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By Elaine Marie Alphin

Used to be an blameless guy wrongly accused of homicide? On April 26, 1913, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan deliberate to satisfy neighbors at a parade in Atlanta, Georgia. yet first she stopped on the pencil manufacturing unit the place she labored to choose up her paycheck. Mary by no means left the development alive. A black watchman discovered Mary's physique brutally crushed and raped. Police arrested the watchman, yet they were not happy that he used to be the killer. Then they paid a trip to Leo Frank, the factory's superintendent, who was once either a northerner and a Jew. Spurred on by means of the media frenzy and prejudices of the time, the detectives made Frank their best suspect, one whose conviction could soothe the city's anger over the demise of a tender white woman. The prosecution of Leo Frank used to be front-page information for 2 years, and Frank's lynching remains to be essentially the most debatable incidents of the 20 th century. It marks a turning aspect within the historical past of racial and spiritual hatred in the United States, prime on to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League and to the rebirth of the trendy Ku Klux Klan. hoping on fundamental resource files and painstaking learn, award-winning novelist Elaine Alphin tells the genuine tale of justice undone in the USA.

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Extra resources for An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank

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He would look hard and straight at her, she said, and then would smile. ” This testimony supported the deep-seated resentment so many members of Atlanta’s working class felt against northern industrialists. These Yankees had dragged families away from their farms where their daughters were safe and plunged them into city life where young girls had to go to work and risk unwanted sexual advances from bosses or coworkers. When people read the newspaper headlines accusing Leo Frank of flirting with Mary, they were both outraged and titillated.

Nina Formby, a madam of a nearby house of prostitution, claimed that Leo was a regular customer—and that he had called her on Confederate Memorial Day, asking for a place to bring a young girl who’d been taken ill. Mrs. Formby shared her story with the press and even claimed that she was being bribed to keep quiet or leave town until the trial was over. More evidence poured in. Dorsey’s handwriting expert stated that the murder notes could not have been written by Newt Lee. 46 A n un s pe akable C rim e The murder remained front page news for weeks, and much of the coverage was sensational.

He returned to work after deciding not to attend the afternoon baseball game because of rainy weather and then went home to a quiet evening with his family. From the house, he had telephoned night watchman Newt Lee, since the man had only started working for the company two weeks earlier. It was all routine activity, but it left almost an hour unaccounted for between when he paid Mary and when he left for lunch, with no witnesses to confirm that he was working in his office. The police were convinced that Mary Phagan had been murdered during that hour.

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An Unspeakable Crime. The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin


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