seen spots along the route from the ladies’ closet to the elevator ever since I have been there. They have red varnish and red paint and such things like that that look like blood. I am sure there are spots all around in the metal room, but I won’t say they look like the spots near the ladies’ dressing room.

How jocular and playful Leo Max Frank was in the forenoon of April 26, 1913, apparently a man without a care in the world. Was he possibly even a man with the anticipated pleasure of a sexual tryst in mind? Contrast this with his nervousness and trembling and startling inability to perform everyday tasks when Newt Lee arrived at four in the afternoon — a time when, according to his story, he didn’t have any idea that Mary Phagan was dead and had nothing but a possible rain shower to worry about.

Factory employee Lemmie Quinn testified that he had been to the factory and glimpsed Frank in his office about 12:20, though he hadn’t mentioned that visit to anyone until days had passed — and even Frank failed to mention it until Quinn came forward. Quinn admitted that he had told Frank he “didn’t want to be brought into it,” but that he would mention the visit “if it would help.” He also confirmed the time of Miss Hall’s and Mrs. Freeman’s visit to the factory, but only indirectly, saying that he saw them in a nearby eatery, The Busy Bee, at around 12:30. He also claimed that “we have blood spots quite frequently” in the Metal Room.

Harry Denham, who was working on the fourth floor of the pencil factory the day of the killing, said that he saw Leo Frank around three and he did not appear especially anxious or nervous. If Jim Conley’s account is accurate, this would have been a time when Frank still might have been expecting Conley to return to “finish the job” — that is, burn the body. An hour later, when Newt Lee arrived, Frank would probably have realized that Conley had skipped out.
The 12 jurors listened attentively as the witnesses testified

These 12 jurors listened attentively as the witnesses testified

Minola McKnight, the Frank’s African-American cook, had earlier signed a statement saying that she had overheard a conversation between Frank and his wife in which Frank admitted to killing a girl earlier that day. Her statement was brought to the attention of the police by her husband. But she later denied her former statement, said her husband was lying, and that she had only signed the statement (even though her lawyer was present) because of a fear of jail and the detective’s “third degree” methods. Amid allegations that Mrs. Frank had suddenly started to give her money, both she and her husband stuck to their respective stories. If Minola McKnight was telling the truth the second time around and not the first, the Atlanta police were engaged in the crudest kind of abuse and subornation of perjury. Here is her testimony — the reader may assign whatever credibility he thinks it deserves:

MINOLA McKNIGHT (c[olored]), sworn for the Defendant.

I work for Mrs. Selig. I cook for her. Mr. and Mrs. Frank live with Mr. and Mrs. Selig. His wife is Mrs. Selig’s daughter. I cooked breakfast for the family on April 26th. Mr. Frank finished breakfast a little after seven o’clock. Mr. Frank came to dinner about 20 minutes after one that day. That was not the dinner hour, but Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Selig were going off on the two o’clock car. They were already eating when Mr. Frank came in. My husband, Albert McKnight, wasn’t in the kitchen that day between one and two o’clock at all. Standing in the kitchen door you can not see the mirror in the dining room. If you move up to the north end of the kitchen where you can see the mirror, you can’t see the dining room table. My husband wasn’t there all that day.

Mr. Frank left that day sometime after two o’clock. I next saw him at half past six at supper. I left about eight o’clock. Mr. Frank was still at home when I left. He took supper with the rest of the family. After this happened the detectives came out and arrested me and took me to Mr. Dorsey’s office, where Mr. Dorsey, my husband and another man were there. I was working at the Selig’s when they come and got me. They tried to get me to say that Mr. Frank would not allow his wife to sleep that night and that he told her to get up and get his gun and let him kill himself, and that he made her get out of bed. They had my husband there to bulldoze me, claiming that I had told him that. I had never told him anything of the kind. I told them right there in Mr. Dorsey’s office that it was a lie. Then they carried me down to the station house in the patrol wagon. They came to me for another statement about half past eleven or twelve o’clock that night and made me sign something before they turned me loose, but it wasn’t true. I signed it to get out of jail, because they said they would not let me out. It was all written out for me before they made me sign it.


I signed that statement (State’s Exhibit ” J “), but I didn’t tell you some of the things you got in there. I didn’t say he left home about three o’clock. I said somewhere about two. I did not say he was not there at one o’clock. Mr. Graves and Mr. Pickett, of Beck & Gregg Hardware Co., came down to see me. A detective took me to your (Mr. Dorsey’s) office. My husband was there and told me that I had told him certain things. Yes, I denied it. Yes, I wept and cried and stuck to it. When they first brought me out of jail, they said they did not want anything else but the truth, then they said I had to tell a lot of lies and I told them I would not do it. That man sitting right there (pointing to Mr. Campbell) and a whole lot of men wanted me to tell lies. They wanted me to witness to what my husband was saying. My husband tried to get me to tell lies. They made me sign that statement, but it was a lie. If Mr. Frank didn’t eat any dinner that day I ain’t sitting in this chair. Mrs. Selig never gave me no money. The statement that I signed is not the truth. They told me if I didn’t sign it they were going to keep me locked up. That man there (indicating) and that man made me sign it. Mr. Graves and Mr. Pickett made me sign it. They did not give me any more money after this thing happened. One week I was paid two weeks’ wages.


None of the things in that statement is true. It’s all a lie. My wages never have been raised since this thing happened. They did not tell me to keep quiet. They always told me to tell the truth and it couldn’t hurt.

Mr. and Mrs. Selig, Frank’s in-laws. testified that Frank had acted normally on the day of the murder and the next day. A number of other witnesses, many of them Jewish, testified that they had seen Frank going to or coming back from lunch on April 26, a few adding that they saw no signs of nervousness as he made his way via the streetcar system.

Several workers at the factory, testifying for the defense, said they’d never seen Leo Frank talking to Mary Phagan, that they’d never seen him with women in his office after hours, and that Conley’s reputation for veracity was bad. One of them, Iora Small, went further, volunteering for the benefit of the all-white jury that “I don’t know of any nigger on earth that I would believe on oath.” Miss Small, on cross-examination, stated that she and several of her co-workers had seen blood spots in the metal room the following Monday, near where the samples had been chipped up, “two or three spots, some the size of a nickle and some the size of a quarter.”

Several of Frank’s friends and family members said they dined or talked with Leo Frank the afternoon and evening the day after the murder, and that Frank hadn’t displayed any unusual nervousness then.

Frank’s lawyers showed audacity by bringing to the stand W.D. McWorth, the (later dismissed) Pinkerton man who had “discovered” what was insinuated to be a fragment of Mary Phagan’s pay envelope (showing the initials “M.P.”) and a “bloody club” on the first floor where Conley said he’d been stationed. The only hitch in this tale was that these “finds” were made almost three weeks after police and other Pinkerton agents had made a thorough search of the entire building.

The defense then brought numerous physicians to the stand who cast doubt on the time element of the case by claiming that Dr. Henry F. Harris’s autopsy analysis of the contents of Mary Phagan’s stomach was flawed, since it was difficult to gauge the degree of digestion of cabbage. Harris had said that Mary Phagan had met her death around 12:05 — about the same time Mary Phagan had come to collect her pay from Leo Frank and that Monteen Stover had found Leo Frank’s office — on the same floor as the Metal Room — utterly empty. But the jurors knew there was more than just cabbage in Mary Phagan’s last meal, and there was no trace of a living Mary anywhere in any witness’s testimony after her visit with Frank.

A number of friends and acquaintances of Frank were brought in to testify to Frank’s general good character. (Many consider this to be a tactical error on the defense’s part, since it opened the door for the prosecution to address Frank’s character — and several prosecution witnesses testified that Frank had made inappropriate sexual advances to girls and young women — an opportunity the prosecution would not otherwise have had. And the defense also chose not to cross-examine any of the young women who so testified, leaving an impression with the jurors that they dared not do so.)

One of the character witnesses for the defense had a surprise in store:

MISS IRENE JACKSON, sworn for the Defendant.

I worked at the pencil factory for three years. So far as I know Mr. Frank’s character was very well. I don’t know anything about him. He never said anything to me. I have never met Mr. Frank at any time for any immoral purpose.
Irene Jackson: a witness for Frank, her testimony under crosss-examination was very surprising to the defense.

Irene Jackson: a witness for Frank, her testimony under cross-examination was very surprising to the defense.


I am the daughter of County Policeman Jackson. I never heard the girls say anything about him, except that they seemed to be afraid of him. They never would notice him at all. They would go to work when they saw him coming.

Miss Emily Mayfield and I were undressing in the dressing room once when Mr. Frank came to the door. He looked, turned around and walked out. He just came to the door and pushed it open. He smiled or made some kind of face. Miss Mayfield had her top dress off and had her old dress in her hand to put it on.

I told Mr. Darley I would not quit unless my father made me, and he said if the girls would stick to Frank they won’t lose anything.

I heard some remarks two or three times about Mr. Frank going to the dressing room on different occasions, but I don’t remember anything about it. The second time I heard of his going to the dressing room was when my sister was laying down there. She had her feet on a stool. She was dressed. I was in there at the time. He just walked in, and turned and walked out. Mr. Frank walked in the dressing room on Miss Mamie Kitchens, when I was in there. He never said anything the three times he walked in when I was there. The dressing room has a mirror and a few lockers for the foreladies. That’s the only thing that I have ever seen Mr. Frank do, go in the dressing room and stare at the girls. I have heard them speak of other times when I was not there.


My father made me quit, after the murder. There are two windows in the dressing room opening on Forsyth Street. I think there had been some complaints of the girls flirting through the windows. I have heard of some of the girls flirting through the windows. The orders were against the girls flirting through the windows. Mr. Frank never came into the room at all, he pushed the door open and just looked. My sister and I were both dressed when Mr. Frank looked in the door. The other time he came in I was fixing to put on my street dress. I was not undressed.


I don’t know if Mr. Frank knew the girls were in there before he opened the door or not. It was the usual hour for them to be in there. He could have seen the girls register from the outer office, but not from the inner office. I have never heard any talk about Mr. Frank going around putting his hands on girls. I have never heard of his going out with any of the girls. My sister quit at the factory before Christmas. I have never flirted with anybody out of the window. I have heard them say that they didn’t want the girls to flirt around the factory. I have heard Mr. Frank say that to Miss McClellan, after she told him that she knew of some of the girls flirting.

Miss Jackson’s story lent credence, though not full corroboration, to the stories of Frank being very forward with the girls who worked under him. What ordinary male factory manager would fling open the door of a women’s dressing room, well knowing that it was, or might be, occupied?


The most long-awaited moment of the entire trial had now arrived. On August 18, 1913 at 2:14 PM, the accused, Leo Max Frank, mounted the stand to speak to the jury in his own defense. And what a strange, amazing speech it was.
Leo Frank, lower right, Vice President of the H. Morse Stephens Debate Club

Leo Frank, lower right, Vice President in 1906 of the H. Morse Stephens Debate Club (click for high resolution)

Under Georgia law, the defendant has a choice: he may remain silent, he may testify under oath in the customary way and be cross-examined by opposing counsel, or he may make an unsworn statement about which he may not be cross-examined. Amazingly, Leo Frank chose the last of these options. Here was Frank, proclaiming his innocence — Leo Frank, a skilled debater who had been a member of an Ivy League debate team — Leo Frank, with some of the best and toughest legal minds in the state on his side — here was this same Leo Frank quailing before a county prosecutor, refusing to be sworn, and refusing to be cross-examined. It gave the definite appearance of a man who dared not be cross-examined. Despite the near-certainty that such a choice would be a black mark in the eyes of the jury, Frank made that choice — and his platinum-plated legal team either agreed or acquiesced in his decision.
Leo Frank addresses the court

Leo Frank addresses the court

Weeks in preparation, Leo Frank’s unsworn speech was a mind-numbing nearly four hours long — and an astounding three of those four hours were devoted to recounting the minutiae of his office work on the day of the murder, mainly his financial entries and accounting book calculations, in excruciating detail. Frank even presented the original pages of the accounting book to the jury.

All this was Frank’s way of telling the jury that he simply hadn’t any time to spare that Saturday to ravish any 13-year-olds, or kill them, or cover up the crime. But how credible is that? At a little after noon, when Leo Frank was the last known person to have seen Mary Phagan alive, he had had three and a half hours to do his office work.
Leo M. Frank tells his own story, pictures from the Atlanta Georgian: The claim that "the accused man urged his lawyers to let the Solicitor and his aides cross-question him freely" is disingenuous theatre, though -- Frank could have accomplished that easily by making a sworn statement. Dorsey was not permitted by law to cross examine him on the unsworn statement he did make.

Leo M. Frank tells his own story, pictures from the Atlanta Georgian: The claim that “the accused man urged his lawyers to let the Solicitor and his aides cross-question him freely” is disingenuous theatre, though — Frank could have accomplished that easily by making a sworn statement. Dorsey was not permitted by law to cross examine him on the unsworn statement he did make. Amazingly, when the Georgian and Constitution published Frank’s statement on August 19, they completely omitted his admission that he may have used the toilet shortly after noon on the day of the murder. (click for high resolution)

Both defense and prosecution agree that — guilty or innocent, whatever he may have done between noon and 1PM — he came back after lunch that day and had another three hours, from roughly 3PM to 6PM, to do whatever work needed to be done. Was his prolonged monologue supposed to convince his listeners that six and a half hours would not suffice for his calculations and that he definitely needed the noon hour too? If that were true, why had he originally planned to leave two entire hours early, at 4PM, to see a holiday baseball game with his brother-in-law? Wouldn’t that have made his accounting work impossible, too? And, if Leo Frank can do his accounting and other work in an average time of seven or eight hours, is it beyond belief that he could, if necessary, work 15% faster and give himself an hour or more to spare? In fact, who would ever know if he had just made up any missed work a day or two later?

Eventually, Frank would address issues more germane to the case in his statement:

Miss Hall left my office on her way home at this time, and to the best of my information there were in the building Arthur White and Harry Denham and Arthur White’s wife on the top floor. To the best of my knowledge, it must have been from ten to fifteen minutes after Miss Hall left my office, when this little girl, whom I afterwards found to be Mary Phagan, entered my office and asked for her pay envelope. I asked for her number and she told me; I went to the cash box and took her envelope out and handed it to her, identifying the envelope by the number.

Again, Frank is here sticking to his story about not knowing Mary Phagan by name. It would have been more believable if he had at long last admitted that fear of being accused of murder and worse had frightened him into a lie. It might have given the jury the impression of a man in difficult circumstances finally coming clean.
Leo Frank, far left, with classmates at Cornell University

Leo Frank, far left, with classmates at Cornell University

The assertion that Frank never knew Mary Phagan’s name approaches the preposterous. Frank controlled the payroll and entered the amounts in his accounting books every week. We know that he wrote, in his own hand, Mary Phagan’s initials “M.P.” next to her employee number and pay amount in these books every week for the full 52 weeks of Mary Phagan’s employment at the National Pencil Company. How would he know her initials if he did not know her name?
Mary Phagan: Is it credible that Leo Frank could enter her initials in the books more than 52 times, and pass within 18 or 20 inches of her nearly a thousand times over the course of a year, and not know her name at all -- or even her face with certainty?

Mary Phagan: Is it credible that Leo Frank could enter her initials in the company books some 52 times, and pass within 18 or 20 inches of her nearly a thousand times over the course of a year, and not know her name at all — or even her face with certainty?

We know from the blueprints of the factory that the only bathroom on the second floor, where Frank’s office was located, was the Metal Room bathroom. Mary Phagan worked in the Metal Room. To get to this bathroom, Frank, a regular coffee drinker, had to pass right by Mary Phagan’s work station. The employees worked 11-hour days, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. That’s at least 2,860 hours during the slightly over one year that little Mary had worked for Frank. Even if he only used the bathroom once in every three hours, that’s over 953 times that Leo Frank would have walked right by Mary Phagan. And, considering the testimony of other girls and young women who worked there that he did speak to them on occasion — it seems wildly unlikely that he would know none of them by name. And if he knew any of them by name, it stands to good reason that one that he knew would be Mary Phagan, who worked near his office and not more than three feet — closer than any other employee — from the door to the bathroom that he used multiple times, practically brushing up against her, every day. (One wishes that prosecutor Dorsey had asked every second-floor employee if Leo M. Frank knew him or her by name. Frank, in his statement, does make mention of quite a few female employees by name, and, early in the investigation, he suggested that J.M. Gantt was friendly with Mary — a thing he was hardly likely to know if he didn’t have some acquaintance with her.)

Frank continued his unsworn statement:

She [Mary Phagan — Ed.] left my office and apparently had gotten as far as the door from my office leading to the outer office, when she evidently stopped and asked me if the metal had arrived, and I told her no. She continued on her way out, and I heard the sound of her footsteps as she went away. It was a few moments after she asked me this question that I had an impression of a female voice saying something; I don’t know which way it came from; just passed away and I had that impression.

This was different from what Frank had said shortly after the murder story broke. Then he had said that he heard Mary talking to another girl — a girl who has never turned up, probably because she didn’t exist. Frank had said: “She went out through the outer office and I heard her talking with another girl.” Every person known to be in the vicinity was extensively investigated and interviewed, and no girl was discovered who spoke to Mary Phagan or met her at that time. Monteen Stover, who thought highly of Frank and had no reason to hurt him, was the only other girl there, and she testified that she saw only an empty office — no Mary Phagan, no Leo Frank.

Frank’s unsworn statement continues:

This little girl had evidently worked in the metal department by her question and had been laid off owing to the fact that some metal that had been ordered had not arrived at the factory; hence, her question. I only recognized this little girl from having seen her around the plant and did not know her name, simply identifying her envelope from her having called her number to me.

Leo Frank actually had the gall to say that Mary Phagan “had evidently worked in the metal department by her question,” implying that not only did he not know the dead girl by name, but did not know her by sight either, at least not enough to know she worked in the metal department, something he only inferred from her question! This is so beyond the bounds of probability that it can hardly be believed, and casts serious doubt on everything Leo Frank said about this case. It’s enough by itself to make one think that Leo Frank is hiding something, something very dark, about his relationship with this girl.
Leo Frank told a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution (published August 20,1913) that he had prepared his statement two weeks ahead of time, with his wife as stenographer, and that his attorneys had not seen it.

Leo Frank told a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution (published August 20,1913) that he had prepared his statement two weeks ahead of time, with his wife as stenographer, and that his attorneys had not seen it.

In his unsworn statement above, Frank says that when Mary started to leave his office, “she evidently stopped and asked me if the metal had arrived, and I told her no.” [Emphasis mine.]

It was a matter of controversy whether Frank had actually answered “no” or had instead said “I don’t know” — detectives claimed that Frank had admitted to answering “I don’t know” when he was first questioned. If it was indeed “I don’t know,” it might have been an opening for Frank to have invited Mary Phagan to “go and check” and accompany him to the Metal Room to “see if the metal had arrived.” And the Metal Room was precisely where the prosecution, the police — and even the investigators hired by the pencil company — contended the murder had taken place.

And then Leo Frank made the most startling admission of all — possibly, short of a detailed and abject confession, the most startling admission he could possibly make:

Now, gentlemen, to the best of my recollection from the time the whistle blew for twelve o’clock until after a quarter to one when I went up stairs and spoke to Arthur White and Harry Denham, to the best of my recollection, I did not stir out of the inner office; but it is possible that in order to answer a call of nature or to urinate I may have gone to the toilet. Those are things that a man does unconsciously and cannot tell how many times nor when he does it. Now, sitting in my office at my desk, it is impossible for me to see out into the outer hall when the safe door is open, as it was that morning, and not only is it impossible for me to see out, but it is impossible for people to see in and see me there.

Frank was evidently hoping to blunt the effect of Monteen Stover’s testimony, explaining why she may have found his office empty from 12:05 to 12:10 by saying perhaps he’d gone to use the toilet, or been hidden behind the safe door, when she came in. The “safe door” argument was a weak one, as a young lady earnestly seeking her pay was likely to simply glance around its open door — even if Frank had been precisely positioned behind it. So — after months of denying he’d left his office at all between 12 and 12:45 — he stated that he might have have left it to “unconsciously” visit the bathroom.
The accused, Leo M. Frank

The accused, Leo M. Frank

And what bathroom would he have used? The only bathroom on the second floor — where Frank’s office was located — was the Metal Room bathroom. Frank was suggesting that he may have been using the bathroom — the Metal Room bathroom! — when Monteen Stover found his office empty, at the precise time when the evidence indicates Mary Phagan was being murdered in that very location. This was also astounding because a few weeks earlier Leo Frank had emphatically told the coroner’s jury that on the day of the murder he had not used the bathroom all day long, a statement so insistent and so ridiculous that it made more than a few eyebrows rise at the time. What is it about that bathroom that seems to unnerve Leo Frank, and make him stumble and contradict himself so much?

And now this new admission: Frank was admitting that he might have gone to the Metal Room, where strands of hair that looked like Mary Phagan’s had been found on a lathe handle — hair that hadn’t been there the Friday before — and where a five-inch fan-sized blood stain had been found the following Monday. The stain was clumsily concealed with a layer of white Haskoline powder which had soaked the blood up and turned pink — a condition that certainly wouldn’t have endured for even a single week of factory work and traffic, ruling out the defense’s argument that the stain was very old.

Frank was admitting that he might have used the Metal Room bathroom, exactly where Conley said he found the battered, strangled, and lifeless body of Mary Phagan — where he said he wrapped her body in a sack and prepared to carry it, with Leo Frank’s help, to the basement, dropping it at one point in the passageway, where another blood stain was subsequently found.

He was telling the jurors who were to decide his fate that he may indeed have been at the precise location at the precise time when Mary Phagan had been murdered according to the prosecution’s witnesses. And this after maintaining for months that he had never made such a visit, or in fact left his office for even an instant from 12 to 12:45!

Frank went on to say in his statement that, after he returned home for lunch:

I sat down to my dinner and before I had taken anything, I turned in my chair to the telephone, which is right behind me and called up my brother-in-law to tell him that on account of some work I had to do at the factory, I would be unable to go with him, he having invited me to go with him out to the ball game. I succeeded in getting his residence and his cook answered the phone and told me that Mr. Ursenbach had not come back home. I told her to give him a message for me, that I would be unable to go with him.

So, supposedly, Frank could not attend the ball game “on account of some work I had to do at the factory.” In previous statements Frank had said he’d changed his mind because of impending rain — why the change? And why would meticulous Leo Frank, so knowledgeable of how long his endless financial calculations took him, have planned leaving hours early, at 4PM, unless he knew for sure he’d be done by then? And if he wasn’t able to be done by then, necessitating the cancellation, what unforeseen event had intervened and taken up his time?

Frank went on with his courtroom statement:

Then that other insinuation, an insinuation that is dastardly that it is beyond the appreciation of a human being, that is, that my wife didn’t visit me; now the truth of the matter is this, that on April 29th, the date I was taken in custody at police headquarters, my wife was there to see me, she was downstairs on the first floor; I was up on the top floor. She was there almost in hysterics, having been brought there by her two brothers-in-law, and her father. Rabbi Marx was with me at the time. I consulted with him as to the advisability of allowing my dear wife to come up to the top floor to see me in those surroundings with city detectives, reporters and snapshotters; I thought I would save her that humiliation and that harsh sight, because I expected any day to be turned loose and be returned once more to her side at home. Gentlemen, we did all we could do to restrain her in the first days when I was down at the jail from coming on alone down to the jail, but she was perfectly willing to even be locked up with me and share my incarceration.
Mrs. Leo Frank: Is it conceivable that her 29-year-old husband, surrounded every working day by over 150 young women and teenage girls over which he had absolute authority, was unfaithful?

Mrs. Leo Frank:: Is it conceivable that her 29-year-old husband, surrounded every working day by over 150 young women and teenage girls over which he had absolute authority, was unfaithful?

Mrs. Frank did not visit her husband for 13 days after his arrest — an act that could possibly be explained by her outrage at her husband’s putative infidelity — and Frank’s claim that she had to be “restrained” from actually moving into his cell is too extreme to be credible, especially since no reports are extant of her having attempted to see him again in those first days, to say nothing of taking up residence in his lockup. Remember, Minola McKnight had stated that Leo Frank confessed to killing a girl to his wife the night of the murder — though she later repudiated her statement. Was the box of candy purchased on the way home by Leo Frank that evening an attempt to reassure her of his love despite what he had done? Was her anger so extreme she shunned him for almost two weeks in his hour of need, or did she really have to be forced to stay away just to “save her that humiliation” of seeing him with detectives, reporters, and photographers?

Lucille Selig Frank did eventually become the dutiful wife by the side of her accused husband, and did well in that role. But that didn’t happen immediately.

Upon her death decades later it was discovered that she left explicit instructions — not that she be buried in Queens, New York by her husband’ side — but that she be cremated and her ashes scattered in a public park.
Leo Frank's grave: his wife left instructions that she was not to be buried beside him

Leo Frank’s grave: his wife left instructions that she was not to be buried beside him

Frank continued his statement:

Gentlemen, I know nothing whatever of the death of little Mary Phagan. I had no part in causing her death nor do I know how she came to her death after she took her money and left my office. I never even saw Conley in the factory or anywhere else on that date, April 26, 1913. The statement of the witness Dalton is utterly false as far as coming to my office and being introduced to me by the woman Daisy Hopkins is concerned. If Dalton was ever in the factory building with any woman, I didn’t know it. I never saw Dalton in my life to know him until this crime.

Leo Frank, debate coach at Cornell

One amazing fact that this reporter has uncovered is that the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Georgian (the Georgian by this time was taking an editorial line favorable to Frank) completely omitted Leo Frank’s “unconscious bathroom visit” admission when they printed Frank’s full statement on August 18, 1913 and August 19, 1913. The Atlanta Journal did include the admission, so it seems unlikely that the words “call of nature” or “urinate” were deemed too shocking for a public reading about a brutal strangulation murder.

We’ll continue with the final installment of The Leo Frank Trial next week right here at The American Mercury, when I’ll be examining the claims that anti-Semitism was the motive for Frank’s prosecution and conviction, and much more.

* * *

For further study we recommend the following resources:


Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank

Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913, Brief of Evidence

The American Mercury is following these events of 100 years ago, the month-long trial of Leo M. Frank for the brutal murder of Miss Mary Phagan, in capsule form on a regular basis until August 26, the 100th anniversary of the reading of the verdict. Follow along with us and experience the trial as Atlantans of a century ago did, and come to your own conclusions.

Read also the Mercury’s coverage of Week One of the Leo Frank trial and Week Two and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.

A fearless scholar, dedicated to the truth about this case, has obtained, scanned, and uploaded every single relevant issue of the major Atlanta daily newspapers and they now can be accessed through as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
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Default Leo Frank Trial Week FOUR

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Four

Published by Editor on September 14, 2013

Join The American Mercury as we recount the events of the final week of the trial of Leo Frank (pictured) for the slaying of Mary Phagan.

by Bradford L. Huie

ON THE HEELS of Leo Frank’s astounding unsworn statement to the court, the defense called a number of women who stated that they had never experienced any improper sexual advances on the part of Frank. But the prosecution rebutted that testimony with several rather persuasive female witnesses of its own. These rebuttal witnesses also addressed Frank’s claims that he was so unfamiliar with Mary Phagan that he did not even know her by name. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One, Week Two, and Week Three of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)

Here are the witnesses’ statements, direct from the Brief of Evidence, interspersed with my commentary. The emphasis and paragraphing (for clarity) is mine. The defense recommenced with a large contingent of Frank’s friends, business associates, and employees who would say that Leo Frank was of good character and had not, to their knowledge, made any improper sexual approaches to the girls and women who worked under him:

MISS EMILY MAYFIELD, sworn for the Defendant.

I worked at the pencil factory last year during the summer of 1912. I have never been in the dressing room when Mr. Frank would come in and look at anybody that was undressing.


I work at Jacobs’ Pharmacy. My sister used to work at the pencil factory. I don’t remember any occasion when Mr. Frank came in the dressing room door while Miss Irene Jackson and her sister were there.

MISSES ANNIE OSBORNE, REBECCA CARSON, MAUDE WRIGHT, and MRS. ELLA THOMAS, all sworn for the Defendant, testified that they were employees of the National Pencil Company; that Mr. Frank’s general character was good; that Conley’s general character for truth and veracity was bad and that they would not believe him on oath.
Mrs. B.D. Smith

Mrs. B.D. Smith

MISSES MOLLIE BLAIR, ETHEL STEWART, CORA COWAN, B. D. SMITH, LIZZIE WORD, BESSIE WHITE, GRACE ATHERTON, and MRS. BARNES, all sworn for the Defendant, testified that they were employees of the National Pencil Company, and work on the fourth floor of the factory; that the general character of Leo. M. Frank was good; that they have never gone with him at any time or place for any immoral purpose, and that they have never heard of his doing anything wrong.

Numerous current employees of the National Pencil Company testified that Leo Frank has never made any sexual overtures to them.

Numerous current employees of the National Pencil Company testified that Leo Frank had never made any sexual overtures to them.


MRS. M. W. CARSON, MARY PIRK, MRS. DORA SMALL, MISS JULIA FUSS, R.P. BUTLER, JOE STELKER, all sworn for the Defendant, testified that they were employees of the National Pencil Com- pany; that they knew Leo M. Frank and that his general character is good.

The character issue having been broached by the defense, the door was opened to the prosecution to bring forth witnesses on the same subject:

MISS MYRTIE CATO, MAGGIE GRIFFIN, MRS. C.D. DONEGAN, MRS. H. R. JOHNSON, MISS MARIE CARST, MISS NELLIE PETTIS, MARY DAVIS, MRS. MARY E. WALLACE, ESTELLE WINKLE, CARRIE SMITH, all sworn for the Defendant [sic — This is a typographical error; these witnesses were sworn for the State. — Ed.], testified that they were formerly employed at the National Pencil Company and worked at the factory for a period varying from three days to three and a half years; that Leo M. Frank’s character for lasciviousness was bad.
Misses Myrtice Cato and Maggie Griffin

Misses Myrtice Cato and Maggie Griffin

The defense — ominously — chose not to cross-examine any of these witnesses. This restricted the prosecution to the mere statements that Frank had a “bad character for lasciviousness”: Under the rules of the court, Dorsey could only ask for particulars — could only inquire into why Frank had such a bad character — if the defense opened the door with cross-examination. This the defense refused to do — with any of the ten women who said that Frank was badly lascivious. The jury was thus left with the impression that the defense dared not do so — a point that would be hammered home in the prosecution’s closing statement.

Two of these witnesses had made far more extensive statements at the Coroner’s Inquest, where the rules of evidence permit wider latitude in questioning. As I reported in an earlier article:

Several young women and girls testified at the inquest that Frank had made improper advances toward them, in one instance touching a girl’s breast and in another appearing to offer money for compliance with his desires.

The Atlanta Georgian reported: “Girls and women were called to the stand to testify that they had been employed at the factory or had had occasion to go there, and that Frank had attempted familiarities with them. Nellie Pettis, of 9 Oliver Street, declared that Frank had made improper advances to her.

Miss Nellie Pettis

“She was asked if she had ever been employed at the pencil factory. No, she answered.

“Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I have seen him once or twice.

“Q: When and where did you see him? A: In his office at the factory whenever I went to draw my sister-in-law’s pay.

“Q: What did he say to you that might have been improper on any of these visits? A: He didn’t exactly say — he made gestures. I went to get sister’s pay about four weeks ago and when I went into the office of Mr. Frank I asked for her. He told me I couldn’t see her unless ‘I saw him first.’ I told him I didn’t want to ‘see him.’ He pulled a box from his desk. It had a lot of money in it. He looked at it significantly and then looked at me. When he looked at me, he winked. As he winked he said: ‘How about it?’ I instantly told him I was a nice girl.

“Here the witness stopped her statement. Coroner Donehoo asked her sharply: ‘Didn’t you say anything else?’ ‘Yes, I did! I told him to go to h–l! and walked out of his office.’” (Atlanta Georgian, May 9, 1913, “Phagan Case to be Rushed to Grand Jury by Dorsey”)

If true, this was shocking behavior on Frank’s part. Not only was he importuning a young woman for illicit relations in exchange for money, but it was a woman he’d only seen once or twice. If he would act in such a way with an absolute stranger, what wouldn’t he do? In the same article, another young girl testified to Frank’s pattern of improper familiarities:

“Nellie Wood, a young girl, testified as follows:

“Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I worked for him two days.

“Q: Did you observe any misconduct on his part?

“A: Well, his actions didn’t suit me. He’d come around and put his hands on me when such conduct was entirely uncalled for.

“Q: Is that all he did? A: No. He asked me one day to come into his office, saying that he wanted to talk to me. He tried to close the door but I wouldn’t let him. He got too familiar by getting so close to me. He also put his hands on me.

“Q: Where did he put his hands? He barely touched my breast. He was subtle in his approaches, and tried to pretend that he was joking. But I was too wary for such as that.

“Q: Did he try further familiarities? A: Yes.”

The trial testimony continued:

MISS MAMIE KITCHENS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I have worked at the National Pencil Company two years. I am on the fourth floor. I have not been called by the defense. Miss Jones and Miss Howard have also not been called by the defense to testify. I was in the dressing room with Miss Irene Jackson when she was undressed. Mr. Frank opened the door, stuck his head inside. He did not knock. He just stood there and laughed. Miss Jackson said, “Well, we are dressing, blame it,” and then he shut the door.


Yes, he asked us if we didn’t have any work to do. It was during business hours. We didn’t have any work to do. We were going to leave. I have never met Mr. Frank anywhere, or any time for any immoral purposes.

MISS RUTH ROBINSON, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I have seen Leo M. Frank talking to Mary Phagan. He was talking to her about her work, not very often. He would just tell her, while she was at work, about her work. He would stand just close enough to her to tell her about her work. He would show her how to put rubbers in the pencils. He would just take up the pencil and show her how to do it. That’s all I saw him do. I heard him speak to her; he called her Mary. That was last summer.

MISS DEWEY HEWELL, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I stay in the Home of the Good Shepherd in Cincinnati. I worked at the pencil factory four months. I quit in March, 1913. I have seen Mr. Frank talk to Mary Phagan two or three times a day in the metal department. I have seen him hold his hand on her shoulder. He called her Mary. He would stand pretty close to her. He would lean over in her face.


All the rest of the girls were there when he talked to her. I don’t know what he was talking to her about.

MISS REBECCA CARSON, re-called by the State in rebuttal.

I have never gone into the dressing room on the fourth floor with Leo M. Frank.

MISS MYRTICE CATO, MISS MAGGIE GRIFFIN, both sworn for the State, testified that they had seen Miss Rebecca Carson go into the ladies’ dressing room on the fourth floor with Leo M. Frank two or three times during working hours; that there were other ladies working on the fourth floor at the time this happened.
Myrtice Cato and Marie Carst

Myrtice Cato and Marie Carst

J. E. DUFFY, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I worked at the National Pencil Company. I was hurt there in the metal department. I was cut on my forefingers on the left hand. That is the cut right around there (indicating). It never cut off any of my fingers. I went to the office to have it dressed. It was bleeding pretty freely. A few drops of blood dropped on the floor at the machine where I was hurt. The blood did not drop anywhere else except at that machine. None of it dropped near the ladies’ dressing room, or the water cooler. I had a large piece of cotton wrapped around my finger. When I was first cut I just slapped a piece of cotton waste on my hand.


I never saw any blood anywhere except at the machine. I went from the office to the Atlanta Hospital to have my finger attended to.

W. E. TURNER, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I worked at the National Pencil Company during March of this year. I saw Leo Frank talking to Mary Phagan on the second floor, about the middle of March. It was just before dinner. There was nobody else in the room then. She was going to work and he stopped to talk to her. She told him she had to go to work. He told her that he was the superintendent of the factory, and that he wanted to talk to her, and she said she had to go to work. She backed off and he went on towards her talking to her. The last thing I heard him say was he wanted to talk to her. That is all I saw or heard.


That was just before dinner. The girls were up there getting ready for dinner. Mary was going in the direction where she worked, and Mr. Frank was going the other way. I don’t know whether any of the girls were still at work or not. I didn’t look for them. Some of the girls came in there while this was going on and told me where to put the pencils. Lemmie Quinn’s office is right there. I don’t know whether the girls saw him talking to Mary or not, they were in there. It was just before the whistle blew at noon. Mr. Frank told her he wanted to speak to her and she said she had to go to work, and the girls came in there while this conversation was going on. I can’t describe Mary Phagan. I don’t know any of the other little girls in there. I don’t remember who called her Mary Phagan, a young man on the fourth floor told me her name was Mary Phagan. I don’t know who he was. I didn’t know anybody in the factory. I can’t describe any of the girls. I don’t know a single one in the factory.

The defense had made an impression with their parade of young female pencil factory workers who not only had never been on the receiving end of any importunities by Leo Frank, but who had never seen Frank speaking to Mary Phagan. Almost all of these were still employed by the firm, which was supporting Frank — and had motive to protect their source of income, of course. But, financial motives aside, it still would be quite surprising for even the most lecherous boss imaginable, in charge of dozens and dozens of young women and girls, to have attempted to seduce every single one! So finding a large number who had never been approached sexually by Frank could hardly be seen as definitive proof that he had never done so. Nor would it seem likely, assuming that Leo Frank had talked to Mary Phagan on a number of occasions, that every single employee, or even a majority of them, would have seen such conversations. So finding quite a number who had never witnessed such conversations meant little.

But finding some who had witnessed questionable forays by Frank into the ladies’ dressing room — and who had been sexually approached by Frank or witnessed his approaches to others — and who had seen Frank talk to Mary Phagan, addressing her by name — was enough to almost entirely destroy the character edifice built up by the defense of a Leo Frank who didn’t know Mary Phagan and whose behavior toward his female employees was above reproach. Most damaging of all was what it did to Leo Frank’s reputation for truthfulness.

After a motorman named Merk testified that defense witness Daisy Hopkins had a reputation as a liar, George Gordon, Minola McKnight’s attorney, testified as to the events of the night that Minola McKnight made her sensational affidavit claiming that Leo Frank had admitted to his wife that he wanted to die because he had killed a girl that day. McKnight, who worked for the Franks as a cook, had since repudiated the affidavit and was claiming it was obtained from her by force.

GEORGE GORDON, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a practicing lawyer. I was at police station part of the time when Minola McKnight was making her statement. I was outside of the door most of the time. I went down there with habeas corpus proceedings to have her sign the affidavit and when I got there the detectives informed me that she was in the room, and I sat down and waited outside for her two hours, and people went in and out of the door, and after I had waited there I saw the stenographer of the recorder’s court going into the room and I decided I had better make a demand to go into the room, which I did, and I was then allowed to go into the room and I found Mr. Febuary reading over to her some stenographic statement he had taken.

There were two other men from Beck & Gregg Hardware store and Pat Campbell and Mr. Starnes and Albert McKnight. After that was read Mr. Febuary went out to write it off on the typewriter and while he was out Mr. Starnes said, “Now this must be kept very quiet and nobody be told anything about this.” I thought it was agreed that we would say nothing about it. I was surprised when I saw it in the newspapers two or three days afterwards.

I said to Starnes: “There is no reason why you should hold this woman, you should let her go.” He said he would do nothing without consulting Mr. Dorsey and he suggested that I had better go to Mr. Dorsey’s office. I went to his office and he called up Mr. Starnes and then I went back to the police station and told Starnes to call Mr. Dorsey and I presume that Mr. Dorsey told him to let her go. Anyway he said she could go. You (Mr. Dorsey) said you would let her go also. That morning you had said you would not unless I took out a habeas corpus. In the morning after Chief Beavers told me he would not let her go on bond and unless you (Mr. Dorsey) would let her go, I went to your office and told you that she was being held illegally and you admitted it to me and I said we would give bond in any sum that you might ask. You said you would not let her go because you would get in bad with the detectives, and you advised me to take out a habeas corpus, which I did. The detectives said they couldn’t let her got without your consent. You said you didn’t have anything to do with locking her up.
The fragile remains of Albert McKnight's 1913 affidavit. It ends "“I can tell Mr. Frank has done something as they act strange. Mrs. Frank tells Magnolia [ = Minola] every day not to forget what to say if they come for her to go to court again. Mrs. Frank had a quarrel with Mr. Frank on the morning of the murder. She asked Mr. Frank to kiss her but then he said he was saving his kisses for ____ and would not kiss her. Magnolia said she heard Mrs. Frank say she would never live with him again, for she knew he had killed that girl, and they had the right man and ought to break his neck.” Signed : Albert McKnight & witnessed by R.L. Craven & A. Morrison"

The fragile remains of Albert McKnight’s 1913 affidavit. It ends “‘I can tell Mr. Frank has done something as they act strange. Mrs. Frank tells Magnolia [ = Minola] every day not to forget what to say if they come for her to go to court again. Mrs. Frank had a quarrel with Mr. Frank on the morning of the murder. She asked Mr. Frank to kiss her but then she said he was saving his kisses for ____ and would not kiss her. Magnolia said she heard Mrs. Frank say she would never live with him again, for she knew he had killed that girl, and they had the right man and ought to break his neck.’ Signed: Albert McKnight & witnessed by R.L. Craven & A. Morrison”

As to whether Minola McKnight did not sign this paper freely and voluntarily (State’s Exhibit J), it was signed in my absence while I was at [the] police station. When I came back this paper was lying on the table signed. That paper is substantially the notes that Mr. Febuary read over to her. As they read it over to her, she said it was about that way.
Minola McKnight's affidavit

Minola McKnight’s affidavit

Yes, you agreed with me that you had no right to lock her up. I don’t know that you said you didn’t do it. I don’t remember that we discussed that. You told me that you would not direct her to be let loose, because you would get in bad with the detectives. I had told you that the detectives told me they would not release her unless you said so. I took out a habeas corpus immediately afterwards and went down there to get her released, and she was released.


I heard that they had had her in Mr. Dorsey ‘s office and she went away screaming and was locked up. I knew that Mr. Dorsey was letting this be done. She was locked in a cell at the police station when I saw her. They admitted that they did not have any warrant for her arrest. Beavers said he would not let her out on bond unless Mr. Dorsey said so. He said the charge against her was suspicion. They put her in a cell and kept her until four o’clock the next day before they let her go. When I went down to see her in the cell, she was crying and going on and almost hysterical. When I asked Mr. Dorsey to let her go out on bond, he said he wouldn’t do it because he would get in bad with the detectives, but that if I would let her stay down there with Starnes and Campbell for a day, he would let her loose without any bond, and I said I wouldn’t do it. I said that I considered it a very reprehensible thing to lock up somebody because they knew something, and he said, “Well, it is sometimes necessary to get information,” and I said, “Certainly our liberty is more necessary than any information, and I consider it a trampling on our Anglo-Saxon liberties.” They did not tell me that they already had a statement that she had made, and which she declared to be the truth.


You (Mr. Dorsey) did not tell me that you had no right to lock anybody up. I told you that, and you agreed to it, but you would not let her go. I told you that Chief Beavers said he would do what you said and then I asked you to give me an order. You said you wouldn’t give me an order. When I told Starnes that I thought I ought to be in that room while Minola was making the statement, he knocked on the door, and it was unlocked on the inside and they let me in. They let me into the room at once after I had been sitting there two hours. I was present when she made the statement about the payment of the cook. I don’t remember what questions I asked her at that time. I was her attorney. I didn’t go down there to examine her; I went there to get her out. Starnes and Campbell were in and out of the room during the time. Mr. Starnes stayed on the outside of the door part of the time. I don’t know who was in the room and who was not while I was outside.

Next on the stand was Albert McKnight, Minola’s husband, whose testimony about the lunch hour at the Franks on the day of the murder had been attacked by the defense. Frank’s lawyers had used a diagram of the household to show that he could not have seen what he claimed to have seen. McKnight testified that the diagram was inaccurate and did not show the furniture in its true positions on April 26.

Following Albert McKnight were his employers, who also shed some light on Minola’s statement. They had been present while she was being held, and had even gotten her to make statements to them while detectives were not present. These statements were consistent with her affidavit, and not consistent with her later denial of it:

R. L. CRAVEN, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am connected with the Beck and Gregg Hardware Co. Albert McKnight also works for the same company. He asked me to go down and see if I could get Minola McKnight out when she was arrested. I went there for that purpose. I was present when she signed that affidavit (State’s Exhibit J).

I went out with Mr. Pickett to Minola McKnight ‘s home the latter part of May. Albert McKnight was there. On the 3rd day of June, we were down at the station house and they brought Minola McKnight in and we questioned her first as to the statements Albert had given me; at first she would not talk, she said she didn’t know anything about it.

I told her that Albert made the statement that he was there Saturday when Mr. Frank came home, and he said Mr. Frank came in the dining room and stayed about ten minutes and went to the sideboard and caught a car in about ten minutes after he first arrived there, and I went on and told her that Albert had said that Minola had overheard Mrs. Frank tell Mrs. Selig that Mr. Frank didn’t rest well and he came home drinking and made Mrs. Frank get out of bed and sleep on a rug by the side of the bed and wanted her to give him his pistol to shoot his head off and that he had murdered somebody, or something like that. Minola at first hesitated, but finally she told everything that was in that affidavit. When she did that Mr. Starnes, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Febuary, Albert McKnight, Mr. Pickett, and Mr. Gordon were there. When we were questioning her, I don’t remember whether anybody but Mr. Pickett and myself and Albert McKnight were there.


We went down there about 11:30 o’clock. I didn’t know that she had been in jail twelve hours then. I suppose she was in jail because they needed her as a witness. I was in Mr. Dorsey’s office only one time about this matter, the same morning I started out to see if I could get her and I went to see Mr. Dorsey about getting her out. Her husband wanted her out of jail and I went to see Mr. Dorsey about getting her out.

At first she denied it. I questioned her for something like two hours. I didn’t know she had already made a statement about the truth of the transaction. Mr. Dorsey didn’t read it to me. He said she was hysterical and wouldn’t talk at all. I went down to get her to make some kind of a statement; I wanted her to tell the truth in the matter. I wanted to see whether her husband was telling the truth or whether she was telling a falsehood.

Yes, she finally made a statement that agreed with her husband, and I left after awhile.

As to why I didn’t stay and get her out, because I didn’t want to. I went after we got her statement. No, I didn’t get her out of jail. I did not look after her any further than that. I don’t think Mr. Dorsey told me to question her. He wanted me to go out to see her. He said Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell would be up there and they would let us know about it, and we went up there and Mr. Starnes and Mr. Campbell brought her in. They let us see her all right. I did not ask Campbell or Starnes to turn her out. I didn’t ask anybody to turn her out. I never made any suggestion to anybody about turning her out. Nobody cursed, mistreated or threatened this woman while I was there. I don’t know what took place before I got there.

E. H. PICKETT, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I work at Beck & Gregg Hdw. Co. I was present when that paper was signed (State’s Exhibit J) by Minola McKnight. Albert McKnight, Starnes, Campbell, Mr. Craven, Mr. Gordon was present when she made that statement.

We questioned her about the statement Albert had made and she denied it all at first. She said she had been cautioned not to talk about this affair by Mrs. Frank or Mrs. Selig. She stated that Albert had lied in what he told us. She finally began to weaken on one or two points and admitted that she had been paid a little more money than was ordinarily due her.

There was a good many things in that statement that she did not tell us, though, at first. She didn’t tell us all of that when she went at it. She seemed hysterical at the beginning. We told her that we weren’t there to get her into trouble, but came down there to get her out, and then she agreed to talk to us but would not talk to the detectives. The detectives then retired from the room.

Albert told her that she knew she told him those things. She denied it, but finally acknowledged that she said a few of those things, and among the things I remember is that she was cautioned not to repeat anything that she heard. We asked her a thousand questions perhaps. I don’t know how many. I called the detectives and told them we had gotten all the admissions we could. We didn’t have any stenographer and Mr. Craven began writing it out, and Mr. Craven had written only a small portion when the stenographer came.

She did not make all of that statement in the first talk she had with us. She didn’t say anything with reference to Mrs. Frank having stated anything to her mother on Sunday morning.

The affidavit does not contain anything that she did not state there that day. Before she made that affidavit, she said he did eat dinner that day. She finally said he didn’t eat any. At first she said he remained at home at dinner time about half an hour or more. She finally said he only remained about ten minutes. At first she said Albert McKnight was not there that day. She finally said he was there. She said she was instructed not to talk at first. At first she said her wages hadn’t been changed, finally said her wages had been raised by the Seligs. As to what, if anything, she said about a hat being given her by Mrs. Selig, the only statement she made about the hat at all was when she made the affidavit. We didn’t know anything about the hat before. Nobody threatened her when she was there. When the first questioning was going on Campbell and Starnes were not in there. They came in when we called them and told them we were ready. Her attorney, Mr. Gordon, came in with the detectives.


As to why we didn’t take her statement when she denied saying all those things, because we didn’t believe them. We were down there about three hours. We went down there to try and get Minola McKnight out, if we could. We asked Mr. Dorsey to get her out. He said he would let us stand her bond, and he referred us to the detectives to make arrangements. As to why we didn’t get her out then, we wanted a statement from her if we could get it. No, I didn’t know that whenever the detectives got the story they wanted, they would let her out. As to my going to get her out and then grilling her for three hours, I didn’t tell her I was going to get her out; I went down there to get her out, but she left there before I did. She went out of the room. The detectives treated her very nice. They let her go after she made the statement. I knew they were holding her because she did not make a statement confirming her husband. It was not my object to make her statement agree with her husband’s statement, but it was my duty as a good citizen to make her tell the truth.

Dr. S.C. Benedict testified that one of the defense medical experts had a grudge against Dr. Harris, the prosecution’s main medical expert. This was followed by several streetcar motormen who stated that the streetcars often arrived ahead of schedule, which tended to minimize the effect of the testimony of the motormen called by the defense, who had claimed that since the streetcar schedule was rigorously adhered to, Mary Phagan must have arrived later than Leo Frank’s original estimate of five to ten minutes after noon. There was a great deal of testimony later regarding the timing of Mary Phagan’s arrival — and the amount of time which had passed since her late breakfast.

Ultimately, no one really doubted that Mary Phagan had arrived at Leo Frank’s office just a few minutes after noon on April 26 — and had met her death a very few minutes after that.

J. H. HENDRICKS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a motorman for the Georgia Railway & Electric Company. On April 26th I was running a street car on the Marietta line to the Stock Yards on Decatur Street. I couldn’t say what time we got to town on April 26th, about noon. I have no cause to remember that day. The English Avenue car, with Matthews and Hollis has gotten to town prior to April 26th, ahead of time. I couldn’t say how much ahead of time. I have seen them come in two or three minutes ahead of time; that day they came about 12:06. Hollis would usually leave Broad and Marietta Streets on my car. I couldn’t swear positively what time I got to Broad and Marietta Streets on April 26th. I couldn’t swear what time Hollis and Matthews got there that day. I don’t know anything about that. Often they get there ahead of time. Sometimes they are punished for it.

J. C. McEWING, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a street car motorman. I ran on Marietta and Decatur Street April 26th. My car was due in town at ten minutes after the hour on April 26th. Hollis’ and Matthews ‘ car was due there 7 minutes after the hour. Hendricks car was due there 5 minutes after the hour. The English Avenue frequently cut off the White City car due in town at 12:05. The White City car is due there before the English Avenue. It is due 5 minutes after the hour and the Cooper Street is due 7 minutes after. The English Avenue would have to be ahead of time to cut off the Cooper Street car. That happens quite often. I have come in ahead of time very often. I have known the English Avenue car to be 4 or 5 minutes ahead of time.
A portion of Leo Frank's original statement to the police is shown here. Ironically, a huge amount of his defense team's efforts went into challenging Frank's own statement as to the time Mary Phagan had appeared in his office, trying to distance Frank's meeting with the murdered girl later and later. Frank himself changed the time of her arrival several times during the course of the investigation.

A portion of Leo Frank’s original statement to the police is shown here. Note that he flatly states that Mary Phagan arrived between 12:05 and 12;10. Ironically, a huge amount of his defense team’s efforts went into challenging Frank’s own statement as to the time Mary Phagan had appeared in his office. They were trying to edge Frank’s meeting with the murdered girl later and later, and therefore further from the time that Monteeen Stover had found Frank’s office empty. Frank himself changed the time of her arrival several times during the course of the investigation.


I don’t know when that happened or who ran the car. I don’t know whether they ran on schedule time on April 26th, or not. When one car is cut off, one might be ahead of time, and one might be behind time. It’s reasonable to suppose that the five minutes after car ought to come in ahead of the one due seven minutes after. If it was behind it would be cut off, just as easy as the other one would be cut off by being ahead.

M. E. McCOY, sworn for the State, in rebuttal.

I knew Mary Phagan. I saw her on April 26th, in front of Cooledge’s place at 12 Forsyth Street. She was going towards pencil company, south on Forsyth Street on right hand side. It was near twelve o’clock. I left the corner of Walton and Forsyth Street exactly twelve o’clock and came straight on down there. It took me three or four minutes to go there.


I know what time it was because I looked at my watch. First time I told it was a week ago last Saturday, when I told an officer. I didn’t tell it because I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I didn’t consider it as a matter of importance until I saw the statement of the motorman of the car she came in on, and I knew that was wrong. She was dressed in blue, a low, chunky girl. Her hair was not very dark. She had on a blue hat.

GEORGE KENDLEY, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am with the Georgia Railway & Power Co. I saw Mary Phagan about noon on April 26th. She was going to the pencil factory from Marietta Street. When I saw her she stepped off of the viaduct.


I was on the front end of the Hapeville car when I saw her. It is due in town at 12 o’clock. I don’t know if it was on time that day. I told several people about seeing her the next day. If Mary Phagan left home at 10 minutes to 12, she ought to have got to town about 10 minutes after 12, somewhere in that neighborhood. She could not have gotten in much earlier. The time that I saw her is simply an estimate. That was the time my car was due in town. I remember seeing her by reading of the tragedy the next day. I didn’t testify at the Coroner’s inquest because nobody came to ask me. No, I have not abused and villified Frank since this tragedy. No, I have not made myself a nuisance on the cars by talking of him. I know Mr. Brent. I didn’t tell him that Mr. Frank’s children said he was guilty. Mr. Brent asked me what I thought about it several times on the car. He has always been the aggressor. As to whether I abused and villified him in the presence of Miss Haas and other passengers, there has been so much talk that I don’t know what has been said. I don’t think I said if he was released I would join a party to lynch him. Somebody said if he got out there might be some trouble. I don’t remem- ber saying that I would join a party to help lynch him if he got out. I talked to Mr. Leach about it. I don’t remember what I told him. I told him I saw her over there about 12 o’clock. That was the time the car was due in town. I know I saw her before 12:05. My car was on schedule time. I couldn’t swear it was exactly on the minute.

HENRY HOFFMAN, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am inspector of the street car company. Matthews is under me a certain part of the day. On April 26th he was under me from 11:30 to 12:07. His car was due at Broad and Marietta at 12:07. There is no such schedule as 12:07 and half. I have been on his car when we cut off the Fair Street car. Fair Street car is due at 12:05. I have compared watches with him. They vary from 20 to 40 seconds. We are supposed to carry the right time. I have called Matthews attention to running ahead of schedule once or twice. They come in ahead of time on relief time for supper and dinner.


I don’t know anything about his coming on April 26th. We found out he was ahead of time way along last March. He was a minute and a half ahead. I have caught him as much as three minutes ahead of time last spring, on the trip due in town 12:07. I didn’t report him, I just talked to him. I have known him to be ahead of time twice in five years while he was under my supervision.

N. KELLY, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a motorman of the Georgia Railway & Power Co. On April 26th, I was standing at the corner of Forsyth and Marietta Street about three minutes after 12. I was going to catch the College Park car home about 12:10. I saw the English Avenue car of Matthews and Mr. Hollis arrive at Forsyth and Marietta about 12:03. I knew Mary Phagan. She was not on that car. She might have gotten off there, but she didn’t come around. I got on that car at Broad and Marietta and went around Hunter Street. She was not on there.


I didn’t say anything about this because I didn’t want to get mixed up in it. I told Mr. Starnes about it this morning. I have never said anything about it before. That car was due in town at 12:07. The Fair Street car was behind it.

W. B. OWENS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I rode on the White City line of the Georgia Railway & Electric Co. It is due at 12:05. Two minutes ahead of the English Avenue car. We got to town on April 26th, at 12:05. I don’t remember seeing the English Avenue car that day. I have known that car to come in a minute ahead of us, sometimes two minutes ahead. That was after April 26th. I don’t recall whether it occurred before April 26th.

LOUIS INGRAM, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a conductor on the English Avenue line. I came to town on that car on April 26th. I don’t know what time we came to town. I have seen that car come in ahead of time several times, sometimes as much as four minutes ahead. I know Matthews, the motorman. I have ridden in with him when he was ahead of time several times.


It is against the rules to come in ahead of time, and also to come in behind time. They punish you for either one.

W. M. MATTHEWS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I have talked with this man Dobbs (W. C.) but I don’t know what I talked about. I have never told him or anybody that I saw Mary Phagan get off the car with George Epps at the corner of Marietta and Broad. It has been two years since I have been tried for an offense in this court.
Defense witness W.M. Matthews at center

Defense witness W.M. Matthews at center


I was acquitted by the jury. I had to kill a man on my car who assaulted me.

W. C. DOBBS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

Motorman Matthews told me two or three days after the murder that Mary Phagan and George Epps got on his car together and left at Marietta and Broad Streets.


Sergeant Dobbs is my father.

W. W. ROGERS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

On Sunday morning after the murder, I tried to go up the stairs leading from the basement up to the next floor. The door was fastened down. The staircase was very dusty, like it had been some little time since it had been swept. There was a little mound of shavings right where the chute came down on the basement floor. The bin was about a foot and a half from the chute.
W.W. "Boots" Rogers

W.W. “Boots” Rogers

SERGEANT L. S. DOBBS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I saw Mr. Rogers on Sunday try to get in that back door leading up from basement in rear of factory. There were cobwebs and dust there. The door was closed.

O. TILLANDER, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

Mr. Graham and I went to the pencil factory on April 26th, about 20 minutes to 12. We went in from the street and looked around and I found a negro coming from a dark alley way, and I asked him for the office and he told me to go to the second floor and turn to the right. I saw Conley this morning. I am not positive that he is the man. He looked to be about the same size. When I went to the office the stenographer was in the outer office. Mr. Frank was in the inner office sitting at his desk. I went there to get my step-son’s money.

E. K. GRAHAM, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I was at the pencil factory April 26th, with Mr. Tillander, about 20 minutes to 12. We met a negro on the ground floor. Mr. Tillander asked him where the office was, and he told him to go up the steps. I don’t know whether it was Jim Conley or not. He was about the same size, but he was a little brighter than Conley. If he was drunk I couldn’t notice it, I wouldn’t have noticed it anyway.


Mr. Frank and his stenographer were upstairs. He was at his desk. I didn’t see any lady when I came out.

J. W. COLEMAN, sworn for the State in rebuttal. [Mary Phagan’s stepfather. — Ed.]

I remember a conversation I had with detective McWorth. [McWorth was the Pinkerton man, later dismissed, who claimed to have discovered a “bloody club” and part of Mary Phagan’s pay envelope on the first floor, long after other detectives had thoroughly searched the area. –Ed.] He exhibited an envelope to me with a figure “5” on the right of it.
Mary Phagan's stepfather, J.W. Coleman

Mary Phagan’s stepfather, J.W. Coleman


This does not seem to be the envelope he showed me. (Defendant’s Exhibit 47). The figure “5” was on it. I don’t see it now. I told him at the time that Mary was due $1.20, and that “5” on the right would not suit for that.

J. M. GANTT, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I have seen Leo Frank make up the financial sheet. It would take him an hour and a half after I gave him the data. [This in contrast to the repeated claim by Frank that he needed all afternoon. — Ed.]
J.M. Gantt

J.M. Gantt

IVY JONES (c[olered]), sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I saw Jim Conley at the corner of Hunter and Forsyth Streets on April 26th. He came in the saloon while I was there, between one and two o’clock. He was not drunk when I saw him. The saloon is on the opposite corner from the factory. We went on towards Conley’s home. I left him at the corner of Hunter and Davis Street a little after two o’clock.

HARRY SCOTT, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I picked up cord in the basement when I went through there with Mr. Frank. Lee’s shirt had no color on it, excepting that of blood. I got the information as to Conley’s being able to write from McWorth when I returned to Atlanta. As to the conversation Black and I had, with Mr. Frank about Darley, Mr. Frank said Darley was the soul of honor and that we had the wrong man; that there was no use in inquiring about Darley and he knew Darley could not be responsible for such an act. I told him that we had good information to the effect that Darley had been associating with other girls in the factory; that he was a married man and had a family. Mr. Frank didn’t seem to know anything about that. He said it was a peculiar thing for a man in Mr. Darley’s position to be associating with factory employees, if he was doing it.
Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott

Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott


We left after about two hours interview.

L. T. KENDRICK, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I was night watchman at the pencil factory for something like two years. I punched the clocks for a whole night’s work in two or three minutes. The clock at the factory needed setting about every 24 hours. It varied from three to five minutes. That is the clock slip I punched (State’s Exhibit P). I don’t think you could have heard the elevator on the top floor if the machinery was running or anyone was knocking on any of the floors. The back stairway was very dusty and showed that they had not been used lately after the murder. I have seen Jim Conley at the factory Saturday afternoons when I went there to get my money.


I generally got to the factory about a quarter of two to two-thirty. The clock was usually corrected every morning. The clock would run slow sometimes and sometimes fast.

VERA EPPS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

My brother George was in the house when Mr. Minar was asking us about the last time we saw Mary Phagan. I don’t know if he heard the questions asked. George didn’t tell him that he didn’t see Mary that Saturday. I told him I had seen Mary Phagan Thursday.

C. J. MAYNARD, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I have seen Brutus Dalton go in the factory with a woman in June or July, 1912. She weighed about 125 pounds. It was between 1:30 and 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday.


I was ten feet from the woman. I didn’t notice her very particularly. I did not speak to them.

W. T. HOLLIS, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

Mr. Reed rides out with me every morning. I don’t remember talking to J. D. Reed on Monday, April 29th, and telling him that George Epps and Mary Phagan were on my car together. I didn’t tell that to anybody. I say like I have always said, that if he was on the car I did not see him.

J. D. REED, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

Mr. Hollis told me on Monday, April 28th, that Epps had gotten on the car and taken his seat next to Mary, and that the two talked to each other all the way as though they were little sweethearts.

J. N. STARNES, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

There were no spots around the scuttle hole where the ladder is immediately after the murder. Campbell and I arrested Minola McKnight, to get a statement from her. We turned her over to the patrol wagon and we never saw her any more until the following day, when we called Mr. Craven and Mr. Pickett to come down and interview her. We stayed on the outside while she was on the inside with Craven and Pickett. They called us back and I said to her, “Minola, the truth is all we want, and if this is not the truth, don’t you state it.” And she started to put the statement down. Mr. Gordon, her attorney, was on the outside, and I told him we could go inside without his making any demand on me, and he went in with me, and Mr. Febuary had already taken down part of the statement and I stopped him and made him read over what he had already taken down, and after she had finished the statement, Attorney Gordon went to Mr. Dorsey’s office and then he came back to the police station. After he returned the affidavit was read over in the presence of Mr. Pickett, Craven, Campbell, Albert McKnight and Attorney Gordon and she signed it in our presence. You (Mr. Dorsey) had nothing to do with holding her. You told me over the phone that you couldn’t say what I could do, but that I could do what I pleased about it.


No, I did not lock her up because she didn’t give us the right kind of statement; as to the authority I had to lock her up, it was reasonable and right that she should be locked up. I did that for the best interest of the case I was working on. No, I didn’t have any warrant for her arrest. She was brought to Mr. Dorsey’s office by a bailiff by a subpoena. I took her away from Dorsey’s office and put her in a patrol wagon. I expect Mr. Dorsey knew we were going to lock her up, but he did not tell us to do it. No, he didn’t disapprove of it. I didn’t know anything about her having made a previous statement to Mr. Dorsey. I think Mr. Dorsey said she had made such a statement. I saw her the next day in the station house. She didn’t scream after leaving Dorsey’s office until she reached the sidewalk. And then she commenced hollering and carrying on that she was going to jail; that she didn’t know anything about it, or something like that. No, I had no warrant for her arrest. She had committed no crime. I held her to get the truth. Mr. Dorsey told me I could turn her loose as I pleased. That was after she made the statement. I told him as to what had occurred and that her attorney, Gordon, was coming up there to see him. I told Col. Gordon that if it was agreeable with Col. Dorsey, that Minola could go as far as we were concerned. Well, Mr. Dorsey had more or less to do with the case that I was working on and I wanted to act on his advice and consent. He called me on the telephone and told me that if the chief thought it best or if we thought it best after conferring, to just let her go.

DR. CLARENCE JOHNSON, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am a specialist on diseases of the stomach and intestines. I am a physiologist. A physiologist makes his searches on the living body; the pathologist makes his on a dead body.

If you give any one who has drunk a chocolate milk at about eight o’clock in the morning, cabbage at 12 o’clock and 30 or 40 minutes thereafter you take the cabbage out and it is shown to be dark like chocolate and milk, that much contents of any kind vomited up three and a half hours afterwards would show an abnormal stomach. It doesn’t show a normal digestion.

If a little girl who eats a dinner of cabbage and bread at 11:30 is found the next morning dead at 3 a. m., with a rope around her neck, indented and the flesh sticking up, bruised on the eye, blood on the back of her head, the tongue sticking out, blue skin, every indication that she came to her death from strangulation, her head down, rigor mortis had been on her twenty hours, the blood had settled in her where the gravity would naturally take it in the face, she is embalmed, formaldehyde is used and injected in the various cavities of the body, including the stomach, a pathologist takes her stomach a week or ten days after, finds cabbage of that size (State’s Ex- hibit G) in the stomach, finds starch granules undigested, and finds in the stomach that the pyloris is still closed, that there is nothing in the first six feet of the small intestines; that there is every indication that digestion had been progressing favorably, and finds thirty-two degrees hydrochloric acid, and if the pathologist is capable and finds that there was only combined hydrochloric acid and that there was no abnormal condition of the stomach, the six feet of the intestines was empty, I would say that the digestion of bread and cabbage was stopped within an hour after they were eaten. That would not be a wild guess in my opinion.


The bruises on the head, the evidence of strangulation and other injuries about the head are other possible factors which must be taken into consideration. Anything which disturbs the circulation of the blood, or hinders the action of the nerves controlling the stomach, especially the secretion, prevents the development of the characteristics found in normal digestion one hour after a meal. I mean by mechanical condition of the stomach, no change in the size or thickness, or opening into the intestines, or size or thickness of intestines. The test should be made with absolute accuracy with these acids. The color test is generally accepted. A man’s eye has to be absolutely correct to make the color test.

The degree of acidity in a normal stomach varies from 30 to 45 degrees, according to the stomach and what is in it. The formaldehyde would make no change on the physical property on the pancreatic juice found in the small intestine after death. There would be hardly any change on its chemical property. When it comes in contact with the formaldehyde it is supposed to be preserved. It has some neutralizing effect on the alkali present. That decomposes in time after death, unless hindered by some preservative. The hydrochloric acids in the stomach also disappear if the stomach has disintegrated and the preservative has disappeared. It disappears like the other fluids and tissues of the body unless hindered by some preservative agent. Sometimes digestion is delayed a good deal even in a normal stomach by insufficient mastication, too much diluting of the juices, or anything that hinders the operation of the mechanical effect. Insufficient mastication is one of the commonest causes, also the taking of too much liquid. Fatigue occasioned by extensive walking would hinder it. If the walking was not too extensive to produce fatigue, it would help digestion in a normal stomach. Insufficient mastication is the worst cause of delayed digestion. My estimate was that the cabbage was found an hour after the process of digestion had begun. I did not undertake to say when the digestion began. You can’t tell by looking at food in a bottle how much the failure to masticate it delayed digestion in hours and minutes. It would be just an estimate.

The physical appearance of that cabbage (Defendant’s Exhibit 88) shows indigestion by the layer, character and size, and area of separation between, and the character and arrangement of the layers below. The mere fact that it was vomited up would be proof positive that no scientific opinion could be made about it. To make a scientific test I would have to test the mechanism of the stomach, the time it was in there and the degree and presence of the different acids. The chocolate milk would not naturally stay in a normal stomach five or six hours. The cabbage would stay in a normal empty stomach where there was a tomato also three or four hours. I never made any test of Mary Phagan’s stomach and examined the contents of it.


160 cubic cc. of liquid in the stomach taken out nine days afterwards would be a little in excess of what I would consider normal under the conditions already named.

DR. GEORGE M. NILES, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I confine my work to diseases of digestion. Every healthy stomach has a certain definite and orderly relation to every other healthy stomach. Assuming a young lady between thirteen and fourteen years of age at 11:30 April 26, 1913, eats a meal of cabbage and bread, that the next morning about three o’clock her dead body is found. That there are indentations in her neck where a cord had been around her throat, indicating that she died of strangulation, her nails blue, her face blue, a slight injury on the back of the head, a contused bruise on one of her eyes, the body is found with the face down, rigor mortis had been on from sixteen to twenty hours, that the blood in the body has settled in the part where gravity would naturally carry it, that the body is embalmed immediately with a fluid consisting chiefly of formaldehyde, which is injected in the veins and cavities of the body; that she is disinterred nine days thereafter; that cabbage of this texture (State’s Exhibit G) is found in her stomach; that the position of the stomach is normal; that no inflammation of the stomach is found by microscopic investigation; that no mucous is found, and that the glands found under this microscope are found to be normal, that there is no obstruction to the flow of the contents of the stomach to the small intestine; that the pyloris is closed; that there is every indication that digestion was progressing favorably; that in the gastric juices there is found starch granules that are shown by the color test to have been undigested, and that in that stomach you also find thirty-two degrees of hydrochloric acid, no maltose, no dextrin, no free hydrochloric acid (there would be more or less free hydrochloric acid in the course of an hour or more in the orderly progress of digestion of a healthy stomach where the contents are carbohydrates), I would say that indicated that digestion had been progressing less than an hour.

The starch digestion should have progressed beyond the state erythrodextrin in course of an hour. There should have been enough free acid to have stimulated the pyloris to relax to a certain extent, and there should have been some contents in the duodenum. I am assuming, of course, that it is a healthy stomach and that the digestion was not disturbed by any psychic cause which would disturb the mind or any severe physical exercise. I am not going so much on the physical appearance of the cabbage. Any severe physical exercise or mental stress has quite an influence on digestion. Death does not change the composition of the gastric juices when combined with hydrochloric acid for quite awhile. The gastric juices combined with the hydrochloric acid are an antiseptic or preservative. There is a wide variation in diseased stomachs as to digestion.


There are idiosyncracies in a normal stomach, but where they are too marked I would not consider that a normal stomach. I wouldn’t say that there is a mechanical rule where you can measure the digestive power of every stomach for every kind of food. There is a set time for every stomach to digest every kind of food within fairly regular limits, that is, a healthy stomach. There is a fairly mixed standard. There is no great amount of variation between healthy stomachs. I can’t answer for how long it takes cabbage to digest. I have taken cabbage out of a cancerous stomach that had been in there twenty-four hours, but there was no obstruction. The longest time that I have taken cabbage out of a fairly normal stomach was between four and five hours. That was where it was in the stomach along with another meal. I found the cabbage among the remains of the meal four or five hours after it had been eaten.

Mastication is a very important function of digestion. Failure to masticate delays the starch digestion. Starch and cabbage are both carbohydrates. I would say that if cabbage went into a healthy stomach not well masticated, the starch digestion would not get on so well, but the stomach would get busy at once. Of course, it would not be prepared as well. The digestion would be delayed, of course. That cabbage is not as well digested as it should have been (State’s exhibit G), but the very fact of your anticipating a good meal, smelling it, starts your saliva going and forms the first stage of digestion, and digestion is begun right there in the mouth, even if you haven’t chewed it a single time. Any deviation from good mastication retards digestion.

I couldn’t presume to say how long that cabbage lay in Mary Phagan’s stomach. I believe if it had been a live, healthy stomach and the process of digestion was going on orderly, it would be pulverized in four or five hours. It would be more broken up and tricturated than it is. I wouldn’t consider that a wild guess. I think it would have been fairly well pulverized in three hours. Chewing amounts to a great deal, but there should be an amount of saliva in her stomach even if she hadn’t masticated it thoroughly. Chewing is a temperamental matter to a great extent. One man chews his meal quicker than another. If it isn’t chewed at all, the stomach gets busy and helps out all it can and digests it after awhile. It takes more effort, of course, but not necessarily more time. What the teeth fail to do the stomach does to a great extent. The stomach has an extra amount of work if it is not masticated. You can’t tell by looking at the cabbage how long it had been undergoing the process of digestion. If that was a healthy stomach with combined acid of 32 degrees, and nothing happened either physical or mental to interfere with digestion, those laboratory findings indicated that digestion had been progressing less than an hour. I never made an autopsy or examination of the contents of Mary Phagan’s stomach.


The first stage of digestion is starch digestion. This progresses in the stomach until the contents become acid in all its parts. Then the starch digestion stops until the contents get out in the intestines and become alkaline in reaction; then the starch digestion is continued on beyond. The olfactories act as a stimulant to the salivary glands.

DR. JOHN FUNK, sworn for the State in rebuttal.

I am professor of pathology and bacteriologist. I was shown by Dr. Harris sections from the vaginal wall of Mary Phagan, sections taken near the skin surface. I didn’t see sections from the stomach or the contents. These sections showed that the epithelium wall was torn off at points immediately beneath that covering in the tissues below, and there was infiltrated pressure of blood. They were, you might say, engorged, and the white blood cells in those blood vessels were more numerous than you will find in a normal blood vessel. The blood vessels at some distance from the torn point were not so engorged to the same extent as those blood vessels immediately in the vicinity of the hemorrhage. Those blood vessels were larger than they should be under normal circumstances, as compared with the blood vessels in the vicinity of the tear. You couldn’t tell about any discoloration, but there was blood there. It is reasonable to suppose that there was swelling there because of the infiltrated pressure of the blood in the tissues. Those conditions must have been produced prior to death, because the blood could not invade the tissues after death.

If a young lady, between thirteen and fourteen years old eats at eleven thirty a. m. a normal meal of bread and cabbage on a Saturday and at three a. m. Sunday morning she is found with a cord around her neck, the skin indented, the nails and flesh cyanotic, the tongue out and swollen, blue nails, everything indicating that she had been strangled to death, that rigor mortis had set in, and according to the best authorities had probably progressed from sixteen to twenty hours, and she was laying face down when found, and gravity had forced the blood into that part of the body next to the ground, that it had discolored her features, that immediately thereafter, between ten and two o’clock she was embalmed with a fluid containing usual amount of formaldehyde, this being injected into the veins in the large cavities, she is interred thereafter and in about a week or ten days she is disinterred, and you find in her stomach cabbage like that (State’s Exhibit G) and you find granules of starch undigested, and those starch granules are developed by the usual color tests, and you also find in that stomach thirty-two degrees of combined hydrochloric acid, the pyloris closed, and the duodenum, and six feet of the small intestines empty, no free hydrochloric acid being present at all, nor dextrin, or erythrodextrin being found in any degree, and the uterus was somewhat enlarged, and the walls of the vagina show dilation and swelling, I would say that under those conditions that the epithelium was torn off before death, because of the changes in the blood vessels and tissues below the epithelium covering, and because of the presence of blood.

I would not express an opinion as to how long cabbage had been in the stomach, from the appearance of the cabbage itself, taking into consideration the combined hydrochloric acid of thirty-two degrees, the emptiness of the small intestine, the presence of starch granules, and the absence of free hydrochloric acid, one can’t say positively, but it is reasonable to assume that the digestion had pro- gressed probably an hour, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.


Dr. Dorsey asked me to examine the sections of the vaginal wall last Saturday. The sections I examined were about a quarter of an inch wide and three-quarters of an inch long. It was about nine twenty-five thousandths of an inch thick, that is, much thinner than tissue paper. I examined thirty or forty little strips. That was after this trial began. I was not present at the autopsy. As soon as a tissue receives an injury, it reacts in a very short time. The reaction shows up in the changes of the blood vessels. You can tell by the appearance of the blood vessels whether the injury was before death or not, and you can give an approximate idea as to the length of time before death. I do not know from what body the sections were taken. I know that it was from a human vagina.



T. Y. BRENT, sworn for the Defendant in sur-rebuttal.

I have heard George Kendley on several occasions express himself very bitterly towards Leo Frank. He said he felt in this case just as he did about a couple of negroes hung down in Decatur; that he didn’t know whether they had been guilty or not, but somebody had to be hung for killing those street car men and it was just as good to hang one nigger as another, and that Frank was nothing but an old Jew and they ought to take him out and hang him anyhow.


I have been employed by the defense to assist in subpoenaing witnesses. I took the part of Jim Conley in the experiment conducted by Dr. Win. Owens at the factory on Sunday.

M. E. STAHL, sworn for the Defendant, in sur-rebuttal.

I have heard George Kendley, the conductor, express his feelings toward Leo Frank. I was standing on the rear platform, and he said that Frank was as guilty as a snake, and should be hung, and that if the court didn’t convict him that he would be one of five or seven that would get him.

MISS C. S. HAAS, sworn for the Defendant, in sur-rebuttal.

I heard Kendley two weeks ago talk about the Frank case so loud that the entire street car heard it. He said that circumstantial evidence was the best kind of evidence to convict a man on and if there was any doubt, the State should be given the benefit of it, and that 90 per cent. of the best people in the city, including himself, thought that Frank was guilty and ought to hang.

N. SINKOVITZ, sworn for the Defendant, in sur-rebuttal.

I am a pawnbroker. I know M.E. McCoy. He has pawned his watch to me lately. The last time was January 11, 1913. It was in my place of business on the 26th of April, 1913. He paid up his loan on August 16th, last Saturday, during this trial. This is the same watch I have been handling for him during the last two years.


My records here show that he took it out Saturday.

S. L. ASHER, sworn for the Defendant in sur-rebuttal.

About two weeks ago I was coming to town between 5 and 10 minutes to 1 on the car and there was a man who was talking very loud about the Frank case, and all of a sudden he said: “They ought to take that damn Jew out and hang him anyway.” I took his number down to report him.


I have not had a chance to report since it happened.

It is most interesting that a single man, expressing his opinion that Leo Frank was a “damn Jew” and ought to hang, was something that a public-spirited citizen in 1913 Atlanta thought he ought to report to the authorities. This hardly corresponds with the atmosphere of “pervasive Southern anti-Semitism” that modern Frank supporters say existed. On the contrary, it speaks of an atmosphere in which such sentiments were strongly deplored, and even considered beyond the pale of socially acceptable behavior and expression.
In this rare photograph from his days at Cornell University, Leo Frank stares wide-eyed at the camera, a characteristic expression for him.

In this rare photograph from his days at Cornell University, Leo Frank stares wide-eyed at the camera, a characteristic expression for him.

During the final moments of the trial itself, and before closing arguments were made, Leo Max Frank asked to address the court once again. He was permitted to do so. As before, he was unsworn and not under oath and not subject to cross-examination, just as in his initial statement. No matter what Frank told the jury, Dorsey was forbidden to question him about it, or make it the basis for questioning anyone else.


In reply to the statement of the boy that he saw me talking to Mary Phagan when she backed away from me, that is absolutely false, that never occurred. In reply to the two girls, Robinson and Hewel, that they saw me talking to Mary Phagan and that I called her” Mary,” I wish to say that they are mistaken. It is very possible that I have talked to the little girl in going through the factory and examining the work, but I never knew her name, either to call her “Mary Phagan,” “Miss Phagan,” or “Mary.”

In reference to the statements of the two women who say that they saw me going into the dressing room with Miss Rebecca Carson, I wish to state that that is utterly false. It is a slander on the young lady, and I wish to state that as far as my knowledge of Miss Rebecca Carson goes, she is a lady of unblemished character.


So to the very end, Leo Frank maintained that all the witnesses who heard him calling Mary Phagan by name were liars — or mistaken. Interestingly, he did not take even a moment at the end of the trial to repeat his claim that he never made lascivious advances toward the young ladies under his supervision — as several of them had so recently testified. Most likely he was warned off the topic by his counsel.

In our next article, we will present the powerful, yet completely contradictory, closing arguments of both the prosecution and defense in the trial of Leo M. Frank.

* * *

For further study we recommend the following resources:


Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank

Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913, Brief of Evidence

The American Mercury is following these events of 100 years ago, the month-long trial of Leo M. Frank for the brutal murder of Miss Mary Phagan, in capsule form on a regular basis through August 26, the 100th anniversary of the reading of the verdict. Follow along with us and experience the trial as Atlantans of a century ago did, and come to your own conclusions.

Read also the Mercury’s coverage of Week One of the Leo Frank trial, Week Two, and Week Three and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.

A fearless scholar, dedicated to the truth about this case, has obtained, scanned, and uploaded every single relevant issue of the major Atlanta daily newspapers and they now can be accessed through as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
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Default Leo Frank Trial (July 28 - August 21, 1913) Followed by Closing Arguments of Frank Arthur Hooper, and Reuben Rose Arnold and Luther Zeigler Rosser

The Leo Frank Trial: Closing Arguments of Hooper, Arnold, and Rosser

Published by Editor on October 18, 2013

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The American Mercury continues its centenary coverage of the trial of Leo Frank for the slaying of Mary Phagan with the closing arguments presented by the prosecution and defense.

by Bradford L. Huie

IT’S A LONG READ — but an essential one for everyone who wants to consider himself well-informed on the Leo Frank case: the closing arguments from indefatigable Fulton County Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and his assistant Frank Hooper, and from Leo Frank’s brilliantly skilled defense attorneys Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser.

Here we present their final arguments in full — practically the length of a sizable novel — because of their great importance (the conventional literature on the subject today hardly even excerpts them) and also because of their general unavailability. Several courageous scholars collaborated recently to scan and use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to put the arguments into digital form on, but not until the Mercury joined the fray have they been presented on a popular Web site in correctly formatted, easy-to-read type with OCR errors removed. Today we will present the arguments of Frank Hooper for the State of Georgia and Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser for Leo Frank. In our next article we will have the concluding arguments of Solicitor Hugh Dorsey for the state. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)


State’s Prosecutor Frank Arthur Hooper for the State of Georgia vs. Leo M. Frank

The Final Speech to the Jury by Mr. Frank Arthur Hooper for the State of Georgia delivered on August 21, 1913 in the Fulton County Superior Court.


Mr. Frank Arthur Hooper:

Gentlemen of the Jury, the object of this trial, as well as all other trials, is the ascertainment of truth and the attainment of justice. In the beginning, I want to have it understood that we are not seeking a verdict of guilty against the defendant unless he is guilty. The burden of guilt is upon our shoulders- we confront the undertaking-of putting it upon his. We recognize that it must be done beyond a reasonable doubt, and that it must be done purely by the evidence which we have produced before you. We have cheerfully assumed this burden. We have cheerfully undertaken the task, but, there is not a single man on the prosecution who would harm a hair of the defendant’s head wrongfully. We want him given the same measure of justice that should be meted to all classes of defendants. He is entitled, though, to the same degree of law as any other prisoner. But, he is not entitled to any more because of his wealth or social position. The arm of the law is strong enough to reach to the highest pinnacle of position and drag down the guilty, and strong enough to probe into the gutter and drag up the lowest. There is not a case in the history of Georgia that has been as long and as important as this. With this importance, there arises a great degree of responsibility that rests upon your shoulders. I call your attention to the facts and law as they will be given you in the charge-your only instructions, the orders by which you will be guided in the end. There is one thing I want to say, and that is this: This man should not be convicted purely because the law is seeking a victim. The law doesn’t demand it. It demands only that you seek the truth, the absolute truth, the showing of which is required by us, the prosecution. We are not looking for blood indiscriminately. We are only seeking the slayer of Mary Phagan, and in seeking him, I try as much as possible to feel as though I were one of you twelve. Now, let’s see what was the situation on April 26 in the pencil factory. This factory was being run by Sig Montag as its boss, Frank as its superintendent, assisted by the handsome Mr. Darley and the able Mr. Schiff.

As a citizen of Atlanta, I am not proud of conditions that existed in that factory! What was its moral atmosphere? The character of it appeals wonderfully to us as we seek the truth. The defense has produced numbers of girl workers who told us of his character. They say it is good. That is only negative because he has never harmed them. They do not know him. But, while we are considering their stories, there are the stories of others-girls who left his factory because of his character and his conduct toward them. They say his character is bad. You have from the two your choice of either. Those who still are there-those who have never been harmed-and those who have left because of him and his character.

The law is a peculiar thing.

We named over our plans with the first witnesses put on the stand. We showed at first just exactly what we had in view, exposed our hand, so to speak, and even went so far as to put the stories before you in so far as they were allowed to be told. They could have gone into detail were we permitted to have allowed them. They could have told of incidents that would have been convincing. We have adopted the only legal manner in which the matter could be sifted. It’s on this principle: If fifty men were asked of the character of a certain place or man, and twenty-five or more say it is good, while as few as ten say it’s bad, what is the character of this place or person, considering, of course, that all have an equal opportunity to observe ? Would you say it was good? This question of character was one into which we were not permitted to go. But the defense, on the other hand, were allowed to let down the bars and walk in. That pencil factory was a great place for a man without a conscience. It was a great place for Frank, his handsome assistant, Mr. Darley, and the able Mr. Schiff.

We find that Frank had coupled himself up for nightly meeting with Dalton, who now has, it seems, turned respectable. My friends, no doubt, will argue that it was strange a man of such business and social position should consort with such a character. It will be a good argument, likely, but probe a little deeper and see if Dalton was not the kind of man required by a dual personality such as possessed by Frank! We all have dual personalities. There is not a man so good without evil, and no man so bad without good. But when the evil is predominant the man is bad. Vice versa with the good. A man may mingle with his varnished class by day, but when the shades of night are falling and the evil dominate, he doesn’t go and get good men who can tell of his good character. He goes for his Dalton.

We all are Dr. Jekylls and Mr. Hydes.

There are two sides to each of us. Dalton seems to have overcome this evil. He is apparently making good, as many substantial folks have told us on the witness stand. You can’t blame Dalton so much. This factory was under the control of this man [Leo] Frank. It is a house of bad reputation. You find other acts of this sort committed therein. It is unsavory. [Leo] Frank is its head. He contends he did not know Mary Phagan. Why, every day as he – walked through the floor on which his office was situated, he passed by her at her machine. You find, gentlemen, that he often stopped at her place of duty to show her this or to show her that, to help her in her work. Not only that, but he followed her out of her beaten path-following like some wild animal, telling her of his superiority, coaxing, persuading, all the while she strove to return to her work at her machine. You will notice on this diagram that every time he crossed the floor he passed this beautiful girl, looking upon her with the eye of lust. The first indication of his attitude toward his victim is in the tall, good-natured Jim Gantt, friend of Mary [Phagan]. [Leo] Frank asks Gantt: “You’re pretty thick with Mary, aren’t you?” It shows that he knew her and that he had his eye on her.

What next? He wants to get rid of Gantt. How does he go about it? You have seen that previously he was bragging on Gantt, on Gantt’s ability as a workman. But, just as soon as his eye is set upon the pretty little friend of Gantt, he sets plans to get rid of him. And, it comes up about a dollar. He says it was something about money, hoping to lead you, gentlemen, to believe that Gantt was a thief. He would not let Gantt go into the building because he was a thief. Didn’t he know that this long-legged mountaineer was coming back at him? Sure, he knew it. And, they parted company at once. Gantt was fired. What was he accomplishing by this? He was getting rid of the only man on either floor-in the whole factory-who knew Mary Phagan, and who would raise a hand to protect her. Then he sets about laying plans. And those plans! You will notice that the defense has pitched its every effort entirely on [James] Jim Conley. I don’t blame them. He was like Stone Mountain is to some highways in its vicinity. They couldn’t get by him. We could have left him out and have had an excellent chain of circumstantial evidence.

Without Jim [Conley], though, the defense couldn’t move–they couldn’t budge. You have sat and seen the biggest legal battle ever fought in a court house between skillful intellect and a witness negro. You have seen brainy eloquence pitted against the slow, incomprehensible dialect of a negro. You have seen a trained and speedy mind battling with blunt ignorance. And, what was the result? At the end of three and a half days it came. That negro was asked questions about everything Rosser could conceive. His answers were hurried from the stenographer’s notes and transcribed on typewriter. Then, they were hurled back into Conley’s face. But, it was like water poured onto a mill wheel. They received the same answers, the same story. It was because, gentlemen, the negro was telling the truth. Truth is stronger than all the brains and ingenuity that can be collected in this whole town-this state, the world.

How they did hate to give up the fight.

They lost, and with the loss went the loss of their theory in whole.

When all was through, they were forced to sit and leave Jim’s truth unscathed. How unfortunate!

All they could say was that Jim had been a big liar. That is true. In his first two stories, he lied. But, if I had any comment on Jim Conley, it would be that if they had bored me as they bored him at police headquarters, they could have muddied me even more.

Suppose Frank’s conduct in this case is shown as it has been. He is a smart man. There is no disputing that fact. He needn’t have told you all the details on the stand of the amount of work he did that day. You can tell that he is smart, clever, ingenious.

Now, Jim [Conley], he comes back that Saturday morning by order of the brilliant [Leo] Frank, his boss. There’s no denial of this, so far. Other people tell you they have seen women enter the factory with men at suspicious hours. Jim [Conley] tells you of watching for these folks. And there is this to reckon with: Providence has a way of revealing the truth at the final minute. At the eleventh hour we found two men yesterday who had been to the pencil factory at the noon Mary Phagan was murdered. They saw Jim Conley just as he tells you, sitting on the first floor, near the door where he watched for [Leo] Frank. Mrs. White saw him, although she doesn’t identify him perfectly. One thing true, she saw a negro in the position Jim tells us he was in. Now, for what purpose was he there? Waiting to do the same thing he had done before-to watch for his boss. They say he was drunk. Very well. But, did you notice how clearly he recited incidents and told the names of people he saw at the times they claim he was so drunk? We are brought up to the time of the tragedy. Jim Conley is still there. Everybody has gone, leaving him and Frank in the building. Frank knew that Mary Phagan was coming that day, and he knew the hour. On the previous afternoon little Helen Ferguson, Mary’s chum, had called for Mary’s pay, and Frank had told her that Mary Phagan should come and get her own pay, breaking a rule of the plant in doing so. He arranges with Jim to hang around and make himself convenient. Jim [Conley] takes his accustomed seat in the hallway.

Parties come and go.

Jim observes all that happens, he says nothing.

Finally, Mary Phagan arrives, beautiful, innocent, coming in her blue frock and new hat and a ribbon around her hair. Without any thought of evil or foreboding of tragedy, she tripped into the building and up the stairs, going for $1.20.

No explanation can come from Mary.

The dead have no stories to tell.

She went in a little after 12. She found Frank. He tells us that much from his own lips. He was there from 12:00 to 1:00. It’s his own statement. What a statement!

There was Mary [Phagan].

Then, there was another little girl, Monteen Stover. He [Leo Frank] never knew Monteen [Stover] was there, and he said he stayed in his office from 12:00 until after 1:00 – never left.

Monteen [Stover] waited around for five minutes. Then she left. The result?

(Here Frank Arthur Hooper sums up Leo Frank’s virtual murder confession in one sentence)

There comes for the first time from the lips of [Leo] Frank, the defendant, the admission that he might have gone to some other part of the building during this time-he didn’t remember clearly.

Jim Conley, sitting faithfully downstairs, heard footsteps going toward the metal room. Then there came the sound of other footsteps, footsteps that pursued. There was no return of the first footsteps, and the footsteps that pursued tiptoed back from the metal room.

Then Leo stamped a signal on the office floor.

I will be fair with [Leo] Frank. When he followed the child back into the metal room, he didn’t know that it would necessitate force to accomplish his purpose. I don’t believe he originally had murder in his heart.

There was a scream.

Jim Conley heard it.

Just for the sake of knowing how harrowing it was, I wish you jurymen could hear a similar scream.

It was poorly described by the negro. He said it sounded as if a laugh was broken off into a shriek. He heard it break through the stillness of the hushed building. It was uncanny, but he sat faithfully on. He was under orders. He was to come on signal. That scream was no signal.

Later, Frank would stamp on the the office floor. This negro tells you that the white man killed the little girl. But, no! Frank was in his office, busy with his wonderful financial sheet. I will show you how he could have sat at his desk and heard this negro attack the, little child who had come to draw her pay.

[Mr. Hooper turned to the diagram, showing the jury the nearness of the metal room to Frank’s office, explaining his theory that nothing could have happened on the floor without being heard or seen by Frank.]

Mr. Frank, I will give you the benefit of all you deserve. ‘When all is summed up, you were sitting only a few feet from the spot ‘where a murder was committed, and you never raised a finger. Let me show you something else. When this thing was over there were two men and a woman upstairs who had to get out the building before the body was moved. It would be dangerous to leave it lying back in the metal room, staring hideously from unseeing eyes.

Frank went upstairs and told the trio up there that if they were going, it was time for them to leave, as he was going to lock up the factory. He [Leo Frank] was in a hurry and told them so. Mrs. Arthur White, perceiving his evident hurry, hastened downstairs. When she reached the office, Frank, the man-in-a-hurry, was in his shirt sleeves, writing at his desk.

Why should I hang? What does that show?

In the first place, his appreciation of a little girl of 14. Did it hurt him to knot the rope of cord around her neck, did it hurt him as he drew it tighter and tighter around the tender throat until the dim spark of life was choked extinct?

To the contrary.

It only excited him enough to ask himself the question “Why should I hang?” There come times when we all speak our true thoughts and sentiments. That was such a time. Now, which is the more probable-that Jim heard this expression, or that he imagined the story?

Did Jim know Frank had relatives in Brooklyn? Did Jim know there was such a thing as Brooklyn? Did he know they were rich? And Jim says, with the typical soul of Africa: “What’s goin’ to become of me?”

Frank says, “I’ll take care of you, for I’ll write my mother a letter, so that she can help you.” He asks Jim if he can write, and Jim tells him a little bit. He wasn’t on his guard. He should have detected Frank’s purpose. Frank was smart, Jim was dull. Frank dictated, Jim wrote.

Now, gentlemen, I suppose most of you are southern men, men who know the characteristics of the negro. Will you please tell me what idea this negro would have had to write these notes accusing a negro, and, just the same as saying, this was done by a negro who is a fool and who cannot write? It was foolish enough for the mighty brain of Frank to put the notes beside the body. The truth of the business is, that this looks like the only time the brainy Frank ever lost his head.

Then, next comes the money. Frank pulls out his roll of bills, and says, “Jim, here’s that $200.” Jim is so overwhelmed that he doesn’t notice the amount, but puts the roll in his pocket. Frank reflects. He need not waste the $200. Jim is as deep in the mire as he is in the mud. He recovers the money.

“Let’s see, Jim, if everything comes out all right, I’ll return this money.”

He tells Jim that Jim has the goods to deliver. The body must be disposed of. That will be left to Jim. He depends on Jim’s lust for the $200 to bring him back to the factory to burn the corpse of little Mary, the victim! Nobody else was expected by him that afternoon but Jim Conley and Newt Lee.

It makes no difference to me about how long it took Frank to go to lunch, the minute he put in here and the minute he put in there, about which there has been such a squabble in the evidence. That is aside from the point.

The fact remains that at or about 3 o’clock he came back to the pencil factory to await the arrival of Jim Conley to burn that body! He was expecting Jim Conley, and he also knew that Newt Lee was coming. Aye, there was the rub! He expected them both, and it depended upon which one arrived first as to how things would go. If Jim got there first and disposed of that body, all right; but suppose Newt Lee got there first! Then was the defendant in the position of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo, when he wondered which army would arrive first, and knew that upon this question depended victory or defeat. The wrong army arrived, and Napoleon went down! Newt Lee arrived at the pencil factory that afternoon, but where was Jim Conley? Yes, that’s what the defendant asked himself, “Where is Jim Conley?” Jim Conley was getting that much-needed sleep after the exciting events he had gone through with. That’s where Jim Conley was.

Then was the defendant lost.

He [Leo] sent Newt Lee away, with the last hope that Jim might yet turn up and burn the body as had been agreed upon.

“Go out and have a good time, Newt,”

that’s what the defendant told good old honest Newt Lee. He said, “It is not Newt Lee I want, it is Jim Conley. Go away, Newt, and stay until 6 o’clock. Give me two hours more.” Two hours passed, and Jim Conley did not show up. He was taking that much-needed nap.

Newt came back, and the game was up. He talked to Newt Lee about the night’s work and started home.

Now, gentlemen of the jury, I want to call your attention to a very peculiar thing: As the defendant passed out of the factory door, he met Gantt, old long-legged Gantt, who was looking for his shoes.

Witnesses testified that the defendant jumped back startled.

Why? Think why? He wasn’t afraid of Gantt. Gantt wouldn’t hurt a flee. That wasn’t the reason. He knew that Gantt knew Mary Phagan and had lived close to the family, and Frank thought that Gantt was looking for little Mary, who was missing from home and should have been back long ago. That’s why he jumped back when he saw Gantt. He had called Gantt down about “setting up” to Mary, and had fired him over an argument about who was going to pay a dollar or so. He didn’t think that Gantt stole that paltry dollar. He expected him to ask where Mary Phagan was. That, gentlemen of the jury, is why he jumped back when he saw Gantt. But Gantt spoke to the defendant. He just said, “Howdy,’ Mr. Frank,” The defendant felt relieved then. Gantt told him that he had left a pair of shoes in the factory and wanted to get them. But it won’t do to let him go in that building now, thought the defendant. Suppose he should find out? He must not go in there.

So the defendant said that he thought he had seen a nigger sweeping Gantt’s shoes out of the building. Then Gantt said he had two pairs of shoes in there, and that maybe the other pair -wasn’t swept out. This was the last hope. ‘What could he say to that? He had said that he saw the nigger sweeping out only one pair.

In a few days this murder must be out, anyway. To keep Gantt out would arouse his suspicions. And this is what went on in the defendant’s mind: “I’ll let him in, but I’ll guard him like a thief.” And he said, “Newt, go With him.” Strange to say, Gantt found both pairs of shoes, just where he said he had left them.

Gentlemen, does that look like the defendant had seen a nigger sweeping them out? Does that look like the truth? After he had let Gantt in the factory, what did he do? He called up the factory by phone, a thing that he never had done before. Why? Why did he do that thing? Gantt! Gantt! That’s why! He wanted to know if Gantt had gone, and whether he was any the wiser. He couldn’t rest until he knew this. This Banquo’s ghost of a Gantt was haunting him. But when he knew that Gantt was safely gone and everything was all right, he was in a fine humor then. He could laugh and talk He could sit down in the house with his wife and read baseball in the newspaper. He could laugh and try playfully to break up a card game. He felt fine and relieved. As glad and free as a school boy! Old long-legged Gantt was gone, and everything was all right!

Now, about Newt Lee. I don’t want to thresh out all the details in this respect. You remember the evidence about honest old Newt Lee’s finding the body. That’s all we need to know about him.

No suspicion attaches to Newt. He notified the police, and tried to notify Frank.

The police came and took the body of little Mary Phagan to the undertakers. The police called up Frank then and told him they wanted him. Detective Starnes got mixed up when he told about this on the stand, but he never forgot that when he called Frank up, Frank did not ask him what the trouble was. He didn’t ask him whether anybody had been killed at the factory. He didn’t ask them if everything at the factory was all right. They took Frank to the undertaker’s. He was nervous then. But have you seen a quiver of a muscle since he has been these weeks in the court room’? He is facing the fight now, and his nerves are set. But that morning he was as nervous as a cat.

He said, “I think it’s a girl I paid off yesterday. I’ll have to look at my books and see.” That’s what he said about the body of the girl he saw every day and talked to. He offered no consolation, or anything. He got away from there. Another thing, when they carried him to the basement and brought him back upstairs, what was going on in his mind then’? He thought he must look at that time slip. So he got the key and unlocked the clock and took out the slip. He examined it while others were looking over his shoulder, and said it was correctly punched, that it was all right, and others agreed to it. “Here’s the slip.” He said, “That’s all right. That clears you, Newt.” – What next occurred to him’? He saw he was getting into a fix, and he had better take a shot at Newt. What happens? Another slip turns up. He says he was mistaken at first. There were lapses in the punches on the slip, showing time enough unaccounted for to allow Newt to go home.

Policeman Black had suspicions. He goes to Newt Lee’s home. He unlocks the door with his keys, and looks in the house and on the trash pile, and in the bottom of the barrel, with a lot of things piled on top of it, he found a bloody shirt! How did it get there? Newt Lee accounts for his time Sunday. No suspicion attaches to Newt Lee. He is a free man. How did that bloody shirt get there? It had to be planted. Gentlemen, it was planted!

Here are the two propositions, gentlemen. If Newt Lee was to be made the scapegoat, suspicion had to be directed to him. Somebody had to plant that suspicion. He [Leo Frank] would sacrifice Newt Lee that he might live! The Bible says, “What will not a man give for his life?” He was willing to give the life of Newt Lee that his own life might be spared. He was willing to give the life of Gantt that he might live. Was not Gantt arrested a few days after? But not once at that time did he think of giving the life of Jim Conley. But somebody found Jim Conley washing a shirt to go to the trial, and there was where Jim got into trouble. But Frank didn’t try to fix it on Jim then. He waited until Newt had failed, and all else had failed, except the suspicion which rested upon himself. Then he turned on Jim Conley.

I call your attention, gentlemen of the jury, to another peculiar thing: Weeks after the murder, and after the factory had been searched, a big, bloody stick was found by shrewd Pinkerton detectives, who can find anything-even an elephant, if it gets in the way. They also found a piece of envelope. But, fortunately, they showed this to Mr. Coleman, who said that Mary had received but $1.20 and that the figure “5″ on the envelope had no business there. And so, it was rubbed out. Besides the shirt, then, we find the club and the pay envelope.

Another very peculiar thing is about this man named Mincey. Conley was asked, “Didn’t you confess to Mincey that you were the man that killed the girl?” Conley said, “No.” That question was asked, gentlemen, as a foundation upon which to introduce Mincey. Where is Mincey? He is the man who could clear it all up. He is the man about whom it appeared that the whole fight would center. If he could convince you that Jim confessed the murder to him, that would let Frank out! Yet where is Mincey?

Gentlemen, this has been a long testimony which you have had to sit through, and I do not wish to take up any more of your time than necessary. Gentlemen, the only belief required of you is the same sort of belief that you would have upon the street, at your places of business, or in your homes, and on this belief you are to act.

Simply use your common sense in the jury box.

I thank you.




Mr. Arnold:

Gentlemen of the Jury: We are all to be congratulated that this case is drawing to a close. We have all suffered here from trying a long and complicated case at the heated term of the year. It has been a case that has taken so much effort and so much concentration and so much time, and the quarters here are so poor, that it has been particularly hard on you members of the jury who are practically in custody while the case is going on. I know it’s hard on a jury, to be kept confined this way, but it is necessary that they be segregated and set apart where they will get no impression at home nor on the street. The members of the jury are in a sense set apart on a mountain, where, far removed from the. passion and heat of the plain, calmness roles them and they can judge a case on its merits.

My friend Hooper said a funny thing here a while ago. I don’t think he meant what he said, however. Mr. Hooper said that the men in the jury box are not different from the men on the street. Your Honor, I’m learning something every day, and I certainly learned something today, if that’s true. Mr. Hooper. Mr. Arnold evidently mistakes my meaning, which I thought I made clear. I stated that the men in the jury box were like they would be on the street in the fact that in making up their minds about the guilt or innocence of the accused they must use the same common sense that they would if they were not part of the court.

[Mr. Arnold next described the horrible crime that had been committed that afternoon or night in the National Pencil Company’s dark basement He dwelt on the effect of the crime upon the people of Atlanta and of how high feeling ran and still runs, and of the omnipresent desire for the death of the man who committed the crime.]

There are fellows like that street car man, Kendley, the one who vilified this defendant here and cried for him to be lynched, and shouted that he was guilty until he made himself a nuisance on the cars he ran. Why, I can hardly realize that a man holding a position as responsible as that of a motorman and a man with certain police powers and the discretion necessary to guide a car through the crowded city streets would give way to passion and prejudice like that. It was a type of man like Kendley who said he did not know for sure whether those negroes hanged in Decatur for the shooting of the street car men were guilty, but he was glad they were hung, as some negroes ought to be hanged for the crime. He’s the same sort of a man who believes that there ought to be a hanging because that innocent little girl was murdered, and who would like to see this Jew here hang because somebody ought to hang for it. I’ll tell you right now, if Frank hadn’t been a Jew there would never have been any prosecution against him.

I’m asking my own people to turn him loose, asking them to do justice to a Jew, and I’m not a Jew, but I would rather die before doing injustice to a Jew. This case has just been built up by degrees; they have a monstrous perjurer here in the form of this Jim Conley against Frank. You know what sort of a man Conley is, and you know that up to the time the murder was committed no one ever heard a word against Frank. Villainy like this charged to him does not crop out in a day. There are long mutterings of it for years before. There are only a few who have ever said anything against Frank. I want to call your attention later to the class of their witnesses and the class of ours.

A few floaters around the factory, out of the hundreds who have worked there in the plant three or four years, have been induced to come up here and swear that Frank has not a good character, but the decent employees down there have sworn to his good character. Look at the jail birds they brought up here, the very dregs of humanity, men and women who have disgraced themselves and who now have come and tried to swear away the life of an innocent man. I know that you members of the jury are impartial. That’s the only reason why you are here, and I’m going to strip the state’s case bare for you, if I have the strength to last to do it. They have got to show Frank guilty of one thing before you can convict him; they’ve got to show that he is guilty of the murder, no matter what else they show about him. You are trying him solely for the murder, and there must be no chance that anyone else could just as likely be guilty.

If the jury sees that there is just as good a chance that Conley can be guilty, then they must turn Frank loose. Now, you can see how in this case the detectives were put to it to lay the crime on somebody. First, it was Lee, and then it was Gantt, and various people came in and declared they had seen the girl alive late Saturday night and at other times, and no one knew what to do. Well, suspicion turned away from Gantt, and in a little while it turned away from Lee.

Now, I don’t believe that Lee is guilty of the crime, but I do believe that he knows a lot more about the crime than he told. He knows about those letters and he found that body a lot sooner than he said he did. Oh, well, the whole case is a mystery, a deep mystery, but there is one thing pretty plain, and that is that whoever wrote those notes committed the crime. Those notes certainly had some connection with the murder, and whoever wrote those notes committed the crime. Well, they put Newt Lee through the third degree and the fourth degree, and maybe a few others. That’s the way, you know, they got this affidavit from the poor negro woman, Minola McKnight.

Why, just the other day the supreme court handed down a decision in which it referred to the third degree methods of the police and detectives in words that burned. Well, they used those methods with Jim Conley. My friend, Hooper, said nothing held Conley to the witness chair here but the truth, but I tell you that the fear of a broken neck held him there. I think this decision about the third degree was handed down with Conley ‘s case in mind. I’m going to show this Conley business up before I get through. I’m going to show that this entire case is the greatest frameup in the history of the state.

My friend Hooper remarked something about circumstantial evidence, and how powerful it frequently was. He forgot to say that the circumstances, in every case, must invariably be proved by witnesses. History contains a long record of circumstantial evidence, and I once had a book on the subject which dwelt on such cases, most all of which sickens the man who reads them. Horrible mistakes have been made by circumstantial evidence—more so than by any other kind.

[1 Here Mr. Arnold cited the Durant case in San Francisco, the Hampton case in England, and the Dreyfus case in France as instances of mistakes of circumstantial evidence. In the Dreyfus case he declared it was purely persecution of the Jew. The hideousness of the murder itself was not as savage, he asserted, as the feeling to convict this man. But the savagery and venom is there just the same, and it is a case very much on the order of Dreyfus.]

Hooper says, “Suppose Frank didn’t kill the girl, and Jim Conley did, wasn’t it Frank’s duty to protect her.” He was taking the position that if Jim went back there and killed her, Frank could not help but know about the murder. Which position, I think, is quite absurd. Take this hypothesis, then, of Mr. Hooper’s. If Jim saw the girl go up and went back and killed her, would he have taken the body down the elevator at that time? Wouldn’t he have waited until Frank and White and Denham, and Mrs. White and all others were out of the building? I think so. But there’s not a possibility of the girl having been killed on the second floor. Hooper smells a plot, and says Frank has his eye on the little girl who was killed.

The crime isn’t an act of a civilized man—it’s the crime of a cannibal, a man-eater. Hooper is hard-pressed and wants to get up a plot—he sees he has to get tip something. He forms his plot from Jim Conley’s story. They say that on Friday, Frank knew he was going to make an attack of some sort on Mary Phagan. The plot thickens. Of all the wild things I have ever heard, that is the wildest. It is ridiculous. Mary Phagan worked in the pencil factory for months, and all the evidence they have produced that Frank ever associated with her—ever knew her—is the story of weasley little Willie Turner, who can’t even describe the little girl who was killed. A little further on in his story, Jim is beginning the plot. They used him to corroborate everything as they advised. Jim is laying the foundation for the plot. What is it—this plot? Only that on Friday Frank was planning to commit some kind of assault upon Mary Phagan.

Jim was their tool. Even Scott swears that when he told Jim that Jim’s story didn’t fit, Jim very obligingly adapted it to suit his defense. He was scrupulous about things like that. He was quite considerate. Certainly. He had his own neck to save. Jim undertook to show that Frank had an engagement with some woman at the pencil factory that Saturday morning. There is no pretense that another woman is mixed up in the case. No one would argue that he planned to meet and assault this innocent little girl who was killed. Who but God would know whether she was coming for her pay that Friday afternoon or the next Saturday? Are we stark idiots? Can’t we divine some things?

They’ve got a girl named Ferguson, who says she went for Mary Phagan’s pay on the Friday before she was killed, and that Frank wouldn’t give it to her. It is the wildest theory on earth, and it fits nothing. It is a strained conspiracy. Frank, to show you I am correct, had nothing whatever to do with paying off on Friday. Schiff did it all. And little Magnolia Kennedy, Helen Ferguson’s best friend, says she was with Helen when Helen went to draw her pay, and that Helen never said a word about Mary’s envelope. There’s your conspiracy, with Jim Conley’s story as its foundation. It’s too thin. It ‘s preposterous.

Then my friend Hooper says Frank discharged Gantt because he saw Gantt talking to Mary Phagan. If you convict men on such distorted evidence as this, why you’d be hanging men perpetually. Gantt, in the first place, doesn’t come into this case in any good light. It is ridiculously absurd to bring his discharge into this plot of the defense. Why, even Grace Hicks, who worked with Mary Phagan, and who is a sister-in-law of Boots Rogers, says that Frank did not know the little girl. Hooper also says that bad things are going on in the pencil factory, and that it is natural for men to cast about for girls in such environments. We are not trying this case on whether you or I or Frank had been perfect in the past. This is a case of murder. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

I say this much, and that is that there has been as little evidence of such conditions in this plant as any other of its kind you can find in the city. They have produced some, of course, but it is an easy matter to locate some ten or twelve disgruntled ex-employees who are vengeful enough to swear against their former superintendent, even though they don’t know him except by sight. I want to ask this much : Could Frank have remained at the head of this concern if he had been as loose morally as the state has striven to show? If he had carried on with the girls of the place as my friend alleged, wouldn’t the entire working force have been demoralized, ruined? He may have looked into this dressing room, as the little Jackson girl says, but, if he did, it was done to see that the girls weren’t loitering. There were no lavatories, no toilets, no baths in these dressing rooms. The girls only changed their top garments. He wouldn’t have seen much if he had peered into the place. You can go to Piedmont park any day and see girls and women with a whole lot less on their persons. And to the shows any night you can see the actresses with almost nothing on.

Everything brought against Frank was some act he did openly and in broad daylight, and an act against which no kick was made. The trouble with Hooper is that he sees a bear in every bush. He sees a plot in this because Frank told Jim Conley to come back Saturday morning. The office that day was filled with persons throughout the day. How could he know when Mary Phagan was coming or how many persons would be in the place when she arrived?

This crime is the hideous act of a negro who would ravish a ten-year-old girl the same as he would ravish a woman of years. It isn’t a white man’s crime. It’s the crime of a beast—a low, savage beast!

Now, back to the case. There is an explorer in the pencil factory by the name of Barrett—I call him Christopher Columbus Barrett purely for his penchant for finding things. Mr. Barrett discovered the blood spots in the place where Chief Beavers, Chief Lanford and Mr. Black and Mr. Starnes had searched on the Sunday of the discovery. They found nothing of the sort. Barrett discovered the stains after he had proclaimed to the whole second floor that he was going to get the $4,000 reward if Mr. Frank was convicted. Now, you talk about plants! If this doesn’t look mighty funny that a man expecting a reward would find blood spots in a place that has been scoured by detectives, I don’t know what does. Four chips of this flooring were chiseled from this flooring where these spots were found. The floor was an inch deep in dirt and grease. Victims of accidents had passed by the spot with bleeding fingers and hands. If a drop of blood had ever fallen there, a chemist could find it four years later. Their contention is that all the big spots were undiluted blood. Yet, let’s see how much blood Dr. Claude Smith found on the chips. Probably five corpuscles, that’s all, and that’s what he testified here at the trial. My recollection is that one single drop of blood contains 8,000 corpuscles. And, he found these corpuscles on only one chip. I say that half of the blood had been on the floor two or three years.

The stain on all chips but one were not blood. Dorsey’s own doctors have put him where he can’t wriggle—his own evidence hampers him! They found blood spots on a certain spot and then had Jim adapt his story accordingly. They had him put the finding of the body near the blood spots, and had him drop it right where the spots were found. It stands to reason that if a girl had been wounded on the lathing machine, there would have been blood in the vicinity of the machine. Yet, there was no blood in that place, and neither was there any where the body was said to have been found by Conley. The case doesn’t fit. It’s flimsy. And, this white machine oil that they’ve raised such a rumpus over. It was put on the floor as a cheap, common plant to make it appear as though someone had put it there in an effort to hide the blood spots. The two spots of blood and the strands of hair are the only evidence that the prosecution has that the girl was killed on the second floor.

Now, about these strands of hair. Barrett, the explorer, says he found four or five strands on the lathing machine. I don’t know whether he did or not. They’ve never been produced. I’ve never seen them. But, it’s probable, for just beyond the lathing machine, right in the path of a draft that blows in from the window, is a gas jet used by the girls in curling and primping their hair. It’s very probable that strands of hair have been blown from this jet to the lathing machine.

The detectives say that Frank is a crafty, cunning criminal, when deep down in their heart of hearts they know good and well that their case is built against him purely because he was honest enough to admit having seen her that day. Had he been a criminal, he never would have told about seeing her and would have replaced her envelope in the desk, saying she had never called for her pay.

I believe that a majority of women are good. The state jumped on poor Daisy Hopkins. I don’t contend, now, mind you, that she is a paragon of virtue. But there are men who were put up by the state who are no better than she. For instance, this Dalton, who says openly that he went into the basement with Daisy. I don’t believe he ever did, but, in such a case, he slipped in. There are some fallen women who can tell the truth. They have characteristics like all other types. We put her on the stand to prove Dalton a liar, and she did it.

Now, gentlemen, don’t you think the prosecution is hard pressed when they put up such a character as Dalton? They say he has reformed. A man with thievery in his soul never reforms. Drunkards do, and men with bad habits, but thieves! No. Would you convict a man like Frank on the word of a perjurer like Dalton?

Now, I’m coming back to Jim Conley. The whole case centers around him. Mr. Hooper argues well on that part. At the outset of the case, the suspicion pointed to Frank merely because he was the only man in the building. It never cropped out for weeks that anyone else was on the first floor. The detectives put their efforts on Frank because he admitted having seen the girl. They have let their zeal run away with them in this case, and it is tragic. They are proud whenever they get a prisoner who will tell something. The humbler the victim the worse is the case. Such evidence comes with the stamp of untruth on its face.

Jim Conley was telling his story to save his neck, and the detectives were happy listeners. If there is one thing for which a negro is capable it is for telling a story in detail. It is the same with children. Both have vivid imaginations. And a negro is also the best mimic in the world. He can imitate anybody. Jim Conley, as he lay in his cell and read the papers and talked with the detectives, conjured up his wonderful story, and laid the crime on Frank, because the detectives had laid it there and were helping him do the same.

Now, Brother Hooper waves the bloody shirt in our face. It was found, Monday or Tuesday, in Newt Lee’s house, while Detectives Black and Scott were giving Cain to poor old man Newt Lee. I don’t doubt for a minute that they knew it was out there when they started out after it. I can’t say they planted it, but it does look suspicious. Don’t ask us about a planted shirt. Ask Scott and Black.

The first thing that points to Conley ‘s guilt is his original denial that he could write. Why did he deny it? Why? I don’t suppose much was thought of it when Jim said he couldn’t write, because there are plenty of negroes who are in the same fix. But later, when they found he could, and found that his script compared perfectly with the murder notes, they went right on accusing Frank. Not in criminal annals was there a better chance to lay at the door of another man a crime than Jim Conley had. You see, there is a reason to all things. The detective department had many reasons to push the case against Frank. He was a man of position and culture. They were afraid that someone, unless they pushed the case to the jumping off place, would accuse them of trying to shield him. They are afraid of public and sentiment, and do not want to combat it, so, in such cases, they invariably follow the line of least resistance.

[Reading Conley’s statement, Mr. Arnold pointed out the use of words, which he declared no negro would naturally have used.] These were long words with many syllables in them. They said that Conley used so much detail in his statements that he could not have been lying! [He then read parts of statements which Conley had repudiated as willful lies and pointed out the wealth of detail with which they were filled.] And yet they say he couldn’t fabricate so much detail! Oh, he is smart! [He then read the statement of May 24, in which Conley admitted writing the notes. In this he shows three different times at which Conley stated he wrote the notes, these being early in the morning, at 12:04 and at 3 p.m.] The statements were not genuinely Conley’s. Take the word “negro.” The first word that a nigger learns to spell correctly is negro, and he always takes particular pains to spell it n-e-g-r-o. He knows how to spell it. Listen to the statement. He says that at first he spelled the word “negros,” but that Frank did not want the “s” on it and told him to rub it out, which he did. Then he says that he wrote the word over.

Look at the notes. He was treed about those notes, and he had to tell a lie and put upon someone the burden of instructing him to write them. The first statement about them was a blunt lie—a lie in its incipiency. He said he wrote the notes on Friday. This was untrue, and unreasonable and he saw it. Frank could not have known anything of an intended murder on Friday from any viewpoint you might take, and therefore he could not have made Conley write them on Friday.

Ah, gentlemen of the jury, I tell you these people had a great find when they got this admission from Conley ! If Conley had stayed over there in the Tower with Uncle Wheeler Mangum he would have told the truth long ago. There’s where he should have stayed, with Wheeler Mangum. My good friend, Dorsey, is all right. I like him. But he should not have walked hand in glove with the detectives. There’s where he went wrong. My good old friend, Charlie Hill would not have done that. He would have let the nigger stay in the jail with Uncle Wheeler.

I like Dorsey. He simply made a mistake by joining in the hunt, in becoming a part of the chase. The solicitor should be little short of as fair as the judge himself. But he’s young and lacks the experience. He will probably know better in the future. Dorsey did this : He went to the judge and got the nigger moved from the jail to the police station. The judge simply said, “Whatever you say is all right.”

Now, I’m going to show you how John Black got the statement of Conley changed. I am going to give you a demonstration. I have learned some things in this case about getting evidence . They say that Frank cut Conley loose and he decided to tell the truth. Conley is a wretch with a long criminal record. Gentlemen, how can they expect what he says to be believed against the statement of Leo M. Frank? They say Conley can’t lie about detail. Here are four pages, all of which he himself admits are lies. They are about every saloon on Peters Street, saloons to which he went, his shooting craps, his buying beer and all the ways in which he spent a morning. There is detail enough, and he admits that they are lies. Now, in his third statement, that of May 28, he changes the time of writing the letters from Friday to Saturday. Here are two pages of what he said, all of which he afterwards said were lies. He says that he made the statement that he wrote the notes on Friday in order to divert suspicion from his being connected with the murder which happened on Saturday. He also says that this is his final and true statement. God only knows how many statements he will make. He said he made the statement voluntarily and truthfully without promise of reward, and that he is telling the truth and the whole truth. He said in his statement that he never went to the building on Saturday. Yet we know that he was lurking in the building all the morning on the day of the murder. We know that he watched every girl that walked into that building so closely that he could tell you the spots on their dresses. We know that he was drunk, or had enough liquor in him to fire his blood. I know why he wouldn’t admit being in that building on Saturday. He had guilt on his soul, and he didn’t want it to be known that he was here on Saturday.

That’s why when they pinned him down, what did he do? He says that he was watching for Frank. My God, wasn’t he a watchman! He said that he heard Frank and Mary Phagan walking upstairs, and that he heard Mary Phagan scream, and that immediately after hearing the scream he let Monteen Stover into the building. Why, they even have him saying that he watched for Frank, when another concern was using the very floor space in which Frank’s office was located, and you know they wouldn’t submit to anything like that.

Look again! He says that Mr. Frank said, “Jim, can you write?” What a lie ! He admitted that he had been writing for Frank for two years. It’s awful to have to argue about a thing like this, gentlemen ! You will remember Hooper said, “How foolish of Conley to write these notes ! ” How much more foolish, I say, of Frank to do it!

I don’t think that Newt killed the girl, but I believe he discovered the body some time before he notified the police. Newt’s a good nigger. Scott said that it took Conley six minutes to write a part of one note. Conley said that he wrote the notes three times.

They say that nigger couldn’t lie. Gentlemen, if there is any one thing that nigger can do, it is to lie. As my good old friend, Charlie Hill, would say, “Put him in a hopper and hell drip lye!”

He was trying to prove an alibi for himself when he said that he was not in the factory on Saturday and told all the things that he did elsewhere on that day. But we know that the wretch was lurking in the factory all of Saturday morning. Further, he swore that while he was in Frank’s office he heard someone approaching, and Mr. Frank cried out, “Gee! Here come Corinthia Hall and Emma Clarke!” and that Frank shut him up in a wardrobe until they left. According to Conley, they came into the factory between 12 and 1 o’clock, when as a matter of fact, we know that they came between 11 and 12.

And as for his being able to fabricate the details of his statement—why, he knew every inch of that building from top to bottom! Hadn’t he been sweeping and cleaning it for a long time? With this knowledge of the building, he naturally had no trouble in his pantomime after he had formed his story. The miserable wretch has Frank hiding him in the wardrobe when Emma Clarke came in after the murder, when it has been proved that she came there and left before Mary Phagan ever entered the building on that day. They saw where they were wrong in that statement, and they made Conley change it on the stand. They made him say, “I thought it was them.” They knew that that story wouldn’t fit.

Do you remember, how eagerly Conley took the papers from the girls at the factory? And do you remember how for four or five days the papers were full of the fact that Frank’s home was in Brooklyn, and that his relatives were reported to be wealthy? Conley didn’t have to go far to get material for that statement he put in Frank’s mouth. It so happened, though, that Frank really did not have rich relatives in Brooklyn. His mother testified that his father was in ill health, and had but moderate means and that his sister worked in New York for her living.

Gentlemen, am I living or dreaming, that I have to argue such points as these? This is what you’ve got to do: You’ve got to swallow every word that Conley has said—feathers and all, or you’ve got to believe none of it. How are you going to pick out of such a pack of lies as these what you will believe and what you will not? Yet, this is what the prosecution has based the case upon. If this fails, all fails. And do you remember about the watch, where Conley said that Frank asked him, “Why do you want to buy a watch for your wife? My big, fat wife wanted me to buy her an automobile, but I wouldn’t do it!” Do you believe that, gentlemen of the jury? I tell you that they have mistreated this poor woman terribly. They have insinuated that she would not come to the tower to see Frank—had deserted him. When we know that she stayed away from the jail at Frank’s own request because he did not want to submit her to the humiliation of seeing him locked up and to the vulgar gaze of the morbid and to the cameras of the newspaper men. The most awful thing in the whole case is the way this family has been mistreated!

The way they invaded Frank’s home and manipulated his servants. I deny that the people who did this are representative of the 175,000 people of Fulton county. We are a fair people, and we are a chivalrous people. Such acts as these are not in our natures.

Conley next changes the time of the writing of the notes to Saturday, but denies knowledge of the murder. That, of course, did not satisfy these gentlemen, and they went back to him. They knew he was dodging incrimination. So they had him to change the statement again. Scott and other detectives spent six hours at the time with Conley on occasions and used profanity and worried him to get a confession. Hooper thinks that we have to break down Conley’s testimony on the stand, but there is no such ruling. You can’t tell when to believe him, he has lied so much. Scott says the detectives went over the testimony with Dorsey. There is where my friend got into it. They grilled Conley for six hours, trying to impress on him the fact that Frank would not have written the notes on Friday. They wanted another statement. He insisted that he had no other statement to make, but he did change the time of the writing of the notes from Friday to Saturday. This shows, gentlemen, as clearly as anything can show, how they got Conley ‘s statements.

In the statement of May 29, they had nothing from Jim Conley about his knowledge of the killing of the little girl, and the negro merely said that Frank had told him something about the girl having received a fall and about his helping Frank to hide the body. Oh, Conley, we are going to have you tell enough to have you convict Frank and yet keep yourself clear. That’s a smart negro, that Conley. And you notice how the state bragged on him because he stood up under the cross-examination of Colonel Rosser. Well, that negro’s been well versed in law. Scott and Black and Starnes drilled him; they gave him the broad hints.

We came here to go to trial, and knew nothing of the negro’s claim to seeing the cord around the little girl’s neck, or of his claim of seeing Lemmie Quinn go into the factory, or of a score of other things. Yet, Conley was then telling the truth, he said, and he had thrown Frank aside. Oh, he was no longer shielding Frank, and yet he didn’t tell it all when he said he was telling the whole truth. Well, Conley had a revelation, you know. My friend Dorsey visited with him seven times. And my friend, Jim Starnes, and my Irish friend, Patrick Campbell, they visited him, and on each visit Conley saw new light. Well, I guess they showed him things and other things. Does Jim tell a thing because it’s the truth, gentlemen of the jury, or because it fits into something that another witness has told?

Scott says they told him thing that fitted. And Conley changed things every time he had a visit from Dorsey and the detectives. Are you going to hang a man on that?

Gentlemen, it’s foolish for me to have to argue such a thing. The man that wrote those murder notes is the man who killed that girl. Prove that man was there and that he wrote the notes and you know who killed the girl. Well, Conley acknowledges he wrote the notes and witnesses have proved he was there and he admits that, too. That negro was in the building near the elevator shaft; it took but two steps for him to grab that little girl’s mesh bag. She probably held on to it and struggled with him. A moment later he had struck her in the eye and she had fallen. It is the work of a moment for Conley to throw her down the elevator shaft. Isn’t it more probable that the story I have outlined is true than the one that Conley tells on Frank?

Suppose Conley were now under indictment and Frank out, how long would such a story against Frank stand the pressure? In the statement of May 29 there are any number of things that are not told of which later were told on the stand. In the May 29 statement Conley never told of seeing Mary Phagan enter; he never told of seeing Monteen Stover enter, nor of seeing Lemmie Quinn enter; now he tells of having seen all of them enter. Don’t you see how they just made it to fit witnesses and what the witnesses would swear? It was, “Here, Conley, swear that Quinn came up, swear that the dead girl came up, and swear that Miss Stover came up ; they all did, and it’s true, swear to it !” And Conley would say, “All right, boss, Ah reckon they did.” And it was “Conley, how did you fail to hear that girl go into the metal room? We know she went there, because by our blood and hair we have proved she was killed there,” and the poor negro thought a minute, and then he said, “Yes, boss, I heard her go in.” The state’s representatives had put it into the negro’s head to swear he heard Frank go in with her, and that he heard Frank come tiptoeing out later, and that by that method they made Conley swear that Frank was a moral pervert.

Now, I don’t know that they told Conley to swear to this and to swear to that, but they made the suggestions, and Conley knew whom he had to please. He knew that when he pleased the detectives that the rope knot around his neck grew looser. In the same way they made Conley swear about Dalton, and in the same way about Daisy Hopkins. They didn’t ask him about the mesh bag. They forgot that until Conley got on the stand. That mesh bag and that pay envelope furnish the true motive for this crime, too, and if the girl was ravished, Conley did it after he had robbed her and thrown her body into the basement.

Well, they got Conley on the stand, and my friend Dorsey here asked Conley about the mesh bag, and he said, yes, Frank had put it in his safe. That was the crowning lie of all! Well, they’ve gone on this way, adding one thing and another, thing. They wouldn’t let Conley out of jail; they had their own reasons for that, and yet I never heard that old man over there (pointing to the sheriff) called dishonest. He runs his jail in a way to protect the innocent and not to convict them in this jail.

Gentlemen, right here a little girl was murdered, and it’s a terrible crime. The Phagan tragedy, the crime that stirred Atlanta as none other ever did. We have already got in court the man who wrote those notes, and the man who by his own confession was there; the man who robbed her, and, gentlemen, why go further in seeking the murderer than the black brute who sat there by the elevator shaft?

The man who sat by that elevator shaft is the man who committed the crime. He was full of passion and lust ; he had drunk of mean whiskey, and he wanted money at first to buy more whiskey. [Mr. Arnold asked the sheriff to unwrap a chart which had previously been brought into court. It proved to be a chronological chart of Frank’s alleged movements on Saturday, April 26, the day of the crime, and Mr. Arnold announced to the jury that he would prove by the chart that it was a physical impossibility for Frank to have committed the crime.]

Every word on that chart is taken from the evidence, and it will show you that Frank did not have time to commit the crime charged to him. The state has wriggled a lot in this affair; they put up little George Epps, and he swore that he and Mary Phagan got to town about seven after twelve, and then they used other witnesses, and my friend Dorsey tried to boot the Epps boy’s evidence aside as though it were nothing. The two street car men, Hollis and Mathews, say that Mary Phagan got to Forsyth and Marietta at five or six minutes after twelve, and they stuck to it, despite every attempt to bulldoze them, and then Mathews, who rode on the car to Whitehall and Mitchell, says that Mary Phagan rode around with him to Broad and Hunter streets before she got off.

Well, the state put up McCoy, the man who never got his watch out of soak until about the time he was called as a witness, and they had him swear that he looked at his watch at Walton and Forsyth (and he never had any watch), and it was 12 o’clock exactly, and then he walked down the street and saw Mary Phagan on her way to the factory. Now, I don’t believe McCoy ever saw Mary Phagan. Epps may have seen her, but the State apparently calls him a liar, when they introduce other testimony to show a change of time to what he swore to. It’s certain those two street car men who knew the girl, saw her, but the state comes in with the watchless McCoy and Kendley, the Jew-hater, and try to advance new theories about the time and different ones from what their own witness had sworn to. Well, we have enough to prove the time, all right; we have the street car schedule, the statement of Hollis and Mathews and of George Epps, the state’s own witness.

The next thing is, how long did it take Conley to go through with what he claims happened from the time he went into Frank’s office and was told to get the body until he left the factory. According to Conley’s own statement, he started at four minutes to 1 o’clock and got through at 1:30 o’clock, making 34 minutes in all Harlee Branch says that he was there when the detectives made Conley go through with what he claimed took place, and that he started then at 12 :17, and by Mr. Branch’s figures, it took Conley 50 minutes to complete the motions. Well, the state has attacked nearly everybody we have brought into this case, but they didn’t attack Dr. William Owen, and he showed by his experiments that Conley could not have gone through those motions in 34 minutes. Jim Conley declared that he started at 4 minutes to 1 o’clock to get the body, and that he and Frank left at 1 :30. If we ever pinned the negro down to anything, we did to that, and we have shown that he could not have done all that in 34 minutes.

Away with your filth and your dirty, shameful evidence of perversion; your low street gossip, and come back to the time—the time-element in the case. Now, I don’t believe the little Stover girl ever went into the inner office. She was a sweet, innocent, timid little girl, and she just peeped into the office from the outer one, and if Frank was in there, the safe door hid him from her view, or if he was not there, he might have stepped out for just a moment. Oh, my friend, Dorsey, he stops clocks and he changes schedules, and he even changes a man’s whole physical make-up, and he’s almost changed the course of time in an effort to get Frank convicted. Oh, I hate to think of little Mary Phagan in this. I hate to think that such a sweet, pure, good little girl as she was, with never a breath of anything wrong whispered against her, should have her memory polluted with such rotten evidence against an innocent man.

Well, Mary Phagan entered the factory at approximately 12 minutes after 12, and did you ever stop to think that it was Frank who told them that the girl entered the office when she entered it? If he had killed her he would have just slipped her pay envelope back in the safe and declared that he never saw her that day at all, and then no one could have ever explained how she got into that basement. But Frank couldn’t know that there was hatred enough left in this country against his race to bring such a hideous charge against him.

Well, the little girl entered, and she got her pay and asked about the metal and then she left, but, there was a black spider waiting down there near the elevator shaft, a great passionate, lustful animal, full of mean whiskey and wanting money with which to buy more whiskey. He was as full of vile lust as he was of the passion for more whiskey, and the negro (and there are a thousand of them in Atlanta who would assault a white woman if they had the chance and knew they wouldn’t get caught) robbed her and struck her and threw her body down the shaft, and later he carried it back, and maybe, if she was alive, when he came back, he committed a worse crime, and then he put the cord around her neck and left the body there.

Do you suppose Frank would have gone out at 1 :20 o’clock and left that body in the basement and those two men, White and Denham, at work upstairs? Do you suppose an intelligent man like Frank would have risked running that elevator, like Conley says he did, with the rest of the machinery of the factory shut off and nothing to prevent those men up there hearing him? Well, Frank says he left the factory at 1 o’clock, and Conley says he left there at 1 :30. Now, there’s a little girl, who tried the week before to get a job as stenographer in Frank’s office, who was standing at Whitehall and Alabama streets, and saw Frank at ten minutes after 1. Did she lie? Well, Dorsey didn’t try to show it, and according to Dorsey, everybody lied except Conley and Dalton and Albert McKnight. This little girl says she knows it was Frank, because Professor Briscoe had introduced her to him the week before, and she knows the time of day because she had looked at a clock, as she had an engagement to meet another little girl. That stamps your Conley story a lie blacker than hell!

Then, Mrs. Levy, she’s a Jew, but she’s telling the truth; she was looking for her son to come home, and she saw Frank get off the car at his home corner, and she looked at her clock and saw it was 1 :20. Then, Mrs. Selig and Mr. Selig swore on the stand that they knew he came in at 1 :20. Oh, of course, Dorsey says they are Frank’s parents and wretched liars when they say they saw him come in at 1 :20. There’s no one in this case that can tell the truth but Conley, Dalton and Albert McKnight. They are the lowest dregs and jail-birds, and all that, but they are the only ones who know how to tell the truth! Well, now Albert says he was there at the Selig home when Frank came in; of course he is lying, for his wife and the Seligs prove that, but he’s the state’s witness and he says Frank got there at 1 :30, and thus he brands Conley’s story about Frank’s leaving the factory at 1:30 a lie. Well, along the same lines, Albert says Frank didn’t eat and that he was nervous, and Albert says he learned all this by looking into a mirror in the dining room, and seeing Frank’s reflection. Then Albert caps the climax to his series of lies by having Frank board the car for town at Pulliam street and Glenn.

Now as to the affidavit signed by Minola McKnight, the cook for Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig. How would you feel, gentlemen of the jury, if your cook, who had done no wrong and for whom no warrant had been issued, and from whom the solicitor had already got a statement, was to be locked up? Well, they got that wretched husband of Minola ‘s by means of Graven and Pickett, two men seeking a reward, and then they got Minola, and they said to her, “Oh, Minola, why don’t you tell the truth like Albert’s telling it?” They had no warrant when they locked this woman up. Starnes was guilty of a crime when he locked that woman up without a warrant, and Dorsey was, too, if he had anything to do with it. Now, George Gordon, Minola’s lawyer, says that he asked Dorsey about getting the woman out, and Dorsey replied, “I’m afraid to give my consent to turning her loose; I might get in bad with the detective department.” That’s the way you men got evidence, was it?

Miss Rebecca Carson, a forewoman of the National Pencil factory, swore Frank had a good character. The state had introduced witnesses who swore that the woman and Frank had gone into the woman’s dressing room when no one was around. I brand it a culmination of all lies when this woman was attacked. Frank had declared her to be a perfect lady with no shadow of suspicion against her. Well, Frank went on back to the factory that afternoon when he had eaten his lunch, and he started in and made out the financial sheet. I don’t reckon he could have done that if he had just committed a murder, particularly when the state says he was so nervous the next morning that he shook and trembled. Then, the state says Frank wouldn’t look at the corpse. But who said he didn’t t Nobody. Why, Gheesling and Black didn’t swear to that. Now, gentlemen, I’ve about finished this chapter, and I know it’s been long and hard on you and I know it’s been hard on me, too; I’m almost broken down, but it means a lot to that man over there. It means a lot to him, and don’t forget that.

This case has been made up of just two things — prejudice and perjury. I’ve never seen such malice, such personal hatred in all my life, and I don’t think anyone ever has. The crime itself is dreadful, too horrible to talk about, and God grant that the murderer may be found out, and I think he has. I think we can point to Jim Gonley and say there is the man. But, above all, gentlemen, let’s follow the law in this matter. In circumstantial cases you can’t convict a man as long as there’s any other possible theory for the crime of which he is accused, and you can’t find Frank guilty if there’s a chance that Conley is the murderer. The state has nothing on which to base their case but Conley, and we’ve shown Conley a liar. Write your verdict of not guilty and your consciences will give your approval.

Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
Old August 27th, 2015 #106
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Default Luther Zeigler Rosser, Lead Defense Counselor for Leo Frank



Luther Zeigler Rosser

Mr. Rosser:

Gentlemen of the jury. All things come to an end. With the end of this case has almost come the end of the speakers, and but for the masterly effort of my brother, Arnold, I almost wish it had ended with no speaking. My condition is such that I can say but little ; my voice is husky and my throat almost gone. But for my interest in this case and my profound conviction of the innocence of this man, I would not undertake to speak at all. I want to repeat what my friend, Arnold, said so simply. He said this jury is no mob. The attitude of the juror’s mind is not that of the mind of the man who carelessly walks the streets. My friend, Hooper, must have brought that doctrine with.him when he came to Atlanta. We walk the street carelessly and we meet our friends and do not recognize them; we are too much absorbed in our own interests. Our minds wander in flights of fancy or in fits of reverence ; we may mean no harm to ourselves, nor to our friends, but we are careless. No oath binds us when we walk the streets.

Men, you are different; you are set aside; you ceased when you took your juror’s oath to be one of the rollicking men of the streets; you were purged by your oath. In old pagan Rome the women laughed and chattered on the streets as they went to and fro, but there were a few — the Vestal Virgins — they cared not for the gladiatorial games, nor the strife of the day. So it is with you men, set apart; you care not for the chatter and laughter of the rabble; you are unprejudiced and it is your duty to pass on a man’s life with no passion and no cruelty, but as men purged by an oath from the careless people of the streets. You are to decide from the evidence, with no fear of a hostile mob and no thought of favor to anyone.

What suggestion comes into a man’s mind when he thinks of a crime like this? And what crime could be more horrible than this one? What punishment too great for the brute in human form who committed it and who excited this community to a high pitch? Since 1908 the National Pencil factory has employed hundreds of girls and women, and also men, and not all of the girls and women, not all of the men have been perfect, but you can find good men and women in all strata of life, and yet the detectives, working with microscopes and with the aid of my friend, Dorsey, excited almost beyond peradventure, found only two to swear against Frank. They found Dalton and they found Conley.

Well, I’ll take up Conley at a more fitting time, but Dalton, who is Dalton? God Almighty writes on a man’s face and he don’t always write a pretty hand, but he writes a legible one. When you see Dalton you put your hand on your pocketbook. When Dalton took the stand Mr. Arnold and I had never had the pleasure of seeing his sweet countenance before, but Mr. Arnold leaned over and whispered in my ear, “There’s a thief if there ever was one.” I smelt about him the odor of the chain gang, and I began to feel him out. I asked him if he had ever been away from home for any length of time, and he knew at once what I meant and he began to dodge and to wriggle, and before he left the stand I was sure he was a thief. Dalton was on, three times in Walton county and then in another county where he probably went to escape further trouble in Walton, he got into trouble again. It wasn’t just the going wrong of a young man who falls once and tries to get over it, but it was the steady thievery of a man at heart a thief. Of course, Dalton comes here to Atlanta and reforms. Yes, he joined a Godly congregation and persuaded them that he had quit his evil ways. That’s an old trick of thieves and they use it to help their trade along. I believe in the divine power of regeneration; I believe that you can reform, that there’s always time to turn back and do right, but there’s one kind of man whom I don’t believe can ever reform. Once a thief, always a thief.

Our Master knew it. He recognized the qualities of a thief. You remember when they crucified Him and He hung on the cross there on the hill. Well, He had a thief hanging beside Him, and He said to that thief, “This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.” He didn’t dare say tomorrow. He knew He’d better say today, because by tomorrow that thief would be stealing again in Jerusalem.

Dalton disgraced the name of his race, and he was a thief and worse, if there can be, and yet he joined the church. He joined the church and he’s now a decent, believable man. Well, you remember how brazenly he sat here on the stand and bragged of his “peach,” how indecently he bragged of his fall; how he gloated over his vice. He was asked if he ever went to that miserable, dirty factory basement with a woman for immoral purposes, and he was proud to say that he had. Gentlemen, it was the first time Dalton had ever been in the limelight; it was the first time decent, respectable white men and women had ever listened to him with respect, let alone attention. When he was asked about that, if he was guilty, if he had fallen, he might have declined to answer, he might have hung his head in shame, as any decent, respectable man would have done, but instead, he bragged and boasted of it.

When Dalton was asked what sort of a woman Frank had, he brazenly and braggingly said he did not know, that he himself had such a peach there that he could not take his eyes off her to look at Frank’s woman. Well, you have seen Dalton ‘s peach; you all have seen Daisy. Conley tells a different story. He says Frank took the peach (that lemon) for himself and that Dalton had to get him another woman. I’m not saying that we are all free of passion, that we are all moral and perfect, but at least the decent man don’t brag of having a peach.

Well, if you believe Dalton ‘s story, and let’s presume it true now. If you believe it he went into that scuttle hole there at the factory with Daisy. Dalton took that woman into the factory, into a dirty, nasty, fetid hole where the slime oozed and where no decent dog or cat would go, and there he satisfied his passion. That’s what he told us. Well, Dalton told us he went there about 2 o’clock one Saturday afternoon last year, and of course, at that time the Clarke Wooden Ware company occupied the lower floor and used the same entrance that the National Pencil Company did, and Frank was at lunch and knew nothing of Dalton’s visit Of course, Dalton left an oozy trail behind him; wherever he went he did that. You can still feel it in this court room. Of course, too, Dalton may have gone into the pencil factory that day and left his oozy, slimy trail there, but otherwise there’s nothing against the factory, and you know there’s not, for our great quartet — Starnes and Campbell and Black (oh, how I love Black ; I always want to put my arms around him whenever I think of him), and Scott, for he was with that crowd; they tried their very best to find something that would show that factory up as a vile hole.

Well, there’s another reason that proves conclusively that it was not the assignation place Dalton and Conley name it. It has always been wrong for men and women to commit fornication and adultery, but it’s always been done and the world, as long as it was done decently and quietly and not bragged about and blazoned forth in public places, has rather allowed it to go unchecked, but it’s not so now. You know, I know the working people of this state and this city. I’ve always worked with my head and it’s never been my good fortune to be one of the working people, but there are no silken ladies in my ancestry, nor are there any dudish men. I know the working men and the working women, because that blood runs in my veins, and if any man in Atlanta knows them I do, and I tell you that there are no 100 working girls and women in Atlanta who could be got together by raking with a fine-tooth comb who’d stay there at that factory with conditions as bad as they have been painted, and there are no 100 working men here so thin blooded as to allow such conditions there.

Frank’s statement to the jury, it was Frank’s handiwork only, and neither he nor Mr. Arnold knew what Frank was going to say when he got on the stand. Look at the statement this man made to you, and it was his statement, not mine. I can prove that by the simple reason that I haven’t got brains enough to have made it up, and Mr. Arnold (though he’s got far more brains than I), he could not have made it. Mr. Arnold might have given it the same weight and thickness, but not the living ring of truth. Now, another thing. We didn’t have to put Frank’s character up. If we hadn’t the judge would have told yon Frank must be presumed to have a good character, and that you did not have the right to ask that question about him, but we thought you were, and we put it up and see what a character the man has. There’s not a man in the sound of my voice who could prove a better character. Of course, I mean from the credible evidence, not that stuff of Conley’s and Dalton’s.

But you say, some people, some former employes swore he had a bad character. You know that when you want to, you can always get someone to swear against anybody’s character. Put me in his place and let my friend, Arnold, be foolish enough to put my character up and there ‘d be plenty of those I have maybe hurt or offended as I have gone through life, would swear it was wrong, and I believe I’ve got an ordinarily good character. Why, you could bring twenty men here in Fulton county to swear that Judge Roan, there on the bench, has a bad character. You know that he’s had to judge men and sometimes to be what they thought was severe on them, and he’s naturally made men hate him and they’d gladly come and swear his character away. But if the men and women who live near him, the good and decent men and women, who lived near him and knew, came up and said his character was good, you’d believe them, wouldn’t you?

Well, gentlemen, the older I get the gentler I get and I wouldn’t think or say anything wrong about those misleading little girls who swore Frank was a bad man. I guess they thought they were telling the truth. Well, did Miss Maggie Griffin really think Frank was a vicious man and yet work there three years with him! Don’t you think she heard things against him after the crime was committed and that when she got up here and looked through the heated atmosphere of this trial, she did not see the real truth! And Miss Maggie Griffin, she was there two months. I wonder what she could know about Frank in that time. There was Mrs. Donegan and Miss Johnson and another girl there about two months, and Nellie Potts, who never worked there at all, and Mary Wallace, there three days, and Estelle Wallace, there a week and Carrie Smith, who like Miss Cato, worked there three years. These are the only ones in the hundreds who have worked there since 1908 who will say that Frank has a had character. Why, you could find more people to say that the Bishop of Atlanta, I believe, had a bad character, than have been brought against Frank.

You noticed they were not able to get any men to come from the factory and swear against Frank. Men are harder to wheedle than are little girls. Does anybody doubt that if that factory had been the bed of vice that they call it, that the long-legged Gantt would have know of it? They had Gantt on the stand twice, and, well, you know Gantt was discharged from the factory, of course you weren’t told why in plain words, but you all know why. Well, Frank is not liked by Gantt and Gantt would have loved to tell something against his former employer, but he couldn’t. If they have any further suspicions against this man, they haven’t given them, either because they are afraid or are unable to prove their suspicions, if they have such suspicions, though, and are doing you a worse injustice.

What are these suspicions that they have advanced thus far? First, Miss Robinson is said to have said that she saw Frank teaching Mary Phagan how to work. Dorsey reached for it on the instant, scenting something improper as is quite characteristic of him. But Miss Robinson denies it. There’s nothing in it, absolutely nothing. Then they say he called her Mary. Well, what about it? What if he did! We all have bad memories. If you met me on the street six months ago, can you recall right now whether you called me Luther or Rosser?

The next is Willie Turner — poor little Willie! I have nothing against Willie. He seems to be a right clever sort of a boy. But just think of the methods the detectives used against him — think of the way they handled him, and think of the way Dorsey treated him on the witness stand. He says — Willie does — that he saw Frank talking to Mary Phagan in the metal room. What does it show if he did see such a scene? I can’t see for the life of me where it indicates any sign of lascivious lust. Does what Willie Turner saw, taking for granted he saw it, show that Frank was planning to ruin little Mary Phagan? Does it uphold this plot my friend Hooper had so much to say about? Even with that, considering Willie Turner did see such a thing, there’s one fact that takes the sting out of it. He saw it in broad daylight. Frank was with the little girl right in front of Lemmie Quinn’s office in an open factory where there were a lot of people and where the girls were quitting their work and getting ready to go home to dinner. It wasn’t so, though, and Frank never made any improper advances to this little girl. Let me tell you why. Mary Phagan was a good girl, as pure as God makes them and as innocent. She was all that, and more. But, she would have known a lascivious advance or an ogling eye the minute she saw it, and the minute this man made any sort of a move to her, she would have fled instantly to home to tell this good father and mother of hers.

Then next, they bring Dewey Hewell, who says she saw Frank with his hand on Mary’s shoulder. That’s all right, but there is Grace Hix and Helen Ferguson and Magnolia Kennedy who contradict her and say Frank never knew Mary Phagan. You can say all you please about such as that, but there is one fact that stands out indisputable. If that little girl had ever received mistreatment at the pencil factory, no deer would have bounded more quickly from the brush at the bay of dogs than she would have fled home to tell her father and mother.

Now, my friend from the Wiregrass says Gantt was a victim of his “plot” by Frank against Mary Phagan. I don’t doubt that this “plot” has been framed in the hearing of every detective in the sound of my voice. Hooper says Frank plotted to get the girl there on the Saturday she was killed — says he plotted with Jim Conley. Jim says Frank told him at four o’clock Friday afternoon to return on the next morning. How could Frank have known she was coming back Saturday? He couldn’t have known. He’s no seer, no mind-reader, although he’s a mighty bright man. It is true that some of the pay envelopes were left over on Friday, but he didn’t know whose they were.

Helen Ferguson says that on Friday she asked for Mary Phagan’s pay and that Frank refused to give it to her, saying Mary would come next day and get it herself. Magnolia Kennedy swears to the contrary. You have one or the other to believe. Consider, though, that this be true! How would Frank know who would be in the factory when Mary Phagan came? How did he know she was coming Saturday! Some envelopes went over to Monday and Tuesday. How would he know whether she would come on Saturday or either of these latter days?

Now, what else have they put up against this man! They say he was nervous. We admit he was. Black says it, Darley says it, Sig. Montag says it — others say it! The handsome Mr. Darley was nervous and our friend Schiff was nervous. Why not hang them if you’re hanging men for nervousness! Isaac Haas — old man Isaac — openly admits he was nervous. The girls — why don’t you hang them, these sweet little girls in the factory — all of whom were so nervous they couldn’t work on the following day! If you had seen this little child, crushed, mangled, mutilated, with the sawdust crumbled in her eyes and her tongue protruding; staring up from that stinking, smelling basement, you’d have been nervous, too, every mother’s son of you. Gentlemen, I don’t profess to be chicken-hearted. I can see grown men hurt and suffering and I can stand a lot of things without growing hysterical, but I never walked along the street and heard the pitiful cry of a girl or woman without becoming nervous. God grant I will always be so. Frank looked at the mangled form and crushed virginity of Mary Phagan and his nerves fluttered. Hang him! Hang him!

Another suspicious circumstance. He didn’t wake up when they telephoned him that morning the body was found. That might depend on what he ate that night; it might depend on a lot of other things. Some of us wake with the birds, while others slumber even through the tempting call of the breakfast bell. Would you hang us for that!

Then, they say he hired a lawyer, and they call it suspicious — mighty suspicious. They wouldn’t have kicked if he had hired Rube Arnold, because Rube has a good character. But they hired me and they kicked and yelled “suspicious” so loudly you could hear it all the way from here to Jesup’s cut. I don’t know that I had ever met Frank before that morning, but I had represented the pencil factory previously. And as to their employing me, it’s this way: There’s no telling what was floating around in John Black’s head that morning. They sent men after Frank and there was no telling what was likely to happen to him. They were forced to do something in his own defense. And, as a result, the state’s worst suspicion is the fact that they employed me and Herbert Haas. Now, gentlemen, let’s see what there is in it; I have told you that twice on that Sunday he had been to police headquarters without counsel, without friends. The next day they adopted new methods of getting him there and sent two detectives for him. Black had said he had been watching Frank, and woe to him who is haunted by the eagle eye of dear old John. They took him to police station Monday — took him I say. The police idea was to show their fangs. He was under arrest, that’s an undisputed fact. They had him at police station, Lanford, in his wonted dignity, sitting around doing nothing, letting Frank soak. Beavers, the handsome one, was doing the same. Frank didn’t call for friends or lawyer. He didn’t call for anything. If he had known what he was up against, though, in this police department of ours, he’d probably have called for two lawyers — or even more. But old man Sig Montag, who has been here a long time, knew this old police crowd and he knew their tactics. He was well on to their curves. He knew what danger there was to Frank. He called up Haas. Haas didn’t want to come to the police station — he had a good reason. Sig went to the police station and was refused permission to see Frank.

Now, I want you to get that in your mind. A citizen — not under arrest, as they say — held without the privilege of seeing friends, relatives or counsel. It was a deplorable state of affairs. What happened? Haas went to the phone and called an older and more experienced head to battle with this police iniquity; Why shouldn’t he? Dorsey sees in this harmless message a chance. He snaps at it like a snake. Dorsey is a good man — in his way. He’ll he a better man, though, when he gets older and loses some of his present spirit and venom. There are things he has done in this trial that will never be done again. Gentlemen, I assure you of that.

Did Frank do anything else suspicious? Just two others, according to Hooper from the Wiregrass. One of which was the employment of a detective agency to ferret out this horrible murder that had been committed in his factory building. Why? Under what circumstances? I’ll tell you. Frank had been to the police station and had given his statement. Haas was the man who telephoned me and who employed me — not Frank. I went to police headquarters and was very much unwelcomed. There was a frigid atmosphere as I walked in. I saw Frank for the first time in my life. I said: “What’s the matter, boys?” Somebody answered that Mr. Frank was under arrest. Black was there, Lanford was there. Neither took the pains to deny that he was under arrest. Somebody said they wanted Mr. Frank to make a statement, and I advised him to go ahead and make it. When he went into the office, I followed. They said: “We don’t want you.” I replied that whether they wanted me or not, I was coming, anyhow. I had a good reason, too, for coming. I wanted to hear what he said so they couldn’t distort his words.

While we were in the room a peculiar thing happened. Frank exposed his person. There were no marks. I said that it was preposterous to think that a man could commit such a crime and not bear some marks. Lanford’s face fell. Why didn’t Lanford get on the stand and deny it? Was it because he didn’t want to get into a loving conflict with me? Or did he want to keep from reopening the dark and nasty history of the Conley story and the Minola McKnight story that are hidden in the still darker recesses of police headquarters? Frank makes his statement and is released. He goes back to the pencil factory, assuming that suspicion has been diverted from him. He thinks of the horrible murder that has been committed in his plant. He telephones Sig Montag about hiring a detective agency to solve the crime. Sig advises him to do it. I don’t believe there is any detective living who can consort with crooks and criminals and felons, scheme with them, mingle with them and spy on the homes of good people and bad who can then exalt his character as a result. He absorbs some of the atmosphere and the traits. It is logical that he should. But, even at that they’ve got some good men in the detective and police department.

Old man Sig Montag said hire a detective and Frank hired the Pinkertons. Scott came and took Frank’s statement and said: “We work in co-operation with the city police department.” Now, isn’t that a horrible situation — going hand in glove with the police department? But, it’s a fact. Just as soon as Scott left Frank, he walked down, arm in arm with John Black, to the nasty, smelly basement of the pencil factory. What did that mean? It meant a complete line-up with the police. It meant if the police turn you loose, I turn you loose. If the police hang you, I hang you! Gentlemen, take a look at this spectacle, if you can. Here is a Jewish boy from the north. He is unacquainted with the south. He came here alone and without friends and he stood alone. This murder happened in his place of business. He told the Pinkertons to find the man, trusting to them entirely, no matter where or what they found might strike. He is defenseless and helpless. He knows his innocence and is willing to find the murderer. They try to place the murder on him. God, all merciful and all powerful, look upon a scene like this!

Anything else? Yes. Look at this. I do not believe my friend who preceded me intended to do this. I refer to the incident about the time slip. I have to use harsh words here, but I don’t want to. This seems to me the most unkindest exit of all. They say that that time slip was planted. They say the shirt was planted. Gentlemen, is there any evidence of this? Let’s see about this statement. Black and somebody else, I believe, went out to Newt’s house on Tuesday morning and found the shirt in the bottom of a barrel. They brought the shirt back to the police station and Newt said the shirt was his — or it looked like his shirt. Newt Lee had been hired at the factory but three weeks, yet they want you to believe that they found a shirt like the old man had and went out to his house and put it in a barrel.

One thing is wrong. The newspapers and others, I am afraid, think this is a contest between lawyers. It is not. God forbid that I should let any such thing enter into this case when this boy’s life is at stake.

There are several things I don’t understand about this case, and never will. Why old man Lee didn’t find the body sooner; why he found it lying on its face ; how he saw it from a place he could not have seen it from.

I was raised with niggers and know something about them. I do not know them as well as the police, perhaps, for they know them like no one else. But I know something about them. There must have been a nigger in the crime who knew about it before Newt or anyone else. I am afraid Newt knew.

Yet, if he did, he is one of the most remarkable niggers I ever saw and I wish I had his nerve. There were things you detectives did to him for which you will never be forgiven. You persecuted the old nigger, and all you got was “Fo’ God I don’t know.” I don’t believe he killed her, but I believe he knows more than he told.

But they say now that he jumped back. Suppose he did jump back. Look at the boy (Frank). If you put a girl the size of Mary Phagan in a room with him she could make him jump out of the window. Suddenly this boy stepped out in front of this giant of a Gantt, and he jumped back. Dorsey would have done the same thing; Newt Lee would; Jim Conley would, and I would, as big as I am.

Here is another suspicious thing. Newt Lee came to the factory at four o’clock and Frank sent the old man away. It was suggested that he was afraid the nigger would find the body, yet when he came back at six, Frank let him stay at the factory when he knew that in 30 minutes Newt was on the job he must go into the basement where they say Frank knew the body was.

They say he was laughing at his home. If he had known of the crime of which he would be accused, that laugh would have been the laugh of a maniac to be ended by the discovery of the body.

Another suspicious thing. You know that he was in the factory, but it turns out that he was not the only one. If the corpse was found in the basement and he was the only one in the building, then there might be some basis. But he was in an open room and there were workmen upstairs. My friend tried to dispute that. That wasn’t all. Conley was also there, and it came out yesterday that there was also another nigger — a lighter nigger than Conley — there. What scoundrels in white skin were in the building and had opportunity to commit the crime, God only knows.

The thing that arises in this case to fatigue my indignation is that men born of such parents should believe the statement of Conley against the statement of Frank. Who is Conley? Who was Conley as he used to be and as you have seen him? He was a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying nigger. Black knows that. Starnes knows that. Chief Beavers knows it.

Who was it that made this dirty nigger come up here looking so slick? Why didn’t they let you see him as he was? They shaved him, washed him and dressed him up.

Gentlemen of the jury, the charge of moral perversion against a man is a terrible thing for him, but it is even more so when that man has a wife and mother to be affected by it. Dalton, even Dalton did not say this against Frank. It was just Conley. Dalton, you remember, did not even say that Frank was guilty of wrong-doing as far as he knew. There never was any proof of Frank’s alleged moral perversion, unless you call Jim Conley proof.

None of these niggers ever came up and said Conley was there and that they were with him. Starnes — and Starnes could find a needle in a haystack, but the Lord only knows what he’d do in an acre — he could not find any of these niggers.

Then there was that old negro drayman, old McCrary, the old peg-leg negro drayman, and thank God he was an oldtimer, ‘fo de war nigger.

You know Conley, wishing to add a few finishing trimmings to his lines, said that old McCrary sent him down in the basement that Saturday morning and when the old darkey was put on the stand he said simply, “No, boss, I never sent him down thar.” Everywhere you go you find that Conley lied. He says he watched there one Saturday last year between 2 and 3 o’clock. Well, Schiff says he didn’t and so does Darley and Holloway, the latter guaranteed by the state, and the little office boys, nice looking little chaps from nice families, they all say he didn’t. Cut out Conley and you strip the case to nothing. Did you hear the way Conley told his story? Have you ever heard an actor, who knew his Shakespearean plays, his “Merchant of Venice” or his “Hamlet”? He can wake up at any time of the night and say those lines, but he can’t say any lines of a play he has never learned. So it was with Conley. He could tell the story of the disposition of the girl’s body, and he knew it so well he could reel it off backward or forward, any old way, but when you got to asking him about other things, he always had one phrase, “Boss, ah can’t ‘member dat.”

They say Conley could not have made up that story. Well, I don’t know about that. There is something queer in the whole thing, you know. I conldn’t climb that post over there, gentlemen. I mean I couldn’t go very far up it, but if I had Professor Starnes, and Professor Black, and Professor Campbell, and Professor Rosser, and then Dean Lanford to help me, I’d go quite a way up. Well, they took a notion Mrs. White had seen the negro, and they carried Mrs. White there to see him, and he twisted up his features so that she couldn’t recognize him. Next, they learned Conley could write. Frank told them that, you know. Well, I don’t mean to be severe, but they took that negro and they gave him the third degree. Black and Scott cursed him. “You black scoundrel,” they yelled at him. “You know that man never had you come there and write those notes on Friday!” And the poor negro, understanding and trying to please, said, “Yes, boss, zat’s right, ah was dere on Saturday.”

And so they went on and got first one affidavit and then another out of him. Well, Scott and Black had him there, and Conley was only in high school. I don’t know whether to call Scott and Black “professors” or not. Scott says, “We told him what would fit and what would not.” And it was “stand up, James Conley and recite, when did you fix those notes, James?” and James would answer that he fixed them on Friday, and then the teachers would tell James it was surely wrong, that he must have fixed them on Saturday, and James would know what was wanted and would acknowledge his error. Then it would be, “That’s a good lesson, James, you are excused, James.” I’m not guessing in this thing. Scott told it on the stand, only in not so plain words. So it was that when this negro had told the whole truth they had another recitation.

Was it fair for two skilled white men to train that negro by the hour and by the day and to teach him and then get a statement from him and call it the truth? Well, Professors Black and Scott finished with him, and they thought Conley’s education was through, but that nigger had to have a university course!

Scott, you and Black milked him dry; you thought you did, anyhow, but you got no moral perversion and no watching. In the university they gave a slightly different course. It was given by Professors Starnes and Campbell. Oh, I wish I could look as pious as Starnes does. And Professor Dorsey helped out, I suppose. I don’t know what Professor Dorsey did, only he gave him several lessons, and they must have been just sort of finishing touches before he got his degree. Well, in the university course they didn’t dare put the steps in writing, as they had done in the high school; it would have been too easy to trace from step to step, the suggestions made, the additions and subtractions here and there. Professor Dorsey had him seven times, I know that, but God alone knows how many times the detectives had him.

Was it fair to take this weak, pliable negro and have these white men teach him, one after another? Who knows what is the final story that Conley will tell? He added the mesh bag when he was on the stand.

Mary Phagan had reached the factory at approximately twelve minutes after 12, and it must have been after Monteen Stover had gone. See the statements of W. M. Mathews and W. T. Hollis, street car men called by the defense, and George Epps, the little newsie, called by the state, and also the street car schedule. But, supposing that she was there at 12:05, as I believe the state claims, then Monteen Stover must have seen her. I don’t see how they could have helped meeting. But suppose she got there a moment after Monteen Stover left, then Lemmie Quinn was there at 12:20, and he found Frank at work. Could Frank have murdered a girl and hid her body and then got back to work with no blood stains on him in less than fifteen minutes? If Frank is guilty, he must have, according to Conley, disposed of the body in the time between four minutes to 1 and 1 :30. There can be no dispute about this; it’s Conley ‘s last revelation. If Frank is guilty, he was at his office between four minutes to 1 and 1:30, but who believes that story? Little Miss Kerns saw him at Alabama and Whitehall at 1 :10, and at 1 :20 Mrs. Levy, honest woman that she is, saw him get off the car at his home corner, and his wife’s parents saw, and they all swear he was there at 1 :20, and then, if you are going to call them all perjurers and believe Jim Conley, think what you must do; think what a horrible thing you must do—you must make Minola’s husband a perjurer, and that would be terrible.

You know about that Minola McKnight affair. It is the blackest of all. A negro woman locked up from the solicitor’s office, not because she wouldn’t talk — she’s given a statement — but because she would not talk to suit Starnes and Campbell, and two white men, and shame to them, got her into it. Where was Chief Beavers? What was he doing that he became a party to this crime? Beavers, who would enforce the law; Beavers, the immaculate!

Believe Frank was in the factory if you can at 1 :30 ; throw aside all the respectable people and swear by Conley. Well, I know the American jury is supreme, that it is the sovereign over lives; that sometimes you can sway it by passion and prejudice, but you can’t make it believe anything like this. Neither prejudice, nor passion, wrought by monsters so vile they ought not to be in the court room, could make them believe it. They said that there was a certain man, named Mincey, whom we called as a witness but did not use. Well, the only use we would have had for Mincey was to contradict Conley, and as soon as Conley got on the stand he contradicted himself enough without our having to go to the trouble of calling on witnesses to do it. If we had put Mincey up there would have been a day’s row about his probity, and what would have been the use — Conley said time and again that he had lied time and again.

Gentlemen, I want only the straight truth here, and I have yet to believe that the truth has to be watched and cultivated by these detectives and by seven visits of the solicitor general I don’t believe any man, no matter what his rate, ought to be tried under such testimony. If I was raising sheep and feared for my lambs, I might hang a yellow dog on it. I might do it in the daytime, but when things got quiet at night and I got to thinking, I’d be ashamed of myself. You have been overly kind to me, gentlemen. True, you have been up against a situation like that old Sol Russell used to describe when he would say, “Well, I’ve lectured off and on for forty years, and the benches always stuck it out, but they was screwed to the floor.” You gentlemen have been practically in that fix, but I feel, nevertheless, that you have been peculiarly kind, and I thank you.

* * *

In our next article in this series, we will present the closing argument of Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, for the prosecution. As always, paragraph divisions and emphasis are mine.

For further study we recommend the following resources:


Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank

Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913, Brief of Evidence

The American Mercury is following these events of 100 years ago, the month-long trial of Leo M. Frank for the brutal murder of Miss Mary Phagan, in capsule form on a regular basis on this, the 100th anniversary of the case. Follow along with us and experience the trial as Atlantans of a century ago did, and come to your own conclusions.

Read also the Mercury’s coverage of Week One of the Leo Frank trial, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.

A fearless scholar, dedicated to the truth about this case, has obtained, scanned, and uploaded every single relevant issue of the major Atlanta daily newspapers and they now can be accessed through as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
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Default Final Closing Arguments: Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, District Attorney

The Leo Frank Trial: Closing Arguments, Solicitor Dorsey

Published by Editor on December 5, 2013

by Bradford L. Huie

THE AMERICAN MERCURY now presents the final closing arguments by Solicitor Hugh Dorsey (pictured) in the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan — a powerful summary of the case and a persuasive argument that played a large part in the decision of the jury to find Frank guilty of the crime. It is also riveting reading for modern readers, who have been told — quite falsely — that the case against Frank was a weak one, and told, equally falsely, that “anti-Semitism” was a major motive for the arrest, trial, and conviction of Frank.

Here we present it for the first time on any popular periodical’s Web site. Not until the Mercury began its efforts have these or the other arguments in this case and relevant contemporary articles been presented on a popular Web site in correctly formatted, easy-to-read type with OCR errors removed. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)



Mr. Dorsey:

Gentlemen of the Jury: This case is not only, as His Honor has told you, important, but it is extraordinary. It is extraordinary as a crime — a most heinous crime, a crime of a demoniac, a crime that has demanded vigorous, earnest and conscientious effort on the part of your detectives, and which demands honest, earnest, conscientious consideration on your part. It is extraordinary because of the prominence, learning, ability, standing of counsel pitted against me. It is extraordinary because of the defendant — it is extraordinary in the manner in which the gentlemen argue it, in the methods they have pursued in its management.

They have had two of the ablest lawyers in the country. They have had Rosser, the rider of the winds and the stirrer of the storm, and Arnold (and I can say it because I love him), as mild a man as ever cut a throat or scuttled a ship. They have abused me; they have abused the detective department; they have heaped so much calumny on me that the mother of the defendant was constrained to arise in their presence and denounce me as a dog. Well, there’s an old adage, and it’s true, that says, “When did any thief ever feel the halter draw with any good opinion of the law?”


Oh, prejudice and perjury! They say that is what this case is built on, and they use that stereotyped phrase until it fatigues the mind to think about it. Don’t let this purchased indignation disturb you. Oh, they ought to have been indignant; they were paid to play the part. Gentlemen, do you think that these detectives and I were controlled by prejudice in this case? Would we, the sworn officers of the law, have sought to hang this man on account of his race and pass over the negro, Jim Conley? Was it prejudice when we arrested Gantt, when we arrested Lee, when we arrested others? No, the prejudice came when we arrested this man, and never until he was arrested was there a cry of prejudice.

Those gentlemen over there were disappointed when we did not pitch our case along that line, but not a word emanated from this side, showing any prejudice on our part, showing any feeling against Jew or Gentile. We would not have dared to come into this presence and ask the conviction of a man because he was a Gentile, a Jew or a negro. Oh, no two men ever had any greater pleasure shown on their faces than did Mr. Arnold and Mr. Rosser when they started to question Kendley and began to get before the court something about prejudice against the Jews. They seized with avidity the suggestion that Frank was a Jew. Remember, they put it before this court, and we did not; the word Jew never escaped our lips.
Leo Frank

Leo Frank

I say that the race this man comes from is as good as ours; his forefathers were civilized and living in cities and following laws when ours were roaming at large in the forest and eating human flesh. I say his race is just as good as ours, but no better. I honor the race that produced Disraeli, the greatest of British statesmen; that produced Judah P. Benjamin, as great a lawyer as England or America ever saw; I honor the Strauss brothers; I roomed with one of his race at college; one of my partners is is of his race. I served on the board of trustees of Grady hospital with Mr. Hirsch, and I know others, too many to count, but when Lieutenant Becker wished to make away with his enemies, he sought men of this man’s race.

Then, you will recall Abe Hummell, the rascally lawyer, and Reuff, another scoundrel, and Schwartz, who killed a little girl in New York, and scores of others, and you will find that this great race is as amenable to the same laws as any others of the white race or as the black race is. They rise to heights sublime, but they also sink to the lowest depths of degradation!

We don’t ask a conviction of this man except In conformity with the law which His Honor will give you in charge, His Honor will charge you that you should not convict this man unless you think he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A great many jurors, gentlemen, and the people generally get an idea that there is something mysterious and unfathomable about this reasonable doubt proposition. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. The text writers and lawyers and judges go around in a circle when they undertake to define it ; it’s a thing that speaks for itself, and every man of common sense knows what it is, and it isn’t susceptible of any definition. One text writer says a man who undertakes to define it uses tautology — the same words over again. Just remember, gentlemen of the jury, that it is no abstruse proposition, it is not a proposition way over and above your head — it’s just a common sense, an ordinary, everyday practical question.

In the 83rd Georgia, one of our judges defines it thus: “A reasonable doubt is one that is opposed to an unreasonable doubt; it is one for which a reason can be given, and it is one that is based on reason, and it is such a doubt that leaves the mind in an uncertain and wavering condition, where it is impossible to say with reason nor certainty that the accused is guilty.” If you have a doubt, it must be such a doubt as to control and decide your conduct in the highest and most important affairs of life. It isn’t, gentlemen, as is said in the case of John vs. State, in 33d Georgia, “a vague, conjectural doubt or a mere guess that possibly the accused may not be guilty”; it isn’t that; “it must be such a doubt as a sensible, honest-minded man would reasonably entertain in an honest investigation after truth.” It must not be, as they say, in the case of Butler vs. State, 92 Georgia, “A doubt conjured up”; or as they say in the 83 Georgia, “A doubt which might be conjured up to acquit a friend.” “It must not be,” as they say in the 63 Georgia, “a fanciful doubt, a trivial supposition, a bare possibility of innocence,” — that won’t do, that won’t do; “it doesn’t mean the doubt,” they say in 90 Georgia, “of a crank or a man with an over-sensitive nature, but practical, common sense is the standard.”
The jury

The jury

Conviction can be established as well upon circumstantial evidence as upon direct evidence. Eminent authority shows that in many cases circumstantial evidence is more certain than direct evidence. Conviction can be established better by a large number of witnesses giving circumstantial evidence and incidents pointing to guilt than by the testimony of a few witnesses who may have been eye-witnesses to the actual deed. In this case, we have both circumstantial evidence and admission. Hence, with reasonable doubt as a basis, the evidence shows such a consistency that a reasonable conclusion is all that is needed. This thing of a reasonable doubt originated long ago, when the accused was not allowed to be represented by counsel to defend him. In time the reasonable doubt will drop out. Our people are getting better and better about this all the time. The state is handicapped in all sorts of ways by this reasonable doubt proposition, and has to do more than prove a man’s guilt often before a conviction can result.

You can’t get at a verdict by mathematics, but you can get at it by a moral certainty. People sometimes say that they will not convict on circumstantial evidence. That is the merest bosh. Authorities show that circumstantial evidence is the best evidence. People are improving about this. Yet juries are often reticent upon this point. But juries should not hesitate at lack of positive evidence. The almost unerring indication of circumstantial evidence should control. Otherwise society is exposed to freedom in the commission of all sorts of the most horrible crimes.

Circumstances which would warrant a mere conjecture of guilt are not warranted as the basis for a conviction, but when the evidence is consistent with all the facts in the case only a conviction can result.

[Mr. Dorsey there told the graphic story of how W. H. T. Durrant, upon circumstantial evidence, was convicted of the murder of Blanche Lamont in Emmanuel Baptist church in San Francisco.]

Now, let’s examine this question of good character. I grant you, good character spells a whole lot, but first, let’s establish good character. It is presumed — had he not put his character in issue, it would have been presumed — and the State would have been absolutely helpless — that this man was as good a man as lived in the City of Atlanta. It’s a mighty easy thing, if a man is worth anything, if a man attains to any degree of respectability, it’s a mighty easy thing to get someone to sustain his character but it’s the hardest thing known to a lawyer to get people to impeach the character of another. In the Durant case, his character was unimpeached. The defendant here put his character in issue and we accepted the challenge, and we met it, I submit to you. Now, if we concede that this defendant in this case was a man of good character — a thing we don’t concede — still, under your oath and under the law that His Honor will give you in charge, as is laid down in the 88 Georgia, page 92, “Proof of good character will not hinder conviction, if the guilt of the defendant is plainly proved to the satisfaction of the jury.”

First, you have got to have the good character, before it weighs a feather in the balance, and remember, that the hardest burden, so far as proof is concerned, that ever rests on anybody, is to break down the character of a man who really has character and I ask you if this defendant stands before you a man of good character? Mr. Arnold, as though he had not realized the force of the evidence here against the man who, on April 26th, snuffed out the life of little Mary Phagan, in his desperation stood up in this presence and called nineteen or twenty of these reputable, high-toned girls, though they be working girls, “crack-brain fanatics and liars,” and they have hurled that word around here a good deal, too, they have hurled that word around here a good deal. If that’s an attribute of great men and great lawyers, I here and now proclaim to you I have no aspirations to attain them.

Not once will I say that anybody has lied, but I’ll put it up to you as twelve honest, conscientious men by your verdict to say where the truth lies and who has lied. I’m going to be satisfied with your verdict, too — I know this case and I know the conscience that abides in the breast of honest, courageous men. Now, the book says that if a man has good character, nevertheless it will not hinder conviction, if the guilt of the defendant is plainly proved to the satisfaction of the jury as it was in the Durant case, and I submit that, character or no character, this evidence demands a conviction. And I’m not asking you for it either because of prejudice — I’m coming to the perjury after a bit.

Have I so forgotten myself that I would ask you to convict that man if the evidence demanded that Jim Conley ‘s neck be broken? Now, Mr. Arnold said yesterday, and I noticed it, though it wasn’t in evidence, that Jim Conley wasn’t indicted. No, he will never be, for this crime, because there is no evidence — he’s an accessory after the fact, according to his own admission, and he’s guilty of that and nothing more. And I’m here to tell you that, unless there’s some other evidence besides that which has been shown here or heretofore, you’ve got to get you another Solicitor General before I’ll ask any jury to hang him, lousy negro though he may be; and if that be treason, make the most of it. I have got my own conscience to keep, and I wouldn’t rest quite so well to feel that I had been instrumental in putting a rope around the neck of Jim Conley for a crime that Leo M. Frank committed. You’d do it, too.

I want you to bear in mind, now, we haven’t touched the body of this case, we have been just clearing up the underbrush — we’ll get to the big timber after awhile.

“Where character is put in issue” — and the State can’t do it, it rests with him — “Where character is put in issue, the direct examination must relate to the general reputation, good or bad,” that is, whoever puts character in issue, can ask the question with reference to the general reputation, good or bad, as the case may be, “but on cross-examination particular transactions or statements of single individuals may be brought into the inquiry in testing the extent and foundation of the witnesses’ knowledge, and the correctness of his testimony on direct examination.” We did exercise that right in the examination of one witness, but knowing that we couldn’t put specific instances in unless they drew it out, I didn’t want even to do this man the injustice, so we suspended, and we put it before this jury in this kind of position — you put his character in, we put up witnesses to disprove it, you could cross examine every one of them and ask them what they knew and what they had heard and what they had seen; we had already given them enough instances, but they didn’t dare, they didn’t dare to do it.

Mark you, now, here’s the law: “Where character is put in issue, the direct examination must relate to the general reputation;” we couldn’t go further, but on cross examination, when we put up these little girls, sweet and tender, ah, but “particular instances or statements of single individuals, you could have brought into the inquiry,” but you dared not do it.

You tell me that the testimony of these good people living out on Washington Street, the good people connected with the Hebrew Orphans’ Home, Doctor Marx, Doctor Sonn, you tell me that they know the character of Leo M. Frank as these girls do, who have worked there but are not now under the influence of the National Pencil Company and its employees? Do you tell me that if you are accused of a crime, or I am accused of a crime, and your character or my character is put in issue, that if I were mean enough to do it, or if Messrs. Starnes and Campbell were corrupt enough to do it, that you could get others who would do your bidding? I tell you, in principle and common sense, it is a dastardly suggestion. You know it, and I know you know it, and you listen to your conscience and it will tell you you know it, and you have got no doubt about it.

The trouble about this business is, throughout the length and breadth of our land, there’s too much shenanigans and too little honest, plain dealings; let’s be fair, let’s be honest, let’s be courageous! Tell me that old Pat Campbell or John Starnes or Mr. Rosser — in whose veins, he says, there flows the same blood as flows in the attorney’s veins — that they could go and get nineteen or twenty of them, through prejudice and passion to come up here and swear that that man’s character is bad and it not be true! I tell you it can’t be done, and you know it.

Ah, but, on the other hand, Doctor Marx, Doctor Sonn, all these other people, as Mr. Hooper said, who run with Doctor Jekyll, don’t know the character of Mr. Hyde. And he didn’t call Doctor Marx down to the factory on Saturday evenings to show what he was going to do with those girls, but the girls know.

Now, gentlemen, put yourself in this man’s place. If you are a man of good character, and twenty people come in here and state that you are of bad character, your counsel have got the right to ask them who they ever heard talking about you and what they ever heard said and what they ever saw. Is it possible, I’ll ask you in the name of common sense, that you would permit your counsel to sit mute? You wouldn’t do it, would you? If a man says that I am a person of bad character, I want to know, curiosity makes me want to know, and if it’s proclaimed, published to the world and it’s a lie, I want to nail the lie — to show that he never saw it, and never heard it and knows nothing about it. And yet, three able counsel and an innocent man, and twenty or more girls all of whom had worked in the factory but none of whom work there at this time, except one on the fourth floor, tell you that that man had a bad character, and had a bad character for lasciviousness — the uncontrolled and uncontrollable passion that led him on to kill poor Mary Phagan.

This book says it is allowable to cross-examine a witness, to see and find out what he knows, who told him those things — and I’m here to tell you that this thing of itself is pregnant, pregnant, pregnant with significance, and does not comport with innocence on the part of any man. We furnished him the names of some. Well, even by their own witnesses, it looks to me there was a leak, and little Miss Jackson dropped it out just as easy.

Now, what business did this man have going in up there, peering in on those little girls — the head of the factory, the man that wanted flirting forbidden! What business did he have going up into those dressing rooms? To tell me to go up there to the girls ‘ dressing room, shove open the door and walk in is a part of his duty, when he has foreladies to stop it? No, indeed. And old Jim Conley may not have been so far wrong as you may think. He says that somebody went up there that worked on the fourth floor, he didn’t know who. This man, according to the evidence of people that I submit you will believe, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Reuben B. Arnold said it was a lie and called them hare-brained fanatics — according to the testimony even of a lady who works there now and yet is brave enough and courageous enough to come down here and tell you that that man had been in a room with a lady that works on the fourth floor; and it may have been that he was then, when he went in there on this little Jackson girl and the Mayfield girl and Miss Kitchens, looking out to see if the way was clear to take her in again — and Miss Jackson, their witness, says she heard about his going in there three or four times more than she ever saw it, and they complained to the foreladies — it may have been right then and there he went to see some woman on the fourth floor that old Jim Conley says he saw go up there to meet him Saturday evening, when all these good people were out on Washington Street and Montags, and the pencil factory employees, even, didn’t know of the occurrence of these things.

August 23. Mr. Dorsey:

I was just about concluding, yesterday, what I had to say in reference to the matter of character, and I think that I demonstrated by the law, to any fair-minded man, that this defendant has not a good character. The conduct of counsel in this case, as I stated, in failing to cross-examine, in refusing to cross-examine these twenty young ladies, refutes effectively and absolutely the claims of this defendant that he has good character. As I said, if this man had had a good character, no power on earth could have kept him and his counsel from asking those girls where they got their information, and why it was they said that this defendant was a man of bad character.

I have already shown you that under the law, they had the right to go into that character, and you saw that on cross-examination they dared not do it. I have here an authority that puts it right squarely, that “whenever any one has evidence (83 Ga., 581) in their possession, and they fail to produce it, the strongest presumption arises that it would be hurtful if they had, and their failure to produce evidence is a circumstance against them.” You don’t need any law book to make you know that that’s true, because your common sense tells you that whenever a man can bring evidence, and you know that he has got it and don’t do it, the strongest presumption arises against him.

And you know, as twelve honest men seeking to get at the truth, that the reason these able counsel didn’t ask those “hare-brained fanatics,” as Mr. Arnold called them, before they had ever gone on the stand — girls whose appearance is as good as any they brought, girls that you know by their manner on the stand spoke the truth, girls who are unimpeached and unimpeachable, was because they dared not do it. You know it ; if it had never been put in a law book you’d know it.

And then you tell me that because these good people from Washington Street come down here and say that they never heard anything, that he is a man of good character. Many a man has gone through life and even his wife and his best friends never knew his character; and some one has said that it takes the valet to really know the character of a man. And I had rather believe that these poor, unprotected working girls, who have no interest in this case and are not under the influence of the pencil company or Montag or anybody else, know that man, as many a man has been heretofore, is of bad character, than to believe the Rabbi of his church and the members of the Hebrew Orphans’ Home.

Sometimes, you know, a man of bad character uses charitable and religious organizations to cover up the defects, and sometimes a consciousness in the heart of a man will make him over-active in some other line, in order to cover up and mislead the public generally. Many a man has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing; many a man has walked in high society and appeared on the outside as a whited sepulcher, who was as rotten on the inside as it was possible to be. So he has got no good character, I submit, never had it ; he has got a reputation — that’s what people say and think about you — and he has got a reputation for good conduct only among those people that don’t know his character.

But suppose that he had a good character; that would amount to nothing. David of old was a great character until he put old Uriah in the forefront of battle in order that he might be killed — that Uriah might be killed, and David take his wife. Judas Iscariot was a good character, and one of the Twelve, until he took the thirty pieces of silver and betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ. Benedict Arnold was brave, enjoyed the confidence of all the people and those in charge of the management of the Revolutionary War until he betrayed his country. Since that day his name has been a synonym for infamy. Oscar Wilde, an Irish Knight, a literary man, brilliant, the author of works that will go down the ages — Lady Windemere’s Fan, De Profundis — which he wrote while confined in jail; a man who had the effrontery and the boldness, when the Marquis of Queensbury saw that there was something wrong between this intellectual giant and his son, sought to break up their companionship, he sued the Marquis for damages, which brought retaliation on the part of the Marquis for criminal practices on the part of Wilde, this intellectual giant; and wherever the English language is read, the effrontery, the boldness, the coolness of this man, Oscar Wilde, as he stood the cross-examination of the ablest lawyers of England — an effrontery that is characteristic of the man of his type — that examination will remain the subject matter of study for lawyers and for people who are interested in the type of pervert like this man. Not even Oscar Wilde’s wife — for he was married and had two children — suspected that he was guilty of such immoral practices, and, as I say, it never would have been brought to light probably, because committed in secret, had not this man had the effrontery and the boldness and the impudence himself to start the proceeding which culminated in sending him to prison for three long years. He’s the man who led the aesthetic movement; he was a scholar, a literary man, cool, calm and cultured, and as I say, his cross examination is a thing to be read with admiration by all lawyers, but he was convicted, and in his old age, went tottering to the grave, a confessed pervert. Good character? Why, he came to America, after having launched what is known as the “Aesthetic Movement,” in England, and throughout this country lectured to large audiences, and it is he who raised the sunflower from a weed to the dignity of a flower. Handsome, not lacking in physical or moral courage, and yet a pervert, but a man of previous good character.

Abe Reuf, of San Francisco, a man of his race and religion, was the boss of the town, respected and honored, but he corrupted Schmitt, and he corrupted everything that he put his hands on, and just as a life of immorality, a life of sin, a life in which he fooled the good people when debauching the poor girls with whom he came in contact has brought this man before this jury, so did eventually Reuf’s career terminate in the penitentiary.

I have already referred to Durant. Look at McCue, the mayor of Charlottesville; a man of such reputation that the people elevated him to the head of that municipality, but notwithstanding that good reputation, he didn’t have rock bed character, and, becoming tired of his wife, he shot her in the bath tub, and the jury of gallant and noble and courageous Virginia gentlemen, notwithstanding his good character, sent him to a felon’s grave.

Richardson, of Boston, was a preacher, who enjoyed the confidence of his flock. He was engaged to one of the wealthiest and most fascinating women in Boston, but an entanglement with a poor little girl, of whom he wished to rid himself, caused this man Richardson to so far forget his character and reputation and his career as to put her to death.

And all these are cases of circumstantial evidence. And after conviction, after he had fought, he at last admitted it, in the hope that the Governor would at least save his life, but he didn’t do it ; and the Massachusetts jury and the Massachusetts Governor were courageous enough to let that man who had taken that poor girl’s life to save his reputation as the pastor of his flock, go, and it is an illustration that will encourage and stimulate every right-thinking man to do his duty.

Then, there’s Beattie. Henry Clay Beattie, of Richmond, of splendid family, a wealthy family, proved good character, though he didn’t possess it, took his wife, the mother of a twelve-months-old baby, out automobiling, and shot her; yet that man, looking at the blood in the automobile, joked! joked! joked! He was cool and calm, but he joked too much ; and although the detectives were abused and maligned, and slush funds to save him from the gallows were used, in his defense, a courageous jury, an honest jury, a Virginia jury measured up to the requirements of the hour and sent him to his death; thus putting old Virginia and her citizenship on a high plane. And he never did confess, but left a note to be read after he was dead, saying that he was guilty.

Crippen, of England, a doctor, a man of high standing, recognized ability and good reputation, killed his wife because of infatuation for another woman, and put her remains away where he thought, as this man thought, that it would never be discovered ; but murder will out, and he was discovered, and he was tried, and be it said to the glory of old England, he was executed.

But you say, you’ve got an alibi. Now, let’s examine that proposition a little bit. An alibi—Section 1018 defines what an alibi is. “An alibi, as a defense, involves the impossibility” — mark that — “of the prisoner’s presence at the scene of the offense at the time of its commission.” “An alibi involves the impossibility, and the range of evidence must be such as reasonably to exclude the possibility of guilt” — and the burden of carrying that alibi is on this defendant. “It involves the impossibility” — they must show to you that it was impossible for this man to have been at the scene of that crime. The burden is on them; an alibi, gentlemen of the jury, while the very best kind of defense if properly sustained, is absolutely worthless — I’m going to show you in a minute that this alibi is worse than no defense at all.

I want to read you a definition that an old darkey gave of an alibi, which I think illustrates the idea. Rastus asked his companion, “What’s this here alibi yon hear so much talk about?” And old Sam says, “An alibi is proving that you was at the prayer meeting, where you wasn’t, to show that you wasn’t at the crap game, where you was.”

Now, right here, let me interpolate, this man never made an admission, from the beginning until the end of this case, except he knew that some one could fasten it on him — wherever he knew that people knew he was in the factory, he admitted it All right; but you prove an alibi by that little Kerens girl, do you? She swore that she saw you at Alabama and Broad at 1 :10, and yet here is the paper containing your admission made in the presence of your attorney, Monday morning, April 28, that you didn’t leave the factory until 1 :10.

Gentlemen, talk to me about sad spectacles, but of all the sad spectacles that I have witnessed throughout this case — I don’t know who did it, I don’t know who’s responsible, and I hope that I’ll go to my grave in ignorance of who it was that brought this little Kerens girl, the daughter of a man that works for Montag, into this case, to prove this alibi for this red-handed murderer, who killed that little girl to protect his reputation among the people of his own race and religion.

Jurors are sworn, and His Honor will charge you, you have got the right to take into consideration the deportment, the manner, the bearing, the reasonableness of what any witness swears to, and if any man in this court house, any honest man, seeking to get at the truth, looked at that little girl, her manner, her bearing, her attitude, her actions, her connections with Montag, and don’t know that she, like that little Bauer boy, had been riding in Montag’s automobile, I am at a loss to understand your mental operations.

But if Frank locked the factory door at ten minutes past one, if that be true, how in the name of goodness did she ever see him at Alabama and Broad at 1 :10? Mark you, she had never seen him but one time ; had never seen him but one time, and with the people up there on the street, to see the parade, waiting for her companions, this daughter of an employee of Montag comes into this presence and tells you the unreasonable, absurd story, the story that’s in contradiction to the story made by Frank, which has been introduced in evidence and will be out with you, that she saw that fellow up there at Jacobs’.

On this time proposition, I want to read you this — it made a wonderful impression on me when I read it — it’s the wonderful speech of a wonderful man, a lawyer to whom even such men as Messrs. Arnold and Rosser, as good as the country affords, as good men and as good lawyers as they are, had they stood in his presence, would have pulled off their hats in admiration for his intellect and his character — I refer to Daniel Webster, and I quote from Webster’s great speech in the Knapp case: “Time is identical, its subdivisions are all alike, no man knows one day from another, or one hour from another, but by some fact, connected with it. Days and hours are not visible to the senses, nor to be apprehended and distinguished by understanding. He who speaks of the date, the minute and the hour of occurrences with nothing to guide his recollection, speaks at random.”

That’s put better than I could have put it. That’s put tersely, concisely, logically, and it’s the truth. Now, what else about this alibi, this chronological table here, moved up and down to save a few minutes? The evidence, as old Sig Montag warned me not to do, twisted, yea, I’ll say contorted, warped, in order to sustain this man in his claim of an alibi. For instance, they got it down here Frank arrived at the factory, according to Holloway, Alonzo Mann, Roy Irby, at 8:25. That’s getting it down some, ain’t it? Frank says he arrived at 8 :30. Old Jim Conley, perjured, lousy and dirty, says that he arrived there at 8 :30, and he arrived, carrying a rain coat. And they tried mightily to make it appear that Frank didn’t have a rain coat, that he borrowed one from his brother-in-law, but Mrs. Ursenbach says that Frank had one; and if the truth were known, I venture the assertion that the reason Frank borrowed Ursenbach ‘s rain coat on Sunday was because, after the murder of this girl on Saturday, he forgot to get the rain coat that old Jim saw him have.

Miss Mattie Smith leaves building, you say, at 9 :20 A.M. She said — or Frank says — at 9 :15. You have it on this chart here that’s turned to the wall that Frank telephoned Schiff to come to his office at 10 o’clock, and yet this man Frank, coolly, composedly, with his great capacity for figures and data, in his own statement says that he gets to Montag’s at that hour. And you’ve got the records, trot them out, if I’m wrong. At 11 A. M. Frank returns to the pencil factory; Holloway and Mann come to the office; Frank dictates mail and acknowledges letters. Frank, in his statement, says 11 :05.

Any way, oh Lord, any hour, any minute, move them up and move them down, we’ve got to have the alibi — like old Uncle Remus’ rabbit, we’re just obliged to climb. “12:12, approximate time Mary Phagan arrives.” Frank says that Mary Phagan arrived ten or fifteen minutes after Miss Hall left; and with mathematical accuracy, you’ve got Miss Hall leaving the factory at 12:03. Why, I never saw so many watches, so many clocks or so many people who seem to have had their minds centered on time as in this case. Why, if people in real life were really as accurate as you gentlemen seek to have us believe, I tell you this would be a glorious old world, and no person and no train would ever be behind time. It doesn’t happen that way, though.

But to crown it all, in this table which is now turned to the wall, you have Lemmie Quinn arriving, not on the minute, but, to serve your purposes, from 12 :20 to 12 :22 ; but that, gentlemen, conflicts with the evidence of Freeman and the other young lady, who placed Quinn by their evidence, in the factory before that time.

Mr. Arnold:

There isn’t a word of evidence to that effect; those ladies were there at 11:35 and left at 11:45, Corinthia Hall and Miss Freeman, they left there at 11:45, and it was after they had eaten lunch and about to pay their fare before they ever saw Quinn, at the little cafe, the Busy Bee. He says that they saw Quinn over at the factory before 12, as I understood it.

Mr. Dorsey:

Yes, sir, by his evidence.

Mr. Arnold:

That’s absolutely incorrect, they never saw Quinn there then and never swore they did.

Mr. Dorsey:

No, they didn’t see him there, I doubt if anybody else saw him there either.

Mr. Arnold:

If a crowd of people here laugh every time we say anything, how are we to hear the Court? He has made a whole lot of little misstatements, but I let those pass, but I’m going to interrupt him on every substantial one he makes.

Mr. Dorsey:

He says those ladies saw Quinn — says they “saw Quinn was there before 12, and before I left there at 1 o’clock.” “You saw him at that, did you?” “Yes, sir.” “Now, you are sure he did that?” “Yes, sir.” “You are positive he did that?” “Yes, sir”; and then Mr. Arnold comes in with his suggestion, and she takes the bait and runs under the bank — he saw how it cut.

Then I came back at her again — now, just to show how she turned turtle, “You did see Frank working Saturday morning on the financial sheet?” “No, he didn’t work on the financial sheet.” “Why did you state a moment ago you saw him working on it?” “No, sir, I didn’t.” My Lord! Gentlemen, are you going to take that kind of stuff? I know she is a woman, and I’d hesitate except I had the paper here in my hand, to make this charge, but if you, as honest men, are going to let the people of Georgia and Fulton County and of Atlanta suffer one of its innocent girls to go to her death at the hands of a man like this and then turn him loose on such evidence as this, then I say, it’s time to quit going through the farce of summoning a jury to try him.

If I had the standing, the ability and the power of either Messrs. Arnold or Rosser, to ring that into your ears and drive it home, you would almost write a verdict of guilty before you left your box.

Perjury! Perjury! When did old John Starnes and Pat Campbell, from the Emerald Isle, or Rosser ever fall so low that, when they could convict a negro — easy, because he wouldn’t have Arnold and Rosser, but just my friend Bill Smith. And for what reason do they want to let Jim go and go after this man Frank? Why didn’t they take Newt Lee? Why didn’t they take Gantt? The best reason in the world is that they had only cob-webs, cob-webs, weak and flimsy circumstances against those men, and the circumstances were inconsistent with the theory of guilt and consistent with some other hypothesis.

But as to this man, you have got cables, strong, so strong that even the ability, the combined ability of the erudite Arnold and the dynamic Rosser couldn’t break them or disturb them. Circumstantial evidence is just as good as any other kind, when it’s the right kind. It’s a poor case of circumstantial evidence against Newt Lee; it’s no case against that long-legged Gantt from the hills of Cobb. But against this man, oh, a perfect, a perfect case.

And you stood up here and dealt in generalities as to perjury and corruption; it isn’t worth a cent unless you put your finger on the specific instances, and here it is in black and white, committed in the presence of this jury, after he had already said that he wrote the financial sheet Saturday morning, and at your suggestion, he turned around and swore to the contrary. Yet my friend Schiff says — no, I take that back — Schiff says, with the stenographer gone, with Frank behind in his work, that he went home and slept all day, and didn’t get up what he called the “dahta” — well, he’s a Joe Darter, that’s what Schiff is. It never happened, it never happened, with that financial sheet that Saturday morning, but if it did, it wouldn’t prove anything.

He may have the nerve of an Oscar Wilde, he may have been cool, when nobody was there to accuse him, and it isn’t at all improbable, if he didn’t have the “dahta” in the morning, for him to have sat there and deliberately written that financial sheet. Do you tell me that Frank, when the factory closed at twelve o’clock Saturdays, with as charming a wife as he possesses, with baseball — the college graduate, the head of the B’nai r Brith, the man who loved to play cards and mix with friends, would spend his Saturday afternoons using this “data” that Schiff got up for him, when he could do it Saturday morning! No, sir. Miss Fleming told the truth up until that time — “I didn’t stay there very often on Saturday afternoon;” Miss Fleming didn’t stay there all afternoon. Now, gentlemen, I submit this man made that financial sheet Saturday morning. He could have fixed up that financial sheet Saturday afternoon, but he wouldn’t have done it without Schiff having furnished the data if he hadn’t been suspecting an accusation of murdering that little girl.

A man of Frank’s type could easily have fixed that financial sheet — a thing he did fifty-two times a year for five or six years — and could have betrayed no nervousness, he might easily — as he did when he wrote for the police — in the handwriting, a thing that he was accustomed to do — even in the presence of the police — you’ll have it out with you — he may have written so as not to betray his nervousness.

And speaking about perjury: There’s a writing that his mother said anybody who knew his writing ought to be able to identify and yet, that man you put up there to prove Frank’s writing, was so afraid that he would do this man some injury, that he wouldn’t identify the writing that his mother says that anybody that knows it at all, could recognize. I grant you that he didn’t betray nervousness, probably, in the bosom of his family; I grant you that he could fix up a financial sheet that he had been fixing up fifty-two times a year for five or six years and not betray nervousness; I grant you that he could unlock the safe, a thing that he did every day for three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, without betraying nervousness; but when he went to run the elevator, when he went to nail up the door, when he talked to the police, when he rode to the station, then he showed nervousness.

And he could sit in a hall and read and joke about the baseball umpire, but his frivolity, that annoyed the people Saturday night that they had the card game, was the same kind of frivolity that Beattie betrayed when he stood at the automobile that contained the blood of his wife that he had shot. And certainly it is before this jury that he went in laughing and joking and trying to read a story that resulted only in annoyance to the people that were in that card game. But whether or not he made out that financial sheet, I’ll tell you something that he did do Saturday afternoon, when he was waiting up there for old Jim to come back to burn that body, I’ll tell you something that he did do — and don’t forget the envelope and don’t forget the way that that paper was folded, either, don’t forget it. Listen to this: “I trust this finds you and dear tont (that’s the German for aunt) well after arriving safe in New York. I hope you found all the dear ones well, in Brooklyn.” Didn’t have any wealthy people in Brooklyn, eh! This uncle of his was mighty near Brooklyn, the very time old Jim says he looked up and said, “I have wealthy people in Brooklyn.”

And I would really like to know, I would like to see how much that brother-in-law that runs that cigar business has invested in that store, and how much he has got. The very letter that you wrote on Saturday, the 26th, shows that you anticipated that this old gentleman, whom everybody says has got money, was then, you supposed, in Brooklyn, because here you say that “I hope you have found all the dear ones well” — but I’m coming back to what Frank said to old Jim — “and I await a letter from you telling me how you found things there in Brooklyn. Lucille and I are well.” Now, here is a sentence that is pregnant with significance, which bears the earmarks of the guilty conscience; tremulous as he wrote it.

No, he could shut his eyes and write and make up a financial sheet — he’s capable and smart, wonderfully endowed intellectually, but here’s a sentence that, if I know human nature and know the conduct of the guilty conscience, and whatever you may say about whether or not he prepared the financial sheet on Saturday morning, here’s a document I’ll concede was written when he knew that the body of little Mary Phagan, who died for virtue’s sake, lay in the dark recesses of that basement. “It is too short a time,” he says, “since you left for anything startling to have developed down here.” Too short! Too short! Startling! But “Too short a time,” and that itself shows that the dastardly deed was done in an incredibly short time. And do you tell me, honest men, fair men, courageous men, true Georgians, seeking to do your duty, that that phrase, penned by that man to his uncle on Saturday afternoon, didn’t come from a conscience that was its own accuser! “It is too short a time since you left for anything startling to have developed down here.” What do you think of that?

And then listen at this — as if that old gentleman, his uncle, cared anything for this proposition, this old millionaire traveling abroad to Germany for his health, this man from Brooklyn — an eminent authority says that unusual, unnecessary, unexpected and extravagant expressions are always earmarks of fraud ; and do you tell me that this old gentleman, expecting to sail for Europe, the man who wanted the price list and financial sheet, cared anything for those old heroes in gray! And isn’t this sentence itself significant: “Today was yontiff (holiday) here, and the thin gray lines of veterans here braved the rather chilly weather to do honor to their fallen comrades”; and this from Leo M. Frank, the statistician, to the old man, the millionaire , or nearly so, who cared so little about the thin gray line of veterans, but who cared all for how much money had been gotten in by the pencil factory. “Too short a time for anything startling to have happened down here since you left”; but there was something startling, and it happened within the space of thirty minutes. “There is nothing new in the factory to report.” Ah ! there was something new, and there was something startling, and the time was not too short.

You can take that letter and read it for yourself. You tell me that letter was written in the morning, do you believe it? I tell you that that letter shows on its face that something startling had happened, and that there was something new in the factory, and I tell you that that rich uncle, then supposed to be with his kindred in Brooklyn, didn’t care a flip of his finger about the thin gray line of veterans. His people lived in Brooklyn, that’s one thing dead sure and certain, and old Jim never would have known it except Leo M. Frank had told him, and they had at least $20,000 in cold cash out on interest, and the brother-in-law, the owner of a store employing two or three people, and we don’t know how many more; and if the uncle wasn’t in Brooklyn, he was so near thereto that even Frank himself thought he was at the very moment he claimed he was there, because he says, “you have seen or are with the people in Brooklyn.”

All right; let’s go a step further. On April 28th, he wired Adolph Montag in care of the Imperial Hotel — listen, now, to what he says — “You may have read in Atlanta papers of factory girl found dead Sunday morning.” In factory! In factory? No, “in cellar.” Cellar where? “Cellar of pencil factory.” There’s where he placed her, there’s where he expected her to be found; and the thing welled up in his mind to such an extent that, Monday morning, April 28th, before he had ever been arrested, he wires Montag forestalling what he knew would surely and certainly come unless the Atlanta detectives were corrupted and should suppress it. “You have read in Atlanta papers of factory girl found dead Sunday morning in cellar of pencil factory. Police will eventually solve it,” — he didn’t have any doubt about it — “Police will eventually solve it” — and be it said to their credit, they did, — “Assure my uncle” — he says, Monday morning — “I am all right in case he asks. Our company has case well in hand.” “Girl found dead in pencil factory cellar,” he says in the telegram, “the police will eventually solve it,” he says, before he was arrested, “I am all right, in case my uncle asks,” and “our company has the case well in hand.”

Well, maybe he did think that when he got that fellow Scott, that he had it well in hand. I’ll tell you, there’s an honest man. If there was a slush fund in this case — these witnesses here say they don’t know anything about it, but if there was a slush fund in this case, Scott could have got it, because, at first, he never heard any words that sounded better to him than when Scott said “we travel arm in arm with the police,” that’s exactly what Frank wanted them to do at that time, he wanted somebody that would run with Black and Starnes and Rosser, and it sounded good to him, and he said all right. He didn’t want him to run anywhere else, because he wanted him to work hand in glove with these men, and he wanted to know what they did and what they said and what they thought. But Haas — and he’s nobody’s fool — when he saw that they were getting hot on the trail, opened up the conversation with the suggestion that “now you let us have what you get, first,” and if Scott had fallen for that suggestion, then there would have been something else. You know it. You tell me that letter and that telegram are not significant!

I tell you that this evidence shows, notwithstanding what “Joe Darter” Schiff swore, when he saw the necessity to meet this evidence of Miss Fleming, which Mr. Arnold tried so hard, because he saw the force of it, to turn into another channel, that Frank didn’t fix that financial sheet Saturday morning. I say that, with the stenographer gone and Frank behind (and Schiff had never done such a thing before, he had always stuck to him in getting it up before), that what Gantt told you is the truth. This man, expert, brilliant — talk about this expert accountant, Joel Hunter! Why, he isn’t near as smart as this man Frank, to begin on, and besides, the idea of his going up there and taking up those things and trying to institute a comparison as to how long it would take him, even if he had the capacity of Frank — he hasn’t got it — to go up there and do those things — why, it’s worse than ridiculous. And Frank himself wasn’t satisfied with all this showing about what he had done, he got up on the stand — he saw the weakness of his case, and he’s as smart as either one of his lawyers, too, let me tell you, and I’ll bet you he wrote that statement, too, they may have read it, but he wrote it. Frank realized that he must go over and beyond what the evidence was, and through his statement he sought to lug into this case something that they didn’t have any evidence for. Why? Because he knew in his heart that all this talk about the length of time it took to fix that financial sheet was mere buncombe. Then he seeks to put in here through that statement — and if we hadn’t stopped him he would have done it — a whole raft of other stuff that Schiff, as willing as he was, as anxious as he was, couldn’t stultify himself to such an extent as to tell you that Frank did that work Saturday morning. But if he did write that financial sheet Saturday afternoon, a thing I submit he didn’t do — I’m willing to admit he wrote that letter — I ask you, as fair men and honest men and disinterested jurors representing the people of this community in seeing that justice is done and that the man who committed that dastardly deed has meted out to him that which he meted out to this poor little girl, if this documentary evidence, these papers, don’t have the impress of a guilty man!

You know it. All right; but you say there’s perjury. Where is it? I’ll tell you another case — I have already referred to it — it’s when that man, put up there to identify Frank’s writing, failed to identify a writing that Frank’s own mother swore that anybody that knew anything about his writing could have identified. There’s perjury there when Roy Bauer swore with such minute particularity as to his visits to that factory. There’s perjury when this man Lee says that Duffy held his finger out and just let that blood spurt. But that ain’t all. Here’s the evidence of Mrs. Carson. Mrs. Carson says she has worked in that factory three years; and Mr. Arnold, in that suave manner of his, without any evidence to support it, not under oath, says “Mrs. Carson, I’ll ask you a question I wouldn’t ask a younger woman, have you ever at any time around the ladies’ dressing room seen any blood spots?” and she said “I certainly have.” That’s a ridiculous proposition on its face. “Have you seen that on several occasions or not?” “I seen it three or four times” — not in three years; but now, “Did you ever have any conversation with Jim Conley?” and she says, “Yes, on Tuesday he came around to sweep around my table” — that’s exactly where Jim says he was Tuesday morning before this man was arrested; “What floor do you work on?” “Fourth.” “What floor do your daughters work on?” “On the fourth.” “Did you see him up there Monday morning?” “No sir” — that’s Frank. “Tuesday morning?” “I saw him Tuesday morning” — he was up there on the fourth floor after the murder, on Tuesday, “sometime between nine and eleven o’clock.” I said, “between nine and eleven, somewhere along there?” “Sometime between nine and eleven thirty.” “Now, Jim Conley and Leo M. Frank were both on your floor between the same hours?” “I saw Mr. Frank and I saw Jim Conley.” “You know it because you had a conversation with Mr. Frank, and you had a conversation with Jim Conley?” “Yes, I saw them both.” And Conley says — and surely Conley couldn’t have been put up to it by these men, even if they had wanted to suborn perjury — that when Frank came up there Tuesday morning before he was arrested, it was then that he came to him and leaned over and said “Jim, be a good boy,” and then Jim, remembering the money and remembering the wealthy people in Brooklyn and the promises that Frank made, says, “Yes, I is.”

Tuesday morning, says Mrs. Carson, your witness, Jim Conley and Frank both were on that floor, and Jim was doing exactly what he said he was doing, sweeping. Now, let’s see. This old lady was very much interested. “Now, did you go on the office floor to see that blood?” — listen at this “What blood?” “The blood right there by the dressing room?” “What dressing room, what blood are you talking about?” She had seen it three or four times all over the factory. “On the second floor?” “No sir,” she says, “I never did see that spot.” “Never saw it at all?” “No, I didn’t care to look at nothing like that.” “You don’t care to look at nothing like that?” “No sir, I don’t.” Now, that’s Mrs. Carson, the mother of Miss Rebecca, that’s what she told you under oath when she was on the stand. Now, let’s see about perjury. Now, mark you, I’m not getting up here and saying this generally, without putting my finger on the specific instances, and I’m not nearly exhausting the record — you can follow it up — but I am just picking out a few instances.

Here’s what Mrs. Small says about Jim Conley reading the newspapers. Well, if Jim had committed that crime and he hadn’t felt that he had the power and influence of Leo Frank back of him to protect him, he never would have gone back there to that factory or sat around and read newspapers, and you know it, if you know anything about the character of the negro. Why was he so anxious to get the newspapers? It was because Jim knew some of the facts that he wanted to see, negro-like — that’s what made him so anxious about it.

Here Mr. Arnold comes,—”You are a lady that works on the fourth floor, and I’m going to ask you a question that we are going to ask every lady that works on that fourth floor;” and we caught them out on that proposition, too, didn’t we? And you don’t know right now how many women that worked on that floor were put up and how many weren’t. You’ve got the books and the records and you could have called the names, and you didn’t dare do it, and after you had gone ahead and four-flushed before this jury as to what you were going to do, we picked out Miss Kitchens and brought her here and she corroborated your own witness, Miss Jackson, as to the misconduct of this superintendent, Frank.

Now, let’s see what Mrs. Small says—Mrs. Small is the lady that got the raise, you remember, and couldn’t tell what date it was, thought it had been about four months ago, she got a five cent raise; about four months ago would make it since this murder, and when I got to quizzing her about it she didn’t know when she got the raise, and she’s not the only one that got the raise, and it wasn’t only in the factory that they raised them, either.

Even Minola McKnight got some raise, and after she saw the import of it, “You don’t remember the exact date.” “No sir, I don’t,” when she had already placed the date subsequent to this murder; and this woman, Mrs. Small, also corroborates Jim Conley about being up there Tuesday. “Did you see Mr. Frank up there any of those days?” “I saw Mr. Frank up there Tuesday after that time.” “What time Tuesday!” “I couldn’t tell you, I guess it was between eight and nine o’clock.” The other one saw him somewhere between nine and eleven or eleven thirty. This lady, their witness, says that he was up there between eight and nine. Why was Frank so anxious to go up there on that floor? Why? It was because he wanted to see this man Jim Conley that he thought was going to protect him.

Mr. Rosser characterized my suggestion that this man Frank called upon and expected Jim Conley to conceal the crime as a dirty suggestion, and I accept it as absolutely true, and I go a step further, and say it was not only dirty, it was infamous. And he would today sit here in this court house and see a jury of honest men put a rope around Jim Conley ‘s neck, the man that was brought into it by him; and he didn’t mean to bring Jim Conley in unless he had to—and he had to.

Jim says the first question he asked him when he saw him down there after this dastardly crime had been committed was, “Have you seen anybody go up?” “Yes,” says Jim, “I have seen two girls go up but I haven’t seen but one come down.” And then it was that this man saw the absolute necessity of taking Jim into his confidence, because he knew that Jim was on the lookout for him, and Starnes and Campbell and Black, combined, together, and even if you make a composite intellect and add the brilliance of Messrs. Rosser and Arnold to that of these detectives, could never have fitted that piece of mosiac into the situation; it isn’t to be done.

“Jim, have you seen anybody go up!” “Yes,” said Jim, “I see two girls go up but only one came down.” And you told Jim to protect you, and Jim tried to do it, and the suggestion was dirty, and worse than that, it is infamous, to be willing to see Jim Conley hung for a crime that Leo Frank committed. But I’m coming to that after a while, I haven’t got to the State’s case yet, I’m just cutting away some of the underbrush that you have tried to plant in this forest of gigantic oaks to smother up their growth, but you can’t do it, the facts are too firmly and too deeply rooted.

Oh, yes, says Mrs. Small, I saw Frank up there on that fourth floor between eight and nine o’clock Tuesday morning, and the other lady saw him up there between nine and eleven, she wouldn’t be sure the day he was arrested — I say arrested, according to Frank’s own statement himself, they got him and just detained him, and even then, red-handed murderer as he was, his standing and influence, and the standing and influence of his attorney, somehow or other — and that’s the only thing to the discredit of the police department throughout the whole thing, say what you may — they were intimidated and afraid because of the influence that was back of him, to consign him to a cell like they did Lee and Conley, and it took them a little time to arrive at the point where they had the nerve and courage to face the situation and put him where he ought to be.

Now, I’ll tell you another thing, too, if old John Black — and Mr. Rosser didn’t get such a great triumph out of him as he would have us believe, either. Black’s methods are somewhat like Rosser ‘s methods, and if Black had Rosser where Rosser had Black, or if Black had Rosser down at police station, Black would get Rosser; and if Black had been given an opportunity to go after this man, Leo M. Frank, like he went after that poor defenseless negro, Newt Lee, towards whom you would have directed suspicion, this trial might have been obviated, and a confession might have been obtained. You didn’t get your lawyer to sustain you and support you a moment too soon. You called for Darley, and you called for Haas, and you called for Rosser, and you called for Arnold, and it took the combined efforts of all of them to keep up your nerve.

And I don’t want to misquote and I won’t misquote, but I want to drive it home with all the power that I possibly can or that I possess. The only thing in this case that can be said to the discredit of the police department of the City of Atlanta is that you treated this man, who snuffed out that little girl’s life on the second floor of that pencil factory, with too much consideration, and you let able counsel and the glamour that surrounds wealth and influence, deter you. I honor—but I honor the way they went after Minola McKnight I don’t know whether they want me to apologize for them or not, but if you think that finding the red-handed murderer of a little girl like this is a ladies’ tea party, and that the detectives should have the manners of a dancing master and apologize and palaver, you don’t know anything about the business. You have seen these dogs that hunt the ‘possum bark up a tree or in a stump, and when they once get the scent of the ‘possum, you can do what you like but they’ll bark up that tree and they’ll bark in that stump until they run him out, and so with old John Starnes and Campbell. They knew and you know that Albert McKnight would never have told Craven this tale about what he saw and what his wife had told him except for the fact that it be true, and if you had been Starnes, you would have been barking up that tree or barking in that stump until you ran out what you knew was in there. That’s all there is to it.

You have got the writ of habeas corpus that’s guaranteed to you, go and get it ; and if Mr. Haas had come to me Tuesday morning and said “You direct the police”—on Monday morning, when Frank was taken down into custody, and said to me, “You direct the police to turn this man Frank loose, he’s innocent,” I would have said “It’s none of my business, I run my office, they run their office,” and the next time the police department, in an effort to serve the people of this community, take a negro that they know and you know and lock her up or what not, I’ll not usurp the functions of the judge of these courts, who can turn her loose on a habeas corpus, and direct them to turn her loose or interfere in any way in their business; I don’t run the police department of the City of Atlanta, I run the office of Solicitor General for the term that the people have elected me, and I’m taken to task because I went in at the beginning of this thing and didn’t stand back.
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Default Part Two Closing Arguments of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, District Attorney

I honor Mr. Hill. I am as proud of having succeeded him as I am that I was elected to the position by the people of this community, to the office of Solicitor General, but I have never yet seen the man that I would take as my model or pattern; I follow the dictates of my own conscience. And if there is one act since I have been Solictor General of which I am proud, it is the fact that I joined hand and glove with the detectives in the effort to seek the murderer of Mary Phagan, and when your influence poured letters in to the Grand Jury, in an effort to hang an innocent man, negro though he be, that I stood firmly up against it. If that be treason, make the best of it And if you don’t want me to do it, then get somebody else to fill the job, and the quicker you do it the better it will suit me.

I will not pattern myself after anybody or anybody’s method, not even Mr. Hill, and, bless his old soul, he was grand and great, and I have wished a hundred times that he was here today to make the speech that I’m now making. There wouldn’t be hair or hide left on you,—he was as noble as any Roman that ever lived, as courageous as Julius Caesar, and as eloquent as Demosthenes. Such talk as that don’t scare me, don’t terrify me, don’t disturb the serenity of my conscience, which approves of everything that I have done in the prosecution of this man.

Now, let’s come back here and discuss this thing of perjury, let’s talk about that a little, let’s not get up here and say that everybody is a liar without citing any instances and that they are crack-brain fanatics, let’s knuckle down and get specific instances.

So this Mrs. Small says she saw Jim Conley,—”Did you see Mr. Frank up there on any of those days?” “I saw Mr. Frank after that crime on Tuesday.” “What time Tuesday?” “I couldn’t tell you, I guess between eight and nine o’clock, he and Miss Carson were coming up from the back end of the factory (Miss Rebecca, I presume).” “He and Mrs. Carson were coming up from the back end of the factory, and I stepped up in front of him and I said ‘Here, Mr. Frank, wait a moment, OK this ticket,’ he says ‘are you going to put me to work as soon as I get here!’ and I says ‘Yes it’s good for your health.’ He okayed the ticket and I went on with my work.”

So Frank was up there Tuesday morning. “Now, speaking about Mrs. Carson, how far towards the elevator did Mrs. Carson go with Frank?”—”Mrs. Carson wasn’t up there, it was Miss Carson, Miss Rebecca. The old lady says she was; I said, “Oh, the old lady wasn’t up there at all!” No, sir; she wasn’t there Tuesday at all.” “You saw Miss Rebecca Carson walking up towards the elevator!” “Yes sir.” “What was Conley doing?” “Standing there by the elevator.” And yet Jim has lied about Frank! Frank was up there twice, Jim was sweeping, Jim was there by the elevator.

“At the time you saw Frank, the negro was standing there at the elevator!” “Yes, sir; he wasn’t sweeping, he was standing there with his hand on the truck looking around.” “Did he see you and Frank!” “I guess he must have seen us.” “Where was Conley when he went down the steps!” “Standing in front of the elevator.” “How close did Frank pass Conley!” “As dose as from here to that table, about four feet.” “Conley was still standing there with his hand on that thing, is that true!” “Yes sir.” “That’s exactly like Conley says.”

And here’s another thing: This woman, Mrs. Small, testifies about that elevator,— it shakes the whole building, I said, anybody in the world could tell it if the machinery wasn’t running! She says, “No, anybody in the world could tell it if the machinery wasn’t running, but you can’t notice it unless you are close to the elevator.” I asked “If there was hammering and knocking, would you still hear the elevator!” She said, “You could if you get close to it.” Well, of course, you could, nobody disputes that. “If the elevator was up here, and you were back in the rear and there was hammering and knocking going on, you couldn’t!” “No sir.” And that disposes of that point, that’s the truth on that.

Now, Mrs. Carson had already sworn here positively that she didn’t go down to see that blood, hasn’t she! There were too many of these people over there at the factory who had seen that blood,—that blood that at first wasn’t blood, it was paint, and then wasn’t paint but was cat’s blood or blood from somebody that was injured, and then wasn’t fresh blood but was stale blood—too many of them had seen it. “On Wednesday I had no business back there, I was there one day but can’t remember.” “What did you go back there for?” “A crowd of us went at noon to see if we could see any blood spots.” “Were you successful!” “No sir.” “Who went with you?” And lo and behold, Mrs. Carson, the mother of Rebecca, had already stated that she didn’t go about it, the very first person that this Mrs. Small refers to— “Well, Mrs. Carson.” “Mrs. Carson went with you,” I said. “Yes sir, she saw the places where the blood was said to be.”

“You know she was there, you are pretty sure she was there?” Mrs. Small said “Yes sir.” “It looked like what!” “Looked like powder.” “How much of it down there?” “A small amount, just a little, looked like some of the girls had been powdering their face and spilled powder.” You know better than that. I came back to the subject, “What makes you say Mrs. Carson went down there with you?” Answer —”Because curiosity sent us down there.” “Did curiosity send her down there too?” “We went back afterwards.”

Now, gentlemen, somebody swore,—and I put it up to you, too,—somebody committed perjury! “You were going back yourself and went to get her?” “Yes sir.” “She didn’t make any objection to going down, did she?” “No sir.” “Don’t you know she didn’t go?” “I know,” she says, “that she did.” All right; if this case is founded on perjury, it’s the kettle calling the pot black, and I haven’t dealt in glittering generalities, I have set forth specific cases. But that isn’t intended to be exhaustive, that’s a mere summary of a few of these instances, they are too numerous to mention. The truth is that there is no phase of this case, where evidence was needed to bolster it up that somebody hasn’t come in, you say, willingly and without pay, because, you say there is no slush fund back of this case.

Now, let’s pass on here a little bit. They tried mighty hard to break down this man Albert McKnight with Minola—and I believe I’ll leave that for a little later and come now to this statement of Frank’s. Gentlemen, I wish I could travel faster over this. I’m doing the very best I can, I have a difficult task and I wish I didn’t have it to do it all.

Now, gentlemen, I want to discuss briefly right here these letters, and if these letters weren’t “the order of an all-ruling Providence I should agree with my friends that they are the silliest pieces of stuff ever practiced; but these letters have intrinsic marks of a knowledge of this transaction,” these pads, that pad,—things usually found in his office,—this man Frank, by the language of these notes, in attempting to fasten the crime upon another, “has indelibly fixed it upon himself.” I repeat it, these notes, which were intended to fix the crime upon another, “have indelibly fixed it upon this defendant,” Leo M. Frank. The pad, the paper, the fact that he wanted a note,—you tell me that ever a negro lived on the face of the earth who, after having killed and robbed, or ravished and murdered a girl down in that dark basement, or down there in that area, would have taken up the time to have written these notes, and written them on a scratch pad which is a thing that usually stays in the office, or written them on paper like this, found right outside of the office of Frank, as shown on that diagram, which is introduced in evidence and which you will have out with you?

You tell me that that man, Jim Conley, sober, as Tillander and Graham tell you, when they went there, would have ravished this girl with a knowledge of the fact that Frank was in that house? I tell you no. Do you tell me that this man, Jim Conley, “drunk as a fiddler’s bitch,” if you want it that way, would, or could have taken time to have written these notes to put beside the body of that dead girl? I tell you no, and you don’t need me to tell you, you know it The fact, gentlemen of the jury, that these notes were written—ah, but you say that it’s foolish. You say it’s foolish. It’s ridiculous. It was a silly piece of business, it was a great folly; but murder will out, and Providence directs things in a mysterious way, and not only that, as Judge Bleckley says, “Crime, whenever committed, is a mistake in itself; and what kind of logic is it that will say that a man committed a crime, which is a great big mistake and then in an effort to cover it up, won’t make a smaller mistake!” There’s no logic in that position.

The man who commits a crime makes a mistake, and the man who seeks to cover it up nearly always makes also a little mistake. And this man here, by these notes, purporting to have been written by little Mary Phagan, by the verbiage and the language and the context, in trying to fasten it on another, as sure as you are sitting in this jury box “has indelibly fastened it on himself.”

These gentlemen saw the significance of the difference between Scott’s evidence, when he was before the Coroner,—and he wasn’t quizzed there particularly about it,—”I told her no,” and “I told her I didn’t know;” to tell that little girl “No,” would have given her no excuse, according to their way of thinking, to go back to see whether that metal had come or not, but to tell her “I didn’t know,” would lure her back into the snare where she met her death. And your own detective, Scott, says, after he gave the thing mature deliberation, that this man on the Monday evening,—and he was so anxious about getting a detective that he had that man Schiff telephone three times, three times, three times, three times,—remember that,—so anxious was he. Scott says, after thinking over the matter, that Leo M. Frank told that girl that he didn’t know whether the metal had come or not, and she went back there to see about the metal, and he followed her back there.

Ill tell you another thing, that old Starnes and Campbell and Rosser, and even Newport Lanford, if he had been called in, and even if I had been called in, to save my life, could not have known that the very word that Leo M. Frank used, according to Jim Conley when Conley says Frank told him “I’m going to chat with a girl,” would have been used exactly four times, as I’ll show you when I come to read this statement by Leo M. Frank, for he chatted, and he chatted, and he chatted, and he chatted, according to his own statement.

This letter that I hold in my hand says that this negro “did it.” Old Jim Conley in his statement here, which I hold in my hand, every time he opened his month says “I done it.” Old Jim Conley, if he had written these notes, never would have said “this negro did it by his self” but Frank wanted it understood that the man that did do it, “did it by his self.” Jim Conley says that Frank says he wanted to chat, and four times in this statement before they suspended to go out and let you refresh yourself, this man Frank had said that somebody came in the office “to chat,” and Mr. Arnold, in making his argument to the jury, realized, because he is as keen and as smart as they ever get to be, the force of that word and endeavored to parry the blow which I now seek to give this defendant.

And you tell me that old Jim Conley, after he had robbed and murdered, or after he had ravished and murdered this girl, when he would have had no occasion in the world to have cared whether her dead body was found right there at that chute, was such a fool as to take the time to take her body way back there in the basement and hide it behind the corner of that room! I tell you that it never occurred. That body was taken down there and put in the place where it was. Why! Because she was murdered on the second floor, where the blood spots are found, and because Leo M. Frank, the superintendent of the plant, saw and felt the necessity that that girl’s body should not be found on the second floor of the pencil factory, but, to use the language which he put in the letter or telegram which he sent to Adolph Montag in New York, “in the cellar.” My! My! “That negro fireman down here did this.”
Jim Conley

Jim Conley

Now, let’s see how many times Jim says “done it”: “I locked the door like he done told me, I remembers that because the man what was with the baby looked at me like he thought I done it” That’s when they ran into the man that Jim says looked at him like he thought “I done it” It’s the difference between ignorance and education, and these notes that you had that man prepare in your office on this paper that stayed on that floor and on that pad that came from your office, bear the marks of your diction, and Starnes and Campbell, with all their ingenuity, couldn’t have anticipated that old Jim would get up here and state that “this man looked at me when he ran into that baby, like I done it” and couldn’t have made him say “I locked the door like he done told me;” and couldn’t have said “I went on and walked up to Mr. Frank and told him that girl was done dead, he done just like this and said sh-h-h.” I could go on with other instances.

And there’s your word “chat,” “chat,” “chat,” “chat,” four times, I’m going to read it to you, it’s here in black and white, and you can’t get around it.

This girl went down there in that scuttle hole? Listen at this,—you didn’t want to say that she went back there to see about the metal, but you knew that the ladies’ water closet was back there, and you make this poor girl say “I went to make water,” “I went to make water, he pushed me down that hole, a long, tall, black negro”—”long, slim, tall, negro, I write while he play with me.” And this note says “that long, tall, black negro did it by his self. ”

Make water? Where did she go to make water? Right back there in the same direction that she would have gone to see about the metal. You tell me, except providentially, that that would have crept in here? You tell me that old Jim Conley, negro, after he had struck that girl with that big stick,—which is a plant as sure as you are living here and as sure as Newt Lee’s shirt was a plant,—you tell me that negro felt any inducement or necessity for leaving that girl’s form anywhere except where he hit her and knocked her down! You tell me that he had the ingenuity, —and mark you, Starnes and these other men weren’t there then to dictate and map out,—you tell me that he would write a note that she went back to make water when there’s no place and her usual place was up there on the second floor?

I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that a smarter man than Starnes, or a smarter man than Campbell, a smarter man than Black, a smarter man than Rosser, in the person of Leo M. Frank, felt impelled to put there these letters, which he thought would exculpate him, but which incriminate and damn him in the minds of every man seeking to get at the truth. Yet you tell me there’s nothing in circumstantial evidence, when here’s a pad and there’s the pad and there’s the notes, which you must admit, or which you don’t deny, old Jim Conley wrote, because you say in your statement you had got numerous notes from him, and yet, the very day, at the police station, according to your own statement, when you wrote that, you saw the original of these, and you didn’t open your mouth, you didn’t say a word, you didn’t direct the finger of suspicion against this man Jim Conley, who had been infamously directed to keep quiet to protect you. Things don’t happen that way, gentlemen, and you know it. There isn’t an honest man on that jury, unbiased, unprejudiced, seeking to get at the truth, but what knows that these letters,—silly? Yes, silly, except you see the hand of Providence in it all—that don’t know that the language and the context and the material out of which they are written were written for the protection of Leo M. Frank, the superintendent of this factory, who wired Montag to tell his uncle “if my uncle inquires about me state that I am all right, the police have the thing well in hand and will eventually solve the problem,” and the girl was found dead, not in the factory, but in the cellar. The man who wrote the note, “nothing startling has happened in so short a time,” wrote it with a knowledge and conscious of the fact that this poor girl’s life had been snuffed out even at the time he penned the words. You’ll have this out with you, you look at them, if you can get anything else out of them you do it, and as honest men, I don’t want you to convict this man unless you are satisfied of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but don’t let that doubt be the doubt of a crank, don’t let it be the doubt of a man who has conjured it up simply to acquit a friend, or a man that has been the friend of a friend; let it be the doubt of an honest, conscientious, upright juror, the noblest work of Almighty God.

Now this statement. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that when this statement you heard Frank make is scanned, it is susceptible of but one construction, and that is, that it is the statement of a guilty man, made to fit in these general circumstances, as they would have you believe—these gentlemen here harped a great deal, gentlemen of the jury, “are you going to convict him on this, are you going to convict him on that.” It isn’t the law that circumstantial evidence is inferior to direct and positive evidence, and it is correct to instruct the jury that there is nothing in the nature of circumstantial evidence that renders it less reliable than other classes of evidence. The illustration that they would seek, gentlemen of the jury, not by direct language did they do it in their argument to you, because we had already read them this authority, but they would bring up this isolated fact and that isolated fact and they would say “are you going to convict him on that?” I don’t ask your conviction on that.

Two illustrations, first, each of the incidental facts surrounding the main fact in issue, is a link in a chain, and that the chain is not stronger than its weakest link, this authority says is generally rejected as an incorrect metaphor and liable to misconstruction. The second illustration and the one that is approved is, each of the incidental facts surrounding the main facts in issue are compared to the strands in a rope, where none of them may be sufficient in itself, but all taken together may be strong enough to establish the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. And so they took isolated instance after isolated instance and then said “are you going to convict him on that?” I say no. But I do say that these instances each constitute a chain, or a cord,—a strand in a cable, and that, when you get them all, all together, you have a cable that ought to hang anybody. That’s the proposition. Not on this isolated instance or that one, but upon all, taken together and bound together, which make a cable as strong as it is possible for the ingenuity of man to weave around anybody.

Now, listen at this statement and let’s analyze that as we go on a little. I don’t know whether this man’s statement to the jury will rank along with the cross-examination of that celebrated pervert, Oscar Wilde, or not, but it was a brilliant statement, when unanalyzed, and if you just simply shut your eyes and mind to reason and take this statement, then, of course, you are not going to convict. But listen to what our Courts say about these statements—I have already read it to you, but I want to read it again. “Evidence given by a witness has inherent strength which even a jury cannot under all circumstances disregard; a statement has none.” No cross-examination, no oath, merely a statement adroitly prepared to meet the exigencies of the case.

Now, listen at this. This man Frank says “I sat in my office checking over the amount of money which had been left over”—not the cash, not cash, but the amount of money which had been left over—”from the pay-roll”—from the $1,100.00 that they had drawn Friday, and to this day, we don’t know how much was left over, and we don’t know whether what was left over coupled with the cash left on hand would make this bundle of bills that old Jim says was shown to him and taken back, when Frank wanted to get him to go down into the dark cellar and burn that body by himself, and old Jim says “I’ll go if you go, but if I go down there and burn that body, somebody might come along and catch me and then what kind of a fix will I be in?” And I’ll tell you right now, if Jim Conley had gone down in that cellar and had undertaken to have burned that body, as sure as the smoke would have curled upward out of that funnel towards Heaven, just so certain would Leo M. Frank have been down there with these same detectives, and Jim Conley would have been without a shadow of a defense. But old Jim, drunk or sober, ignorant or smart, vile or pure, had too much sense, and while he was willing to write the notes to be put by the dead body, and was willing to help this man take the body from the second floor, where the blood was found, into the basement and keep his mouth shut and to protect him, until the combined efforts of Scott and Black and Starnes and all these detectives beat him down and made him admit a little now and a little then, he wasn’t willing, and he had too much sense, to go down into that basement to do that dirty job by himself and cremate the remains of this little girl that that man in his passionate lust had put to death.

You don’t show that he didn’t have the money, and the truth of the business is, I expect, that out of that $1,100.00 for the pay-roll, and $30.00 in cash which you had, if the truth were known, you offered old Jim Conley and bought him with that $200.00 just as surely as Judas Iscariot implanted the kiss for the thirty shekels. He says that “No one came into my office who asked for a pay envelope or for the pay envelope of another.” This running- mate and friend of the dead girl tells you under oath that she went there on Friday evening when they were paid, with the knowledge that little Mary wasn’t there, and as she had done on previous occasions, sought to get the money to take to her. And I’ll show you when I get to the State’s case later on that this diabolical plot, of which you have made so much fun, is founded in reason and really did exist, and that this man really, goaded on by passion, had been expecting some time before to ultimately, not murder this little girl, but cause her to yield to his blandishments and deflower here without her resistance.

Let me do it right now. Way back yonder in March, as far back as March, little Willie Turner, an ignorant country boy, saw Frank trying to force his attentions on this little girl in the metal room; he is unimpeached, he is unimpeachable.

She backed off and told him she must go to her work, and Frank said “I am superintendent of this factory,”—a species of coercion—”and I want to talk to you.”

You tell me that that little girl that worked up there and upon the same floor with you in the metal department, and you had passed right by her machine, this pretty, attractive little girl, twelve months, and a man of your brilliant parts didn’t even know her, and do you tell me that you had made up the pay-roll with Schiff fifty-two times during the year that Mary Phagan was there and still you didn’t know her name or number? You tell me that this little country boy who comes from Oak Grove, near Sandy Springs in the northern part of this county, was lying when he got on that stand? I’ll tell you no. Do you tell me that little Dewey Hewell, a little girl now from the Home of the Good Shepherd in Cincinnati, who used to work at the National Pencil Company, who probably has lost her virtue though she is of such tender years, was lying when she tells you that she heard him talking to her frequently,—talked to Mary frequently, placed his hands on her shoulder and called her Mary?

You tell me that that long-legged man, Gantt, the man you tried to direct suspicion towards, the man Schiff was so anxious to have arrested that he accompanied the police, that you said in your telegram to your uncle, had the case in hand and would eventually solve the mystery,—do you tell me that Gantt has lied when he tells you that this man Frank noticed that he knew little Mary and said to him, “I see that you know Mary pretty well?”

I am prepared to believe, knowing this man’s character as shown by this evidence, that way back yonder in March, old passion had seized him. Yesterday Mr. Rosser quoted from Burns, and said it’s human to err; and I quote you from the same poem, in which old Burns says that “there’s no telling what a man will do when he has the lassie, when convenience snug, and he has a treacherous, passionate inclination.” There’s no telling what he will do when he’s normal, there’s no telling what he will do when he’s like other men, but oh! gentlemen, there’s no telling what a pervert will do when he’s goaded on by the unusual, extraordinary passion that goaded on this man, Leo M. Frank, when he saw his opportunity with this little girl in that pencil factory, when she went back to find out if the metal had come.

You tell me that all of these people have lied,—Willie Turer has lied? Dewey Hewell has lied! That Gantt has lied? That Miss Ruth Robinson has lied? And even Frank, in his statement, admits that he knew Mary well enough to know that Gantt was familiar with her, because Chief Detective Harry Scott was told on Monday, April 28th, that this man Gantt was familiar with little Mary. And yet you expect an honest jury of twelve men—although out of your own mouth you told these detectives, whom you wired your uncle would eventually solve the problem, you told them that this man Gantt was so familiar with her that you directed suspicion towards him. How did you know it if you didn’t know little Mary?

And in addition, as I have stated, you tell me that this brilliant man had helped to make out the pay-roll for fifty-two times and seen little Mary’s name there, and he didn’t even know her name and had to go and get his book to tell whether she worked there or not? And I wouldn’t be at all surprised, gentlemen of the jury—it’s your man Frank’s own statement,—that shortages occurred in the cash even after this man Gantt left,—I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the truth of the business is that this man coveted that little girl away back yonder in March, I wouldn’t be at all surprised, gentlemen, and, indeed, I submit that it’s the truth, that every one of these girls has told the truth when they swore to you on the stand that back yonder in March, after this little girl had come down to work on the office floor in the metal department, that they observed this man, Leo M. Frank, making advances towards her and using his position as superintendent to force her to talk with him. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he didn’t hang around, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he didn’t try to get little Mary to yield. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t look upon this man Gantt, who was raised on an adjoining farm in Cobb County, as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the evil purpose which he had in hand, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, instead of discharging Gantt for a one dollar shortage, which Gantt says “I’ll give up my job rather than pay,” that you put him out of that factory because you thought he stood in the way of the consummation of your diabolical and evil plans.

And you say that you and Schiff made up the pay-roll Friday, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that, after little Mary had gone and while you and Schiff were making up the payroll Friday afternoon, you saw little Mary’s name and you knew that she hadn’t been notified to come there and get her money Friday afternoon at six o’clock, and then, as early as three o’clock,—yes, as early as three,—knowing that this little girl would probably come there Saturday at twelve, at the usual hour, to get her pay, you went up and arranged with this man Jim Conley to look out for you,—this man Jim Conley, who had looked out for you on other occasions, who had locked the door and unlocked it while you carried on your immoral practices in that factory,—yes, at three o’clock, when you and Schiff were so busy working on the pay-roll, I dare say you went up there and told Jim that you wanted him to come back Saturday but you didn’t want Darley to know that he was there.

And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were not true that this little Helen Ferguson, the friend of Mary Phagan, who had often gotten Mary’s pay envelope before, when she went in and asked you to let her have that pay envelope, if you didn’t refuse because you had already arranged with Jim to be there, and you expected to make the final onslaught on this girl, in order to deflower and ruin her and make her, this poor little factory girl, subservient to your purposes.

Ah, gentlemen, then Saturday comes, Saturday comes, and it’s a reasonable tale that old Jim tells you, and old Jim says “I done it,”—not “I did it,” but “I done it” just exactly like this brilliant factory superintendent told him. There’s your plot.

I’ll tell you, you know this thing passion is like fraud,—it’s subtle, it moves in mysterious ways; people don’t know what lurks in the mind of a libertine, or how anxious they are, or how far ahead they look, and it isn’t at all improbable, indeed, I submit to you as honest men seeking to get at the truth, that this man, whose character was put in issue and torn down, who refused to go into specific instances on cross-examination, if he didn’t contemplate this little girl’s ruin and damnation it was because he was infatuated with her and didn’t have the power to control that ungovernable passion.

There’s your plot; and it fits right in and jams right up, and you can twist and turn and wobble as much as you want to, but out of your own mouth, when you told your detective, Scott, that this man Gantt was familiar with that little girl, notwithstanding at other places in this statement you tried to lead this jury of honest men to believe you didn’t know her—I tell you that he did know her, and you know that he knew her. What are you going to believe? Has this little Ferguson girl lied? Is this little factory girl a hare-brained fanatic suborned to come up here and perjure herself, by John Starnes or Black or Campbell or any of the detectives? Do you tell me that such a thing can be done, when the State of Georgia, under the law, hasn’t a nickel that this girl could get? I tell you, gentlemen, you know that’s a charge that can’t stand one instant.

Now, he says right here in his statement that he kept the key to his cash box right there in his desk. Well, he makes a very beautiful statement about these slips—but I’ll pass that and come to that later. He explains why they were put on there April 28th, and so forth. Now, here’s the first reference that he makes to “chatting”: “I stopped that work that I was doing that day and went to the outer office and chatted with Mr. Darley and Mr. Campbell.” “I should figure about 9 :15, or a quarter to nine, Miss Mattie Smith came in and asked for her pay envelope.” Jim is corroborated there, he identified Miss Mattie Smith and told with particularity what she did. He says, “I kept my cash box in the lower drawer of the left hand side of my desk.” Jim says that’s where he got some cash. This man also shows he took a drink at Cruickshank’s soda fount and two or three times during this statement he showed that he was doing at the soda fount exactly as Jim says he was doing as they came on back from the factory.

Again he says, “but I know there was several of them and I went on chatting with Mr. Montag.” I told you I was going to read you this, and I just wanted you to know we were going to have this out with you. Another thing he says, “I moved the papers I brought back from Montag’s in the folder”; old Jim says he had the folder and put the folder away; “I would look and see how far along the reports were which I used in getting my financial statement up every Saturday afternoon, and, to my surprise, I found the sheet which contains the record of pencils packed for the week didn’t include the report for Thursday, the day the fiscal week ended, that’s the only part of the data that Schiff hadn’t got up.” “A short time after they left my office, two gentlemen came in, one of them Mr. Graham”—Mr. Graham says that he talked to this negro down stairs; the negro told him the way to the office, and they tried to get around it on the idea there’s some difference in color. Well, being in jail, gentlemen, changes the complexion of anybody. That man was there, Graham says, Tillander says, and he was there for what purpose? By whose request? And he wasn’t drunk, either. And then he says, “I gave the required pay envelope to the two fathers,” this man Frank says, “I gave the pay envelope and chatted with them at some length.”

Mr. Arnold says these darkeys pick up the language and manners of the men by whom they are employed. I tell you that, if Frank didn’t come in contact with the people that worked in that factory more than he would lead you to believe, old Jim Conley never had the opportunity to pick up words that he uses ; and yet here old Jim says, and even in his statement, even in his statement, this man uses the very language that Jim puts in his mouth. I just picked out four of them, in a very few pages, I don’t know how many others there are. “Miss Hall finished her work and started to leave when the twelve o’clock whistle blew.” Whistle blowing on a holiday? Well, maybe it did, I’ll leave that for you to say. Another place he says “I chatted with them:” “Entering, I found quite a number of people, among them Darley,” etc. “I chatted with them a few minutes”—using the same words Jim said he used with reference to this girl: “Miss Hall left my office on her way home; there were in the building at the time, Arthur White and Harry Denham and Arthur White’s wife, on the top floor; to the best of my knowledge, it must have been ten or fifteen minutes after Miss Hall left my office when this little girl, whom I afterwards found to be Mary Phagan, entered my office and asked for her pay envelope.”

“This little girl whom I afterwards found”—why didn’t you give her her money? No, he didn’t give her her money; he knew her all right. That child never got her money, she never got her money, and this man Frank, when Mrs. White came down there at 12 :35, and when he jumped and when Jim Gonley was still sitting downstairs,—the one fact in this case that must make you see that Jim Conley didn’t do the deed,—this man Frank was at that safe then, when he jumped and Mrs. White came up, getting out the pay envelope of this little girl, who had gone back to the rear to see whether the metal had come or not—not to make water, as he stated in that note. At the time Frank was at that safe and Mrs. White came in, she says he jumped. Remember that. As she went down the stairs at 12 :35 she saw Jim Conley, or a negro who resembled him, and that’s the one incident in this case that shows that old Jim Conley didn’t do the deed. Then it was after this man had tipped up and tipped back, —then it was, he had to let Mrs. White go up. Previously he had sent up had them to come down, but this time he lets Mrs. White go up, and then after Mrs. White had been up there a little while, and in order not to get caught in the act of moving that body, because he knew Mrs. White might come down, he knew that these men had their lunches and would work and stay up on that floor; at 12:50, Mrs. White says when she went down she saw Conley there, at 12:50, and Frank was anxious to get Mrs. White out of the building, in order that he might call Jim Conley, if Jim had seen, and his saying that he had seen would have given him away; then it was that he wanted to get her out of the building, and he sent her upstairs and then went upstairs to get her out and pretended to be in a big hurry to get out, but according to her evidence, instead of going out, he didn’t have on his coat and went back in his office and sat down at his desk. Anxious to get out, — going to close up right now! Now, that wasn’t the purpose. Talk about no blood being found back down there! Talk about no blood being found! Well, there’s two reasons why there wasn’t any found: This lick the girl got on the back of the head down there wasn’t sufficient to have caused any great amount of blood, and if old Jim Conley hadn’t dropped that girl as he went by the dressing room and the thing hadn’t gone out like a sunburst all around there, like these men describe it, there wouldn’t have been any blood. When you assaulted her and you hit her and she fell and she was unconscious, you gagged her with that, and then quickly you tipped up to the front, where you knew there was a cord, and you got the cord and in order to save this reputation which you had among the members of the B’nai B’rith, in order to save, not your character because you never had it, but in order to save the reputation with the Haases and the Montags and the members of Doctor Marx’s church and the members of the B’nai B’rith and your kinfolks in Brooklyn, rich and poor, and in Athens, then it was that you got the cord and fixed the little girl whom you had assaulted, who wouldn’t yield to your proposals, to save your reputation, because dead people tell no tales, dead people can’t talk.

And you talk about George Kendley saying that he would be one to lead a riot, and you talk about your ability to run George Kendley with a fan or a corn shuck. I tell you Frank knew and you know that there would have been men who would have sprung up in this town, had that little girl lived to tell the tale of that brutal assault, that would have run over ten thousand men like you, would have stormed the jail or done anything. It oughtn’t to be, because that thing ought to be left to be threshed out before an upright Court and an honest jury. But this man Frank knew,—he didn’t expect her to turn him down, he paved the way, he had set the snare and he thought that this poor little girl would yield to his importunities, but, ah! thank God, she was made of that kind of stuff to which you are a stranger, and she resisted, she wouldn’t yield, you couldn’t control your passion and you struck her and you ravished her, she was unconscious, you gagged her and you choked her.

Then you got Mrs. White out, the woman that saw you jump at 12 :35 when you were there fixing to see about little Mary’s pay envelope, which you never did give the poor child. And you fussed a good deal about that pocket book, that mesh bag; I wouldn’t be at all surprised if old Jim’s statement that Frank had that mesh bag, didn’t keep that mesh bag from turning up in this trial, just exactly like that plant of old Newt Lee’s shirt and just exactly like that club and just exactly like these spots these men found on May 15th around that scuttle hole. It worried you too much, it worried you too much, it disconcerted your plans. The thing had already been done when Mrs. White got back there at 12 :35 and old Jim Conley was still sitting down there waiting patiently for the signal that had been agreed upon, waiting patiently for the signals that you had used when some other women from the fourth floor and other people had been down there to meet you Saturdays and holidays.

And the first thing he did after he had gagged her with a piece of her underskirt, torn from her own underskirt, was to tip up to the front, where he knew the cords hung, and come back down there and choke that poor little child to death. You tell me that she wasn’t ravished? I ask you to look at the blood—you tell me that that little child wasn’t ravished! I ask you to look at the drawers, that were torn, I ask you to look at the blood on the drawers, I ask you to look at the thing that held up the stockings.

And I say that as sure as you are born, that man is not like other men. He saw this girl, he coveted her; others without her stamina and her character had yielded to his lust, but she denied him, and when she did, not being like other men, he struck her, he gagged her, he choked her; and then able counsel go through the farce of showing that he had no marks on his person! Durant didn’t have any marks on his person, either. He didn’t give her time to put marks on his person, but in his shirt sleeves, goaded on by an uncontrollable passion, this little girl gave up her life in defense of that which is dearer than life, and you know it.

Why this man says he had an impression of a female voice saying something. How unjust! This little girl had evidently—listen at that, gentleman, this little girl whose name had appeared on the pay-roll, had evidently worked in the metal department, and never was such a farce enacted in the courthouse as this effort on the part of able counsel to make it appear that that wasn’t blood up there on that floor. Absurd! Not satisfied with the absurdity of the contention that it’s paint, that it’s cat blood, rat’s blood, varnish, they bring in this fellow Lee, who perjures himself to say that that man stood there just letting the blood drip. Old man Starnes tells you that they saw the blood there and chipped it up, and saw the blood right along on the route towards the elevator; Jim Conley tells you that right there is where he dropped the head so hard, and where Frank came and took hold and caught the feet. Every person that described that blood and its appearance bears it out that it was caused by dropping, because it was spattered,—one big spot here and other little ones around it,—and if human testimony is to be believed, you know that was blood—that that was blood and not paint, you know that it was the blood of Mary Phagan and not the blood of Duffy. Duffy says so. You know that it was the blood of Mary Phagan because it corresponds with the manner in which Jim Conley says he dropped the body. You know it’s blood because Chief Beavers saw blood there. It spattered towards the dressing room; you know it was blood because Starnes says he saw it was blood and he saw that the haskoline had been put over it,—and I’m going to read you this man’s statement, too, unless I give out physically, about this haskoline, it’s the purest subterfuge that ever a man sought to palm off on an honest jury.

Starnes tells you that “I found more blood fifty feet nearer the elevator on a nail.” Barrett,—Christopher Columbus Barrett, if you will, that discovered the hair that was identified, I believe, by Magnolia Kennedy, Monday morning, as soon as they began work, before anybody ever had had time to write a reward,—Barrett, who was not caught in a single lie, Barrett, who though he works for the National Pencil Company, had the manhood to stand up— I trust him and put him up against this man Holloway, who says that Jim Conley was his nigger.

This man Holloway, who made a statement to me in my office, when he didn’t see the purpose and the import and the force of the suggestion that this elevator key, after the elevator box was locked, was always put in Frank’s office, but when it became apparent that too many people saw this man Frank Sunday morning go there and turn the lever in the power box, without going to his office to get the key, then it was that this man Holloway, who we put up and for whose veracity we vouched and who betrayed us and entrapped us, after he saw the force of the suggestion, after he had told us that always, without exception, he had locked this elevator box himself and put the key in Frank’s office, throws us down and by his own affidavit as read in your presence here, made at a time when he didn’t see the importance of the proposition, changed his evidence and perjured himself either to have this jury acquit this guilty defendant, his boss and employer, or to get the reward for the conviction of “his nigger,” Jim Conley. Contrast him with Barrett,—Barrett, the man who discovered the hair on his machine early in the morning and whose attention was called to this blood there by the dressing room at a time when no reward is shown to have been offered and indeed, when you know that no reward was offered because no executive of this State or of this city offered any reward during Sunday or as early as 7 or 8 o’clock Monday morning. I say to you that this man Barrett stands an oasis in a mighty desert, standing up for truth and right and telling it, though his own job is at stake, and you know it. And you may fling your charges of perjury just as far as you want to, but I tell you right now, gentlemen, that Barrett, when he swore that he found blood there at the place where Conley said he dropped the body, told the truth; and when he said he found that hair on that machine, I tell you Barrett told the truth, and if there be a man in this town that rightly deserves and who ought to receive the rewards, if there are any, it’s this poor employe of the National Pencil Company, who had the manhood and the courage to tell the truth, and I hope if there be such a thing as a reward to be given to anybody, that this man Barrett gets it.

But not a single thing did Barrett swear but that either didn’t occur before any rewards were offered, or that weren’t substantiated by four and five of the most reputable witnesses that could be found. And Barrett didn’t make his discoveries May 15th, either, Barrett made them Monday morning, April 28th, and they haven’t any resemblance to a plant. They come so clean and so natural that the most warped and the most biased must recognize the fact that Barrett has told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But you can wipe Barrett out of this case and still you have got an abundance of firm ground upon which to stand. Barrett isn’t shown to have lied, dodged or equivocated. Mrs. Jefferson,—and I’m only going to give you a few of the people that saw blood there—-Mrs. Jefferson saw a dark red spot about as large as a fan, and in her opinion, it was blood, and it was blood. Mel Stanford says he saw the blood at the dressing room Monday, dark spots that looked exactly like blood and this white stuff, haskoline, had been smeared over it. “It was not there Friday, I know,” said Mel Stanford, “because I swept the floor Friday at that place. The white substance appeared to have been swept over with a coarse broom; we have such a broom, but the one used by me Friday in sweeping over that identical spot was of finer straw; the spots were dry and the dark led right up here within five feet of where the smear was.” Blood and haskoline.

Jim Conley saw her go up and didn’t see her go down. Necessary, absolutely necessary, that this man should put her where he said in his telegram or letter the body was found. The discovery made Monday by Barrett and Jefferson and Mel Stanford and seen by Beavers and Starnes, but not only that, but reinforced by Darley, for Darley says “I saw what appeared to be blood spots at the dressing room, a white substance had been smeared over it, as if to hide it.” And Quinn says “The spots I saw at or near the dressing room looked like blood to me.”

Sometimes you have got to go into the enemy’s camp to get ammunition. It’s a mighty dangerous proposition, — Doctor Connally knows what a dangerous proposition it is to go into the enemy’s camp to get ammunition, he has been an old soldier and he will tell you that there is no more dangerous proposition,—I expect Mr. Mangum knows something about it, this going into the enemy’s camp to get ammunition; and yet in this case, conscious of the fact that we were right, having Darley tied up with an affidavit, we dared to go right into the enemy’s camp, and there we got the best evidence of the fact that Frank was more nervous than he had ever been known to be except on two occasions, one when he had seen a little child killed, and the other when he and his boss had had a falling out—this man Montag, who was so afraid something was going to be twisted in this case—and also Darley saw the blood. It was a mighty hard pill for Darley, it was an awful hard situation for him, but we drove it up to him and he dared not go back on the affidavit which he had signed, though he did modify his statements. All right; I’m not going to call over all these other people,— Mrs. Small and others,—though Mrs. Carson denied it, she went there,—who claimed to have seen that blood. But to cap it all, Mel Stanford says “I swept the floor,”— he’s an employee and he’s an honest man,—”it wasn’t there Friday.” Why? Because old Jim, when he went to move that body, put it there Saturday.

To cap it all, Doctor Claude Smith, the City Bacteriologist, says “I analyzed it and I tell you that I found blood corpuscles.” And now you come in with the proposition that that blood had been there ever since that machinist Lee saw that fellow Duffy stand there with his finger cut and let it spout out at the end,—a thing Duffy says never happened, and you know never happened, and we called on you to produce the paper this man Lee said he signed and you can’t do it, because he never signed one. Not only that, but your own employe, your own witness, Mary Pirk, your own witness, Julia Puss, your own witness, Magnolia Kennedy, your own witness, Wade Campbell, and your own witness Schiff and others whose names are too numerous to take up your valuable time to mention, all say that they saw this great big spot there covered over with something white, which we know to have been haskoline. Now, Harry Scott didn’t manipulate exactly right, so they got them some new Richmonds and put them in the field, and this fellow Pierce,—and where is Pierce? Echo answers where? And where, oh, where, is Whitfield? And echo answers where? The only man you bring in here is this man McWorth. Starnes denies, Black denies, Scott denies, every witness put on the stand denies, that around that scuttle hole anything was seen immediately after that murder.

Don’t you know that Frank, who went through that factory,—that Schiff, Darley, Holloway, don’t you know that they would have been only too glad to have reported to Frank that blood spots had been found around that scuttle hole, and don’t you know that Frank would have rushed to get his detective Scott to put the police in charge of the information that blood had been found here! But long after Jim Conley had been arrested, after this man Holloway had arrested him, after this man Holloway had said that Jim was “his nigger,” realizing the desperation of the situation, realizing that something had to be forthcoming to bolster up the charge that Conley did it, then it was and not until then that this man McWorth, after he had gone looking through the factory for a whole day, at about 3 :30 o’clock saw seven large stains, found the envelope and stick right there in the corner.

Now, he found too much, didn’t he! Wasn’t that a little too much! Is there a man on this jury that believes that all these officers looking as they did there, through that factory, going down in this basement there through that very scuttle hole, would have overlooked seven large stains which were not found there until May 15th? Scott said “I looked there just after the murder, made search at the scuttle hole, didn’t see blood spots there.” Starnes says the same, Rosser says the same, and these men Mel Stanford and Darley both say they had been cleaning up all that very area May 3rd, and yet the men who cleaned up and all these men never saw them and never even found the envelope or the stick. Why it’s just in keeping with that plant of the shirt at Newt Lee’s house.

I don’t care how much you mix up this man Black. Boots Rogers says, Darley says, that Sunday morning, when suspicion pointed towards this man Newt Lee, that this man Frank, the brilliant Cornell graduate and the man who was so capable at making figures that certain parts of his work have never been fixed since he left that factory, when he knew a girl had been murdered downstairs, when he knew that suspicion pointed towards Newt Lee, took that slip out of the clock and stood there, looked at it, told those men, in answer to a question, if Newt Lee would have had time to have left and gone home after he killed that girl and changed his clothing, that old Newt didn’t have the time. Why did he say it then? Because he knew that Lanford and Black and the other detectives who were there would have examined that slip for themselves, then and there, and would have seen that these punches were regular or irregular. But he stood there, and because he knew he would be detected if he tried to palm off a fraud at that time and place, this man of keen perception, this man who is quick at figures, this Cornell graduate of high standing, looked over those figures which register the punches for simply twelve hours,—not quite twelve hours,—in that presence, surrounded by those men, told them that Newt Lee wouldn’t have had the time, but, ah! Monday afternoon, when he sees that there isn’t enough evidence against Newt Lee, and that the thing ain’t working quite as nicely against this man Gantt, who he told was familiar with this little girl, Mary Phagan, and then he suddenly proposes, after a conference with his astute counsel, Mr. Haas, that “you go out to my house and make a search,” and then, in the same breath and at the same time, he shrewdly and adroitly suggests to Black that Newt Lee, he has suddenly discovered, had time to go out to his house, and forthwith, early Tuesday morning, John Black, not having been there before because Leo M. Frank told him that Newt Lee didn’t have time to go out to his house, but after the information comes in then Tuesday morning, John Black puts out and goes to old Newt’s house and finds a shirt; that’s a plant as sure as the envelope is a plant, as the stick is a plant, as the spots around the scuttle hole. And the man that did his job, did it too well ; he gets a shirt that has the odor of blood, but one that has none of the scent of the negro Newt Lee in the armpit. He puts it, not on one side, as any man moving a body would necessarily have done, but he smears it on both sides, and this carries with it, as you as honest men must know, unmistakable evidence of the fact that somebody planted that shirt sometime Monday, at whose instance and suggestion we don’t know.

And that club business: Doctor Harris says that that wound could not have been done with that club, and Doctor Hurt says it could not have been done with that club, and not a doctor of all the numerous doctors, good men and good doctors as they are for some purposes, ever denies it. A physical examination of that shirt shows you that it wasn’t on the person when that blood got on it,—there is as much blood on the inside or the under side that didn’t come through to the outside. Lee didn’t deny the shirt, but he never did say that it was his shirt. Cornered up as he was, not a negro, one negro in a thousand, that wouldn’t have denied the ownership of that shirt, but old Lee was too honest to say that it wasn’t his shirt,—he didn’t remember it; and you don’t know whether it was his or not. Now this envelope and this stick is found at the radiator, at the scuttle hole, May 15th, after the place had been cleaned up, according to Darley and other witnesses, including Mel Stanford, and after, as I said, it had been thoroughly searched by Scott, Campbell, Rosser, Starnes and I don’t know how many others; and then you say that these things weren’t a part and parcel of the same scheme that caused this man to have Conley write those notes planted by the body to draw attention away from him.

Gentlemen, you can’t get away from the fact that blood was there, you can’t do it; now, can you? Just as honest men, now, honest men can you get away from that? If human testimony is to be believed, you’ve got to recognize the fact that blood was on the second floor, and that there was no blood at the scuttle hole ; that the shirt and the club and the spots were plants.

“She had left the plant five minutes when Lemmie Quinn, the foreman of that plant, came in and told me I couldn’t keep him away from the factory even though it was a holiday, at which time I smiled and kept on working.” Smiled and kept on working! “I wanted to know when they would have lunch, I got my house and Minola answered the phone and she answered me back that she would have lunch immediately and for me to come right away. I then gathered my papers together and went upstairs to see the boys on the top floor; this must have been, since I just looked at my watch, ten minutes to one. Mrs. White states that it was 12:35, that she passed by and saw me, that’s possibly true, I have no recollection about it, perhaps her recollection is better than mine.” She remembered it very well.

Now, this Minola McKnight business. Isn’t it strange that this man Albert, her husband, would go up there and tell that kind of a tale if there wasn’t some truth in it? Isn’t it strange that Minola herself, in the tale that they seek to have you believe was a lie, should have been sustained by Mrs. Selig, when she tells you “Yes, I gave her $5.00 to go get some change,” and Mrs. Frank gave her a hat? Do you believe that this husband of hers didn’t see that man Frank when, after this murder, he went home and was anxious to see how he looked in the glass, but as the people had gone to the opera, anxious to get back to keep his engagement with Jim Conley? And all this talk about Mrs. Selig, about this thing not having been changed. Gentlemen, are you just going to swallow that kind of stuff without using your knowledge of human nature?

And you tried to mix old Albert up, and right here, I’m going to read you a little bit about Albert’s evidence: “Yes sir, he came in close to 1:30, I guess, something like that.” “Did he or not eat anything?” “No sir, not at that time, he didn’t, he came in and went to the sideboard in the dining room and stood there a few minutes, then he goes out ‘and catches the car.” “How long did he stay at the house?” “I suppose he stayed there five or ten minutes.” “About five or ten minutes?” “About five or ten minutes.” “What did he do at the sideboard?” “I didn’t see him do anything at the sideboard.” “Isn’t there a door between the cook room and the dining room?”

These gentlemen asked him, and Albert said, “Yes, this here dining room was open;” yes, they didn’t keep it shut all the time, said Albert. “And you know he didn’t eat anything in that dining room?” “Yes, I know he didn’t eat.” And this is the tale that had been told Craven by the husband of Minola McKnight, and Minola went down there and in the presence of her counsel, stated these things to these officers and she never would have done it if it hadn’t been the truth. Gordon was down there, and he could have said—and if he hadn’t said it then he’s unworthy of the name of lawyer—”Minola, if these things aren’t true, don’t you put your name to it, if you do you are liable to go to the penitentiary for false swearing; if you don’t, the writ of habeas corpus is guaranteed to every man, and in less than two hours, by an order of a judge of the Superior Court I’ll have you out of here.” And yet, George Gordon, with his knowledge of the law, with his knowledge of his client’s rights, sits there and lets Minola McKnight, the cook, who is sustained in the statement that she then made, but which here in this presence she repudiated, corroborated by her husband and sustained in many particulars by the Seligs themselves,—George Gordon sat there and let her put her fist to that paper, swearing to a lie that might send her to the penitentiary, and he was her lawyer and could have released her from that prison by a writ of habeas corpus as quick as he could have gotten to a judge, because any judge that fails to hear a writ of habeas corpus immediately is subject to damages and impeachment.

But Craven was there and Albert was there and this woman, McKnight, sitting there in the presence of her lawyer, this man that was so eager to inject into this case something that these men wanted in here all the time, but never could get until he got on that stand and swore that I had said a thing that you saw by the questions that I asked him never did occur, that I was afraid that I would get in bad with the detectives—I would get in bad with them if I would try to run their business, and I never will get in bad with them because I never expect to undertake to run their business; I’ve got as much as I can say grace over to attend to my own business.

And you go out there, now, and bring in Julius Fisher and a photographer, and all these people, and try to prove this negro Albert McKnight lied, and by the mere movement of that sideboard, which Mrs. Selig in her evidence says, even, every time they swept it was put just exactly back in the same place, —then you try to break down Albert McKnight ‘s evidence with that. Why, gentlemen, Albert says that that sideboard had been moved, and you know it had been moved, and Albert McKnight stood, not where these gentlemen sought to put him, but at a place where he could see this man Frank, who came home, there sometimes, as Albert says, between one and two o’clock, after he had murdered the girl, and didn’t eat his dinner, but hurried back to the factory to keep his engagement with Jim Conley, who had promised to come back and burn her body in the furnace. You tell me that Albert would have told that lie! You tell me that Albert’s wife, in the presence of Albert and Craven and Pickett, honorable, upright men, who worked for the Beck & Gregg Company, the same firm that Albert McKnight works at,—and do you tell me that George Gordon, a man who poses as an attorney, who wants to protect the rights of his client, as he would have you see, sat there in that presence and allowed this woman, for her husband, to put her fist to a paper and swear to it which would consign her to the penitentiary t I tell you that that thing never happened, and the reason Minola McKnight made that affidavit, corroborating this man, her husband, Albert, sustained as she is by the Seligs, biased and prejudiced and willing to protect their son-in-law as they were, is because it was the embodiment of the truth and nothing but the truth; and as honest, unprejudiced, unbiased men, you know it.

And you know he didn’t eat anything in that dining room, yes, I know he didn’t eat. “Don’t you know you can’t sit in that dining room,” says Mr. Arnold, “and don’t you know you can’t see from the kitchen into the dining room, you know that, don’t you I” ”Yes sir, you certainly can see;” and the very evidence of the photographs and Julius Fischer and others who came here, after that sideboard had been moved, sustains Albert McKnight, and shows that once that sideboard is adjusted, you could see, as Albert says, and he did see because he would have never told that tale unless he had been there and seen it. “You can see in there ?” “Yes sir, you can see; look in the mirror in the corner and see all over that dining room;” that’s what Albert swore. And if there’s anybody in the world that knows how to get up a plan to see from the kitchen into the dining room or to hear what’s going on among the white folks in the dining room, it’s a negro. And Albert told too straight a tale, he told too reasonable a tale. “Don’t you know that you can’t look in the mirror in the corner and see it?” Albert says “I did do it, I stayed there about five or ten minutes while he was there and looked in that mirror at him, Mr. Frank.” “You stayed there in that kitchen on that occasion and looked in the mirror at him that five or ten minutes he stayed there?” “Yes sir.” “By looking in that mirror you can see what’s going on in that room?” “You can see if they are eating at the table.” “Don’t you know that you can’t see in that room by looking into that mirror?” “Yes sir, you can see in there.” “You can see all over the room?”—tried to make him say that—”No, not all over it exactly.” “But you can see even when they are eating at the table?” “You can look in that mirror and see in the sitting room and through that dining room,” said Albert, “to a certain extent.” And he says he never was in the dining room in his life. That’s reasonable. “You were right side of the back door of the kitchen?” “Yes, sir.” “Let me give you a little drawing; now were you sitting right in front of that little hallway between the two rooms, in front of it?” Says Albert, “Not exactly.” “You were sitting right here against the wall, weren’t you?” And he said “Yes sir.” “I don’t know whether it’s fair or not,—that’s a fair statement.”

And Albert says, “I don’t know whether it’s fair or not, but I know I saw Leo M. Frank come in there some time between one and two o’clock Saturday, April 26th, and I know he didn’t stay but about ten minutes and left to go to town.” And he tells you the way in which he left, and Frank in his statement says that, while he didn’t get on that car, he went in such a direction as Albert McKnight might have naturally supposed he went down there. “Minola she went in there but stayed only a minute or two in the dining room, I never looked at the clock.” “You don’t know exactly what time?” “No, but I know it was obliged to have been something after one when Mr. Frank came there and he came in and went before the sideboard and then went back to town.” And he says “I don’t know exactly whether he did or not because I have never been in the house no further than the cook room.”

Then he says “”Who did you tell?” “I told Mr. Craven.” “Who is Craven?” “He is the boss at the plow department at the Beck & Gregg Hardware Company;” and that’s the way the detectives got hold of it, and try all you will to break old Albert down, I submit to you, gentlemen, that he has told the absolute truth and stands unimpeached.

August 25.

Mr. Dorsey:

I regretted more than you the necessity for your being carried over another week or, rather, another Sunday. I was even more exhausted than I anticipated, and this morning my throat and voice are in such shape that I fear I will not be able to do the case the justice it demands. I thought myself, had we not had the adjournment that I might have been able to finish my speech and His Honor charge you Saturday afternoon, but I am sure such would not have been the case.

When we closed on Saturday, I was just completing a brief analysis of the statement made by this defendant. I’m not going into any exhaustive analysis of that statement, because it is not necessary to further inconvenience you and I haven’t the physical strength, but there is certain language and certain statements and assertions made in this statement by this defendant which merit some consideration.

This defendant stated to you, after His Honor had excluded our evidence and properly, I think, that his wife visited him at the police station. He says that she was there almost in hysterics, having been brought there by her father and two brothers-in-law and Rabbi Marx—no, “Rabbi Marx was with me, I consulted with him as to the advisability of allowing my dear wife to come up to the top floor to see those surroundings, city detectives, reporters and snapshotters.” He doesn’t prove that by a living soul and relies merely upon his own statement. If they could have proven it by Rabbi Marx, who was there and advised him, why didn’t they do it? Do you tell me that there lives a true wife, conscious of her husband’s innocence, that wouldn’t have gone through snap-shotters, reporters and everything else, to have seen him—

Mr. Arnold:

I must object to as unfair and outrageous an argument as that, that his wife didn’t go there through any consciousness of guilt on his part. I have sat here and heard the unfairest argument I have ever heard, and I can’t object to it, but I do object to his making any allusion to the failure of the wife to go and see him; it’s unfair, it isn’t the way to treat a man on trial for his life.

The Court:

Is there any evidence to that effect?

Mr. Dorsey:

Here is the statement I have read.

Mr. Arnold:

I object to his drawing any conclusions from his wife going or not going, one way or the other, it’s an outrage upon law and decency and fairness.

The Court:

Whatever was in the evidence or the statement I must allow it.

Mr. Dorsey:

“Let the galled jade wince”—

Mr. Arnold:

I object to that, I’m not a “galled jade,” and I’ve got a right to object. I’m not galled at all, and that statement is entirely uncalled for.

Mr. Dorsey:

Frank said that his wife never went back there because she was afraid that the snapshotters would get her picture—because she didn’t want to go through the line of snapshotters. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that there never lived a woman, conscious of the rectitude and innocence of her husband, who wouldn’t have gone to him through snapshotters, reporters and over the advice of any Rabbi under the sun. And you know it.

Frank says in his statement, with reference to these notes written by Conley, “I said I know he can write.” How long did it take him to say it, if he ever said it. “I received many notes from him asking me to loan him money, I have received too many notes from him not to know that he can write.” In other words, says Frank, in his statement, I have received notes signed with his name, purporting to have been written by him, and he says they were written by a pencil. Frank says he said “I told them if you will look in the drawer in the safe you will find the card of a jeweler from whom Conley bought a watch on the installment plan.” He corroborates Conley there, with reference to the watch incident and what occurred there in his office when Conley told him not to take any more money out. “Now, perhaps if you go to that jeweler you may find some sort of receipt that Conley had to give and be able to prove that Conley can write.”

Scott says that no such thing ever happened. But if Frank knew so well that this man Conley could write, in the name of fairness why didn’t Frank, when he saw those notes at the police station, found beside this dead body, then and there say “this is the writing of James Conley?” Why didn’t he do it? Scott denies that any such thing happened, or that they came into possession of any information from Frank that led to knowledge on their part that this man Conley could write. And up to the time that they discovered this man Conley could write, this man had kept his mouth sealed and it was only the knowledge on the part of the detectives and the knowledge on the part of Conley that the detectives knew he was lying about his ability to write, that forced him to make the first admission that he was connected with this crime.

He says he knew that Conley could write. Why, then, did he keep his mouth shut until the detectives discovered it, when he knew that the notes found beside that poor girl’s body was the one key that . was going to unlock the Phagan mystery? You know why.

Ah, you did know that Conley could write. You knew it, not only because he wrote the notes for you, through which you sought to place the responsibility for this crime on another man, but you knew it because he checked up the boxes of pencils, and he had written you numerous notes to get money from you, just like he borrowed money from those other people in that factory. You knew that the most powerful fact that could be brought to light showing who committed this dastardly crime was to find who penned the notes placed with the body; and yet, although you saw them, according to your own statement, at police headquarters and saw them there the very Sunday morning that the crime was committed, not a word, not a word, although the notes themselves said that the crime was done by a negro. It is not necessary to discuss that further.

Frank says, with reference to this visit of Conley to the factory, after Conley had gone through over yonder and demonstrated in detail, as told you by Branch, and in the same length of time and almost to the minute that Conley himself says it took, too, though Conley only knows the clock registered four minutes to one and don’t know anything about the balance of the time.

He says, with reference to the visit of Conley to the jail, when Conley wanted to confront him, “I told them if they got the permission, I told them through my friend Mr. Klein, that if they got the permission of Mr. Rosser to come, I would speak to them, would speak to Conley and face him or anything they wanted, if they got the permission of Mr. Rosser. Mr. Rosser was on that day up at Tallulah Falls trying a case.” But Mr. Rosser got back, didn’t he? Mr. Rosser didn’t remain at Tallulah Falls. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, measuring my words as I utter them, and if you have sense enough to get out of a shower of rain you know it’s true, that never in the history of the Anglo-Saxon race, never in the history of the African race in America, never in the history of any other race, did an ignorant, filthy negro, accuse a white man of a crime and that man decline to face him. And there never lived within the State of Georgia, a lawyer with one-half the ability of Mr. Luther Rosser, who possessed a consciousness of his client’s innocence, that wouldn’t have said “Let this ignorant negro confront my innocent client.” If there be a negro who accuses me of a crime of which I am innocent I tell you, and you know it’s true, I’m going to confront him, even before my attorney, no matter who he is, returns from Tallulah Falls, and if not then, I tell you just as soon as that attorney does return, I’m going to see that that negro is brought into my presence and permitted to set forth his accusations.

You make much here of the fact that you didn’t know what this man Conley was going to say when he got on the stand. You could have known it, but you dared not do it.

Mr. Rosser:

May it please the Court, that is an untrue statement; at that time, when he proposed to go through that dirty farce, with a dirty negro, with a crowd of policemen, confronting this man, he made his first statement—his last statement, he said, and these addendas nobody ever dreamed of them, and Frank had no chance to meet them; that’s the truth. You ought to tell the truth, if a man is involved for his life; that’s the truth.

Mr. Dorsey:

It does not make any difference about your addendas, and I’m going to put it right up to this jury —

Mr. Rosser:

May it please the Court, have I got the right to interrupt him when he mis-states the facts?

The Court:

Whenever he goes outside of the record.

Mr. Rosser:

Has he got the right to comment that I haven’t exercised my reasonable rights?

The Court:

No, sir, not if he has done that.

Mr. Rosser:

Nobody has got a right to comment on the fact that I have made a reasonable objection.

Mr. Dorsey:

But I’m inside of the record, and you know it, and the jury knows it. I said, may it please Your Honor, that this man Frank declined to be confronted by this man Conley.

Mr. Rosser:

That isn’t what I objected to; he said that at that meeting that was proposed by Conley, as he says, but really proposed by the detectives, when I was out of the city, that if that had been met, I would have known Conley’s statement, and that’s not true; I would not have been any wiser about his statement than I was here the other day.

The Court:

You can comment upon the fact that he refused to meet Frank or Frank refused to meet him, and at the time he did it, he was out of the city.

Mr. Arnold:

We did object to that evidence, Your Honor, but Your Honor let that in.

The Court:

I know; go on.

Mr. Dorsey:

They see the force of it.

Mr. Rosser:

Is that a fair comment, Your Honor, if I make a reasonable objection, to say that we see the force of it?

The Court:

I don’t think that, in reply to your objection, is a fair statement.

Mr. Dorsey:

Now, may it please Your Honor, if they don’t see the force of it, you do —

Mr. Rosser:

I want to know, is Your Honor’s ruling to be absolutely disregarded like that?

The Court:

Mr. Dorsey, stay inside of the record, and quit commenting on what they say and do.

Mr. Dorsey:

I am inside of the record, and Your Honor knows that’s an entirely proper comment.

Mr. Rosser:

Your Honor rules—he says one thing and then says Your Honor knows better —

Mr. Dorsey:

Your Honor knows I have got a right to comment on the conduct of this defendant.

The Court:

Of course, you have, but when they get up, I don’t think you have any right to comment on their objections as they are making them to the Court.

Mr. Dorsey:

I don’t.

The Court:

No, I don’t think so.

Mr. Dorsey:

Isn’t everything that occurs in the presence of the Court the subject matter for comment?

The Court:

No, I don’t think you can comment on these things. You can comment on any conduct within the province of this trial, but if he makes an objection that’s sustained, why, then, you can’t comment on that.

Mr. Dorsey:

Does Your Honor say I’m outside of the record?

The Court:

No, I don’t, but I say this, you can comment on the fact that Frank refused to meet this man, if that’s in the record, you have a right to do that.

Mr. Dorsey:

This man Frank, a graduate of Cornell, the superintendent of the pencil factory, so anxious to ferret out this murder that he had phoned Schiff three times on Monday, April 28th, to employ the Pinkerton Detective Agency, this white man refused to meet this ignorant negro, Jim Conley. He refused upon the flimsy pretext that his counsel was out of town, but when his counsel returned, when he had the opportunity to know at least something of the accusations that Conley brought against this man, he dared not let him meet him. It is unnecessary to take up time discussing that.
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Default Part Three: Closing Arguments of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, Prosecutor at the Trial of Leo M. Frank

You tell me that the weakest among you, if you were innocent and a man of black skin charges you with an infamous murder, that any lawyer, Rosser or anybody else, could keep you from confronting him and nailing the lie?

No lawyer on earth, no lawyer that ever lived in any age or any clime could prevent me, if I were innocent, from confronting a man who accused me wrongfully, be he white or black.

And you, Leo Frank, went in and interviewed Newt Lee down yonder at twelve o’clock, Tuesday night, April 29th. And what did you do? Did you act like a man who wanted to get at the truth, who didn’t know it and wanted to get at the truth? Ah, no. Instead of going into that room and taking up with this negro Newt Lee, the man towards whom you had directed suspicion infamously to save your own neck, a man that you would have seen hung on the gallows in order to save your reputation with the people on Washington Street and the members of the B’nai B’rith, did you make an earnest, honest, conscientious effort, as an innocent employer would with his employee, to get at the truth? No; according to Lee, you hung your head and quizzed him not, but predicted that both Lee and you would go to hell if Lee continued to tell the story which he tells even until this good day: and then in your statement here, try to make it appear that your detective Scott and old John Black concocted a scheme against you and lied as to what occurred on that Tuesday night.

The reason why Frank didn’t put it up to Newt Lee and try to get Newt Lee to tell him how that murder occurred and what he knew about it, was because Frank knew that Lee was innocent, that he was the murderer and that he was adding to the dastardly crime of assault upon the virtue of this girl, was adding to the crime of murder of this girl, another infamous effort to send this negro to the gallows in order to save his reputation and neck. Listen to this—he’s smart, and just listen how, in his statement, he qualifies and fixes it up so that, when we come back with rebuttal, the technical law will protect him: “They (meaning the detectives) stress the possibility of couples having been let into the factory at night”—by night watchmen? No,—”by night Watchman Newt Lee.” Lee had been there but two or three weeks,—three weeks. Frank could have told you that the detectives stressed the fact that couples went in there holidays, Saturdays and at nights, at all times and at any time when other night watchmen were there, but Newt Lee, having been there but three weeks, he effectively shuts off the State from impeaching his statement or contradicting it, and therefore, he tells you that the detectives stressed the fact that couples had been in here while the night watchman Newt Lee, was watching,—and Newt had been there but three weeks. That wasn’t the period, that wasn’t the time.

During that three weeks that old Newt was night watching, there was but one person for whom your passion burned, and that was Mary Phagan. And she wouldn’t meet you, and she didn’t meet you any time during that period that Newt Lee was night watching. But in the summer previous, when Dalton was seen to go there, if it be not true that couples were admitted, why didn’t you make the bold, emphatic, challenging statement that at no time were couples ever admitted? And then you tell me that that’s a good statement and a fair statement and a frank statement?

Now, another thing. Listen to this—I read from the defendant’s statement: “Now, with reference to these spots that are claimed to be blood and that Mr. Barrett found, I don’t claim they are not blood, they may have been, they were right close to the ladies’ dressing room, and we have accidents there, and by the way, in reference to those accidents, the accidents of which we have records are not the only accidents that have happened there. Now, we use paint and varnish around there, a great deal of it, and while I don’t say that this is not blood, it may be, but it could also have been paint; I have seen the girls drop bottles of paint and varnish and have them break there on the floor, I have seen that happen right close to that spot. If that had been fresh red paint or if it had been fresh red blood and that haskoline compound, that soap in it which is a great solvent, had been put on there in the liquid state, it wouldn’t have shown up white, as it showed up then, but it would have showed up either pink or red.”

Now, first, contrast that statement for a moment with this statement with reference to the condition of the floor where Barrett worked. There he says there wasn’t a spot, much less a blood spot,—”looked at the machinery and the lathe, looked at the table on which the lathe stands and the lathe bed and the floor underneath the lathe and there wasn’t a spot, much less a blood spot underneath.”

All right; you say that that wasn’t blood, you say that that haskoline wouldn’t turn that color. In the name of goodness, in the name of truth, I ask you, if that haskoline mixed with that blood on the second floor wouldn’t have produced the identical result that these witnesses have sworn, if it be true, as Mr. Rosser stated, that you don’t attach any importance to the cabbage findings and experiments made in this case, why didn’t you devote a little of your time to bringing before this jury a reputable chemist and a man who could sustain you in that statement? You had that evidence in your possession, or if you were able to bring in these medical experts here to tear down the powerful evidence of Dr. Roy Harris, as eminent an authority as lives in the State of Georgia, in the name of truth and fair play, before you men who ought to have every fact that will enable you to get at the truth, why didn’t you bring one chemist to sustain you? There’s but one answer, and you know what it is. Those spots were blood, they were blood over which had been placed that substance, haskoline, and the color that blood and haskoline would make upon that floor was the identical color found there by the numerous witnesses who saw it. Important? There is no more important fact for you to have shown than that this haskoline, when wiped over blood, would have made a color the like unto which Frank in his statement would have you believe would have been made.

Are you going to accept the statement of this man, with all these circumstances unsupported by chemists or anybody on earth, because they couldn’t get them to come in and testify themselves on that point, as against the evidence of all these witnesses who have told you that that was blood, and against the evidence of Doctor Claude Smith, the City Bacteriologist of the City of Atlanta, who tells you that through a chemical analysis he developed the fact that that was blood?

This defense, gentlemen—they have got no defense, they never have come into close contact in this case, except on the proposition of abuse and vilification. They circle and flutter but never light; they grab at varnish and cat’s blood and rat’s blood and Duffy’s blood, but they never knuckle down and show this jury that it wasn’t blood; and in view of the statement of that boy, Mel Stanford, who swept that floor Friday afternoon, in view of the statement of Mrs. Jefferson, in view of the statement of “Christopher Columbus” Barrett, who tells the truth, notwithstanding the fact that he gets his daily bread out of the coffers of the National Pencil Company, you know that that was the blood of this innocent victim of Frank’s lustful passion.

The defense is uncertain and indistinct on another proposition, they flutter and flurry but never light when it comes to showing you what hole Jim Conley pushed his victim down. Did he shoot her back of that staircase back there? No. Why? Because the dust was thick over it. Because unimpeached witnesses have shown you it was nailed down; because if he had shot her down that hole, the boxes piled up there to the ceiling would have as effectively concealed her body as if she had been buried in the grave, for some days or weeks. Did he shoot her down this other hole in the Clark Woodenware Company’s place of business? Where even if what Schiff says is true, that they kept the shellac there, it would nevertheless have concealed her body a longer time than to put it down there by the dust bin where the fireman and people were coming in through the back door. Did this negro, who they say robbed this girl, even if he had taken the time to write the notes, which, of course, he didn’t —even after he had knocked her in the head with that bludgeon, which they tell you had blood on it, and robbed her, even if he had been such a fool and so unlike the other members of his race, by whom brutal murders have been committed, should have taken time to have tied a cord around her neck, a cord seldom found down there in the basement, according to your own statement, except when it’s swept down in the trash, but a cord that hangs right up there on the office floor, both back there in the varnish room and up there in the front. If he had done all that,—a thing you know that he didn’t do, after he had shot her down in that hole in the Clark Woodenware Company, down there in that wing of the place where they keep this shellac, if they do keep it, why would that negro have gone down there and moved her body, when she was more securely fixed down there ? And why was it, will you tell me, if he shot her down that scuttle hole, that he wrote the notes and fixed the cord, and will you tell me how it happens that, when after this man Holloway, on May 1st, had grabbed old Jim Conley, when he saw him washing his shirt and said “he’s my nigger,”— fifteen days afterwards, when squad number two of the Pinkerton people had been searching through that factory a whole day and right down in that area, the elevator being run, the detectives, both the Pinkertons and the city force had looked around there immediately after the crime, will you tell me how it happened that, if he shot her down that hole, that there was so much blood not found until the 15th of May, and more blood than that poor girl is ever shown to have lost?

Another thing: This man Frank says that “Mr. Quinn said he would like to take me back to the metal department on the office floor, where the newspapers that morning stated that Mr. Barrett of the metal department had claimed he had found blood spots, and where he had found some hair.” Although he had seen in the morning papers that this man Barrett claimed to have seen blood there, before he went back to see it, although this thing tore him all to pieces, and although he was anxious to employ a detective,—so anxious that he phoned Schiff three times to get the Pinkertons down, according to his own statement, Lemmie Qninn had to come and ask him back to see the blood spots on the second floor, found by this man Barrett. Is that the conduct of a man, the head of a pencil factory, who had employed detectives, anxious to assist the police, — saw it in the newspapers and yet Lemmie Quinn had to go and ask him to go back?

nd then he tells you in this statement, which is easy to write, was glibly rattled off, a statement that yon might expect from a man that could plot the downfall of a girl of such tender years as little Mary Phagan, that he went back there and examined those blood spots with an electric flashlight, that he made a particular and a minute examination of them, but strange to say, not even Lemmie Quinn comes in to sustain you, and no man on earth, so far as this jury knows, ever saw Leo M. Frank examining what Barrett said and Jefferson said and Mel Stanford said and Beavers said and Starnes said and a host of others said was blood near the dressing room on the second floor. You know why? Because it never happened. If there was a spot on this earth that this man Frank didn’t want to examine, if there was a spot on earth that he didn’t want any blood found at all, it was on the second floor, the floor which, according to his own statement, he was working on when this poor girl met her death.

Schiff, he says, saw those notes down there and at police headquarters. Frank says he visited the morgue not only once but twice. If he went down there and visited that morgue and saw that child and identified her body and it tore him all to pieces, as he tells you it did, let any honest man, I don’t care who he be, on this jury, seeking to fathom the mystery of this thing, tell me why it was, except for the answer that I give you, he went down there to view that body again? Rogers said he didn’t look at it; Black said he didn’t see him look at it.

Mr. Rosser:

He is mis-stating the evidence. Rogers never said that he didn’t look at the body, he said he was behind him and didn’t know whether he did or not; and Black said he didn’t know whether he did or not.

Mr. Dorsey:

Rogers said he never did look at that body.

Mr. Arnold:

I insist that isn’t the evidence. Rogers said he didn’t know and couldn’t answer whether he saw it or not, and Black said the same thing.

Mr. Dorsey:

I’m not going to quibble with you. The truth is, and you know it, that when that man Frank went down there to look at that body of that poor girl, to identify her, he never went in that room, and if he did look at her long enough to identify her, neither John Black nor Rogers nor Gheesling knew it. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that the truth of this thing is that Frank never looked at the body of that poor girl, but if he did, it was just a glance, as the electric light was flashed on and he immediately turned and went into another room.

Mr. Rosser:

There isn’t a bit of proof that he went into another room. I object again, sir, there isn’t a particle of proof of that.

Mr. Dorsey:

If that man Frank ever looked at that girl’s face,—I challenge them to produce the record to show it,—it was so brief that if she was dirty and begrimed and her hair was bloody and her features contorted, I tell you that, if he didn’t know her any better than he would have you believe he knew her, he never could have identified her as Mary Phagan. Never could. And I say to you, gentlemen of the jury, that the reason why this man revisited that morgue on Sunday afternoon, after he had failed to mention the subject of death in the bosom of his family at the dining table, when he tells you that it tore him all to pieces, there was but one reason for revisiting that morgue, and that was to put his ear to the ground and see if at that hour there was any whisper or suggestion that Leo M. Frank, the guilty man, had committed the dastardly deed.

Black didn’t see him, Rogers didn’t see him, Gheesling didn’t see him. One of the earliest to arrive, the superintendent of the factory (Rogers said he had his eye on him) he turned and stepped aside, and he himself said that the sight tore him all to pieces, and he seeks to have you believe that that automobile ride and the sight of that poor girl’s features accounts for the nervousness which he displayed; and yet we find him going, like a dog to his vomit, a sow to her wallow, back to view the remains of this poor little innocent girl. And I ask you, gentlemen of the jury, if you don’t know that the reason Leo M. Frank went down to that morgue on Sunday afternoon was to see if he could scent anything in the atmosphere indicating that the police suspected Leo M. Frank?

He admits his nervousness, he admits his nervousness in the presence of the officers; the Seligs say that he wasn’t nervous, that he wasn’t nervous Saturday night when he telephoned Newt Lee to find out if anything had happened at the factory, that he wasn’t nervous when he read this Saturday Evening Post. He wanted to get out of the view of any man who represented the majesty and dignity of the law, and he went in behind curtains or any old thing that would hide his countenance from those men. I come back to the proposition in the bosom of his family, —notwithstanding he read that Saturday Evening Post out there in the hall Saturday night, this thing kept welling in his breast to such an extent that he had to make a play of being composed and cool, and he went in there and tried to break up the card game with the laughter that was the laughter of a guilty conscience.

Notwithstanding the fact that he was able, Sunday, at the dining table and in the bosom of his family, when he hadn’t discussed this murder, when Mrs. Selig didn’t know that it was a murder that concerned her, when the whole Selig household were treating it as a matter of absolute indifference, if he wasn’t nervous there, gentlemen of the jury, surely he was, as I am going to show you, nervous when he came face to face and had to discuss the proposition with the minions of the law. He was nervous when he went to run the elevator, when he went to the box to turn on the power, and he says here in his statement, unsupported by any oath, that he left that box open because some member of the fire department had come around and stated that you must leave that box open because the electricity might innocently electrocute some members of the fire department in case of fire.

I ask you, gentlemen of the jury, what was the necessity for leaving the box open when a simple turn of the lever would have shut off the electricity and enabled the key to have been hung up in the office, just exactly like old Holloway swore when he didn’t know the importance of the proposition, in the affidavit which I have and which was submitted in evidence to you, that that box was locked and the key was put in Frank’s office? Why don’t they bring the fireman here who went around and gave such instructions? First, because it wasn’t necessary, they could have cut the electricity off and locked the box. And second, they didn’t bring him because no such man ever did any such thing, and old Holloway told the truth before he came to the conclusion that old Jim Conley was “his nigger” and he saw the importance of the proposition that when Frank went there Sunday morning the box was unlocked and Frank had the key in his pocket.

Mr. Rosser:

You say Mr. Frank had the key in his pocket? No one mentioned it, that isn’t the evidence; I say it was hung up in the office, that’s the undisputed evidence.

Mr. Dorsey:

Holloway says when he got back Monday morning it was hung up in the office, but Boots Rogers said this man Frank— and he was sustained by other witnesses—when he came there to run that elevator Sunday morning, found that power box unlocked.

Mr. Rosser:

That’s not what you said.

Mr. Dorsey:

Yes it is.

Mr. Rosser:

You said Frank had the key in his pocket next morning, and that isn’t the evidence, there’s not a line to that effect.

The Court:

Do you still insist that he had it in his pocket?

Mr. Dorsey:

I don’t care anything about that; the point of the proposition, the gist of the proposition, the force of the proposition is that old Holloway stated, way back yonder in May, when I interviewed him, that the key was always in Frank’s office; this man told you that the power box and the elevator was unlocked Sunday morning and the elevator started without anybody going and getting the key.

Mr. Rosser:

That’s not the point he was making, the point he was making, to show how clearly Frank must have been connected with it, he had the key in his pocket. He was willing to say that when he ought to know that’s not so.

The Court:

He’s drawing a deduction that he claims he’s drawing.

Mr. Rosser:

He doesn’t claim that. He says the point is it was easily gotten in the office, but that’s not what he said.

The Court:

You claim that’s a deduction you are drawing?

Mr. Dorsey:

Why, sure.

The Court:

Now, you don’t claim the evidence shows that?

Mr. Dorsey:

I claim that the power box was standing open Sunday morning.

The Court:

Do you insist that the evidence shows he had it in his pocket?

Mr. Dorsey:

I say that’s my recollection, but I’m willing to waive it; but let them go to the record, and the record will sustain me on that point, just like it sustains me on the evidence of this man Rogers, which I’m now going to read.

Rogers said “Mr. Gheesling caught the face of the dead girl and turned it over towards me; I looked then to see if anybody followed me, and I saw Mr. Frank step from outside of the door into what I thought was a closet, but I afterwards found out where Mr. Gheesling slept, or somebody slept, there was a little single bed in there.”

I don’t want to misrepresent this testimony, for goodness knows there’s enough here without resorting to any such practice as that, and I don’t want to mislead this jury and furthermore, I’m not going to do it.

Frank says, after looking at the body, “I identified that little girl as the one that had been up shortly after the noon of the day previous and got her money from me. I then unlocked the safe and took out the pay roll book and found that it was true that a little girl by the name of Mary Phagan did work in the metal plant and that she was due to draw $1.20, the pay roll book showed that, and as the detective had told me that some one had identified the body of that little girl as that of Mary Phagan, there could be no question but what it was one and the same girl.” And he might have added, “as I followed her back into the metal department and proposed to her that she submit to my lascivious demands, I hit her, she fell, she struck her head; to protect my character, I choked her—to protect my reputation I choked her, and called Jim Conley to move her down to the basement, and for all these reasons, because I made out the pay roll for fifty-two weeks during which time Mary had worked there, I know, for these reasons, although I didn’t look at her and couldn’t have recognized her if she was in the dirty, distorted condition,” he tells you in this statement, she really was, “but I know it was Mary Phagan.”

And he corroborates in his statement these detectives, he says down at the undertaking establishment, “went down a long dark passageway with Mr. Rogers following, then I came and Black brought up the rear, Gheesling was on the opposite side of the little cooling table, the table between him and me; he took the head in his hands, put his finger exactly where the wound in the left side back of the head was located” and he seeks to have you believe that he “noticed the hands and arms of the little girl were very dirty, blue and ground with dirt and cinders, nostrils and mouth,—the mouth being open,—nostrils and mouth just full of saw-dust, the face was all puffed out, the right eye was blackened and swollen and there was a deep scratch over the left eye on the forehead.”

He tells in his statement that in that brief glance, if he ever took any glance at all, he saw that the only way in the world to believe him is to say that these men, John Black and Boots Rogers, who have got no interest in this case in God’s world but to tell the truth, perjured themselves to put the rope around the neck of this man. Do you believe it?

Starnes is a perjurer, too. Starnes says “when I called this man up over the telephone I was careful not to mention what had happened” and unless Starnes on that Sunday morning in April was very different from what you would judge him to be by his deportment on the stand here the other day, he did exactly what he said he did. And yet this defendant in his statement said he says “what’s the trouble, has there been a fire?” He says “No, a tragedy, I want you to come down right away;” “I says all right;” “I’ll send an automobile after you,” and Starnes says that he never mentioned the word tragedy, and yet, so conscious, so conscious was this man Frank when Rogers and Black went out there and he nervously twitching at his collar asked “What’s the trouble, has the night watchman reported anything?” and asked them not, “has there been a fire,” but “has there been a tragedy?” But Starnes, the man who first went after Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, because he pointed his finger of suspicion at him,—Starnes, the man who went after Gantt because this defendant pointed the finger of suspicion at him,—Starnes, the man who has been a detective here on the police force for years and years, is a perjurer and a liar; to do what? Simply to gratify his ambition and place a noose around the neck of this man Frank, when he could have gone out after, if the circumstances had warranted it, or if he had been a rascal and wanted to travel along the line of least resistance, Newt Lee or Gantt or Conley.

Another thing: Old Newt Lee says that when this defendant called him Saturday night, a thing that he had never done during the time that he had been there at that pencil factory serving him as night watchman, Newt Lee tells you, although the defendant says that he asked about Gantt, Newt Lee says that Gantt ‘s name was never mentioned, and that the inquiry was “has anything happened at the factory?” You tell me, gentlemen of the jury, that all these circumstances, with all these incriminating circumstances piling up against this man that we have nothing in this case but prejudice and perjury? Newt says he never mentioned Gantt. Frank in his statement says “I succeeded in getting Newt Lee, and asked him if Mr. Gantt had gone.” He instructed this man Newt Lee to go with Gantt, to watch him, to stay with him, and old Newt Lee wouldn’t even let Gantt in that factory unless Frank said that he might go up. He had instructed Lee previous thereto not to let him in for the simple reason he didn’t want Gantt coming down there. Why? Because he didn’t want him to come down and see and talk with little Mary for some reason I know not why; and old Newt Lee stopped this man Gantt on the threshold and refused to let him go up, and this man Frank says “you go up with him and see that he gets what he wants and usher him out.”

And yet, though he had never done any such thing during the time Newt Lee had been up there, he innocently called Newt up to find out, he said, if Gantt had gone and Newt said to find out if everything was all right at the factory; and you know that the reason he called up was to find out if Newt, in making his rounds, had discovered the body of this dead girl.

“Would you convict him on this circumstance or that circumstance?” No. But I would weave them all together, and I would make a rope, no one strand of which sufficiently strong to send this man to the gallows for this poor girl’s death, but I would take them all together and I would say, in conformity with the truth and right, they all make such a rope and such a strand and such a cable that it’s impossible not only to conceive a reasonable doubt, but to conceive any doubt at all.

Frank was in jail, Frank had already stated in his affidavit at police headquarters, which is in evidence, contradicting this statement and this chart which they have made, that he didn’t leave his office between certain hours. Frank didn’t know that his own detective, Harry Scott, had found this little Monteen Stover,—and I quote her evidence, I quote it and I submit it shows that she went in that office and went far enough in that office to see who was in there, and if she didn’t go far enough in, it’s passing strange that anybody in that office,—Frank himself, could have heard that girl and could have made his presence known. Scott, their own Pinkerton detective, gets the statement from Monteen Stover, and he visits Leo M. Frank in his cell at the jail. Frank in order to evade that says, “to the best of my recollection I didn’t stir out of the office, but it’s possible that, in order to answer a call of nature, I may have gone to the toilet, these are things that a man does unconsciously and can’t tell how many times nor when he does it.”

I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that if this man Frank had remained in his office and was in his office when Monteen Stover went in there, he would have heard her, he would have seen her, he would have talked with her, he would have given her her pay. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that if this man Frank had stepped out of his office to answer a call of nature, that he would have remembered it, and if he wouldn’t have remembered it, at least he wouldn’t have stated so repeatedly and unqualifiedly that he never left his office, and only on the stand here, when he faces an honest jury, charged with the murder, and circumstances banked up against him, does he offer the flimsy excuse that these are things that people do unconsciously and without any recollection.

But this man Scott, in company with Black, after they found that little Monteen Stover had been there at exactly the time that old Jim Conley says that that man with this poor little unfortunate girl had gone to the rear, and on May 3rd, the very time that Monteen Stover told them that she had been up there, at that time this Pinkerton detective, Scott, as honest and honorable a man as ever lived, the man who said he was going hand in hand with the police department of the City of Atlanta and who did, notwithstanding the fact that some of the others undertook to leap with the hare and run with the hounds, stood straight up by the city detectives and by the State officials and by the truth, put these questions, on May 3rd, to Leo M. Frank: Says he to Frank: “From the time you got to the factory from Montag Brothers, until you went to the fourth floor to see White and Denham, were you inside your office the entire time?” Answer: “I was.” Again, says Scott—and Mr. Scott, in jail, when Frank didn’t know the importance of the proposition because he didn’t know that little Monteen Stover had said that she went up there and saw nobody in his office—Scott came at him from another different angle: “From the time you came from Montag Brothers, until Mary Phagan came, were you in your office?” and Frank said “yes.” “From twelve o’clock,” says Scott, “until Mary Phagan entered your office and thereafter until 12:50, when you went upstairs to get Mrs. White out of the building, were you in your office?” Answer: “Yes.” “Then,” says Scott, “from twelve to twelve-thirty, every minute during that half hour, you were in your office?” and Frank said “yes.” And not until he saw the wonderful capacity, the wonderful ability, the wonderful devotion of this man Scott to the truth and right did he ever shut him out from his counsel.

No suggestion then that he might have had to answer a call of nature, but emphatically, without knowing the importance, he told his own detective, in the presence of John Black, that at no time, for no purpose, from a few minutes before this unfortunate girl arrived, until he went upstairs, at 12:50, to ask Mrs. White to leave, had he been out of his office. Then you tell me that an honest jury, with no motive but to do right, would accept the statement of this man Frank, that he might have been, these things occur so frequently that a man can’t remember, and by that statement set aside what he said to his own detective, Harry Scott?

Well, you can do it; you have got the power to do it; no king on the throne, no potentate has the power that is vested in the American jury. In the secret of your consultation room, you can write a verdict that outrages truth and justice, if you want to, and no power on earth can call you to account, but your conscience, but so long as you live, wherever you go, that conscience has got to be with you,—you can’t get away from it; and if you do it, you will lose the peace of mind that goes with a clear conscience of duty done, and never again, so long as you shall last upon this earth, though others not knowing the truth might respect you, will you ever have your own self-esteem.

I have already talked to you about this time element. You made a mighty effort to break down little George Epps. You showed that McCoy didn’t have a watch; have tried to show this man Kendley was a liar because he knew the little girl and felt that he knew in his heart who the murderer was. But there’s one witness for the State against whom not a breath of suspicion has been apparent,—we impeached these men Matthews and Hollis by other witnesses besides George Epps and besides George Kendley and besides McCoy, and as to how that little girl got to that factory, gentlemen, this man Mr. Kelley, who rode on the same car with Hollis, the same car that Hollis claims or Matthews claims that he rode on, knew the girl, knew Matthews, tells you and he’s unimpeached and unimpeachable, and there’s no suggestion here, even if you set the evidence of Epps and McCoy and Kendley aside, upon which an honest jury can predicate a doubt that this man Kelley of the street car company didn’t tell the truth when he says that she wasn’t on that car that this man Matthews says she was and she went around, because “I rode with Matthews and I know her and I know Matthews.”

And Mr. Rosser says that he don’t care anything about all this medical evidence,—he don’t care anything about cabbage. I’m not going back on my raising here or anywhere, and I tell you, gentlemen, that there is no better, no more wholesome meal, and when the stomach is normal and all right, there is nothing that is more easily digested, because the majority of the substances which you eat takes the same length of time that cabbage requires. And I tell you that cabbage, corn bread and buttermilk is good enough for any man. I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that Mr. Rosser’s statement here, that he don’t care anything for that evidence of Doctor Roy Harris about this cabbage which was taken out of that poor girl’s stomach, is not borne out by the record in this case. It wouldn’t surprise me if these able, astute gentlemen, vigilant as they have shown themselves to be, didn’t go out and get some doctors who have been the family physicians and who are well known to some of the members of this jury, for the effect that it might have upon you.

Mr. Arnold:

There is not a word of evidence as to that; it is a grossly improper argument, and I move that that be withdrawn from the jury.

Mr. Dorsey:

I don’t state it as a fact, but I am suggesting it.

Mr. Arnold:

He has no right to deduct it or suggest it, I just want Your Honor to reprove it—reprimand him and withdraw it from the jury; I just make the motion and Your Honor can do as you please.

Mr. Dorsey:

I am going to show that there must have been something besides the training of these men, and I’m going to contrast them with our doctors.

Mr. Arnold:

I move to exclude that as grossly improper. He says he is arguing that some physician was brought here because he was the physician of some member of the jury, it’s grossly unfair and it’s grossly improper and insulting, even, to the jury.

Mr. Dorsey:

I say it is eminently proper and absolutely a legitimate argument.

Mr. Arnold:

I just record my objection, and if Your Honor lets it stay in, you can do it.

Mr. Dorsey:

Yes, sir; that wouldn’t scare me, Your Honor.

The Court:

Well, I want to try it right, and I suppose you do. Is there anything to authorize that inference to be drawn?

Mr. Dorsey:

Why sure; the fact that you went out and got general practitioners, that know nothing about the analysis of the stomach, know nothing about pathology.

The Court:

Go on, then.

Mr. Dorsey:

I thought so.

Mr. Arnold:

Does Your Honor hold that is proper—”I thought so”?

The Court:

I hold that he can draw any inference legitimately from the testimony and argue it—I do not know whether or not there is anything to indicate that any of these physicians was the physician of the family.

Mr. Rosser:

Let me make the suggestion, Your Honor ought to know that before you let him testify it.

The Court:

He says he does not know it, he’s merely arguing it from an inference he has drawn.

Mr. Dorsey:

I can’t see any other reason in God’s world for going out and getting these practitioners, who have never had any special training on stomach analysis, and who have not had any training with the analysis of tissues, like a pathologist has had, except upon that theory. And I am saying to you, gentlemen of the jury, that the number of doctors that these men put up here belie the statement of Mr. Rosser that he doesn’t attach any importance to this cabbage proposition, because they knew, as you know, that it is a powerful factor in sustaining the State’s case and breaking down the alibi of this defendant. It fastens and fixes and nails down with the accuracy only which a scientific fact can do, that this little girl met her death between the time she entered the office of the superintendent and the time Mrs. White came up the stairs at 12 :35, to see her husband and found this defendant at the safe and saw him jump.

You tell me that this Doctor Childs, this general practitioner, who don’t know anything about the action of the gastric juices on foods in the stomach, this man of the short experience of seven years, this gentleman, splendid gentleman though he is, from Michigan, can put his opinion against the eminent Secretary of the Georgia Board of Health, Doctor Roy Harris ? I tell you no.

Now, briefly, let’s run over this nervousness proposition. The man indicated nervousness when he talked to old man John Starnes, when Black went out to his house and he sent his wife down to give him nerve, although he was nearly dressed and she wasn’t at all dressed, he betrayed his nervousness by the rapidity of his questions, by the form of his questions.

But first, before we get to that, he warned old Newt Lee to come back there Saturday at four o’clock, and dutiful old darkey that he was, old Newt walked in and Frank then was engaged in washing his hands. Jim Conley hadn’t come, but he was looking for Conley, and he sent old Newt Lee out, although Newt insisted that he wanted to sleep, and although he might have found a cozy corner on any floor in that factory, with plenty of sacks and cords and other things to make him a pallet, he wanted old man Newt to leave. Why? When Newt said he was sleepy he wanted him to leave so that he could do just exactly what old Jim Conley told you Frank made his promise to do,—he wanted an opportunity to burn that body, so that the City Police of Atlanta wouldn’t have the Phagan mystery solved today, and probably it would not even be known that the girl lost her life in that factory. His anxiety about Gantt going back into that building that afternoon, when he hung his head and said to Gantt that he saw a boy sweeping out a pair of shoes, and Gantt says “what were they, tan or black?” And ah, gentlemen, it looked like Providence had foreordained that this did, long-legged Gantt should leave, not only one pair, but two pairs. “What kind were they,” he said; he gave him the name of one color, and then, as Providence would have it, old Gantt said, “ah, but I’ve got two pair,” and then it was that he dared not say, because he couldn’t then say, that he saw that man also sweeping them out; then it was that he said “all right, Newt, go up with him and let him get them,” and lo and behold, the shoes that this man Frank would have him believe were swept out, both tan and black, were there. Gantt tells you how he acted; Newt tells you how he jumped.

Rogers and Black, honest men when they went out there after Mr. Starnes had talked to him, tell you that he was nervous. Why? Why do you say you were nervous; because of the automobile ride? Because you looked into the face of this little girl and it was such a gruesome sight? I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, and you know it, that this man Frank needed, when he had his wife go down to the door, somebody to sustain him. I tell you that this man Frank, when he had his wife telephone Darley to meet him at the factory, did it because he wanted somebody to sustain him.

I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that, because he sent for Mr. Rosser,—big of reputation and big of brain, dominating and controlling, so far as he can, everybody with whom he comes in contact, the reason he wanted him at the Police Headquarters, and the reason he wanted Haas, was because his conscience needed somebody to sustain him. And this man Darley! We had to go into the enemy’s camp to get the ammunition, but fortunately, I got on the job and sent the subpoena, and fortunately Darley didn’t know that he didn’t have to come, and fortunately he came and made the affidavit, to which he stood up here as far as he had to because he couldn’t get around it, in which Darley says “I noticed his nervousness; I noticed it upstairs, I noticed it downstairs,” when they went to nail up the door. “When he sat in my lap going down to the Police Headquarters he shook and he trembled like an aspen leaf.” I confronted him with the statement, in which he had said “completely undone.” He denied it but said “almost undone.” I confronted him with the statement that he had made, and the affidavit to which he had sworn, in which he had used the language, “Completely unstrung” and now he changed it in your presence and said “almost completely unstrung.”

You tell me that this man that called for breakfast at home, as Durant called for bromo seltzer in San Francisco, this man who called for coffee at the factory, as Durant called for bromo seltzer in San Francisco, you tell me that this man Frank, the defendant in this case, explains his nervousness by reason of the automobile ride, the view of the body,—as this man Durant, in San Francisco tried to explain his condition by the inhalation of gas,—you tell me, gentlemen of the jury, that these explanations are going to wipe out the nervousness that you know could have been produced by but one cause, and that is, the consciousness of an infamous crime that had been committed.

Old Newt Lee says that when he went back there that afternoon he found that inside door locked,—a thing that never had been found before he got there at four o’clock, a thing that he never had found. Old Newt Lee says that Frank came out of his office and met him out there by the desk, the place where he always went and said “All right, Mr. Frank,” and that Frank had always called him in and given him his instructions. But Newt Lee says that night, when he went into the cellar, he found the light, that had always burned brightly turned back so that it was burning just about like a lightning bug. You tell me that old Jim Conley felt the necessity to have turned that light down? I tell you that that light was turned down, gentlemen, by that man, Leo M. Frank, after he went down there Saturday afternoon, when he discovered that Conley wasn’t coming back to burn the body, to place the notes by the body, that Conley had written, and he turned it down in the hope that the body wouldn’t be discovered by Newt Lee during that night.

Monday evening, Harry Scott is sent for, the Pinkerton man—and it didn’t require any affidavit to hold old Scott down to the truth, though after my experience with that man Darley, I almost trembled in my boots for fear this man Scott, one of the most material witnesses, although the detective of this defendant’s company, might also throw me down. Scott says this man Frank, when he went there Monday afternoon, after he had anxiously phoned Schiff to see old man Sig Montag and get Sig Montag’s permission, had phoned him three times—Scott says that he squirmed in his chair continually, crossed and uncrossed his legs, rubbed his face with his hand, sighed, twisted and drew long deep breaths.

After going to the station Tuesday morning, just before his arrest—if he ever was arrested—just before his detention, at another time altogether from the time that Darley speaks of,—Darley, the man for whom he sent, Darley the man who is next to him in power, Darley the man that he wanted to sustain his nerve—Scott, your own detective, says that he was nervous and pale, and that when he saw him at the factory, his eyes were large and glaring.

Tuesday morning, Waggoner, sent up there to watch him from across the street, says before the officers came to get him, he could see Frank pacing his office inside, through the windows, and that he came to the office window and looked out at him twelve times in thirty minutes,—that he was agitated and nervous on the way down to the station.

I want to read you here an excerpt from the speech of a man by the name of Hammond, when prosecuting a fellow by the name of Dunbar for the murder of two little children, it explains in language better than I can command, why all this nervousness : “It was because the mighty secret of the feat was in his heart; it was the overwhelming consciousness of guilt striving within him; it was nature over-burdened with a terrible load; it was a conscience striving beneath a tremendous crushing weight; it was fear, remorse and terror—remorse for the past, and terror for the future. Spectral shadows were flitting before him”—the specter of the dead girl, the cord, the blood, arose. “The specter of this trial, of the prison, of the gallows and the grave of infamy. Guilt, gentlemen of the jury, forces itself into speech and conduct, and is its own betrayer.”

Mr. Rosser said that once a thief, always a thief and eternally damned. Holy Writ, in giving the picture of the death of Christ on the Cross, says that, when He suffered that agony, He said to the thief, “This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” and unless our religion is a fraud and a farce, if it teaches anything, it is that man, though he may be a thief, may be rehabilitated, and enjoy a good character and the confidence of the people among whom he lives. And this man Dalton, according to the unimpeached testimony of these people who have known him in DeKalb and Fulton since he left that crowd back yonder where he was a boy and probably wild and did things that were wrong, they tell you that today he is a man of integrity, notwithstanding the fact that he is sometimes tempted to step aside with a woman who has fallen so low as Daisy Hopkins. Did we sustain him? By more witnesses by far than you brought here to impeach him, and by witnesses of this community, witnesses that you couldn’t impeach to save your life. Did we sustain him? We not only sustained him by proof of general good character, but we sustained him by the evidence of this man, C. T. Maynard, an unimpeached and unimpeachable witness, who tells you, not when Newt Lee was there, during the three weeks that Newt Lee was there, but that on a Saturday afternoon in June or July, 1912, he saw with his own eyes this man Dalton go into that pencil factory with a woman.

Corroboration of Conley? Of course, it’s corroboration. The very fact, gentlemen of the jury, that these gentlemen conducting this case failed absolutely and ingloriously even to attempt to sustain this woman, Daisy Hopkins, is another corroboration of Conley.

But, ah! Mr. Rosser said he would give so much to know who it was that dressed this man Conley up,—this man about whom he fusses, having been put in the custody of the police force of the City of Atlanta. Why, if you had wanted to have known, and if you had used one-half the effort to ascertain that fact that you used when you sent somebody down yonder,—I forget the name of the man,—to Walton County to impeach this man, Dalton, you could have found it out. And I submit that the man that did it, whoever he was, the man who had the charity in his heart to dress that negro up, —the negro that he would dress in a shroud and send to his grave,—the man that did that, to bring him into the presence of this Court deserves not the condemnation, but the thanks of this jury.

Let’s see what Mr. William Smith, a man employed to defend this negro Conley, set up in response to the rule issued by His Honor, Judge Roan, and let’s see now if they are not all sufficient reasons why Conley should not have been delivered into the custody of the city police of Atlanta, though they are no better, but just as good as the sheriff of this county. “Respondent (Jim Conley, through his attorney) admits that he is now held in custody, under orders of this Court, at the police prison of the City of Atlanta, having been originally held in the prison of Fulton County, also under order of this Court, the cause of said commitment by this Court of respondent being the allegation that respondent is a material witness in the above case,—that of The State against Leo M. Frank—in behalf of The State, and it is desired to insure the presence of respondent at the trial of the above case.” So he couldn’t get away, in order to hold him. “Respondent admits that he is now at the city police prison at his own request and instance, and through the advice and counsel of his attorney. Respondent shows to the Court that the city police prison is so arranged and so officered that respondent is absolutely safe as to his physical welfare from any attack that might be made upon him; that he is so confined that his cell is a solitary one, there being no one else even located in the cell block with him; that the key to his cell block and the cell of respondent is always in the possession of a sworn, uniformed officer of the law; that under the instruction of Chief of Police Beavers, said sworn officers are not allowed to permit any one to approach.”

Judge Roan did it,—no reflection on the sheriff, but with the friends of this man Frank pouring in there at all hours of the night, offering him sandwiches and whiskey and threatening his life, things that this sheriff, who is as good as the chief of police but no better, couldn’t guard against because of the physical structure of the jail, Jim Conley asked, and His Honor granted the request, that he be remanded back into the custody of the honorable men who manage the police department of the City of Atlanta.

Mr. Rosser:

No, that’s a mistake, that isn’t correct, Your Honor discharged him from custody—he said that under that petition Your Honor sent him back to the custody where you had him before, and that isn’t true, Your Honor discharged him, vacated the order, that’s what you did.

Mr. Dorsey:

Here’s an order committing him down there first — you are right about that, I’m glad you are right one time.

Mr. Rosser:

That’s more than you have ever been.

Mr. Dorsey:

No matter what the outcome of the order may have been, the effect of the order passed by His Honor, Judge Roan, who presides in this case, was to remand him into the custody of the police of the City of Atlanta.

Mr. Rosser:

I dispute that; that isn’t the effect of the order passed by His Honor, the effect of the order passed by His Honor was to turn him out, and they went through the farce of turning him out on the street and carrying him right back. That isn’t the effect of Your Honor’s judgment. In this sort of case, we ought to have the exact truth.

The Court:

This is what I concede to be the effect of that ruling: I passed this order upon the motion of State’s counsel, first, is my recollection, and by consent of Conley’s attorney —

Mr. Rosser:

I’m asking only for the effect of the last one.

The Court:

On motion of State’s counsel, consented to by Conley’s attorney, I passed the first order, that’s my recollection. Afterwards, it came up on motion of the Solicitor General, I vacated both orders, committing him to the jail and also the order, don’t you understand, transferring him; that left it as though I had never made an order, that’s the effect of it.

Mr. Rosser:

Then the effect was that there was no order out at all?

The Court:

No order putting him anywhere.

Mr. Rosser:

Which had the effect of putting him out?

The Court:

Yes, that’s the effect, that there was no order at all.

Mr. Dorsey:

First, there was an order committing him to the common jail of Fulton County; second, he was turned over to the custody of the police of the City of Atlanta, by an order of Judge L.S. Roan; third, he was released from anybody’s custody, and except for the determination of the police force of the City of Atlanta, he would have been a liberated man, when he stepped into this Court to swear, or he would have been spirited out of the State of Georgia so his damaging evidence couldn’t have been adduced against this man.

But yet you say Conley is impeached? You went thoroughly into this man Conley ‘s previous life. You found out every person for whom he had worked, and yet this lousy, disreputable negro is unimpeached by any man except somebody that’s got a hand in the till of the National Pencil Company, unimpeached as to general bad character, except by the hirelings of the National Pencil Company. And yet you would have this jury, in order to turn this man loose, over-ride the facts of this case and say that Conley committed this murder, when all you have ever been able to dig up against him is disorderly conduct in the Police Court.

Is Conley sustained? Abundantly. Our proof of general bad character, the existence of such character as can reasonably be supposed to cause one to commit an act like we charge, our proof of general bad character, I say, sustains Jim Conley. Our proof of general bad character as to lasciviousness not even denied by a single witness, sustains Jim Conley. Your failure to cross-examine and develop the source of information of these girls put upon the stand by the State,—these “hare-brained fanatics,” as Mr. Arnold called them, without rhyme or reason, sustains Jim Conley. Your failure to cross-examine our character witnesses with reference to this man’s character for lasciviousness sustains Jim Conley. His relations with Miss Rebecca Carson, the lady on the fourth floor, going into the ladies’ dressing room even in broad daylight and during working hours, as sustained by Miss Kitchens. His relations with Miss Rebecca Carson, who is shown to have gone into the ladies’ dressing room, even in broad daylight and during work hours, by witnesses whose names I can’t call right now, sustains Jim Conley. Your own witness, Miss Jackson, who says that this libertine and rake came, when these girls were in there reclining and lounging after they had finished their piece work, and tells of the sardonic grin that lit his countenance, sustains Jim Conley. Miss Kitchens, the lady from the fourth floor, that, in spite of the repeated assertion made by Mr. Arnold, you didn’t produce, and her account of this man’s conduct when he came in there on these girls, whom he should have protected and when he should have been the last man to go in that room, sustains Jim Conley; and Miss Jackson’s assertion that she heard of three or four other instances and that complaint was made to the foreladies in charge, sustains Jim Conley. Darley and Mattie Smith, as to what they did even on the morning of Saturday, April 26th, even going into the minutest details, sustain Jim Conley. McCrary, the old negro that you praised so highly, the man that keeps his till filled by money paid by the National Pencil Company, as to where he put his stack of hay and the time of day he drew his pay, sustains Jim Conley. Monteen Stover, as to the easy-walking shoes she wore when she went up into this man’s Frank’s room, at the very minute he was back there in the metal department with this poor little unfortunate girl, sustains Jim Conley. Monteen Stover, when she tells you that she found nobody in that office, sustains Jim Conley, when he says that he heard little Mary Phagan go into the office, heard the footsteps of the two as they went to the rear, he heard the scream and he saw the dead body because Monteen says there was nobody in the office, and Jim says she went up immediately after Mary had gone to the rear. Lemmie Quinn, your own dear Lemmie,— as to the time he went up and went down into the streets with the evidence of Mrs. Freeman and Hall, sustains Jim Conley. Frank’s statement that he would consult his attorneys about Quinn’s statement that he had visited him in his office sustains Jim Conley. Dalton, sustained as to his life for the last ten years, here in this community and in DeKalb, when he stated that he had seen Jim watching before on Saturdays and holidays, sustains Jim Conley. Daisy Hopkins’ awful reputation and the statement of Jim, that he had seen her go into that factory with Dalton, and down that scuttle hole to the place where that cot is shown to have been, sustains Jim Conley. The blood on the second floor, testified to by numerous witnesses, sustains Jim Conley. The appearance of the blood, the physical conditions of the floor when the blood was found Monday morning, sustains Jim Conley. The testimony of Holloway, which he gave in the affidavit before he appreciated the importance, coupled with the statement of Boots Rogers that that elevator box was unlocked, sustains Jim Conley. Ivey Jones, the man who says he met him in close proximity to the pencil factory on the day this murder was committed, the time he says he left that place, sustains Jim Conley. Albert McKnight, who testified as to the length of time that this man Frank remained at home, and the fact that he hurried back to the factory, sustains Jim Conley. The repudiated affidavit, made to the police, in the presence of Craven and Pickett, of Minola McKnight, the affidavit which George Gordon, the lawyer, with the knowledge that he could get a habeas corpus and take her within thirty minutes out of the custody of the police, but which he sat there and allowed her to make,. sustains Jim Conley. The use of that cord, found in abundance, to choke this girl to death, sustains Jim Conley. The existence of the notes alone sustains Jim Conley, because no negro ever in the history of the race, after having perpetrated rape or robbery, ever wrote a note to cover up the crime. The note paper on which it is written, paper found in abundance on the office floor and near the office of this man Frank, sustains Jim Conley. The diction of the notes, “this negro did this,” and old Jim throughout his statement says “I done,” sustains Jim Conley.

Mr. Rosser:

I have looked the record up, and Jim Conley says. “I did it” time and time again. He said “I disremember whether I did or didn’t,” he says “I did it”—

Mr. Dorsey:

They would have to prove that record before I would believe it.

Mr. Rosser:

He says time and time again “I disremember whether I did or not”; he says “I did it,” page after page, sometimes three times on a page. I’ve got the record, too. Of course, if the Almighty God was to say it you would deny it.

Mr. Dorsey:

Who reported it?

Mr. Rosser:

Pages 496, (Mr. Rosser here read a list of page numbers containing the statement referred to.)

Mr. Arnold:

I want to read the first one before he caught himself, on page 946, I want to read the statement —

Mr. Dorsey:

Who reported it, that’s what I want to know.

Mr. Arnold:

This is the official report and it’s the correct report, taken down by the official stenographer, and he said, “Now when the lady comes I’ll stamp like I did before,” “I says all right, I’ll do just as you say and I did.”

Mr. Dorsey:

He’s quoting Frank here, “and he says now when the lady comes I’ll stamp like I did.”

Mr. Arnold:

“I says all right, I’ll do just as you say, and I did as he said.” He has got it both ways, “I did it,” and “I done it,” you can find it both ways.

Mr. Dorsey:

The jury heard that examination and the cross-examination of Jim Conley, and every time it was put to him he says “I done it.”

Mr. Rosser:

And I assert that’s not true, the stenographer took it down and he took it down correctly.

Mr. Dorsey:

I’m not bound by his stenographer.

Mr. Rosser:

I know, you are not bound by any rule of right in the universe.

The Court:

If there’s any dispute about the correctness of this report, I will have the stenographer to come here.

Mr. Parry:

I reported 1 to 31 myself, and I think I can make a statement that will satisfy Mr. Dorsey: The shorthand character for “did” is very different from “done,” there’s no reason for a reporter confusing those two. Now, at the bottom of this page—I see I reported it myself, and that was what he said, quoting “All right, I’ll do just as you say and I did as he said.” Now, as I say, my characters for “did” and “done” are very different and shouldn’t be confused—no reason for their being confused.

The Court:

Well, is that reported or not correctly?

Mr. Parry:

That was taken as he said it and written out as he said it.

Mr. Dorsey:

Let it go, then, I’ll trust the jury on it.

Maybe he did, in certain instances, say that he did so and so, but you said in your argument that if there is anything in the world a negro will do, it is to pick up the language of the man for whom he works; and while I’ll assert that there are some instances you can pick out in which he used that word, that there are other instances you might pick showing that he used that word “I done” and they know it. All right, leave the language, take the context.

These notes say, as I suggested the other day, that she was assaulted as she went to make water. And the only closet known to Mary, and the only one that she would ever have used is the closet on the office floor, where Conley says he found the body, and her body was found right on the route that Frank would pursue from his office to that closet, right on back also to the metal room. The fact that this note states that a negro did it by himself, shows a conscious effort on the part of somebody to exclude and limit the crime to one man, and this fact sustains Conley. Frank even, in his statement sustains him, as to his time of arrival Saturday morning at the factory, as to the time of the visit to Montags, as to the folder which Conley says Frank had in his hands, and Frank in his statement says that he had the folder.

Conley is sustained by another thing: This man Harry White, according to your statement got $2.00. Where is the paper, where is the entry on any book showing that Frank ever entered it up on that Saturday afternoon when he waited for Conley and his mind was occupied with the consideration of the problem as to what he should do with the body. Schiff waited until the next week and would have you believe there was some little slip that was put in a cash box showing that this $2.00 was given White, and that slip was destroyed. Listen to this: “Arthur White borrowed $2.00 from me in advance on his wages. When we spend, of course, we credit it; there was a time, when we paid out money we would write it down on the book and we found it was much better for us to keep a little voucher book and let each and every person sign for money they got.” “Let each and every person sign for money they got,” says Frank in his statement, “and we have not only this record, but this record on the receipt book.” And notwithstanding that you kept a book and you found it better to keep this little voucher book and let each and every person sign for money they got, notwithstanding the fact that you say that you kept a book for express and kerosene and every other conceivable purpose for which money was appropriated, you fail and refuse, because you can’t, produce the signature of White, or the entry in any book made by Frank showing that this man White ever got that money, except the entry made by this man Schiff some time during the week thereafter.

I tell you, gentlemen of the jury, that the reason that Frank didn’t enter up, or didn’t take the receipt from White about the payment of that money, was because his mind and conscience were on the crime that he had committed. This expert in bookkeeping, this Cornell graduate, this man who checks and re-checks the cash, you tell me that if things were normal that he would have given out to that man White this $2.00 and not have taken a receipt, or not have made an entry himself on some book, going to show it? I tell you there’s only one reason why he didn’t do it.

He is sustained by the evidence in this case and the statement of Frank that he had relatives in Brooklyn. The time that Frank says that he left that factory sustains old Jim. When old Jim Conley was on the stand, Mr. Rosser put him through a good deal of questioning with reference to some fellow by the name of Mincey. Where is Mincey? Echo answers “Where?” Either Mincey was a myth, or Mincey was such a diabolical perjurer that this man knew that it would nauseate the stomach of a decent jury to have him produced. Where is Mincey? And if you weren’t going to produce Mincey, why did you parade it here before this jury! The absence of Mincey is a powerful fact that goes to sustain Jim Conley, because if Mincey could have contradicted Jim Conley, or could have successfully fastened an admission on old Jim that he was connected in any way with this crime, depend upon it, you would have produced him if you had to comb the State of Georgia with a fine-tooth comb, from Rabun Gap to Tybee Light.

Gentlemen, every act of that defendant proclaims him guilty. Gentlemen, every word of that defendant proclaims him responsible for the death of this little factory girl. Gentlemen, every circumstances in this case proves him guilty of this crime. Extraordinary? Yes, but nevertheless true, just as true as Mary Phagan is dead.

She died a noble death, not a blot on her name. She died because she wouldn’t yield her virtue to the demands of her Superintendent. I have no purpose and have never had from the beginning in this case that you oughtn’t to have, as an honest, upright citizen of this community. In the language of Daniel Webster, I desire to remind you “that when a jury, through whimsical and unfounded scruples, suffers the guilty to escape, they make themselves answerable for the augmented danger to the innocent.”

Your Honor, I have done my duty. I have no apology to make. Your Honor, so far as the State is concerned, may now charge this jury,—this jury who have sworn that they were impartial and unbiased, this jury who, in this presence, have taken the oath that they would well and truly try the issue formed on this bill of indictment between the State of Georgia and Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan; and I predict, may it please Your Honor, that under the law that you give in charge and under the honest opinion of the jury of the evidence produced, there can be but one verdict, and that is: We the jury find the defendant, Leo M. Frank, guilty! guilty! guilty!

* * *

For further study we recommend the following resources:


Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank

Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913, Brief of Evidence

The American Mercury is following these events of 100 years ago, the month-long trial of Leo M. Frank for the brutal murder of Miss Mary Phagan, in capsule form on a regular basis on this, the 100th anniversary of the case. Follow along with us and experience the trial as Atlantans of a century ago did, and come to your own conclusions.

Read also the Mercury’s coverage of Week One of the Leo Frank trial, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.

A fearless scholar, dedicated to the truth about this case, has obtained, scanned, and uploaded every single relevant issue of the major Atlanta daily newspapers and they now can be accessed through as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
Old September 13th, 2015 #110
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2015 Audiobook about the Leo Frank Case:

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan-Kean (1987) transformed into an audiobook in 2015 by Margi H.

Please listen to this 10 hour audiobook to see that the allegation, suggestions and claims that Leo Frank was suspected, indicted, and convicted because of Antisemitism are totally false and tantamount to Antigentilism.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
Old June 8th, 2019 #111
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 526

29-Part Audiobook: Nation of Islam Audiobook

Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume III, The Leo Frank Case The Lynching of a Guilty Man by Nation of Islam Research Group (2016). Aside from some of the occasional blame whitey tangents, it's a pretty damn good book overall.

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Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:
Old June 8th, 2019 #112
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 526

The American Mercury Original Series on the Leo Frank Trial

Leo Frank: The Coroner’s Inquest Into The Mary Phagan’s Murder Mystery, May 1913

100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins, July 28, 1913.

The Summer of 1913 Leo Frank Trial Week One

The Summer of 1913 Leo Frank Trial Week Two

The Summer of 1913 Leo Frank Trial Week Three

One Hundred Years Ago Leo Frank Mounts the Witness Stand on August 18, 1913.

The Summer of 1913 Leo Frank Trial Week Four (final week of trial testimony)

Leo Frank Trial Closing Arguments, August 21st, 1913: Luther Rosser, Reuben Arnold and Frank Hooper, 1913

Closing Arguments of Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey at the Leo Frank Trial, August 22, 23, 25, 1913

Jewish Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL): One Hundred Years of Jewish Hate, October 1913 – 2013

An Empty Grave in NYC at the Mount Carmel Cemetery: The Amazing Story of Mrs. Leo Frank, aka Lucille Selig (1888 - 1957).

Leo Frank Pardon Without Absolution or Criminal Exoneration (1982 - 1986): The Astounding Alonzo Mann Hoax and
ADL of B'nai B'rith led Half-Baked Posthumous Pardon of Leo Frank, culminating March 11th, 1986.


God's Eye View: Leo Frank Case Analysis, Centennial of Mary Phagan Murder (April 26, 2013): One Hundred Arguments Why Leo Frank is Guilty (and remains so more than 100 years later, even though the Jews are still working behind the scenes to get him exonerated).

Jewish Activist Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies: Leonard Dinnerstein’s Racist and Anti-Gentile Pseudo-history About The Leo Frank Case

Review of Fake-News Journalist Steve Oney’s "Definitive Book on the Leo Frank Case", called:
'And The Dead Shall Rise' and the response to it: Who Really Solved the Mary Phagan Murder Case?


Authorized Audio Book: The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan-Kean (1989), read by
Vanessa Neubauer at the centennial year of Leo Frank's lynching (2015)


Leo Frank Case Audiobooks Read by Vanessa Neubauer at The Internet Archive:

The American Mercury's Leo Frank Trial Audiobook Series Published at The Internet Archive, Read By Vanessa Neubauer

* * *

U.S. Congressman From Georgia, Tom Watson, Five-Part Series on The Leo Frank Case in his magazine, Watson's Magazine, 1915:

Why Was Leo Frank Lynched on August 17, 1915? Announcement of Five New 21st-Century Audio
Books of Tom Watson's Leo Frank Case Magazine Articles, Read By Vanessa Neubauer


A Mercury Exclusive: Introduction to Tom Watson on the Leo Frank Case, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

Tom Watson: The Leo Frank Case, January 1915, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

Tom Watson: A Full Review of the Leo Frank Case, March 1915, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

Tom Watson: The Celebrated Case of The State of Georgia vs. Leo Frank, August 1915, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

Tom Watson: The Official Record in the Case of Leo Frank, a Jew Pervert, September 1915, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

Tom Watson: The Rich Jews Indict a State, October 1915, audiobook read by Vanessa Neubauer

* * *

2015 Centennial Audiobooks About The Leo Frank Case by future U.S. Senator From Georgia, Tom Watson, Read by John de Nugent

1. January 1915: by U.S. Senator from Georgia, Tom Watson, published in Watson's Magazine, Read By John de Nugent, audiobook:

2. March 1915: Full Review of The Leo Frank Case by U.S. Senator from Georgia, Tom Watson, published in Watson's Magazine, Read By John de Nugent, 2015, audiobook:

3. August 1915: The State of Georgia Verses Leo Frank by U.S. Senator from Georgia, Tom Watson, published in Watson's Magazine, Read By John de Nugent, 2015, audiobook:

4. September 1915: by U.S. Senator from Georgia, Tom Watson, published in Watson's Magazine, Read By John de Nugent, 2015, audiobook:

5. October 1915: by U.S. Senator from Georgia, Tom Watson, published in Watson's Magazine, Read By John de Nugent, 2015, audiobook:

Audiobooks by Margaret Huffstickler About Leo Frank Case

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan-Kean (1989), read by Margaret Huffstickler (Authorized Audiobook)

The Leo Frank Case: Georgia's Greatest Murder Mystery (1913) by Anonymous, read by Margaret Huffstickler (First Book Ever Written About The Leo Frank Case)

Audiobooks by Alex Linder About Leo Frank Case

NOI's 'Secret Relationship Between Black's and Jews, Volume 3: Leo Frank, A Guilty Man Lynched', read by Alex Linder

Abridged Leo Frank trial Series From The American Mercury, Read By Alex Linder (2016):

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean, Read By Alex Linder (2015)

B'nai B'rith Audiobook by Pastor Eli James

Atlanta B'nai B'rith President Leo Frank and ADL of B'nai B'rith Founding, Read By Pastor Eli James, Part 9 of B'nai B'rith Series


Audiobook by Veronica Bouchard AKA Evalion

100 Reasons Leo Frank is Guilty of Murdering Mary Phagan, Read by Evalion

Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith founded in July 1913, announced its official formation circa October 1913:

100 Years of their Anti-Gentile Hate, Lies and Racism by Valdis Bell, Read by Evalion

The above audiobooks will help vaccinate people from the 100 plus year relentless campaign of anti-Gentile disinformation by Leo Frank's jewish supremacist defenders.
Jews have aggressively dominated the false narrative of the Leo Frank Case since 1913, but as of 2013 you can finally learn everything the Jews have tried to censor & suppress at The Leo Frank Research Library:


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