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This Day in Georgia History

May 28, 1913

Conley Changed Story

Samples of the handwriting of Leo Frank, Newt Lee, and Jim Conley were released - along with a portion of one of the notes found near Mary Phagan’s body. Jim Conley had admitted to writing the notes, but on this day he changed his story dramatically. Previously, he claimed Frank asked him to write the notes on Friday, the day preceding the murder. Now, Conley claimed he wrote them on Frank’s order after the murder. He added Frank had asked him to watch at the bottom of the stairs leading to Frank’s office, but he [Conley] had fallen asleep until he heard Frank whistle. When he went to Frank’s office, he testified that the supervisor was shaking so badly he had to hold onto Conley for support. Then, according to Conley, Frank had asked him to write the notes and muttered the ominous phrase “Why should I hang?”