Leo Frank was a bisexual pedophile, and a suspected drug addict, who managed a pencil factory in Atlanta in 1913. One day he demanded sex from a 12 yr. old employee named Mary Phagan, she refused, so then he brutally raped and murdered her.
Frank, and a handyman, drag the body to the basement where they were going to burn it in the factory furnace the next day. That night, a watchman finds the body – calls the police – Frank is arrested – found guilty and sentenced to hang. The governor commutes the sentence, and Marietta’s finest families broke into jail and lynched him
This incident lead to the creation of ADL in 1913. Today the Jewish community hails Leo Frank as a innocent martyr, a victim of anti-Semitism.
Mary Phagan, a 12 yr. old girl who was an employee of the National Pencil Factory, in Atlanta.
Leo Frank was a New York, Cornell-educated Jew, who was living in Atlanta. Leo was President of his local B’nai B’rith, active in civic affairs, a local socialite, and Phagan’s supervisor at the National Pencil Factory.
Frank was sexual pervert, who was homosexual,and preyed on young girls. He forced employees to have sex with him.
James Conley worked at the pencil factory as a sweeper and handyman, and walked in on the murder.
Newt Lee was the night watchman who found the body
It was a three story building, Frank was on the second floor, where Mary was murdered.
April 26th, 1913 – Leo Frank had Conley “watch out” for him while he “chatted” with Mary Phagan. Frank demanded sex, and Phagan refused. Next, Frank in cocaine induced rage, beat her mercilessly. He then pulled her underwear off, tied it around her throat, and raped her. After Frank finished he strangled her to death with the cord.
Frank summons Conley into the office, where he finds Leo crouching over the unconscious girl. Leo tells him that Mary had resisted his advances, and when he grabbed her had fallen, and struck her head. When he had finished with her, he decided to kill her with a garrote.
Frank Drags Body To The Factory Basement
Frank and Conley took the body to the basement, where Conley was to burn her in the factory’s furnace.
Leo Frank Has Conley Write A Death Note
Frank then had Conley write the notes found near the body, apparently in an attempt to incriminate Newt Lee
Franks paid a negro $ 200 to burn little Mary
Conley dragged Mary across the coal cindered basement floor, face down, causing punctures and holes in her face.
Worried that smoke on a holiday would attract attention, Frank decided to burn the body the next day . They went back to Frank’s office where Frank indicated there would be money waiting for Conley if he “kept his mouth shut”.
Here Frank uttered the ominous phrase “Why should I hang?”
In the early morning, Newt Lee discovers the body, and calls the police. The police find the little girl’s body in a cinder pile. One eye had been blackened by a blow, and over both eyes was a slight abrasion.
The left side of the head bore a two-inch wound, and there was a cut below the left knee. Drawn tightly about her neck was a cord buried in the flesh. There were teeth marks on her breasts.
The girl had been beaten, strangled, and then raped.
The Body Is Discovered
The night watchman who discovered Mary Phagan’s body and telephoned police. He testified for over two hours, telling the same story he had told police, that he noticed the body when he went into the basement to the restroom. He also told of Leo Frank being nervous. Leo Frank told him not to come in to work.
That night, Frank called Lee to ask if everything was alright, an unusual practice for him.
Evidence is Gathered
The ADL Is Formed
Leo Frank was president of the Atlanta B’nai B’rith, and he was lynched. New York Jews quickly set out to form the ADL to protect themselves
Banai Brith employs senator
June 24, 1913 – Georgia Senator Hoke Smith was considering aiding in Leo Frank’s defense. The rumors spread after defense attorney Luther Rosser, and National Pencil Company president Ike Haas, stopped in Washington, D.C. en route to New York. One Jew put $ 100,000 up for Frank’s defense.
May 5, 1913 – Lemmie Quinn, foreman of Mary Phagan’s work area at the National Pencil Factory, testified he saw Leo Frank the Saturday of the murder and he appeared to be on drugs. So the decision was made to exhume Phagan’s body and search her stomach for signs of drugs.
May 9, 1913 – Fourteen year old Monteen Stover said she had arrived at the National Pencil Factory around 12:05 PM (roughly the same time as Mary Phagan had arrived) and testified that Leo Frank was not in his office. This contradicted Frank’s testimony, that he had been in his office the entire time in which it was thought Phagan had been murdered. Frank insisted Mary to be there Saturday.
Another woman reported that she was walking outside the factory around 4:30 PM when she heard three piercing screams come from the basement of the building.
May 21, 1913 –
Solicitor Hugh Dorsey announced he will seek a grand jury indictment on Leo Frank.
Jewish Lawyers Accused of Bribing Detectives
May 22 a new controversy arose in the Mary Phagan murder investigation. Phagan’s step father signed an affidavit accusing Thomas Felder, the attorney responsible for bringing the Burns Detective Agency into the case, of approaching him about allowing Felder to prosecute the case.
Detectives presented transcripts of dictograph recordings in which Felder had offered them $1000 for access to the case evidence.
The Grand Jury
May 23 – The grand jury took only ten minutes to hand down a murder indictment against Leo Frank The indictment was largely based on the testimony of Conley, and held the Negro as an accessory. There were five Hebrews on this grand jury.
Nina Formby – Another Witness Bribed
She owned a whorehouse in Atlanta, where Frank was a frequent visitor. Frank called her the night of the murder and wanted her help getting rid of the body.
She suddenly went to New York, where she recanted her statement. Another witness bribed.
Tom Watson confirmed tales of indescribable orgies in Leo’s office.
Several women and girls come forward to say Frank had made improper advances to them in the past. The girls were always complaining that Franks would walk into the girl’s changing room.
George Epps, a friend of Mary Phagan, testified that Phagan was afraid of Frank because he had flirted and made advances toward her.
Hugh Dorsey then called several female ex-employees of the National Pencil Factory to the stand. They all testified that they had a bad opinion of Leo Frank’s character and gave concrete examples of immoral behavior on his part.
Conley had often sat outside Leo’s office, as a sort of watchdog, while Leo staged his perversions behind the locked door. When anybody would approach, Conley would whistle or cough to warn his employer.
C.B. Dalton ( railroad carpenter) testified that he had seen numerous women come to the factory to visit Frank
May 10, 1913 – Robert House, an ex-policeman, had said he once caught Leo Frank and a young girl in the woods at Druid Hills park engaging in immoral acts. According to House, Frank had pleaded with him not to report the incident.
Body Exhumed Second Time
May 25, 1913 – A second exhumation of Mary Phagan’s body took place, this time to look for fingerprints; a fingerprint expert had been called in to help with the case.
The undertaker who embalmed Phagan’s body said there was evidence of sexual assault and the county physician also agreed.
Family Cook Testifies About Frank’s Confession And Attempted Bribery
June 3 – Minola McKnight, the Frank family cook signed a statement saying Leo Frank was very nervous, and drinking heavily, the night after the murder of Mary Phagan. She said she overheard Frank’s wife tell her mother that Leo made her sleep on the rug, and kept asking for his pistol so he could shoot himself.
Frank had told her — “It is mighty bad, Minola. I might have to go to jail about this girl, and I don’t know anything about it.”
Finally she said her wages had been raised as a ” tip to keep quiet.”
Leo Frank’s Wife
She covered for Frank, saying he never talked about killing a child
The Trial Begins
July 28, 1913 – A jury was quickly selected and seated. The first witness called was Mrs. J.W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan. She managed to stay collected during most of her testimony, but finally broke down in tears when asked to identify the clothes her daughter had worn on the day she was murdered.
Mary’s Friend Testifies
Next on the stand was George Epps, a thirteen year old boy who also worked at the National Pencil Factory. He had ridden the streetcar with Phagan the morning of April 26th, and the two had agreed to meet for an ice cream. and to watch the Confederate Memorial Day Parade at 1:00 that afternoon.
Leo Frank’s Various Alibi’s
June 2, 1913 – At first she corroborated Frank’s story concerning the times he arrived home for lunch and then returned to the factory the day of the murder. She was agitated, believing her estranged husband had been telling lies to the police to get her in trouble. She said, both she and Frank were innocent.
August 9, 1913 – the twelfth day in the Leo Frank trial. Herbert Schiff, Jewish assistant to Leo Frank, said he worked most Saturdays and had never seen any women in Frank’s office except his wife. He added that he had never seen C.B. Dalton either.
Witnesses Tampering Revealed
May 7, 1913 – The wife of one of the mechanics who had testified on April 30 said she visited her husband at the factory that day and saw a “strange Negro” boarding the elevator as she left around 1:00 PM. Detectives on the case said someone was planting false evidence and trying to block the investigation.
Leo Frank Hires The Investigators
Leo Frank of the National Pencil Factory expressed his unhappiness with the investigation’s progress, so he personally brought in a Pinkerton’s detective to aid in the investigation.
This was the seventh, and pivotal, day in the trial of Leo Frank. Jim Conley, a sweeper at the factory, was called to testify and presented a gruesome, graphic, and sometimes revolting tale.
In fact his testimony was so lurid that Judge Roan ordered all women and children cleared from the courtroom.
Conley testified he had “watched out” for Frank on several occasions, while he entertained young women in his office.
On the witness stand, Jim Conley was devastating. According to Conley, Frank had confessed the murder to him and had tried to get him, (Conley), to burn the body in the factory’s basement furnace. Frank’s lawyers were unable to shake Conley’s story.
Frank May Have Molested Young Male Employees
Some of his descriptions of what he saw intimated that Frank was a sexual deviant. Conley tells of walking in as the Jew was molesting the girl, and boys. How him and Frank dragged the body to the basement furnace room. They returned to the office where Frank had Conley write notes indicating Newt Lee the watchman.
The Lead Detective
Detective Starnes testified he had found the body in the basement, face down, with a cord tied tightly around the neck, and a pair of women’s underpants tied loosely around the neck. Mary was a virgin.
The back of the head was covered in blood. He had called Leo Frank to inform him of the murder, and said Frank appeared extremely nervous when he arrived at the factory. Frank cancels his Saturday afternoon baseball outing.
Pinkerton detective in charge of their investigation of the case
Scott then angered defense attorneys when he asserted one of them had asked him to forward all police evidence to the defense. Also testifying was former factory employee Monteen Stover, who said she had arrived at the factory at 12:05 PM to receive her pay, had waited in Frank’s office for him for five minutes, then left. This contradicted Frank’s statement that he had been in his office the entire time in which the murder took place.
Frank Molested The Corpse?
Dr. J.W. Hurt, county physician who had also examined Mary Phagan’s body, said there was some evidence suggesting she may have been “outraged” (sexually assaulted).
The prosecutor pointed out, she was killed for resisting, so Leo may have assaulted her as she laid dying, or dead.
Doctor Harris Testifies
Dr Harris stated – “Besides a ruptured hymen, Mary Phagan’s vagina showed evidence of violence before death due to internal bleeding. The epithelium was pulled loose from the inner walls and detached in some places”
Mary Phagan was bitten on her breast, left shoulder, and neck.
Negro Acts As ‘Look Out’
Conley’s story was to the effect that he had often sat outside Leo’s office as a sort of watchdog while Leo staged his perversions behind the locked door. When anybody would approach, Conley would whistle or cough to warn his employer.
August 5, 1913 When the day ended Conley was still on the stand, while defense attorneys argued that his testimony of having been a lookout for Frank on earlier occasions should be stricken from the record as irrelevant to the case.August 6, 1913 – this was the ninth day of the trial of Leo Frank. Judge L.S. Roan ruled that testimony that Jim Conley had acted as a lookout for Leo Frank was admissible.
Applause broke out in the courtroom; Frank’s attorneys immediately contended that any further such actions would be cause for a mistrial; Judge roan threatened to clear the courtroom if order was not maintained
Outburst in the Courtroom
August 13, 1913 – . Jim Conley had claimed he watched while Frank entertained a woman in his office that day. More character witnesses were called during the afternoon. In cross-examining one of these witnesses, Hugh Dorsey asked if he had ever heard complaints about Frank fondling young girls.
Mrs. Rae Frank, Leo Frank’s mother, leapt to her feet and shouted at Dorsey “No, nor you either, you dog.” One of the defense attorneys escorted Mrs. Frank out of the courtroom. Another time she called Dorsey a ” Christian dog”
Leo Frank Testifies
August 18, 1913 – Leo Frank took the witness stand. He spoke for four hours, calmly but firmly laying out his story. Frank said Jim Conley’s tale was all lies, and that the detectives tried to distort everything he (Frank) said in order to incriminate him.
He said Mary came in for her pay soon after 12:00 noon on April 26th, returned a few minutes later to ask if the shipment of metal had arrived (Phagan’s job was putting metal tips on pencils), then left his office and he never saw her alive again.
He never saw Jim Conley that day. Frank concluded his statement thus: “Some newspaper man has called me ‘the silent man in the Tower.’ (for his unwillingness to talk to police or the press) Gentlemen, this is the time and here is the place! I have told you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
Prosecutor’s Final Argument
August 23, 1913 – the twenty-fourth day in the trial of Leo Frank. Solicitor Hugh Dorsey continued his eloquent, yet ferocious, final argument, scoring Leo Frank for his abhorrent behavior, and contending that he could not careless what opposing attorneys or Frank’s family thought of him; his duty was to Mary Phagan and the people of Georgia.
Defense Cries ‘ Anti-Semitism ‘
August 25, 1913 – The defense then argued that Frank was the latest in a long line of Jews who were persecuted for their religious beliefs, and again asserted that Jim Conley was the true murderer. Conley, and many other prosecution witnesses, had shady characters, while Leo Frank had been a pillar of the community who had many well respected people, plus many of his employees, testifying on his behalf.
If the case came down to Leo Frank’s word against Jim Conley’s, then it was obvious who should be believed.
Frank’s attorneys argued that the South blamed the Jews for the civil war and the buying up of land, and businesses.
Georgia State Militia Was Called Out In Case Leo Franks Was Acquitted
Monday morning the Fifth Regiment, Georgia National Guard, was posted throughout the city, and Judge Roan gave the jurors their instructions.
At 4:55 they returned with their decision; Leo Frank was declared guilty. Neither Frank nor his family or lead attorneys were present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.
There were two ballots; one, as to Leo’s guilt, which was unanimous; and the second, as to recommendation for mercy, which would mean a life sentence. The first vote here was 11 to 1 against leniency, and the solitary juror then joined the others.
Leo Frank Sentenced
August 26, 1913 – Judge L.S. Roan sentenced Leo Frank to hang for the murder of Mary Phagan.
The execution date was set for October 10, but Frank’s attorneys immediately motioned for a new trial.
Jewish Forces Unite
Adolph Lewisohn, Samuel Untermyer, Louis Marshall, Rabbi Wise, and other leading Hebrews begged for clemency.
Supreme Court Hears Case
In December 1914, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the case. But on April 19, 1915, the argument was rejected by a vote of 7 to 2.
Governor Bribed to Commute Sentence
June 20, 1915
In his last day in office, Georgia governor John Slaton was bribed and commuted the sentence of Leo Frank, from death to life in prison.
Governor Slaton announced the commutation from hanging to life imprisonment, and all hell broke loose in Atlanta.
The militia was called out, and thrown around the governor’s mansion, seven miles from the heart of the city, and martial law was declared. Hundreds of automobile loads of armed men raced through the streets to the executive home, where the mob trampled the grounds, screamed at the curtained windows, and hurled itself vainly against the militia’s bayonets
He was influenced by his law partners, who represented Frank. Either way, Slaton’s act was political suicide. He was forced to leave the country in fear for his own life.
The issue was now “Georgia’s traitor governor who sold out to sheeny gold.” Slaton was hanged in effigy; and the rumor that he and Mrs. Slaton were leaving at once for New York caused the throng to scream imprecations.
Frank Transferred to Milledgeville Prison
The governor arranged for Frank stayed in a private room next to the warden. His wife was allowed to visit.
Leo Frank Stabbed In Prison
June 21, 1915 – Leo Frank, in the middle of the night, was transferred from the Fulton County Prison to the Georgia State Penitentiary in Milledgeville
July 18, 1915 – Prisoner J. William Creen slashed Leo Frank’s throat at the Georgia State Prison Farm in Milledgeville. Only the quick actions of two other prisoners, both doctors, who stopped the flow of blood and stitched the wound, saved Frank’s life. Green accused Frank of attempted sodomy.
Lynching mob consisted of leading citizens in the community, men prominent in business and social circles, and even in churches.”
August 16, 1915 – A caravan of eight vehicles bearing 25 armed men from the Atlanta area arrived at the Georgia State Prison at Milledgeville around 10 p.m.
Calling themselves the Knights of Mary Phagan, they cut the telephone lines, surprised the guards and entered the barrack of Leo Frank, who two years earlier had been convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in one of the most infamous trials of the century. The intruders seized Frank and departed back to Marietta.
Leo Frank Lynched
August 17, 1915 – Frank was hanged there in Frey’s grove. When word of the lynching spread, crowds gathered to see the body hanging from a tree.
The next morning, a farmer driving his team and wagon of produce into Marietta, 170 miles away, saw a man dangling from a tree near the roadway. He recognized Leo Frank, hanging in his monogrammed silk nightgown, a hangman’s noose beside his tilted jaw. He had been dead for several hours.
The farmer whipped up his horses and a little later a mob of 6,000 men and boys was crowding the highway for a look as the famous prisoner
Frank’s body was rushed to an undertaker in Atlanta, with a line of vehicles trailing behind. Although the undertaker tried to keep the body concealed, a large crowd soon gathered demanding to see it. After a rock was thrown through a window, officials agreed to let the public view Frank’s body.
Under police supervision, thousands of curious Atlanta-area residents filed by single file to view Frank’s body — including the city detective who had arrested Frank. That night Frank’s body was quickly embalmed and placed on a train for New York.
August 18, 1915 – Leo Frank’s body, accompanied by his wife, departed Atlanta on a train bound for Brooklyn, NY.
August 20, 1915 – Leo Frank was buried in Brooklyn, NY.
* As a footnote to the lynching, no one was ever prosecuted for the murder of Leo Frank. Jewish groups were actually relieved, and never sought to try defendants.
Mary Phagan’s Niece Writes A Book
The niece spent thousands of hours researching court records, newspaper clippings and family records. She concluded there was no Anti Semitism, but rather cold hard facts.
Mary Phagan’s Grave
Frank was a cold blooded killer, and he murdered the girl. Today, Jewish groups spread filth on a 12 yr old child, so as to discredit her