The Phagan Case Day by Day

by Archivist on May 12, 2016

The Phagan Case Day by DayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 12th, 1913

The history of the baffling Phagan mystery, daily recorded, is briefly as follows:

Sunday April 26—Girl’s body found in basement of pencil factory. Newt Lee, negro night watchman, who made discovery, arrested. Arthur Mullinax, street car employee, also arrested. Both held on suspicion.

Monday—Leo M. Frank, factory superintendent, detained, but later released. J. M. Gantt, former bookkeeper of pencil concern and friend of dead girl, arrested in Marietta. Negro elevator boy also taken into custody. Pinkertons enter case.

Tuesday—Bloody shirt found at negro watchman’s home. Planted evidence theory advanced. Mary Phagan’s body buried. Sleuths announce they have evidence to convict. Frank confers with negro suspect.

Wednesday—Inquest begins. Newt Lee testifies. One hundred and fifty pencil factory employees summoned before coroner. George Epps, newsboy, tells of ride to uptown with Mary Phagan on her last trip.

Thursday—Frank and Lee ordered to Fulton tower on warrants issued by Coroner Donehoo. Trip made without incident.

Friday—Both prisoners tell reporter for The Constitution at 1 a. m. that they are not guilty and will prove their innocence.

Saturday—Evidence is unearthed that imposters, pretending to be Pinkerton detectives, are questioning leading witnesses. No arrests made.

Sunday, May 4—Detectives again announce their belief that they can convict murderer, whoever he is.

Monday—Paul P. Bowen, former Atlanta youth, arrested in Houston under suspicion of complicity in slaying. Is released at night.

Tuesday—Detectives obtain affidavit from woman who alleges she heard screams from basement of factory building at 4:30 p. m. on Memorial day.

Wednesday—Testimony is secured from Monteen Stover that she visited pencil plant at 12:05 noon on Memorial day and that offices were deserted.

Thursday—Inquest resumed. Character witnesses are examined. Frank and Lee ordered by jury to be held under suspicion of murder for grand jury investigation.

Friday—Mrs. Nancy Caldwell, of 10 Gray street, is examined by detectives under belief that she was the “mysterious girl in red” who was supposed to have visited factory with Mary Phagan. She establishes alibi.

Saturday—Three more Pinkerton detectives put to work on investigation. No developments at police headquarters. Solicitor general examines 100 witnesses.

Sunday May 11—Solicitor Dorsey announces that grand jury will probably not take action until early next week.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, May 12th 1913, "The Phagan Case Day by Day," Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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