The Murder of Little Mary Phagan, by Mary Phagan Kean is, in my opinion, insulting not just to Leo Frank who was unjustly convicted of her murder and dispicably lynched by a sick mob, but also insulting to a little girl tragically murdered. This book is a typical example of what a person can make of historical fact and turn it into historical fiction.
There is no denying that all of the subsequent events to Mary Phagan’s death, somewhat obscures the loss of life to this little girl but the narcissitic way, in my opinion, that Mary Phagan Kean portrays her anscestor and herself, is in some way, creepy and sensational. Nobody buys this book because they want to know about Mary Phagan Kean. They buy it because they think Mary Phagan Kean has some greater insight into the events of Mary Phagan’s death and it’s aftermath. However, clearly she does not and instead tries to sew a tale not really including all of the historical facts.
Several poor examples among others are saying that just because her grandfather got hoodwinked by Conley, similar to the jury, (was it hoodwinked or Anti Semitism?) and believes in Conley’s innocence says nothing about the facts of this case. Only that her grandfather is gullible and Conley a good talker. Her father’s lack of opposition to Frank’s subsequent lynching is much much more chilling and revealing about the aleged underlying nature of Kean’s book.
As an attorney and as a former assitant district attorney, I can tell you that just because all of the appeals through the State and Federal court system led to denials of a new trial, one after another, does not speak to Franks guilt, at all really, but rather to the procedural manner in which Judge Roan handled the trial.