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This Day in Georgia History

June 02, 1913

Details of Leo Frank Defense Reported

The Atlanta Journal reported that Leo Frank’s defense would insist the elevator in the National Pencil Factory was not moved on the day of the murder (April 26), that the murder happened on the first floor (not the second as surmised by detectives), and that the blood found on the second floor likely came from workers who frequently cut themselves on the machinery there. Furthermore, Frank’s defense would argue that Jim Conley alone committed the murder. [According to Alonzo Mann - who testified in 1982 that he had witnessed Conley carrying Phagan’s body but had been afraid to tell the police at the time - this is probably what happened.] Meanwhile, Minola McKnight, the black cook for Leo Frank’s family, was brought in for questioning. At first she corroborated Frank’s story concerning the times he arrived home for lunch and then returned to the factory the day of the murder. She was agitated, believing her estranged husband had been telling lies to the police to get her in trouble - but she said both she and Frank were innocent.