An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo by Elaine Marie Alphin

By Elaine Marie Alphin

Was once an blameless guy wrongly accused of homicide? On April 26, 1913, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan deliberate to fulfill pals at a parade in Atlanta, Georgia. yet first she stopped on the pencil manufacturing unit the place she labored to select up her paycheck. Mary by no means left the construction alive. A black watchman came upon Mary's physique brutally crushed and raped. Police arrested the watchman, yet they were not chuffed that he was once the killer. Then they paid a trip to Leo Frank, the factory's superintendent, who was once either a northerner and a Jew. Spurred on via the media frenzy and prejudices of the time, the detectives made Frank their best suspect, one whose conviction may soothe the city's anger over the dying of a tender white woman. The prosecution of Leo Frank was once front-page information for 2 years, and Frank's lynching remains to be some of the most debatable incidents of the 20th century. It marks a turning element within the background of racial and non secular hatred in the United States, prime on to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League and to the rebirth of the fashionable Ku Klux Klan. counting on basic resource records and painstaking learn, award-winning novelist Elaine Alphin tells the real tale of justice undone in the United States.

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Extra info for An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank

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Born in a small town, yet raised in the city, Dorsey was capable of acting like a country boy with ordinary working folks or behaving like a shrewdly calculating gentleman in the company of other city lawyers. Dorsey seized authority for the murder case as soon as he could, by ordering the exhumation and autopsy of Mary Phagan himself. Coroner Paul Donehoo, Dr. Henry Harris, and Fulton County physician J. W. Hurt inspected Mary’s body after it was removed from the grave. Dr. Harris paid particular attention to her stomach contents, as this would help him determine the time of death more accurately.

He combined his previous stories with new details: When he whistled for me I went upstairs and he asked me if I wanted to make some money right quick and I told him “Yes, sir,” and he told me that he had picked up a girl back there and had let her fall and that her head hit against something, he didn’t know what it was, and for me to move her, and I hollered and told him the girl was dead, and he told me to pick her up and bring her to the elevator. Then he described how he had tried to carry the girl, but she proved too heavy for him to manage alone, so the superintendent “We wanted another statement” 51 had helped him carry her onto the elevator and then down to the basement.

Dorsey’s handwriting expert stated that the murder notes could not have been written by Newt Lee. 46 A n un s pe akable C rim e The murder remained front page news for weeks, and much of the coverage was sensational. In this front page of the Atlanta Constitution from May 9, 1913, the paper announces that Leo Frank would go before a grand jury in the case of Mary Phagan’s murder. This put Frank in the sights of prosecutor Hugh Dorsey, who would prove to be a master at manipulating the press. This supported Dorsey’s contention that Leo had committed the crime and the night watchman had done nothing except discover the body.

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