Before Reading State’s Exhibit J, Learn about the woman who gave it, Minola McKnight.
Source of State’s Exhibit J: Internet Archive copy of Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Brief of Evidence 1913
STATE’S EXHIBIT J, Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913.
Affidavit executed by Minola McKnight for Solicitor Dorsey, as follows:
State of Georgia, County of Fulton.
Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for the above
State and county, Minola McKnight, who lives in the rear of 351 Pulliam St.,
Atlanta, Ga., who being duly sworn deposes and says:
On Saturday morning, April 26, 1913, Mr. [Leo] Frank left home about
eight o’clock, and Albert [McKnight], my husband, was there Saturday, too.
Albert [McKnight] got there I guess about a quarter after one [1:15 PM] and
he [Albert McKnight] was there when Mr. [Leo] Frank come for dinner (Dinner
is what they called Lunch back then), which was about half-past one [1:30 PM],
but Mr. Frank did not eat any dinner (Lunch), and he left in about ten minutes
[1:40 PM] after he [Mr. Leo Frank] got there.
Mr. [Leo] Frank come back to the house at seven o’clock that night, and Albert
[McKnight] was there when he [Leo Frank] got there. Albert [McKnight] had gone
home that [early] evening but he come back. I don’t know what time he [Albert McKnight]
got there, but he come sometime before Mr. [Leo] Frank did, and Mr. [Leo] Frank eat supper
about seven o’clock, and when I left there that night about eight o’clock, I left Mr. [Leo]
Sunday morning I got there about eight o’clock, and there was an
automobile standing in front of the house and I didn’t pay any attention
to it. I saw a man in the automobile get a bucket of water and pour into
it. Mr. [Leo] Frank’s wife [Lucille Selig Frank] was downstairs and Mr. [Emil Selig]
and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig were upstairs. Albert [McKnight] was there Sunday morning,
but I don’t remember what time he got there. I called them down to breakfast about half
past eight [8:30 AM] and I found out that Mr. [Leo] Frank was gone.
Mr. [Emil] Selig and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig eat breakfast, but Mrs. [Lucille] Frank didn’t eat
until Mr. Frank come back and then they eat breakfast together. I didn’t hear them say anything
at the breakfast table. After dinner I understood them to say that a girl and Mr. [Leo] Frank
were caught at the office Saturday. I don’t know who said it, Miss Lucile (Mrs. Frank) and
Mr. [Emil Selig] and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig and Mr. [Leo] Frank were standing there talking,
after dinner when they said it; I understood them to say it was a Jew girl.
On Tuesday, Mr. [Leo] Frank says to me, ‘It is mighty bad Minola, I might
have to go to jail about this girl, and I don’t know anything about it.’
Sunday, Miss Lucile said to Mrs. Selig that Mr. Frank didn’t rest so good
Saturday night; she said he was drunk and wouldn’t let her sleep with him,
and she said she slept on the floor on the rug by the bed because Mr. [Leo] Frank was drinking.
Miss Lucile [Selig Frank] said Sunday that Mr. [Leo] Frank told her Saturday night that
he was in trouble, and that he didn’t know the reason why he would murder, and he told his wife
to get his pistol and let him kill himself. I heard Miss Lucile [Selig Frank] say that to
Mrs. [Josephine] Selig, and it got away with Mrs. [Josephine] Selig mighty bad; she didn’t know
what to think. I haven’t heard Miss Lucile say whether she believed it or not. I don’t know why
Mrs. Frank didn’t come to see her husband, but it was a pretty good while before she would come
to see him, maybe two weeks. She would tell me, ‘Wasn’t it mighty bad that he was locked up,’ she
would say, ‘Minola, I don’t know what I am going to do.’
When I left home to go to the solicitor general’s office, they told me to mind how I talked. They pay me
$3.50 a week, but last week they paid me $4.00, and one week she paid me $6.50. Up to the time of the
murder I was getting $3.50 a week and the week right after the murder I don’t remember how much she paid
me, and the next week they paid me $3.50, and the next week they paid me $6.50, and the next week they
paid me $4.00 and the next week they paid me $4.00. One week, I don’t remember which one, Mrs. Selig gave
me $5, but it wasn’t for my work, and they didn’t tell me what it was for, she just said, ‘ Here is $5, Minola.’
I understood that it was a tip for me to keep quiet. They would tell me to mind how I talked and Miss Lucile
gave me a hat.”
Question: “Is that the reason you didn’t tell the solicitor yesterday all about this, that Miss Lucile and the others had told you not to say anything about what happened at home there’?”
Answer: “Yes, sir.”
Question: “Is that true?”
Answer: “Yes, sir.”
Question:. “And that’s the reason you would rather have been locked up last night than tell?'”
Answer: “Yes, sir.”
Question: “Has Mr. Pickett or Mr. Cravens or Mr. Campbell or myself influenced you in any way or threatened you in any way to make this statement? ”
Answer: “No, sir.”
Question: “You make it of your own free will and accord in their presence and in the presence of Mr. Gordon, your attorney?”
Answer: “Yes, sir.”
(Signed) MINOLA McKNIGHT.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 3d day of June, 1913.
(Signed) G. C. FEBRUARY, Notary public, Fulton County, Ga.
Torture and Coercion
Leo Frank’s defenders, then and now, have long claim Minola was tortured or coerced to produce State’s Exhibit J. But Concerning the veracity of State’s Exhibit J, one should consider State’s Exhibit B, and why Leo Frank so thoughtfully bought Lucille Selig Frank a box of Chocolates at Jacobs Pharmacy on Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 6:15 pm, just minutes before catching the 6:20pm trolly home, to his in-laws residence at 68 East Georgia Avenue, Atlanta. Leo Frank claimed he arrived at home at 6:30pm.
See: Minola McKnight
See: Leo M. Frank Georgia Supreme Court Case File (1,800 Images Volumes 1 & 2). Available for review and download, please visit: Leo M. Frank Georgia Supreme Court Case File, Leo M. Frank, Plaintiff in Error, vs. State of Georgia, Defendant in Error. In Error from Fulton Superior Court at the July Term 1913. Brief of Evidence 1913 (318 Images within Volumes 1 & 2, amongst 1,800 images)
Albert McKnight Affidavit: https://www.leofrank.org/images/mcknight/albert-mcknight-affidavit.jpg
Image: Defendants Exhibit 61, Ground Floor and Second Floor 2D Birds Eye View Maps of the National Pencil Company: https://www.leofrank.org/images/georgia-supreme-court-case-files/2/0125.jpg. Plat of the First and Second Floor of the National Pencil Company. Defendants Exhibit 61.
Tom Watson’s articulation of the Leo Frank murder confessions in the Jeffersonian Newspaper on Leo M. Frank 1914, 1915, 1916, & 1917: https://www.leofrank.org/images/jeffersonian/
State’s Exhibit B: https://www.leofrank.org/states-exhibit-b/
Leo Frank Murder Confession #1 and the Testimony of Jim Conley: https://www.leofrank.org/jim-conley-august-4-5-6/
Leo Frank Murder Confession #3: https://www.leofrank.org/confession/
Leo Frank Murder Confession #4: Leo Frank Answers List of Questions Bearing on Points Made Against Him, Atlanta Constitution, March 9th, 1914
If you want to ask one of the worlds foremost Leo M. Frank scholar questions about the Leo Max Frank case, contact Allen Koenigsberg. Post your public questions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LeoFrankCase/. The Leo Frank Case Library and Archive (www.LeoFrank.org) is not affiliated with Allen Koenigsberg and the Leo Frank Yahoo Discussion Group.
Last Updated: June 3, 2013, the centennial of State’s Exhibit J.