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This Day in Georgia History

March 07, 1982

Alonzo Mann Asserted Innocence of Leo Frank

In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, Alonzo Mann asserted that Leo Frank was innocent in the murder of Mary Phagan in 1913. At the time Mann was a fourteen-year-old employee of Frank’s (as was Phagan). Mann said he returned to the factory the day of the murder after failing to find his mother at a parade. When he entered the factory he saw Jim Conley, custodian of the factory, carrying the limp body of Mary Phagan. According to Mann, Conley threatened to kill him if he ever told anyone. Mann said Frank was nowhere in sight and that he was certain Frank was not involved in the murder. Rather, Mann testified that Conley (who was the prosecution’s chief witness at the trial) was Phagan’s true killer. In conjunction with his story, Mann passed two lie detector tests and a psychological voice stress test.