The Leo Frank Case: Documented Findings
The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume Three: The Leo Frank Case, The Lynching of a Guilty Man is a 536-page study referenced with thousands of footnotes and illustrated with maps, diagrams, and graphics that touch on every aspect of this controversial case. Here are a few of The Secret Relationship’s documented findings (and the page numbers where full references can be found):
- Frank was not targeted by an unruly mob. A 23-member grand jury that included five prominent members of the Jewish community voted for the indictment of Leo Frank. In other words, they all believed there was enough evidence to convict Leo Frank as the sole murderer of Mary Phagan. (See page 52, notes 102-106.)
- The claim that a mob chanted “Hang the Jew or we’ll hang you” at the trial is simply false. The ADL’s own expert, author Steve Oney, told the Jewish Journal: “It didn’t happen.…Jews were accepted in the city, and the record does not substantiate subsequent reports that the crowd outside the courtroom shouted at the jurors: ‘Hang the Jew or we’ll hang you.’” (See pages 163-64, 173-187.)
- Leo Frank himself told a Jewish newspaper publisher, “Anti-Semitism is absolutely not the reason for this libel [murder conviction] that has been framed against me. It isn’t the source nor the result of this sad story.” (Page 142.)
- Anti-Semitism was virtually absent from the case, but anti-Black racism was brutally present: Leo Frank, as leader of B’nai B’rith, publicly and openly referred to Blacks as “niggers.” His defense attorneys used the word “nigger” and other racist slurs dozens of times in court. His main attorney told the jury: “If you put a nigger in a hopper, he’ll drip lies.” And: “Is it possible that you Anglo-Saxon men have forgotten the nature of the negro?….Conley is a plain, beastly, ragged, filthy, lying nigger. Have I overstated that?” Another of Frank’s many attorneys addressed the jury, stating that Conley came from “a law-breaking race.” (Pages 121-23, 128-29, 131-33, 362.)
- Frank argued in court that the many Black witnesses should not be believed—simply because they were Black—and that “negro testimony” was by definition inferior and unreliable. Further, Frank argued to the all-white jury of his peers that murder, rape, and robbery were “negro crimes” and thus, he, a white man, could not have committed the murder of Mary Phagan. (Pages 124-136.)
- Atlanta police did not “frame” Frank; nor did they arrest him because he was Jewish. Both private detective agencies hired by Frank concluded that Leo Frank was the murderer of Mary Phagan. Another attorney hired by Frank similarly found and stated openly that his client was guilty. (Pages 31-34, 47-48, 50-52, 65-66, 91 note 187, 147, 247.)
- Jim Conley was the second Black person that Leo Frank publicly accused of Mary Phagan’s murder. Newt Lee, the night watchman who found the body in the factory basement, was actively targeted by Frank’s hired private eyes. They actually planted a blood-soaked shirt in the innocent Black man’s home, and then told the police where they could find that damning “evidence.” At the same time, Frank altered Lee’s work time card in order to make Lee the prime suspect. (Pages 35-44.) Frank’s attorney, the famous Luther Rosser, had this exchange in open court with the medical expert, related to the planted bloody shirt:
Rosser: The shirt had the odor of blood on it when you first got it, didn’t it?
Rosser: Then, wouldn’t the odor of blood have killed the odor of nigger?
Rosser: Then, if a nigger had just put on his shirt and had taken it off in an instant, your nose would “get him”?
Have you ever smelled a negro, Mr. Rosser?
Rosser: More than you ever smelled. I was smelling them before you were born. [Pages 134-135.]
- Leo Frank’s own Black cook, Minola McKnight, signed an affidavit saying she overheard Frank’s wife and mother discussing how Frank had confessed to the murder. She (and her husband) also gave damning evidence of Frank’s movements on the day of the murder that conflicted with Frank’s already weak alibi. (Pages 34, 378-79, 423-428.)
- Leo Frank was caught lying so often and so unapologetically that he was actually his own worst enemy. He refused to take an oath on the Bible, and then refused to be cross-examined by prosecutors. But James Conley withstood sixteen hours of cross-examination—under oath. (Pages 92ff, 122, 136-140, 362-382.)
- After Frank’s conviction powerful Jewish leaders rallied to his defense, but in private documents they admitted that they could not stand Frank’s personality and that he probably was guilty. Albert Lasker ran the top advertising agency in America and financed Frank’s legal defense. His private view of the B’nai B’rith president was harsh and disturbing: “It was very hard for us to be fair to him [Frank], he impressed us as a sexual pervert.”(Pages 216-217, 254-255, 322.)
- Frank’s main attorney admitted in open court that Frank’s lewd behavior was “a sign that we are getting more broad-minded…[D]eliver me from one of these prudish fellows that never looks at a girl and never puts his hands on her….” So powerful was the testimony of twenty adolescent girls about Leo Frank’s sexual harassment at the factory that none of his attorneys dared to cross-examine them—not one. (Pages 107-123.)
- Frank supporters tried to hire a Black woman to slip Conley some poison. She identified the plotters in open court. (Pages 262-263.)
- Frank was convicted in Atlanta, but most of the 13 appeals occurred outside Atlanta, and every one of those courts—including the US Supreme Court—upheld the conviction. (Pages 276-277, 282.)
- Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey has been portrayed as an “anti-Semite,” but it was Dorsey who allowed Blacks to testify at the trial, an unprecedented advancement in civil rights. Leo Frank’s attorneys fought this tooth and nail, and did everything they could to keep Blacks from participating in any part of the trial. It was Frank’s attorneys—not Georgia prosecutors—who used their power to eliminate Blacks from the jury pool. Dorsey later became governor of Georgia, whereupon he forcefully condemned the racial violence in his state and in America. The NAACP declared that Governor Dorsey’s stand “greatly enhanced the significance of the anti-lynching crusade.” Frank’s B’nai B’rith—and all Jewish organizations—were totally absent from the anti-lynching movement. In fact, Leo Frank’s main appeals attorney, Louis Marshall, as president of the American Jewish Committee, fought to undermine anti-lynching legislation, calling it “unconstitutional” and a violation of “state’s rights.” (Pages 88, 478-479.)
- Several of Frank’s strongest advocates—including his main lawyer and the man who financed his legal appeals—were both Jewish and open and active members of the American eugenics movement. A generation later Hitler would draw inspiration for his anti-Jewish policies from American eugenicists. (Pages 217, 221-222.)
- Pro-Frank embellishers have claimed that “thousands” of Jews fled Atlanta, but this is a complete myth. Jewish demographers show that the Jewish population of Atlanta actually increased over the weeks, months, and years after the Frank episode. (Pages 330-344.)
- Mysteriously, in 1982 a “witness” named Alonzo Mann materialized, claiming that he was at the factory in 1913 on the day of the murder and saw Conley carrying the body of Mary Phagan. The Nation of Islam meticulously examined those claims and shows conclusively that Mann had given many conflicting stories—in 1913 and in 1982—that are irreconcilable with the known facts and that the aged Mann was very likely coaxed by Frank’s advocates into making his 1982 claims. (Pages 435-464.)