The Biography of Mrs. Lucille Selig Frank (Wednesday, February 29, 1888 – Tuesday, April 23, 1957), and Leo Frank Murder Confession Number Two of Four Known
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Had there indeed been a perfect triumph? A coup de grace? A sex strangulation and plotted double murder in the making, one dead little Christian white girl, with one or possibly two African-Americans hanged for the crime in its wake, or was the whole world about to turn upside down for Leo Frank? If the revelations of Albert McKnight’s affidavit were in fact mostly true and we take them in context of the prosecution’s theory, we might naturally ask: was Leo attempting to assuage his guilt?
Confederate Memorial Day and it’s Aftermath:
According to an affidavit by Albert McKnight (Minola’s husband), we are left asking: what allegedly really happened on the morning of Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, at the Selig residence, hours before the murder occurred at noon? (Albert McKnight Affidavit, 1913) And according to an affidavit by Magnolia “Minola” McKnight (Albert’s wife) what also allegedly really happened that morning and afternoon on that fateful Saturday? What happened during and in the immediate aftermath of that holiday weekend? (State’s Exhibit J, June 3rd 1913)
So we might speculate as 21st Century Forensic Time Travelers of the Imagination: why did Leo Frank so thoughtfully buy his wife a box of Lock’s Atlanta “French” chocolates from Jacob’s Pharmacy on the evening of the murder (State’s Exhibit B, April 28th 1913)? Was it a mere coincidence of loving affection? Did Leo Frank actually have a jealous quarrel with his wife on the morning of the murder, as alleged weeks later by Albert McKnight?
Meet the Parents of Lucille Selig (Mrs. Leo M. Frank): Emil and Josephine Cohen, “A Match Made in Heaven”. In a lucky coincidence of fate, both of Lucille’s parents were born on the same day and month, June 10th, but 13 years apart. Emil and Josephine beget three daughters, Sarah Selig Marcus (1883 – 1957), Rosalind Selig Ursenbach (1884 – 1938), and Lucille Selig Frank (1888 – 1957). Lucille Selig an Atlanta native was born in February of 1888, the youngest of three daughters, and her eldest sister was the only member of her immediate family baring children. Sarah Selig Marcus and her German-Jewish immigrant husband Alexander E. Marcus (1873 – 1926) had two children, Harold and Alan, who interestingly enough revealed that Lucille wanted to be cremated and have her ashes spread at a park in Atlanta. Rosalind who was married to Charles Ursenbach, a Christian Gentile, had a date with Leo Frank to see the baseball game on Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, in the early afternoon, but Leo Frank canceled the get together at about 1:30pm while seated in the dining room of the Selig Residence before the ball game started. Leo Frank would later give two different reasons in total, at two separate times, as to why he canceled the appointment, one, because he had too much work to do, and second, he was afraid of catching a cold because of the inclement weather; this inconsistency, like several other documented examples, might have tended to weaken his credibility at the trial.
Lucille’s Father: Emil
Lucille’s father Emil Selig (June 10, 1849 – March 30, 1914) was the oldest of four sons beget by Samsohn Seelig, and Sara Loeb. Emil worked as a salesman for the West Disinfecting Co., a maker of soaps and industrial cleaning supplies, before that, he was a liquor salesman. The modest 2-story + basement, Selig residence, at 68 East Georgia Avenue was not owned by Emil and Josephine, but rented. Emil passed away on March 30, 1914, without leaving a ‘Will’ according to the records office in Atlanta; that is, he died “Intestate.” (Koenigsberg, 2013). His widow and three married daughters were thus his inheritors in the normal course of events. Emil Selig’s final resting place is in the Jewish section of Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Block 279, Lot 58, Grave 3, from the perspective of the viewer, located at the right-hand side of Josephine Cohen Selig his beloved wife.
Lucille’s Mother: Josephine Cohen
Lucille’s mother was Mrs. Josephine Cohen Selig (June 10, 1862 – January 27, 1933), daughter of Jonas Loeb Cohen (1823 – 1885) and Regina Abraham Cohen (1839 – 1918). Lucille’s maternal grandfather Levi Cohen was a religious pioneer who helped found the first synagogue in Georgia. Josephine was like most married women of privilege from good families, she was a pampered housewife with her very own daytime Negro mammy. The Selig family home-base benefited from the employment of 20 year old Magnolia “Minola” McKnight, who served as their daytime cook and maid for 2 years from 1911 to 1913. With Minola taking care of laundry, house cleaning, and cooking for the Selig’s during her work days that began on most days at 6:30 a.m. and ended at 6:30 p.m., thus their really wasn’t a whole lot else left to do around the house for Josephine and Lucille, which was a wonderful thing, because it freed up more time for more important matters, such as family time, socializing, playing cards, attending cultural events and enjoying Jewish society life. Josephine was buried next to her beloved husband Emil at in the Jewish Section of Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Block 279, Lot 58, Grave 2, from the perspective of the visiting viewer, at the left-hand side of Emil her beloved husband.
Marian J. Frank and Otto Stern Marry in Brooklyn
In NYC on Wednesday, January 12, 1910, Leo’s baby sister Marian J. Frank, became Marian J. Stern, after she had married Otto Stern a Jewish immigrant from Germany (1898) who became successful in the cigar business. Leo Frank being older by a couple of years than his younger sister, naturally felt the underlying social pressures at the time, and knew he was long overdue to marry, but Leo had his own plans in the pipeline by 1910, he was fortunate enough to have already been introduced to Miss Lucille Selig shortly after he had relocated to Atlanta in August of 1908. Leo began seriously courting Lucille in 1909 and they were engaged to Marry by 1910.
Marriage for Life the Cultural Phenomena From Long Ago
Marriage was a completely different concept politically speaking in the early 20th century that it is today, when the average life expectancy was almost half of what it was in the early 21st century. The long standing traditions from antiquity established deeply ingrained social norms for the first half of the 20th century, and ensured that most people remained married for life, even if marriages were unhappy or simply failed. Marital problems and difficulties were often either worked through or swept under the rug, but rarely did people officially end their marriage, because of the stigma of embarrassment and shame attached to divorce was all too real. There were still divorces in the early 20th century, but they were few and far between in comparison to rising divorce rates that began in later half of the 20th and continued to trend upward through the early part of 21st century in America. In the first decade of the 21st century atleast 50% of all marriages end in divorce within the first five years inside the United States of America.
The Odd Couple, “Opposites Attract” : Miss Lucille Selig and Mister Leo M. Frank
The marriage between Leo and Lucille appears to be more political and arranged than anything else. The marriage enabled an ambitious Leo Frank, to position himself for ascending up through the ranks of Jewish social status and power in the New South. If true, based on some of the allegations involving sexual impropriety that would come out at the trial and against afterward during appeals, about what Frank was doing at the factory behind Lucille’s back, their one-sided marriage, could not be described as happy by any stretch of the imagination, except perhaps on the surface for the illusion of social appearances, but definitely not under the veneer. Lucille was living for the most part under the facade of a fairytale marriage with a husband who took her and their marital vows for granted if the allegations of philandering waged against him turned out to be largely true, but their are some clear indications she might have come to terms with this fact in 1954 and the years that followed until she passed away in 1957.
Lucille Selig Frank (February 29, 1888 – April 23, 1957) was very much different from Leo Max Frank (1884 – 1915). Lucille “Lucy” Selig was “chunky, but funky” in 21st century Jewish fratboy parlance. Lucy was part of the socially active and highly assimilated German Jewish community of Georgia and the South at large. Lucy was very much Southern and sassy, moreover, irregardless of being from a well-to-do and prominent Jewish family with middle to upper-middle class means, she was very provincial compared to Leo Frank. In fact, as any New Yorker will tell you, everyone from outside of NYC is provincial and unsophisticated.
Leo Frank was very cosmopolitan, well traveled, could speak basic German and Hebrew, and as for ever evolving Yiddish, as a Brooklynite, that dialect came normal as part of the natural ethnic enclave culture of Jewish Brooklyn, and to top it all off, Frank rightfully was a bit of an educated snob, the well educated Ivy Leaguer of privilege had more than just the opportunity to study at one of the best schools in the United States, after college he took an educational “sabbatical” overseas, experiencing being trained overseas in no-nonsense Germany: these are some of the unique circumstances of his life that made Frank a cut above the rest.
The Odd Couple: Leo and Lucille
After the odd-couple married, the ziftag Lucille packed on the stereotypical post-marriage stones, her weight slowly swelled up like a hog, slowly grazing at a voluptuous landfill, no thanks in part to the good old fashioned Negro cooking of her family’s black mammy, O’le Minola. Though Lucille was an extra thick woman, that might have held her weight well for the most part, it still left her looking a bit frog-necked, androgynous (like the fictional character “Pat” from the comedy show Saturday Night Live) and dumpy, as the unflattering evolution of her photos clearly shows before and during the Leo Frank affair.
To make matters worse, Lucille’s masculine short-butch bull-dyke haircut — like her swelling weight management difficulties — didn’t help her either, but anyway you slice it or dice it, Leo Frank got bored with Lucy faster than a New York minute, especially when the factory was flooded with svelte pre-teen and teenage former farmgirls, who were blossoming much faster than their female peer counterparts. The teen girl laborers often matured physically ahead of their time, and were nothing like the girls who came from middle class and wealthy families, where patriarchs could ensure their daughters wouldn’t have to give up public school to work long hours in the dingy mills and factories to help make ends meet.
Is Power the Ultimate Aphrodisiac?
The world is certainly not a vacuum: Leo Frank’s wily behavior at the factory was likely not one sided either, as any man in a position of status and rank can tell you about the law of power and attraction, thus there were likely no shortage of willing participants. It was more than the endless stream of poverty stricken and blossoming hormonal teenage girls funneling into the factory each day that provided inspiration for any red blooded man in Leo Frank positions or heirarchy, a simple phone call to Leo’s favorite madam, Nina Formby, a mamasan running a child brothel in Atlanta’s Red Light District on Mechanic Street, was conveniently located — only a few blocks north of the Pencil Factory — Leo Frank seated at the helm of the factories stewardship could order the new catch of the day and have young pre-teen hookers delivered by foot to his office for lunch, after work or on Saturdays, and no one would notice any difference otherwise, since the factory was always brimming with young girls coming to and fro anyways. It was a sad reality of life, but many of the young girls who ended up in the child brothels of Atlanta, had been former child laborers ground down in the industrial factories and mills. Some of these young girls, like Daisy Hopkins who was a former National Pencil Company employee, might have made the lifestyle decision by choice alone, but we will never known for sure.
Could You Have Sex with “Pat” From Saturday Night Live?
The thoughts Leo Frank had of mounting that swelling provincial cow he married in 1910, often gave him the nauseous apparition of a human sized praying mantis like mosquito, trying to puncture, impale and drill into a beached walrus with a matted afro.
Lucile May have Whinged:
It was intimated Leo Frank might have had predilection for oral sex with factory girls and prostitutes, which was astonishingly against the law in 1913, garnering the death penalty, considered Sodomy, and he may have simply gotten tired of hogging with his “big fat wife” as he is alleged to have called Lucille Selig behind her back, according to Jim Conley at the Leo Frank trial on August 4th, 1913 (Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913).
The Selig’s were a notable family that had historically helped to establish religious culture for Southern Jewry and a pioneering member of the family created a successful chemical company (see references).
By 1913, the Selig clan were amongst the most prominent and respected Jewish families in Atlanta, Georgia, not only because two generations earlier in the middle to late 19th century, Levi Cohen, had participated in creating the first permanent Synagogue in Atlanta, but because the Selig family was very devoted to Jewish life on a spiritual level.
According to ‘The Temple’ website, “The Temple is Atlanta’s oldest synagogue, founded in 1867.” (The Temple, ‘About Us’, Accessed March 3, 2012)
The Evolving Temple
The Temple has served as a center for Atlanta’s Jewish cultural, educational and social activities since its construction in 1931. It is the home of the city’s oldest Jewish congregation–the Hebrew Benevolent Society, established in 1860 to serve the needs of the local German-Jewish immigrants. Operating from various rented rooms and halls, the congregation built its first permanent synagogue in 1875 in downtown Atlanta. Twice, first in 1902 and again in 1930, overcrowded facilities prompted the Reform Judaism congregation to build a new home. At the time of its construction, the current Temple was one of only a few synagogues in the state, which in 1926 had only 22 Jewish congregations and 13 synagogues. During the era of the Civil Rights struggle in the South, the Temple’s rabbi, Jacob Rothschild, became an outspoken supporter of equality for all of Atlanta’s citizens. On October 12, 1958, white supremacists bombed the northern side of the Temple in response to the rabbi’s support of the Civil Rights movement. Although arrests were made, no one was ever convicted of the bombing. While Rabbi Rothschild’s commitment to social justice angered some, many more were outraged at the bombing. An outpouring of support came from around the world to help reconstruct the damaged portions of the Temple.
The Temple is a fine example of a classically inspired religious building and the design is particularly noteworthy for its elaborate interior decorative scheme worked out by the architect in consultation with the Temple’s rabbi to combine classical motifs with Jewish iconography. It was designed by Philip T. Shutze, an important early 20th-century Atlanta architect. Shutze was considered a master of classically inspired design and was also responsible for Swan House and the Academy of Medicine. The well-proportioned building features a pedimented portico, Ionic columns, drum dome and vaulted and domed sanctuary. Its finishing details include terrazzo floors, black marbleized-wood columns and gilded woodwork. Of particular note is the intricate plaster relief work on the interior of the sanctuary’s frieze, cornice, vaults and dome. The focal point of the central altar area is the Ark–made of carved gilded wood. Above this hangs one of four red globes, the Eternal Light, brought from the first temple of the congregation built in 1875. This globe is suspended from a gilded eagle on the ceiling that represents the Great Seal of the United States and symbolizes Jewish freedom in America.
The Temple is located at 1589 Peachtree St. in north Atlanta. It is open to the public during normal worship services… …Visit www.the-temple.org for more information. (National Park Service of Atlanta, http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/atlanta/text.htm. Accessed October 12, 2012.)
Selig Business Innovation
Mr. Simon Selig was the nephew of Emil and founded the Selig Chemical Company that later became one of the premier businesses in Atlanta involved in the “manufacture and sale of home-cleaning products (soaps, dispensers, disinfectants, and other cleaning agents), insecticides, and other consumer goods” (Pioneer Neon Supply Co., Accessed 2012).
Lucille was educated in Atlanta’s public school system. Lucille did not attend college once her education ended with the completion of highschool (c. 1906), which was quite normal for both genders of the period, especially for women, and Lucille was no ordinary woman, she came from a good family. It was not until the later half of the 20th century that female enrollment at the University level surged upward.
Leo Frank’s Defenders on the image of Lucille Selig:
The Leo Frank partisan revisionist version concerning the lifetime of Lucille Selig, conjures up the image of the feather brained high society Stepford wife, who believed in the innocence of her husband till the end of her life and that her love was everlasting. Indeed, Lucille became vocally indignant, throwing a tantrum and bursting into tears at the trial of Leo Frank, when the Solicitor Dorsey insinuated her husband was philandering on the side and at least publicly she refused to believe it, but something very unusual happened later to suggest she may have known the uncomfortable truth and wasn’t the oblivious housewife afterall. Lucille was without dispute a fiercely loyal wife when all is said and done, and she might have been provincial, but she was not naive.
There may have been a time early on that Lucille refused to entirely believe the accusations concerning questions about Leo Frank’s marital faithfulness, but there are also defacto indications suggesting she may have come to eventually accept them as truth in 1954, because of an official legal document that has been obtained in the 21st century for the first time. More importantly though, Lucille might not have known all the details about what happened at the NPCo after twelve noon on April 26, 1913, however, she likely knew who committed the murder if the June 3, 1913 affidavit of Magnolia “Ole Minola” McKnight known as State’s Exhibit J is most likely more or less accurate. If the substance of State’s Exhibit J was not true as most of Leo Frank’s defenders believe, it might be hard to reconcile with what occurred decades after the Leo Frank lynching in 1915, when a loyal Lucille Selig passed away some 40 odd years later.
As Leo Frank partisan revisionists have built into their books the position that Leo Frank was innocent and convicted because of anti-Semitism, despite Leo’s four well known separate and distinct incidents amounting to murder confessions (two private and two public), these Frankites close off exploring the magnitudes of suppressed pain, grief, and suffering Lucille endured after she learned approximately what really happened that fateful noon hour while she was at the Opera House, and for the rest of her life having to publicly pretend otherwise – cognitive dissonance – it’s certainly not a lifetime burden most people can fathom. Lucille was also very much involved in Leo Frank’s appeals and after the trial ended with a guilty verdict, another little girl had come forward that Leo Frank might have raped causing her to became pregnant; this little girl reported that after Leo Frank seduced her, he descended between her legs and sadistically plunged his teeth ravenously into the tenderest region of the thys adjacent to her vagina (Leo Frank Georgia Supreme Court Records, 1913, 1914). The child was permanently scarifying not just physically, but mentally too, but her and Leo’s alleged bastard child were whisked way to a Christian home in Ohio for unwed teen mothers, which was the normal course of events in such affairs. There can be no denying such revelations were hard to ignore by Lucille, who acted as stenographer and secretary for her beloved Leo, managing and organizing his appeals petitions between 1913 and 1915.
Permutation Analysis and Cognitive Dissonance Concerning Georgia’s Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913: Defense Alternative vs. Prosecution Theory
For defenders of Leo Frank in 1913 and pro Leo Frank partisans of the 20th and 21st century (known as Frankites then and now), exploring two critical permutations are closed off in the Leo Frank defense variation of who killed Mary Ann Phagan, because in this particular theory that contradicts Leo Frank’s lawful conviction, Jim Conley is perceived as the real murderer and Leo Frank is entirely innocent. Thenceforth, These two critical, rarely explored permutations that are closed off, require acceptance of Leo’s guilt in order to explore the premise Frank either coaxed Mary Phagan into the metal room, or together Leo and Mary had established a pre-planned meeting in the metal room at noon. Was their an affair afterall? This being said, for the State of Georgia’s Prosecution Team and Leo Frank Detractors in 1913, the presumption is Leo Frank was the real murderer and one critical permutation is closed off, that being, Mary Phagan may have had a prearranged tryst with Leo Frank at noon in the metal room. Such a controversial theory was culturally unthinkable for a church going 13-year old girl in a Christian Conservative Atlanta, Georgia of 1913, even though technically speaking, back in those days, girls could get married at the young age of 15 in the Old South and it was not uncommon in the 19th century as census records reveal (see: www.Ancestry.com).
The Unthinkable Permutation
In the 21st Century and for the first time in 100 years, it is now finally possible to explore the permutation that Mary Phagan had planned to meet for a tryst with Leo Frank, one that took a wrong turn for the worse in the metal room, but why? Exploring whether or not Leo and Mary had a prearranged meeting planned that day has never been explored thoroughly until now in 2013. Becuase along these lines, it seems unlikely that Leo Frank had a pre-arranged meeting with a completely different girl that day (Jim alleging Leo asked him to be a lookout) and would then assault Mary Phagan, when Frank was expected to go to leave for lunch and then a ball game that day in the afternoon with his brother-in-law Mister Ursenbach. Anything is possible, but as dispassionate historians, looking back at the case 100 years later, with new, lucid, and penetrating eyes, it is necessary to take the common sense approach as Judges and Juries are expected when evaluating facts, evidence, testimony and circumstances.
Is this case more complicated than previously thought?
In the Prosecution’s 1913 Leo Frank inveigling permutation, it is obvious why Leo Frank had to kill Mary Phagan, to silence her from telling the authorities and family members what happened in the metal room, but why did Leo Frank kill Mary Phagan in the permutation of the prearranged meeting for an assignation? This cul de sac is a path of speculation never openly explored before. In the Gail Gleason sub-variation of the prearranged assignation permutation, Mary Phagan might have backed out or changed her mind, causing Leo Frank, a man who could not take no for an answer to possibly lash out violently (Gail Gleason, Leo Frank Case Yahoo Discussion Group, 2012), but is that too overly simplistic? In the Allen Koenigsberg sub-variation of the prearranged meeting, there is a wide array of speculation: Was Mary pregnant? Did she want out of the relationship? Did she extort Leo Frank or threatened to tell his wife Lucille? (Koenigsberg, 2013). As we travel back down the time web of the imagination to 1913 Atlanta, we must be fearless and not be the prevailing self-deceiving Jews who suffer from the genetic diseases causing mental illnesses such as cultural myopia, persecution paranoia, noble victim complexes and behaviors that infect non-Jews with anti-Semitism. Indeed, the virus of anti-Semitism is spread by the Jewish HIV Virus, culturally carried by Jews and spread to non-Jews. It is the cultural hate crime hoax prevailing in the narratives of the Jewish Community that anti-Semitism is behind every misfortune of Jews which ultimately prevents an honest, open and dispassionate look at Jewish history by Jews and Gentiles alike.
Lucille Buries Leo Frank
Leo Frank was returned by train to Manhattan’s Penn Station and then by hearse to his home on 152 Underhill Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, for a final open casket service.
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Mount Carmel Cemetery
83-45 Cypress Hills Street
Glendale NY 11385
Last Name, First Name Location Date of Death:
FRANK, LEO 1-E-41-1035-2 8/17/1915 Section: 1 Block: E Map: Path: 41 Lot: 1035 Line: Society: Grave: 2 Cemetery Gates Close at 4:00 p.m. (Mount Carmel Cemetery, NY).
Lucy Selig died on April 23, 1957. Even then, in 1957 (As the Frankite Steve Oney has Suggested): her family was unsure of burying her in Atlanta, and it wasn’t for another number of years that nephews buried her ashes between her parents’ graves in Oakland Cemetery, but without a marker (Steve Oney, Features, 2004).
In the End:
Lucille Selig Frank (Feb. 29th, 1888 – April 23, 1957) died 42 years after Leo M. Frank was lynched, what was equivalent to a lifetime, as the life expectancy in the early 20th century hovered between 40 to 50 years, and she was finally very clear about her own ultimate verdict in the Leo Frank Case. Lucille’s wishes were unmistakable in her last will and testament, where she stated that she wanted to be cremated (Last Will and Testament of Lucille Selig Frank, Atlanta, Georgia, 1954) and thus NOT buried next to or with her deceased husband Leo M. Frank in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. But in her will Lucille did not leave instructions as to what to do with her ashes, however she did give instructions verbally. It was anticlimactic, sad and a heart breaking final verdict coming from the woman who stood by her husband loyally throughout the whole ugly drama, even though her cook Minola Magnolia McKnight might have tipped her hand revealing Lucille knew approximately what really happened.
The official record concerning State’s Exhibit J, indicates Lucy Selig knew the reality about her beloved husband Leo Frank. In truth what could Lucille really do?.. other than the only option she really had given the loss of face: cognitive dissonance and double think. Lucille’s honor, the honor of her family and the Jewish community was on the line in such a high profile scandal that first went State, then National and finally International. Lucille did what any good loyal wife would do in this situation, stand by her husband, right or wrong, guilty or innocent. But Leo Frank detractors ask why did she wait 2 weeks to visit her husband in prison after he was arrested? Leo Frank said he thought he would be freed earlier on.
Infallible Wives and Mothers
We can not hold the same black and white, right or wrong lens, to loyal mothers and wives who stand by their sons and husbands, especially invincibly as Lucille S. Frank did, and we do not live in a vacuum, or black and white world, but one of subtle shades and variations of gray. The Leo Frank Case is very much about reading between the lines. The moral lens of what is right and wrong, can not be applied to mothers and wives who loyally stand by their children and husbands, even if deep down they know of their true guilt. Lucille did what she had to do, which was a hard decision and she should not be negatively judged for fiercely standing faithfully by her husband loyally all the way to the end even if he was indeed guilty. Even though cosmetically she had to put on the mask of pretenses and appearances, pretending publicly her husband Leo Frank was “not guilty” of the murder, on some level it was probably difficult for Lucy Selig to trick herself into not believing the 19 employees who came forward and suggested Frank was a sexual predator, pedophile and others saying he dabbled in assignations. Some witnesses suggesting Leo Frank was regularly whoring on the Sabbath and trying to turn out girls at the factory. Lucille knew what her husband was doing since he stopped having sex with her except for the obligatory one time a month during ovulation on day 14 of her menstrual cycle, when he would guzzle a bottle whiskey, close his eyes and pinch his nose, to perform manual procreation with her, trying to conceive Leo Frank the Second, but they never had children. As 21st century dispassionate explorers we might ask: Was she naturally sterile? Did he give his once virgin wife chlamydia at some point in their marriage – the most common STD and silent sterilizer? And what was most embarrassing and humiliating is that there was evidence in 1913 after the trial that Leo Frank inseminated one of former factory workers, who got pregnant, and was shipped off to a home for unwed mothers in Ohio, something no matter how much she repressed, Lucille would have naturally been mortified by such notion.
The alleged persistent theme of the Leo M. Frank Case: “Jewish controlled US Mega-cities and media outside of the South” vs. Georgia.
Detective William Burns the corrupt keystone cop style sleuth employed by the Leo M. Frank defense team and funded by the swollen Leo Frank defense slush fund, who was originally dismissed for being too obvious in his criminal activities involving bribing and threatening witnesses, received a telegram from Marietta, Georgia, after the lynching of Leo M. Frank. The Telegram sarcastically told him to come down quickly and investigate the lynching, signed H.H. Looney Chief of Police. William Burns had been driven out of Georgia with threats of lynching when it was discovered he was hired by the Leo Frank defense to try-on and bribe any witnesses he could and turn the Mary Phagan murder investigation into a carnival side show. Burns was able to get published grandiose announcements in the local newspapers and affidavits came out after the trial that he was trying to bribe witnesses with “piles of money”.
What made Lucille an amazing wife, is she still stood by her husband during the whole ordeal, despite the collateral damage to the NPCo, the Selig Family, family associates, B’nai B’rith, The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation (“The Temple”), and Jewish community. When all things are considered, an intense focal point of shame caused by the notoriety of such a heinous murder was put indirectly upon Lucille, because of the accusation that a pattern of sexual harassment and finally rape preceded the strangulation of thirteen year old Mary Phagan. The evidence presented at the trial suggested Leo might have had an unhappy marriage with a Lucille, especially because she had been barren during her 3 year marriage to Leo and lurid things were alleged to have gone-on behind her back. In other twists and turns revealed during the trial and appeal, there were other accusations that painted Leo Frank as a sexually aggressive rake and mathematician playing the numbers game with a selection of his female employees, as in “testing the waters” to see which ones might potentially be willing to engage in extracurricular actives. There were reports from the factory roustabout Jim Conley, that described Leo Frank cheating on his wife at the factory with Atlantan prostitutes on various Saturdays. Conley recalls two incidents when he walked in on Leo Frank engaging in oral sex on two different Atlanta prostitutes at two different times. The prosecution drew out this evidence to paint Leo Frank as a pervert, because of the grotesque image created of unknown prostitutes having cunnilingus performed on them.
The darkness of the fading limelight was likely too much to bear for Lucille as an individual, despite the support from her family, friends and associates. To make matters worse, when 19 former employees at the trial specifically testified that Leo Frank’s character for lasciviousness was bad, it meant Leo was accused of sexually harassing his teenage female employees during his five year reign as the Superintendent. Some witnesses claimed not only seeing Leo Frank consorting and engaging with out-call prostitutes at the NPCo factory, but that he allowed and encouraged the factory to be used as a rendezvous spot for couples or male employees entertaining prostitutes and factory girls.
The Social Atmosphere and Culture at the National Pencil Company Under the Tutelage of Leo Frank
When Mr. Coleman went to the bijou theater on the evening of April 26, 1913, looking for his 13 year old step daughter Mary Phagan, he stumbled upon NPCo Foreman Mr. N.V. Darley with Opie Dickerson, a teenage girl who worked at the NPCo. It posed a rhetorical question, What was an older married man doing entertaining a young girl at the movies on a Saturday night? It added to the sense that their was a culture of social and sexual permissiveness tolerated at the NPCo workplace that by 1913 “norms” was considered highly unacceptable.
Publicly Lucille would become the indomitable fixture sitting to the Left (facing her from the viewers perspective) of Leo Frank at his trial and always present by his side during appeals hearings, but something happened in the twilight years of Lucille’s life in the early 1950’s, it appears privately she might have finally come to terms with the solution to the Mary Phagan Murder Mystery that resulted in the mortifying lynching of her husband. Lucille expressed this reality and realization it in a way that can not ever be undone or properly spun.
“How Harry Met Sally”
When Lucille and Leo began seeing each other seriously in 1909, they corresponded with each other via postal mail, when they were either individually out of town or far away from each other because of visiting family outside of Atlanta, most of these letters have survived into the 21st century. In total the number of letters they wrote to each other, or Leo Frank wrote to others while in incarcerated from 1913 to 1915, was voluminous and fortunately these records are available for study at several major archives (see bibliography).
A Marriage of Politics
Leo and Lucille were married by Ultra Reform Rabbi David Marx in a gouche pink wedding ceremony at their in-laws gaudy and dated rented home, see the floor plans in the brief of evidence (1913).
Presiding over the marriage at the Selig residence was Dr. David Marx who was the Ultra Reform Rabbi of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, a liberal Jewish reform synagogue providing service for the highly assimilated Jewish community of the Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta at the time had the largest Jewish community in the south with several thousand Jewish families, most of who were highly assimilated and active in Jewish life.
Rabbi David Marx, became more than just a spiritual leader and Judaic scholar for Atlanta, he was the catalyst and initial champion of Leo Frank’s post-conviction emotional exoneration movement, that once backed by Northern Jewish media moguls Albert D. Lasker, and Adolph Ochs, had transformed the case into a national cause celebre for the Jewish community who inspired a vast letter writing campaign to the Governor of Georgia John Marshall Slaton.
Read the Wedding Announcement from the Atlanta Journal, December 1st, 1910: http://www.leofrank.org/library/wedding-announcement/wedding-announcement-society-pages-atlanta-journal-thursday-december-1-1910.pdf
On Wednesday, November 30, 1910, Miss Lucille Selig and Mr. Leo Max Frank Were Married.
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After their honeymoon, Lucille and Leo moved in with their in-laws the Cohen-Seligs, at 68 East Georgia Avenue, Atlanta, GA. After they settled in their in-laws home, Lucille and Leo Frank became even more active members of Jewish Society. Two years after their marriage, Leo Frank, a highly secure, confident, socially active man with poise, had the highest honor bestowed upon him, he was elected B’nai B’rith president at the largest Jewish fraternal organizations in the South, the Gate City Lodge #144, with over 500 active members. Contradicting the Frankites, it made sense that Leo Frank was elected as president of B’nai B’rith, as no average, shivering, insecure, nervous and nebish nincompoop, would ever be elected to such an important and high profile position. Frank was a man who beamed with inner confidence and strength, in college he was a debate team coach, hired in August, 1908, he was the general superintendent of the National Pencil Factory (promoted September 1st, 1908) for nearly five years, he was married into a prominent Jewish family (1910), he was active in Jewish Society and Philanthropy, so naturally he was expressing behaviors of a born leader, with an established background, for the powerful and influential B’nai B’rith.
Both Steve Oney (October 7, 2003) and Elaine Marie Alpin (March, 2010) suggest Lucille Frank was pregnant in 1913 and later miscarried.
Oney (2003), in an oblique references claims,
“Seven decades later, Katie Butler, a former factory employee in her 80’s, would tell her physician, that she and Lucile were both pregnant during the early winter of 1913, but that Lucille had suffered a miscarriage” (p. 85).
Looking at both cases of whether conjugal visits were or were not allowed:
Presuming conjugal visits were not permitted, Oney’s inclusion suggests Lucille miscarried about 7 to 8 months into her pregnancy, that is if we are to presume Leo inseminated Lucy before he was arrested at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, April 29, 1913, and incarcerated thereafter in the Atlanta Tower, until transported to Milledgeville Penitentiary by automobile and train on the morning of June 22, 1915.
Presuming conjugal visits were permitted, regardless of how far Lucille was along in the pregnancy, there is no real evidence to suggest the claim is even true. In fact, the Lucille Selig Frank Pregnancy claim can not be independently verified by any reliable sources and none of the voluminous surviving correspondence between Lucille and Leo, or others, makes even the slightest hints or subtle suggestions about a pregnancy, or condolences over a miscarriage. In total the surviving correspondence between Leo Frank and others during his imprisonment from Tuesday, April 29, 1913 to Monday, August 16, 1915, is a massive series of letters that spans more than two years, archived and preserved at many different University and public Jewish historical collections from Ohio (American Jewish Archives), Massachusetts (Brandeis University), Georgia (several) and others. The Frankites have a pattern of adding unverifiable information and rumors to their books as facts, in an attempt to counter the facts on the ground and garner a false romantic fairy tale image about the marriage between Leo and Lucille.
When Leo Frank was arrested his wife Lucille waited two weeks to visit him
The significance of Leo Frank’s arrest on Tuesday morning, April 29, 1913, at 11:35 AM, is it was not only his last day of freedom, but his beloved spouse delayed an inordinate amount of time before visiting him. Leo Frank’s wife Lucille Selig Frank did not visit him in jail until Monday, May 12, 1913 (The Frank Case, Atlanta Publishing Company, 1913). Leo Frank detractors at the time undoubtedly cited this 13 day visitation lapse as probable proof that his wife, Lucille Selig Frank, thought or knew he might be guilty after all. After the controversial June 3rd, 1913, Minola McKnight affair unfolded, when the Selig’s Negro Cook dropped an insiders bomb shell at the Atlanta police station, Leo Frank’s detractors undoubtedly believed the reason Lucille Selig Frank didn’t visit her husband for 2 weeks was because Leo Frank confessed the murder of Mary Phagan to his wife sometime during the late evening of Saturday, April 26, 1913, at around 10:30 P.M (see: Brief of Evidence, Minola McKnight’s, State’s Exhibit J, June 3 1913, Leo Frank murder confession #2 out of #4 known).
On August 18, 1913, between 2:15 PM and 6:00 PM, during Leo Frank’s statement to the Fulton County Superior Court, he would respond to this “dastardly” charge about why his wife did not visit him in the early weeks after the Mary Phagan murder investigation began, to paraphrase Frank, “Lucille had to be physically restrained because she wanted so badly to be locked up with him in jail” (Leo Frank’s Unsworn Trial Statement, Brief of Evidence, 1913). Leo Frank’s response was a bit melodramatic and for his detractors, incredulous. For neutral observers it likely chipped away even more at Frank’s already waning credibility, because no wife would be deterred by the paparazzi photographers of the three local newspapers snapshooting. In his closing arguments during the last three days before the Jury deliberated, the Prosecutor Hugh M. Dorsey, would describe Leo Frank’s August 18, 1913, exaggerated responses as a bit fantastic, an exaggeration, alarming ones normal sensibilities and common sense (Arguments of Hugh M. Dorsey at the Trial of Leo Frank Charged with the Murder of Mary Phagan, August 22, 23, 25, 1913).
At the trial, Leo Frank’s long winded, voluble, mind-numbing and loquacious four hour unsworn statement was literally living up to every measure of his college reputation and senior yearbook roasting as a successful “gas jet” (Cornell University Senior Year Book, 1906, p. 79).
The Stoic Wife was Human After All
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Steve Oney Interviews Alan Marcus, Nephew of Lucille Selig
“I spent several hours up the road in St. Petersburg with Alan [Marcus] and Fanny Marcus, two Atlantans who’d retired to Florida. Alan was Lucille Frank’s nephew. He’d grown up at her knee and borne witness to the devastation that the lynching had wrought on her life and in the life of Atlanta’s Jewish community.
Following Lucille’s death in 1957, her body was cremated. She wanted her ashes scattered in a public park, but an Atlanta ordinance forbade it. For the next six years, the ashes sat in a box at Patterson’s Funeral Home. One day, Alan received what for him was an upsetting call. The ashes needed to be disposed of. Alan didn’t know what to do.
In the years since Lucille passed away, the Temple, the city’s reform synagogue, had been bombed [(October 12, 1958)]. This event had set Atlanta’s Jews on edge. It was no wonder that Alan [Marcus] didn’t want to attract scrutiny by conducting a public burial. For months, he carried Lucille’s remains around Atlanta in the trunk of his red Corvair. Early one morning in 1964, he and his brother drove downtown to Oakland Cemetery. There, under the cover of the gray dawn light, the two men buried this martyred figure in an unmarked plot between the headstones of her parents.” [emphasis added with bolding text]
(Source: University of Georgia Features, Georgia Magazine, Feat Oney, March, 2004, http://www.uga.edu/gm/304/FeatOney.html)
Discussion About the Empty Grave Reserved for Lucille Selig (Grave Site #1 Left of Leo Frank)
The empty grave site #1 (confirmed by Mount Carmel Cemetery records, 2013) reserved for Lucille Selig to the immediate left of Leo Frank, has been a subject quietly avoided or simply omitted by most Leo Frank partisans from the mid 20th (1957) century all the way through the 21st century (April 26, 2013). Now in the 21st century that the empty grave site reserved for Lucille speaks in lonely whispers and the silence is deafening, this uncomfortable quiet noise sheds light on the issue concerning her ultimate belief in Leo Frank’s character and innocence or guilt. Someone has created the rumor that the reason Lucille’s ashes were not buried or spread next to Leo Frank is because the still born baby of Marian Frank was buried there in the designated spot #1 circa 1911, but the State law of New York and Mount Carmel Cemetery require documentation of all burials of any kind with no exceptions. It is doubtful these rules were exempted.
In 2013 When the Staff of the Mount Carmel Cemetery were asked in person if their was any documentation, proof or knowledge of a child or someone buried in grave site #1, located to the left of Leo Frank’s grave site #2, they reported there is no one buried there, not even a still born baby in plot #1 and indeed the emphasis is the grave site is still empty (Live Interview Mount Carmel Cemetery Staff who reviewed the records, 2013). If anyone has any doubts about this fact, the staff at the MCC, said one can write them an official letter and they will respond with official letterhead.
Given the Georgia Supreme Court Case file on Leo Frank is filled with hundreds of pages describing sordid criminal behavior associated with him and his supporters, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps with enough pressure, or wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, something new can be manufactured or spun to try to mask or play down this reality of the empty grave site #1, but it would be irrelevant, because Lucille requested cremation in her notarized will and personally requested to her family (Oney, 2004) that her ashes be disbursed in Atlanta, indeed there was no request by Lucille, for her ashes to be buried, or spread, near Leo Frank in NYC. Not even a portion of Lucille Selig’s ashes were spread on, near, around, next to, or on Leo Frank’s grave site #2, thus bringing to the Leo Frank Case a new 21st century light of truth by Lucille Selig that unknowingly began in 1954, and then in the early 1960’s, when her ashes were finally buried in an Atlanta cemetery like park that spoke then and it speaks now volumes.
So the 21st century question to ponder is: Why did Lucille Selig inform her family that she did not wish her ashes spread or buried near Leo Frank in Queens, New York, but Atlanta, Georgia?
What Does the Silent Echo of Emptiness Reveal?
The empty grave #1 which was reserved for Lucille Selig Frank at the Mount Carmel Cemetery is an uncomfortable reality for the Jewish Community. Perhaps some think that by skimming over, downplaying or omitting it from every Leo Frank revisionist and partisan books, no one would be able to put two and two together as the saying goes, that is until Steve Oney glossed over its interpretive value in March of 2004, and inadvertently revealed something never before elaborated. Oney seems mystified by Lucille Selig, just as he seems mystified by the too close for comfort relationship between Jim and Leo.
Now that the truth has finally gotten out with the 21st century acquisition of Lucille’s 1954 official and notarized last will and testament (retrieved 2013), and the published revelations (March, 2004) of Oney’s fascinating meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the early 1990’s, it will be interesting to see how new renditions of the case and this fact, will be ignored or spun by Leo Frank partisan revisionists — Frankites — who are forever try to cover up, or explain away the fact that the empty grave site #1 is a time traveling echo of truth about Leo Frank’s guilt, from the unfortunate woman, who by a tragic twist of destiny’s many paths, was snake charmed, and submitted to matrimony with an intelligent and charismatic man, one possessed with a penchant for psychopathic sexual deviance and pedophilia. Are we to presume that Lucille Selig, who participated in helping Leo Frank prepare his appeals petitions, over looked the document from a former teenage factory employee who Leo Frank seduced one year before he murdered Mary Phagan, and that reported Leo Frank scarified her, after he plunged his teeth deep into the inner most flesh adjacent to her vagina? Should we ignore that Leo Frank was caught with another little girl in the woods by Mr. House? Did Lucille? Did She buy the retractions that appeared contrived?
The Origin of the Pierre van Paassen Bitemark Hoax?:
The Supreme Court Case File on Leo Frank (1913, 1914) documents a statement by the young girl who had the inner most flesh of her thy bitten by Leo Frank’s teeth, perhaps this is where the Pierre van Paassen’s hoax originated from — one Oney, Dinnerstein and others perpetuate — in the genetic mutation of this early fact (see: Mary Phagan Autopsy, 1913).
Lucille’s Empty Grave Site in the Mount Carmel Cemetery:
Perhaps at some point they might bury someone there in empty grave #1 at MCC, or put a grave marker there, because of how embarrassingly powerful the emptiness of it is, especially in terms of speaking volumes about Leo Frank’s perceived guilt or innocence, from the unlucky woman who, had to endure an unusually horrific, and anti-climactic late evening on Saturday, April 26, 1913. It was then the vicious tragedy was revealed to Lucille, when unmistakable intimations where made in the privacy of their marital bed chamber, located on the second floor of the Selig home on 68 East Georgia Avenue, a room directly over the dining room, where the phone rang all night long (see a small glimpse of what happened that evening: Brief of Evidence, Minola McKnight, State’s Exhibit J, June 3, 1913).
According to U.S. National Library of Medicine,
“Six different muscles surround the eyes and work “as a team” so that both eyes can focus on the same object. In someone with strabismus, these muscles do not work together. As a result, one eye looks at one object, while the other eye turns [out or] in a different direction and is focused on another object. When this occurs, two different images are sent to the brain — one from each eye. This confuses the brain, and the brain may learn to ignore the image from the weaker eye. If the strabismus is not treated, the eye that the brain ignores will never see well. This loss of vision is called amblyopia. Another name for amblyopia is “lazy eye.” Sometimes amblyopia is present first, and it causes strabismus.”
(U.S. National Library of Medicine, Retrieved November, 2013)
Lucille Selig Frank’s death on Tuesday, April 23, 1957, from heart disease, was two-fold and powerfully symbolic, because she had literally died of a broken heart just three short days before the 44th anniversary of the April 26, 1913 Mary Phagan bludgeoning, rape and strangulation, and Leo Frank’s murder confession to her on that night so long ago. There were certainly other dates as equally significant, if not more for Lucille. Though April 26, 1913, was always the day that changed the course of her life forever, a date she lived through each and every year after year, when April 26 would come and go. One can imagine the wedding anniversary (November 30) likely elicited happy memories and deep seeded emotional distraught. Given the public notoriety and traumatic depths of the whole 120 week ordeal, between the Tuesday, April 29, 1913, the arrest of her husband, and Friday, August 20, 1915, burial of Leo in Queens, NY, it was likely numerous anniversary dates during the course of a calendar year, were constant and painful reminders, during more than 4 decades of the quiet suffering, this unfortunate woman, had lived through during recurring daydreams and nightmares.
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The Notarized Last Will and Testament of Lucille Selig Frank Acquired
In 1954, three years before Lucille passed away, something very profound and emotionally liberating occurred that would forever become a defining moment in the life of this martyred figure. An unofficial document in the hands of Lucille was made legal and official. It was signed ‘Lucille S. Frank’, witnessed, notarized, and registered with the local government of Atlanta, Georgia and that document has survived to the early 21st century.
In Lucille’s short, ‘Last Will and Testament’ notarized, registered and currently present (2013) within the local government registry office of Atlanta since 1954, Lucille disbursed a number of her personal items to friends and family, but more importantly she specifically requested cremation (Mrs. Lucille S. Frank, Signatory, The Last Will and Testament of Lucille Selig Frank, 1954, Accessed 2012). What happened to their wedding album? What happened to Leo’s wedding ring? Nobody knows.
Another Two-Fold Rather Odd
From the perspective of the Jewish community, Lucille’s quiet and controversial 1957 cremation was 2-fold unusual, especially for a faithful, proud, and practicing Jewess from a prominent, and historically significant Jewish family, to go against the traditional practice of burial next to ones deceased spouse or at the very least requesting to have her ashes buried or spread near her husband. While Cremation was a very rare occurrence for Jews in the 1950’s, it is now much more common in the 21st century, but still far from commonplace for prominent Jews.
It was not only just the self-requested cremation of Lucille Selig Frank that stands out as a very honest and candid verdict against the “innocence” of Leo Frank, but also her very clear living request she gave to her family before she died (A. Marcus), specifically asking them to spread her ashes in a local Atlanta park, it meant clearly Lucille did not request her ashes spread at the Mount Carmel Cemetery near her husband or buried there next to him. Do Lucille’s wishes spoke volumes at the time then and now? These facts taken together, sends another indisputable vote of guilt against Leo Frank from the only “Jurywoman” worthy enough to pass judgment against him in the form of a what almost amounts to a not so silent ballot.
The End of the Dog and Pony Show:
Widowed in 1915, Lucille Selig Frank was no ordinary “jurist peer” called to pass impartial judgment against Leo Frank, she was much more intimate than that, she was the truly beloved wife of Leo Frank, a woman who stood by her husband unshakably and without absence through the whole humiliating ordeal 2 weeks after his arrest, including appearances, posturing, showboating and double-think, not just from 1913 to 1915, but perhaps publicly all the way until 1957, even though she privately notarized her Last Will and Testament in 1954 that tends to communicate her true feelings otherwise.
When the gaudy, pretentious and glossy neon pink-chiffon curtain of Jewish family life and Jewish society were ripped away revealing the truth, the whole 1913 to 1915 Leo Frank is innocent charade was an all encompassing circus, an uncomfortable dog and pony show for Lucille, especially given the implications of Jim Conley’s testimony about her husband Leo Frank performing oral sex on some of Atlanta’s most seasoned prostitutes during various Sabbaths (BOE, Jim Conley, August 4, 5, 6, 1913) at the NPCo. Many physicians at the time believed their was strong conclusive evidence that the brothels of early 20th century Atlanta were rife with venereal diseases and it was at a time in history when there were no anti-biotics or effective medical treatments for a number of benign, symbiotic, degenerative, and deadly STD’s.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Prostitution
Conley’s lawyer, William Manning Smith, made his career representing the people no one wanted to deal with, prostitutes and petty criminals. Smith had once represented Daisy Hopkins on a prostitution charge and was able to successfully get her off.
In one line of reasoning, when Dorsey stood up at the Leo Frank trial and was examining Daisy Hopkins – a former NPCO laborer that had become a soft hooker after 8 months of employment there – his questioning of her about a stomach pumping medical incident, was meant to be more than meets the eyes, as a supposition about the real reason for her illness. Without directly saying it, if the intimation of her illness was venereal disease related, it meant that abstractly, perhaps Leo Frank had also at some point been infected with an STD. If we explore this possible permutation, we must ask openly and honestly, could Leo Frank have infected his wife with an STD and rendered her sterile? Is it possible Leo Frank caught an STD that damaged or altered his state of mind? There are certainly many STD’s that cause people to become deranged or infertile. We might never know for certain, but for now, it was a line of insinuation and speculation that Dorsey had intimated at the Leo Frank trial. As 21st century time travelers of the imagination, we must be fearless in exploring all possibilities that might have influenced the circumstances of Leo Frank’s marriage and his behavior on Saturday, April 26, 1913. This includes not only STD’s, but drug and alcohol abuse, cocaine was essentially legal and freely available. Did Leo Frank explode in a cocaine rage? Was alcohol involved, what does the letter Leo Frank wrote to his uncle, on the afternoon of the the murder, reveal about his state of mind?
Did Lucille’s Spirit Become Free?
The charade Lucille Selig Frank had to feign and suffer her way through from 1913 to 1915, and perhaps in some ways all the way till her passing on April 23, 1957, indicates she had finally, at some point, become free from the nightmare she was swept into by unfortunate circumstances of destiny. Why Leo went over the edge that long ago fateful day will never be known for certain, but that shouldn’t prevent us from exploring reasonable possibilities and perhaps all uncomfortable permutations.
Forgive and Forget
After the August 17, 1915 lynching at Frey’s Gin (now 1200 Roswell Road) in Marietta, Georgia, and Frank’s final burial 900 miles away on Friday, August 20, 1915, in Cyprus Hills (now Glendale), Queens, New York, Leo’s prolific and pretentious prison love letters were to be no more. In the end though, nothing could prevent Lucille from facing and contemplating the painfully repressed truth of what really happened.
Did Minola Tell the Truth or was she Tortured into Revealing a False Confession?
The Frankites have long held the belief — and promoted it as fact — that Minola McKnight the Selig Cook was tortured and coerced into giving her earth-shattering statement to Atlanta police in th presence of her lawyer, but as 21st century forensic time travelers of the imagination, we find ourselves asking the questions: Who was Leo Frank saving his kisses for? (Albert McKnight’s Affidavit, 1913) and Why did Leo Frank so thoughtfully buy his wife a one or two pound box of chocolates (Metropolitan Programme, April 26, 1913) from Jacob’s Pharmacy? (State’s Exhibit B, 1913)
A Painful Memory Revealed Leo Frank Was No Sociopath After All
From 10:30 PM on April 26, 1913, onward, Lucille Selig Frank would hold onto a painful and repressed memory of Leo’s perplexing drunk confession and emotional breakdown occurring on that infamous Saturday night. It was an incident that was never meant to publicly known, but first later revealed second hand to the police by Minola’s husband Albert, before they arrested his wife Minola. Ironically, the bedtime murder confession revealed perhaps Leo Frank was not entirely an ambivalent sociopath, because he was expressing drunken remorse and regret to his wife, “Lucille, I don’t know why I would murder”, “Lucille, please get my pistol so I can shoot myself”. When the police met in person with Leo Frank during the morning of Sunday, April 27, 1913, the cops sensed he seemed a bit hungover, and made a sarcastic remark about asking for or wanting whiskey, but the very astute Lucille S. Frank sharp on her feet, understanding the supposition, quickly deflected it onto her father Emil having bouts of indigestion. Could the fact police noticed Leo Frank was clearly nervous the morning after the murder occurred reveal he was no unfeeling sociopath as well?
Three Leo Frank Murder Confessions Mentioned in the Brief of Evidence and One Outside
All three Leo Frank murder confessions that are documented in the official trial record, couldn’t be repressed forever in the mind of Lucille Selig Frank either, let alone the second one chronologically, revealed directly to Mrs. Leo M. Frank the evening of the murder. If Lucille had been following the newspapers about her husband, then Leo Frank’s 4th murder confession made on March 9, 1914 in the Atlanta Constitution, was also unmistakable (To paraphrase: I may have stepped to the toilet in the metal room for a few minutes while Monteen might have been in my office) . Notwithstanding These realities, it did not shake her loyalty and dedication to Leo Frank while he was alive, so we must ask every why there is to ask.
Lucille later became a cashier at a local five and dime, and no matter where Lucy went in Atlanta, the stigma did not fade so easily, glances, odd prolonged stares, and furtive whisperings, would follow her where ever she went, but they would wane quickly over the years and decades that followed as the scandal faded into distant memory. In many ways, Southerners sympathized with Lucille, because she was not a bad person after all, and they likely saw her as getting unintentionally mixed up with a two-faced man with a deviant side, whose conviction led to the founding of the two-faced Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the organization that promotes multiculturalism for all Gentiles in the countries of Western Civilization, but Israel as an ethno-religiously pure “Jewish and democratic” State (the mantra we hear no end to in the media and by bought politicians). The significance of it all would indeed come from a sparkle of fiery illumination within the consciousness of the cosmos returning to the deep dark slumber of the universal source on April 23, 1957. Sleep Dear Lucille Selig Frank
LEO MAX FRANK
APRIL 17, 1884
AUG 17, 1915
“Semper Idem” translates from Latin to English as “Always the Same” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semper%20idem, 2011)
Some have interpreted the words engraved on Leo Frank’s grave marker as indicating Anti-Semitism is always the same, regardless of what form it takes, and this is the Jewish mythology that has shaped his recurring maudlin hagiographies published by Jews and their goyim sycophants. But left to the imagination, these words, “semper idem” took on new meaning in 1954 when Lucy passed away. It’s an unfortunate Jewish genetic disease and ethnocentric culture of Judaism that creates the prevailing mental illness for Jews that everything is interpreted or exaggerated as anti-Semitism or anti-Semitic, but it’s a bizarre evolutionary strategy that works.
At the Mount Carmel Cemetery there is an Empty Grave that you must visit on nice Sunny late summer NYC day
Frank Stern family grave plot #1 (official cemetery location id: 1-E-41-1035-01) at the Mount Carmel Cemetery is empty, but why?
Lucille Selig Frank left a “message from the grave”, by softly-sold fiat, when Lucille Selig Frank made it clear she would not to be buried next to her beloved husband in the adjacent grave spot #1 (Official Real Estate Location ID: 1-E-41-1035-01), the specific one reserved for her at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY. Lucille Selig’s honorable and loving family, being able to read between the lines of her request to have her ashes spread at a local park in Atlanta, did the honest and honorable thing burying Lucille’s ashes in 1964 at the Oakland Cemetery, creating an unmarked grave between the tombstones of her loving parents, Emil Selig and Josephine Cohen. Indeed there was no mistake in the fact Lucille was not buried with Leo Frank, because at the personal request of Lucille Selig, the extended family members specifically knew that they should NOT sprinkle her ashes near or bury them next to her deceased husband Leo Frank’s grave #2 (Official Real Estate Location ID: 1-E-41-1035-02).
A powerful echo from time and space emerges in this century old court room image, when juxtaposed to Leo Frank resting in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. From the perspective of the Jury, sitting to the right of Leo Frank was his dear beloved mother Rachael “Ray”, that too was a truly powerful vision when one ponders it and stares directly at the tombstone of Leo Frank, because his mother is buried to the right of him. Alas, that powerful and invincible image of Leo M. Frank being flanked by his loyal wife on the left and his loving mother on the right only partially survived to the Frank-Stern family plot in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. The real life tombstone of Ray Frank who is buried to the right of Leo Frank, and the fact Lucille Selig is not buried to the left of Leo Frank, there is indeed something very sad and lonely about this picture. When Frankites visit Leo Frank’s burial site at the Mount Carmel Cemetery and drop their heads dejectedly in reverence, they repress that empty little grassy knoll to the left side. Part of being Jewish is not just about obsessing about blame and excuses, but denial and repression.
One Big Ugly Charade of Perpetuated Lies
In regards to Lucille S. Frank, one can only imagine the real grief of having to bitterly relive the intricate web matrix and haunting calamity of trials, court room hearings, conflicts and tribulations, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year and decade by decade. The 1915 lynching was in some ways a deep sighing catharsis and final relief for Lucille Selig Frank, a women who knew in the deepest reaches of her heart, soul and intellect, the unmistakable true guilt of her husband Leo M. Frank, but that didn’t stop her from standing by and supporting her husband during his incarceration and appeals or signing her name, ‘Mrs. Leo M. Frank’. After all, one can act words, uphold obligations to Jewish family life, and the watchful eyes of Jewish society, and make all the temper-tantrum and stoically indignant appearances, but beneath the many masks of the public masquerade balls, this Jewish, high quality, well-born, and clever woman, was hiding the spiritual defeat of a humiliated wife. For Lucille Selig Frank it was the burden of weariness and hurt she had to bear for the rest of her days, almost 43 years to be exact and there would surely be nightmares and day dreaming as the days rolled by.
After nearly a lifetime of darkness, Lucille’s heart became free again in 1954, three years before she passed away
During the winding down years of her life, in 1954, Lucille Selig Frank became officially free, truly free, coming to terms with letting go of a life time of pretend, make-believe and wishful thinking. It was an awaking moment of higher consciousness, enlightenment, freedom and liberty that few people can fathom unless they experience being swept into a situation where one had to live their entire life based on a complicated web matrix of lies and half-truths for more than 40 years, simply to protect their honor in an honor bound society.
Why No Analysis on the Cremation and Burial of Lucille’s Ashes?
The self-requested cremation of Lucille Selig Frank and the empty grave plot #1 (Official Real Estate Location ID: 1-E-41-1035-01) in the Frank-Stern funeral parcel are never properly enunciated with any honest depth and critical interpretation by the Jewish community or Leo Frank Partisans and revisionists (Frankites), because Lucille’s cremation tends to sustain and vindicate the unanimous verdict of the 13-man trial panel, made up of the Honorable Judge Leonard Strickland Roan and 12-man petite Jury. Lucille’s decision also sustains the Grand Jury before the trial that voted unanimously 21 to 0 to indict Leo Frank (several members were Jews). After the trial, the US appeals courts and Governor John M. Slaton, who did not disturbing the verdict of the jury, were sustained three decades after Lucille’s death, when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, also did not disturbing the verdict of the jury either. What do these facts really mean? Anti-Semitism was behind it all? Media Frenzies were behind it all? Even John Marshal Slaton said anti-Jewish prejudice had no part of Leo’s conviction (NYTimes Interview).
The Final Conclusion on State’s Exhibit J, Mostly True or Completely False?
The aftermath of Lucille’s life was also in some ways the final vindication of State’s Exhibit J, given by the Frank-Selig servant Minola McKnight, who in a half sincere manner, renounced it, when pressed by a reporter the day after she gave this affidavit that rang with truth, but no one was believing the repudiation, because it came off as insincere at the time and today we know State’s Exhibit J was likely true when we look at all he evidence.
Leo Frank’s “unconscious” metal room bathroom murder confession
Lucille was no dummy, she understood with clarity, the publicly delivered metalroom bathroom admission, that amounted to delicious irony, which came from Leo Frank on the afternoon of August 18, 1913 (Leo Frank Trial Statement, BOE, August 18, 1913, 2:15 PM to 6:00 PM), in full response to Monteen Stover’s Trial Testimony about her finding Leo’s office empty.
The Safe in Leo Frank’s Office:
Leo Frank said simultaneously the 4ft tall safe door must have blocked 5’2″ tall Monteen Stover from seeing him, and no one else that day including Mary Phagan, and that he might have unconsciously gone to the bathroom in the metal room. What made the conviction so tight and narrow was that Jim Conley said at the trial that he found Mary Phagan dead in the metal room bathroom area at the behest of Leo Frank after he confessed to assaulting her in the metal room. What was Lucille to think? The blood on the floor adjacent to the metal room bathroom door was varnish? or that was blood from someone who cut their hand 8 months ago? or The hair on the lathe in the metal room, that had dried blood on it was blown there by a draft in the factory and then it tangled itself? Was she really so naive? Probably not.
The Last Known Leo Frank Murder Confession:
In a 17 question and answer session with Leo Frank published on March 9, 1914, Leo Frank affirmed his murder trial confession concerning Monteen Stover finding his office empty, by saying he might have gone to the toilets in the metal room for a few minutes. Lucille likely didn’t miss that admission that amounted to a murder confession either, because it was an important news article about her husband, we can safely presume she took an interest in her husband and read it. Lucille would have likely remembered the graphic description of Jim Conley saying he first found Mary Phagan dead in the metal room bathroom area after Leo Frank told him to go there, because she vetted her husbands legal papers. She would have also recalled State’s Exhibit B and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Lucille requires a more subtle evaluation other than she was the melodramatic Jewish version of the one dimensional ditz who believed in her husbands innocence and loved him till the end of time.
To Bury or Cremate? How it played out.
Hypothetically without a specific notarized request in her last will and testament for cremation, Lucille Selig Frank, as a practicing Jewess, would have been faced with essentially two propositions concerning her death, of either being buried next to her husband, Leo Max Frank, in her reserved grave (1-E-41-1035-01), as being buried with ones spouse was always the normal & traditional thing to do in the Jewish faith, that is, if she really believed he was innocent. On the flip side, if Lucille did not want to rest in peace with her only husband (as she did not remarry), then her other option was to be buried near her parents and family in the Oakland Cemetery of Atlanta. Reading between the lines, it would have been too obvious to articulate, she didn’t want to be buried next to Leo Frank, and Lucille was more thoughtfully subtle than previously thought and that is why she deserves a more subtle reading, rather than the over simplifications by the Jewish community.
For Lucille the Games were Over
Though that empty grave plot #1 (1-E-41-1035-01) to the immediate left of where Leo Frank is interred within grave plot #2 (1-E-41-1035-02) had waited for many decades, reservations quietly calling out for Lucille Selig Frank to make one last final pretentious appearance to permanently seal up and cap off the whole lifetime of circular lies and charades, it would ultimately be answered by Lucille, but not in the way the Jewish Community and Leo Frank partisans expected. So why should we be surprised they offer no indepth analysis? But expect a lot of spin!
How did Lucille Selig Frank Solve the Dilemma?
Jewish marital tradition for widows and widowers throughout the 5,800 years of Judaic law and practice, specifies burial next to their deceased spouse, but if Lucille Selig Frank was not buried next to her husband because of instructions from her will and family, it would have been a very loud and clear documented statement from facts on the ground and paper. Especially since people’s wills are kept archived in perpetuity by the State.
1913 to 1915, and 2013 to 2015
For an intelligent and clever woman like Lucille Selig Frank, the public patrician show of presenting herself theatrically as the feisty, and incensed wife was at least privately over with great relief in the years and decades after the lynching. The traditional Lucille Selig Frank, chose the nontraditional, but appropriate option: cremation and Ash disbursement in Atlanta, it was the soft and gentle way, the silky velvet hand of politesse, which was meant as a nice way to save the Jewish community the real humiliation of Lucille, openly, specifying in direct and clear language, within her will, that she did not to be buried next to her husband Leo M. Frank, because Lucille wasn’t insensitive after all, she just wasn’t going to spend all eternity next to her deceased husband who had cheated on her multiple times, and raped, strangled a little girl, leaving her totally betrayed and humiliated her beyond words.
Atlanta Journal Wedding Announcement of Leo Frank and Lucille Selig, December 1, 1910. Atlanta Journal, Thursday, December 1, 1910, Wedding Announcements Society Pages: http://leofrank.org/library/wedding-announcement/wedding-announcement-society-pages-atlanta-journal-thursday-december-1-1910.pdf
Professor Allen Koenigsberg, PhD, Brooklyn College, The Leo Frank Case Discussion Group, 2008+ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LeoFrankCase/ (sign up).
The Temple, Atlanta, Georgia. http://www.the-temple.org/
National Park Service of Atlanta, http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/atlanta/text.htm. Accessed March 3, 2012.
Mount Carmel Cemetery (MCC), Grave Spot #1 (Official Real Estate location ID: 1-E-41-1035-01), Reserved for Lucille Selig Frank is empty, it is left of Leo M. Frank’s occupied Grave Spot #2 (Official Real Estate location ID: 1-E-41-1035-02). Staff office and records of the Mount Carmel Cemetery. Rachel Frank purchased the plot in 1911. No record of Marians still born child buried in the Frank-Stern plot, but the bench located at plot 7 is thought to be in remembrance for the deceased child. According to the administrator at MCC: Section 1, Block E, Path 41, Lot #1035, Grave #1 is empty based on official legal cemetery interment records, documented in writing on Cemetery letterhead.
The Notarized Last Will and Testament of Lucille Selig Frank (Signed Lucille S. Frank), Atlanta, GA, 1954, Records Archive.
And the Dead Shall Rise, by Steve Oney (recommended by this archive despite its errors, purchase on www.Amazon.com)
Georgia Upfront Features, ‘And the Dead Shall Rise’ by Steven Oney, (March 2004: Vol. 83, No. 2): http://www.uga.edu/gm/304/FeatOney.html
Emil Selig Memorial at “Find a Grave”: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32045801
Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia: http://www.oaklandcemetery.com GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 33.74890, Longitude: -84.37280. 248 Oakland Avenue SE, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA, Postal Code: 30312.
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Please light a candle every April 23, to remember Lucille Selig, this martyred figure (as Oney would describe her).
Sadly, one of the dirty little secrets of the Judaism and one of the ultimate taboos that is rarely talked about is the historically pervasive problem of pedophilia in the Jewish Community.
The fact that Jews as far away as Paris, Moscow and Germany, rallied to Leo Frank’s defense, speaks of the extreme tribal loyalty of Jews to their global racial kinsmen and co-religionists, in the same way you would expect a mother, father, sister or brother, to stand by their family member, innocent or guilty, despite the fact they might know deep down that their family member is probably guilty. The Jewish people are a racially loyal extended family that knows no borders, and with the creation of Israel, dozens of disparate Jewish racial lines spanning the world came back together as one to create a Jewish racial and ethnocentric state. More than 3/4 of Jews are atheists. Belief in Judaism, is not required to become an Israeli citizen, only proof of bloodline or legitimate conversion papers.
The pathology of persecution and victimhood complex, goes hand in hand with self-deception.
Lucille was very much like the little angel statue between her parents tombstones at the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, the one resting over her buried ashes.
Sleep dear Lucille Selig, sleep well, you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Dear Soul…
Leo Frank’s gold wedding band given back to Lucille after August 17, 1915, was not mentioned in her will, and her wedding and married life photo album are gone as well, what happened to them remains a mystery and why they disappeared tends to speak volumes if we read between the lines.
Further Reading and Full Articles:
Pioneer Neon Company: http://www.artery.org/Selig-PioneerNeon.htm
The Selig Company Building – Pioneer Neon Company
National Register listed : 1996
Location: 330-346 Marietta Street, Atlanta, Fulton County, GA 30303
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Original Builders: 1915-1965: Selig Chemical Company ;1965-1936: Block Candy Company
Period of Significance : The period of significance runs from the construction of the first part of this building in 1915, until the end of the historic period, 1946. The company remained at this location until 1965.
Significant Dates : 1915 – Construction of Building:
Boundary Justification: There is only one contributing building on the site.
Description of Architectural Classification : LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN MOVEMENTS/commercial style
Classical Materials: foundation: concrete; walls: brick; roof: asphalt
Historic Functions: COMMERCE/TRADE/warehouse INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/manufacturing facility
Current Functions: multiple dwelling
Developmental history/historic context :
The building was constructed beginning in 1915 by the Selig Chemical Company, which was founded in the late 1800s by legendary Atlanta businessman Simon Selig. The company engaged primarily in the manufacture and sale of home-cleaning products (soaps, dispensers, disinfectants, and other cleaning agents), insecticides, and other consumer goods. Mr. Selig built his company into one of the largest of its type in the country and now it forms the nucleus of one of Atlanta’s most successful corporations, National Service Industries, Inc. The company, no longer the owner of this building, is celebrating its centennial in 1996 and has published a history of the company.
The association of the building with the Selig Chemical Company is very strong; when viewing the facade facing Marietta Street, one can see “Selig Company” printed under the left limestone/ concrete arches. In addition, the interior dividing wall of the building includes a well-preserved former outdoor wall sign advertising the Selig Chemical Company’s products.The exterior of the building along the railroad tracks also carries numerous Selig Company signs.
The Selig family owned this building until 1965, when it was sold to Ira Weiss, owner of the Pioneer Neon Supply Co., Inc. of Atlanta. Mr. Weiss and his company utilized the building as a storage warehouse and office area until the mid-1980s, when the company moved to a larger industrial facility off Howell Mill Road in Atlanta. It was during Mr. Weiss’ ownership of the building that the large Pioneer Neon Supply Company exterior wall sign (overlooking the parking lot) was added, on top of an earlier Selig Company sign of the same size. Because of the prominence of this sign on the western side, the building has come to be known as the “Pioneer Neon Building”.
The building was sold to Pioneer Partners, a Georgia general partnership on August 14, 1992. The corporation has proceeded to rehabilitate the building using the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program. The corporation received a final certification of completed work from the National Park Service on August 4, 1993. The building has been rehabilitated for use as loft apartments on the upper levels and commercial space on the street level.
Key Dates and Events:
1880-Simon S. Selig born in Atlanta to Sigmund and Sophie Selig. Sigmund and Sophie involved in several business ventures, including a saloon at 336 West Mitchell Street until about 1897.
1896-Simon Selig, 16 years old, begins his career as a sales representative of West Chemical Corporation (New York). He sells soaps, disinfectants, and other household products out of a basket on his bicycle, which he rides through the residential areas on either side of Marietta Street west of downtown. First use of the name “The Selig Company”. 1897-The Selig Company begins to grow rapidly and opens its first office, at 95 Garnett Street, Atlanta.
1902-Simon Selig begins manufacturing his own products under the Selig Company name for direct sale by its agents, but continues to represent West Chemical and its product line as well.
1906-The Selig Company moves its office to 48 Mitchell Street, Atlanta.
1910-The Selig Company moves its offices to 26 South Forsyth Street, Atlanta.
1915-The Selig Company builds a new office at 336-338 Marietta Street (this building and its 1927 addition comprise the building now listed as 342 Marietta Street). The company had continued to manufacture more and more of its products, which eventually led to the development of the company’s own complete product line under the Selig brand name. By this time, the company has expanded its sales territory outside Atlanta throughout the southeastern U.S. as far west as Texas.
1915-1927-The company builds a large manufacturing facility in two buildings across Marietta Street from the new office, in the block bounded by Luckie, Latimer, Marietta, and Foundry Streets. The company’s product line grows to include more sanitary products, insecticides, and disinfectants.
1927-The company doubles its office space on Marietta Street by completing an expansion addition to the 1915 building.
1927-1943-The company continues its growth despite the Depression and war years. In 1943, while on vacation in Hot springs, Arkansas, Simon Selig dies of a heart attack at age 64. He is succeeded as president of The Selig Company by his brother, Albert.
1955-Albert Selig dies and Simon S. Selig, Jr. is named president of the company.
1965-Due to the rapid expansion of the company’s sales force in the years since the Second World War, as well as the need to consolidate its employees in a single and larger facility, the company moves from Marietta Street to new facilities on Selig Drive off Fulton Industrial Boulevard. The Marietta Street property is sold to the Pioneer Neon Supply Company, owned by Ira Weiss.
1968-The Selig Company is sold to National Service Industries (formerly National Linen Company). Simon S. Selig, Jr. resigns as president of the company and is succeeded by his first cousin, Lyons Joel (Mr. Joel, a grandson of Simon Selig Sr. and a lifelong employee of the company, remains president to this day).
1995-The Selig Chemical Company is part of the Chemical Division of National Service Industries, an Atlanta-based Fortune 500 corporation. Selig Chemical now employs over 500 people nationwide, with branches in Atlanta (its headquarters), Dallas, San Juan, New Orleans, Miami, Charlotte, and Louisville. On its own, Selig Chemical is one of the 20 largest chemical companies in the United States.
1996-Selig Chemical will celebrate its centennial. A book outlining the first hundred years of the company was published in early 1996.
Information on the Selig Family:
The Selig family is one of Atlanta’s pioneering families, with roots that go back to Sigmund Selig in the mid 19th century. Sigmund Selig had four sons (Emil, Jacob, Jonas, and Sigmund), all of whom found moderate to great prosperity as businessmen in the growth of Atlanta in the late 1800’s’. The Selig family was directly involved in one of Atlanta’s darkest chapters, the Leo Frank Case (1913–1915). Frank’s wife was Lucille Selig, daughter of Emil Selig. Sigmund Selig (the younger) was the father of Simon S. Selig, founder of The Selig Company. During the late 1800’s and throughout this century the Selig family has held a prominent position in Atlanta’s business, social, and religious communities. Their positions of leadership on civic, religious, cultural, and commercial organizations are literally too numerous to list.
Simon S. Selig’s descendants continue this family tradition. His son, Simon S. Selig Jr., served as president of The Selig Company until the time of its sale to National Service Industries. Simon Jr. married Caroline Masses, and together they were active in cultural, educational, and philanthropic activities in Atlanta and the state of Georgia (their obituary notices are attached). The children of Simon Jr. and Caroline Selig, Cathy and Steve, remain active in the family owned, Atlanta-based real estate business begun by their maternal grandfather, Ben Massed. Simon Selig’s grandson, Lyons Joel (son of his daughter Dorothy) has been president of The Selig Chemical company, a division of National Service Industries, since the sale by the family to NSI in 1968 (thus, a member of the Selig family has headed the Selig chemical business since its inception a century ago). These and other members of the Selig family are prominent members of Atlanta’s business community, are active in Jewish affairs, and contribute greatly to Atlanta with their philanthropy and leadership.
The following is a brief piece of publicity about the company, published in 1932 during the height of the company’s existence in this building:
Taken from The City Builder, July, 1932. (This was a publication of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the article was no doubt written by the Selig Company.)
“SELIG COMPANY ATLANTA CONCERN PRODUCES 1001 ITEMS”
In June of 1896, Simon S. Selig started in business as a distributor for companies manufacturing disinfectants, insecticides, soaps and sanitary products. This was before the day when strict Federal regulations insured the quality and purity of chemical products.Even back when this guarantee of quality was unnecessary, Mr. Selig sensed the need of a brandname which would command the confidence of the trade and be its own guarantee of quality and purity.
Six years later he began to manufacture his own products. Employing the best chemists, purchasing the best equipment then available, he began to manufacture a few items the purity and quality of which he wanted to impress upon his trade. Since that time the number has multiplied as the trade demanded more and more items guaranteed by the Selig name.
Today [1932) the chemical staff of the Selig Company is unique in America. The factory’s chief chemist was born in Spain, imported to this country by the Selig Company. Dr. Julius Vallebuona was reared and educated in the production center of the olive oil and other important ingredients used in the finer grades of soaps and cleansers which carry the Selig name. Mr. Selig sent to Germany for his assistant chemist, Dr.Rudolph Lind, raised and educated in the center of the chemical industry with a special knowledge of caustics and cleansing chemicals.
The manufacturing plant has outgrown its building three times and now three large buildings on Marietta, Luckie and Latimer Streets are occupied in the manufacturing of Selig products. The production is directly supervised by the staff of chemists who test each lot of soap, insecticide, disinfectant, cleansing fluid and other items through all stages of its manufacture.
Warehouses have been established in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas, and the sales, executive and manufacturing personnel averages more than 125 persons.
The thousand and one products manufactured by the Selig Company represent imports from almost as many different countries.
Some of the materials bought in large quantities from foreign lands include olive oil from Spain and Italy, linseed oil from South America, coconut oil from the Philippines and other tropic sources bought through Japanese and Chinese exporting houses, caustics and potash from Germany, perfumes From France and Holland. Large quantities of pine-tar and coal-tar products are bought from domestic sources.
The places of origin of foreign products shift with changes in market conditions which are followed closely by Selig buyers. If there is an over production of olive oil in some part of Asia Minor, Selig buyers transfer their olive oil purchases to that point, or if some coconut producing center on the opposite side of the world from the Philippines has more oil than its normal market can consume, tons of it find their way round the globe to the Selig plant in Atlanta. Savings are passed on to the customers.
One room in the plant has 28 floors, the only one of its kind in the world, and is used as a practical testing laboratory for the various cleaners and polishers manufactured by the Selig Company. This room, in which various products of the company are displayed, is cleaned oftener than any other room in Atlanta, not barring even hospital operating rooms, in order to discover not only the effectiveness of new Selig products as cleaners, but to determine their effect on the life of the floor covering.
The floor is made up of 28 sections, including separate floors of gum, oak, pine, maple and parquet woods, various types of tile, terrazzo, cement and other ceramic floors and various types of rubber compositions, linoleums and the like. Cleaners made specifically for one type of floor are applied to the proper section several times a day over a period of months and the effect studied by Selig chemists through microscopes before the cleaners is approved for market.
National Register Criteria
The Selig Company Building meets National Register Criterion A because it was the headquarters of a major early to mid-20th century chemical company with a national and state reputation in industrial chemicals. It meets Criterion C because it is an excellent example of an industrial building which contains many fine details on its front facade yet remains functional and unadorned on the interior.
Description of present and historic physical appearance:
Description: The Selig Building is a four-story commercial building. The eastern half dates from 1915, the western half from 1925. The building’s style is typical commercial/industrial architecture of the period; its ornamentation makes it more distinctive than most. The building’s front facade rests directly on Marietta Street with only a sidewalk. The building is mostly brick, with wood and glass storefronts at the street level. There are arched-brick openings on the Marietta Street facade, as well as limestone and concrete ornamentation, diamond-shaped geometric designs, cast-stone window sills and copings, and brick patterning. The interior was built to be a warehouse, hence there was very little interior construction. Some of the original stairways remain. The third floor housed offices but with temporary partitions. The building retains its original wooden floors of maple and pine, exposed heart-of-pine columns, beams and ceilings, original metal fire doors, and original radiators. There are two original vaults and two original freight doors in each elevator shaft. There are no outbuildings and no grounds other than the adjacent parking lot. The building is located in a warehouse area of mixed historic and nonhistoric structures along Marietta Street, a road leading northwest out of Atlanta. It is adjacent to the railroad track. There have been few changes until recent rehabilitation for adaptive use.
The Selig Company Building is situated on the south side of Marietta Street in downtown Atlanta, and bordered on the south by a double train track owned by Southern Railway. The building is four stories tall (three facing onto Marietta Street, four facing the railroad) and contains approximately 29,000 square feet. A small asphalt parking lot immediately west of the building contains approximately 9,000 additional square feet and is enclosed by a chain-link fence.
The building as we know it today was constructed in two phases: the first, in 1915, consisted of the easternmost one-half of the building and the second, in 1925, of the remainder. The second phase created new space which was architecturally identical to the old and imitated the Marietta Street facade design of the first phase. Basically, the second phase was constructed as a horseshoe addition, meaning that the former exterior wall of the older part became an interior wall dividing the old from the new.
There is zero setback from both the Marietta Street sidewalk and the railroad property. The roof is slightly sloping behind high brick/limestone parapets facing Marietta Street and there are two low profile rooftop additions: an elevator mechanical parapet and a stairway parapet. The architecture is typical of that found in early 20th-Century industrial areas on the fringes of central business districts in many American cities, with an additional attractive storefront.
The building is constructed predominantly of brick, with a wood and glass storefront area facing directly onto Marietta Street. Steel industrial windows face onto the parking lot (third floor only) and the railroad (all four floors). Double-hung wooden windows face onto Marietta Street above the storefront, and are encased in arched-brick opening. of particular interest is the Marietta Street facade, which includes limestone and concrete ornamentation, diamond-shaped geometric designs, cast-stone windowsills and copings, and brick patterning.
The concrete\limestone copings, parapets and arches give the building a unique appearance that is visually appealing. The wooden storefront includes tongue-and-groove paneling, glass-paneled doors, lead-glass upper windows and smoked-glass areas. Exterior hardware is minimal but includes a water-controlled Ere-alarm bell. The rear facade has no decoration but includes large industrial window bays throughout all floors as well as loading dock doors at grade. The building’s brick and limestone exterior is unusual and represents a departure from the more practical designs of similarly aged buildings in Atlanta.
Prior to extensive renovations begun in 1992, the building’s main purpose was as a storage warehouse and, therefore, most areas were left completely open. The first and fourth floors, in fact, had no interior walls at all. On each floor an arched-brick walkway had been constructed to allow passage from one side of the building to the other. Three staircases were located in the building: one (inoperable due to rotting wood) in the oldest part which connected all four floors; one (operable) in the newer part which connected all four floors and the roof; and one (operable) in the newer part, which connected the third floor with a Marietta Street entrance to the building.
Two inoperable elevators were also located in the building, one on each side. The elevator in the newer part of the building included a rooftop parapet constructed of brick; the elevator on the older part had a parapet made of tin sheets and plywood.
The third floor of the building housed small office areas and workspaces interspersed with storage rooms. From interviews with former workers and owners of the building, it can be discerned that the interior walls on the third floor were temporary and constructed during a renovation of the building in the 1960s by the Pioneer Neon Supply Company.
The interior sides of the brick walls on the third floor of the second phase were covered with sand-based plaster held onto the walls by wooden stakes driven into the wall. The building’s interior is filled with items and details of significant architectural character: wooden floors (including maple tongue-and-groove in the older part and large pine planks in the newer); exposed heart-of-pine columns, beams and ceilings; arched brick doorways and windows; original tin fire doors (operable by dropped weights); two dozen different radiator types; and wood stairs with steel rails just to name a few.
Interior ornamentation is minimal and functional. The building also includes two large interior vaults with locking safe doors, one on each side. Finally, there are two large pull-up freight doors located in each elevator shaft at ground level which allowed access from the railroad tracks directly to the elevator.
The building is of “Standard Mill Construction” with heavy brick masonry exterior walls (three to four wythes each). The basement floor consists of a concrete slab on grade approximately 4″ to 5″ thick. The elevated floors consist of 3/4″ tongue-and-groove plank flooring spanning seven feet to roughly 12″ to 16″ timber beams spanning 14′; these beams are supported at each end by either a timber column or by framing into 12″ x 16″ timber guides. The roof framing is similar, with roof planking thickness varying to 2″ thick and timber beam sizes of 6″ x 12″. Heavy timber columns support the structure on a grid of about 14′ x 14′. These columns vary in size from 12″ x 12″ to 7-3/8″ x 7-3/8″ as they extend from the basement to the roof.
The building was heated by an industrial boiler located in the basement of the older part of the building and vented through a brick chimney. During the Pioneer Neon renovation of the third floor in the 1960s a portable air conditioning/heating system and ductwork were added (for the third floor only). The entire building is protected by sprinklers.
Other than the parking lot, there are no grounds, and no landscaping has occurred except voluntary growth around the parking lot. The only significant feature of the terrain is that the first floor is at grade in the rear of the building (facing the railroad) but is not at grade on the Marietta Street side. There are no outbuildings.
The building is attached to a smaller, but also four-story, building by a common wall. Together these buildings represent the first examples of the warehouse vernacular as one heads west away on Marietta from the Atlanta Central Business District. The immediate area (within two blocks) around the building is populated with other unrenovated low-lying buildings interspersed with undeveloped empty lots. Directly across the street is the old Techwood High School, now a dance club.
The building is one of but a few large warehouses from the early 20th century still standing in western downtown Atlanta. The others are located due west of the building on Marietta Street within two miles of the building, and include the Atlanta Carriage Works (now Nexus Arts Center), the Hastings’ Seed Building, and King Plow Arts Community. Together these buildings (all of which except King Plow are located between Marietta Street and the railroad) represent a significant departure from the modern architecture of downtown Atlanta.
The Selig Building and its area is located in the last great undeveloped tract of downtown Atlanta. The building contributes greatly to the area as an example of 20th century industrial architecture. Its large, multi-bay characteristics, brick facade, windows, and storefront are complementary to the other buildings of the same era around it.
Like other historically significant warehouses, the building faces a major arterial street and a railroad track, indicating the historic commercial and transportation development of the area.
Other than the separate construction phases of the building, there appears to have been no alterations or remodeling of the premises until the recent rehabilitation took place. Ira Weiss of the Pioneer Neon Supply Co. said that the third floor office area was constructed “sometime during the Sixties”, which would mean 1965-1969. Mr. Weiss also said that this new construction occurred in a previously open area. The recent rehabilitation of the building included the construction of apartments on the upper floors. This included the addition of walls and a new elevator, as well as new heating and air conditioning.
Pioneer Neon Company: http://www.artery.org/Selig-PioneerNeon.htm
Georgia Magazine, Upfront, March 2004: Vol. 83, No. 2, Feat Oney (2004), Features, WWW.UGA.EDU
To produce the definitive book on the 1913 lynching of convicted murderer Leo Frank, the author devoted 17 years of his life— and came to the conclusion that Leo Frank didn’t kill Mary Phagan
B Y – S T E V E – O N E Y – (A B J ‘7 9)
I walked across the campus last October en route to the Chapel to give a talk on And the Dead Shall Rise, my new book on the Leo Frank murder case, I experienced one of those moments that lead people to remark that their lives have come full circle. During my student days in Athens 30 years ago, I often trod these same paths. Glimpses of my younger self—a rebellious yet bookish aspirant who challenged authority but was just as ready to listen to wisdom—flashed through my mind. So, too, did the thought that it was here that I absorbed not only the curriculum but some unarticulated understanding of what it is to be a Georgian. This is where my fascination with the state’s history began, where I gained the mixture of devotion and curiosity that would sustain me during the 17 years it took to explore one of the most complex and incendiary episodes in Georgia’s past and the nation’s.
Oney tried to approach the writing of And the Dead Shall Rise (Pantheon, 2003) with a completely open mind—as though he had awakened in Atlanta on that fateful day, April 26, 1913, when 13-year-old Mary Phagan (right) was killed. But hers wasn’t the only murder mystery Oney hoped to unravel. There was also the lynching of convicted killer Leo Frank (center), a Northern Jew who was victimized by anti-semitism.
Not that the long road culminating in the publication of And the Dead Shall Rise (Pantheon, 2003) literally began in Athens. Rather, it started in a restaurant 2,000 miles to the west in a city that in its sun-dazzled fixation on surface-level immediacy is everything that my leafy old college town is not—Los Angeles. I had moved to California in the early 1980s to make my way as a magazine writer. For the remainder of the decade, I contributed frequently to Playboy, GQ, Premiere, and Esquire. Yet much as I enjoyed being paid to profile movie stars (Harrison Ford, Nick Nolte), network executives (Brandon Tartikoff) and famous directors (Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppolla), I often found myself thinking that this was not my life’s work. Over lunch that day 20 years ago, I kept telling my dining companion that I wanted to write about subjects more substantive than Hollywood. When she asked me to be specific, however, I could do no more than say that the South continued to exert a pull on me. To my good fortune, the woman to whom I made these vague pronouncements was Kathy Robbins, who is not just my friend but my literary agent. One of those people who are as empathic as they are shrewd, she thought for a second and then asked: “What do you know about Leo Frank?”
The suggestion that I might want to delve into an affair that had occurred seven decades before was not quite as improbable as it might initially sound. In 1984, the strange and sorrowful story of Leo Frank was back in the headlines thanks to the late-in-life assertions of 85-year-old Alonzo Mann, who as a teenager had been Frank’s office boy. Mann’s claims had, in fact, resulted in a renewed legal battle.
During the late-1970s, when I’d worked as a writer for The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Magazine, I’d heard enough about the tale from the veteran Constitution columnist Celestine Sibley—who as a young reporter had known many of the participants—to realize that it contained the elements of both great mystery and unending tragedy.
In 1913, Frank, a Cornell-educated Northern Jew who’d moved to Atlanta to manage the National Pencil Factory, was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan, a child laborer who’d toiled for pennies an hour at his plant. The state’s star witness was a black factory janitor named Jim Conley. The defense, believing that Frank had been victimized by an anti-Semitic prosecution, appealed the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In the process, the matter became a nationwide cause celebre. At the eleventh-hour, Georgia Gov. John Slaton commuted Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment, a decision that so outraged the leading citizens of the Phagan girl’s hometown of Marietta that they abducted Frank from the state prison (which was then in Milledgeville), drove him back to Marietta, and lynched him. The lynching sparked the creation of the modern Ku Klux Klan and gave purpose to what was then a new organization—the Anti-Defamation League.
Small wonder, then, that several weeks after my agent broached the topic to me, I flew to Johnson City, Tenn., where Alonzo Mann was being treated for heart disease at a VA hospital. Mann told me what he’d seen on April 26, 1913, the day of the murder. He’d worked in Frank’s second-floor office until noon that Saturday, then departed. No sooner had he walked a block or so away than he realized he had forgotten something and turned back. Upon entering the building’s first-floor lobby, he saw Jim Conley carrying little Mary’s body over his shoulder. When Conley realized he’d been spotted, Mann said Conley grabbed for him with his free hand, then growled: “If you tell anyone about this, I’ll kill you, too.” Frightened, Mann rushed home. During the days and months of hysteria that followed, he added, his parents instructed him to keep quiet. As a young adult, Mann told his story to a few people but no one believed him. He was finally speaking publicly because he didn’t want to go to his death bed in possession of information that might posthumously exonerate Frank.
Alonzo Mann’s contentions became the hook for a lengthy re-examination of the Frank case that I wrote for Esquire, which in turn became the germ of a proposal that in 1986 landed me a contract with a New York publisher. Yet by the time I signed my book deal, I realized that Mann’s story was, in a sense, only a sidelight. (Both the prosecution and the defense agreed that Conley carried Mary Phagan’s body, the difference being that the prosecution said he’d done so at Frank’s behest while the defense maintained he’d acted on his own.) I was after something bigger—nothing less than the definitive work on the subject. While doing my preliminary research, I’d surveyed the existing literature and determined there was room for a sweeping and, equally important, balanced piece of social history. As I saw it, the proper tack would be to discard all preconceptions. To the extent that it was possible, I would approach the topic as if I’d awakened in Atlanta on the morning of April 26, 1913. I would work from only original sources. My goal was simple and daunting—to find out what actually happened and then tell the story.
After the lynching, no one was even inconvenienced, much less arrested
I started by reading the three daily newspapers published in Atlanta in 1913—the Journal, the Constitution, and the Georgian, a sensationalistic sheet owned by William Randolph Hearst. From the day Mary’s body was discovered to Frank’s conviction and on through the appeals, these organs ran thousands of pieces, and I read and cross-referenced them all. (I’m not exaggerating when I say that I spent a solid two years with my face pressed against the screen of a microfilm machine.) I also immersed myself in a never-before-consulted source—the files of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which had been hired by Frank’s employers to probe the crime. Because Pinkerton agents worked hand-in-hand with Atlanta’s police, these dossiers (housed at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati) provided a previously unavailable look at the activities of the detectives who compiled the key evidence.
At the town square in Marietta, where Mary Phagan lived, people gathered to celebrate the lynching of Leo Frank.
I also went as deeply as I could into the lives of the case’s principals. The truth about Jim Conley became an obsession for me. I sat in church fellowship halls in Vine City, Conley’s raffish, old Atlanta neighborhood, interviewing elderly men and women who might have known him. I traced his wife’s address via city directories through 1969, when she disappeared from public records. I even called each of the nearly 100 Conleys in the phone book. Eventually, I located one man well acquainted with Conley. I also learned from an overlooked piece of trial testimony that Conley’s schooling was far better than that of most blacks of his era. He had been a student of two of Atlanta’s most influential black teachers—one a Spelman graduate, the other an Atlanta University alumna. In short, he was well educated enough to have concocted a scheme to pin Mary Phagan’s murder on his white boss.
I was equally determined to learn who Leo Frank was. At Brandeis University outside of Boston, I pored over Frank’s love letters to his future wife, Lucille Selig. At the Atlanta History Center, I pondered the notebook in which Frank, shortly after arriving in Georgia, jotted down chess gambits in order to teach himself the game. And I was transfixed by a handmade Valentine card Lucille had given to Leo in 1909 shortly before he proposed marriage to her.
As I was learning about Mary Phagan’s murder, I was also pursuing the tale’s other mystery. Leo Frank’s lynching has long been one of America’s great unsolved crimes. At the time it happened, Frank was the nation’s most famous convict. He was held in a state institution surrounded by gun towers that provided clear shots at anyone coming or going. The men who abducted Frank not only failed to draw any fire, they were given the run of the place. And once the abduction was completed, they faced no interference as they raced north through multiple jurisdictions back to Marietta. (This was, for its day, remarkable—a 300-mile round trip in Model-Ts over dirt roads in the dead of night.) Afterward, no one involved was even inconvenienced, much less arrested.
To learn how this worked, I requisitioned tag records for all cars registered in Marietta from 1913-15. Out of this group of several hundred vehicles were most of those used in the raid on Milledgeville. I also went to school on Marietta society. In the early 20th century, the Journal and the Constitution regularly ran items on dinner parties and social engagements in Marietta—with guest lists that revealed the connections among Marietta’s elites. I matched the names of car owners and power brokers with the names of citizens who’d made remarks opposing Gov. Slaton’s commutation of Frank’s death sentence. Not surprisingly, the same names kept cropping up.
Library research fascinated me—and much of it ended up in the book. Still, at this point early in my efforts, I felt like someone with his face pressed to the window. I needed a point of entrée into the long-ago world of the two crimes. That entrée came through men and women who constituted what I termed “the linking generation.”
When I walked into the Sarasota, Fla., law office of 75-year-old Eugene Clay, he knew why I’d come. We’d been corresponding for months regarding his father. Herbert Clay was the scion of a famous Georgia family. At the time of the Frank case, he was the chief prosecutor for much of north Georgia. No sooner had his son shown me to a chair than he broke into tears. “Yes,” he said, “my father was one of the men who orchestrated the lynching of Leo Frank.” This was a painful moment, but out of it grew an unlikely friendship. Due to the fact that Gene’s mother, after an early divorce, had raised him in the North, he had never really known the man whose name he bore. He wanted to find out what sort of person Herbert Clay was, and I wanted to learn more about the role he had played in the lynching. Several months later, Gene and I spent a long weekend together in Marietta looking up people who could help us in our separate but related quests.
On the same day I met Gene Clay in Sarasota, I spent several hours up the road in St. Petersburg with Alan and Fanny Marcus, two Atlantans who’d retired to Florida. Alan was Lucille Frank’s nephew. He’d grown up at her knee and borne witness to the devastation that the lynching had wrought in her life and in the life of Atlanta’s Jewish community. Following Lucille’s death in 1957, her body was cremated. She wanted her ashes scattered in a public park, but an Atlanta ordinance forbade it. For the next six years, the ashes sat in a box at Patterson’s Funeral Home. One day, Alan received what for him was an upsetting call. The ashes needed to be disposed of. Alan didn’t know what to do. In the years since Lucille passed away, the Temple, the city’s reform synagogue, had been bombed. This event had set Atlanta’s Jews on edge. It was no wonder that Alan didn’t want to attract scrutiny by conducting a public burial. For months, he carried Lucille’s remains around Atlanta in the trunk of his red Corvair. Early one morning in 1964, he and his brother drove downtown to Oakland Cemetery. There, under the cover of the gray dawn light, the two men buried this martyred figure in an unmarked plot between the headstones of her parents.
The guilty verdict turned on the word of a black man
(who may have been the real killer) against a Northern Jew.
Most treatments of the Frank case can be broken down into the phrase “Good Jews versus bad Yahoos.” To me, this seemed a simplistic and polarizing formulation. But how could I get around it? As I struggled with that question, I made what I consider to be the biggest breakthrough in my research—I learned about a brave but little known Atlanta lawyer who’d represented Jim Conley.
William Manning Smith, a UGA law school graduate, was a man far ahead of his time. As early as the turn of the last century, he was championing equal rights for blacks. That’s why he took on Conley as a client. Not only did he believe Conley was telling the truth, he wanted to make sure that Frank’s high powered lawyers didn’t run over the black man in court. All of this, however, I would discover later. What I discovered first about William Smith involved something that occurred nearly 40 years after Frank was lynched, and I heard about it from Smith’s son, Walter, who was there when it happened.
On his death bed, William Smith (right)—who was initially part of the legal team that prosecuted Frank—wrote a note (above) saying he had come to believe Frank was innocent.
Walter Smith was also an Atlanta lawyer. On a winter day in 1949 as his father lay dying at Crawford Long Hospital, he witnessed an extraordinary scene. William Smith was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, and he’d lost his power of speech. But until the end, he remained mentally sharp, passing hand-written notes to Walter through a crease in a clear plastic oxygen tent. Most of the notes involved family matters. But William Smith also addressed a more significant subject. One particular note could not have been more profound:
“In articles of death, I believe in the innocence and good character of Leo M. Frank. W. M. Smith.”
As Walter described this moment to me, I felt two things. On a human level, I wanted to cry. But as a writer, I couldn’t wait to get the details down on paper. Instantly , I knew my book would revolve around William Smith. By telling the story of his transformation from a man who had helped prepare Conley to give the testimony that convicted Frank to someone who in his dying words declared Frank’s innocence, I could avoid the tired cliches.
Walter gave me scores of his father’s personal documents that threw light on the subject. Meantime, I spent weeks at the Georgia Department of Archives poring over William Smith’s 100-page study of two enigmatic notes found by Mary Phagan’s body. At the trial, Conley convinced the jury that Frank had dictated these notes to him in an attempt to implicate another man in the crime. But by comparing the notes to dozens of samples of Conley’s writing, Smith proved that they were Conley’s original compositions. Frank had nothing to do with them. Ergo, Conley murdered Mary Phagan.
In the end, the information that Gene Clay, Alan and Fanny Marcus, and Walter Smith provided me about their in- laws amounted to a large and exceedingly valuable bequest. So much so that I began to feel less like a writer than like the administrator of a sacred trust. I felt a fiduciary responsibility to do justice to these stories. This, I told myself, is the material of a lifetime. What a great book it will make.
That was in 1993.
To say that the research and writing of And the Dead Shall Rise was a battle in its own right—one that exhausted my youth and my wallet while testing my inner being—is an understatement. The difficulties were numerous. First, the research was overwhelming. My office was stacked floor to ceiling with thousands of letters, legal documents, and newspaper clippings that had to be annotated before I could write a word. Worse, after seven years of research, the advance money from my publisher ran out. This would have been difficult anywhere, but in Los Angeles—where many of my friends have grown wealthy creating TV shows and writing screenplays—it was doubly so. All I can say is that I did not quit. Luckily, my wife believed in me and in the book, and she supported me through a long time of uncertainty.
In ways I could not have initially predicted, the lengthy process of writing And the Dead Shall Rise ended up working to the book’s advantage. It was only two summers ago that Leo Frank’s letters to a journalist who covered the case for Collier’s Weekly were donated to the American Jewish Archives. Thus, in my book you hear for the first time what Frank was thinking and feeling as he went through his ordeal. Similarly, I benefited from the recent bequest of the transcript of Gov. Slaton’s clemency hearing to the Emory University Library. This document, thick as a New York telephone book, contains much new evidence suggesting Frank’s innocence.
The book’s depiction of the lynching also benefited from my having spent so long in the trenches. I ultimately interviewed at length the children of six participants. The daughter of one gave me access to a list of everyone involved that her father had kept in the family Bible. I got to know three people who were at the lynch site and saw Frank’s body hanging there. One of these people, Narvel Lassiter, is pictured in my book, peering out from behind the oak tree. He was only 9 years old. Most interesting of all, I ferreted out how the masterminds of the lynching in effect took over the state prison system. The lynching was conceived in Marietta, but it was run through the legislature. One of the crime’s architects was chairman of the prison subcommittee.
During my October talk at the Chapel [(October, 2003)], I declared my belief in Frank’s innocence and in the state’s culpability in his lynching. Finally, though, I emphasized that I had not written And the Dead Shall Rise in the spirit of a frustrated prosecutor going back into a cold case to arraign the dead. I wrote the book in a spirit of understanding. The participants in the Frank affair—whether Atlanta’s Jews or Marietta’s vigilantes—are the grandparents of Georgia’s present generation. They have long been trying to tell their story. In the pages of my book, I believe they do.
Steve Oney (ABJ ’79) is the author of ‘And the Dead Shall Rise’.
Source: http://www.uga.edu/gm/304/FeatOney.html, 2004.
‘And the Dead Shall Rise’ is on Sale at www.Amazon.com.
[The Leo Frank Trial Research Library Recommends purchasing this 2003 book by Oney, despite its vast number of errors, for analysis of its contents and sources.]
Last Updated: September 30, 2013, word count 21,629