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Friday, February 28, 2014

This review is from: And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank (Hardcover) by Mark Cohen from Amazon Books.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well Written Sloppy Research, Intellectual Cowardice, Tabloid Style Journalism, Cunning Deception & Shameless Omissions, September 2, 2011
Mark Cohen (Atlanta, Georgia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank (Hardcover)
In his "definitive magnum opus" about the Leo Frank case, what Steve Oney shamelessly failed to inform the reader, is who ultimately solved the Mary Phagan murder mystery in 1913!

Spoiler Alert: In the Fulton County Superior Court of Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, August 18th, 1913, at 2:15 pm, Leo Max Frank mounted the witness stand during the final week of his 29-day trial, and made an admission to the jury that amounted to a murder confession.
On Confederate Memorial Day (Georgia State Holiday), Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 12:02pm, Mary Phagan entered Leo Frank's second floor business office at the shuttered National Pencil Company (NPCo), asked for her pay envelope and inquired if the metal supplies had arrived yet. Phagan was never again seen alive, but found dead in the National Pencil Company basement by Newt Lee the Negro nightwatchman at 3:20 am on Sunday, April 27, 1913. Lee immediately climbed two floors & notified Atlanta Police via the wall telephone in Leo Frank's office. It marked the beginning of what would evolve into an embarrassing national scandal and cause celebre for the international Jewish community. Still refusing to gather dust, the Leo Frank Case continues smoldering as a divisive and incendiary Jewish-Gentile conflict more than a century later.

On Sunday morning April 27, 1913, Atlanta Police went to the Selig residence at 68 East Georgia Avenue to speak with Leo Frank, because he was the NPCo's factory superintendent. Dressed only in a bathrobe, Lucille Selig (Leo's wife) answered the door and invited the police into her father's rented home. Before the officers could ask any serious questions, Leo Frank stepped out from behind a curtain, half dressed and with a hoarse voice started asking questions in rapid fire succession, barely giving the police a chance to respond. Leo Frank appeared pale, nervous and was fumbling with his shirt and collar, as he finalized getting dressed and kept insisting on a cup of coffee. When the police finally asked Leo Frank privately, inside their Ford Model-T squad car, if he knew his employee Mary Phagan, Leo Frank immediately denied knowing her name and then again repeated these sentiments after being shown her mutilated corpse at P.J. Bloomfield's mortuary. The police then took Leo Frank from the undertakers establishment to his second floor office at the National Pencil Company (NPCo) and asked him to check his accounting books to determine at what time Mary Phagan had arrived and requested her wages. Leo Frank told the police, his stenographer left at noon, then a few minutes later his 14-year-old office boy (Alonzo Mann) left, and then Mary Phagan walked-in, asked for her pay & then left. In good faith it gave Atlanta police the impression Mary Phagan had arrived in Leo Frank's office at about 12:03pm on Saturday April 26, 1913.

Leo Frank was the last known person to admit having seen Mary Phagan alive, before she was theorized to have been killed shortly thereafter, naturally making him a person-of-interest & possible suspect. Leo Frank, also repeatedly told the police and detectives, he'd never left his office on Saturday, April 26, 1913, between twelve noon and 12:45 pm.

On Monday morning April 28, 1913, Leo Frank was escorted by Atlanta's finest to the stationhouse for routine questioning during the critical first 48 hours of the Mary Phagan murder investigation. In an interrogation room, Leo Frank was flanked by his two elite Lawyers, Luther Zeigler Rosser and Herbert Haas, and surrounded by a team of police, staff & detectives. Leo Frank made a deposition concerning his whereabouts during Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, and about the "brief" encounter he had with Mary Phagan at minutes after highnoon.

Leo Frank's statement was stenographed by a clean-shaven notary named Mr. Gay C. Febuary (not "mustachioed", not "C. Gay February" with first "r", Oney, 2003, p. 50, hardcover). The digested statement became part of the official record at the Leo Frank trial, registered as State's Exhibit B (Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913), the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, August 2, 1913, published the questions & answers of this deposition (check it out). Leo Frank changed the time of Mary Phagan's arrival from 12:03 pm, and specifically stated that Mary Phagan had entered his 2nd floor office on Saturday, April 26, 1913, between "12:05 pm and 12:10 pm, maybe 12:07 pm".

Monteen Stover:

What Leo Frank and his legal dream team did not know - until it was too late - is the Atlanta Police had secretly made a major breakthrough in the Mary Phagan murder investigation. At noon on Saturday, May 3, 1913, Atlanta Police investigators stumbled upon a child laborer at the National Pencil Company, a young girl who was making a second attempt to get her final pay envelope, because exactly one week earlier on Saturday, April 26, 1913, she was prevented from retrieving her wages at the NPCo, claiming Leo Frank's second floor business office was deserted at the usual payoff time on Saturday at noontime. More specifically, she told the police that based on the wall clock at Leo Frank's office, she waited there alone for exactly five minutes between 12:05pm and 12:10pm. With this curious and contradictory information, Detective John R. Black, and Pinkerton Detective Harry A. Scott, approached Leo Frank's prison cell on Sunday, May 4, 1913, and once again asked Leo Frank if he was inside his office every minute from noon to 12:45pm, and Leo Frank responded affirmatively, "Yes". What about between noon & 12:30 pm? Yes.

Coroner's Inquest: The Case of Mary Phagan

No time was wasted in the investigation into the circumstances of Mary Phagan's death. On Wednesday, April 30, 1913, the Coroner's Inquest was officially launched, it was organized by the Fulton County Coroner Paul Donehoo and presided over by a jury of six men, each juror had been sworn in under oath by an official magistrate. NPCo employees & associated witnesses where subpoenaed to testify before this official government tribunal. Leo Frank was sworn under oath and testified on May 5th & 8th, 1913.

Leo Frank reiterated that he'd never left his second floor business office at the time Mary Phagan arrived and left. Frank then provided a newfangled claim that metal department foreman, Lemmie Quinn, had arrived in his office at 12:20pm looking for Herbert Schiff. When asked by the tribunal why he never told the police about this new critical alibi witness, Leo Frank responded that he had forgotten. The Coroner and his jury were incredulous as to be expected.

After the Coroner's Inquest Jury and Paul Donehoo visited the crime scenes at the National Pencil Company, and completed their cross examination of more than a 160 associated witnesses - all of whom testified under oath - the seven man Coroner's Inquest tribunal (Coroner Paul Donehoo plus 6 jurymen), unanimously voted in the late evening of May 8, 1913, to bind Leo Frank over to the Fulton County Grand Jury for murder, because there was overwhelmingly compelling evidence of his guilt. Almost the entire testimony and evidence developments against Leo Frank revealed during the official Mary Phagan murder investigation were conveniently left out of Steve Oney's elephantine book, despite being independently and meticulously documented, word for word, by Atlanta's three major newspapers: Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Georgian.

Grand Jury Investigation: The Indictment of Leo M. Frank

No time was wasted by the Fulton County Grand Jury, which officially opened up an investigation into the murder of Mary Phagan, during the conclusion of the Coroner's Inquest. On Saturday, May 24, 1913, after a thorough two week investigation by the Grand Jury, they unanimously voted 21 to zero, indicting Leo Frank of strangling Mary Phagan. Amongst these 21 jurymen were several Jews, putting serious doubt in the century long smear campaign, defamation and blood-libel accusations against Gentiles that anti-Semitism was the prime source of Leo Frank being suspected and indicted.

Steve Oney, makes the absurd claim, the indictment of Leo Frank occurred on faith alone, because Hugh Dorsey gave the Grand Jury his assurances, "that at the appropriate moment, he would reveal all" (Oney, p. 116), but that's not how a Grand Jury investigation works. A Grand Jury doesn't vote 21 to 0 against someone because an inexperienced prosecutor "gives them his assurances" that *after the indictment* he will reveal all. Perhaps Oney should consider taking an 'Introduction to Law 101' course at his Alma Matter.

Steve Oney conveniently never bothered to list all the relevant people who did testify and who did not testify during the Grand Jury hearings, because the indictment of Leo Frank was secured without the testimony of Jim Conley! Nearly all of the people who testified during the Grand Jury, later testified at the trial of Leo Frank. Fortunately, the official Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence (1913) survived into the 21st century, and provides insight into what was also revealed during the sworn testimony segment of the Grand Jury hearings. One of the most important witnesses who testified to the Grand Jury was Monteen Stover.

Slightly more than 2 months after the indictment of Leo Frank, his trial began in the Fulton County Superior Courthouse on Monday morning July 28, 1913. Going into his trial, Leo Frank maintained for more than three months that he had never left his office from noon until 12:45pm on the day of Phagan's murder, but he would dramatically change his alibi.

The Trial of Leo Frank Presided By Judge Leonard Stickland Roan:

At the summer trial of Leo Frank accused of murdering Mary Phagan, the young 14-year old girl named Monteen Stover, who formerly worked at the National Pencil Company, testified she had went to the factory to collect her owed wages inside Leo Frank's business office on Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 12:05 pm, and found it unoccupied. Monteen Stover described in detail waiting inside Leo Frank's office for five minutes until 12:10 pm, when she decided to leave the building, because she thought the factory might have been deserted. The defense never disputed her claim, because the National Pencil Company's accounting and payroll books indicated she was indeed owed a pay envelope at the usual payoff time of Saturday at noon.

Without rendering judgment, if Monteen Stover was indeed telling the truth, she had inadvertently broken Leo Frank's murder alibi concerning his whereabouts on that fateful Saturday. What was ironic about Monteen Stover, is she was a positive character defense witness for Leo Frank, unlike 19 other female child laborers, employees and associates, whose testimony suggested Leo Frank was a lecherous, licentious, lascivious, libidinous, lewd and libertine boss (a sexual predator and serial pedophile in early 21st century parlance).

On Monday, August 4, 1913, during the beginning of the 2nd week at the 4-week long trial, Jim Conley testified that he'd discovered the dead body of Phagan in the bathroom area of the second floor, after Leo Frank confessed going with Mary Phagan to the metal room on the pretext of determining her employment status. Jim Conley testified that Leo Frank said he assaulted Mary Phagan in the metal room because she wouldn't have sex with him. Conley also stated that Leo Frank asked him to move the cadaver of Mary Phagan down two floors to the rear of the basement, opposite the furnace entryway, where garbage was normally placed before being incinerated.

In the fallout of Jim Conley refusing to complete the cover-up of the crime, by stuffing Mary Phagan into furnace for $200 (and thereby ostensibly destroying the evidence), Conley instead agreed to write what became known as the "Death Notes", pinning the bludgeoning, rape and strangulation of Mary Phagan on a tall, dark complected, and slim Negro named Newt Lee, the factory's graveyard shift security guard. Lee was recently employed by Leo Frank as the factory nightwatchman less than three weeks before the murder and thus nobody knew anything about him, he was the perfect patsy, especially because he was African-American in a White Racial Segregationist South. The "death notes" gambit was a clever ploy by Leo Frank to divert suspicion from himself, because they were handwritten by his semi-literate African-American janitor in Ebonics, and no one would likely believe he dictated them if Conley became a stool pigeon. The "death notes" were a diabolically genius plot that would ensure the police would suspect Newt Lee at first as the prime suspect, and even if that failed, they would be searching for another Negro suspect instead, but Leo Frank's racist gambit fell apart within 48 hours into the inquiry of Mary Phagan's death and you're going to find out why.

The major mistake of the "death notes" found scattered next to the dead body of Mary Phagan by Atlanta Police, were that they describe her going to "make water" in the only place she could have gone to urinate, which was the bathroom in the metal room on the second floor. There was no bathroom accessible on the first floor since January 17, 1913, and the toilet closet located in the rear of the stygian basement was racially segregated for "Negroes Only". The "death notes" became one of the biggest blunders in the attempt to conceal the true events of the crime, because they redirected suspicion on Leo Frank after he attempted to frame the murder of Phagan on his "nightwatch" Newt Lee with an altered and incriminating time-card. However, when all was said and done, nothing would top the most sensational blunder in the legal annals of Southern history, that happened at the trial of Leo Frank, when the defendant made his long winded statement on the witness stand to the spellbound courtroom.

At the crescendo of the trial, Leo Frank changed his murder alibi, reversing himself, and specifically answered the question everyone in all of Georgia wanted to know since May 10, 1913, when Atlanta newspapers leaked evidence about Monteen Stover:

Why had Monteen Stover found Leo Frank's office empty on Saturday, April 26, 1913, between 12:05pm and 12:10pm?

And when Leo Frank finally explained the reason why to the jury, he himself conclusively solved the Mary Phagan murder mystery!

Three weeks into the trial on Monday afternoon, August 18, 1913, Leo Frank mounted the witness stand at 2:15 pm. Under Georgia Code, Section 1036, Leo Frank opted to make an unsworn statement to the judge and jury, refusing to be examined or cross examined by defense and prosecution counselors. However, Leo Frank answered the question everyone in all of Georgia and the South wanted to know, by directly responding to the testimony of Monteen Stover, about why his office was empty on April 26, 1913, between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm.

Leo Frank contradicted his earlier assertion to the police that he never left his office when Mary Phagan arrived their between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm, with a shocking newfangled admission, saying he might have "unconsciously" gone to the bathroom in the Metal Room during this time!!

It was an astonishing, jaw dropping, and spine-tingling admission by Leo M. Frank that left everyone in courtroom gobsmacked, because there was only one set of bathrooms that existed on the second floor and they were located inside the metal room - the real scene of the crime (see: Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, Defendant's Exhibit 61 and State's Exhibit A). Leo Frank not only put himself in the metal room where all the forensic evidence suggested Mary Phagan had been killed, but he put himself directly in the path of the specific location Jim Conley testified to originally finding the dead body of Mary Phagan, before she was moved to the basement. If you had been one of the 12 men sitting in the Jury box, you would have felt cold shivers down your spine, because Leo Frank entrapped himself beyond escape and at the same time he solved the murder mystery of Mary Phagan.

The new perplexing explanation delivered by Leo Frank on Monday, August 18, 1913, at 2:45 pm, to the judge and jury, was considered the equivalent of a murder confession, because the State's prosecution team spent the entire duration of the four week long trial, building a chain of circumstantial evidence that Leo Frank murdered Mary Phagan in the metal room on April 26, 1913, between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm. When Leo Frank mounted the witness stand and made his deliciously ironic admission, he essentially pitched a grandslam to the State's prosecution team in the last inning of the trial. It was an easy victory for the State of Georgia's prosecution team (see: Leo Frank Trial Closing Arguments, John D. Lawson's American State Trials Volume X, 1918).

The metal room was down the hall from Leo Frank's office, and the place Mary Phagan had toiled for more than a year at a wage of 7 and 4/11th cents an hour (not 10 cents an hour as Oney cited, p. 5). The metal room was where Leo Frank went to use the bathroom each and everyday, as he worked 200 feet away in his window-front business office at the front section of the National Pencil Company. When Leo Frank went to use the bathroom each day, between the years time during the Spring of 1912 and 1913 that Mary Phagan was employed, he had to immediately pass by her work station, literally within a matter of 3 to 4 feet, but Leo Frank, denied knowing Mary Phagan even at his own trial! Leo Frank's denial of knowing his employee Mary Phagan became an incriminating point of contention against him, because his accounting books indicated he paid Mary Phagan her salary more than 52 times, after each 55 hour long, 6 day work week. Phagan had put in more than 2,700 hours of labor at the factory according to Leo Frank's own hand written record books.

Flash back to the critical first 48 hours of the Mary Phagan murder investigation:

While Leo Frank was making his deposition at the Atlanta Police Station on Monday morning, April 28, 1913, unbeknownst to him, there was pandemonium & morbid hysteria at his factory, because one of Frank's employees named Robert P. Barret, discovered a bloodied tress of hair tangled on the solid iron handle of his bench lathe, which was located in the metal room, and moments later another female employee, Magnolia Kennedy, discovered a 5" inch wide fan shaped blood stain on the floor of the metal room, located by the entryway of the only bathroom set on the second floor. Barret testified about the forensic evidence he found, and it pointed to the same conclusion about the metal room being the scene of a heinous crime of violence & poorly managed clean-up job. All of the evidence presented at the Leo Frank trial kept pointing to the metal room as the real scene of the crime, but then it all came together...

Jim Conley saying he found Mary Phagan dead in the metal room bathroom area at the behest of Leo Frank, and Leo Frank changing his story by saying he might have "unconsciously" gone to the bathroom in the metal room (Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence, 1913, p.186), at the time he formerly told the police in a deposition that Mary Phagan was inside his office with him alone (State's Exhibit B), and at the same time Monteen Stover testified Leo Frank's office was empty (BOE, 1913), resulted in everything coming together at the murder trial full circle in absolute mathematical perfection & harmony.

All of the citizenry of the Great State of Georgia, the Southern States and all the United States of America are asking this:

How many times in the annals of United States legal history, has the defendant accused of murder, made an admission at their own trial that amounted to an unmistakable murder confession?

The Atlanta Constitution Newspaper March 9, 1914: Leo Frank, 17 Questions and Answers.

If there are any doubts about Leo Frank's August 18, 1913, trial admission, contradicting his earlier deposition to the police (State's Exhibit B, 1913), while simultaneously solving the Mary Phagan murder mystery, consider reading the March 9, 1914, Atlanta Constitution issue, publishing an authorized jailhouse interview of Leo Frank, where he re-confirms his astonishing August 18, 1913, trial testimony, about a metal room bathroom visit, specifically responding to Monteen Stover's testimony about his office being empty between 12:05 pm and 12:10 pm on Saturday, April 26, 1913.

Leo Frank's famous trial and jailhouse admission also debunks the century-long blood libel allegations made by Leo Frank partisans against Hugh Dorsey and Harry Scott that they both unscrupulously conspired for political ambition reasons to implicate an "innocent" Leo Frank for murder.

Appeals from 1913 to 1986:

Every type and kind of appellate court or tribunal called to review the Leo Frank trial brief of evidence from 1913 to 1915, 1982 to 1986, did not disturb the unanimous verdict of the jury and judge that was rendered on August 25 & 26, 1913, respectively. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled the evidence at the Leo Frank trial sustained a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt and that Leo Frank had a fair trial, so did the U.S. Supreme Court rule the trial was fair. Even the corrupt Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton, on the last page of his 29-page highly political commutation order of June 21, 1915, stated clearly he was sustaining the decisions of the Leo Frank trial Jury and Appellate courts.

Never in the History of the United States of America has there been a Posthumous Pardon for a Serial Pedophile, Rapist & Strangler.

Finally, read between the lines of grotesque appeasement concerning the highly political & shameful Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) sponsored Leo M. Frank posthumous pardon, issued more than seven decades after the trial. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles refused to exonerate Leo Frank of strangling Mary Phagan, when they posthumously pardoned him on March 11, 1986. When the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles was asked why they wouldn't address the issue of Leo Frank's guilt or innocence, an official bureaucratic falsehood was given as the reason, that the legal records of the Leo Frank trial no longer existed, but that statement is a bald faced lie, the three major Atlanta newspapers independently published word-for-word every prosecution & defense question and witness answer given at the trial, and the official Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence (1913) and Georgia Supreme Court File on Leo Frank (1913, 1914), all 1,800 pages survived into the 21st century. We can now compare these official legal records ratified by the defense & prosecution, with the published Atlanta newspapers' stenographic accounts of the Leo Frank trial 'Question and Answer testimony'. The Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence (1913) is the final arbiter.

So Why Did the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles Lie?

We now can take a wild guess at the real reason why the board publicly lied, the 1,800 page Georgia Supreme Court Case file reveals Mary Phagan was not the only girl Leo Frank sadistically raped. It turns out, more than a year before 1913, Leo Frank raped another one of his teenage employees, & immediately after inseminating her - which ultimately caused her to get pregnant and shipped away to a home for unwed mothers - he permanently scarified the little girl by ferociously biting deep into the inner most flesh of her thy adjacent to genitals (Georgia Supreme Court, 1913, 1914). Steve Oney conveniently suppressed the details & depth of this fact in his book (Spineless Coward). Perhaps I could jocosely suggest that Steve Oney can sharpen his investigative reporting skills & track down whatever happened to Leo Frank's genetic heir born from the raped teenage girl who became a single mother. Was the baby boy born out of wedlock in late 1912 named little Leo Max Frank Jr or Leo Max Frank the Second? Did this heir ever have any children?

One Star Instead of Zero:

Steve Oney deserves credit for one thing, he publicly dispelled a century of lies perpetuated by Abe Foxman, Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL); the cult-like following of Leo Frank; and academic quack "Leo Frank Intellectual Movement", about terrorizing mobs of angry people shouting death threats at the Jury through the open windows of the trial courtroom, "hang the Jew or we'll hang you", "lynch the sheeny" and "crack the Jews neck" (Leonard Dinnerstein's hate crime hoax, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1987, 1991, 1999, 2008). Never once did a single newspaper report people screaming death threats at the Jury & it was never reported by Judge Roan, jurors, prosecution team members, Leo Frank or his legal defense team, in any of the appeals seeking a new trial.

Why Steve Oney Only Deserves One Star:

Revisionist journalist-author Steve Oney, weaves together a fantastic collage of unsubstantiated Leo Frank hoaxes & frauds throughout his entire book, 'and the dead shall rise' (2003), as part of his shameless efforts to re-write history, exonerate Leo Frank of the Mary Phagan murder, & ultimately rehabilitate the image of Leo Frank from that of a perverted, sadistic rapist-pedophile and strangler, toward a more kinder & gentler, mythological stoic-martyr, who was unjustly scapegoated in a vast misunderstanding.

By cherry picking & misrepresenting enough parts of the case, the subtext of Steve Oney's book is that an "innocent" & well educated Ivy-League German-Jew, Leo Max Frank, was ensnared in 1913 by the real culprit, a semi-literate & drunken stumble bum, the African-American factory sweeper, James "Jim" Conley.

Steve Oney pretends to be mystified, downplaying the fact that Leo Frank & Jim Conley had a personal-business relationship that was a bit too close for comfort. Leo Frank would often goose & jolly with Jim at the factory. Leo Frank also managed Jim's pawnshop contracts and housed them in his safe, as Conley had a shady side business wheeling-and-dealing pocket watches at the NPCo factory & even ripped off Mr. Arthur Pride, who testified about it at the trial. On September 10, 1912, Conley began serving a one month sentence for his 7th offense of public intoxication, yet Leo Frank took him back at the National Pencil Company in early October after Conley served only 3 weeks. Steve Oney more than once falsifies non-existent crimes & charges that do not exist in Jim Conley's official criminal record as an attempt to prejudice the reader. On page 120 Steve Oney claims Jim Conley committed armed robbery, but that is not true, nor did Jim Conley shoot a gun at his common law wife Lorena Jones. Did Steve Oney think no one would review Jim Conley's rap sheet in the trial exhibits? Or follow Jim Conley in the Atlanta newspapers' crime blotter after the trial from 1913 onward?

Leo Frank's Silence About Jim Conley:

Steve Oney never answers why Leo Frank knowingly refused to tell the police Jim Conley could read and write on a basic level. Leo Frank knew for a fact Jim Conley - an employee since 1911 - could read and write on a semi-literal level, but he kept this information a secret until revealing it was too late (3 weeks too late). Jim Conley worked at the National Pencil Company in various capacities, including written inventory & stock work for Leo Frank who vetted Conley's signed pawnshop contracts & promissory notes. It was naturally an incriminating circumstance that Leo Frank never said a single word about Conley to the police during the early days of the Mary Phagan murder investigation, even though the "death notes" were clearly written in Ebonics, and their were only 8 African-Americans out of 173 employees in total, working at the National Pencil Company factory.

Leo Frank's Bungled Racist Intrigue: More Details Oney Left out.

What Steve Oney fails to fully elaborate for the reader is the racist subplot of the bludgeoning, rape and strangulation of Mary Phagan. Leo Frank's botched intrigue to pin the crime on his Negro Nightwatchman, Newton "Newt" Lee, fell apart in a matter of days using a forged time-card. Leo Frank on Friday, April 25, ordered Newt Lee to arrive at work an hour early, at 4:00 pm on that infamous April 26, 1913, so Leo Frank could leave early and go to the ballgame with his Christian brother-in-law Mr. Ursenbach (married to Lucille's older sister Rosalind Selig). Leo Frank told the police on Sunday, April 27, 1913, that Newt Lee's time card was punched perfectly every half hour, but the next day, on Monday, April 28, 1913, Frank gave the police an incriminating time card that made it seem like Newt Lee had 4 hours of unaccounted time on the evening of the murder (Defendant's Exhibit A).

Leo Frank vs. Jim Conley:

Oney points out in his book that weeks after Leo Frank & Jim Conley were arrested, the police arranged for them to confront each other face-to-face over the murder, Jim agreed, but Leo refused. Oney never answers the question why an "innocent" White man would refuse to confront a Negro accusing him of raping & strangling a 13-year old white girl, in the context of a White racial separatist south of 1913, where the word of a Negro janitor would never be taken over the word of an executive white man.

17 Years of Short Sighted Investigative Journalism:

Though Steve Oney claims he spent 17 years of his life, traveling around the United States, to research & write this colorful & slangy, thesaurus-enriched book, his analysis is mostly stagnant puddle shallow, mellow dramatic, oozing with ego & myopic at best. Steve Oney in this adventure tends to wear horse blinders & drives with the emergency brakes on during his epic 700+ page journey, and as a result, he does not plumb the depths of the Leo Frank case, or soar above it's centenarian heights like a lucid, fearless and dispassionate researcher, looking back on the case 9 decades later, with new, lucid and penetrating eyes.

Oney never explores any of the variations & permutations, or possible real solutions to the crime, making his book a complete & utter waste of time. Oney never attempts to answer the myriad of "Whys" either, leaving the reader truly frustrated, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. No real modern 21st century forensic analysis is applied to this case by Oney, despite the fact hundreds of pages have survived into the 21st century with crime scene details, diagrams & autopsy descriptions by police, detectives, undertakers and physicians, respectively, turning this book into nothing more than a long winded journalists diatribe that is lost in a labyrinth of toady Leo Frank partisanship, pseudo-history & shameless omission.
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