By Elaine Marie Alphin
Used to be an blameless guy wrongly accused of homicide? On April 26, 1913, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan deliberate to satisfy associates at a parade in Atlanta, Georgia. yet first she stopped on the pencil manufacturing facility the place she labored to choose up her paycheck. Mary by no means left the construction alive. A black watchman discovered Mary's physique brutally overwhelmed and raped. Police arrested the watchman, yet they were not happy that he used to be the killer. Then they paid a trip to Leo Frank, the factory's superintendent, who used to be either a northerner and a Jew. Spurred on via the media frenzy and prejudices of the time, the detectives made Frank their leading suspect, one whose conviction may soothe the city's anger over the loss of life of a tender white lady. The prosecution of Leo Frank was once front-page information for 2 years, and Frank's lynching continues to be some of the most arguable incidents of the 20th century. It marks a turning aspect within the historical past of racial and spiritual hatred in the United States, best 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 examine, award-winning novelist Elaine Alphin tells the genuine tale of justice undone in the USA.
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Extra info for An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank
Beavers examined the hairs and had an officer chip out a few pieces of the red-splashed wooden floor so he could test 29 29 it himself, using a bottle of alcohol. When the color didn’t dissolve in the alcohol (not a very scientific test, even in 1913), Chief Beavers announced to the reporters that the substance was blood. This created the suspicion that Mary had been killed near Leo Frank’s office and then dragged to the elevator and taken downstairs to the basement. Reporters, searching for new scoops to fill the pages of those extra editions, eagerly questioned the workers about Mary and about what went on inside the factory.
44 A n un s pe akable C rim e “TITLE Continues” Indictment Recommending further questioning was one thing. Finding answers that would lead a grand jury to formally charge, or indict, either Leo Frank or Newt Lee for murder was another. Before a suspect could be tried for a crime in a court of law, a grand jury must be presented with enough information to indict him. That job fell to Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey. As Atlanta’s prosecutor, Dorsey’s job was to prosecute and convict the accused. Although Dorsey was an ambitious lawyer and politician, he had been remarkably unsuccessful in prosecuting several major cases.
She wrote an open letter to Atlanta’s citizens that was published in the three main newspapers: That the Solicitor, sworn to maintain the law, should thus falsely arrest one against whom he has no charge and whom he does not even suspect and torture her, contrary to the laws, to force her to give evidence tending 56 A n un s pe akable C rim e to swear away the life of an innocent man, is beyond belief. Where will this end? My husband and my family and myself are the innocent sufferers now, but who will be the next to suffer?
An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin