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Old April 8th, 2013 #61
Leonard Rouse
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The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith uses this kike Frank's rape and murder of White child Phagan as the signal event necessitating its creation. It's only considered 'murky' because kikes jewed the legal process and have lied about the event in their media for generations.

Now if you claimed everyone were out to get you for no reason (as kikes have for millenia), wouldn't you come with your BEST case--something air tight? There should be a crematorium of possibilities, right?

There are no such cases because kikes are murderous, psychopathic liars. Any White who gives the ADL any credence is a fool or a traitor.
 
Old April 9th, 2013 #62
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he was guilty as talmudic sin. the b'nai b'rith bought the negro witnesses recantation of his testimony while he was on his death bed.
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Old April 10th, 2013 #63
andy
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As has been pointed out by others if there had been any question of the bantu being involved in any way the crowd in that time and place would have strung him up on the next branch without hesitation. I particularly like the inmate who sliced open Frank.Also where the wife did not want to be buried next to the blighter.Finally the interview with the newspaper all these things leave no doubt in my mind if i set aside my own prejudices
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Old April 12th, 2013 #64
Alex Linder
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In the Matter of Leo Frank, Part I
Kevin MacDonald

January 15, 2010

In 1913 Mary Phagan, a 13-year old girl, was murdered. The absolutely barebones account of the fascinating story behind this event and all that followed is that Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman who managed the factory in Atlanta where Mary worked, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death by hanging. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison by the governor of Georgia after several rounds of legal appeals failed to change the judgment of the trial court. While in prison, Frank’s throat was slit by another prisoner, and soon thereafter a group of Georgians broke into the prison and lynched Frank.


Leo Frank at his trial, 1913

The Leo Frank case is important if only because it continues to be the focus of Jewish activism. Recently a film on the events, The People vs. Leo Frank, was released, to much fanfare by the ADL, including special screenings and teacher guide books for use in classrooms. Leo Frank, therefore, has become an icon of all that was wrong with the old America and a morality tale with important lessons for the present— a miniature version of the Holocaust. Like the Holocaust, it is used as an indictment of the entire culture in which the events occurred — the trailer for the film begins ominously: “Set against the backdrop of an American South struggling to shed its legacy of bigotry and xenophobia …” More on that later.

In this series of articles, I review and discuss some of the writing about the Leo Frank affair, including especially Steve Oney’s very balanced and exhaustive account, And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank.

However, before embarking on that adventure, I should say that my first exposure to the Leo Frank affair was in reading Albert Lindemann’s important 1991 book, The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Incidents. Lindemann’s writings on Jewish history and anti-Semitism, most notably Esau’s Tears, are by far the most balanced and nuanced available from academic historians. In The Jew Accused, he takes the view that Jewish accounts of the Frank affair have virtually assumed anti-Jewish conspiracies: “People then and later have in some sense wanted to find anti-Semitism. They have not been entirely disappointed in their search, but they have also been inclined to dramatize inappropriately or exaggerate what they found of it” (p. 236).


Leo Frank: The trial of Leo Frank in 1913 was motivated by the rampant anti-Semitism of the time. The founding of the anti-Defamation League that same year was motivated by a passion to eradicate such injustice and bigotry. despite his innocence, Frank was abducted from jail in 1915 and lynched. ADL remembers the victim Leo Frank and rededicates itself to ensuring there will be no more victims of injustice and intolerance.

Whereas much of the writing on Mary Phagan’s murder makes it into a Jewish morality tale emphasizing Southern racism, bigotry and xenophobia — not to mention Jewish victimhood, Lindemann notes that Jews were better received in the South than in the rest of the country. There were relatively few Jews in the South, and those who did live there did not act as a “dissenting minority” (p. 224) — that is, they were not engaged in constructing a high profile culture of critique that has been the hallmark of Jewish intellectual activity since the Enlightenment. Jews participated in Southern culture like other Whites. Before the Civil War, they bought and sold slaves and they owned them. Southern attitudes toward Jews “tended toward philo-Semitism” (p. 227).

In Atlanta in 1910, Jews comprised around 2.5% of the population. Jewish businessmen “were respected, and Jewish enterprise was generally welcome.” The one fly in the ointment was the influx of a number of Russian Jews — often described as “barbaric and ignorant” by the established German Jewish community. These Jews often owned saloons and were accused of selling liquor to Blacks, thus contributing to public disorder. After the race riot of 1906, the liquor licenses of several Jewish-owned saloons were revoked.

Nevertheless, Jews had become well-integrated into the elite of Atlanta — far better than was the case in most areas of the North at this time. (Frank was part of the elite of Atlanta’s Jewish community — president of the local B’nai B’rith.) Although the Populist leader and newspaper publisher Tom Watson eventually blamed northern Jewish media and financial interests for the controversies following Frank’s trial and publically advocated Frank’s lynching, Watson eschewed the Jewish angle during the period leading up to the trial, even defending Jewish revolutionary anarchist Emma Goldman, and despite the fact that Jewish business interests in Georgia and elsewhere were opposed to Populism and its issues, such as ending child labor — an issue near and dear to Tom Watson’s heart.

Given this background (and the reputation of Jews as not involved in violent crime), “Frank’s Jewishness weighed at least as much in his favor as against him” (p. 236). Indeed, “Frank’s lawyers and his other defenders, in order to strengthen their case, overstated the role of anti-Semitic prejudice in his arrest” (p. 237), thereby setting up later exaggerations of the role of anti-Jewish attitudes. The defense also appealed to anti-Black attitudes in their attempt to pin the crime on a Black man, describing the prime Black suspect (Jim Conley) as a “dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying nigger” (p. 245).

Lindemann points out that the evidence at the time of Frank’s arrest was “of far greater substance and persuasiveness than that presented against [Alfred] Dreyfus” (p. 239), the French Jew accused of treason whose case became a cause célèbre for the forces combating anti-Jewish attitudes. In particular, Frank was one of very few people at the factory when the murder occurred. Several female employees testified at a Grand Jury hearing that he had made improper advances toward them and a male acquaintance of Mary testified that she had complained about Frank’s advances. Other stories alleging that Frank had engaged in perverse sexual behavior at local bordellos and had often used the factory as a place for sexual liaisons appeared in the newspapers. Lindemann writes that later this evidence was “demonstrably false or of uncertain validity” (p. 243), stating, for example, that at least some of the women’s evidence was “unreliable” (p. 243). (Based on Oney’s account to follow, the accusations of Frank’s history of sexual impropriety toward his employees are well-founded.)

Lindemann also notes that Frank’s statements to the police (that he didn’t know Mary Phagan) conflicted with testimony of employees (that he often called her by name). He also gave “seriously conflicting” accounts of what happened when Mary came to his office to pick up her pay. That he seemed very nervous during questioning and had already hired a lawyer and a private investigator before he was arrested were also seen as pointing to his guilt. The “most incriminating evidence” was that Frank had stated that he was in his office for an hour after giving Mary her pay, but this account conflicted with the testimony of another employee who came to his office at this time. This employee, Monteen Stover,

Quote:
was not suspected of harboring grudges against him; she testified that he was a kind man and in fact well liked by the women employees. Frank could not satisfactorily explain this episode except to speculate that he may have gone to the bathroom when Monteen came to his office. Frank, furthermore, was never able to provide a widely persuasive account of what he was doing during the hour … when it was believed, according to autopsy evidence, that Mary was murdered. In the evening following the murder he repeatedly called the factory, finally reaching the nightwatchman, Newt Lee, and asked if everything was all right (this was before Lee had found the body). Frank’s explanations for making these calls, that the nightwatchman was fairly new and that he was worried about a recently fired employee, were judged inadequate by many, especially since Frank had never made such calls before this. (p. 246)
Lindemann notes that one of these inconsistencies was noted by Governor John M. Slaton in his statement of commutation. He noted that “Frank had made an engagement on Friday to go to the Base Ball Game on Saturday afternoon with his brother-in-law, but broke the engagement, as he said in his statement, because of the financial statement he had to make up, while before the Coroner’s Jury, he said he broke the engagement because of the threatening weather.”

Lindemann also rejects the theory that Hugh Dorsey, the prosecutor, was “a ruthlessly ambitious man, one who harbored anti-Semitic beliefs and knew perfectly well that Frank was not guilty” (p. 250). This “morality tale” (p. 250) is contradicted by the lack of any indication of animosity toward Jews prior to the trial, his moderate views on Blacks, his Jewish law partner, his Jewish roommate in college, and his support from Jews in running for his office. His concluding summation at the trial included philo-Semitic statements.

Lindemann suggests that the best explanation of Dorsey’s actions is that he genuinely did believe in Frank’s guilt, “as did other astute observers” (p. 252). “In particular Dorsey seems to have been firmly persuaded of Frank’s bad moral character, of his perverse sexual escapades, about which he claimed to have an overwhelming mass of evidence, most of which he did not introduce at the trial” (p. 252).

Nevertheless, Lindemann asserts that “the best evidence now available indicates that the real murderer of Mary Phagan was Jim Conley” (p. 254), a person employed by Frank. Frank, “in spite of some strong evidence against him, was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, especially in light of the evidence that later emerged” (p. 254).

One gets the feeling, however, that Lindemann himself is far from convinced that Frank was innocent. What was this evidence that supposedly exonerated Frank? Rather than present any obviously exonerating facts, Lindemann instead continues to point to things that support the prosecution case. He notes that Conley’s testimony was “extraordinarily rich in details, sometimes of the most minute and graphic sort” (p. 255). “Many observers simply could not believe that a southern Black, a man with Conley’s supposedly limited mental powers, could make up such an intricate story or even repeat a story in which he had been coached by Dorsey, without tangling himself in contradictions” (p. 255), especially considering that he was cross-examined for 16 hours by lawyers who were “some of the most experienced and sharpest legal minds in the South” (p. 255).

Lindemann also notes that Dorsey would have been foolish to coach Conley on a false story: “It seems … unbelievable that … the prosecution could have been so reckless as to thus risk a humiliating collapse of their case against Frank” (p. 256). Indeed, the careers of the prosecutors would be in jeopardy if Conley had broken down in court and implicated the prosecution in coaching fraudulent testimony. Add to that the fact that before the trial Frank refused an offer to confront Conley. And, even more damningly, Frank refused to implicate two other Black employees, never mentioning Conley to the police, “as if he feared to have Conley interrogated.” Finally, Frank “knew perfectly well that Conley could write (a key point because of the notes left at the scene of the murder) but remained silent when Conley initially denied that he could” (p. 256).

Moreover, Lindemann accepts the idea that whether or not Frank murdered Phagan, there was a great deal of support for the claim that Frank was a sexual pervert. Besides the claims of the prosecution for a mass of evidence that hadn’t been introduced at the trial, the defense at times acknowledged that Frank “had not been perfect in the past” (p. 257). Indeed, Dorsey later stated that he would have brought charges against Frank for sexual perversion and criminal assault if he had been freed of murder charges.

Lindemann also questions the claim that the jury was intimidated by the crowd — the focus of an appeal that was rejected by the US Supreme Court. Such intimidation was not reported by any newspaper, the jury denied that they felt intimidated, and the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that pressure from the crowd “did not have a decisive impact on the jurors” (p. 258). Nevertheless, despite his own marshaling of facts on crowd influence and never citing even one source for the claim of undue influence, Lindemann writes that “these denials [of pressure from the crowd] are puzzling and finally difficult to believe” (p. 258).

Lindemann pays special attention to the role of Tom Watson in inflaming passions after the trial. But even then, Watson the populist seemed much more motivated by his perception that a rich person was throwing around money in an effort to overturn a just verdict for a heinous crime against a poor southern girl — “that rich men escaped scot-free for doing things that brought down harsh punishment upon the poor” (p. 263). He warned about a “gigantic conspiracy of big money” aimed at undermining the judicial system to free a “rich Sodomite” (p. 263).

“Watson repeatedly observed that a non-Jewish convicted murderer, no matter how flagrantly unjust his trial, would never have benefited from such a massive infusion of money, nor would a non-Jew have benefited from such a network of men who had privileged access to those who formed public opinion in the United States” (p. 266), including especially Adolf Ochs, publisher of the New York Times.

Eventually the Atlanta newspapers got in line in asking for a new trial. Frank petitioned for a new trial some thirteen times, twice going all the way to the US Supreme Court, but failed each time. As Georgia governor John M. Slaton stated in his justification for commuting Frank’s sentence, “A court must have something more than an atmosphere with which to deal, and especially when that atmosphere has been created through the processes of evidence in disclosing a horrible crime” (a reference to the allegations of Frank’s sexual behavior that came up during the trial and in the newspapers).

Lindemann labels Governor Slaton a “heroic figure” for risking his reputation in commuting Frank’s sentence. Nevertheless, he also notes that Frank’s lead defense attorney was Slaton’s law partner and that Slaton had had a Jewish partner in the 1880s. In running for governor in 1916, prosecutor Dorsey also pointed out that immediately after commuting Frank’s sentence, Slaton had met with Louis Marshall, Frank’s attorney before the US Supreme Court and doubtless the most prominent and visible leader of the American Jewish community at the time. Slaton controlled a very large “slush fund” — doubtless contributed by wealthy Jews — aimed at defeating Dorsey in his campaign for governor of Georgia. (Oney also describes the very warm reception Slaton received on his trip to New York after the commutation.) Dorsey won the election and Slaton never ran for office again in Georgia.

Lindemann points to a number of “minor inconsistencies” brought out by Slaton in his commutation order or at the trial, but none that in his judgment warranted discrediting Conley’s testimony. Rather, Lindemann places the entire weight of his judgment that Frank should not have been convicted on Slaton’s justification for his decision to commute Frank’s sentence. In particular, Slaton noted that during the trial Conley had testified that on the morning of the day of the murder he had deposited a pile of excrement where the elevator landed when it went to the basement (what became known as the “shit in the shaft” issue). He also testified that he and Frank had ridden the elevator to the basement to dispose of Mary’s body. However, the detectives testified that when they climbed down the elevator shaft to search the basement, the pile of excrement had not been crushed as it would have been if the elevator had been used by Conley and Frank to dispose of the body, as per Conley’s testimony. (Oney provides an explanation compatible with Frank’s guilt.)

In the end, Lindemann’s account of the Leo Frank affair is tantalizing, if not definitive. It certainly is a far cry from the account that continues to be disseminated by the ADL. Lindemann’s work is courageous given the previous mainstream scholarship and the continuing campaign by Jewish activist organizations to distort the events into a morality play of evil non-Jews martyring a heroic and upright Jew. Its strong suit is the foregrounding of the murder and trial, showing that anti-Jewish attitudes were not rampant before the trial. As discussed in the following articles in this series, the fact anti-Jewish attitudes developed in the course of the trial is hardly surprising given the course of events.

Kevin MacDonald is editor of The Occidental Observer and a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach. Email him.

Permanent URL: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net...ld-FrankI.html
 
Old April 12th, 2013 #65
Alex Linder
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[from The American Mercury]

Who Really Solved the Mary Phagan Murder Case?

Published by Editor on October 20, 2012


a review by Mark Cohen of Steve Oney’s And the Dead Shall Rise

IN HIS 742-page magnum opus about the Leo Frank case, author Steve Oney shamelessly fails to inform the reader of who ultimately solved the Mary Phagan murder mystery in 1913.

On Monday morning, April 28, 1913, Leo Frank was taken to the Atlanta Police Station for routine questioning during the critical first 48 hours of the Mary Phagan murder investigation. In an interrogation room, Leo Frank was flanked by his two elite lawyers, Luther Z. Rosser and Herbert Haas, and surrounded by a team of police, staff, and detectives. Leo Frank made a deposition concerning his whereabouts during Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, and about his “brief” encounter with Mary Phagan minutes after high noon.

Leo Frank’s statement was stenographed by a government magistrate named Mr. February, and the statement became part of the official record at the Leo Frank trial, registered as State’s Exhibit B (Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913). Leo Frank specifically stated that Mary Phagan entered his second floor office on Saturday, April 26, 1913 between “12:05 pm and 12:10 pm, maybe 12:07 pm.” Leo Frank also repeatedly told the police and detectives that he never left his office on April 26, 1913 between twelve noon and 12:45 pm. However, Leo Frank’s timeline alibi would dramatically change at his trial (which took place from July 28 to August 21, 1913) on August 18, 1913, when he mounted the witness stand.

At the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan, a 14-year-old girl named Monteen Stover who formerly worked at the National Pencil Company testified she went there to collect her pay envelope inside Leo Frank’s office on Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 12:05 p.m. and found Leo Frank’s office completely empty. Monteen Stover described waiting inside the office for five minutes, until 12:10 pm when she left because she thought the factory might have been deserted. If Monteen Stover was telling the truth, she had inadvertently broken Leo Frank’s alibi concerning his whereabouts on that fateful day. What was ironic about Monteen Stover’s testimony is that she was a positive character defense witness for Leo Frank, unlike 19 of his other employees and associates whose testimony suggested Leo Frank was a lecherous, licentious, lascivious, and libertine boss.

Leo Frank specifically mentioned, on August 18, 1913, the issue of Monteen Stover finding his office empty on Saturday, April 26, 1913 between 12:05pm and 12:10pm — and in doing so, Leo Frank himself solved the Mary Phagan murder mystery.

Leo Frank mounted the witness stand at 2:15 pm to make an unsworn courtroom speech to the judge and jury on the record. During Leo Frank’s four-hour trial statement, he refused to be examined or cross examined by defense and prosecution counselors, but he answered the question everyone wanted to know by directly responding to the testimony of Monteen Stover about why his office was empty on April 26, 1913 between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm. Leo Frank contradicted his earlier statement to the police and explained this five minute absence with a never before heard admission that, during those crucial moments, he might have “unconsciously” gone to the bathroom in the Metal Room.

It was an astonishing, jaw dropping, and spine-tingling admission by Leo M. Frank that left everyone in the courtroom perplexed, because there was only one bathroom on the second floor and it was located inside the Metal Room — the real scene of the crime. Leo Frank not only put himself in the Metal Room where all the forensic evidence suggested Mary Phagan had been murdered, but he put himself in the specific location at which Jim Conley testified he found the dead body of Mary Phagan.

The newfangled explanation delivered by Leo Frank on August 18, 1913 at 2:45 pm to the judge and jury was considered the equivalent of a murder confession, because the state’s prosecution team spent the entire duration of the four-week-long trial proving Leo Frank murdered Mary Phagan in the Metal Room on April 26, 1913 between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm.

The Metal Room was down the hall from Leo Frank’s office, and was the place Mary Phagan had toiled for more than a year at a wage of 7 and 4/11th cents an hour. The Metal Room was where Leo Frank went to use the bathroom each and every day, as he worked down the hall in his second floor office at the front section of the National Pencil Company. When Leo Frank went to the bathroom each day between the year’s time between the Springs of 1912 and 1913 that Mary Phagan was employed, he had to immediately pass by her work station within a matter of feet — but Leo Frank denied even knowing Mary Phagan at the trial, and it became an incriminating point of contention against him.

At the trial Jim Conley reported that he discovered the dead body of Phagan in the metal department (Metal Room) bathroom at the behest of Leo Frank. Conley stated that Leo Frank asked him to move her body to the basement furnace where garbage was normally placed before being incinerated. In the aftermath of Jim Conley’s refusing to complete the job of stuffing Mary Phagan into the furnace for $200 (and thereby destroying the evidence), Conley instead agreed to write the “death notes” pinning the bludgeoning, rape and strangulation of Mary Phagan on a tall, dark, and slim black man named Newt Lee, the factory night watchman and security guard who had worked at the factory for less than three weeks. The “death notes” were found next to the body of Mary Phagan, and they describe her going to “make water” in the only place she could “make water,” which was the bathroom in the Metal Room on the second floor. There was no bathroom accessible on the first floor and the one in the dark, dingy basement was for “Negroes Only.”

On Monday morning, April 28, 1913, a factory employee named Robert P. Barret discovered a bloody tress of hair tangled on the steel handle of his lathe in the Metal Room, and moments later a 5-inch-wide fan-shaped blood stain on the floor of the Metal Room in front of the girls’ dressing room next to the bathroom. Barret testified about the forensic evidence he found, and it pointed to the same conclusion: the Metal Room had been the scene of a heinous crime of violence followed by a very poor clean-up job. All of the evidence presented at the trial pointed to the Metal Room as the real scene of the crime.

Jim Conley saying he found Mary Phagan dead in the Metal Room bathroom at the behest of Leo Frank and Leo Frank saying he might have “unconsciously” gone to the bathroom in the Metal Room at the same time he originally told the police that Mary Phagan was in his office (State’s Exhibit B), and at the same time Monteen Stover said Leo Frank’s office was empty, resulted in the case coming together at the murder trial with absolute precision.

Leo Frank entrapped himself beyond escape at his trial on August 18, 1913, at 2:45 pm.

Many have asked how many times in the annals of United States legal history has the accused made an admission that amounted to an unmistakable murder confession at his or her own trial?

If there are any doubts about Leo Frank’s August 18, 1913 murder trial confession, consider reading the March 9, 1914, Atlanta Constitution jailhouse interview of Leo Frank, in which he reconfirms his trial testimony about a Metal Room bathroom visit, specifically responding to Monteen Stover’s testimony about his office being empty between 12:05 p.m. and 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, 1913.

The solving of the Mary Phagan murder mystery is found in the fact that Leo Frank made the equivalent of a public murder confession at his trial. This is documented in the official Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913, and the Georgia Supreme Court Case File on Leo Frank, 1913, 1914. No appellate tribunal called to review the Leo Frank trial brief of evidence from 1913 to 1915, and from 1982 to 1986 disturbed the unanimous verdict of the judge and jury originally made in August of 1913. One may also read between the lines of appeasement concerning the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sponsored Leo M. Frank posthumous pardon — without exoneration — issued on March 11, 1986.
Steve Oney weaves together a fantastic collage of unsubstantiated Leo Frank hoaxes throughout his entire book And the Dead Shall Rise (2003), as part of his shameless efforts to rewrite history, exonerate Leo Frank of the Mary Phagan murder, and ultimately rehabilitate the image of Leo Frank from that of a perverted and violent pedophile, rapist, and strangler — toward that of a kind, gentle, almost mythic stoic-martyr who was unjustly scapegoated in a vast conspiracy.

By cherry-picking and misrepresenting large parts of the case, a subtext is inserted in Oney’s book — that an innocent and well-educated Ivy League Jew named Leo Frank was ensnared by the real culprit, a semi-literate and drunken stumble-bum, the African-American factory sweeper Jim Conley.

Oney downplays the fact that Leo Frank and Jim Conley had a personal relationship that was a bit too close for comfort. Leo Frank would often goose and jolly with James “Jim” Conley at the factory. Leo Frank also managed Jim’s contracts as Conley had a side business selling watches at the factory and even ripped off Mr. Arthur Pride who testified about it at the trial. In 1912, even though Jim Conley had just served a one month sentence for drunk and disorderly behavior, Leo Frank took him back at the National Pencil Company in mid-October.

Leo Frank knew for a fact Jim Conley could write, but kept this information in confidence until it was too late. Leo Frank never said a single word about Conley to the police during the early days of the Mary Phagan murder investigation, even though the “death notes” were clearly written in Ebonics, and there were only eight African-American employees, out of 170 employees in total, working at the National Pencil Company factory. Jim Conley worked at the National Pencil Company in various capacities for two years and had even done some written inventory work for Leo Frank.

Steve Oney never addresses why Leo Frank knowingly refused to tell the police Jim Conley could write.

What Steve Oney fails to elaborate fully for the reader is the most grotesque subplot of the bludgeoning, rape and strangulation of Mary Phagan: its pinning on the African-American night watchman Newton “Newt” Lee. Lee was ordered by Leo Frank on Friday, April 25 to arrive at work an hour early, 4:00 pm, on the infamous day of April 26, 1913 — so Leo Frank could go to a ball game with his brother-in-law, Mr. Ursenbach.

Oney points out in his book that weeks after Leo Frank and Jim Conley were arrested, the police arranged for them to confront each other face-to-face over the murder. Jim agreed, but Leo refused. Oney never answers the question why an “innocent White man” would refuse to confront an African-American man, accusing him of strangling a 13-year old White girl in the context of the White racial separatist south of 1913, where the word of a Black man would almost never be taken over the word of a White man.

Though Steve Oney claims he spent 17 years of his life traveling the country to research and write this colorful and thesaurus-enriched book, his analysis is shallow and myopic at best. Oney tends to wear blinders and drives with the emergency brakes on during his epic 700+ page journey, and, as a result, he does not plumb the depths of the case, leaving the reader truly frustrated, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. No real modern forensic analysis is applied to this case by Oney despite the hundreds of documents surviving into the 21st century, including crime scene and autopsy descriptions by police, detectives, undertakers, and physicians. Oney does, however, fill his book with every crackpot theory ever advanced on behalf of Leo Frank’s defense, regardless of whether or not the inclusions stand up to even minimal scrutiny.


Pierre van Paassen, who, in addition to penning some rather incredible tales about the Leo Frank case, also claimed to have seen ghostly black dogs which could appear and disappear at will

One of the biggest frauds Oney perpetuates was originally fabricated by the tabloid-style journalist Pierre van Paassen in his book To Number Our Days, published in 1964. In this 404-page work, van Paassen spends less than two pages (pp. 237-8) recalling an incident that happened in 1922, at a time when he was in Atlanta, Georgia, working as a journalist for the Atlanta Constitution, and investigating the then almost decade-old Leo Frank Case.

To Number Our Days, by Pierre van Paassen, chapter: “Short Stand in Dixieland,” page 237, line 27:

“The Jewish community of Atlanta at that time seemed to live under a cloud. Several years previously one of its members, Leo Frank, had been lynched as he was being transferred from the Fulton Tower Prison in Atlanta to Milledgeville for trial on a charge of having raped and murdered a little girl in his warehouse which stood right opposite the Constitution building. Many Jewish citizens who recalled the lynching were unanimous in assuring me that Frank was innocent of the crime.

“I took to reading all the evidence pro and con in the record department at the courthouse. Before long I came upon an envelope containing a sheaf of papers and a number of X-ray photographs showing teeth indentures. The murdered girl had been bitten on the left shoulder and neck before being strangled. But the X-ray photos of the teeth marks on her body did not correspond with Leo Frank’s set of teeth of which several photos were included. If those photos had been published at the time of the murder, as they should have been, the lynching would probably not have taken place.

“Though, as I said, the man died several years before, it was too late, I thought, to rehabilitate his memory and perhaps restore the good name of his family. I showed Clark Howell the evidence establishing Frank’s innocence and asked permission to run a series of articles dealing with the case and especially with the evidence just uncovered. Mr. Howell immediately concurred, but the most prominent Jewish lawyer in the city, Mr. Harry Alexander, whom I consulted with a view to have him present the evidence to the grand jury, demurred. He said Frank had not even been tried. Hence no new trial could be requested. Moreover, the Jewish community in its entirety still felt nervous about the incident. If I wrote the articles, old resentments might be stirred up and, who knows some of the unknown lynchers might recognize themselves as participants in my description of the lynching. It was better, Mr. Alexander thought, to leave sleeping lions alone. Some local rabbis were drawn into the discussion and they actually pleaded with Clark Howell to stop me from reviving interest in the Frank case as this was bound to have evil repercussions on the Jewish community.

“That someone had blabbed out of school became quite evident when I received a printed warning saying: ‘Lay off the Frank case if you want to keep healthy.’ The unsigned warning was reinforced one night, or rather, early one morning when I was driving home. A large automobile drove up alongside of me and forced me into the track of a fast-moving streetcar coming from the opposite direction. My car was demolished, but I escaped without a scratch…. ”

Van Paassen’s account of these events that allegedly happened more than four decades before is faulty in several particulars. Dental X-ray forensics were in their infancy in 1913, and never used in Georgia for any murder case until countless years after Leo Frank was hanged. Is it “Mr. Harry Alexander” or Henry Alexander? And why would the attorney who represented Leo Frank during his numerous appeals say Leo Frank didn’t have his murder trial yet? Leo Frank was not lynched on his way to trial or prison in late June 1915; he was lynched 170 miles away in Marietta on August 17, 1915. Bite marks on Mary Phagan’s left shoulder and neck? None of the numerous examinations or autopsies of Mary Phagan conducted by the undertaker, police, detectives, and physicians reported in the official record and newspapers mention any bite marks on Mary Phagan’s shoulder, neck or anywhere else on her body. Van Paassen also claims an attempt was made on his life by forcing him into a head-on collision with a streetcar in which his car was demolished, but he escaped without a scratch — all this in 1922 when there were virtually no safety features to speak of in automobiles.

The definitive book on the Leo Frank case has yet to be written. Perhaps it’s time for Steve Oney to re-read and carefully study the 1,800-page Georgia Supreme Court file on Leo M. Frank, and put out a new edition of his book without all the easily-verified misrepresentations, fabrications, half-truths, omissions, and sloppy research.

http://theamericanmercury.org/2012/1...n-murder-case/
 
Old April 12th, 2013 #66
Alex Linder
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The Leo Frank Case: A Pseudo-History

Published by Ann Hendon on October 5, 2012

by Elliot Dashfield

a review of The Leo Frank Case by Leonard Dinnerstein, University of Georgia Press



IN 1963, nearly a half century after the sensational trial and lynching of Leo Frank become a national cause célèbre, a graduate student named Leonard Dinnerstein (pictured) decided to make the Frank case the subject of his PhD thesis. Three years later, Dinnerstein submitted his dissertation to the political science department of Columbia University — and his thesis became the basis of his 1968 book, The Leo Frank Case. Dinnerstein’s book has undergone numerous tweaks, additions, and revisions over the years – more than a half dozen editions have been published. His latest version, published in 2008, is the culmination of his nearly 50 years of research into the Leo Frank affair.

Readability: two out of five stars

Dinnerstein lacks eloquence. He produces flat, cardboard-colored “social history.” The language is stale, bland, and dated. If it weren’t for the fascinating topic, the book would be an intolerable and impossible-to-finish bore. I do wonder how many readers pick up this book and never finish it.

Honesty, Integrity and Reliability: one out of five stars

Given the many decades Leonard Dinnerstein has spent studying the Leo Frank case, and assuming Dinnerstein is a scholar, I find it almost impossible to understand the sheer number of conspicuous errors, misquotes, fabrications, misrepresentations, and shameless omissions made in every edition of this book from 1968 to 2008.

Examining Dinnerstein’s 1966 PhD dissertation, I discovered the probable explanation. Dinnerstein’s central thesis – and his motivation for a half century of work – is his belief that “widespread anti-Semitism” in the South was the reason Leo Frank was indicted and convicted. Dinnerstein takes this as his position – and makes it his mission to convince us of its truth – despite the consensus, among Jewish and Gentile historians alike, that anti-Semitism was virtually unknown in the South, and despite the fact every level of the United States legal system from 1913 to 1986 let stand the verdict of the 1913 Leo Frank jury trial that unanimously convicted Leo Frank of murder – and despite the fact that the Fulton County Grand Jury that unanimously indicted Leo Frank had three Jewish members.

The question that naturally arises in the mind of any unbiased reader is: What compelled these men to vote unanimously to indict and convict Frank, and what compelled our leading jurists to let his conviction stand after the most intensely argued and well researched appeals? Was it the facts, testimony, and evidence presented to them? Or was it anti-Semitism?

Was the Georgia Supreme Court anti-Semitic when it stated affirmatively that the evidence presented at the Leo Frank trial sustained his conviction? Was the United States Supreme Court anti-Semitic when its decision went against Leo Frank?

The answer can be found in the official unabridged Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913 – a legal record which Leonard Dinnerstein went to great lengths to obfuscate and distort. And Dinnerstein did not even bother telling the reader what the Georgia Supreme Court records revealed about how Leo Frank’s legal defense fund was utilized.

This is what makes every edition of Dinnerstein’s The Leo Frank Case so disappointing: In order to maintain his position of “anti-Semitism was behind it all,” he had to omit or misrepresent the most relevant facts, evidence, and testimony from the trial.

Dinnerstein’s myopic view of Jewish-Gentile relations first revealed itself in his 1966 PhD thesis. Ironically, his lack of objectivity itself seemed to propel him upward in the politically-charged worlds of academia and the mass media. That Leo Frank was innocent – and that Southern, white, anti-Semitic haters were exclusively to blame for his conviction – fit the narrative that the leaders in these fields had internalized and wished to propagate as “history.” Dinnerstein’s book was perfect for its intended market – the new intelligentsia that has come to dominate the academy. His book was also seminal in shaping the popular perception of the Leo Frank case. It helped to transform a well-documented true crime case into a semi-fictionalized myth of a stoic Jewish martyr who was framed by a vast anti-Semitic conspiracy.

Leonard Dinnerstein vs. Every Level of the United States System of Justice

Leonard Dinnerstein writes in his 2008 preface, “I have no doubts: Frank was innocent.” This statement, which sets the dominant tone of his book, goes against the majority decisions of every single level of the United States legal system. More than a dozen experienced judges – incomparably more qualified than Dinnerstein to sift the evidence – reviewed the evidence and arguments put forth by Frank’s own legal team, along with the Leo Frank trial testimony, affidavits, facts, and law pertaining to the case – and all came to the same conclusion: They sustained the guilty verdict of the jury.

If a person was subpoenaed to testify at a criminal trial involving a 29-year-old man accused of bludgeoning, raping, and strangling a 13-year-old girl, and this witness knowingly falsified and withheld evidence about the defendant – that’s called perjury. If the witness provided perjured testimony and this was later proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a trial jury, that witness would likely find himself in prison for a number of years. But when an academic spends 40 years of his life muddling facts, withholding evidence, fraudulently manipulating the official legal records and testimony of a real criminal case, we call him not perjurer, but “historian.”

I have read nearly everything written by Leonard Dinnerstein – not just his books, but his numerous magazine and journal articles. I purchased every edition of Leonard Dinnerstein’s books. I took the time to read, cross reference, and compare his works against the sources he cites in his bibliographies. The only conclusion I am able to come to is that Leonard Dinnerstein shows an unrelenting pattern of inventing facts, misquoting, dramatizing, befogging, embellishing, overstating, and oversimplifying incidents in his books. Dinnerstein’s books – supposedly non-fiction – are filled with a fairly skillful, though flat and boring, simulation of academic analysis and research. They can be, and are indeed designed to be, persuasive to those who don’t bother to read the original sources or do any fact-checking.

For those who have carefully studied the three major Atlanta dailies (Georgian, Constitution and Journal) through the years 1913 to 1915, learning about the Leo Frank case through their day-by-day accounts – and then cross-referencing them with the official legal records of the Leo Frank trial and appeals – Leonard Dinnerstein’s book is a colossal letdown, a failure, and a disgrace.

Evidence of Dishonesty

In his article in the American Jewish Archive Journal (1968) Volume 20, Number 2, Dinnerstein makes his now-famous claim that mobs of anti-Semitic Southerners, outside the courtroom where Frank was on trial, were shouting into the open windows “Crack the Jew’s neck!” and “Lynch him!” and that members of the crowd were making open death threats against the jury, saying that the jurors would be lynched if they didn’t vote to hang “the damn sheeny.”

But not one of the three major Atlanta newspapers, who had teams of journalists documenting feint-by-feint all the events in the courtroom, large and small, and who also had teams of reporters with the crowds outside, ever reported these alleged vociferous death threats. And certainly such a newsworthy event could not be ignored by highly competitive newsmen eager to sell papers and advance their careers. Do you actually believe that the reporters who gave us such meticulously detailed accounts of this Trial of the Century, even writing about the seating arrangements in the courtroom, the songs sung outside the building by folk singers. and the changeover of court stenographers in relays, would leave out all mention or notice of a murderous mob making death threats to the jury? During the two years of Leo Frank’s appeals, none of these alleged anti-Semitic death threats were ever reported by Frank’s own defense team. There is not a word of them in the 3,000 pages of official Leo Frank trial and appeal records – and all this despite the fact that Reuben Arnold made the claim during his closing arguments that Leo Frank was tried only because he was a Jew.

The patently false accusation that European-American Southerners used death threats to terrorize the jury into convicting Leo Frank is a racist blood libel, pure and simple. Yet, thanks to Leonard Dinnerstein, this fictional episode has entered the consciousness of Americans of all stations as “history” – as one of the pivotal facts of the Frank case. It has been repeated countless times, in popular articles and academic essays, on stage and on film and television, and, as the 100th anniversary of the case approaches, it will be repeated as many times again – until there is not a single man, woman, or child who is unaware of it. That is anti-history, not history. I would say shame on Leonard Dinnerstein – if I thought him a being capable of shame.

Dinnerstein, who supported himself almost his entire life by writing about anti-Semitism, would surely know better than anyone else that if such an incident had actually happened, it would have been the stuff of lurid headlines long before 1918, to say nothing of 1968. His contempt for us – his firm belief that we will not check any of his claims – is palpable.

More Deception

Leonard Dinnerstein was interviewed for the video documentary The People vs. Leo Frank (2009). In that interview, he makes statements that he must know to be untrue about the death notes found on Mary Phagan’s body.

The documentary shows us a dramatization of the interrogation of Jim Conley by the Atlanta Police in May, 1913 – and Dinnerstein then states:

“They [the Atlanta police] asked him [Jim Conley] about the notes. He said ‘I can’t read and write.’ That happened to come up in a conversation between the police and Frank, and Frank said, ‘Of course he can write; I know he can write, he used to borrow money from me and sign promissory notes.’ So Conley had not been completely honest with the police.” (The People vs. Leo Frank, 2009).

This Dinnerstein segment has been posted on YouTube and the documentary is commercially available. Notice that Dinnerstein’s clear implication is that Leo Frank blew the whistle on Jim Conley’s false claim of being illiterate, and that Frank was the instrument of this discovery. But that is a bald-faced lie.

Leo Frank was arrested on April 29, 1913 and Jim Conley was arrested two days later, on May 1. Leo Frank never admitted to the police that he knew Jim Conley could write until weeks after that fact was already known to investigators. Pinkerton detective Harry Scott was informed that Jim Conley could write by an operative who spoke to a pawnbroker – not by Leo Frank. On May 18, 1913, after two and a half weeks of interrogation, Atlanta police finally got Conley to admit he wrote the Mary Phagan death notes — but Conley revealed he did so at the behest of Leo Frank. After several successive interrogations, the approximate chain of events became clear.


Leo Frank

Leo Frank kept completely quiet about the fact that Jim Conley could read and write for more than two weeks, even though Jim Conley – working as a roustabout at the factory – had done written inventory work for Frank. Leo Frank also allowed Jim Conley to run a side business out of the National Pencil Company, wheeling and dealing pocket watches under questionable circumstances. In one of these deals, Conley was said to have defrauded Mr. Arthur Pride, who testified about it at the Leo Frank trial. Frank himself vetted and managed Conley’s pocket watch contracts, keeping them locked in his office safe. Leo Frank would take out small payments from Conley’s weekly wages and pay down the pawnshop owner’s loans. Leo Frank didn’t tell investigators he was overseeing Conley’s watch contracts until it was far too late, after the police had found out about it independently.

I encourage people to read the official Leo Frank trial Brief of Evidence, 1913, to see for themselves whether or not Leo Frank informed the police about Jim Conley’s literacy immediately after he was arrested – or if he only admitted to that fact after the police had found out about it through other means weeks later. This is something that Leonard Dinnerstein, familiar as he has been – for decades – with the primary sources in the case, must have known for a very long time. Yet in this very recent interview, he tries to make us believe the precise opposite of the truth – tries to make us believe that Frank was the one who exposed this important fact. There’s a word for what Dinnerstein is, and it’s not “historian.”

One of the Biggest Frauds in the Case

Dinnerstein knowingly references claims that do not stand up to even minimal scrutiny. For example, he uncritically accepts the 1964 hoax by hack writer and self-promoter Pierre van Paassen, who claimed that there were in existence in 1922 X-ray photographs at the Fulton County Courthouse, taken in 1913, of Leo Frank’s teeth, and also X-ray photographs of bite marks on Mary Phagan’s neck and shoulder – and that anti-Semites had suppressed this evidence.. Van Paassen further alleged – and Dinnerstein repeated – that the dimensions of Frank’s teeth did not match the “bite marks,” thereby exonerating Frank.

Here’s the excerpt from van Paassen’s 1964 book To Number Our Days (pages 237 and 238) that Dinnerstein endorses:

“The Jewish community of Atlanta at that time seemed to live under a cloud. Several years previously one of its members, Leo Frank, had been lynched as he was being transferred from the Fulton Tower Prison in Atlanta to Milledgeville for trial on a charge of having raped and murdered a little girl in his warehouse which stood right opposite the Constitution building. Many Jewish citizens who recalled the lynching were unanimous in assuring me that Frank was innocent of the crime.

“I took to reading all the evidence pro and con in the record department at the courthouse. Before long I came upon an envelope containing a sheaf of papers and a number of X-ray photographs showing teeth indentures. The murdered girl had been bitten on the left shoulder and neck before being strangled. But the X-ray photos of the teeth marks on her body did not correspond with Leo Frank’s set of teeth of which several photos were included. If those photos had been published at the time of the murder, as they should have been, the lynching would probably not have taken place.

“Though, as I said, the man died several years before, it was not too late, I thought, to rehabilitate his memory and perhaps restore the good name of his family. I showed Clark Howell the evidence establishing Frank’s innocence and asked permission to run a series of articles dealing with the case and especially with the evidence just uncovered. Mr. Howell immediately concurred, but the most prominent Jewish lawyer in the city, Mr. Harry Alexander, whom I consulted with a view to have him present the evidence to the grand jury, demurred. He said Frank had not even been tried. Hence no new trial could be requested. Moreover, the Jewish community in its entirety still felt nervous about the incident. If I wrote the articles old resentments might be stirred up and, who knows, some of the unknown lynchers might recognize themselves as participants in my description of the lynching. It was better, Mr. Alexander thought, to leave sleeping lions alone. Some local rabbis were drawn into the discussion and they actually pleaded with Clark Howell to stop me from reviving interest in the Frank case as this was bound to have evil repercussions on the Jewish community.

“That someone had blabbed out of school became quite evident when I received a printed warning saying: ‘Lay off the Frank case if you want to keep healthy.’ The unsigned warning was reinforced one night or, rather, early one morning when I was driving home. A large automobile drove up alongside of me and forced me into the track of a fast-moving streetcar coming from the opposite direction. My car was demolished, but I escaped without a scratch….”

Dinnerstein references these pages in his book (page 158 of the 2008 edition), saying “In 1923, at the height of the Ku Klux Klan’s power, a foreign journalist, working for The Atlanta Constitution, became interested in Leo Frank and went back to study the records of the case. He came across some x-rays showing teeth indentations in Mary Phagan’s left shoulder and compared them with x-rays of Frank’s teeth; but the two sets did not correspond. On the basis of this, and other insights garnered from his investigation, the newspaperman wanted to write a series ‘proving’ Frank’s innocence. One anonymous correspondent sent him a printed note: ‘Lay off the Frank case if you want to keep healthy,’ but this did not deter him.”

Since Dinnerstein is such a lofty academic scholar and professor, perhaps he simply forgot to ask a current freshman in medical school if it was even possible to X-ray bite marks on skin in 1913 – or necessary in 2012, for that matter – because it’s not. In 1913, X-ray technology was in its infancy and never used in any criminal case until many years after Leo Frank was hanged. Was Leo Frank’s lawyer named “Harry Alexander” or Henry Alexander? Why would the famous attorney who represented Leo Frank during his most high-profile appeals say he didn’t have his trial yet?! Leo Frank was not lynched on his way to trial in Milledgeville – he wasn’t on his way to anywhere, and it happened in Marietta, 170 miles away. And it defies the laws of physics, and all logic and reason, to believe that any person driving a motor vehicle in 1922 – when there were virtually no safety features in automobiles – could suffer a direct collision with a “fast-moving streetcar” and survive “without a scratch.” Oddly, Dinnerstein says van Paassen “was not deterred” from writing the supposed series of articles, though even the hoaxer himself clearly implies that he was indeed deterred. (Even the most basic online research would also have shown that van Paassen is a far from credible source who once publicly claimed to have seen supernatural “ghost dogs” which could appear and disappear at will.)

Not only did Dinnerstein completely fail to point out the obviously preposterous nature of van Paassen’s account, but he blandly presents his claims as established historical fact.

Surely Leonard Dinnerstein has had, and continues to have, access to the primary sources in this case. Certainly he can read the official legal documents online at the State of Georgia’s online archive known as the Virtual Vault, as I have done without difficulty.

It is hard to fathom the deep contempt that Leonard Dinnerstein must have for his readers. Did he think that these official legal records, once buried in dusty government vaults, would never make their way online? Did he think that Georgia’s three major newspapers from 1913 to 1915, the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta Georgian, would never make their way online? Or does his contempt run even deeper – did he think that, online or not, none of us would ever check up on his claims?

Covering Up the Racial Strategy of the Defense

What one can most charitably call Leonard Dinnerstein’s lack of candor is apparent not only in sins of commission, but also of omission. In his book, Dinnerstein completely fails to mention the well-known strategy of Leo Frank’s defense team to play on the racial conflicts present in 1913 Georgia and pin the murder of Mary Phagan on, successively, two different African-American men.

The first victim was Newt Lee, the National Pencil Company’s night watchman. After that intrigue fell apart, Frank’s team abruptly changed course and tried to implicate the firm’s janitor – and, according to his own testimony, Frank’s accomplice-after-the-fact – James “Jim” Conley. Leo Frank’s defense team played every white racist card they could muster against Jim Conley at the trial, and continued doing so through two years of appeals. Frank’s own lawyer, addressing the jury, said “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…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?” Had this been said at trial by anyone other than Leo Frank’s defense attorney, it would have been thoroughly denounced by any academic with even half the normal quota of flaming outrage against white racism. But as for Dinnerstein…. Well, with only 40 years to study the case, I suppose he just overlooked it.

A Mockery

Leonard Dinnerstein’s The Leo Frank Case is a mockery of legal history. Dinnerstein intentionally leaves out volumes of damaging evidence, testimony, and facts about the case. His glaring omissions are documented in, among many other sources, the Georgia Supreme Court’s Leo Frank case file. Leonard Dinnerstein misleads the reader, rewriting the case almost at will, and incorporating long-discredited and nonsensical half-truths that would never stand up to even the most elementary scrutiny.

Dinnerstein has created a book that will be remembered by history as a shameless, over-the-top attempt to create a mythology of Leo Frank as a “martyr to anti-Semitism.” In doing that, he seems to care not at all that he may be rehabilitating the image of a serial pedophile, rapist, and strangler. To Dinnerstein, the fact that Leo Frank is Jewish, and his belief that Southern whites were anti-Jewish, are all-important realities – far more important than the facts of the case, which he presents very selectively to persuade us that his ethnocentric view is the only correct one. Leonard Dinnerstein’s partisanship borders on the pathological, and his integrity is, like Pierre van Paassen’s, essentially nonexistent.

The definitive, comprehensive, objective book on the Leo Frank case has, unfortunately, never been written. But as an antidote to Dinnerstein’s myth-making, you might want to read The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean. Although her book is amateurishly written, she did make a refreshingly honest effort to present both sides of the case in an unbiased manner.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t found errors in Kean’s book – I have – but compared to all the major Leo Frank authors (Oney, Dinnerstein, Alphin, Melnick, the Freys, and Golden) who have written about the case in the last 99 years, Mary Phagan Kean made the best and most honest attempt to be fair, balanced, and neutral, despite her belief in Leo Frank’s guilt. The same cannot be said for Leonard Dinnerstein.

I have closely studied the several thousand pages of the Leo Frank trial and appeal records (1913 – 1915), read every book (1913 – 2010) on the subject, and reviewed, more than once, the three primary Atlanta newspapers, the Journal, Constitution, and Georgian (1913 – 1915), concerning their coverage of the Leo Frank case. I believe the jury made the correct decision in the summer of 1913.

But regardless of my opinion on any matter, with which reasonable men and women may well disagree, there is no doubt whatever that the accusations of anti-Jewish shenanigans, threats, and jury intimidation at the Leo Frank trial, promoted by Leonard Dinnerstein and repeated by many others, are flat-out lies. His creation and perpetuation of such tales amounts to perjury. And his is an especially vile kind of perjury, made by one who is pathologically obsessed with anti-Semitism and who imagines persecution where none exists. His is a perjury that creates injustice not just for one victim and one perpetrator, but, by twisting and distorting our view of the past, for our entire society.

___

REFERENCES:

Leonard Dinnerstein’s original dissertation

The People v. Leo Frank

To Number Our Days by Pierre van Paassen

http://theamericanmercury.org/2012/1...seudo-history/

Last edited by Alex Linder; April 12th, 2013 at 01:04 AM.
 
Old April 12th, 2013 #67
Alex Linder
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99 Years Ago: Did Leo Frank Confess?
Published by admin, on August 25th, 2012

On the 99th anniversary of the verdict, we look at the dramatic confessions of Leo Frank to the murder of Mary Phagan (autopsy photo at right).



by Mark Cohen

THE CENTURY-OLD “cold case” Mary Phagan murder mystery — the violent rape and murder of teenager Mary Phagan and the subsequent lynching of the convicted killer, Jewish businessman Leo Frank — has now been conclusively solved by scholars using the extensive 1913 official investigation and trial records. In this once-in-a-lifetime event, the publishing, mass media, and academic establishments — who have for decades promoted the conspiracy theory that anti-Semites framed Frank for the crime because he was Jewish — have been proven to be wrong by the statements of Leo Frank himself.


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.

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.

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. In the picture, the fingertips of Leo Frank’s left hand are firmly clasped around the base of a cigar, vertically projecting upward from his groin region. The significance of Leo Frank’s left fist would be revealed when the Mary Phagan autopsy, conducted on Monday, May 5, 1913, by Dr. H. F. Harris, was reported during the Leo Frank trial.

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, which is where Jim Conley stated he had first found the lifeless body of little Mary Phagan, and immediately adjacent to 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) and interacting with her hundreds of times.


Mary Phagan

Frank had also said (to paraphrase his statement before the racial angle had been brought forward by his defense team) that to the best of his recollection when he was in his second floor office from 12:00 to 12:45 pm, 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 Black, 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 Black 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 Black men 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 Ebonics, 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 generally 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 Black man 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, Frank and he 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

Three Confessions

It is important to understand that Leo Frank’s startling admission of his presence in the death room at the critical moment did not stand alone in the jury’s eyes. Conclusive as it was, it was not Frank’s only confession.

The official record shows Leo Frank confessed to murdering Mary Phagan three times, though he would deny all three.


James Conley

• Confession Number One — April 26, 1913: Leo Frank’s murder confession number one was made to Jim Conley when Leo Frank told him he had tried to “be with her” (have sexual intercourse with Mary Phagan) and she refused him. According to Conley, Frank then stated he had hit her, knocking her down, then adding “I guess I struck her too hard and she fell and hit her head against something.” Some of Mary Phagan’s bloody hair was discovered on Monday, April 28, 1913, by Robert P. Barret on the handle of a lathe in the second floor Metal Room.

• Confession Number Two — April 26, 1913: According to the McKnight family, Leo Frank confessed to murdering Mary Phagan to his wife Lucille Selig Frank on the evening of April 26, 1913, at around 10:30 pm, saying to his wife that he didn’t know why he would murder — and asking his wife for his pistol so he could shoot himself. Lucille reportedly told her family, and her household cook and cleaning lady Minola McKnight, about what happened that evening. Minola McKnight told her husband Albert McKnight, and full documentation can be found in State’s Exhibit J (see the Appendix to this article). Decades later, Lucille Selig Frank refused to be buried in the Frank family plot next to her husband, leaving explicit instructions to the contrary.



• Leo Frank Murder Confession Number Three — August 18, 1913: This is the “unconscious bathroom visit” statement delivered by Frank to the court in his unsworn statement, placing him unequivocally at the murder scene at the critical time. Frank would also reaffirm this admission in a newspaper interview published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March 9th, 1914.

With Mercy — or Without?

Judge Leonard Strickland Roan gave the jury two options if they found Leo Frank guilty of the crime of murder: ‘With Mercy’ or ‘Without Mercy.’ If there was any doubt of Leo M. Frank’s guilt, the judge and jury could have sentenced him to life in prison instead of sentencing him to death by hanging. When the jury unanimously sentenced Leo Frank to death by hanging after deciding on a verdict of guilt, Judge Roan had the legal option to downgrade the jury’s death sentence, and only give Leo Frank life in prison – that is, if Roan disagreed with the judgement. But Judge Roan agreed with their collective verdict and recommendation.


Judge Leonard Strickland Roan

Many in the Jewish community, and other Leo Frank partisans, have suggested that Judge Roan doubted the verdict because of one of his apparently appeasing comments made orally to his former law partner, Luther Rosser. But if Roan actually doubted the verdict, he could have exercised his power many times to prevent Frank’s execution, and even given him a new trial if that would have served the cause of justice. But he did none of these things.

You are Hereby Sentenced to Hang on April 17, 1914; Happy Birthday

Certainty of Leo Frank’s guilt was so strong that — after reviewing his trial testimony for months, and after the Georgia Supreme Court’s majority decision upheld Leo Frank’s conviction and the fairness of his trial — Judge Benjamin Hill, on March 7, 1914, sentenced him to die on his 30th birthday: April 17, 1914.

Only absolute mathematical certainty of guilt warrants such a cruel sentencing date by a judge.

* * *

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 – http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0061.jpg

Part 2 – http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0062.jpg

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: http://www.leofrank.org/library/georgia-archives/

• 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: http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0060.jpg.

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: http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0125.jpg. 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

http://nationalvanguard.org/2012/08/...frank-confess/
 
Old April 12th, 2013 #68
Solskeniskyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
99 Years Ago: Did Leo Frank Confess?
Published by admin, on August 25th, 2012


http://nationalvanguard.org/2012/08/...frank-confess/
Great articles in all, very interesting reading. The thrashing of that caricature of a historical jew fraudster that has spent 40 years(!) of his life writing and re-editing a book that is just an unbelievably brazen and sloppy work of lies, half truths, distortions of the truth, omissions, etc., trying to portray Frank as innocent and pinning it on southern "anti-semitism", was especially enjoyable.

As regards the last one, posted on nationalvanguard, which was also excellent; it had 2 comments that I thought sums up what the average white needs to take away from this unbelievably over-hyped story of what really only should have been the clear cut conviction and execution of the remorseless, perverted, child raping, child murdering jew Leo Frank:

Quote:
Bill* (*Jew looking to obscure and relativize)
August 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm · Reply

Conley said this, and Conley said that.

This is treated as proof positive that Frank committed the murder. It’s even treated as an admission by Frank that he killed the girl.

Oh, but Conley was UNDER OATH. Gee, that must mean he was telling the truth. Case closed.

What nonsense. The anti-Semitism of most pro-Conley articles is clearly evident.

Stick to the facts. Who did what in this 100-year-old crime will probably never be known.

BTW, I visited Mary’s grave a few days ago during a visit to Atlanta. I even read Oney’s 700-page book. Little toys, dolls and stuffed animals are still being placed at the grave site. The only truth — it remains one hell of a great story.
Quote:
Leo Frank
September 4, 2012 at 1:22 am · Reply

Dear Bill Weylmann,

The prevailing genetic disease of the nation-wrecking Jewish ethno-religion appears to manifest itself in a kind of mental myopia mixed with a masochistic persecution pathology. Perhaps more government funding should be invested to study the disfigured Jews psychology, and why they promote one set of values for outsiders and a completely different set of values for insiders.

The refusal of most Jews to consider all the facts, testimony and evidence when it concerns one of your own is evident. You are the only people in the world who have attempted to exonerate a serial pedophile rapist and admitted child murderer, Leo Frank the Toilet Strangler.

This is why Jews can not be considered reliable sources of information about history, sociology, law or anything for that matter when the subject involves Jews. Simply, the fragile and sensitive ego of the Jew, for the most part, prevents it from being able to examine subjects dispassionately. Wikipedia is proof of this fact.

Thank you for once again showing your mental myopia to be true, instead of actually reading the Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence (1913) and offering some intelligent commentary here, isntead you regurgitate pedophile cheerleadering chants. Blah blah blah Conley this and blah blah Conley that….

Thank you for proving what everyone has been saying all along about this case, that “the chosen ones” – the genetic enemies of Western Civilization – will pretend that only with the testimony of Jim Conley, the conviction of Leo Frank was reached.


Tom Watson solved this equation in the September 1915 issue of Watson’s Magazine. Leo Frank can be convicted without the testimony of Jim Conley.

http://www.leofrank.org/confession/

Last edited by Solskeniskyn; April 12th, 2013 at 04:26 AM.
 
Old May 8th, 2013 #69
White Winger
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As with the Rosenbergs, 60+ years later - that no matter how much evidence continues to prove them guilty, Jews and White-Guilt Leftists will screech that they were unfairly persecuted because they were Jews, and that the Goyim( i.e.: WHITEY, and especially, 1st World,White Civilizations ) must be destroyed - it will always be the same with Leo Frank.

Last edited by White Winger; May 10th, 2013 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old May 14th, 2013 #70
H.B.
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Location: Proud Republican
Posts: 4,126
H.B.
Default

This is the demon:



This is the demon hanging from a rope:



Quote:
Look back on your life, you've done nothing worth a shit
And the problems you've caused give a reason for your death
Outta your place still you think you own the world
Did you think you couldn't die?
Did you think we wouldn't care?

[Chorus:]
Justice - at the end of a rope - Now you're dead, now you're dead
Nigger - at the end of a rope - Now you're dead, now you're dead
Justice

Poisoning kids, you make your living selling drugs
and robbing the old, still you're never satisfied
Down on your knees, now your judgement day is here
You've been sentenced to death by the people of America
http://www.lyricsmania.com/justice_lyrics_berserkr.html

Inspiring ...

Uplifting ...

Motivating ...

Soothing for the soul ...

Now get to the gym and stop being such fucking pussies!
__________________
Smash jewish supremacy. Smash globalism. Smash ZOG. Use ad blockers at all times to starve off the (((beast))).

Last edited by H.B.; May 14th, 2013 at 08:57 PM.
 
Old May 16th, 2013 #71
LeoFrank
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Default Atlanta B'nai B'rith President Leo Frank the Toilet Strangler

100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty

Published by Editor on April 26, 2013
100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty thumbnail

Proving That Anti-Semitism Had Nothing to Do With His Conviction — and Proving That His Defenders Have Used Frauds and Hoaxes for 100 Years

by Bradford L. Huie
exclusive to The American Mercury

MARY PHAGAN was just thirteen years old. She was a sweatshop laborer for Atlanta, Georgia’s National Pencil Company. Exactly 100 years ago today — Saturday, April 26, 1913 — little Mary (pictured, artist’s depiction) was looking forward to the festivities of Confederate Memorial Day. She dressed gaily and planned to attend the parade. She had just come to collect her $1.20 pay from National Pencil Company superintendent Leo M. Frank at his office when she was attacked by an assailant who struck her down, ripped her undergarments, likely attempted to sexually abuse her, and then strangled her to death. Her body was dumped in the factory basement.
Leo M. Frank

Leo M. Frank

Leo Frank, who was the head of Atlanta’s B’nai B’rith, a Jewish fraternal order, was eventually convicted of the murder and sentenced to hang. After a concerted and lavishly financed campaign by the American Jewish community, Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison by an outgoing governor. But he was snatched from his prison cell and hung by a lynching party consisting, in large part, of leading citizens outraged by the commutation order — and none of the lynchers were ever prosecuted or even indicted for their crime. One result of Frank’s trial and death was the founding of the still-powerful Anti-Defamation League.

Today Leo Frank’s innocence, and his status as a victim of anti-Semitism, are almost taken for granted. But are these current attitudes based on the facts of the case, or are they based on a propaganda campaign that began 100 years ago? Let’s look at the facts.

It has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that either Leo Frank or National Pencil Company sweeper Jim Conley was the killer of Mary Phagan. Every other person who was in the building at the time has been fully accounted for. Those who believe Frank to be innocent say, without exception, that Jim Conley must have been the killer.
Jim Conley

Jim Conley

On the 100th anniversary of the inexpressibly tragic death of this sweet and lovely girl, let us examine 100 reasons why the jury that tried him believed (and why we ought to believe, once we see the evidence) that Leo Max Frank strangled Mary Phagan to death — 100 reasons proving that Frank’s supporters have used multiple frauds and hoaxes and have tampered with the evidence on a massive scale — 100 reasons proving that the main idea that Frank’s modern defenders put forth, that Leo Frank was a victim of anti-Semitism, is the greatest hoax of all.

1. Only Leo Frank had the opportunity to be alone with Mary Phagan, and he admits he was alone with her in his office when she came to get her pay — and in fact he was completely alone with her on the second floor. Had Jim Conley been the killer, he would have had to attack her practically right at the entrance to the building where he sat almost all day, where people were constantly coming and going and where several witnesses noticed Conley, with no assurance of even a moment of privacy.

2. Leo Frank had told Newt Lee, the pencil factory’s night watchman, to come earlier than usual, at 4 PM, on the day of the murder. But Frank was extremely nervous when Lee arrived (the killing of Mary Phagan had occurred between three and four hours before and her body was still in the building) and insisted that Lee leave and come back in two hours.

3. When Lee then suggested he could sleep for a couple of hours on the premises — and there was a cot in the basement near the place where Lee would ultimately find the body — Frank refused to let him. Lee could also have slept in the packing room adjacent to Leo Frank’s office. But Frank insisted that Lee had to leave and “have a good time” instead. This violated the corporate rule that once the night watchman entered the building, he could not leave until he handed over the keys to the day watchman. Newt Lee, though strongly suspected at first, was manifestly innocent and had no reason to lie, and had had good relations with Frank and no motive to hurt him.

4. When Lee returned at six, Frank was even more nervous and agitated than two hours earlier, according to Lee. He was so nervous, he could not operate the time clock properly, something he had done hundreds of times before. (Leo Frank officially started to work at the National Pencil Company on Monday morning, August 10, 1908. Twenty-two days later, on September 1, 1908, he was elevated to the position of superintendent of the company, and served in this capacity until he was arrested on Tuesday morning, April 29, 1913.)
Newt Lee

Newt Lee

5. When Leo Frank came out of the building around six, he met not only Lee but John Milton Gantt, a former employee who was a friend of Mary Phagan. Lee says that when Frank saw Gantt, he visibly “jumped back” and appeared very nervous when Gantt asked to go into the building to retrieve some shoes that he had left there. According E.F. Holloway, J.M. Gantt had known Mary for a long time and was one of the only employees Mary Phagan spoke with at the factory. Gantt was the former paymaster of the firm. Frank had fired him three weeks earlier, allegedly because the payroll was short about $1. Was Gantt’s firing a case of the dragon getting rid of the prince to get the princess? Was Frank jealous of Gantt’s closeness with Mary Phagan? Unlike Frank, Gantt was tall with bright blue eyes and handsome features.
J.M. Gantt

J.M. Gantt

6. After Frank returned home in the evening after the murder, he called Newt Lee on the telephone and asked him if everything was “all right” at the factory, something he had never done before. A few hours later Lee would discover the mutilated body of Mary Phagan in the pencil factory basement.

7. When police finally reached Frank after the body of Mary Phagan had been found, Frank emphatically denied knowing the murdered girl by name, even though he had seen her probably hundreds of times — he had to pass by her work station, where she had worked for a year, every time he inspected the workers’ area on the second floor and every time he went to the bathroom — and he had filled out her pay slip personally on approximately 52 occasions, marking it with her initials “M. P.” Witnesses also testified that Frank had spoken to Mary Phagan on multiple occasions, even getting a little too close for comfort at times, putting his hand on her shoulder and calling her “Mary.”

8. When police accompanied Frank to the factory on the morning after the murder, Frank was so nervous and shaking so badly he could not even perform simple tasks like unlocking a door.

9. Early in the investigation, Leo Frank told police that he knew that J.M. Gantt had been “intimate” with Mary Phagan, immediately making Gantt a suspect. Gantt was arrested and interrogated. But how could Frank have known such a thing about a girl he didn’t even know by name?

10. Also early in the investigation, while both Leo Frank and Newt Lee were being held and some suspicion was still directed at Lee, a bloody shirt was “discovered” in a barrel at Lee’s home. Investigators became suspicious when it was proved that the blood marks on the shirt had been made by wiping it, unworn, in the liquid. The shirt had no trace of body odor and the blood had fully soaked even the armpit area, even though only a small quantity of blood was found at the crime scene. This was the first sign that money was being used to procure illegal acts and interfere in the case in such a way as to direct suspicion away from Leo M. Frank. This became a virtual certainty when Lee was definitely cleared.
A few members of Mary Phagan's family; originally published in the Atlanta Georgian

A few members of Mary Phagan’s family; originally published in the Atlanta Georgian
Mary Phagan and her aunt, Mattie Phagan

Mary Phagan and her aunt, Mattie Phagan

11. Leo Frank claimed that he was in his office continuously from noon to 12:35 on the day of the murder, but a witness friendly to Frank, 14-year-old Monteen Stover, said Frank’s office was totally empty from 12:05 to 12:10 while she waited for him there before giving up and leaving. This was approximately the same time as Mary Phagan’s visit to Frank’s office and the time she was murdered. On Sunday, April 27, 1913, Leo Frank told police that Mary Phagan came into his office at 12:03 PM. The next day, Frank made a deposition to the police, with his lawyers present, in which he said he was alone with Mary Phagan in his office between 12:05 and 12:10. Frank would later change his story again, stating on the stand that Mary Phagan came into his office a full five minutes later than that.

12. Leo Frank contradicted his own testimony when he finally admitted on the stand that he had possibly “unconsciously” gone to the Metal Room bathroom between 12:05 and 12:10 PM on the day of the murder.
Floor plan of the National Pencil Company - click for high resolution

Floor plan of the National Pencil Company – click for high resolution

13. The Metal Room, which Frank finally admitted at trial he might have “unconsciously” visited at the approximate time of the killing (and where no one else except Mary Phagan could be placed by investigators), was the room in which the prosecution said the murder occurred. It was also where investigators had found spots of blood, and some blondish hair twisted on a lathe handle — where there had definitely been no hair the day before. (When R.P. Barret left work on Friday evening at 6:00 PM, he had left a piece of work in his machine that he intended to finish on Monday morning at 6:30 AM. It was then he found the hair — with dried blood on it — on his lathe. How did it get there over the weekend, if the factory was closed for the holiday? Several co-workers testified the hair resembled Mary Phagan’s. Nearby, on the floor adjacent to the Metal Room’s bathroom door, was a five-inch-wide fan-shaped blood stain.)
The Metal Room, where the blood spots and hair were found; and the basement of the National Pencil Company, where Mary Phagan's strangled and dragged body was found.

The Metal Room, where the blood spots and hair were found; and the basement of the National Pencil Company, where Mary Phagan’s strangled and dragged body was found
Artist's representation of the hair found on the lathe handle

Closeup of the artist’s representation of the hair found on the lathe handle

14. In his initial statement to authorities, Leo Frank stated that after Mary Phagan picked up her pay in his office, “She went out through the outer office and I heard her talking with another girl.” This “other girl” never existed. Every person known to be in the building was extensively investigated and interviewed, and no girl spoke to Mary Phagan nor met her at that time. Monteen Stover was the only other girl there, and she saw only an empty office. Stover was friendly with Leo Frank, and in fact was a positive character witness for him. She had no reason to lie. But Leo Frank evidently did. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913)

15. In an interview shortly after the discovery of the murder, Leo Frank stated “I have been in the habit of calling up the night watchman to keep a check on him, and at 7 o’clock called Newt.” But Newt Lee, who had no motive to hurt his boss (in fact quite the opposite) firmly maintained that in his three weeks of working as the factory’s night watchman, Frank had never before made such a call. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913)
Three-dimensional diagram of the National Pencil Company headquarters in the Venable building

Three-dimensional diagram of the National Pencil Company headquarters in the Venable building

16. A few days later, Frank told the press, referring to the National Pencil Company factory where the murder took place, “I deeply regret the carelessness shown by the police department in not making a complete investigation as to finger prints and other evidence before a great throng of people were allowed to enter the place.” But it was Frank himself, as factory superintendent, who had total control over access to the factory and crime scene — who was fully aware that evidence might thereby be destroyed — and who allowed it to happen. (Atlanta Georgian, April 29, 1913)

17. Although Leo Frank made a public show of support for Newt Lee, stating Lee was not guilty of the murder, behind the scenes he was saying quite different things. In its issue of April 29, 1913, the Atlanta Georgian published an article titled “Suspicion Lifts from Frank,” in which it was stated that the police were increasingly of the opinion that Newt Lee was the murderer, and that “additional clews furnished by the head of the pencil factory [Frank] were responsible for closing the net around the negro watchman.” The discovery that the bloody shirt found at Lee’s home was planted, along with other factors such as Lee’s unshakable testimony, would soon change their views, however.

18. One of the “clews” provided by Frank was his claim that Newt Lee had not punched the company’s time clock properly, evidently missing several of his rounds and giving him time to kill Mary Phagan and return home to hide the bloody shirt. But that directly contradicted Frank’s initial statement the morning after the murder that Lee’s time slip was complete and proper in every way. Why the change? The attempt to frame Lee would eventually crumble, especially after it was discovered that Mary Phagan died shortly after noon, four hours before Newt Lee’s first arrival at the factory.

19. Almost immediately after the murder, pro-Frank partisans with the National Pencil Company hired the Pinkerton detective agency to investigate the crime. But even the Pinkertons, being paid by Frank’s supporters, eventually were forced to come to the conclusion that Frank was the guilty man. (The Pinkertons were hired by Sigmund Montag of the National Company at the behest of Leo Frank, with the understanding that they were to “ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was.” After Leo Frank was convicted, Harry Scott and the Pinkertons were stiffed out of an investigation bill totaling some $1300 for their investigative work that had indeed helped to “ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was.” The Pinkertons had to sue to win their wages and expenses in court, but were never able to fully collect. Mary Phagan’s mother also took the National Pencil Company to court for wrongful death, and the case settled out of court. She also was never able to fully collect the settlement. These are some of the unwritten injustices of the Leo Frank case, in which hard-working and incorruptible detectives were stiffed out of their money for being incorruptible, and a mother was cheated of her daughter’s life and then cheated out of her rightful settlement as well.) (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, “Pinkerton Man says Frank Is Guilty – Pencil Factory Owners Told Him Not to Shield Superintendent, Scott Declares”)

20. That is not to say that were not factions within the Pinkertons, though. One faction was not averse to planting false evidence. A Pinkerton agent named W.D. McWorth — three weeks after the entire factory had been meticulously examined by police and Pinkerton men — miraculously “discovered” a bloody club, a piece of cord like that used to strangle Mary Phagan, and an alleged piece of Mary Phagan’s pay envelope on the first floor of the factory, near where the factory’s Black sweeper, Jim Conley, had been sitting on the fatal day. This was the beginning of the attempt to place guilt for the killing on Conley, an effort which still continues 100 years later. The “discovery” was so obviously and patently false that it was greeted with disbelief by almost everyone, and McWorth was pulled off the investigation and eventually discharged by the Pinkerton agency.
W.D. McWorth

W.D. McWorth

21. It also came out that McWorth had made his “finds” while chief Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott was out of town. Most interestingly, and contrary to Scott’s direct orders, McWorth’s “discoveries” were reported immediately to Frank’s defense team, but not at all to the police. A year later, McWorth surfaced once more, now as a Burns agency operative, a firm which was by then openly working in the interests of Frank. One must ask: Who would pay for such obstruction of justice? — and why? (Frey, The Silent and the Damned, page 46; Indianapolis Star, May 28, 1914; The Frank Case, Atlanta Publishing Co., p. 65)
City Detective Black, left; and Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott, right

City Detective Black, left; and Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott, right

22. Jim Conley told police two obviously false narratives before finally breaking down and admitting that he was an accessory to Leo Frank in moving of the body of Mary Phagan and in authoring, at Frank’s direction, the “death notes” found near the body in the basement. These notes, ostensibly from Mary Phagan but written in semi-literate Southern black dialect, seemed to point to the night watchman as the killer. To a rapt audience of investigators and factory officials, Conley re-enacted his and Frank’s conversations and movements on the day of the killing. Investigators, and even some observers who were very skeptical at first, felt that Conley’s detailed narrative had the ring of truth.

23. At trial, the leading — and most expensive — criminal defense lawyers in the state of Georgia could not trip up Jim Conley or shake him from his story.

24. Conley stated that Leo Frank sometimes employed him to watch the entrance to the factory while Frank “chatted” with teenage girl employees upstairs. Conley said that Frank admitted that he had accidentally killed Mary Phagan when she resisted his advances, and sought his help in the hiding of the body and in writing the black-dialect “death notes” that attempted to throw suspicion on the night watchman. Conley said he was supposed to come back later to burn Mary Phagan’s body in return for $200, but fell asleep and did not return.

25. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley said that Mary Phagan’s lifeless body was found by him in the second floor metal room.

26. Hair that looked like Mary Phagan’s was found on a Metal Room lathe immediately next to where Conley said he found her body, where she had apparently fallen after her altercation with Leo Frank.

27. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley says he dropped Mary Phagan’s body while trying to move it. Conley could not have known this. If he was making up his story, this is a coincidence too fantastic to be accepted.

28. A piece of Mary Phagan’s lacy underwear was looped around her neck, apparently in a clumsy attempt to hide the deeply indented marks of the rope which was used to strangle her. No murderer could possibly believe that detectives would be fooled for an instant by such a deception. But a murderer who needed another man’s help for a few minutes in disposing of a body might indeed believe it would serve to briefly conceal the real nature of the crime from his assistant, perhaps being mistaken for a lace collar.
Mary Phagan autopsy photograph

Mary Phagan autopsy photograph

29. If Conley was the killer — and it had to be Conley or Frank — he moved the body of Mary Phagan by himself. The lacy loop around Mary Phagan’s neck would serve absolutely no purpose in such a scenario.

30. The dragging marks on the basement floor, leading to where Mary Phagan’s body was dumped near the furnace, began at the elevator — exactly matching Jim Conley’s version of events.

31. Much has been made of Conley’s admission that he defecated in the elevator shaft on Saturday morning, and the idea that, because the detectives crushed the feces for the first time when they rode down in the elevator the next day, Conley’s story that he and Frank used the elevator to bring Mary Phagan’s body to the basement on Saturday afternoon could not be true — thus bringing Conley’s entire story into question. But how could anyone determine with certainty that the “crushing” was the “first crushing”? And nowhere in the voluminous records of the case — including Governor Slaton’s commutation order in which he details his supposed tests of the elevator — can we find evidence that anyone made even the most elementary inquiry into whether or not the bottom surface of the elevator car was uniformly flat.

32. Furthermore, the so-called “shit in the shaft” theory of Frank’s innocence also breaks down when we consider the fact that detectives inspected the floor of the elevator shaft before riding down in the elevator, and found in it Mary Phagan’s parasol and a large quantity of trash and debris. Detective R.M. Lassiter stated at the inquest into Mary Phagan’s death, in answer to the question “Is the bottom of the elevator shaft of concrete or wood, or what?” that “I don’t know. It was full of trash and I couldn’t see.” There was so much trash there, the investigator couldn’t even tell what the floor of the shaft was made of! There may well have been enough trash, and arranged in such a way, to have prevented the crushing of the waste material when Frank and Conley used the elevator to transport Mary Phagan’s body to the basement. In digging through this trash, detectives could easily have moved it enough to permit the crushing of the feces the next time the elevator was run down.

33. The defense’s theory of Conley’s guilt involves Conley alone bringing Mary Phagan’s body to the basement down the scuttle hole ladder, not the elevator. But Lassiter was insistent that the dragging marks did not begin at the ladder, stating at the inquest: “No, sir; the dragging signs went past the foot of the ladder. I saw them between the elevator and the ladder.” Why would Conley pointlessly drag the body backwards toward the elevator, when his goal was the furnace? Why were there no signs of his turning around if he had done so? If Mary Phagan’s body could leave dragging marks on the irregular and dirty surface of the basement, why were there no marks of a heavy body being dumped down the scuttle hole as the defense alleged Conley to have done? Why did Mary Phagan’s body not have the multiple bruises it would have to have incurred from being hurled 14 feet down the scuttle hole to the basement floor below?

34. Leo Frank changed the time at which he said Mary Phagan came to collect her pay. He initially said that it was 12:03, then said that it might have been “12:05 to 12:10, maybe 12:07.” But at the inquest he moved his estimates a full five minutes later: “Q: What time did she come in? A: I don’t know exactly; it was 12:10 or 12:15. Q: How do you fix the time that she came in as 12:10 or 12:15? A: Because the other people left at 12 and I judged it to be ten or fifteen minutes later when she came in.” He seems to have no solid basis for his new estimate, so why change it by five minutes, or at all?

35. Pinkerton detective Harry Scott, who was employed by Leo Frank to investigate the murder, testified that he was asked by Frank’s defense team to withhold from the police any evidence his agency might find until after giving it to Frank’s lawyers. Scott refused.

36. Newt Lee, who was proved absolutely innocent, and who never tried to implicate anyone including Leo Frank, says Frank reacted with horror when Lee suggested that Mary Phagan might have been killed during the day, and not at night as was commonly believed early in the investigation. The daytime was exactly when Frank was at the factory, and Lee wasn’t. Here Detective Harry Scott testifies as to part of the conversation that ensued when Leo Frank and Newt Lee were purposely brought together: “Q: What did Lee say? A: Lee says that Frank didn’t want to talk about the murder. Lee says he told Frank he knew the murder was committed in daytime, and Frank hung his head and said ‘Let’s don’t talk about that!’” (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, “Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank”)

37. When Newt Lee was questioned at the inquest about this arranged conversation, he confirms that Frank didn’t want to continue the conversation when Lee stated that the killing couldn’t possibly have happened during his evening and nighttime watch: “Q: Tell the jury of your conversation with Frank in private. A: I was in the room and he came in. I said, Mr. Frank, it is mighty hard to be sitting here handcuffed. He said he thought I was innocent, and I said I didn’t know anything except finding the body. ‘Yes,’ Mr. Frank said, ‘and you keep that up we will both go to hell!’ I told him that if she had been killed in the basement I would have known it, and he said, ‘Don’t let’s talk about that — let that go!’” (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, “Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank”)

38. Former County Policeman Boots Rogers, who drove the officers to Frank’s home and then took them all, including Frank, back to the factory on the morning of April 27, said Frank was so nervous that he was hoarse — even before being told of the murder. (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, “Rogers Tells What Police Found at the Factory”)
Boots Rogers

Boots Rogers

39. Rogers also states that he personally inspected Newt Lee’s time slip — the one that Leo Frank at first said had no misses, but later claimed the reverse. The Atlanta Georgian on May 8 reported what Rogers saw: “Rogers said he looked at the slip and the first punch was at 6:30 and last at 2:30. There were no misses, he said.” Frank, unfortunately, was allowed to take the slip and put it in his desk. Later a slip with several punches missing would turn up. How can this be reconciled with the behavior of an innocent man?

40. The curious series of events surrounding Lee’s time slip is totally inconsistent with theory of a police “frame-up” of Leo Frank. At the time these events occurred, suspicion was strongly directed at Lee, and not at Frank.

41. When Leo Frank accompanied the officers to the police station later on during the day after the murder, Rogers stated that Leo Frank was literally so nervous that his hands were visibly shaking.

42. Factory Foreman Lemmie Quinn would eventually testify for the defense that Leo Frank was calmly sitting in his office at 12:20, a few minutes after the murder probably occurred. As to whether this visit really happened, there is some question. Quinn says he came to visit Schiff, Frank’s personal assistant, who wasn’t there — was he even expected to be there on a Saturday and holiday? — and stayed only two minutes or so talking to Frank in the office. Frank at first said there was no such visit, and only remembered it days later when Quinn “refreshed his memory.”

43. As reported by the Atlanta Georgian, City detective John Black said even Quinn initially denied that there was such a visit! “Q: What did Mr. Quinn say to you about his trip to the factory Saturday? A: Mr. Quinn said he was not at the factory on the day of the murder. Q: How many times did he say it? A: Two or three times. I heard him tell Detective Starnes that he had not been there.” (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, “Black Testifies Quinn Denied Visiting Factory”)

44. 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. 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”)

45. 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.”

46. In May, around the time of disgraced Pinkerton detective McWorth’s attempt to plant fake evidence — which caused McWorth’s dismissal from the Pinkerton agency — attorney Thomas Felder made his loud but mysterious appearance. “Colonel” Felder, as he was known, was soliciting donations to bring yet another private detective agency into the case — Pinkerton’s great rival, the William Burns agency. Felder claimed to be representing neighbors, friends, and family members of Mary Phagan. But Mary Phagan’s stepfather, J.W. Coleman, was so angered by this misrepresentation that he made an affidavit denying there was any connection between him and Felder. It was widely believed that Felder and Burns were secretly retained by Frank supporters. The most logical interpretation of these events is that, having largely failed in getting the Pinkerton agency to perform corrupt acts on behalf of Frank, Frank’s supporters decided to covertly bring another, and hopefully more “cooperative,” agency into the case. Felder and his “unselfish” efforts were their cover. Felder’s representations were seen as deception by many, which led more and more people to question Frank’s innocence. (Atlanta Georgian, May 15, 1913, “Burns Investigator Will Probe Slaying”)
"Colonel" Thomas Felder

“Colonel” Thomas Felder

47. Felder’s efforts collapsed when A.S. Colyar, a secret agent of the police, used a dictograph to secretly record Felder offering to pay $1,000 for the original Coleman affidavit and for copies of the confidential police files on the Mary Phagan case. C.W. Tobie, the Burns detective brought into the case by Felder, was reportedly present. Colyar stated that after this meeting “I left the Piedmont Hotel at 10:55 a.m. and Tobie went from thence to Felder’s office, as he informed me, to meet a committee of citizens, among whom were Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Myers, Mr. Greenstein and several other prominent Jews in this city.” (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, “T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank”)

48. Felder then lashed out wildly, vehemently denied working for Frank’s friends, and declared that he thought Frank guilty. He even made the bizarre claim, impossible for anyone to believe, that the police were shielding Frank. It was observed of Felder that “when one’s reputation is near zero, one might want to attach oneself to the side one wants to harm in an effort to drag them down as you fall.” (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, “T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank”)

49. Interestingly, C.W. Tobie, the Burns man, also made a statement shortly afterward — when his firm initially withdrew from the case — that he had come to believe in Frank’s guilt also: “It is being insinuated by certain forces that we are striving to shield Frank. That is absurd. From what I developed in my investigation I am convinced that Frank is the guilty man.” (Atlanta Constitution, May 27, 1913, “Burns Agency Quits the Phagan case”)

50. As his efforts crashed to Earth, Felder made this statement to an Atlanta Constitution reporter: “Is it not passing strange that the city detective department, whose wages are paid by the taxpayers of this city, should ‘hob-nob’ daily with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an agency confessedly employed in this investigation to work in behalf of Leo Frank; that they would take this agency into their daily and hourly conference and repose in it their confidence, and co-operate with it in every way possible, and withhold their co-operation from W.J. Burns and his able assistants, who are engaged by the public and for the public in ferreting out this crime.” But what Felder failed to mention was that the Pinkertons’ main agent in Atlanta, Harry Scott, had proved that he could not be corrupted by the National Pencil Company’s money, so it is reasonable to conclude that the well-heeled pro-Frank forces would search elsewhere for help. The famous William Burns agency was really the only logical choice. To think that Felder and “Mary Phagan’s neighbors” were selflessly employing Burns is naive in the extreme: It means that Frank’s wealthy friends would just sit on their money and stick with the not at all helpful Pinkertons, who had just fired the only agent who tried to “help” Frank. (Atlanta Constitution, May 25, 1913, “Thomas Felder Brands the Charges of Bribery Diabolical Conspiracy”)

51. Colyar, the man who exposed Felder, also stated that Frank’s friends were spreading money around to get witnesses to leave town or make false affidavits. The Atlanta Georgian commented on Felder’s antics as he exited the stage: “It is regarded as certain that Felder is eliminated entirely from the Phagan case. It had been believed that he really was in the employ of the Frank defense up to the time that he began to bombard the public with statements against Frank and went on record in saying he believed in the guilt of Frank.” (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, “Lay Bribery Effort to Frank’s Friends”)

52. When Jim Conley finally admitted he wrote the death notes found near Mary Phagan’s body, Leo Frank’s reaction was powerful: “Leo M. Frank was confronted in his cell by the startling confession of the negro sweeper, James Connally [sic]. ‘What have you to say to this?’ demanded a Georgian reporter. Frank, as soon as he had gained the import of what the negro had told, jumped back in his cell and refused to say a word. His hands moved nervously and his face twitched as though he were on the verge of a breakdown, but he absolutely declined to deny the truth of the negro’s statement or make any sort of comment upon it. His only answer to the repeated questions that were shot at him was a negative shaking of the head, or the simple, ‘I have nothing to say.’” (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, “Negro Sweeper Says He Wrote Phagan Notes”)
The mysterious death notes - click for high resolution

The mysterious death notes – click for high resolution

53. When Jim Conley re-enacted, step by step, the sequence of events as he experienced them on the day of the murder, including the exact positions in which the body was found and detailing his assisting Leo Frank in moving Mary Phagan’s body and writing the death notes, Harry Scott of the Pinkerton Detective Agency stated: “‘There is not a doubt but that the negro is telling the truth and it would be foolish to doubt it. The negro couldn’t go through the actions like he did unless he had done this just like he said,’ said Harry Scott. ‘We believe that we have at last gotten to the bottom of the Phagan mystery.’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 29, 1913 Extra, “Conley Re-enacts in Plant Part He Says He Took in Slaying”)
The last section of Jim Conley's startling affidavit

The last section of Jim Conley’s startling affidavit
Conley's story diagrammed in the Atlanta Georgian - click for high resolution

Conley’s story diagrammed in the Atlanta Georgian – click for high resolution

54. In early June, Felder’s name popped up in the press again. This time he was claiming that his nemesis A.S. Colyar had in his possession an affidavit from Jim Conley confessing to the murder of Mary Phagan, and that Colyar was withholding it from the police. The police immediately “sweated” Conley to see if there was any truth in this, but Conley vigorously denied the entire story, and stated that he had never even met Colyar. Chief of Police Lanford said this confirmed his belief that Felder had been secretly working for Frank all along: “‘I attribute this report to Colonel Felder’s work,’ said the chief. ‘It merely shows again that Felder is in league with the defense of Frank; that the attorney is trying to muddy the waters of this investigation to shield Frank and throw the blame on another. This first became noticeable when Felder endeavored to secure the release of Conley. His ulterior motive, I am sure, was the protection of Frank. He had been informed that the negro had this damaging evidence against Frank, and Felder did all in his power to secure the negro’s release. He declared that it was a shame that the police should hold Conley, an innocent negro. He protested strenuously against it. Yet not one time did Felder attempt to secure the release of Newt Lee or Gordon Bailey on the same grounds, even though both of these negroes had been held longer than Conley. This to me is significant of Felder’s ulterior motive in getting Conley away from the police.’” Are such underhanded shenanigans on the part of Frank’s team the actions of a truly innocent man? (Atlanta Georgian, June 6, 1913, “Conley, Grilled by Police Again, Denies Confessing Killing”)

55. Much is made by Frank partisans of Georgia Governor Slaton’s 1915 decision to commute Frank’s sentence from death by hanging to life imprisonment. But when Slaton issued his commutation order, he specifically stated that he was sustaining Frank’s conviction and the guilty verdict of the judge and jury: “In my judgement, by granting a commutation in this case, I am sustaining the jury, the judge, and the appellate tribunals, and at the same time am discharging that duty which is placed on me by the Constitution of the State.” He also added, of Jim Conley’s testimony that Frank had admitted to killing Mary Phagan and enlisted Conley’s help in moving the body: “It is hard to conceive that any man’s power of fabrication of minute details could reach that which Conley showed, unless it be the truth.”

56. On May 8, 1913. the Coroner’s Inquest jury, a panel of six sworn men, voted with the Coroner seven to zero to bind Leo Frank over to the grand jury on the charge of murder after hearing the testimony of 160 witnesses.

57. On May 24, 1913, after hearing evidence from prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and his witnesses, the grand jury charged Leo M. Frank with the murder of Mary Phagan. Four Jews were on the grand jury of 21 persons. Although only twelve votes were needed, the vote was unanimous against Frank. An historian specializing in the history of anti-Semitism, Albert Lindemann, denies that prejudice against Jews was a factor and states that the jurors “were persuaded by the concrete evidence that Dorsey presented.” And this indictment was handed down even without hearing any of Jim Conley’s testimony, which had not yet come out. (Lindemann, The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs, Cambridge, 1993, p. 251)

58. On August 25, 1913, after more than 29 days of the longest and most costly trial in Southern history up to that time, and after two of South’s most talented and expensive attorneys and a veritable army of detectives and agents in their employ gave their all in defense of Leo M. Frank, and after four hours of jury deliberation, Frank was unanimously convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan by a vote of twelve to zero.
The jurors in the Leo Frank case

The jurors in the Leo Frank case
Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold headed Frank's defense team,

Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold headed Frank’s defense team.

59. The trial judge, Leonard Strickland Roan, had the power to set aside the guilty verdict of Leo Frank if he believed that the defendant had not received a fair trial. He did not do so, effectively making the vote 13 to zero.

60. Judge Roan also had the power to sentence Frank to the lesser sentence of life imprisonment, even though the jury had not recommended mercy. On August 26, 1913, Judge Roan affirmed the verdict of guilt, and sentenced Leo Frank to death by hanging.
Judge Leonard Strickland Roan

Judge Leonard Strickland Roan

61. On October 31, 1913, the court rejected a request for a new trial by the Leo Frank defense team, and re-sentenced Frank to die. The sentence handed down by Judge Benjamin H Hill was set to be carried out on Frank’s 30th birthday, April 17, 1914.

62. Supported by a huge fundraising campaign launched by the American Jewish community, and supported by a public relations campaign carried out by innumerable newspapers and publishing companies nationwide, Leo Frank continued to mount a prodigious defense even after his conviction, employing some of the most prominent lawyers in the United States. From August 27, 1913, to April 22, 1915 they filed a long series of appeals to every possible level of the United States court system, beginning with an application to the Georgia Superior Court. That court rejected Frank’s appeal as groundless.

63. The next appeal by Frank’s “dream team” of world-renowned attorneys was to the Georgia Supreme Court. It was rejected.

64. A second appeal was then made by Frank’s lawyers to the Georgia Supreme Court, which was also rejected as groundless.

65. The next appeal by Frank’s phalanx of attorneys was to the United States Federal District Court, which also found Frank’s arguments unpersuasive and turned down the appeal, affirming that the guilty verdict of the jury should stand.

66. Next, the Frank legal team appealed to the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court, which rejected Frank’s arguments and turned down his appeal.

67. Finally, Frank’s army of counselors made a second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — which was also rejected, allowing Leo Frank’s original guilty verdict and sentence of death for the murder by strangulation of Mary Phagan to stand. Every single level of the United States legal system — after carefully and meticulously reviewing the trial testimony and evidence — voted in majority decisions to reject all of Leo Frank’s appeals, and to preserve the unanimous verdict of guilt given to Frank by Judge Leonard Strickland Roan and by the twelve-man jury at his trial, and to affirm the fairness of the legal process which began with Frank’s binding over and indictment by the seven-man coroner’s jury and 21-man grand jury.

68. It is preposterous to claim that these men, and all these institutions, North and South — the coroner’s jury, the grand jury, the trial jury, and the judges of the trial court, the Georgia Superior Court, the Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Federal District Court, and the United States Supreme Court — were motivated by anti-Semitism in reaching their conclusions.

69. Even in deciding to commute Frank’s sentence to life imprisonment, Governor John Slaton explicitly affirmed Frank’s guilty verdict. He explained that only the jury was the proper judge of the meaning of the evidence and the veracity of the witnesses placed before it. He said in the commutation order itself: “Many newspapers and non-residents have declared that Frank was convicted without any evidence to sustain the verdict. In large measure, those giving expression to this utterance have not read the evidence and are not acquainted with the facts. The same may be said regarding many of those who are demanding his execution. In my judgement, no one has a right to an opinion who is not acquainted with the evidence in the case, and it must be conceded that those who saw the witnesses and beheld their demeanor upon the stand are in the best position as a general rule to reach the truth.”

70. In May of 1915, the Georgia State Prison Board voted two to one against a clemency petition — which, even if successful, would not have changed the guilty verdict of Leo M. Frank.

71. In 1982 Alonzo Mann, who in 1913 at 13 years old had been the office boy for the National Pencil Company, made a sensation in the press by denying the sworn testimony he had made at the Leo Frank trial, and stating his belief that Jim Conley was the real killer of Mary Phagan. In 1913, Mann had testified that he left the office on the day of the murder at 11:30 AM. In 1982, he changed the time and told a quite different story, as follows:

Mann said that he left the factory at noon, half an hour later than in his testimony. It was Confederate Memorial Day and a parade and other festivities were scheduled. Mann was to meet his mother, he says, but could not find her and “returned to work” shortly after noon. When he entered the building, he says, he saw Jim Conley carrying the limp body of a girl on the first floor: “He wheeled on me and in a voice that was low but threatening he said ‘If you ever mention this I’ll kill you.’”

Mann claims he then left the building and ran home, telling his mother what he’d seen. Mann says that his parents advised him to keep silent to avoid publicity. And he did keep silent for many, many years. (Jim Conley is reported to have died in 1957 — another report says 1962 — and presumably his death threat did not survive his demise.)

There are several problems with Mann’s story. First, if true, it proves only that at some point Conley was carrying Phagan’s body by himself, without Frank’s help. Conley already admits this — though he says that he found the body too heavy for himself alone while still on the second floor, and that the elevator brought them directly to the basement. So Mann’s story really doesn’t address anything except two minor details of Conley’s testimony, neither of which are determinative of guilt. (Mann was poor, suffering with a heart condition, and facing considerable medical expenses when he “went public” with his claims.)

72. Why would a 13-year-old Alonzo Mann “return to work” on a holiday if he didn’t have to? And why “return to work” if he apparently wasn’t even scheduled to do so? Were office boys permitted to make their own hours in 1913? When other workers — such as Mary Phagan, for example — hadn’t sufficient supplies in their department, they were immediately laid off until the supplies came in. Surely such economy would dictate that office boys would only come in when authorized and asked to do so.
Alonzo Mann in 1913

Alonzo Mann in 1913

73. If Alonzo Mann had such a definite appointment to meet his mother in town — so definite as to cause him to return to work after just a few minutes when he failed to immediately find her — why, then, was she waiting at home just a few minutes after that?

74. Why would white parents, like Alonzo Mann’s, in the racially conscious and segregated Atlanta, Georgia of 1913, tell their white son not to tell the police about a guilty black murderer, when the result of not telling the police would ultimately result in an innocent, clean cut, white man, Leo Frank — the man who gave their son a highly prized job — going to gallows as an innocent man?

75. And why would Alonzo Mann’s parents then allow their 13-year-old son to report to work at the huge and cavernous National Pencil Company factory on Monday morning, April 28, 1913 – two days after he was threatened with death by a murderer carrying a dead or dying white girl on his shoulder — knowing that the murderer would still be there, and knowing that there were many dark and secluded places in said factory where their son might come to harm? Jim Conley reported back to work that Monday, as did Alonzo Mann and the approximately 170 other employees, who were naturally expected to be back at work after the holiday weekend. Jim Conley was not arrested until the first day of May.

76. If Alonzo Mann really walked in on Jim Conley carrying Mary Phagan’s body a few minutes after noon, and then turned around and left the building, why didn’t he see Monteen Stover?

77. If Jim Conley really attacked Mary Phagan at the foot of the stairs as Alonzo Mann suggests, why didn’t Leo Frank hear her scream or any sounds of a struggle? He was only 40 feet away.

78. Several witnesses — for both the prosecution and the defense — testified that they saw Jim Conley sitting, doing nothing, in the dark recesses of the lobby of the National Pencil Company on the morning of the murder. Does this fit the contention of the prosecution that Frank requested Conley’s presence on that day, as he had on others, so Conley could be a lookout while Frank was “chatting” with a teenage girl? Or does it make more sense to believe that Conley really believed he could get away with loafing on company property without permission all morning? Did black janitors in 1913 also have the right to make their own working hours, even on a holiday when there would have been little call for their services — and then, after showing up for “work,” not work at all?

79. Does it really make sense that the somewhat literate and fairly intelligent Jim Conley, a black man in the extremely race-conscious and white-dominated Atlanta of 1913, where lynch law often reigned supreme, actually thought he could get away with attacking and killing a white girl just a few feet away from the unlocked front door of the factory where he worked, in the highest-traffic area of the building? And does it make sense that he would do so for $1.20 — Mary Phagan’s entire pay — as the defense alleged? If Conley was plotting to rob someone, does it make sense that he would choose such a place to do so — or choose from a pool of potential victims considerably poorer than he was?

80. The fatal Saturday was a holiday. Jim Conley had been paid his $6.05 salary the evening before. By his standards, he had plenty of money — and it would have been very hard to drink it down very much on Friday, at a nickel a pint in those days. Conley was a man who liked his beer and billiards, and the town was wide open for that kind of fun all day. Why was he there at the factory, then? He certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be there, doing apparently nothing for hours on end. He also ran the risk of being disciplined if he was loafing there without permission. He was manifestly not sweeping, his ostensible job, on that day — he was just sitting, watching. The only reasonable explanation is that his boss, Leo Frank, had asked him to be there for that very purpose.

81. The relationship of Leo Frank and the National Pencil Company to Jim Conley was a strange one. Why was Jim Conley’s sweeper’s salary much higher — $6.05 versus $4.05 — than the average of the white employees, many of whom were skilled machine operators? Could it be that Conley served a very important but secret purpose for Leo Frank, exactly as the prosecution alleged? Could he have had knowledge that could potentially hurt Leo Frank, justifying Frank granting him special privileges?

82. According to a female National Pencil Company employee, Jim Conley was once caught “sprinkling” (urinating) on the pencils, surely a very serious offense. But Conley was never fired. (Trial Testimony of Herbert George Schiff, Brief of Evidence, Leo Frank Trial, August, 1913) Again, could it be that James Conley served a very important but secret purpose for Leo Frank, and could he have possessed knowledge that could damage Frank?

83. According to fellow employee Gordon Bailey (Leo Frank trial, Brief of Evidence, August, 1913) Jim Conley was not always required to punch the time clock. Why would the “Negro sweeper,” as they called him, surely the lowest-ranking employee in the pencil factory hierarchy, be given such an unprecedented privilege by Leo M. Frank? Why was Jim Conley the only person out of the 170 factory employees who didn’t have to punch the time clock — unless Jim Conley was more than meets the eye?

84. In 1983, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL), along with other Jewish groups, spearheaded a campaign to get the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue a posthumous pardon to Leo Frank, basing their case largely on the 1982 statement of Alonzo Mann. The Board found that Mann’s statement added no new evidence to the case. They also noted that Governor Slaton in his 1915 commutation decision had already considered that the elevator may not have been used to move Mary Phagan’s body, but nevertheless he upheld Frank’s conviction. The ADL’s petition was denied and Leo Frank’s guilty verdict was affirmed.

85. The ADL and other Jewish groups filed again in 1986 for Leo Frank to be pardoned by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. This time the Jewish groups claimed that, because the state of Georgia had failed to prevent the lynching of Leo Frank after his sentence was commuted by Governor Slaton, Leo Frank’s rights had been violated and he should be pardoned on that basis alone. A great deal of pressure was applied to the Board via sensational stories, editorials, and even fictionalized accounts in the media. With this far more limited claim — that Frank was not protected from lynching as he ought to have been — the Board was compelled to agree. But the Board would not and did not exonerate Leo Frank of his guilt for the strangulation death of Mary Anne Phagan on April 26, 1913. His conviction for her murder still stands.

86. Lucille Selig Frank, Leo Frank’s wife, is known as a fiercely loyal spouse who passionately defended her husband against charges both criminal and moral, and stood by his side during his trial and appeals. There are some indications, however, that she may have early on during the Mary Phagan case believed that her husband had not been entirely faithful and had in fact killed Mary Phagan, probably believing it to be accidental. Long after her husband’s death, she may have returned to those views.
Mrs. Leo Frank in 1913

Mrs. Leo Frank in 1913: 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?

State’s Exhibit J at Leo Frank’s trial consisted of an affidavit by Minola McKnight, the Frank’s black cook. Mrs. McKnight first came to the attention of the authorities when her husband told police that his wife had heard some startling revelations while working at the Frank residence the evening of the murder — namely, that Leo Frank had drunkenly and remorsefully admitted to his wife that he and a girl “had been caught” at the factory, that he “didn’t know why he would murder” her, and that he asked his wife Lucille to get him a pistol so he could kill himself.

These are Minola McKnight’s own words from the affidavit: “Sunday, Miss Lucille said to Mrs. Selig that Mr. Frank didn’t rest so good Saturday night; she said he was drunk and wouldn’t let her sleep with him… Miss Lucille said Sunday that Mr. Frank told her Saturday night that he was in trouble, and that he didn’t know the reason why he would murder, and he told his wife to get his pistol and let him kill himself… When I left home to go to the solicitor general’s office, they told me to mind how I talked. They pay me $3.50 a week, but last week they paid me $4.00, and one week she paid me $6.50. Up to the time of the murder I was getting $3.50 a week and the week right after the murder I don’t remember how much she paid me, and the next week they paid me $3.50, and the next week they paid me $6.50, and the next week they paid me $4.00 and the next week they paid me $4.00. One week, I don’t remember which one, Mrs. Selig gave me $5, but it wasn’t for my work, and they didn’t tell me what it was for, she just said, ‘Here is $5, Minola.’ I understood that it was a tip for me to keep quiet. They would tell me to mind how I talked and Miss Lucille gave me a hat.”

(Leo Frank admitted that he bought a box of chocolates for his wife on the way home on the evening of the day of the murder.) Minola McKnight would tell a different story after she was back in the Frank household, however. She then repudiated her affidavit and said police had coerced it from her. But neither she nor anyone else has given a credible motive for Minola’s husband to have lied.

After Leo Frank’s arrest, Lucille did not visit her husband for some thirteen days, after which she began her loyal and indomitable defense of him. What made her wait? Leo Frank’s explanation was that Lucille had to be “physically restrained” because she wanted so badly to be locked up with him in jail. Judge for yourself the credibility of this explanation against that offered in State’s Exhibit J.

Lucille Frank died in 1957, and in her will she specifically directed that she be cremated and thus not buried next to, or with, her first and only husband, Leo Frank — even though a plot had already been provided for her next to him.

87. Leonard Dinnerstein is an author who has made almost his entire career writing about anti-Semitism, with a special concentration on proving that Leo Frank was a victim of anti-Semitism. His book, The Leo Frank Case, is promoted as a canonical work — and is one of the main sources for the claims that 2) anti-Semitism was pervasive in 1913 Georgia and 2) that anti-Semitism was the major factor in the prosecution and conviction of Frank.

Both of these claims are hoaxes, as shown by Elliot Dashfield writing in The American Mercury: “Dinnerstein makes his now-famous claim that mobs of anti-Semitic Southerners, outside the courtroom where Frank was on trial, were shouting into the open windows ‘Crack the Jew’s neck!’ and ‘Lynch him!’ and that members of the crowd were making open death threats against the jury, saying that the jurors would be lynched if they didn’t vote to hang ‘the damn sheeny.’

“But not one of the three major Atlanta newspapers, who had teams of journalists documenting feint-by-feint all the events in the courtroom, large and small, and who also had teams of reporters with the crowds outside, ever reported these alleged vociferous death threats. And certainly such a newsworthy event could not be ignored by highly competitive newsmen eager to sell papers and advance their careers. Do you actually believe that the reporters who gave us such meticulously detailed accounts of this Trial of the Century, even writing about the seating arrangements in the courtroom, the songs sung outside the building by folk singers, and the changeover of court stenographers in relays, would leave out all mention or notice of a murderous mob making death threats to the jury?

“During the two years of Leo Frank’s appeals, none of these alleged anti-Semitic death threats were ever reported by Frank’s own defense team. There is not a word of them in the 3,000 pages of official Leo Frank trial and appeal records – and all this despite the fact that Reuben Arnold [Frank's attorney] made the claim during his closing arguments that Leo Frank was tried only because he was a Jew… Yet, thanks to Leonard Dinnerstein, this fictional episode has entered the consciousness of Americans of all stations as ‘history’ – as one of the pivotal facts of the Frank case.”

88. In his book attempting to exonerate Frank, Leonard Dinnerstein knowingly repeats the preposterous 1964 hoax perpetrated by “hack writer and self-promoter Pierre van Paassen” (Dashfield, The American Mercury, October 2012):

“Van Paassen claimed that there were in existence in 1922 X-ray photographs at the Fulton County Courthouse, taken in 1913, of Leo Frank’s teeth, and also X-ray photographs of bite marks on Mary Phagan’s neck and shoulder – and that anti-Semites had suppressed this evidence. Van Paassen further alleged – and Dinnerstein repeated – that the dimensions of Frank’s teeth did not match the ‘bite marks,’ thereby exonerating Frank… Since Dinnerstein is such a lofty academic scholar and professor, perhaps he simply forgot to ask a current freshman in medical school if it was even possible to X-ray bite marks on skin in 1913 – or necessary in 2012, for that matter – because it’s not. In 1913, X-ray technology was in its infancy and never used in any criminal case until many years after Leo Frank was hanged.” Furthermore, there is no hint anywhere in the massive official records of the Leo Frank trial and appeals of any “bite marks.” If Leo Frank is manifestly and truly innocent, why do his supporters have to engage in such outrages against truth?

89. Far from being a region rife with hatred for Jews, the South in general and Atlanta in particular were regarded by Jews as a haven and as a place nearly free from the anti-Semitism they suffered in other parts of the nation and the world. Even today, and even after Jewish-gentile relations there were strained by the Frank case and by Jewish support for the civil rights revolution, the Christians who form most of the population of the South are stoutly pro-Jewish. The South is the center of Christian Zionism and American support for the Jewish state of Israel.

90. Harry Golden wrote in the American Jewish Committee’s magazine Commentary that early “Bonds for Israel” salesmen would purposely seek out Southern Christians, since they were almost all passionately pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. When Southerners were asked about their reasons for supporting Zionism, Golden said that a typical Southerner’s response was “It’s in the book!” — meaning, of course, the Bible. This attitude had deep roots and certainly did not materialize in 1948.

91. The writer Scott Aaron gives insight into Southern attitudes toward Jews when he says: “In the race-conscious South of 1913, Jews were considered white. In fact, in the newspapers of Atlanta before, during, and after the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan, Frank was referred to as a ‘white man’ on innumerable occasions by reporters, witnesses, African-Americans, fellow Jews, pro-Frank partisans, and anti-Frank polemicists. Jews, furthermore, were not known for violent acts or crimes, nor feared as violators of white women. If anything, they were seen as an unusually industrious, intelligent, and law-abiding segment of society, even if they were a bit peculiar in their religious views.

“Marriage between Jews and Christians might have raised a few eyebrows in both communities – just as did intermarriage between members of widely different Christian denominations – but it was far from unknown, and such couples were not ostracized. In fact, Leo Frank’s own brother-in-law, Mr. Ursenbach, with whom he canceled an appointment to see a baseball game on the day Mary Phagan was killed, was a Christian.

“If there was prejudice against Leo Frank in 1913 Atlanta, it was almost certainly not because he was a Jew. He was, however, a capitalist, a business owner, a manager, an employer of child labor, and a Northerner with an Ivy League education. He also came to be known during the course of the trial as sexually profligate. These facts probably did count against him.”

92. Aaron also cites a study funded and published by a Jewish group: “John Higham, in his ‘Social Discrmination Against Jews 1830 – 1930,’ a work commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, called the South ‘historically the section least inclined to ostracize Jews,’ and drew attention to the ‘striking Southern situation’ of almost no discrimination against Jews there. True, Jewish-Gentile relations had somewhat declined there by the mid-twentieth century, and the massive campaign during the Frank appeals to paint his prosecution, and the South generally, as anti-Semitic — and the eventual creation of the Anti-Defamation League in the wake of Frank’s death — played their part in this change…

“But the aftermath of the Frank trial had no part, of course, in the attitudes of the people of Atlanta on the day Mary Phagan was murdered. All things considered, the South in general and Atlanta in particular seem to have been, if anything, safe havens for Jews where they might escape from the anti-Semitism that was rampant around the beginning of the last century.”

93. Southern attitudes toward Jews can be further gauged by the fact that, during the Civil War, Southerners made a Jew their Secretary of the Treasury: Judah P. Benjamin was the first Jewish appointee to any Cabinet position in any North American government. Benjamin also served as Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Secretary of War for the Confederate States of America. He was so highly regarded that his portrait graced the paper money of the South. Meanwhile, around the same time, Northern general Ulysses S. Grant issued an order physically expelling all Jews from the parts of the South under his control, even demanding that they leave a huge multi-state area “within 24 hours.”

The claim that a pervasive and vicious anti-Semitism was the real reason for the prosecution and conviction of Leo Frank is an absurd lie and a fantastic misrepresentation of history. Nevertheless, it is now the stuff of innumerable works of alleged scholarship, drama, and fiction, and is viewed by naive students who are exposed to such works as the central “truth” of the case. If Leo Frank were innocent, why would his supporters have to fabricate such blatant impostures and engage in emotional blackmail on a colossal scale?

94. Researcher Allen Koenigsberg states that some of the most intriguing and important parts of Minola McKnight’s sworn affidavits have, for some reason or other, been completely omitted from the current literature on the Frank case:

“One of the most intriguing circumstances in the pre-trial development of this case involved a document signed by the black cook in the Frank/Selig household (Minola McKnight). Frank’s attorneys would long argue that it was coerced by the police as a result of ‘third degree methods.’ Since 1913, it has never been shown in its entirety, and we are glad to present it here [ http://www.leofrankcase.com/ ]. Also unmentioned in the last nine decades is the sequence of events that led up to its appearance. Minola would make three affidavits in all (May 3rd, June 2nd and 3rd), but her overnight incarceration was specifically caused by her husband Albert’s statement made on May 26, and notarized on June 2nd [ also at http://www.leofrankcase.com/ ]. This description of events has never been cited, with only an oblique reference in the Samuels’ Night Fell on Georgia (1956).

“The most striking sentence (and odd omission) is shown here for the first time: ‘Mrs. Frank had a quarrel with Mr. Frank the Saturday morning of the murder she asked Mr. Frank to kiss her good bye and she said he was saving his kisses for _______ and would not kiss her.‘ Readers may wish to consider its authenticity, as new light is shed on why Leo Frank ‘so thoughtfully’ bought his wife a box of chocolates from Jacobs’ Pharmacy just before returning home at 6:30 PM on April 26th.” (LeoFrankCase.Com, Retrieved 2012).

95. Much has been made of the fact that Jim Conley’s attorney, William M. Smith, eventually believing his own client to be guilty, made an analysis of the language used by Conley on the stand and, comparing it to the language used in the death notes, concluded that the real author of the notes was Conley. Therefore, Smith’s theory went, the notes had not been dictated by Leo Frank as Conley had testified. Many greeted this “revelation” with well-deserved derision. Few believed that Frank would have insisted that Conley copy his language exactly, word for word (though Hugh Dorsey made the mistake of suggesting this was so in his closing arguments). In fact, the death notes would serve their intended purpose — to place blame for the murder on a black man — much more effectively by being written in the natural language of an authentic speaker of Southern black dialect, and surely that is a fact that no intelligent murderer would fail to see and act upon.

96. In his book, A Little Girl Is Dead, writer Harry Golden, though not incapable of objective journalism (for example, he once reported that Southerners had unusually favorable attitudes to Jews), may have perpetrated the most outrageous hoax in the Frank case. Golden claimed that Jim Conley had made a deathbed confession to the murder of Mary Phagan. But famed pro-Frank researcher and author Steve Oney (very charitably) says of Golden that this was “wishful thinking.”
Harry Golden

Harry Golden

Oney went to great lengths to follow up on Golden’s claim: “Over the last few years legal aides have rifled through microfilm files in libraries across the South searching for news of Conley’s confession. They have found nothing.” (Oney, “The Lynching of Leo Frank,” Esquire, September 1985)

97. It seems unlikely that Hugh Dorsey was motivated by anti-Semitism in his prosecution of Leo Frank, considering that a partner in his law firm was Jewish. It’s preposterous to even have to ask the question, but if Dorsey hated Jews enough to send one to the gallows as an innocent man, why would he tolerate — and proudly claim, as he did at trial — such a close association with a Jewish man? And, if Dorsey was guilty of such vicious malice against Jews, why would his partner continue the association himself? (Closing arguments of Hugh Dorsey, Leo Frank trial)

98. Why did the Leo Frank defense team, consisting of some of the most skilled attorneys in the state, refuse to cross-examine 20 young women and girls who testified that Frank had a bad moral character? Under Georgia law, the prosecution was only allowed to use these witnesses’ testimony to enter the general fact that Frank’s character was bad. Under cross-examination, though, the defense could have forced the girls and women to give specific reasons and relate specific incidents that supported their opinion, and trip them up if they could. Why, then, did they not do so? The only reasonable answer: They knew Leo Frank’s character, and they did not dare allow any specifics to go before the jury.

99. One of the most bizarre hoaxes in the Phagan case was that surrounding insurance salesman W.H. Mincey. On the afternoon of the murder, Mincey claimed that Jim Conley, on the public streets of Atlanta and with no prompting — and for no apparent reason whatever — confessed to murdering a girl that very day.

According to the contemporary book The Frank Case, p. 66: “Mincey asserted that late in the afternoon he was at the corner of Electric avenue and Carter streets, near the home of Conley, when he approached the black, asking that he take an insurance policy. The negro told him, he said, to go along, that he was in trouble. Asked what his trouble was, Mincey swore that Conley replied he had killed a girl. ‘You are Jack the ripper, are you?’ said Mincey. ‘No,’ he says Conley replied, ‘I killed a white girl and you better go along or I will kill you.’”

That this tale could be accepted by any man in possession of his reason is doubtful, but nevertheless the Frank defense team seriously asserted in court their intention to call Mincey as a witness. They withdrew him, however, after the prosecution was said to have discovered Mincey’s problematic relationship with the truth and had 25 witnesses prepared to impeach him — and furthermore intended to produce copies of several books Mincey had written on the subject of “mind reading.”

100. Mary Phagan’s grand-niece, Mary Phagan Kean, relates in her book The Murder of Little Mary Phagan that her grandfather William Joshua Phagan, Jr. (Mary Phagan’s brother) confronted Jim Conley in private in 1934, and was ultimately convinced that the former factory sweeper was telling the truth. At times so emotionally moved that he could barely hold back tears, William Phagan finally told Conley that he believed him — and said that, if he had thought he was lying, “I’d kill you myself.” After the intense meeting was over, Jim Conley and Mary Phagan’s brother went out for a drink.
Mary Phagan

Mary Phagan

In truth, there are more — far more — than 100 reasons to believe that Leo Frank was guilty of murdering Mary Phagan. There are far more than 100 reasons to believe that the claim of widespread “Southern anti-Semitism,” virtually promoted as gospel today, is a complete and malicious fraud. There are far more than 100 reasons to believe that Frank’s defenders have used perjury, fraud, and outright hoaxes to impose their view of the case on an unsuspecting public.

I urge each and every one of you to read the original source materials I have catalogued in the Appendix which follows this article. Only by seeing what the jury saw — by reading what the people of Atlanta read as events unfolded — uncensored and without the nuance and spin of modern authors who are, with but a very few exceptions, uniformly dedicated to one side — can you truly understand the tragedy of little Mary Phagan and the whirlwind her death unleashed.

In my opinion, the most horrible imposture, the real injustice, in the Frank case as it stands today is that millions of trusting men and women, children and students, all across the world have been forcefully imprinted, by a relentless multimillion-dollar media campaign, with the idea that Leo Frank — the monster who almost certainly abused and strangled bright and beautiful Mary Anne Phagan to death — is the “real victim” in this case.



APPENDIX

_________

Full archive of Atlanta Journal newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial on www.archive.org

Full archive of Atlanta Georgian newspapers relating to the murder and subsequent trial on www.archive.org

The Leo Frank case as reported in the Atlanta Constitution on www.archive.org

The Leo Frank Case (Mary Phagan) Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery 1913 on www.archive.org

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan Kean on www.archive.org

American State Trials, volume X (1918) by John Lawson on www.archive.org

Argument of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Trial of Leo Frank on www.archive.org

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 on www.archive.org

Related Articles on the American Mercury website:

Did Leo Frank Confess?
Who Really Solved the Mary Phagan Murder Case?
The Leo Frank Case: A Pseudo-History
__________________
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: http://www.LeoFrank.org
 
Old August 22nd, 2013 #72
Alex Linder
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100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...-frank-begins/

Week One Testimony and Analysis of the Leo Frank Trial:
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-one/

Week Two Testimony and Analysis of the Leo Frank Trial:
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-two/

Leo Frank Mounts the Witness Stand:
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...kes-the-stand/

Week Three Testimony and Analysis of the Leo Frank Trial: Coming Soon! Please Stay Tuned!

Week Four Closing Arguments of the Defense and Prosecution at the Leo Frank Trial: Coming Soon! Please Stay Tuned!

Verdict and Judgement by the Jury and Judge at the Conclusion of the Leo Frank Trial: Coming Soon! Please Stay Tuned!
 
Old August 22nd, 2013 #73
Alex Linder
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100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins

Published by Editor on July 28, 2013



Take a journey through time with the American Mercury, and experience the trial of Leo Frank (pictured, in courtroom sketch) for the murder of Mary Phagan just as it happened as revealed in contemporary accounts. The Mercury will be covering this historic trial in capsule form from now until August 26, the 100th anniversary of the rendering of the verdict.

by Bradford L. Huie

THE JEWISH ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE (ADL) — in great contrast to the American Mercury and other independent media — has given hardly any publicity to the 100th anniversary of the murder of Mary Phagan and the arrest and trial of Leo Frank, despite the fact that these events eventually led to the foundation of the ADL. Probably the League is saving its PR blitz for 1915, not only because that is centenary of Leo Frank’s death by lynching (an event possibly of much greater interest to the League’s wealthy donors than the death of Mary Phagan, a mere Gentile factory girl), but also because encouraging the public to read about Frank’s trial might not be good for the ADL — it might well lead to doubts about the received narrative, which posits an obviously innocent Frank persecuted by anti-Semitic Southerners looking for a Jewish scapegoat.

For readers not familiar with the case, a good place to start is Scott Aaron’s summary of the crime, from his The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank, which states in part:

Quote:
“ON SATURDAY morning at 11:30, April 26, 1913 Mary Phagan ate a poor girl’s lunch of bread and boiled cabbage and said goodbye to her mother for the last time. Dressed for parade-watching (for this was Confederate Memorial Day) in a lavender dress, ribbon-bedecked hat, and parasol, she left her home in hardscrabble working-class Bellwood at 11:45, and caught the streetcar for downtown Atlanta.

“Before the festivities, though, she stopped to see Superintendent Leo M. Frank at the National Pencil Company and pick up from him her $1.20 pay for the one day she had worked there during the previous week….

“Almost no one knew it at the time, but by one o’clock one young life was already over. For her there would never again be parades, or music, or kisses, or flowers, or children, or love. Mary Phagan never left the National Pencil Company alive. Abused, beaten, and strangled by a rough cord pulled so tightly that it had embedded itself deeply in her girlish neck and made her tongue protrude more than an inch from her mouth, Mary Phagan lay dead, dumped in the dirt and shavings of the pencil company basement, her once-bright eyes now sightless and still as she lay before the gaping maw of the furnace where the factory trash was burned.”
* * *

IN 1913 GEORGIA, it was customary in criminal cases for all of the prosecution and defense witnesses to be sworn before any of their testimony was taken. In the hot and crowded temporary Fulton County courtroom at 10AM on July 28, 1913, Solicitor Hugh Dorsey called his witnesses and they were duly sworn. But the Leo Frank defense team, in the persons of Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold, surprised everyone by asking to have their witnesses sworn at a later time, claiming that — though they had just declared themselves fully ready to go to trial — their witness list was as yet “fragmentary” and would occasion severe delays if it were required to be completed that morning. But presiding Judge Leonard Roan ruled against them, and in all of five minutes the defense was ready to call their list. It turns out that the defense had wanted to conceal for a time their strategy of making Frank’s character a factor in his defense, and revealing the names of their witnesses — numbers of prominent Atlanta Jews, Frank’s former Cornell University classmates, and others — made that strategy obvious, and would give the prosecution time to find rebuttal witnesses on the subject of the character of Leo Frank.

The first witness was Mrs. Fannie Coleman, Mary Phagan’s mother. She described her last moments with her daughter on the morning of the previous April 26. When asked to identify the clothes that 13-year-old Mary had worn that day, she broke down.


Mary Phagan’s aunt, mother, and sister.

The next witness called was 15-year-old George Epps, who said he’s ridden on the trolley car with little Mary from 11:50AM to 12:07PM, when she’d disembarked to go see Superintendent Leo Frank at the National Pencil Company and pick up her pay. The exact timing of Mary’s visit to Frank was to become very important later in the case.

The third prosecution witness — Newt Lee, the pencil company’s night watchman and the man who found Mary Phagan’s bruised body in the factory basement in the wee hours of April 27 — was very damaging to Frank.

Lee stated that he had arrived at work early — at 4PM — on the day of the murder at the explicit instructions of Frank, who had said he was planning to attend a baseball game with a relative. But when Lee came to the factory at 4, Frank appeared very nervous and agitated and said that Lee should leave immediately and come back at 6. When Lee said he’d rather rest for a while at the factory building than go out, Frank insisted that he must go out for two hours.

When Lee did come back, Frank was still acting strangely and became extremely agitated when, around the same time, a friend of Mary Phagan’s and a former worker at the plant, J.M. Gantt, showed up and asked to retrieve some shoes he’d left on the premises. Frank was so nervous that he fumbled the routine task of putting Lee’s slip into the time clock, taking twice as long as usual. After Frank went home, he telephoned Lee to ask him if everything was “all right” — something that Lee said he had never done before.

Lee told the court that, the day after the murder, Frank had told authorities in his presence that Lee’s time slip for the previous night had been punched correctly:

Quote:
“When did you see Frank?”
“I saw Mr. Frank Sunday morning at about 7:00 or 8:00. He was coming
in the office.”
“How did he look at you?”
“He looked down on the floor and never spoke to me. He dropped his
head down this way.”
“Was any examination made of the time clock?”
“Boots Rogers, Chief Lanford, Darley, Mr. Frank and I were there when
they opened the clock. Mr. Frank opened the clock and said the punches
were all right.”
“What did he mean by all right?”
“Meant that I hadn’t missed any punches.”
This was ominous testimony from Leo Frank’s point of view: As part of an apparent attempt to incriminate Newt Lee, Frank had later told police that Lee had missed several punches — implying that he had had time to be involved in the murder. Around the same time a bloody shirt was planted on Lee’s property. It was detected as a fake when the pattern of stains showed it had not been worn when stained, but had been crumpled up and wiped in blood.

Rosser’s cross-examination of Lee that day could not shake him in any element of his story.


Rosser and Dorsey

* * *

The following is a direct transcription of part of the coverage of the first day of the trial in the Atlanta Constitution (July 29, 1913):

Quote:
Watchman Tells of Finding Body of Mary Phagan

MOTHER AND THE WIFE
OF PRISONER CHEER HIM
BY PRESENCE AT TRIAL

___

Jury Is Quickly Secured and
Mrs. Coleman, Mother of
the Murdered Girl, Is First
Witness to Take Stand.

Dateline Atlanta, Georgia — July 28, 1913: With a swiftness which was gratifying to counsel for the defense, the solicitor general and a large crowd of interested spectators, the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan on April 26, in the building of the National Pencil factory, was gotten under way Monday.

When the hour of adjournment for the day had arrived, the jury had been selected and three witnesses had been examined. Newt Lee, the night watchman who discovered the dead body of Mary Phagan in the basement of the National Pencil factory, and who gave the first news of the crime to the police, was still on the stand, undergoing a rigid cross examination by Luther Z. Rosser, attorney for Frank.

Lee Sticks To First Story.

When the trial is resumed this morning, Newt Lee will again be placed on the stand. It Is not expected that anything new will be adduced from his testimony. Throughout the gruelling cross-examination of Mr. Rosser Monday afternoon Lee stuck to his original story in minutest detail.

Questions that would have confused or befuddled a man of education failed to budge him from the statement he originally made to the police, and has repeated from time to time to reporters and court officials.

The first day’s proceedings of the Frank trial proved singularly free of the dramatic element or the unexpected in testimony. There were touches of the pathetic, as, for example, when Mrs. J.W. Coleman, mother of the dead child, broke down and cried bitterly when she viewed the clothing of her little daughter; and there were touches of humor when the little Epps boy, who had ridden to town with Mary Phagan on the day of her murder, explained to Luther Rosser his method of telling the time of day by the sun, and of Newt Lee, who amused the courtroom by his quaint allusions and his negro descriptions of a tiny light in the basement of the pencil factory, which he likened to the gleam of a lightning bug, and of his quick retort when Mr. Rosser purposely spoke of this insect as a June bug.

“I didn’t say June bug—I said lightning bug,” contradicted Newt.

Careful Attention to Detail.

This brief excerpt Is given as significant of the careful attention to detail that Lee gave to his story.

When the hour of 9 o’clock arrived, Pryor Street in front of the temporary courthouse building was cluttered with the usual mob of the morbidly curious. They hugged the hot walls of the buildings like lethargic leeches, vainly trying to gain admission to the building, or buzzed about like bees, gossiping idly of the case.

Perfect order was maintained, however, and few not directly interested in the trial were allowed to enter the courtroom. All day long the crowd remained on the sidewalks gazing intently at the window to the courtroom, spewing tobacco juice on the street, eagerly questioning every person who left the building.

Interest naturally centered on the appearance in the court of Leo M. Frank, the accused. If Frank has chafed under his confinement, his physical appearance belies the fact. He looked as fit physically as he did the day he was first arrested. He was dressed with scrupulous neatness in a gray suit of pronounced pattern, which was all the more conspicuous on account of his diminutive form. As he entered the courtroom he smiled cordially at several friends. The first person to whom he spoke was a woman employee of the pencil factory.

Next in interest was Mrs. Leo M. Frank, wife of the accused, who, up to this time, has been seen little in public. Mrs. Frank is an extremely attractive-looking young woman. During progress of the trial she kept her eyes constantly fixed on Solicitor Dorsey. Her gaze was one of calm estimate. She seemed to be attempting to fathom his thoughts and to divine his purposes.

Mrs. Coleman Takes Stand.

Efforts to show Mary Phagan’s attitude toward Leo M. Frank by the state and efforts by the defense to show the dead girl’s attitude toward little George Epps, the 14-year-old newsie who testified to riding down town with her on the morning before she was found dead, were the first important things attempted yesterday when the trial of the state v. Leo M. Frank, charged with the Phagan girl’s murder on April 26, was formally opened.

Both efforts were promptly blocked for the present time by opposing counsel, and the testimony was started in regular form by the introduction of Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, as the first witness for the state.

During the preliminaries Attorneys Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser, for Frank, tried to conceal the names of their witnesses, but on Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey’s objections, they were overruled by Trial Judge L.S.Roan, and they called and swore their witnesses as the state had done but a few moments previously.

In a come-back for this the defense asked the court to honor their duces tecum which they previously served upon the solicitor, requiring him to bring into court all statements and affidavits made by James Conley, the negro sweeper, who made an affidavit incriminating himself and declaring he had aided Frank in disposing of the girl’s body.

Solicitor Dorsey, after a conference with Frank A. Hooper, a brilliant criminal lawyer aiding him, dictated a statement to the court stenographer in which he agreed to produce these affidavits and statements at the proper time, should they be held material.

Defense Announces Ready.

The case started promptly at 9 o’clock, with the courtroom, thronged with veniremen and spectators, witnesses and lawyers and friends of the principal. Contrary to the persistent rumor that the defense would ask postponement and to their frequent objections to the trial in the heated term, the defense proved ready and willing to go to trial…
You can read the entire Atlanta Constitution for this day by downloading this PDF file. The complete Atlanta Georgian can be downloaded here, and the entire Atlanta Journal can be read by downloading this file.

* * *

The American Mercury will be 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.

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 archive.org as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankC...aper1913To1915

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaGe...ilToAugust1913

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaJo...toAugust311913

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.

http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...-frank-begins/
 
Old August 22nd, 2013 #74
Alex Linder
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The Leo Frank Trial: Week One

Published by Editor on August 5, 2013


100 years ago today the trial of the 20th century ended its first week, shedding brilliant light on the greatest murder mystery of all time: the murder of Mary Phagan. And you are there.

by Bradford L. Huie

THE MOST IMPORTANT testimony in the first week of the trial of National Pencil Company superintendent Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan was that of the night watchman, Newt Lee (pictured, right, in custody), who had discovered 13-year-old Mary’s body in the basement of the pencil factory during his nightly rounds in the early morning darkness of April 27, 1913. Here at the Mercury we are following the events of this history-making trial as they unfolded exactly 100 years ago. We are fortunate indeed that Lee’s entire testimony has survived as part of the Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, certified as accurate by both the defense and the prosecution during the appeal process. (For background on this case, read our introductory article and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.)


Newt Lee, far right, on the witness stand (click for high resolution)

Almost all of the information published today about the Frank trial has two characteristics in common: 1) it is stridently pro-Frank with little pretense of objectivity, and 2) it is derivative — meaning that it consists of little more than cherry-picked paraphrases and interpretations of what witnesses said, and reporters and investigators discovered, during those fateful days. To say that much crucial information is left out or glossed over by the partisan writers of today is a vast understatement. We aim to correct some of these intentional omissions in this exclusive series.


The courtroom scene

We’ll begin with the entire testimony — taken during direct and cross examination — of Newt Lee. There had been an attempt to frame Lee — through the medium of a planted bloody shirt — before the trial began, an act almost certainly committed by pro-Frank forces. But subsequent events proved that Lee was entirely innocent, and by the time of the trial he was not under any suspicion whatever, and therefore had no known motive to lie. Here are his exact words (emphasis ours, some paragraph breaks added for increased readability):

Quote:
NEWT LEE (colored), sworn for the State.

On the 26th day of April, 1913, I was night watchman at the National Pencil Factory. I had been night watchman there for about three weeks. When I began working there, Mr. Frank carried me around and showed me everything that I would have to do. I would have to get there at six o’clock on week days, and on Saturday evenings I have to come at five o’clock.

On Friday, the 25th of April, he [Leo Frank] told me “Tomorrow is a holiday and I want you to come back at four o’clock. I want to get off a little earlier than I have been getting off.”

I got to the factory on Saturday about three or four minutes before four. The front door was not locked. I pushed it open, went on in and got to the double door there. I was paid off Friday night [April 25, 1913 -- Ed.] at six o’clock. It was put out that everybody would be paid off then [because Saturday was a State holiday, Confederate Memorial Day -- Ed.]. Every Saturday when I get off he gives me the keys at twelve o’clock, so that if he happened to be gone when I get back there at five or six o’clock I could get in, and every Monday morning I return the keys to him. The front door has always been unlocked on previous Saturday afternoons. After you go inside and come up about middle ways of the steps, there are some double doors there.

It was locked on Saturday when I got there. Have never found it that way before.

I took my keys and unlocked it. When I went upstairs I had a sack of bananas and I stood to the left of that desk like I do every Saturday. I says like I always do, “Alright, Mr. Frank,” and he come bustling out of his office. He had never done that before. He always called me when he wanted to tell me anything and said “Step here a minute, Newt.”

This time he came up rubbing his hands and says, “Newt, I am sorry I had you come so soon, you could have been at home sleeping, I tell you what you do, you go out in town and have a good time.” He had never let me off before that.

I could have laid down there in the shipping room and gone to sleep, and I told him that. He says, “You needs to have a good time. You go down town, stay an hour and a half and come back your usual time at six o’clock. Be sure and be back at six o’clock.”

I then went out the door and stayed until about four minutes to six. When I came back the doors were unlocked just as I left them and I went and says,” All right, Mr. Frank,” and he says, “What time is it’?” and I says, “It lacks two minutes of six.” He says, “Don’t punch yet, there is a few worked today and I want to change the slip.”

It took him twice as long this time than it did the other times I saw him fix it. He fumbled putting it in, while I held the lever for him and I think he made some remark about he was not used to putting it in.

When Mr. Frank put the tape in I punched and I went on downstairs.

While I was down there Mr. Gantt [a young man who was a former pencil factory employee and who had been a friend of Mary Phagan's -- Ed.] came from across the street from the beer saloon and says “Newt, I got a pair of old shoes that I want to get upstairs to have fixed.”

I says, “I ain’t allowed to let anybody in here after six o’clock.”

About that time Mr. Frank come busting out of the door and run into Gantt unexpected and he jumped back frightened.

Gantt says, “I got a pair of old shoes upstairs, have you any objection to my getting them?”

Frank says, “I don’t think they are up there, I think I saw the boy sweep some up in the trash the other day.”

Mr. Gantt asked him what sort they were and Mr. Frank said “tans.” Gantt says, “Well, I had a pair of black ones, too.” Frank says, “Well, I don’t know,” and he dropped his head down just so. Then he raised his head and says, “Newt, go with him and stay with him and help him find them,” and I went up there with Mr. Gantt and found them in the shipping room, two pair, the tans and the black ones.

Mr. Frank phoned me that night about an hour after he left, it was sometime after seven o’clock. He says”How is everything?” and I says, “Everything is all right so far as I know,” and he says, “Good-bye.”

No, he did not ask anything about Gantt. Yes, that is the first time he ever phoned to me on a Saturday night, or at all.

There is a light on the street floor just after you get in the entrance to the building. The light is right up here where that partition comes across. Mr. Frank told me when I first went there, “Keep that light burning bright, so the officers can see in when they pass by.” It wasn’t burning that day at all. I lit it at six o’clock myself. On Saturdays I always lit it, but week-days it would always be lit when I got there. On Saturdays I always got there at five o’clock. This Saturday he got me there an hour earlier and let me off later.

There is a light in the basement down there at the foot of the ladder. He told me to keep that burning all the time. It has two little chains to it to turn on and turn off the gas. When I got there on making my rounds at 7 p. m. on the 26th of April, it was burning just as low as you could turn it, like a lightning bug. I left it Saturday morning burning bright.

I made my rounds regularly every half hour Saturday night. I punched on the hour and punched on the half and I made all my punches. The elevator doors on the street floor and office floor were closed when I got there on Saturday. They were fastened down just like we fasten them down every other night.

When three o’clock came I went down the basement and when I went down and got ready to come back I discovered the body there. I went down to the toilet and when I got through I looked at the dust bin back to the door to see how the door was and it being dark I picked up my lantern and went there and I saw something laying there which I thought some of the boys had put there to scare me, then I walked a little piece towards it and I seen what it was and I got out of there.

I got up the ladder and called up [the] police station. It was after three o’clock. I carried the officers down where I found the body.

I tried to get Mr. Frank on the telephone and was still trying when the officers came. I guess I was trying about eight minutes.

The jury listens intently to the testimony in the Leo Frank case.

Quote:
I saw Mr. Frank Sunday morning at about seven or eight o’clock. He was coming in the office. He looked down on the floor and never spoke to me. He dropped his head right down this way. Mr. Frank was there and didn’t say nothing while Mr. Darley was speaking to me. Boots Rogers, Chief Lanford, Darley, Mr. Frank and I were there when they opened the clock [the time clock -- Ed.].

Mr. Frank opened the clock and said the punches were all right, that I hadn’t missed any punches. I punched every half hour from six o’clock until three o’clock, which was the last punch I made. I don’t know whether they took out that slip or not.

On Tuesday night, April 29th at about ten o’clock I had a conversation at the station house with Mr. Frank. They handcuffed me to a chair. They went and got Mr. Frank and brought him in and he sat down next to the door. He dropped his head and looked down. We were all alone.

I said, “Mr. Frank, it’s mighty hard for me to be handcuffed here for something I don’t know anything about.”

He said, “What’s the difference, they have got me locked up and a man guarding me.”

I said, “Mr. Frank, do you believe I committed that crime,” and he said, “No, Newt, I know you didn’t, but I believe you know something about it.”

I said, “Mr. Frank, I don’t know a thing about it, no more than finding the body.”

He said, “We are not talking about that now, we will let that go. If you keep that up we will both go to hell.” Then the officers both came in.

When Mr. Frank came out of his office that Saturday he was looking down and rubbing his hands. I have never seen him rubbing his hands that way before.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I don’t know how many times I told this story before. Everybody was after me all the time down there at the station house. Yes, I testified at the coroner’s inquest and I told them there that Mr. Frank jumped back like he was frightened when he saw Mr. Gantt. I am sure I told them, and I told them that Mr. Frank jumped back and held his head down. I didn’t say before the coroner that he said he had given one of the pair of shoes of Mr. Gantt to one of the boys; they got that wrong.

On Saturdays I had to wake up usually and get to the factory at twelve o’clock. This time Mr. Frank told me to get back at four. I did say before the coroner that he was looking down when he came out of his office. I told them also that there was a place in that building [where] I could go to sleep, but they didn’t ask me where.

When you come in the front door of the factory, you can go right on by the elevator and right down into the basement, anybody could do it. The fact that the double doors on the steps were locked wouldn’t prevent anybody from going in the basement. That would only prevent anybody from up stairs from going into the basement unless they went by the elevator or by unlocking those double doors.

All of the doors to the factory were unlocked when I got back there Saturday afternoon about 6 o’clock, the first floor, the second floor, the third floor and the fourth floor. Anybody could come right in from the street and go all over the factory without Mr. Frank in his office knowing anything about it.

The doors are never closed at all. That is a great big, old, rambling place up there. The shutters, the blinds to the factory were all closed that day because it was a holiday, excepting two or three on the first floor which I closed up that night. It’s a very dark place when the shutters are closed. That is why we have to burn a light.

There is a light on the first floor near the clock, it burns all the time because that is a dark spot. There are two clocks, one punches to a hundred, the other punches to two hundred, because there are more than a hundred employees. I punch both of them.

About Mr. Frank and Mr. Gantt, they had had a difficulty and I knew that Mr. Frank didn’t want him in there. Mr. Frank had told me “Lee, I have discharged Mr. Gantt, I don’t want him in here, keep him out of here,” and he had said,” When you see him hanging around here, watch him.”

That is the reason I thought Mr. Frank was startled when he saw Mr. Gantt. Mr. Gantt is a great big fellow, nearly seven feet. When he went out I watched him as he went to the beer saloon and I went on upstairs. He left the factory about half past six.

I went through the machine room every time I made a punch that night. I went to the ladies’ dressing room every half hour that night until three o’clock. I went all over the building every half hour, excepting the basement. I went down to the basement every hour that night, but not all the way back.

Mr. Frank had instructed me to go over the building every half hour and he said go down in the basement once in awhile. He said go back far enough to see the door was closed. He told me to look out for the dust bin because that is where we might have a fire and to see that the back door is shut and to go over all the building every half hour.

No, he didn’t give me any different instructions on that Saturday, he didn’t tell me not to go in the basement or in the metal department. He allowed me to carry out the instructions just like I had been doing before. Yes, if I had gone back to find out whether that door was closed or not, I would have found the body, but I could see if the door was open, because there was a light back there. No, it wasn’t open that night. It was shut when I found the body.

It was about ten minutes after I telephoned the police that they arrived. When I was down there I was close enough to the door to see it was shut, there was a light in front of it. There was no light between the body and the door. It was dark back there. The body was about sixty feet from that door. If the back door had been open I could have seen that big light back there in the alley. The back door was closed when I found the body.

The first time I went down the basement that night was seven o’clock. I went just a little piece beyond the dark, so I could see whether there was any fire down there. That’s what I was looking for.

Yes, I could tell whether the door was open from there. No, I didn’t go back as far as they found the body, I didn’t go back that far at all during the night. The reason I went that far back when I saw the body was because I went to the closet. There are two closets on the second floor, one on the third floor and one on the fourth floor. I didn’t see the lady’s hat or shoe when I went down to that little place with my lantern, nor the parasol. My lantern was dirty.

I was sitting down there, after I had punched, on the seat, set my lantern on the outside. When I got through I picked up my lantern, I walked a few steps down that way, I seed something over there, about that much of the lady’s leg and dress.

I guess I walked about three or four feet, or five or six. I guess the body was about ten feet from the closet. As to what made me look in that direction from the closet, because I wanted to look that way. I picked up the lantern to go down there to see the dust bin, to see whether there was any fire there. The dust bin was to the right of me. When I was sit- ting down there the dust bin was not entirely hid behind the partition. I could see where the dust came down.

The balance of the night in order to see whether there was any fire in the dust bin or not I went twenty or twenty-five feet from the scuttle hole, and when I was down in the closet I had to go at least ten feet to see whether or not there was any fire in the dust bin. I would have gone further if I hadn’t discovered the body.

When I saw the body, the closest I ever got to it was about six feet. I was holding my lantern in my hand. I just saw the feet. When I first saw it I was about ten feet from it. As to how far the body was from where I was sitting in the closet, it was not less than ten feet and not more than thirty. I stood and looked at it to see whether or not it was a natural body.

When I first got there I didn’t think it was a white woman because her face was so dirty and her hair was so crinkled and there were white spots on her face. When the police came back upstairs they said it was a white girl. I think I reported to the police that it was a white woman. She was lying on her back with her face turned kinder to one side. I could see her forehead. I saw a little blood on the side of her head that was turned next to me. The blood was on the right side of her head. I am sure she was lying on her back.

Mr. Frank had told me if anything serious happened to call up the police and if anything like fire to call up fire department. I already knew the number of the station house.

I did say at the coroner’s inquest that it took Mr. Frank longer to put the tape on this time than it did before. I did not say it took twice as long at the coroner’s inquest, because they didn’t ask me. I didn’t pay any attention to him the first time he put the tape on. The reason the last time I know it took him longer because I held the lever and had to move it backwards and forwards.

When I was in the basement one of the policemen read the note that they found. They read these words, “The tall, black, slim negro did this, he will try to lay it on the night” — and when they got to the word “night” I said “They must be trying to put it off on me.” I didn’t say, “Boss, that’s me.”

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

The first time I saw Mr. Frank put any tape on, he didn’t say anything about it being any trouble. The last time he put it on, he said something about that he wasn’t used to putting it on. I was holding the lever there and he got it on twice and he had put it on wrong and he would have to slip it out and put it back.

When Mr. Frank came out rubbing his hands, he came out of his inner office into the outer office and from there in front of the clock.

I did not go down in the basement as far as the boiler during the night, except when I discovered the body. The officers talked to me the whole time. I didn’t get to sleep hardly, day or night. Just the time I would get ready to go to sleep, here they was after me. Then I would go back to my cell, stay a while and then another would come and get me. They carried me where I could sleep, but they wouldn’t let me stay there long enough to sleep. I didn’t get no sleep until I went over to the jail, and I didn’t get no sleep at jail for about two weeks. That was before the coroner’s inquest, when I was first arrested.

When I went back to the jail I was treated nicely. As to who talked to me longer, Mr. Frank or Black, Mr. Black did. Mr. Arnold talked to me longer than Mr. Frank did on April 29th.

In the southwest corner is some toilets for men and women.
Modern accounts of the Frank trial often include the claim that Frank could not have been convicted without the testimony of Jim Conley, and that, except for Conley, no one’s testimony made out much of a case for Frank’s guilt. But Lee’s testimony was very damaging indeed to Frank. And neither the Coroner’s Jury nor the grand jury which indicted Frank (which included several Jews) heard a word from Jim Conley.


Courtroom sketch of the defendant, Leo M. Frank

Frank’s decision to have Newt Lee arrive early, and then, when he arrived, sending him away for two hours might be seen as an innocent change of plans — but Frank’s absolute insistence that Newt could not rest on the premises during the two-hour gap is definitely suspicious — as is Frank’s first and only telephone call ever made to Lee, at 7:30 PM on the night of the murder, asking him if everything was “all right.” It also seems quite strange that every single person in Frank’s sizable household would fail to be awakened by a telephone that rang insistently for some eight minutes. The police would also find it difficult to reach Frank via telephone, not getting an answer until 6:30 AM.

Lee’s testimony that Frank was so nervous (some six hours after the murder, with Mary Phagan’s body hidden in the basement) that he wrung his hands, jumped in fear when seeing Mary’s friend Gantt (who could have been theoretically looking for her), and couldn’t properly operate the time clock (that he had previously worked with ease for nearly five years) without help made an impression. But even more significant was the statement (later corroborated by other witnesses) that Frank had inspected Lee’s time card the day after the murder and had declared that it was all correct, with every punch made at the proper time. Later the bloody shirt was found at Lee’s home — and Frank would be telling a very different tale about the time card, contradicting himself and declaring that several punches were missing. It’s hard to explain that about-face as anything other than a ham-handed attempt to implicate Lee.

In fact, the Frank defense team were still trying to plant the idea in the jurors’ minds that Lee might have had something to do with the crime. Frank’s lead defense lawyers, Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser, explained their strategy to the judge while the jury was not present, citing Lee’s reaction to the Ebonics-style “death notes” found near the body which included references to a “night witch,” which seemed a semi-literate allusion to the night watchman:

Quote:
“In an instant, Lee said, ‘That night witch means me.’ It showed familiarity with the notes. Isn’t it strange that a negro so ignorant and dull that Mr. Rosser had to ask him a question ten times over could in a flash interpret this illegible scrawl?”

“We’ve got to commence somewhere and at some time to show the negro is a criminal and we might as well begin here as anywhere else.”
Rosser’s and Arnold’s effort was to imply that Newt Lee had something to do with the crime, at least the writing of the death notes at the behest of factory sweeper Jim Conley, who the defense would allege was the real murderer. This theory was greatly weakened while aborning, though, when Lee told the court that he hadn’t even met Conley until he saw him — a month after the murder — in jail.


Reuben R. Arnold, attorney for the defense

On Sunday, April 27, 1913, Leo Frank had said that Lee had punched his time card correctly — even reviewing it in front of police officers. Frank was then allowed to put it back in the company safe.


Defendant’s Exhibit 1, supposedly a copy of Newt Lee’s “time slip, dated April 26, taken out of clock by Frank.” It indicates four missed punches, though Frank showed officers Lee’s time slip the day after the murder, and no punches had been missed.

On Monday, April 28, Frank changed his story. Now he said that Lee had missed three or four punches on the clock. This would have amounted to three to four hours of Lee’s time unaccounted for. It took about 30 minutes to get to Lee’s home home from the factory — plenty of time to have committed the murder and dispose of evidence.

Leo Frank asked the police to check his laundry for blood two days after the murder, possibly to suggest they should check Newt Lee’s home as well. When Lee’s residence was searched, a bloody shirt — later proven to have been planted, obviously by someone trying to incriminate Lee — was indeed found at the bottom of Newt Lee’s garbage burning barrel. It suggested to police that Lee had “forgotten to burn the bloody shirt that had been stained during the Mary Phagan murder.”

The defense subjected Lee to a grueling ordeal of confusing questions, cross-questions, insults, and accusations — but they could not rattle him nor catch him in any contradiction.

Sergeant L. S. Dobbs told the jury of how he found the lifeless body of Mary Phagan: “The girl was lying on her face, the left side on the ground, the right side up. Her face was punctured, full of holes, and was swollen and black. The cord was around her neck, sunk into the flesh. Her tongue was protruding.”

Detective John Starnes was called to the stand. Here is his complete testimony from the Brief of Evidence:

Quote:
J. N. STARNES, sworn for the State.

I am a city officer. Went to the pencil company’s place of business between five and six o’clock, April 27th. The pencil company is located in Fulton County, Georgia. That is where the body was found. The staple to the back door looked as if it had been prized out with a pipe pressed against the wood. There was a pipe there that fitted the indentation on the wood.

I called Mr. Frank on the telephone, and told him I wanted him to come to the pencil factory right away. He said he hadn’t had any breakfast. He asked where the night watchman was. I told him it was very necessary for him to come and if he would come I would send an automobile for him, and I asked Boots Rogers to go for him. I didn’t tell him what had happened, and he didn’t ask me.

Mr. Frank appeared to be nervous; this was indicated by his manner of speaking to Mr. Darley; he was in a trembling condition.

I was guarded with him in my conversation over the phone.

About a week afterwards I went to the factory and had the night watchman there, Mr. Hendricks, to show me about the clock. He took a new slip and put it in the clock and punched the slip all the way around in less than five minutes (State’s Exhibit P).

I got some cord on the second floor of the pencil factory, the knots in these cords are similar to the knots in this cord (State’s Exhibit C [the cord used to strangle Mary Phagan -- Ed.]).

On the floor right at the opposite corner, what might be called the northwest corner of the dressing room, on Monday morning, April 28th, I saw splotches that looked like blood about a foot and a half or two feet from the end of the dressing room, some of which I chipped up. It looked like splotches of blood and something had been thrown there and in throwing it had spread out and splattered.

There was no great amount of it. I should judge that the area around these spots was a foot and a half. The splotch looked as if something had been swept over it, some white substance. There is a lot of that white stuff in the metal department.

It looked like blood. I found a nail fifty feet this side of the metal room toward the elevator on the second floor that looked like it had blood on the top of it. It was between the office and the double doors. I chipped two places off on the back door which looked like they had bloody finger prints.

I don’t know when Frank was arrested. I don’t think he was arrested on Monday. He was asked to come to the station house on Monday. It takes not over three minutes to walk from Marietta Street at the corner of Forsyth across the viaduct and through Forsyth Street down to the pencil factory.

Lee was composed at the factory; he never tried to get away.

The door to the stairs from the office floor to the third floor was barred when I first went up there.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I am guessing about the time. It wouldn’t take over five minutes to get off the car, walk to the pencil factory, walk in, walk up the stairs and back into Mr. Frank’s office.

The hasp is bent a little.

I heard Boots Rogers testify at the coroner’s inquest and I testified twice. I did not correct any statement at the coroner’s inquest that Boots Rogers made. I am the prosecutor in this case. I cannot give the words of the conversation of the telephone message between myself and Mr. Frank. I could be mistaken as to the very words he used. It was just a casual telephone conversation.

I don’t know that the splotches that I saw there were blood. The floor at the ladies’ dressing room is a very dark color.

I saw cord like that in the basement, but it was cut up in pieces. I saw a good many cords like that all over the factory. I never found the purse, or the flowers or the ribbon on the little girl’s hat. This diagram (State’s Exhibit A) is a correct diagram of second floor and basement of pencil company and other places. No. 11 on diagram (State’s Exhibit A) is the toilets.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

I was guarded in what I said over the phone to Mr. Frank though it was just a conversation between two gentlemen. These pieces of wood look like what I chipped off the floor. I turned them over to Chief Lanford. (Referring to State’s Exhibit E).

RECALLED FOR THE STATE.

I saw Mr. Rosser at the coroner’s inquest. I never heard him say anything throughout the hearing.
The most important facts brought forth by Starnes were the pointed contrast between Leo Frank’s extreme nervousness compared with Newt Lee’s relative calm. This was all the more remarkable because, as the jury well knew, Lee, a black man in racially-stratified 1913 Atlanta, who had been caught alone in a dark factory at night with the body of a dead white girl, was under a much heavier cloud of suspicion than Frank — and had in fact been arrested, while Frank had not.

Next came the testimony of W.W. “Boots” Rogers, who had accompanied the officers:

Quote:
W. W. ROGERS, sworn for the State.

I am now connected with Judge Girardeau’s court. I was at the station house Saturday night, April 26th, and went to the National Pencil Company’s place of business. It was between five and five thirty that I heard Mr. Starnes have a conversation over the phone. I heard him say, “If you will come I will send an automobile after you.”

It took us five or six minutes to get out to Mr. Frank’s residence at 68 E. Georgia Avenue. Mr. Black was with me. Mrs. Frank opened the door. She wore a heavy bath robe. Mr. Black asked if Mr. Frank was in. Mr. Frank stepped into the hall through the curtain. He was dressed for the street with the exception of his collar, tie, coat and hat. He had on no vest.

Mr. Frank asked Mr. Black if anything had happened at the factory. Mr. Black didn’t answer. He asked me had anything happened at the factory. I didn’t answer. Mr. Frank said, “Did the night watchman call up and report anything to you?” Mr. Black said, “Mr. Frank, you had better get your clothes on and let us go to the factory and see what has happened.” Mr. Frank said that he thought he dreamt in the morning about 3 a. m. about hearing the telephone ring.

Leo Frank

Quote:
Mr. Black said something about whiskey to Mrs. Frank in Mr. Frank’s presence. Mrs. Frank said Mr. Frank hadn’t had any breakfast and would we allow him to get breakfast. I told Mr. Black that I was hungry myself. Mr. Frank said let me have a cup of coffee. Mr. Black in a kind of sideways, said, “I think a drink of whiskey would do him good,” and Mrs. Frank made the remark that she didn’t think there was any whiskey in the house.

Mr. Frank seemed to be extremely nervous. His questions were jumpy. I never heard him speak in my life until that morning. His voice was a refined voice, it was not coarse. He was rubbing his hands when he came through the curtains. He moved about briskly. He seemed to be excited. He asked questions in rapid succession, but gave plenty of time between questions to have received an answer.

Mr. Frank and Mr. Black got on the rear seat and I took the front seat and as I was fixing to turn around, one of us asked Mr. Frank if he knew a little girl by the name of Mary Phagan. Mr. Frank says: “Does she work at the factory?” and I said, “I think she does.” Mr. Frank said, “I cannot tell whether or not she works there until I look on my pay roll book, I know very few of the girls that work there. I pay them off, but I very seldom go back in the factory and I know very few of them, but I can look on my pay roll book and tell you if a girl by the name of Mary Phagan works there.”

One of us suggested that we take Mr. Frank by the undertaking establishment and let him see if he knew this young lady. Mr. Frank readily consented, so we stopped at the telephone exchange, Mr. Frank, Mr. Black and myself got out and went in the undertaking establishment.

I saw the corpse. The corpse was lying in a little kind of side out room to the right of a large room. The light was not lit in this little room where the body was laying, and Mr. Gheesling stepped in ahead of me and went around behind the corpse and lit the light above her head and her head was lying then towards the wall. I stepped up on the opposite side of the corpse with a door to my left. 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 have afterwards found it was where Mr. Gheesling slept, or where somebody slept. There was a little single bed in there.

The clothes worn by Mary Phagan when she was killed

Quote:
I immediately turned around and came back out, in front of the office. I didn’t see Frank look at the corpse. I don’t remember that Mr. Frank ever followed me in this room. He may have stopped on the outside of the door, but my back was toward him and I don’t know where he stopped. Mr. Gheesling turned the head of the dead girl over towards me and I looked around to see who was behind me and I saw Mr. Frank as he made that movement behind me. He didn’t go into the closet as far as I could see, but he got out of my view. He could have looked at the corpse from the time that Mr. Gheesling was going around behind, but he could not have seen her face because it was lying over towards the wall. The face was away from me and I presume that was the cause of Mr. Gheesling turning it over.

There was some question asked Mr. Frank if he knew the girl, and I think he replied that he didn’t know whether he did or not but that he could tell whether she worked at the factory by looking at his pay roll book.

As we were leaving Mr. Frank’s house, Mr. Frank asked Mrs. Frank to telephone Mr. Darley to come to the factory.

Mr. Frank was apparently still nervous at the undertaking establishment, he stepped lively. It was just his general manner that indicated to me that he was nervous. I never saw Mr. Frank in my life until that morning.

After we got out of Mr. Frank’s house and was in my car, was the first time Mr. Frank had been told that the young lady was named Mary Phagan and that there had been any murder committed at the factory.

From the undertaker’s we went to the pencil factory in my car. We went into Mr. Frank’s office, he went up to the safe, turned the combination, opened the safe, took out his time book, laid the book down on the table, ran his finger down until he came to the name Mary Phagan, and said, “Yes, Mary Phagan worked here, she was here yesterday to get her pay.” He said, “I will tell you about the exact time she left there. My stenographer left about twelve o’clock, and a few minutes after she left the office boy left and Mary came in and got her money and left.” He said she got $1.20 and he asked whether anybody had found the envelope that the money was in.

Frank still seemed to be nervous like the first time I seen him. It was just his quick manner of stepping around and his manner of speech like he had done at the house that indicated to me that he was nervous.

He then wanted to see where the girl was found. Mr. Frank went around by the elevator, where there was a switch box on the wall and Mr. Frank put the switch in. The box was not locked. Somebody asked him if he was used to keeping the switch box locked. He said they had kept it locked up to a certain time until the insurance company told him that he would have to leave it unlocked, that it was a violation of the law to keep an electric switch box locked. We then stepped on the elevator. He still stepped about lively and spoke up lively, answering questions, just like he had always done.

After we got on the elevator, he jerked at the rope and it hung and he called Mr. Darley to start it and we all stepped out of the elevator. Mr. Darley came and pulled at the rope two or three times and the elevator started.

As to whether anybody made any statement down in the basement as to who was responsible for the murder, I think Mr. Frank made the remark that Mr. Darley had worked Newt Lee for sometime out at the Oakland plant and that if Lee knew anything about the murder that Darley would stand a better chance of getting it out of him than anybody else.

After we came back from the basement it was suggested that we go to the station house and as we started out Mr. Frank says, “I had better put in a new slip, hadn’t I, Darley?” Darley told him yes to put in a slip. Frank took his keys out, unlocked the door of the right-hand clock and lifted out the slip, looked at it and made the remark that the slip was punched correctly. Mr. Darley and Newt Lee was standing there at the time Mr. Frank said the punches had been made correctly. Mr. Frank then put in a new slip, closed the door, locked it and took his pencil and wrote on the slip that he had already taken out of the machine, “April 26, 1913.”

I looked at the slip that Mr. Frank took out (Defendant’s Exhibit I), the first punch was 6:01, the second one was 6:32 or 6:33. He took the slip back in his office. I glanced all the way down and there was a punch for every number.

While we were walking through the factory Mr. Frank asked two or three times to get a cup of coffee. As to what Mr. Frank said about the murder, I don’t know that I heard him express himself except down in the basement. The officers showed him where the body was found and he made the remark that it was too bad or something to that effect. When we left the factory to go to police headquarters, Newt Lee was under arrest. I never considered Mr. Frank as being under arrest at that time. There had never been said anything to him in my presence about putting him under arrest. Mr. Frank’s appearance at the station house was exactly like it was when I first saw him. He stepped quickly, when the door of the automobile was open, he jumped lightly off Mr. Darley’s lap, went up the steps pretty rapid.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I never saw Mr. Frank until that morning. I don’t know whether his natural movements or manner of speech were quick or not. We didn’t know whether the girl was a white girl or not until we rubbed the dirt from the child’s face and pulled down her stocking a little piece. The tongue was not sticking out, it was wedged between the teeth. She had dirt in her eye and mouth. The cord around her neck was drawn so tight it was sunk in her flesh and the piece of underskirt was loose over her hair.

I don’t know whether Mr. Frank went upstairs or not after we reached his house. I think he called to his wife to get him his collar and tie. He got his coat and vest some place, but I don’t know where. At the time Mrs. Frank was calling Mr. Darley, Mr. Frank was putting on his collar and tie down in the reception hall. We were at the house 15 or 20 minutes. After Mrs. Frank had said something about Mr. Frank getting his breakfast before he went, Mr. Black said something about a drink would do good. Mrs. Frank then called her mother, who said that there wasn’t any liquor in the house, that Mr. Selig had an acute attack of indigestion the night before and used it all up.

Mr. Frank readily consented to go to the undertaker’s with us. When we got in the car we told him it was Mary Phagan and he said he could tell whether she was an employee or not by looking at his book, that he knew very few of the girls.

Yes, anybody facing the door of the little chapel at the undertaker’s could have seen the corpse. As to whether I know that Mr. Frank didn’t see the corpse he could have got a glance at the whole corpse, but when Mr. Gheesling turned the face over no one could have got a good look at the face unless they stepped in the room. Mr. Gheesling turned the young lady’s face directly toward me, Mr. Frank was standing somewhere behind me, outside of the room. I turned around to see if Mr. Frank was looking. I don’t know that he didn’t get a glance at the corpse, but no one but Mr. Gheesling and I at this moment stepped up and looked at the little girl’s face. What Mr. Frank and Mr. Black saw behind my back, I can’t say. I don’t say that Mr. Frank stepped into that dressing room, but he passed out of my view. So did Mr. Black. Mr. Gheesling had a better view of Mr. Black and Mr. Frank than I did, because my back was to them and Mr. Gheesling was looking straight across the body at them.

Mr. Frank had no difficulty in unlocking the safe when we went back to the factory. The elevator we went down on is a freight elevator, makes considerable noise. It stops itself when it gets to the bottom. I don’t think it hits the ground.

She was lying on her face with her hands folded up. Her face was turned somewhat toward the left wall. A bruise on the left side of her head, some dry blood in her hair. One of her eyes were blackened. There were several little scratches on her face. Somebody worked her arms to see if they were stiff. The arms worked a little bit. The joints in her arms worked just a little bit.

Mary Phagan — and the spot where her body was discovered

Quote:
When we first went down the basement we stayed down there about 20 or 25 minutes. During that time neither the shoe, the hat, nor the umbrella had been found. In the elevator shaft there was some excrement. When we went down on the elevator, the elevator mashed it. You could smell it all around. It looked like the ordinary healthy man’s excrement. It looked like somebody had dumped naturally; that was before the elevator came down. When the elevator came down afterwards it smashed it and then we smelled it. As to the hair of the girl anyone could tell at first glance that it was that of a white girl.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

The body wasn’t lying at the undertakers where it could have been seen from the door.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

At the moment the face was turned towards me, I didn’t see Mr. Frank but I know a person couldn’t have looked into the face unless he was somewhere close to me. I was inside and Mr. Frank never came into that little room.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

When the face was turned towards me, Mr. Frank stepped out of my vision in the direction of Mr. Gheesling’s sleeping room.
Well, the tangled issue of whether Frank actually dared to look directly into the dead face of Mary Phagan is interesting but not conclusive: Many’s the person too sensitive to want to do that. But Frank’s denial of knowing Mary Phagan by name is hardly credible: he had paid her some 52 times prior to the murder, and written her initials each time in his accounting book. And Rogers confirmed the fact that Leo Frank had — initially — stated that all of Lee’s time clock punches were correct. He also revealed that the original time slip was, unfortunately, left in Frank’s custody instead of that of the police.

The next important testimony was that of Detective John R. Black, who had known Frank before the Phagan murder. He stated that Leo Frank was not naturally nervous or excitable, giving his nervousness immediately after the killing more significance. Black also had knowledge of Frank’s change of heart regarding the “missed punches” on Newt Lee’s time slip and the circumstances surrounding the finding of the bloody shirt. But Black, unlike Lee, was easily confused and rattled by the defense’s rapid-fire cross-examination, damaging his credibility.

Quote:
JOHN R. BLACK, sworn for the State.

I am a city policeman. I don’t know the details of the conversation between Mr. Starnes and Mr. Frank over the ’phone. I didn’t pay very much attention to it. I went over to Mr. Frank’s house with Boots Rogers. Mrs. Frank came to the door. Mrs. Frank had on a bath robe. I stated that I would like to see Mr. Frank and about that time Mr. Frank stepped out from behind a curtain. His voice was hoarse and trembling and nervous and excited. He looked to me like he was pale.

I had met Mr. Frank on two different occasions before. On this occasion he seemed to be nervous in handling his collar. He could not get his tie tied, and talked very rapid in asking questions in regard to what had happened.

He wanted to know if he would have time to get something to eat, to get some breakfast. He wanted to know if something had happened at the pencil factory and if the night watchman had reported it, and he asked this last question before I had time to answer the first. He kept insisting for a cup of coffee.

When we got into the automobile as Mr. Rogers was turning around Mr. Frank wanted to know what had happened at the factory, and I asked him if he knew Mary Phagan and told him that she had been found dead in the basement of the pencil factory. Mr. Frank said he didn’t know any girl by the name of Mary Phagan, that he knew very few of the employes.

I suggested to Mr. Rogers that we drive by the undertaker’s. In the undertaking establishment Mr. Frank looked at her. He gave a casual glance at her and stepped aside. I couldn’t say whether he saw the face of the girl or not. There was a curtain hanging near the room and Mr. Frank stepped behind the curtain. He could get no view from behind the curtain. He walked behind the curtain and came right out. Mr. Frank stated as we left the undertaking establishment that he didn’t know the girl but he believed he had paid her off on Saturday. He thought he recognized her being at the factory on Saturday by the dress that she wore but he could tell by going over to the factory and looking at his cash book.

At the pencil factory Mr. Frank took the slip out, looked over it [Newt Lee's time clock slip -- Ed.] and said it had been punched correctly. On Monday and Tuesday following Mr. Frank stated that the clock had been mis-punched three times. This slip was turned over to Chief Lanford on Monday. I saw Mr. Frank take it out of the clock and went back with it toward his office. I don’t know of my own personal knowledge that it was turned over to Chief Lanford Monday.

When Mr. Frank was down at police station on Monday morning Mr. Rosser and Mr. Haas [Lawyers for Frank and the National Pencil Company. -- Ed.] were there. About 8 or 8:30 o’clock Monday morning Mr. Rosser came in police headquarters. That’s the first time he had counsel with him. That morning Mr. Haslett and myself went to Mr. Frank’s house and asked him to come down to police headquarters. About 1 1:30 Monday Mr. Haas demanded of Chief Lanford that officers accompany Mr. Frank out to his residence and search his residence. Mr. Haas stated in Frank’s presence that he was Mr. Frank’s attorney and demanded to show that there was nothing left undone, that we go out to Mr. Frank’s house and search for anything that we might find in connection with the case.

On Tuesday night Mr. Scott and myself suggested to Mr. Frank to talk to Newt Lee. Mr. Frank spoke well of the negro, said he had always found him trusty and honest. They went in a room and stayed from about 5 to 10 minutes alone. I couldn’t hear enough to swear that I understood what was said. Mr. Frank stated that Newt still stuck to the story that he knew nothing about it.

Mr. Frank stated that Mr. Gantt was there on Saturday evening and that he told Newt Lee to let him go and get the shoes but to watch him, as he knew the surroundings of the office. After this conversation Gantt was arrested. Frank made no objections to talking to Newt Lee.

Mr. Frank was nervous on Monday. After his release Monday he seemed very jovial.

On Tuesday night Frank said at station house that there was nobody at [the] factory at 6 o’clock but Newt Lee and that Newt ought to know more about it, as it was his duty to look over factory every thirty minutes. Also that Gantt was there Saturday evening and he left him there at 6 o’clock and that he and Gantt had some trouble previous to discharge of Gantt and that he at first refused to allow Gantt to go in factory, but Gantt told him he left a pair of shoes there.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

When I said that Mr. Frank was released I spoke before I thought. I retracted it on cross-examination. I don’t know that Mr. Rosser was at the police station between 8 and 8:30 Monday morning, I said that to the best of my recollection. I wouldn’t swear Mr. Rosser was there. I heard Mr. Rosser say to Mr. Frank to give them a statement without a conference at all between Mr. Frank and Mr. Rosser. I said that we wanted to have a private talk with Mr. Frank without Mr. Rosser being present. I wanted to talk to Mr. Frank without Mr. Rosser being present. While I was at the coroner’s inquest Mr. Frank answered every question readily.

I wouldn’t swear positively, but to the best of my recollection I had a conversation with Mr. Frank on two previous occasions. When I met Mr. Frank on previous occasions I don’t remember anything that caused me to believe he was nervous, nothing unusual about him.

I heard the conversation Mr. Starnes had over the telephone with Mr. Frank early that morning. It was about a quarter to six, or a quarter past six. I think we got to the undertaker’s about 6:20. As to the reason why I didn’t tell Mr. Frank about the murder when I was inside the house, but did tell him as soon as he got in the automobile, I had a conversation with Newt Lee and I wanted to watch Mr. Frank and see how he felt about the murder.

Mr. Frank didn’t go upstairs and put his collar and cravat on. Mrs. Frank brought him his collar and tie, I don’t know where she got them. He told her to bring his collar and tie and he got his coat and hat. I don’t know whether he went back to his home or not. He put his collar and tie on right there. I don’t know where he got his coat and vest at. I don’t know what sort of tie or collar he had. He put his collar and tie on like anybody else would; tied it himself. I don’t know whether Mr. Frank finished dressing upstairs or not. I couldn’t see him when he went behind those curtains.

We stayed at the Frank home about ten minutes. At the undertaking establishment I was right behind Mr. Frank. He was between me and the body. I saw the face when the undertaker turned her over. Yes, Mr. Frank being in front of me had an opportunity to see it also. No, Mr. Frank didn’t go into that sleeping room. Mr. Frank went out just ahead of me. When we went back to the pencil factory, Mr. Frank went to the safe and unlocked it readily at the first effort. He got the book, put it on the table, opened it at the right place, ran his finger down until he came to the name of Mary Phagan and says, “Yes, this little girl worked here and I paid her $1.20 yesterday.”

We went all over the factory that day. Nobody saw that blood spot that morning. I guess there must have been thirty people there during that day. Nobody saw it. I was there twice that day. Mr. Starnes was there with me. He didn’t call attention to any blood spots. Chief Lanford was there, and he didn’t discover any blood spots.

Mr. Frank was at the police station on Monday from 8:30 until about 1 1:30. Mr. Frank told me he had discharged Mr. Gantt on account of shortage and had given orders not to let him in the factory.

As regards Mr. Frank’s linen, Mr. Haas said he was Mr. Frank’s attorney and requested that we go to Mr. Frank’s house and look over the clothes he had worn the week before and the laundry too. Yes, we went out there and examined it. Mr. Frank had had no opportunity to telephone his house from the time we mentioned it until we got out there. He went with us and showed us the dirty linen. I examined Newt Lee’s house. I found a bloody shirt in the bottom of a clothes barrel there on Tuesday morning about 9 o’clock.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

Mr. Frank had told me that he didn’t think Newt Lee had told all he knew about the murder. He also said after looking over the time sheet and seeing that it hadn’t been punched correctly that that would have given Lee an hour to have gone out to his house and back. I don’t know when he made this last statement. I don’t remember whether that was before or after I went out to Lee’s house and found the shirt. We went into his house with a skeleton key. It was after Frank told me about the skips in the punches. The shirt is just like it was the day I found it. The blood looks like it is on both sides of the shirt.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

I don’t know whether I went out to Lee’s house before or after Mr. Frank suggested the skips in the time slips. I don’t like to admit it, but I am so crossed up and worried that I don’t know where I am at, but I think to the best of my knowledge it was Monday that Frank said that the slips had been changed.
Much is made of Black getting “crossed up and worried” on cross-examination, and his vagueness about just when Frank started suggesting that houses ought to be searched. (It was Dorsey’s theory that Frank wanted his own house to be searched because it would naturally follow that Lee’s house would then be searched also, and the planted bloody shirt be found.) But far more important than any of the confusion are the two elements that Black could not be “crossed up” on: Frank’s extreme nervousness on the morning after the murder — he could not even properly tie his own tie — and the fact that he did indeed change his position on Lee’s time slips by 180 degrees.


Leo Frank, center, and the legal minds arrayed for and against him

Next in the witness box was James Gantt, the man whose presence at the factory Sunday evening had so frightened Frank. Whether the fright was because Gantt had been fired by Frank, or because Gantt was a friend of Mary Phagan’s, was a matter of contention. But Gantt had much more to say, too:

Quote:
J. M. GANTT, sworn for the State.

From June last until the first of January I was shipping clerk at the National Pencil Company. I was discharged April 7th by Mr. Frank for alleged shortage in the pay roll. I have known Mary Phagan when she was a little girl.

Mr. Frank knew her, too. One Saturday afternoon she came in the office to have her time corrected, and after I had gotten through Mr. Frank came in and said, “You seem to know Mary pretty well.” No, I had not told him her name.

I used to know Mary when she was a little girl, but I have not seen her up to the time I went to work for the factory. My work was in the office and she worked in the rear of the building on the same floor in the tip department.

After I was discharged, I went back to the factory on two occasions. Mr. Frank saw me both times. He made no objection to my going there.

One girl used to get pay envelopes for another girl with Mr. Frank’s knowledge. There was an alleged shortage in the pay roll of $2.00. Mr. Frank came to see me about it and I told him I didn’t know anything about it, and he said he wasn’t going to make it good, and I said I wasn’t, and he then discharged me. Prior to my being discharged Mr. Frank told me he had the best office force he ever had. I was the time keeper.

Mr. Frank could sit at his desk and see the employees register at the time clock if the safe door was closed. Mr. Frank did not fix the clock frequently, possibly two or three times. On April 26th, about six o’clock I saw Newt Lee sitting out in front of the factory and I remembered that I left a pair of shoes up there and I asked Newt Lee what about my getting them, and he said he couldn’t let me up. I said Mr. Frank is up there, isn’t he? because I had seen him in the window from across the street, and while we were standing there talking, in two or three minutes, Mr. Frank was coming down the stairway and got within fifteen feet of the door when he saw me and when he saw me he kind of stepped back like he was going to go back, but when he looked up and saw that I was looking at him he came on out, and I said “Howdy, Mr. Frank,” and he kind of jumped again.

I told him I had a pair of shoes up there I would like to get and he said, “Do you want to go with me, or will Newt Lee be all right?” and he kind of studied a little bit, and said, “What kind of shoes were they?” and I said, “They were tan shoes,” and he said, “I think I saw a negro sweeping them up the other day.” And I said, “Well, I have a pair of black ones there, too,” and he kind of studied a little bit, and said “Newt, go ahead with him and stay with him until he gets his shoes,” and I went up there and found both pair right where I had left them.

Mr. Frank looked pale, hung his head, and nervous and kind of hesitated and stuttered like he didn’t like me in there somehow or other.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I testified at the coroner’s inquest. I admit I did not testify about Frank’s knowing Mary very well there, that has been recalled to my mind since I was arrested on Monday, April 28th, at 11 o’clock and held until Thursday night about six.
Frank, according to Gantt, remarking “You seem to know Mary pretty well,” did not jibe with Frank’s claim that he didn’t know the murdered girl by name. It was a riveting moment. It implied far more than a mere knowledge of the dead girl’s name or the catching of the superintendent in a lie — it implied that Leo Frank was noticing who noticed Mary, and therefore might have had designs on her for some time. The prosecution’s theory was that Frank’s killing of Mary had proceeded from a failed attempt to seduce her.


Mary Phagan and her aunt

Next in the witness box was Pinkerton agent Harry Scott, whose testimony was particularly credible because his agency had been brought into the case at the specific request of the National Pencil Company and was being paid by forces friendly to Frank.

Quote:
HARRY SCOTT, sworn for the State.

I am Superintendent of the local branch of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I have worked on this case with John Black, city detective. I was employed by Mr. Frank representing the National Pencil Company.

I saw Mr. Frank Monday afternoon, April 28th, at the pencil factory. We went into Mr. Frank’s private office. Mr. Darley and a third party were with us. Mr. Frank said, “I guess you read in the newspapers about the horrible crime that was committed in this factory, and the directors of this company and myself have had a conference and thought that the public should demand that we have an investigation made, and endeavor to determine who is responsible for this murder.” And Mr. Frank then said he had just come from police barracks and that Detective Black seemed to suspect him of the crime, and he then related to me his movements on Saturday, April 26th, in detail.

He stated that he arrived at the factory at 8 a.m., that he left the factory between 9:30 and 10 with Mr. Darley for Montag Bros. for the mail, that he remained at Montag Bros. for about an hour; that he returned to the factory at about 11 o’clock, and just before twelve o’clock Mrs. White, the wife of Arthur White, who was working on the top floor of the building that day with Harry Denham, came in and asked permission to go upstairs and see her husband. Mr. Frank granted her permission to do so.

He then stated that Mary Phagan came in to the factory at 12:10 p. m. to draw her pay; that she had been laid off the Monday previous and she was paid $1.20; that he paid her off in his inside office where he was at his desk, and when she left his office and went in the outer office, she had reached the outer office door, leading into the hall and turned around to Mr. Frank and asked if the metal had come yet; Mr. Frank replied that he didn’t know and that Mary Phagan then, he thought, reached the stairway, and he heard voices, but he could not distinguish whether they were men or girls talking, that about 12:50 he went up to the fourth floor and asked White and Denham when they would finish up their work and they replied they wouldn’t finish up for a couple of hours; that Mrs. White was up there at the time and Frank informed Mrs. White that he was going to lock up the factory, that she had better leave; Mrs. White preceded Mr. Frank down the stairway and went on out of the factory as far as he knew, but on the way out, Mrs. White made the statement that she had seen a negro on the street floor of the building behind some boxes, and Mr. Frank stated that at 1:10 p.m. he left the factory for home to go to luncheon; he arrived at the factory again at 3 p. m., went to work on some financial work and at about four o’clock the night watchman reported for work, as per Mr. Frank’s instructions the previous day; that he allowed Newt Lee to go out and have a good time for a couple of hours and report again at six o’clock, which Newt did and at six o’clock when Lee returned to the factory, he asked Mr. Frank, as he usually did, if everything was all right, and Mr. Frank replied “Yes” and Lee went on about his business.

Mr. Frank left the factory at 6:04 p. m. and when he reached the street door entrance he found Lee talking to Gantt, an ex-book-keeper who Frank had discharged for thieving. Mr. Frank stated that he had arrived home at about 6:25 p. m. and knowing that he had discharged Gantt, he tried to get Lee on the telephone at about 6:30; knowing that Lee would be in the vicinity of the time clock at that time and could hear the telephone ring; that he did not succeed in getting him at 6:30, but that he got him at seven; that he asked Lee the question if Gantt had left the factory and if everything was all right, to which Lee replied “Yes,” and he hung up the receiver. Mr. Frank stated he went to bed somewhere around 9:30.

After that Mr. Frank and Mr. Darley accompanied me around the factory and showed me what the police had found. Mr. Darley being the spokesman. We went first to the metal room on the second floor, where I was shown some spots supposed to be blood spots, they were already chipped up, and I was taken to a machine where some strands of hair were supposed to have been found. From there we went down and examined the time clock and went through the scuttle hole and down the ladder into the basement, where I was shown where everything had been found.

As to Mr. Frank’s manner and deportment at the time we were in his office, he seemed to be perfectly natural. I saw no signs of nervousness. Occasionally between words he seemed to take a deep breath, and deep sighs about four or five times. His eyes were very large and piercing. They looked about the same they do now. He was a little pale. He gave his narrative rather rapidly.

As to whether he stated any fixed definite time as to hours or minutes, he didn’t state any definite time as to when Mary Phagan came in, he said she came in at about 12:10. We furnished attorneys for Frank with reports. After refreshing my memory I now state that Mr. Frank informed me at the time I had that conversation with him that he heard these voices before 12 o’clock, before Mary Phagan came.

He also stated during our conversation that Gantt knew Mary Phagan very well, that he was familiar and intimate with her. He seemed to lay special stress on it at the time. He said that Gantt paid a good deal of attention to her.

As to whether anything was said by any attorney of Frank’s as to our suppressing any evidence as to this murder, it was the first week in May when Mr. Pierce and I went to Mr. Herbert J. Haas’ office in the 4th National Bank Building and had a conference with him as to the Pinkerton Agency’s position in the matter. Mr. Haas stated that he would rather we would submit our reports to him first before we turned it over to the public and let them know what evidence we had gathered. We told him we would withdraw before we would adopt any practice of that sort, that it was our intention to work in hearty co-operation with the police.

I saw the place near the girls’ dressing room on the office floor, fresh chips had already been cut out of the floor and I saw white smeared where the chips had been cut out and there were also some dark spots near the chipped out places. It was just as though somebody had taken a cloth and rubbed some white substance around in a circle, about eight inches in diameter. This white stuff covered all of the dark spots.

I didn’t note any unusual signs of nervousness about Frank in his office. There wasn’t any trembling or anything of that sort at that time. He was not composed.

On Tuesday night, April 29th, Black, Mr. Frank and myself were together and Mr. Black told Mr. Frank that he believed Newt Lee was not telling all that he knew. I also said to Mr. Frank that Newt knew more than he was telling, and that as he was his employer, I thought he could get more out of the nigger than we could, and I asked him if he would consent to go into a room as employer and employee and try to get it out of him. Mr. Frank readily consented and we put them in a private room, they were together there for about ten minutes alone. When about ten minutes was up, Mr. Black and I entered the room and Lee hadn’t finished his conversation with Frank and was saying, “Mr. Frank it is awful hard for me to remain handcuffed to this chair,” and Frank hung his head the entire time the negro was talking to him, and finally in about thirty seconds, he said, “Well, they have got me too.” After that we asked Mr. Frank if he had gotten anything out of the negro and he said, “No, Lee still sticks to his original story.” Mr. Frank was extremely nervous at that time. He was very squirmy in his chair, crossing one leg after the other and didn’t know where to put his hands; he was moving them up and down his face, and he hung his head a great deal of the time while the negro was talking to him. He breathed very heavily and took deep swallows, and sighed and hesitated somewhat. His eyes were about the same as they are now.

That interview between Lee and Frank took place shortly after midnight, Wednesday, April 30th. On Monday afternoon, Frank said to me that the first punch on Newt Lee’s slip was 6:33 p. m., and his last punch was 3 a. m. Sunday. He didn’t say anything at that time about there being any error in Lee’s punches. Mr. Black and I took Mr. Frank into custody about 1 1 :30 a.m. Tuesday, April 29th. His hands were quivering very much, he was very pale.

On Saturday, May 3d, I went to Frank’s cell at the jail with Black and I asked Mr. Frank if from the time he arrived at the factory from Montag Bros. up until 12:50 p. m., the time he went upstairs to the fourth floor, was he inside of his office the entire time, and he stated “Yes.” Then I asked him if he was inside his office every minute from 12 o’clock until 12:30 and he said “Yes.”

I made a very thorough search of the area around the elevator and radiator and back in there. I made a surface search. I found nothing at all. I found no ribbon or purse, or pay envelope, or bludgeon or stick. I spent a great deal of time around the trap door and I remember running the light around the door way right close to the elevator, looking for splotches of blood, but I found nothing.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

Yes, I sent you this report as to what happened between Mr. Herbert J. Haas and myself: “This afternoon Supt. H.B. Pierce and myself held a conference with Mr. Herbert Haas, at which the agency’s position in the matter was discussed, and Mr. Haas stated they wanted to learn who the murderer was, regardless of who it involved.” Mr. Haas told me that after I had told him we would withdraw from the cause before we would not co-operate with the police. No, I did not report that to you. I reported the motive of our conference. No, I did not say anything about Mr. Haas wanting us to do anything except locate the murderer. Yes, I talked to you afterwards and you also told me to find the murderer, even if it was Frank.

Mr. Haas had said to Mr. Pierce and me that he would rather that we submit our reports of evidence to him before we turned it over to the police. No, there was nothing said about not giving this to the police.

I testified at the coroner’s inquest as to what conversation I had with Mr. Frank. I did not give you in my report the details of Mr. Frank’s morning movements, when he left home, arrived at the factory and went to Montag Bros., and returned to the factory. As to my not saying one word about Gantt being familiar with this little girl, that was just an oversight, that is all. No, I did not testify to that either at the coroner’s inquest. I didn’t put it in the report to you, because Gantt was released the next day and I didn’t consider him a suspect.

There was no reason for my not giving it to you. It was an oversight. I am representing the National Pencil Company, who employed me, and not Mr. Frank individually. It is true in my report to you with reference to the interview between me and Mr. Frank that I stated “I had no way of knowing what they said because they were both together privately in a room there and we had no way of knowing except what Lee told us afterwards.” I now state that I did hear the last words of Lee.

I didn’t put in my notes that Gantt was familiar with Mary Phagan, I don’t put everything in my notes and the coroner didn’t examine me about it either. No, I didn’t tell the coroner anything about Frank crossing his legs and putting his hands up to his face. I never went into detail down there. No I didn’t mention his hanging his head.

We always work with the police on criminal cases. No, I did not testify before the coroner about any white stuff having been smeared over those supposed blood spots.

I am not sure whether I got the statement about Mary Phagan being familiar with Gantt from Mr. Darley or Mr. Frank. Mr. Frank was present at the time.

Mr. Frank told me when the little girl asked if the metal had come back that he said “I don’t know.” It may be true that I swore before the coroner that in answer to that question from Mary Phagan as to whether the metal had come yet that Frank said, “No,” and it is possible that I so reported to you. If I said “No,” I meant “I don’t know.” I say now that Mr. Frank told me he left the factory at 1:10 p.m. If I reported to you that he told me he left at one o’clock, I made a very serious mistake. That is an oversight. Yes, I reported to the police before I reported to Mr. Haas or Mr. Montag.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

Yes, our agency reported to the police about finding the club. I find it is in our report of May 15th. I don’t know when it was reported; I was out of town. I worked all through this case with Detective Black and every move he made was known to both of us. As to the stairway from the basement to the upper floor, there was a great deal of dust on the stairs and the dust didn’t seem to be disturbed. This stairway is not in the picture but is near the back door. It was nailed and closed.
The “club” referred to was, along with part of a company pay envelope, “discovered” on the first floor of the factory — where African-American sweeper Jim Conley had been sitting on the day of the murder — by a rogue Pinkerton agent who was soon dismissed. (The “discovery” occurred days after minute examination by police investigators and by Scott, who found nothing.)

The real bombshell in Scott’s testimony was his revelation that Frank — who had denied even knowing Mary Phagan, to say nothing of her relationships — had told Scott that “Gantt knew Mary Phagan very well, that he was familiar and intimate with her.” Shortly thereafter, Gantt was arrested as a suspect. He was eventually released.

The testimony of the next witness on the stand, brief as it was, would prove devastating to Frank. She was pretty blonde Monteen Stover, a co-worker of Mary Phagan’s. She was not hostile to Frank, and in fact thought highly of him. But one thing she was sure of — he definitely was not in his office continuously from noon to 12:45 on the day Mary Phagan died, as he had claimed:


Miss Monteen Stover

Quote:
MISS MONTEEN STOVER, sworn for the State.

I worked at the National Pencil Company prior to April 26th, 1913. I was at the factory at five minutes after twelve on that day. I stayed there five minutes and left at ten minutes after twelve. I went there to get my money. I went in Mr. Frank’s office. He was not there. I didn’t see or hear anybody in the building. The door to the metal room was closed. I had on tennis shoes, a yellow hat and a brown rain coat. I looked at the clock on my way up, it was five minutes after twelve and it was ten minutes after twelve when I started out. I had never been in his office before. The door to the metal room is sometimes open and some- times closed.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I didn’t look at the clock to see what time it was when I left home or when I got back home. I didn’t notice the safe in Mr. Frank’s office. I walked right in and walked right out. I went right through into the office and turned around and came out. I didn’t notice how many desks were in the outer office. I didn’t notice any wardrobe to put clothes in. I don’t know how many windows are in the front office. I went through the first office into the second office. The factory was still and quiet when I was there. I am fourteen years old and I worked on the fourth floor of the factory. I knew the paying-off time was twelve o’clock on Saturday and that is why I went there. They don’t pay off in the office, you have to go up to a little window they open.

Diagram of Leo Frank’s outer and inner office: How likely is it that Monteen Stover could have missed Frank had he really been in his office as he claimed?

Quote:
RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

The door to the metal room is sometimes closed and sometimes open. When the factory isn’t running the door is closed.
Next to the stand came pencil company machinist R.P. Barrett, who had discovered hair that looked like Mary’s on a factory metal room lathe, and bloodstains hastily covered with a lubricant nearby. The hair and stains had not been there when work ended on Friday, he said.


The hair found on the lathe. Where did it come from?

[quote]
R.P. BARRETT, sworn for the State.

I am a machinist for the National Pencil Company. I have been there about eight weeks. On Monday morning, April 28th, I found an unusual spot that I had never seen before at the west end of the dressing room on the second floor of the pencil factory. That spot was not there Friday. The spot was about 4 or 5 inches in diameter and little spots behind these from the rear — 6 or 8 in number. I discovered these between 6:30 and 7 o’clock Monday. It was blood. It looked like some white substance had been wiped over it. We kept potash and haskoline, both white substances, on this floor. This white stuff was smeared over the spots. It looked like it had been smeared with a coarse broom. There was a broom on that floor, leaning up against the wall. No, the broom didn’t show any evidence of having been used, except that it was dirty. It was used in the metal department for cleaning up the grease. The floor was regularly swept with a broom of finer straw.

I found some hair on the handle of a bench lathe. The handle was in the shape of an “L.” The hair was hanging on the handle, swinging down. Mell Stanford saw this hair. The hair was not there on Friday.

The gas jet that the girls sometimes use to curl their hair on is about ten feet from the machine where the hair was found. Machine Number is No. 10. It is my machine. I know the hair wasn’t there on Friday, for I had used that machine up to quitting time, 5:30.

There was a pan of haskoline about 8 feet from where the blood was found. The nearest potash was in vats in the plating department, 20 or 25 feet away. The latter part of the week I found a piece of a pay envelope (State’s Exhibit U) under Mary Phagan’s machine. I have examined the area around the elevator on the main floor and I looked down the ladder and I never saw any stick. I did not find any envelope or blood or anything else there.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I never searched for any blood spots before, until Miss Jefferson came in and said she understood Mary had been murdered in the metal department, then I started to search right away; that was the only spot I could find; I could tell it was blood by looking at it. I can tell the difference between blood and other substances. I found the hair some few minutes afterward — about 6 or 8 strands of hair and pretty long. When I left the machine on Friday I left a piece of work in there. When I got back the piece of work was still there. It had not been disturbed. The machine was in the same position in which I left it Friday night; there was no blood under this machine.

There is no number or amount on the envelope I found, and no name on it, just a little loop, a part of a letter. Yes, I have been aiding Mr. Dorsey and the detectives search the building. Yes, Mr. Dorsey subpoenaed me to come to his office; it was a State subpoena. I gave him an affidavit.

DNA evidence didn’t exist in 1913, so it was impossible to test the hair or blood to see if they had come from Mary Phagan. But the hair looked like Mary’s, and it’s hard to imagine another plausible explanation for their appearance over a holiday weekend.


Witnesses: Mrs. Jefferson, R.P. Barrett, Mrs. White

After Barrett left the stand, janitor Mel Stanford confirmed Barrett’s statement that neither the hair nor the bloodstains had been present at the end of business on the Friday before the murder. Then Mrs. G.W. Jefferson testified that she had found the bloodstains with Barrett, and that they covered an area “as big as a fan.”

Dr. Claude Smith, a chemist for the city of Atlanta, stated that although he had only seen four or five corpuscles on the wood chips, his analysis had proved them to be blood:

Quote:
DR. CLAUDE SMITH, sworn for the State.

I am physician and City Bacteriologist and Chemist. These chips (Exhibit E, State) appear to be the specimen which the detectives brought to my office and which I examined. They had considerable dirt on them and some coloring stain. On one of them I found some blood corpuscles. I do not know whether it was human blood. This shirt (Exhibit E for State [The shirt planted at Newt Lee's residence -- Ed.]) appears to be the same shirt brought to my office by detectives which I examined. I examined spots and it showed blood stain. I got no odor from the arm pits that it had been worn. The blood I noticed was smeared a little on the inside in places. It didn’t extend out on the outside. The blood on shirt was somewhat on the inside of the garment high up about the waist line which to my mind could not have been produced by turning up the tail.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

I found grit and stain on all of the chips. I couldn’t tell the one that I found blood on. I did the work in the ordinary way. The whole surface of the chips was coated with dirt. I couldn’t tell whether the blood stain was fresh or old. I have kept blood corpuscles in the laboratory for several years. I found probably three or four or five blood corpuscles in a field. I don’t know how much blood was there. A drop or half drop would have caused it, or even less than that. Rigor mortis begins very soon after death. Sometimes starts quicker, but usually starts very soon. I could not say when rigor mortis would end.
The next significant witness was Frank’s business associate N.V. Darley. While Darley verbally fenced with Solicitor Dorsey to avoid incriminating his friend Frank, he finally did confirm that Frank was nearly out of his mind with anxiety after the murder was discovered, admitting that Frank was “trembling all over.”


Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey

Dr. Henry F. Harris established the time of Mary Phagan’s death as very close to that of Monteen Stover’s visit to Leo Frank’s empty office, and stated he had determined the cause of death to be strangulation, though it had been preceded by a blow with a blunt object, probably a fist, and a collision of her head with a sharp object, possibly a lathe. He also testified that, although no seminal fluid was present, some violence had been done to Mary’s private parts before she died.

Mrs. Arthur White, who had been visiting her husband who was working on an upper floor, testified that she had seen a black man lurking near the elevator on the first floor when she left around 1 PM. This fitted with the prosecution’s theory that the man was Jim Conley, on watch during Frank’s attempted tryst, and who would eventually help Frank move the body.

* * *

Be sure to read next week’s installment here at The American Mercury as we follow the trial that changed the South — changed America — and changed the world 100 years ago.

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 will be 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.

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 archive.org as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankC...aper1913To1915

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaGe...ilToAugust1913

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaJo...toAugust311913

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Related Articles:
100 Years Ago Today: Leo Frank Takes the Stand
The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two
100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins
100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty
Who Really Solved the Mary Phagan Murder Case?
Readers' Comments
JeffB on August 18th, 2013 10:36 pm

I have studied this significant case concerning the murder of Mary Phagan for some time, and take a great interest in it, especially since I’m Jewish. The conclusion that I came to after some study is that the evidence clearly shows that 1. the murder was (more or less accidentally) committed by Leo Frank, and 2. antisemitism did not play a significant part in either the investigation or the trial, contrary to what the ADL and some other organizations might claim.

My first concern is that the truth comes and I look forward to following this series from The American Mercury that promises an in-depth and impartial look at the case!

http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-one/
 
Old August 23rd, 2013 #75
Alex Linder
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http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-two/

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two

Published by Editor on August 16, 2013



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: 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:

Quote:
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

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

Quote:
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

Quote:
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

Quote:
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

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

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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

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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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

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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RECALLED FOR CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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:

Quote:
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 John Black and Harry Scott

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

THE STATE RESTS.
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 archive.org as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankC...aper1913To1915

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaGe...ilToAugust1913

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaJo...toAugust311913

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.
Related Articles:
100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty
Did Leo Frank Confess?
100 Years Ago Today: Leo Frank Takes the Stand
The Leo Frank Trial: Week One
100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins

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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:

Quote:
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.

Introduction



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 – http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0061.jpg

Part 2 – http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0062.jpg

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: http://www.leofrank.org/library/georgia-archives/

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: http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0060.jpg.

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: http://www.leofrank.org/images/georg...les/2/0125.jpg. 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

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Last edited by Alex Linder; August 26th, 2013 at 05:37 PM.
 
Old August 26th, 2013 #77
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[original: http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...al-week-three/ ]

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Three

Published by Editor on August 26, 2013


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

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:

Quote:
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.

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:

Quote:
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

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

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, an idea essential to the defense’s theory that Jim Conley was the killer.

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-GROSS EXAMINATION.

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 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 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.

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.


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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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:

[quote]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 cross-examination was very surprising to the defense.

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION.

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 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

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. 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:

Quote:
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

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 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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.

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:

Quote:
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

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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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. 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

Frank continued his statement:

Quote:
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 archive.org as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankC...aper1913To1915

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaGe...ilToAugust1913

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaJo...toAugust311913

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.

[original]
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...al-week-three/
 
Old August 26th, 2013 #78
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Good reading, Alex. I'm looking forward to the juicy "neck-tie" part.
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Old August 28th, 2013 #79
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The Epic Murder Case of the 20th Century: The Leo Frank Trial for the Murder of Mary Phagan

The American Mercury is currently publishing an interesting and fairly high quality series on the Leo Frank trial. The analysis is quite interesting and I hope these articles inspire open discussion about this famous criminal case.

Introduction to the Leo Frank Trial:

One Hundred Years Ago Today the Leo Frank Trial Began. http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...-frank-begins/

Week One of the Leo Frank Trial: http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-one/

Week Two of the Leo Frank Trial: http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-two/

Week Three of the Leo Frank Trial:

Leo Frank mounts the witness stand http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...kes-the-stand/

More analysis and articles to come, so stay tuned…

Visit The American Mercury: http://www.theamericanmercury.org

Other articles about the Leo Frank Case by the American Mercury:

100 Reasons Leo Frank is Guilty
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...ank-is-guilty/

Did Leo Frank Confess?
http://theamericanmercury.org/2012/0...frank-confess/

Who Really Solved the Mary Phagan Murder Mystery?
http://theamericanmercury.org/2012/1...y-phagan-murde
 
Old September 25th, 2013 #80
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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.
http://theamericanmercury.org/2013/0...rial-week-one/
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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
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.

MISSES CORINTHIA HALL, ANNIE HOWELL, LILLIE M. GOODMAN, VELMA HAYES, JENNIE MAYFIELD, IDA HOLMES, WILLIE HATCHETT, MARY HATCHETT, MINNIE SMITH, MARJORIE McCORD, LENA McMURTY, MRS. W. R. JOHNSON, MRS. S. A. WILSON, MRS. GEORGIA DENHAM, MRS. O. JONES, MISS ZILLA SPIVEY, CHARLES LEE, N. V. DARLEY, F. ZIGANKI, and A. C. HOLLOWAY, MINNIE FOSTER, all sworn for the Defendant, testified that they were employees of the National Pencil Company and knew Leo M. Frank, and that his general character was good.

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

Quote:
D. I. MacINTYRE, B. WILDAUER, MRS. DAN KLEIN, ALEX DITTLER, DR. J.E. SOMMERFIELD, F. G. SCHIFF, AL. GUTHMAN, JOSEPH GERSHON, P.D. McCARLEY, MRS. M. W. MEYER, MRS. DAVID MARX, MRS. A. I. HARRIS, M. S. RICE, L. H. MOSS, MRS. L.H. MOSS, MRS. JOSEPH BROWN, E.E. FITZPATRICK, EMIL DITTLER, WM. BAUER, MISS HELEN LOEB, AL. FOX, MRS. MARTIN MAY, JULIAN V. BOEHM, MRS. MOLLIE ROSENBERG, M.H. SILVERMAN, MRS. L. STERNE, CHAS. ADLER, MRS. R.A. SONN, MISS RAY KLEIN, A.J. JONES, L. EINSTEIN, J. BERNARD, J. FOX, MARCUS LOEB, FRED HEILBRON, MILTON KLEIN, NATHAN COPLAN, MRS. J. E. SOMMERFIELD, all sworn for the Defendant, testified that they were residents of the city of Atlanta, and have known Leo M. Frank ever since he has lived in Atlanta; that his general character is good.

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:

Quote:
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

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:

Quote:
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

Quote:
“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:

Quote:
“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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

Quote:
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 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”

Quote:
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

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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:

Quote:
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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

Quote:
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. 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.

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

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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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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

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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

Quote:
CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION

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.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

THE STATE CLOSES.

EVIDENCE FOR DEFENDANT IN SUR-REBUTTAL.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

CROSS EXAMINATION.

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.

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.

Quote:
ADDITIONAL STATEMENT MADE BY DEFENDANT, LEO M. FRANK.
Quote:

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.

DEFENDANT CLOSES.
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 archive.org as follows:

Atlanta Constitution Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankC...aper1913To1915

Atlanta Georgian Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaGe...ilToAugust1913

Atlanta Journal Newspaper:
http://archive.org/details/AtlantaJo...toAugust311913

More background on the case may be found in my article here at the Mercury, 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.

Related Articles:
The Leo Frank Trial: Week Three
100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty
100 Years Ago Today: Leo Frank Takes the Stand
100 Years Ago Today: The Trial of Leo Frank Begins
The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two

Last edited by Alex Linder; September 25th, 2013 at 10:55 PM.
 
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