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Leo Frank Trial: 1913 - Little Mary Phagan Murdered, Prosecutors Emphasize Frank's Nervousness, Prosecution Clinches Their Case, Frank Convicted, Commuted, And Lynched

atlanta jewish pencil york

Defendant: Leo Max Frank Crime Charged: Murder
Chief Defense Lawyers: Reuben Arnold, Herbert Haas, Stiles Hopkins, and Luther Z. Rosser
Chief Prosecutors: Hugh Dorsey, Frank Arthur Hooper, and Edward A. Stephens
Judge: Leonard Strickland Roan
Place: Atlanta, Georgia
Dates of Trial: July 28-September 26, 1913
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Death by hanging, commuted by Georgia Governor John Slaton to life imprisonment (After his commutation, Frank died at the hands of an angry lynch mob.)

SIGNIFICANCE: The Leo Frank trial was a national scandal, which exposed the double standard of Southern justice: one for whites and one for minorities such as Frank, who was Jewish. Not only was Frank hung by a lynch mob after his death sentence was commuted, but the Ku Klux Klan experienced a period of renewed growth for years afterward due to the racist feelings brought on by the trial.

Leo Max Frank was born in Paris, Texas, in 1884. His family moved to Brooklyn, New York while he was still a baby. Frank's family was Jewish, and he was raised in New York City's extensive Jewish community. Frank was a quiet, shy man, but he had exceptional mechanical aptitude and he graduated from Cornell University with an engineering degree. After working for brief periods with several companies, Frank went to work for his uncle, Moses Frank, who was the principal owner of the National Pencil Company. The National Pencil Company had a factory in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1907 Frank was appointed the superintendent and moved to Atlanta.

It probably never occurred to Frank that, since he was moving to the South, racism might be a problem. Atlanta's Jewish community was small by New York standards but nevertheless significant and had deep roots in the city's history. In 1911, Frank married Lucile Selig, whose family was also Jewish and well-off. Frank spent most of his time supervising the pencil factory, avoided politics and racial issues, and was honored by the Jewish community as one of Atlanta's most promising young businessmen. By 1913 Frank was one of Atlanta's leading citizens and was enjoying a successful career.

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over 6 years ago

Leo Frank confessed to murdering Mary Phagan on August 18, 1913 at his murder trial. He told the Jury that he went to the bathroom in the metal room to account for Monteen Stover saying Leo Frank's office was empty. The prosecution had spent 3 weeks before this near confession proving that Leo Frank murdered Mary Phagan in the metal room. You can read about Leo Frank's confession on http://www.LeoFrank.org

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over 5 years ago

The Leo Frank Murder Confession.

On Monday morning, April 28, 1913, Leo Frank was taken to the Atlanta police station to be questioned by detectives investigating the Mary Phagan murder mystery. Present during this interrogation were Leo Frank's lawyers, Luther Rosser and Herbert Haas. Leo Frank said Mary Phagan came into his office on April 26, 1913, between 12:05 and 12:10PM. For 4 months, the state's prosecution gathered evidence and testimony to prove Leo Frank murdered Mary Phagan in the metal room on April 26, 1913, between 12:05 and 12:10PM. At the trial Monteen Stover testified that she went to Leo Frank's empty office on April 26, 1913, at 12:05 PM to collect her pay envelope and waited there inside his office till 12:10PM. In response to Monteen Stover's testimony, on August 18, 1913, Leo Frank said he went to the bathroom in the metal room, the place the prosecution spent the entire 29-day trial trying to prove Leo Frank murdered Mary Phagan on April 26, 1913, from 12:05 to 12:10PM. Leo Frank's statement amounted to a murder confession.

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over 6 years ago

what contemporary authors who expound on the leo frank trial do is leave out many of the important details which would tend to incriminate leo frank and then manipulate the commonly known facts about the case to create a sense of doubt and indignation in the minds of readers. There is certainly no doubt frank is guilty as charged and if you do not want to be manipulated by manipulative authors like dinnerstein, oney, golden and goldfarb, you should read the most even handed book on the subject called the murder of little mary phagan, by mary phagan kean (mary phagans great grand niece). The book the murder of little mary phagan can be downloaded from archive dot org.

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over 6 years ago

Leo Frank raped and murdered Mary Phagan. He received due process and was rightly found guilty based on overwhelming evidence. Despite his further monstrous crime of attempting to pin his wicked deed on a black worker at his plant, cynically expecting southern racism to latch on to his ruse, he was convicted and given the proper sentence, death. Late in the game, big jewish influence thought to sweep in and spring Frank and it apparently succeeded. Again, however, Frank and his ilk, in their cynicism, failed to account for the presence of a real, sincere commitment to and passion for justice amongst the gentile community. Frank's shirking of official process left him subject to unofficial justice: the mob and the rope.
Why is Leo Frank "innocent" today? The narrative tells the story, he was the only JEW to ever be lynched. Revisionist, partisan interests like the ADL won't stop until they have sanitized this monstrous crime and pushed the blame elsewhere. Rest assured, another few decades and we'll hear how 14 year old Mary was "asking for it". Sickening stuff.

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over 7 years ago

As previously noted, Frank had one of the most overly-fair trials imaginable, taken all the way to the Supreme Court. When Georgia's outgoing governor commuted Frank's death sentence, he then immediately took off on a grand vacation with Frank's moneybag New York City supporters. Quid pro quo.

By the way, a life sentence still means guilty.

Furthermore, Frank's Jewish lawyers spit all over themselves in court with the most vile racist language, as they blamed a black man (the plant janitor or something like that). Better an innocent "n-igger" die than a guilty J-w, is the apparent rule of thumb among these esteemed sem!tic bretheren.

Oh yeah, southern Protestants historically liked J-ws, because they assumed them to be fellow men of God, so the whole southern anti-sem!tic lie was dreamed up by the same power-mongering New York moneybags operating today, who use it to squelch the truth whenever it hurts their interests. Jefferson Davis' right-hand man was a J-w.

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almost 8 years ago

Are you trying to make me believe that in 1913 Georgia, they would let a black child murderer get away and hang an innocent Jew?

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over 8 years ago

It was the South, so this innocent jew was railroaded, right? Did it ever occur to any of you that Frank was, indeed, guilty? Your only argument for his innocense is that he was a Jew; therefore, he must have been unjustly persecuted. Hogwash! He was guilty.

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over 8 years ago

He was convicted of a Jury of his peers had 8 lawyers took his case all the way to the Supreme Court If anyone ever got a fair trial it was him. He was a child molester and a murder plain and simple. You people are spitting on Mary's grave have you no shame! Yes he was pardoned by a corrupt governor that just happened to be a partner in law with one of Frank's Lawyers!

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almost 6 years ago

ok frank hooper you are wrong. if you look at the facts you will see that the other man working that night was seen with a bloody shirt and he changed his story 4 times before sticking with his final one, which had its holes. and oh yea... HIS LAWYER ADMITTED THAT HE KILLED MARY! Leo Frank is an innocent man. you think this racism would have ended by now.

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about 6 years ago

The facts of this case illustrate not only a time in American history where the justice system was incredibly biased but also the inability for the accused to get reasonable and appropriate representation. The question should be why is it that people accept that a conviction by a jury (allegedly of his peers) means that he got a fair trial? There are many cases where this simply is not the case - and this is one. Investigators at the time often used strong-arm tactics to illicit the desired response from the accused. Inaccuracies and story changes in this case are a more a function of fatigue and abuse than reality. How many times have we heard of the police abusing their power to force a confession or manipulate evidence to get a conviction in a high profile case? Too many to be sure. The little girl was raped and killed and no provable culprit was caught. Mary Phagan (the GG niece) is not a professional investigator and her book does not balance accusations with valid proofs in evidence. She is at best a woman that has a passion for the case and points out the obvious problems with the investigation. Frank may have been guilty but a preponderance of the evidence causes any reasonable person to understand that this case, like so many others, was mishandled and would have resulted in a mis-trial today. This case is used in law school as a example of jurisprudence gone wrong. Why is it that so many legal minds (who are both unemotional and have no preordained agenda) can review this case and the facts in evidence and all come to the conclusion that justice was not served? People who post here, name call and affect reverse-discrimination are showing the same ignorance and bias that was shown all those years ago. You will never understand the truth.

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almost 7 years ago

There were a lot of things wrong with society back when the trial of Leo was going on and also alot that wasn't discovered and used then in forensics. Since the lynching of Leo much has come out about his innocence and Conely's guilt as mentioned in a previous comment by someone.. Conely confessed on death bed. Leo didnt deserve lynching and nothing had to do with oh blame the black guy or the jew. It was a giant misunderstanding which costs Leo's life and technically that of Jim Conely because nothing eats away at the soul of man like the guilt of 2 deaths weighing down on you. My jewish great grandmother's brother was named Leo Frank. But i dont know much nor can find much history about the family.. i came across all the news feeds about Leo Frank and have read everything..recoreded from then til now and its plain to see poor little Mary Phagan didnt suffer at the hands of Leo Frank yet Leo suffered at the hands of a mob. Harmful words wont change anything that happened so long ago, nor will it change that Leo was pardoned. Its wrong to assume Jim Conely was accused because of the color of his skin because it wasnt the case. Alot of people say it was the color of his skin and complain about the wrongness yet judging someone because they are Jewish isnt any different. Im part jewish and have black family and reading the news feeds it didnt look like it was the case. More probable cause regarding bringing Jim in as suspect than racial profiling. Think about it.



*Every Book Has More To It Than A Front Cover and Back, There's a Whole Range of Information Inbetween the Two*

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almost 7 years ago

To those who still believe Leo Frank was guilty of murdering Mary Phagan, you are just like the Big Tobacco executives who told Congress under oath that nicotine is "not addictive" and that there is no conclusive proof that smoking causes lung cancer in spite of the warnings printed on cigarette packs. The innocence of Leo Frank, like the dangers of smoking to human health and the addictiveness of nicotine, IS IRREFUTABLE HISTORIC FACT! Read Steve Oney's book AND THE DEAD SHALL RISE and learn the truth once and for all! Leo Frank's 1913 murder conviction is IRREVOCABLY NULL AND VOID since he was pardoned in 1986 by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

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over 2 years ago

Is it true that Leo Frank told the jury that he might have "unconsciously" gone to the metal room bathroom as the reason why Monteen Stover found his office empty between 12:05 and 12:10?

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over 2 years ago

Is it true that Leo Frank told the jury that he might have "unconsciously" gone to the metal room bathroom as the reason why Monteen Stover found his office empty between 12:05 and 12:10?

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almost 6 years ago

that trick lied and no one knows if he was prosecuted. he should be sorry for way he did he let that man die

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about 6 years ago

Why is September cited as the end of the Trial in 1913? That's a month too long.



Allen

www.leofrankcase.com

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over 7 years ago

The date given for the Jury Verdict (Sept 26) is wrong - it should be in August.



Mary went to the factory on April 26, 1913 (Sat) just after noon - nothing to do with midnight. Most of Leo's lawyers were not Jewish (neither Rosser nor Arnold).



Some new documents have been posted at: leofrankcaseDOTcom



Allen

http://www.leofrankcase.com

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over 7 years ago

I was raised to believe that Leo Frank was innocent because my maternal grandfather was a witness for the defense and he always claimed that he new for a fact that Conley had killed the girl.

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almost 8 years ago

In no way do I believe Frank should not have convicted. I have no idea why people keep doubting his innocence. Come on everybody, think!



1. Everything the prosecution presented to the court was almost entirely circumstancial evidence, or however the heck you spell that. Which means that the evidence is only basing on an assumption, meaning that it still could be wrong. If we were in today's court, and only the judge was going to hand down the verdict, the prosecution would look like fools. A conviction can only be fair if there is no room possible for doubt. The note was not analysed, and neither was the rope. They didn't even find the correct murder scene! And more to the point, Hugh Dorsey constantly painted Frank as a predator without backing up that claim conclusively. It's the oldest prosecutor's trick when the jury hands down the verdict. How on earth is that a fair trial? The Jury was tricked, the prosecution presented non-decisive evidence, and Frank was convicted on an irrelivant story, which was not even true. NOT FAIR.



2. You also have to consider how Mary was found. Traces of human flesh was clearly found under her nails, which proves that she did, in fact, fight for her life well. We did not have the forensics, nor did we have the amount to do a DNA sample, but we DID have a scarred murderer. Full body searches were done on all people who were arrested. Including Leo Frank and Jim Conley. Now, if Frank did, in fact, rape Mary, why was he completely unscathed? Unlike Conley, who was scratched and cut up, in public AND private body parts, more than a rotten used piece of wood?



3. We also have several tens of Defense Witnesses who testified on Frank's Alibi. If that weren't enough, a man just recently gave the best testimony in 1982 about the crime and how he witnessed it, and guess what? He couldn't tell Luther Rosser and ask him to be a witness because Conley threatened to kill him, at 14! Another Child! His name is Alonzo Mann, and he clearly testified saying that Conley was clearly dragging Mary's body via elevator to the basement with a rope, and it seemed as if somewhere private of his was injured because he had his other hand down his pants. None of these witnesses were caught lying under cross-examination. Also, Conley has given multiple testimonies after being caught lying, both Frank's trial and his own trial, plus repeated confessions of doing the crime a decade after Frank's death.



4. Some important witnesses, both Prosecution and Defense, including Leo Frank and Jim Conley, also stated that Mary was killed after midnight. She left Frank's office at 9 PM with her $1.20 paycheck. She was alive for at least 3 HOURS and did not leave the factory during this period. And since her body was found at 3 PM, and very cold, she had died for at least an hour. So her time of death is between 12:00-2:00 AM, and since Conley was there the entire time, and Frank might not have, since we don't know when he left for home, chances are Conley had better chances for the killing.



5. And finally, Leo Frank had NO criminal charges of breaking any law, child or adulthood. Nothing relivant to something that would cause those crimes too. As for Jim Conley, he has convicted charges of shooting at many people, including his wife, and robbing banks and houses before and after working at Frank's pencil factory. And he was also a child molester before adulthood. Sounds convincing, does it not?



I am NOT defending Leo Frank because he is Jewish, or because Conley is Black. That trial was full of rascist comments, and I don't approve of what was said at all. I am defending him because he was a victim of circumstancial evidence and an opinion based Jury. As for Frank's trial being fair, that is not wrong either. However, it was fair a CENTURY ago. Not our present day. I have evidence and reason to believe he was innocent. So I am defending him on those terms. That being said, I AM NOT "Spitting" on Mary Phagan's Grave. I am fully sympathetic and heart-broken as to what happened thast night. What I do intend to do is to find the truth, and the killer. And I choose Conley. Plain and simple.

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almost 8 years ago

they didn't let a black child murderer get away, they didn't find out the black child murderer did it until he admitted it on his death bed. this is a sad case of mistrial.

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almost 10 years ago

Just a fact thing - Leo was born in Cuero, Texas - not Paris. Sorry to critique, I just noticed. Great summation.

-L