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Leo Max Frank

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884-August 17, 1917) was a Jewish American industrialist. He was superintendent at a pencil factory in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1913, he was accused of the rape and murder of Mary Anne Phagan, an employee at the factory.

The attorney who prosecuted Frank was Hugh Dorsey. Dorsey was related to Luther Rosser, who was Frank's defense attorney.

The main prosecution witness against Frank was James Conley. Conley was a janitor. He said that Frank asked him to help cover up the murder. Frank and his defense attorneys said that Conley was the real murderer. Before that there had been other suspects in the murder, including James Gantt, a former employee fired by Frank for theft,[1] Arthur Mullinax, who witnesses said they saw with Mary the night of her alleged murder and Paul Bowen, who was arrested at a hotel because a woman said that she heard him confess to the murder but was released for lack of evidence. [2]

Frank was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. Governor John Slaton reduced the sentence to life in prison upon reviewing the evidence. Relatives of Phagan kidnapped Frank from prison and lynched him in 1917. In Atlanta, Frank was president of B'Nai Brith, a quasi-Masonic fraternity for Jews. His case led to the founding of the Anti Defamation League.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Oney, Steve The Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank

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