|Born||Leo Max Frank
April 17, 1884
|Died||August 17, 1915
|Cause of death||Lynching|
|Resting place||New Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens, New York
|Monuments||ADL monument 90th anniversary of founding, October 20, 2003, Mount Carmel Cemetery; Georgia historical marker, lynching site, 1200 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060|
|Education||Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering (1906), pencil manufacturing apprenticeship (1907)|
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Employer||National Pencil Company in Atlanta|
|Criminal charge||Convicted on August 25, 1913, for the murder of Mary Phagan.|
|Criminal penalty||Sentenced on August 26, 1913, to hang. Commuted to life in prison on June 21, 1915.|
|Parents||Rudolph Frank & Rachel (Ray) Jacobs|
|Relatives||Marian J. Stern (sister), Moses Frank (uncle)|
Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884 – August 17, 1915) was a Jewish-American factory superintendent whose murder conviction and extrajudicial hanging in 1915 by a lynch mob planned and led by prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia, drew attention to questions of antisemitism in the United States. He was posthumously pardoned in 1986 on technical grounds, without addressing the question of guilt or innocence.
An engineer and superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Frank was convicted on August 25, 1913, for the murder of one of his factory workers, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. She had been strangled on April 26 and was found dead in the factory cellar the next morning. Frank was the last person known to have seen her alive, and there were allegations that he had flirted with her before. His trial became the focus of powerful class, regional, and political interests. Raised in New York, he was cast as a representative of Yankee capitalism, a rich northern Jew lording it over vulnerable working women, as the historian Albert Lindemann put it. Former U.S. Representative Thomas E. Watson later used sensational coverage of the appeal process, one year after the trial, in his own publications to push for a revival of the Ku Klux Klan, calling Frank a member of the Jewish aristocracy who had pursued "Our Little Girl" to a hideous death. During the trial, Frank and his lawyers resorted to stereotypes, accusing another suspect — Jim Conley, a black factory worker who testified against Frank — of being especially disposed to lying and murdering because of his race.
There was jubilation in the streets when Frank was convicted and sentenced to death. By June 1915, his appeals had failed. Governor John M. Slaton, stating there may have been a miscarriage of justice, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment, to great local outrage. A crowd of 1,200 marched on his home in protest. Two months later, Frank was kidnapped from prison by a group of 25 armed men who called themselves "Knights of Mary Phagan". Frank was driven 170 miles to Frey's Gin, near Phagan's home in Marietta, and lynched. A crowd gathered after the hanging; one man repeatedly stomped on Frank's face, while others took photographs, pieces of his nightshirt, and bits of the rope to sell as souvenirs.
On March 11, 1986, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Frank a pardon, citing the state's failure to protect him or prosecute his killers. The names of Frank's murderers were well-known locally but were not made public until January 2000, when Stephen Goldfarb, an Atlanta librarian and former history professor, published the Phagan-Kean list on his website. The Washington Post noted that the list includes several prominent citizens — a former governor, the son of a senator, a Methodist minister, a state legislator, and a former state Superior Court judge — their names matching those on Marietta's street signs, office buildings, shopping centers, and law offices today.
- 1 Background
- 2 Murder
- 3 Hearings, sentencing, and clemency
- 4 Lynching
- 5 Aftermath
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Frank was born in Cuero, Texas, to Rudolph (November 5, 1844 – January 22, 1922) and Rachel Jacobs Frank (April 16, 1859 – January 1, 1925). The family moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1884, when Frank was three months old. He attended New York City public schools and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1902. He then attended Cornell University, where he studied mechanical engineering. After graduation in 1906, Frank worked briefly as a draftsman and as a testing engineer, before accepting a position with a firm owned by a relative.
At the invitation of his uncle, Frank traveled to Atlanta for two weeks in late October 1907 to interview for a position with the National Pencil Company, a manufacturing plant in which the uncle was a major shareholder. Frank accepted the position, and traveled to Germany to study pencil manufacturing at Eberhard Faber in Bavaria. After a nine-month apprenticeship, Frank returned to the United States and began working at the National Pencil Company in August 1908. Leo Frank became superintendent of the factory in September 1908.
Frank was introduced to Lucille Selig (February 29, 1888 – April 23, 1957) shortly after he arrived in Atlanta. She came from a prominent and upper middle class Jewish family of industrialists who two generations earlier had founded the first synagogue in Atlanta. Though she was very different from Frank, and laughed at the idea of speaking Yiddish, they were married in November 1910, at the Selig residence in Atlanta.
Frank was elected president of the Atlanta chapter of the B'nai B'rith, a Jewish fraternal organization, in 1912. The Jewish community in Atlanta was the largest in the South, and the Franks moved in a cultured and philanthropic milieu whose leisure pursuits included opera and bridge. Although Frank was happy, he was not popular. He was a Yankee and an industrialist. Alphin writes that although the Old South was not known for its antisemitism, his being a Jew was enough to add to the sense that he was different.
Mary Phagan (June 1, 1899 – April 26, 1913) was born in Florence, Alabama, four months after her father William Joshua Phagan died of measles. She was born into a family of tenant farmers who had farmed in Alabama and Georgia for generations. After her father died, Phagan's mother moved her family to East Point, Georgia, where she opened a boarding house. The children took jobs in the local mills. Phagan left school at the age of 10 to work part-time in a textile mill. In 1911, a paper manufacturing plant owned by Sigmund Montag, treasurer of the National Pencil Company, hired her. In 1912, her mother, Frances Phagan, married John William Coleman, and she and the children moved into the city. Phagan took a job with the National Pencil Company in the spring of 1912, where she ran a knurling machine that inserted rubber erasers into pencils' metal bands. Alphin writes that wages were low for everyone — 10 to 15 cents an hour, one-third of the average wage in the North, and most of the production-line workers were teenagers, an issue that fueled resentment against the factory owners. Mary Phagan earned $4.05 per week or 7 and 4/11 cents an hour, for 55 hours. Leo Frank earned $180 per month, plus a portion of the profits. At the time, industrialists were regularly attacked in print by The Atlanta Georgian.
Discovery of the body
Phagan worked in the metal room on the second floor of the factory in a section called the tipping department, down the hall from Frank's office. Phagan had been laid off on April 21 due to a shortage of brass sheet metal. About noon on April 26, she went to the factory to claim her pay of $1.20. At about 3:17 a.m. on April 27, the factory's night watchman, Newt Lee, went to the factory basement to use the Negro toilet. Lee said he discovered the body of a dead girl and called the police, meeting them at the front door and leading them to the body. Mary Phagan's body was found dumped in the rear of the basement near an incinerator. Her dress was hiked up around her waist and a strip from her petticoat was torn off and wrapped around her neck. Her face was blackened and scratched. Her head was bruised and battered. A seven-foot strip of quarter-inch wrapping cord tied into a loop was around her neck buried 0.25 in deep. Initially, there was an appearance of rape. Based on the ashes and dirt from the floor that were stuck to her skin, it appeared that she and her assailant had struggled in the basement.
A service ramp at the rear of the basement led to a sliding door that opened into the alley; the police found it had been tampered with so it could be opened without unlocking it. Later examination found bloody fingerprints on the door, as well as a metal pipe that had been used as a crowbar. Some evidence at the crime scene was improperly handled by the police investigators. The boards from the door with the bloody prints were removed and subsequently lost before any analysis could be done. Bloody fingerprints were found on the victim's jacket, but there is no indication that they were ever analyzed. A trail in the dirt along which police believed Phagan had been dragged was trampled and no footprints were ever identified.
Two notes were found in a pile of rubbish by Phagan's head, and became known as the "murder notes". One said: "he said he wood love me land down play like the night witch did it but that long tall black negro did boy his slef." The other said, "mam that negro hire down here did this i went to make water and he push me down that hole a long tall negro black that hoo it wase long sleam tall negro i write while play with me." The effect of the discovery was to cast suspicion on Newt Lee. During the trial, "night witch" was interpreted to mean "night watch[man]"; when he read the note, night watchman Newt Lee said, "Boss, that's me." An undisturbed fresh mound of human excrement was found at the bottom of the elevator shaft, though the significance was not recognized until after the trial during the Leo M. Frank clemency hearings of 1915.
On April 27, Frank said that Lee's time card was complete. It was supposed to be punched every half hour during the watchman's rounds. On April 28, Frank said Lee had not punched the card at three or four intervals. The police investigated a variety of suspects, and arrested both Lee and a young friend of Phagan's for the crime. Gradually they became convinced that they were not the culprits. A detective sneaked into Lee's apartment and found a blood-smeared shirt at the bottom of a burn barrel. The blood was smeared high up on the armpits and the shirt smelled unused. The prosecution later claimed that the shirt had been planted by Frank in order to incriminate Lee. The Atlanta Constitution broke the story of the murder and was soon in a frenzied competition with the Georgian for readers. The latter was a formerly sedate local paper bought by the William Randolph Hearst syndicate in 1912 and revamped using his standard formula of yellow journalism. As many as 40 extra editions came out the day Phagan's murder was reported. The Georgian published a doctored morgue photo of Phagan, in which her head was shown spliced onto the body of another girl. Some evidence went missing when it was 'borrowed' from the police by reporters. The two papers offered a total of $1,800 in reward money for information leading to the apprehension of the murderer.
Suspicion falls on Frank
Newt Lee claimed he tried to call Leo Frank for eight minutes after the discovery of Phagan. The police later noted that Frank had not answered the phone when they called his house at 4 am, and that he seemed nervous when they took him to the undertaker at P. J. Bloomfield's Mortuary and to the factory. They considered his detailed answers on minor points as suspect and noted his trembling. Frank pointed out at the trial that the police had refused to tell him the nature of their investigation. Phagan's friend, 13-year-old pencil factory worker George Epps, came forward to say that Frank had flirted with Phagan and had frightened her.
The police appeared to intimidate and influence witnesses, such as the Seligs' cook Magnolia "Minola" McKnight, and Nina Formby, the madam of a bordello. They both recanted statements made to the police, Formby indicating the police had "plied her with whisky". Frank hired two Pinkerton detectives to help him prove his innocence. Though Frank produced alibis for the entire time during which the crime could have been committed, suspicion was aroused by his waiting a week to bring forward one crucial witness, Lemmie Quinn. Gradually, however, the Georgian began to take Frank's side, responding to pressure from Atlanta's Jewish community. Meanwhile, the Constitution continued to criticize the police for their lack of progress.
James "Jim" Conley
Jim Conley, the factory's janitor, is believed by many historians to be the real murderer. On May 1, the police arrested Conley after he was seen by the plant's day watchman, E. F. Holloway, washing a dirty blue work shirt. Conley tried to hide the shirt, then said the stains were rust from the overhead pipe on which he had hung it. Detectives examined it for blood, found none, and returned it. Conley was still in police custody two weeks later when he gave his first formal statement. He said that, on the day of the murder, he had been visiting saloons, shooting dice, and drinking at home. He offered some details, such as 40 cents spent on a bottle of rye, 90 cents won at dice, and 15 cents for beer, twice. His story was called into question when a witness told detectives that "a black negro . . . dressed in dark blue clothing and hat" had been seen in the lobby of the factory on the day of the murder. Further investigation also determined that Conley could read and write, something he had initially denied.
After initially sticking to his claim that he could not write, he was threatened with perjury charges, and eventually told police, "White folks, I'm a liar." He was asked to write portions of the murder notes, and although the police found similarities in the spelling, he continued to deny having written them. The interview ended and Conley was placed in a basement isolation cell. A week later, on May 24, he called for a detective and admitted he had written the notes. In a sworn statement, he said Frank had called him to his office the day before the murder; he claimed Frank said he had some wealthy people in Brooklyn, and asked: "Why should I hang?"
[H]e asked me could I write and I told him yes I could write a little bit, and he gave me a scratch pad and ... told me to put on there "dear mother, a long, tall, black negro did this by himself," and he told me to write it two or three times on there. I wrote it on a white scratch pad, single ruled. He went to his desk and pulled out another scratch pad, a brownish looking scratch pad, and looked at my writing and wrote on that himself.
After testing Conley again on his spelling—he spelled "night watchman" as "night witch"—the police were convinced he had written the notes. They were skeptical about the rest of his story, not only because it implied premeditation by Frank, but also because it suggested that Frank had confessed to Conley and involved him. For the next three days, two detectives played good cop/bad cop with Conley, one accusing him of the murder, the other offering him food and consolation.
On May 28, the Georgian said that E.F. Holloway, the plant day watchman, believed Conley had strangled Phagan when he was drunk. In a new affidavit (his second affidavit and third statement), Conley admitted he had lied about his Friday meeting with Frank. He said he had met Frank on the street on Saturday, and was told to follow him to the factory. Frank told him to hide in a wardrobe to avoid being seen by two women who were visiting Frank in his office. He said Frank dictated the murder notes for him to write, gave him cigarettes, and told him to leave the factory. Afterward, Conley said he went out drinking and saw a movie. He said he did not learn of the murder until he went to work on Monday.
The police were satisfied with the new story, and both The Atlanta Journal and the Georgian gave the story front-page coverage. Three officials of the pencil company were not convinced and said so to the Journal. They contended Conley had followed another employee into the building intending to rob her, but instead found Phagan was a more ready target. The police placed little credence in the employees' theory, but had no explanation for the failure to locate the purse, and were concerned that Conley had made no mention that he was aware that a crime had been committed when he wrote the notes. To resolve their doubts, the police attempted on May 28 to arrange a confrontation between Frank and Conley. Frank exercised his right not to meet without his attorney, who was out of town. The police announced this refusal was an indication of Frank's guilt, and the meeting never took place.
On May 29, Conley was interviewed for four hours. His new affidavit said that Frank told him, "he had picked up a girl back there and let her fall and that her head hit against something." Conley said he and Frank took the body to the basement via the elevator, then returned to Frank's office where the murder notes were dictated. Conley then hid in the wardrobe after the two had returned to the office. He said Frank gave him two hundred dollars, but took it back, saying, “Let me have that and I will make it all right with you Monday if I live and nothing happens." Conley's affidavit concluded, "The reason I have not told this before is I thought Mr. Frank would get out and help me out and I decided to tell the whole truth about this matter." At trial, Conley changed his story concerning the $200. He said the money was withheld until Conley had burned Phagan's body in the basement furnace.
The Georgian hired William Manning Smith to represent Conley for $40. Smith was known for specializing in representing black clients, and had successfully defended a black man against an accusation of rape by a white woman. He had also taken an elderly black woman's civil case as far as the Georgia Supreme Court. Although Smith believed Conley had told the truth in his final affidavit, he became concerned that Conley was giving long jailhouse interviews with crowds of reporters. Smith was also concerned about reporters from the Hearst papers, who had taken Frank's side. He arranged for Conley to be moved to a different jail, and severed his own relationship with the Georgian.
Hearings, sentencing, and clemency
On May 24, 1913, a murder indictment was returned against Frank by a grand jury. The grand jury included five Jews. Historian Albert Lindemann suggests, "they were persuaded by the concrete evidence that [prosecutor] Dorsey presented." Lindemann notes that none of Conley's testimony was presented to the grand jury and that at criminal trial, Dorsey "explicitly denounced racial anti-Semitism" and "indulged in ... philo-Semitic rhetoric."
The trial began on July 28 at the Fulton County Superior Court (old city hall building). The courtroom was on the first floor and the windows were left open because of the heat. In addition to the hundreds of spectators inside, a large crowd gathered outside to watch the trial through the windows. Afterward the defense cited the crowds as factors in intimidation of the witnesses and jury in their legal appeals. The State's prosecution team was made up of the Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor General Frank Arthur Hooper and E. A. Stevens. Frank was represented by eight lawyers (some of them jury selection specialists), led by Luther Z. Rosser. The defense used peremptory challenges to eliminate the only two black jurors. The prosecution's theory was that Conley's last affidavit was true, Frank was the murderer, and the murder notes had been dictated by Frank in an effort to pin the crime on Lee. The defense's theory was that Conley was the murderer and that Lee helped Conley write the notes. The defense brought numerous witnesses who attested to Frank's alibi, which did not leave him enough time to have committed the crime.
Conley reiterated his testimony from his final affidavit. He added to it by describing Frank as regularly having sex with women in his upstairs office on Saturdays while Conley kept a lookout on the first floor lobby. Another witness, C. Brutus Dalton who, like Conley, had a criminal record, corroborated Conley. Although Conley admitted that he had changed his story and lied repeatedly, this did not damage the prosecution's case as much as might have been expected, as he admitted to being an accessory.
Many white observers did not believe that a black man could have been intelligent enough to make up such a complicated story. The Georgian wrote, "Many people are arguing to themselves that the Negro, no matter how hard he tried or how generously he was coached, still never could have framed up a story like the one he told unless there was some foundation in fact." Defense witnesses testified that there were too many people in the factory on Saturdays for Frank to have had trysts there. They pointed out that the windows of Frank's second-floor office lacked curtains. Though numerous girls testified to Frank having a bad character for lasciviousness, a larger number of female factory workers testified for the defense of Frank's good character when it came to women.
Frank spoke on his own behalf, making an unsworn statement as allowed by Georgia law; it did not permit any cross-examination without his consent, and none occurred. Most of his four-hour speech consisted of a detailed analysis of the accounting work he had done the day of the murder. He ended with a description of how he viewed the crime, along with an explanation of his nervousness: "Gentlemen, I was nervous. I was completely unstrung. Imagine yourself called from sound slumber in the early hours of the morning ... To see that little girl on the dawn of womanhood so cruelly murdered—it was a scene that would have melted stone." In its closing statements, the defense attempted to divert suspicion from Frank to Conley. Lead defense attorney Luther Rosser, said to the jury: "Who is Conley? He is a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying, nigger." Frank had issued a widely publicized statement questioning how the "perjured vaporizings of a black brute" could be accepted in testimony against him.
The prosecutor compared Frank to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He said that Frank had killed Phagan to keep her from talking. With the sensational coverage, public sentiment in Atlanta turned strongly against Frank. The defense requested a mistrial because it felt the jurors had been intimidated, but the motion was denied. In case of an acquittal, the judge feared for the safety of Frank and his lawyers, so he brokered a deal in which they would not be present when the verdict was read. On August 25, Frank was convicted of murder, as crowds outside the courtroom chanted "Hang the Jew!". The Constitution described the scene as Dorsey emerged from the steps of city hall: "The solicitor reached no farther than the sidewalk. While mounted men rode like Cossacks through the human swarm, three muscular men slung Mr. Dorsey on their shoulders and passed him over the heads of the crowd across the street." Lindemann suggests "the powerless experienced a moment of exhilaration in seeing the defeat and humiliation of a normally powerful and inaccessible oppressor".
Frank's appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court failed in November. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a writ of habeas corpus sought by Frank's lawyers. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "I very seriously doubt if the petitioner ... has had due process of law ... because of the trial taking place in the presence of a hostile demonstration and seemingly dangerous crowd, thought by the presiding Judge to be ready for violence unless a verdict of guilty was rendered." In October 1914, William Smith, Jim Conley's own lawyer, announced that he believed Conley had murdered Phagan, but neither the state nor the police pursued this. A writ of error was issued allowing Frank to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the appeal in April 1915. On April 19, in the case of Frank v. Mangum, the appeal was denied on a 7-2 vote. Holmes and Justice Charles Evans Hughes dissented, with Holmes writing, "It is our duty ... to declare lynch law as little valid when practiced by a regularly drawn jury as when administered by one elected by a mob intent on death."
Commutation of sentence
On May 31, 1915, Frank pleaded to the Georgia State Prison Commission that his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. On June 9, the Commission submitted a divided report, two against and one in support, to the departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton. The incoming governor, Nathaniel Harris, was a close ally of Tom Watson, who was against Frank, whereas Slaton had a law partnership with Luther Rosser, who was Frank's defense attorney during the trial.
Slaton reviewed more than 10,000 pages of documents, visited the pencil factory, and examined new evidence, including studies comparing Conley's speech patterns to the language of the murder notes. He told reporters: "some of the most powerful evidence in Frank's behalf was not presented to the jury which found him guilty." During the hearing, former Governor Brown warned Slaton, "In all frankness, if Your Excellency wishes to invoke lynch law in Georgia and destroy trial by jury, the way to do it is by retrying this case and reversing all the courts."
On June 21, five days before Slaton's term as governor ended and one day before Frank was scheduled to hang, Slaton commuted Frank's sentence to life in prison. "I can endure misconstruction, abuse and condemnation," Slaton said, "but I cannot stand the constant companionship of an accusing conscience which would remind me that I, as governor of Georgia, failed to do what I thought to be right.... Feeling as I do about this case I would be a murderer if I allowed this man to hang. It may mean that I must live in obscurity the rest of my days, but I would rather be plowing in a field for the rest of my life than to feel that I had that blood on my hands."
The Atlanta area public was outraged. A mob threatened to attack the governor at his home. A detachment of the Georgia National Guard, along with county policemen and a group of Slaton's friends who were sworn in as deputies, dispersed the mob. Slaton had been a popular governor, but he and his wife left Georgia immediately thereafter.
Frank was taken to the Milledgeville State Penitentiary, a minimum-security work farm, which officials thought would be more secure. On July 17, fellow inmate William Creen tried to kill him, slashing his throat with a seven-inch butcher knife and severing his jugular vein, according to The New York Times. The attacker told the authorities he wanted to keep the other inmates safe from mob violence, Frank's presence was a disgrace to the prison, and he was sure he would be pardoned if he killed Frank.
Knights of Mary Phagan
The June 21, 1915, commutation drove Tom Watson to new heights of ferocity. He wrote in the pages of The Jeffersonian and Watson's Magazine: "This country has nothing to fear from its rural communities. Lynch law is a good sign; it shows that a sense of justice lives among the people." A group of prominent men organized themselves into the "Knights of Mary Phagan," openly planning to kidnap Frank from prison. They recruited men with the necessary skills for a total of 28, including themselves; an electrician was to cut the prison wires, car mechanics were to keep the cars running, and there was a locksmith, a telephone man, a medic, a hangman, and a lay preacher. The ringleaders were well-known locally, but were not named publicly until June 2000, when a local librarian posted a list on the Web, based on information compiled by Mary Phagan's great-niece Mary Phagan Kean (b. 1953). The list included:
- Joseph Mackey Brown, former governor of Georgia
- Emmet Burton, police officer
- Eugene Herbert Clay, former mayor of Marietta, son of Senator Alexander S. Clay
- E. P. Dobbs, mayor of Marietta at the time
- William J. Frey, former Cobb County sheriff
- George Hicks, Cobb County deputy sheriff
- William McKinney, Cobb County deputy sheriff
- Newton Augustus Morris, twice a superior court judge of the Blue Ridge Circuit
- Newton Mayes Morris, in charge of the Cobb County chain gang
- Fred Morris, general assemblyman who later organized Marietta's first Boy Scout troop
- George Swanson, Cobb County sheriff
- John Augustus Benson, merchant
- D.R. Benton, Mary Phagan's uncle
- "Yellow Jacket" Brown, electrician
- Bolan Glover Brumby, manufacturer, owner of the Marietta Chair Company
On the afternoon of August 16, the eight cars of the lynch mob left Marietta separately for Milledgeville. They arrived at the prison at around 10:00 pm, and the electrician cut the telephone wires, members of the group emptied the gas from the prison's automobiles, handcuffed the warden, seized Frank, and drove away. The 175 miles (282 km) trip took about seven hours at a top speed of 18 miles per hour (29 km/h) through small towns on back roads. Lookouts in the towns telephoned ahead to the next town as soon as they saw the line of open cars pass by. A site at Frey's Gin, two miles (3 km) east of Marietta, had been prepared, complete with a rope and table supplied by former Sheriff William Frey.
The New York Times reported Frank was wearing a nightshirt and undershirt, and the lynchers had tied a piece of brown canvas around his waist like a skirt. He was handcuffed, and his legs were tied at the ankles. They placed a new 3/4-in manila rope over his head, tied in a hangman's knot so it would force his head backwards and break his neck, and threw it over a branch of a tree. He was turned to face the direction of the house where Phagan had lived, and was hanged at around 7:00 am. The Atlanta Journal wrote that the wound on his throat, caused when it was slashed in jail by another inmate, had reopened. A crowd of men, women, and children arrived on foot, in cars, and on horses, and souvenir hunters cut away parts of his shirt sleeves to take away. According to The New York Times, one of the onlookers, Robert E. Lee Howell — related to Clark Howell, editor of The Atlanta Constitution — wanted to have the body cut into pieces and burned, and began to run around, screaming, whipping up the mob. Judge Newt Morris tried to restore order, and asked for a vote on whether the body should be returned to the parents intact; only Howell disagreed. When the body was cut down, Howell started stamping on Frank's face and chest; Morris quickly placed the body in a basket, and he and his driver John Stephens Wood drove it out of Marietta.
In Atlanta, thousands besieged the undertaker's parlor, demanding to see the body; after they began throwing bricks, they were allowed to file past the corpse. Frank was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, Queens, New York on August 20, 1915. The New York Times wrote that the vast majority of Cobb County believed he had received his "just deserts," and that the lynch party had simply stepped in to uphold the law after Governor Slaton arbitrarily set it aside. A Cobb County grand jury was convened to indict the lynchers; although they were well-known locally, none was identified.
Several photographs were taken of the lynching, which were published and sold as postcards in local stores for 25 cents each, a common practice after lynchings, along with pieces of the rope, Frank's nightshirt, and branches from the tree. According to Elaine Marie Alphin, they were selling so fast, the police announced that sellers required a city license. Members of the lynch party or crowd can be seen in the postcards posing in front of the body, one of them holding a portable camera. Historian Amy Louise Wood writes that the local newspapers did not publish the photographs: it would have been too controversial, given that the lynch party can be seen clearly and that the lynching was being condemned around the country. The Columbia State, which opposed lynching, wrote: "The heroic Marietta lynchers are too modest to give their photographs to the newspapers." Wood also writes that a news film of the lynching was released, which included the photographs, though it focused on the crowds without showing Frank's body; its broadcast was prevented by censorship boards around the U.S., though according to Wood there is no evidence that it was stopped in Atlanta.
After Frank's lynching, around half of Georgia's 3,000 Jews left the state. According to Frank scholar Steve Oney, “What it did to Southern Jews can’t be discounted.... It drove them into a state of denial about their Judaism. They became even more assimilated, anti-Israel, Episcopalian. The Temple did away with chupahs at weddings — anything that would draw attention.” Many American Jews saw Frank as an American Alfred Dreyfus. In part because Frank was the president of the B'nai B'rith chapter in Atlanta, Georgia, Adolph Kraus, president of B'nai B'rith, invited 15 prominent members in Chicago to form the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in September 1913, one month after Frank's conviction. Two weeks after the lynching, in the September 2, 1915, issue of The Jeffersonian, Watson wrote, "the voice of the people is the voice of God." He had capitalized on his sensational coverage of a controversial trial; in 1914, when Watson began reporting his anti-Frank message, The Jeffersonian's circulation had been 25,000; by September 2, 1915, its circulation was 87,000. On November 25, 1915, months after Frank was taken from the Milledgeville prison, members of the Knights of Mary Phagan burned a gigantic cross on top of Stone Mountain, reportedly inaugurating a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The group was led by William J. Simmons and attended by 15 charter members and a few aging survivors of the original Klan.
Frank's widow, Lucille, did not remarry. She worked at the glove counter of the J.P. Allen store, and died April 23, 1957, of heart disease. In her 1954 will, she had requested to be cremated. Before her death, Lucille requested to family members that her ashes be spread in a local Atlanta park, but a local ordinance forbade it. Atlanta magazine reported in 2003 that her ashes were stored for seven years in a local funeral home, until her family buried them secretly in a shoebox between the headstones of her parents in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, apparently worried that a funeral would stir up antisemitic action from the local Ku Klux Klan.
(1982–1986) Alonzo Mann's affidavit, pardon
In 1982, Alonzo Mann, who had been Frank's office boy for three weeks at the time of Phagan's murder, told a journalist for the Tennessean newspaper, nearly 69 years after the trial ended, that he had seen Jim Conley alone at 12:05 pm in the factory carrying Phagan's body at the lobby toward the ladder descending to the basement. This contradicted Conley's testimony that he moved Phagan's dead body to the basement by the elevator. Mann swore in an affidavit in the 1980s that Conley had threatened to kill him if he reported what he had seen. At the time of the events Mann was a 14-year-old child. After telling his family what he had seen, his parents made him swear not to tell anyone else. Mann explained that his statement was made in an effort to die in peace. He passed a lie detector test, and died three years later in March, 1985, at the age of 86.
Mann's deposition was the basis of an attempt to obtain a posthumous pardon for Frank from the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The effort was led by Charles Wittenstein, southern counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, and Dale Schwartz, an Atlanta lawyer, though Mann's testimony was not sufficient to settle the issue. The board also reviewed the files from Slaton's commutation decision. It denied the pardon in 1983, hindered in its investigation by the lack of available records. Conley is alleged to have died in the early 1950s  or 1962. The state's files on the case were lost and with them the opportunity to apply modern forensic techniques. It concluded that, "After exhaustive review and many hours of deliberation, it is impossible to decide conclusively the guilt or innocence of Leo M. Frank. For the board to grant a pardon, the innocence of the subject must be shown conclusively." At the time, the lead editorial in the Atlanta Constitution began, 'Leo Frank has been lynched a second time'.
Frank supporters submitted a second application for pardon in 1986, asking the state only to recognize its culpability over his death. The board granted the pardon on March 11, 1986. It said:
Without attempting to address the question of guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the State's failure to protect the person of Leo M. Frank and thereby preserve his opportunity for continued legal appeal of his conviction, and in recognition of the State's failure to bring his killers to justice, and as an effort to heal old wounds, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, in compliance with its Constitutional and statutory authority, hereby grants to Leo M. Frank a Pardon.
Memorials and historical markers
In 1995, on the 80th anniversary of the lynching, a private plaque was placed on a building near the site of the hanging; it read "Wrongly accused. Falsely convicted. Wantonly murdered." In 2008, a state historical marker was erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, and Temple Kol Emeth, near the building at 1200 Roswell Road, Marietta. The marker reads:
Near this location on August 17, 1915, Leo M. Frank, the Jewish superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, was lynched for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory employee. A highly controversial trial fueled by societal tensions and anti-Semitism resulted in a guilty verdict in 1913. After Governor John M. Slaton commuted his sentence from death to life in prison, Frank was kidnapped from the state prison in Milledgeville and taken to Phagan's hometown of Marietta where he was hanged before a local crowd. Without addressing guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the state's failure to either protect Frank or bring his killers to justice, he was granted a posthumous pardon in 1986.
In 2003, the 90th anniversary of Anti-Defamation League's founding, a monument dedicated by ADL was placed near the inside entrance of the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY.
Leo Frank: The trial of Leo Frank in 1913 was motivated by the rampant antisemitism of the time. The founding of the Anti-Defamation League that same year was motivated by a passion to eradicate such injustice and bigotry. Despite his innocence, Frank was abducted from jail in 1915 and lynched. ADL remembers the victim Leo Frank and rededicates itself to ensuring there will be no more victims of injustice and intolerance.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leo Frank.|
- About the Frank case
- They Won't Forget (1937), film
- The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988), miniseries
- Parade (1998), musical
- The People v. Leo Frank (2009), docudrama by Ben Loeterman, starring Will Janowitz, Seth Gilliam, Jayson Warner Smith; Music composed by Jocelyn Pook
- Rosen, Fred (2005). The Historical Atlas of American Crime. New York, New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 193.
- Klapper, Melissa, R., PhD. "20th-Century Jewish Immigration." Teachinghistory.org, accessed February 6, 2012.
- For basic details of the murder, see Steinberg-Brent, pp. 95–100, 106; see p. 99 for the flirting allegation.
- For Slaton's role, see Dinnerstein 1987, pp. 123–134.
- Also see Time, January 24, 1955.
- For details of the lynching, see Coleman 1991, p. 292.
- Also see Associated Press, August 17, 1915.
- For the souvenirs and violence, see Alphin 2010, p. 122.
- Emory University, Leo Frank Collection, Mary Phagan Kean's list of vigilance committee's members, Folder 16
- Sawyer, June 20, 2000.
- For the list of alleged lynchers, see Goldfarb 2000.
- Leo Frank trial statement, Brief of Evidence, Monday, August 18, 1913, 2:00PM, Fulton County Superior Courthouse, Atlanta, GA.
- The Selig Company Building - Pioneer Neon Company. Marietta Street ARTery Association; Levi Cohen from her maternal lineage had participated in founding the first Synagogue in Atlanta.
- Oney, 2003, p. 84.
- Oney, 2003, p. 11.
- Lawson pp. 211, 250; Phagan p. 111.
- Alphin 2010, p. 21ff, 25ff.
- Oney 2003, pp. 4–7.
- John Milton Gantt, former NPCo paymaster, testifying at the Coroner's Inquest, Atlanta Constitution, May 1913.
- Lindemann, Albert S. (1991). The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank), 1894-1915. Cambridge University Press. p. 251. ISBN 0-521-44761-5.
- Alphin 2010, p. 26.
- Dinnerstein, The Leo Frank Case, 1968.
- Dinnerstein |1987, p. 1. *Oney 2003, pp. 9, 18–19.
- Oney 2003, pp. 20–22.
- Dinnerstein 1987, p. 4.
- Oney 2003, pp. 30–31.
- Oney 2003, pp. 20–21, 379.
- Oney 2003, p.6
- Oney 2003, pp. 36,60
- "Frank Tried to Flirt with Murdered Girl Says Her Boy Chum", The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, GA), May 1, 1913: Front page
- The New York Times, February 26, 1914.
- Oney 2003, pp. 96-97
- For example:
- Lindemann 1992, p. 254: "The best evidence now available indicates that the real murderer of Mary Phagan was Jim Conley, perhaps because she, encountering him after she left Frank's office, refused to give him her pay envelope, and he, in a drunken stupor, killed her to get it.
- Woodward 1963, p. 435: "The city police, publicly committed to the theory of Frank's guilt, and hounded by the demand for a conviction, resorted to the basest methods in collecting evidence. A Negro suspect [Conley], later implicated by evidence overwhelmingly more incriminating than any produced against Frank, was thrust aside by the cry for the blood of the 'Jew Pervert.'"
- Oney 2003, pp. 118–119.
- Oney 2003, p. 128–129.
- Oney 2003, pp. 129–132.
- Oney 2003, p.131.
- Oney 2003, pp.133–134.
- Dinnerstein 1987, pp. 114–115: "The new development which stirred Atlanta and those working to save Frank was the announcement, made on October 2, 1914, by William M. Smith, lawyer for Jim Conley, the state's key witness at the trial, that his own client had murdered Mary Phagan."
- Oney 2003, pp. 134–136.
- Oney 2003, pp. 137–138.
- Oney 2003, p. 138, and Dinnerstein 1987, p. 24.
- Oney 2003, pp. 139–140.
- Oney 2003, p. 242.
- Oney 2003, pp. 147–148.
- Knight 1996, p. 1996.
- Phagan, p. 105.
- Oney 2003, p. 297.
- Oney 2003, p. 303.
- Levy, 2000.
- Dinnerstein 1987 p. 60. Dinnerstein quotes from the statement of an unnamed "Atlantan", reported two years after the event, by the New Castle (Pennsylvania) Herald, "A mob as infuriated and unworthy of credence as that which clamored for the crucifiction of Jesus Christ ... was in Atlanta during the Leo M. Frank trial and all hands were crying 'Hang the Jew!'"
- The New York Times, December 14, 1914.
- Woodward 1963, p. 439.
- Dinnerstein 1987, pp. 114–115.
- Time, January 24, 1955.
- Also see Frank v. Mangum, 237 U. S. 309 (1915)', U.S. Supreme Court Center.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard (1998). The Leo Frank Case. University of Georgia Press. pp. 123–4. ISBN 978-0-8203-2145-5.
- "Slaton Here; Glad He Saved Frank", The New York Times, June 30, 1915.
- "Slaton Here; Glad He Saved Frank", The New York Times, June 30, 1915.
- "Begin Last Frank Appeal to Governor", The New York Times, June 13, 1915.
- Phagan, p. 168.
- "A Political Suicide", Time magazine, January 24, 1955.
- John M. Slaton (1866-1955), The New Georgia Encyclopedia.
- For stories about the attack, see:
- "Leo Frank's Throat Cut by Convict", The New York Times, July 17, 1915.
- "Frank Survives Assassin's Knife", The New York Times, July 19, 1915.
- "Frank's Assailant Before Governor", The New York Times, July 25, 1915.
- "Frank's Head in Braces; Excessive Heat Delaying Recovery from Wound in Throat", The New York Times, August 2, 1915.
- Woodward 1963, p. 432.
- About two dozen people were lynched each year in Georgia; in 1915 the number was 22; see Oney 2003, p. 122.
- Phagan, p. 223.
- Alphin 2010, p. 117.
- Superior Court
- "The lynching of Leo Frank", leofranklynchers.com, accessed August 22, 2010.
- The New York Times wrote at the time that, after the lynching, it was Morris who got the crowd under control; see The New York Times, August 19, 1915. Years later, he was identified as one of the ringleaders; see Alphin 2009, p. 117.
- Wood 2009, p. 77, and figure 3.3.
- "Parties Unknown.", Boston Evening Transcript, August 24, 1915.
- The New York Times, August 18, 1915.
- The Atlanta Journal, August 17, 1915.
- Alphin 2010, p. 123.
- Alphin 2010, p. 122.
- Wood 2009, pp. 77, 106, 148. Wood writes that Kenneth Rogers, the head of photography at the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution between 1924 and 1972, had access to at least one of the photographs, leaving it in the Kenneth Rogers Papers at the Atlanta History Center. She assumes he got it from the newspapers' archives, though the newspapers did not publish it; they accompanied their stories instead with images of the woods near the hanging, and of the crowds who viewed Frank's body later in the funeral parlor; see Wood, pp. 106, 288, footnote 59. See Alphin 2010, p. 122 for details of the souvenir sales.
- Theoharis and Cox 1988, p. 45.
- The Jewish Daily Forward May 13, 2009.
- Blakeslee 2000, p. 81.
- Woodward 1963, p. 446.
- Woodward 1963, p. 442.
- Oney, 2003.
- Freeman, October 2003, p. 98ff.
- Oney, pp. 683–684.
- Oney 2003, p. 684.
- John M. Slaton Memorandum on the Frank Case, 1955
- Harry Golden, A little girl is dead, 1964
- In 1947 shortly before his death, prosecutor Hugh Dorsey said he had the records in his possession. Seventeen years later, Dorsey's son James wrote in a private communication, "During the years since my father's death I am afraid that any old papers which he might have preserved have been lost or destroyed." Oney 2003, p. 647.
- A journalist Pierre van Paassens, states in his 1964 memoirs that he saw courthouse records in 1922, containing evidence relating to teeth marks on Mary Phagan's body. "But the X-ray photos of the teeth marks on her body did not correspond with Leo Frank's set of teeth of which several photos were included." Van Paassen, Pierre (1964). To Number Our Days. New York, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 237–8.
- Oney, pp. 647–648.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard (October 1996). "The Fate Of Leo Frank", American Heritage (magazine), Vol. 47, Issue 6, accessed May 15, 2011.
- Oney, pp. 647–648.
- Dinnerstein 2009.
- Historical Marker Dedication: Leo Frank Lynching, The Georgia Historical Society, accessed August 22, 2010.
- Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank. Carolrhoda Books, 2010. Google Books abridged version, accessed June 10, 2011.
- Anti-Defamation League. "Hang the Jew, Hang the Jew", 2001, accessed December 16, 2010.
- Associated Press. "Body of Frank is found dangling from a tree near the Phagan home", August 17, 1915.
- Bernstein, Matthew. Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television.. University of Georgia Press, 2009. Google Books, abridged version, accessed June 11, 2011.
- Blakeslee, Spencer. The Death of American Antisemitism. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000.
- Brundage, William Fitzhugh. Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South. University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
- Coleman, Kenneth. A History of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 1991.
- Dillard, Phillip D., and Randall Hall (eds.) The Southern Albatross: Race and Ethnicity in the American South. Mercer University Press, 1999.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard. The Leo Frank Case. University of Georgia Press, 1987.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard. "The Fate of Leo Frank", American Heritage, October 1996, Vol. 47, Issue 6
- Dinnerstein, Leonard. "Leo Frank Case", New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia, August 3, 2009.
- Harris, Nathaniel E. The Story of an Old Man's Life". The J.W. Burke Company, 1925.
- Freeman, Scott. "The Truth At Last", Atlanta magazine, October 2003.
- Golden, Harry. A Little Girl is Dead. Account of Leo Frank case, 1965. Accessed June 25, 2011.
- Golden, Harry. The Lynching of Leo Frank. Cassell & Co, 1966, UK version of A Little Girl is Dead, 8MB in PDF, accessed January 3, 2012.
- Goldfarb, Stephen. "Leo Frank Lynchers", leofranklynchers.com, January 1, 2000, accessed August 22, 2010.
- Horn, Stanley F. Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1871. Patterson Smith Publishing Corporation, 1939.
- Knight, Alfred H. The Life of the Law. Oxford University Press, 1996.
- Levy, Eugene. "Is the Jew a White Man?" in Maurianne Adams and John H. Bracey. Strangers & Neighbors: Relations Between Blacks & Jews in the United States. University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.
- Lindemann, Albert S. The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank), 1894-1915. Cambridge University Press, 1991. Google Books, abridged version, accessed June 11, 2011.
- Melnick, Jeffrey Paul. Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South. University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
- Oney, Steve. And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank. Pantheon Books, 2003.
- Phagan, Mary. The Murder of Little Mary Phagan.. Horizon Press, 1987.
- Ravitz, Jessica. "Murder case, Leo Frank lynching live on", CNN, November 2, 2009.
- Sawyer, Kathy. "A Lynching, a List and Reopened Wounds; Jewish Businessman's Murder Still Haunts Georgia Town", The Washington Post, June 20, 2000.
- Scott, Thomas Allan. Cornerstones of Georgia History: Documents that Formed the State. University of Georgia Press, 1995.
- Steinberg-Brent, Sally. "The Leo Frank Murder Case," in Bruce Afran, Robert A. Garber, Jews on trial. KTAV Publishing House Inc, 2005.
- Stokes, Melvyn. D.W. Griffith's the Birth of a Nation: A History of the Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time. Oxford University Press, 2007.
- The Atlanta Journal. "Leo Frank Forcibly Taken from Prison", August 17, 1915.
- The New York Times. "Full Inquiry Is Ordered; Body Saved from Burning at Hands of an Angry Throng", August 18, 1915.
- Theoharis, Athan, and John Stuart Cox . The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition. Temple University Press, 1988.
- Time magazine. "Georgia: A Political Suicide", January 24, 1955.
- Time magazine. "American Notes", March 24, 1986.
- United States Supreme Court Center. Frank v. Mangum, 237 U.S. 309 (1915), accessed December 16, 2010.
- Wade, Wyn Craig. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Simon and Schuster, 1987.
- Wood, Amy Louise. Lynching and Spectacle. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
- Woodward, Comer Vann. Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel. Oxford University Press, 1938.
- Books, Booklets and Reviews
- Atlanta Publishing Company "The Frank Case" The Inside Story of Georgia's Greatest Murder Mystery, published anonymously, 1913.
- Alphin, Elaine (2010). An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin, Carolrhoda Books.
- Burton, Rascoe, The Case of Leo Frank: A Factual Review of One of the Most Sensational Murder Cases in Court Annals, Girard, KS, Haldemann-Julius, 1947, accessed September 11, 2011.
- Busch, Francis Xavier Guilt or Not Guilty An account of the trials of the Leo Frank case, 1952, accessed June 16, 2011.
- Connolly, Christopher Powell (1915). The Truth About the Leo Frank Case. Reprinted in part from Collier's Weekly. New York Vail-Ballou Company Publishers. Copyright 1915 by C.P. Connolly. Binghamton and New York. Accessed May 5, 2012.
- Egelman, Sarah Rachel. Review of David Mamet, The Old Religion, accessed August 23, 2010.
- Gaines, Luan. Review of Stephen Oney, And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and Lynching of Leo Frank, curledup.com, 2003, accessed August 23, 2010.
- Lawson, John Davison (ed.). American State Trials Volume X (1918), contains the abridged trial testimony and closing arguments starting on p. 182, accessed August 23, 2010.
- Lindemann, Albert. The Jew Accused, Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank) 1894-1915. Cambridge University Press (1991). Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Mamat, David. The Old Religion. The Overlook Press, 2002.
- Melnick, Jeffrey. Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South. University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
- Paassen, Pierre van. To Number Our Days. Origin of bite mark photographic evidence on Mary Phagan's neck and shoulder that did not match Leo Frank's teeth, see pages 237 and 238. Published by Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1964. Accessed February 13, 2012.
- Internet Digital Media and Analysis
- Allen, James (ed.), Hilton Als, Jon Lewis, and Leon F. Litwack. Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. Twin Palms Publishers, 2000.
- Also see Allen, James. "Without sanctuary", accessed December 15, 2010.
- Apel, Dora, and Smith, Shawn Michelle. Lynching Photographs. University of California Press, 2007.
- Brown, Tom W. Notes on the Case of Leo Max Frank and Its Aftermath, Emory University, Georgia, 1982. Accessed April 17, 2002.
- Freedman, Samuel J. "Never Forget", Salon, January 12, 1999.
- Linder, Douglas O. "Famous Trials: The Leo Frank Trial, 1913", University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law, 2008, accessed December 16, 2010.
- Mann, Alonzo, A few seconds of Alonzo Mann, Posthumous pardon to Leo Frank denied (1984) YouTube
- Ravitz, Jessica. "Murder case, Leo Frank lynching live on", CNN, November 2, 2009.
- Donald E. Wilkes Jr, "Politics, Prejudice, and Perjury", University of Georgia School of Law; also see "Wrongly Accused, Falsely Convicted, Wantonly Murdered", University of Georgia School of Law, accessed August 23, 2010.
- Newspapers, Magazines, Periodicals, Journals
- Atlanta Journal Constitution(1913 to 1915, to 1986). Atlanta, Georgia. Accessed April 17, 2012.
- Atlanta Nation "Marietta's Shame: The Lynching of Leo Frank." Atlanta Nation
- Benson, Berry (1914). Five Arguments in the Leo Frank Case, PDF. Includes the "murder notes" dictated by police to Jim Conley after his arrest May 1, 1913. Accessed February 25, 2012.
- Berger, Paul. Leo Frank Case Stirs Debate 100 Years After Jewish Lynch Victim's Conviction. Notorious Case Raises Thorny Questions of Race and Hate. Jewish Daily Forward, August 19, 2013.
- Cavendish, Marshall (1991). Murder Casebook, Investigation into the Ultimate Crime. The Atlanta Lynching. Leo Frank: The scapegoat for a crime that outraged the state of Georgia. Accessed May 2, 2012.
- Cincinnati Post, The Cincinnati Post. "Letters probe killer's mind: Frank pleads his innocence", August 5, 2002.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard. "The Fate of Leo Frank", American Heritage, 47, October 1996, pp. 98–109.
- Dinnerstein, Leonard. Leo M. Frank and the American Jewish Community. American Jewish Archive Journal (1968) Volume 20, Number 2. Accessed May 7, 2012.
- Glover, James Bolan, V, and Joe McTyre and Rebecca Nash Paden. Marietta, 1833-2000. Arcadia Publishing, 1999.
- Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. Rutgers University Press, 1988.
- Hardwich, Richard. The Lynching of Leo Frank, Man's Magazine, November, 1963. Accessed April 17, 2002.
- Hertzberg, Steven. Strangers Within the Gate City: The Jews of Atlanta, 1845-1915. The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1978.
- Library of Congress Leo M. Frank Newspaper Archive. Containing some, but not all newspaper articles on Leo M. Frank from 1913 to 1922, accessed August 20, 2011.
- The New York Times. "Leo Frank Wrote His Own Alibi"", August 22, 1915.
- MacLean, Nancy. "The Leo Frank Case Reconsidered: Gender and Sexual Politics in the Making of Reactionary Populism." The Journal of American History Vol. 78, No. 3, December 1991, pp. 917–948
- Maclean, Nancy. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. Oxford University Press, 1994.
- Oney, Steve. The Lynching of Leo Frank, Esquire Magazine, September 1985, pages 90 to 104. Accessed July 15, 2012.
- Rodriguez, Yolanda. "Story of Jewish businessman's lynching gets new attention", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 14, 2005.
- Sutherland, Sidney (1929) Mystery of the Pencil Factory. The Knickerbocker Press (from Ten real murder mysteries–never solved!), accessed February 23, 2012.
- Union Recorder (Milledgeville). "Leo. M. Frank Taken from State Farm and Lynched", August 17, 1915.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Senator Tom E. Watson papers Jeffersonian newspaper archive on Leo M. Frank from 1914 to 1917, accessed August 20, 2011.
- Legal Documents
- Arnold, Reuben. The Trial of Leo M. Frank, Reuben Rose Arnold's Full Address to the Court in his Behalf, Classic Publishing Co., 1915, accessed October 31, 2010.
- Dorsey, Hugh. "Arguments of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Leo Frank Murder Trial", N. Christophulos, August 1913, accessed October 31, 2010.
- 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. Affidavits, Exhibits and Trial Testimony, July 28 to August 25, 1913.
- Leo Frank Clemency File, images of original documents related to the clemency petition, including Gov. Slaton's notes, accessed October 31, 2010.
- Georgia's Virtual Vault. Georgia Archives releases high resolution color digital scans of the Georgia Supreme Court Leo Frank case file, Brief of Evidence (1913), Georgia appeals (1914), prison commission (1915), letters of support and executive clemency. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Leo M. Frank Georgia Supreme Court collection. Archive of 1,818 slides from the Georgia Supreme Court records department (1913 - 1914) of Leo Max Frank's appeals.
- Historical Archives
- American Jewish Archive. Leo M. Frank Collection 1913-1965.
- Brandeis University Leo Frank Trial Collection, 1909-1961
- Emory University Leo Frank Collection, 1915–1986
- Georgia Historical Society, Steve Oney papers, 1896–2009, MS 2361, Savannah, Ga. Accessed June 11, 2011.
- Jewish Virtual Library, Leo Frank, accessed June 11, 2011.
- New South and Leo Frank, digital archive of original images and documents about the Leo M. Frank Case c. 1905 to 1986.
- New York Public Library. Digital gallery of original Leo M. Frank Case photographs. Leo M. Frank Case defense theory on the stages of the murder of Mary Phagan commissioned by New York Times owner Adolph Ochs.
- William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum of The Atlanta Jewish Federation. Leo M. Frank Collection 1878 to 1983.
- Dissertation Thesis
- Dinnerstein, Leonard (1966). The Leo Frank Case (1966), Ph.D., Dissertation delivered by Leonard Dinnerstein (b. 1934) for the Political Science Department at Columbia University, 11MB in PDF, accessed January 3, 2012.
- Frey, Robert Seitz (June 1986). The Case of Leo M. Frank in the Continuum of American History: An Assessment of Christian Responses, Masters of Arts Degree in History, Baltimore Hebrew College, accessed July 8, 2012.
- Brown, Stephen A. (August 20, 1999). When Middle Class Ambition Met Southern Honor: A Cultural History of the Leo Frank Case., Ph.D., Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago, accessed July 9, 2012.
- The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987), IMDb.com, accessed August 23, 2010. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher, and Kevin Spacey, and won an Emmy in 1988.
- The New York Times. "The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987)", accessed August 23, 2010.
- During the trial an Atlanta musician and millworker, Fiddlin' John Carson, wrote and began performing a murder ballad, "Little Mary Phagan." During the mill strikes of 1914 Carson sang "Little Mary Phagan" to crowds from the Fulton County courthouse steps. An unrecorded Carson song, "Dear Old Oak in Georgia," sentimentalizes the tree from which Leo Frank was hanged.
- The 1964 television series "Profiles in Courage" dramatized Governor John M. Slaton's decision to commute Frank's sentence, The episode starred Walter Matthau as Governor Slaton and Michael Constantine as Tom Watson.
- People v. Leo Frank (2009), information about this film that was previously shown on PBS.
- Jamie Saft wrote a song, The Ballad of Leo Frank. The story of Frank's trial and eventual lynching is included in the liner notes of Saft's album entitled Black Shabbis.
- College Year Book
- Leo Frank entry in the Cornell University Senior Class Book, 1906, page 79, 281, 344, 345. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 18 MB, The Internet Archive. Accessed January 28, 2012.