Colyar Called Convict and Insane

by Archivist on July 25, 2016

A. S. Colyar, who figures in the dictograph sensation. Records show he has been confined in two insane asylums and numerous prisons. His operations are alleged to extend from New York to Mexico. He is a member of a prominent Tennessee family. His exploits with the dictograph have created a big sensation in the Phagan case.

A. S. Colyar, who figures in the dictograph sensation. Records show he has been confined in two insane asylums and numerous prisons. His operations are alleged to extend from New York to Mexico. He is a member of a prominent Tennessee family. His exploits with the dictograph have created a big sensation in the Phagan case.

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 24th, 1913

Records Show He Has Been Confined in Numerous Prisons and Twice in Asylum.

Who is A. S. Colyar?

The records show that Colyar was once confined in the Middle Tennessee Insane Asylum, and that more recently he was sent to Lyons View, the East Tennessee Asylum. Information from Nashville is that he served time in prisons all over the State, as well as in Sing Sing, New York, and a jail in Virginia. Telegrams from Chattanooga paint him as a wild adventurer who spends considerable time in prison and is always in trouble.

In Prison Many Times.

NASHVILLE, TENN., May 24.—A. S. Colyar is a son of the late A. S. Colyar, of this city, one of the most brilliant lawyers and statesmen Tennessee ever produced. When not violently insane his mind works brilliantly, but always to the wrong end. He has been in prison time after time, but always evaded long sentences through influence of his father’s friends.

Young Colyar’s most noted exploit, as it is understood here, consisted in connection with the famous Mollineux murder case in New York. He went from Nashville to New York, saw General Mollineux and offered to have his son acquitted for $20,000.

“Your son is innocent,” Colyar is reported to have said, “One of my clients, now in the Tennessee penitentiary, is guilty. He confessed to me. For $20,000 I can get him out of the penitentiary, bring him here, induce him to confess and save your son’s life.”

Next day, so the story here runs, General Mollineux advanced him half the money, Colyar went back to Nashville, engaged a well-known pickpocket as a confederate, took him to New York with half a dozen guards and claimed the rest of the $20,000. The ruse might have worked, except for the fact that an assistant district attorney secured information about Colyar and blocked his plans.

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Atlanta Georgian, May 24th 1913, “Colyar Called Convict and Insane,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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