[Editor’s Note: Please be advised: the following is a graphic tale of a brutal rape and murder. This article first appeared in The Free Magnolia, vol. 13, no. 4.]
It was an ugly birth.
Officer W.F. Anderson stood in the cellar of the National Pencil Factory in Bellwood, part of the expanding metropolis of Atlanta in 1913. It was a filthy cave choked with the black dust of both pencil graphite and the coal that heated and powered the factory. Various crates and stored items competed with boilers and the workers’ toilet in this dungeon. They were not, however, what made him choke back the bile rising in his throat. Instead, it was the corpse of Mary Phagan, thirteen-year-old employee of the factory. She lay there slumped on her side, face half-buried in garbage. One shoe was missing, and her dress was bunched up above her knees. Her face, when exposed, was grossly battered; cheeks scratched and bruised, and her right eye so bruised and puffy that it was almost sealed shut. The scalp above her left ear was torn open almost to the skull. None of those injuries, however, had killed her. Instead, she had been savagely strangled. The three-quarter inch cord that choked out her life had been pulled tight with the slipknot at the back of her neck. So brutal was the strangling that a deep groove had been left in her neck, her tongue stuck out far past her lips, and blood had erupted from both her mouth and ears. Her killer had made a failed attempt to hide the signs of strangulation; strips of cloth ripped from her own skirt had been wrapped around the cord, apparently in an attempt to mask the marks it would make. Her mouth was full of cinders from the floor, and her body was coated with graphite and coal dust so thickly that the responding officers had at first been unsure of her race.
That, however, was not the worst of it. It quickly became clear that her killer had not just taken her life. She had been raped so savagely that the blood still flowed, hours after her assault and death. Indeed, she had gone cold and begun to stiffen by the time they discovered her, responding to a call from the plant’s black night watchman, Newt Lee, that “A white woman has been killed up here!” A young girl, in the first flower of her womanhood, had been brutalized and murdered sometime on the night of April 26, 1913. Mary Phagan, red-headed child of the Scots-Irish South, would never be a mother to a family of strong children. Yet, in a way, her unthinkably horrible death would birth a monster: The ADL, or Anti-Defamation League. This beast would over the years come to savage the entire South as one of its “tribe” had savaged Mary.
SINNERS AND SYNAGOGUES
Leo Frank, her rapist and murderer, was an early exemplar of what would come to be called the “New South.” A Jew of German Ashkenazi extraction, Frank was twenty-nine years old that April. While his people had been welcomed and risen to positions of wealth and privilege in the Atlanta of “Progressive” governor Frank Slayton, he had not attended the Confederate Memorial Day Parade that Saturday. Instead, he claimed to have been tending to matters of inventory and payroll at the pencil factory where Mary Phagan worked, running a machine that placed erasers into the metal tips of pencils. He himself was a child of privileged parents, and his uncle owned much of the National Pencil company. While born in Texas, he had been raised in Brooklyn among the wealth and privilege of New York City’s rising Jewish power brokers. He was also married to Lucille Selig Frank, daughter of the cofounder of Atlanta’s most prosperous synagogue. In short, he was a man who was accustomed to getting what he wanted, especially from the poor “goyim” who toiled in his factory. In addition, he was the new president of the local B’nai B’rith lodge. B’nai B’rith, meaning “sons of the covenant,” was a Jews-only mutual aid society formed of many separate chapters whose common goal was to look out for Jews against all the world might throw at them . . . particularly any real or perceived threat from those they called “goyim.” It was these lodges that would coalesce in the wake of Mary Phagan’s murder (and Leo Frank’s arrest) into the beast we know as the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL.
Frank himself joined the search party which began checking the factory for evidence. First were found her other shoe and a bloody handkerchief. Then, one of the men noticed that the exterior service door to the outside alley had been sabotaged. They then noticed a drag trail leading all the way back to the elevator at the other end of the cellar. Most puzzling, however, were two notes in near-gibberish which appeared to implicate Newt Lee, the fifty-something Negro watchman. Oddly, the officers heard Lee blurt out the words “White folks, that’s me,” although Newt later claimed he had said that “someone’s trying to put it off on me.” Still, it seemed damning for Lee, and Sergeant Brown of the police growled to Lee, “You did this or you know who did it!” Lee denied it, and gave his story, which he never substantially changed during his subsequent interrogations: He had gone down to the cellar toilet during his rounds, decided to check the cellar access door, and seen the body. At that point, he called the police. The officers were highly suspicious and immediately arrested him for the murder. When a detective was called in, two other pieces of evidence were found: bloody fingerprints on the outside door, and a metal pipe that had apparently been used to pry off the door’s lock. At that point, everyone seemed to believe that Lee had done it all. One man, however, suspected that Leo Frank had done the deed: Detective John Black.
ALWAYS BET ON BLACK
Black had become suspicious after receiving the reports of the officers first on scene. He noted that multiple people had tried to call Leo Frank’s home. None of them, including the night watchman, had gotten an answer. Every other company representative they called, even in the dead of night, had answered. This included the company’s biggest shareholder. Detective Black was nearly certain Newt Lee had SOMETHING to do with the murder, but wanted to confront Leo Frank before he had time to come up with a story. When he arrived at Frank’s house, Frank kept him waiting for several minutes. When he finally appeared, without prompting, Frank began pacing and wringing his hands, asking “Has anything happened at the factory? Did the night watchman report anything to you? I dreamt I heard the phone ring around four o’clock!” Rather than answer, they told Frank to get dressed and accompany them to the factory. On the ride there, they asked him about Mary Phagan. He denied knowing her, but then admitted a girl fitting her description had come up to his office regarding pay. He still, however, denied knowing it was Mary Phagan. He had apparently remained ignorant of her identity even while disbursing her pay, and logging the disbursement in the payroll ledger. Or so he said . . . and it would not be the first major evidence of his guilt to arise.
While other suspects (including a young white man named Mullinax) would be pulled in, Frank continued to be alternately evasive and excessively informative about his whereabouts on the day in question. One witness, another employee, claimed to have spoken with him during the time when Phagan would have been killed. Many, however, suspected this was a false statement, given that the witness (a Mr. Quinn) depended on Frank’s good graces for his entire livelihood. When asked to help interrogate Lee, Frank fumbled the job until finally uttering the phrase, “Well, they’ve got me, too.” During the inquest, multiple young women at the factory testified to Frank’s lecherous pursuit of them, including instances of fondling. Hair and bloodstains were found in the metal department where Mary went to get the eraser holders for her machine. Frank finally admitted that, in addition to picking up her pay, Mary had asked him if new metal for the parts had come in. His claim not to have known her by name seemed shakier and shakier. It emerged that he had sent Newt Lee away from the factory for two hours during the time in question. A newsboy, George Epps, testified that Mary had asked him to escort her home from the factory due to Frank’s unwelcome advances. He had done so whenever able until the night of the 26th … when he waited for her in vain. Multiple witnesses reported seeing a crying Mary attempting to avoid the attentions of a man fitting Frank’s description at the rail station the previous Friday. So many little pieces of evidence emerged, in fact, that almost the entire city saw Frank as a molester, rapist, and murderer. However, one section of Atlanta’s population proudly pushed a narrative of a young man unjustly persecuted for his race and faith: Atlanta’s Jews, led by the members of B’nai B’rith.
JUST A NICE JEWISH BOY, WE SWEAR
They painted a narrative of a veritable saint, above any possible charges of lechery, and praised Frank’s intellectualism and rarefied cultural acumen. In fact, such a forceful “rehabilitation” of a miscreant would likely not be seen until the case of Trayvon Martin a century later. One of the most surprising things about their efforts, given the later behavior of the ADL, was their consistent attempt to frame the dull-witted Newt Lee for the fate of Mary Phagan. The ADL, that paragon of leftist virtue signaling, was partially born by Jewish efforts to frame a black man for rape and murder. Another black man, janitor James Conley, was pulled into the investigation when seen trying to wash a red-stained shirt, and the Jews gladly implicated him as well. Unfortunately for them, the vigorous interrogation of this new suspect backfired: Conley finally broke under questioning and admitted that he HAD been involved in Mary’s death . . . by helping to move the body and cover up the murder. His confession, in fact, included details that had not been made public but which fit the evidence of the scene and circumstances. Frank, he said, had forced him to write the two mysterious notes (their strange wording was a result of his semiliterate attempts to write down the words dictated by Frank) and had offered him $200 dollars, which Frank afterwards refused to pay. He also included another statement made by Frank: “Why should I hang when I have got rich folks in Brooklyn?”
Those “rich folks,” the prominent members of the Jewish community, packed the court with “character witnesses” when the trial commenced that summer. They were walking a fine line; if they made Frank’s character an issue in their defense, they removed any justification for excluding the voluminous prosecution evidence that Frank’s character was lecherous and depraved. Frank did himself no favors by showing up to court in a natty, pinstripe suit more at home in the Big Apple than the Big Peach, and appearing to order his lawyer which jurors to challenge during selection. Unfortunately, Frank’s testimony during the trial ended up being contradicted on several points, including crucial evidence that he had falsified Newt Lee’s timecard to cover up his two-hour dismissal of the watchman. Despite efforts by the “progressive” papers to smear the prosecution’s case, and the defense’s efforts to get a mistrial, Leo Frank was found guilty. But the Jews, led by Rabbi David Marx, were never going to accept the verdict of a jury of “goyim.”
Rabbi Marx had heretofore never considered the South to be anti-Semitic. In fact, he had previously remarked on how much more kindly Jews were treated there than in the “progressive” North. However, the Frank verdict filled him with Talmudic rage, and he immediately became the sworn enemy of the South and its Gentile inhabitants. Despite the mountains of evidence against Frank, he swore that his conviction was due to one thing and one thing only: anti-Semitism! He headed to New York city to recruit help. The first man he approached was Adolph Ochs, publisher of The New York Times and one of the most powerful Jews in the country at the time. The other was Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee. Marshall had spent much of the previous decade using the courts to force any Gentile organization that had restricted its membership to open it to Jews. However, fearful that Southerners would react defensively to “Jews acting as Jews,” they chose instead to begin a media campaign among their fellow Jews and their “progressive” allies. Meanwhile, funds flowed southward to Frank and his lawyers who would fight the conviction in court. Appeals were filed, prosecution witnesses were impugned, and several jurors were smeared. None of it worked and the appeals were rejected.
THE ELDERS OF ZION ASSEMBLE
On November 8, 1913, eight days after the motion for a new trial was rejected, a committee of powerful Jews met in a room at New York’s Temple Emanu-El. Foremost among them was Jacob H. Schiff, director of the massive Kuhn, Loeb, and Company banking house. All were determined not to let a bunch of goyim convict a Jew. They were also aware, however, that a backlash against the blatant Jewish favoring of Frank was welling up. Their decision? All their money and power would be used behind the scenes to break the Gentiles and free Leo Frank. This money bought the recantations of witnesses, false testimony alleging coercion, and direct attacks on the integrity of the investigating detectives.When all of this STILL failed to secure a new trial, the committee led by Adolph Ochs at last began publicly supporting Frank in every newspaper under their control. They also hired detectives of their own to attack essentially every remaining prosecutor, investigator, or witness. Despite all of this, Leo Frank was still condemned to hang, sentence to be carried out on April 17th, 1914.
Because of this, the committee began working to pressure the Gentile leaders of Georgia to support Frank. To their everlasting disgrace, personages ranging from Baptist minister Julian S. Rogers to lawyer Eugene Mitchell, whose daughter Margaret would one day write “Gone With the Wind,” publicly supported Frank. Outside the South, such figures as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Jane Addams were enlisted. By April 20th, over $80,000 in direct monetary support (over $2 million in 2019 dollars) had flowed to Frank’s legal team and detectives. Then, on April 27th, one of the witnesses the detectives had recruited to claim Conley was the sole and only murderer of Mary Phagan admitted that he had been paid, along with others, to give false testimony. Enraged citizens would take no more; Burns, the chief detective for the defense, was beaten by an angry mob in Marietta as he tried to find more witnesses to accuse Conley. Despite all this, the flood of money managed to postpone Frank’s execution again and again. Justice, and the will of the people, was thwarted by an alien tribe and their seemingly inexhaustible funds.
Things stretched on in court until, on October 14th, the appeal was finally struck down by the Supreme Court of Georgia. His lawyers took their case to the Supreme Court of the U.S. anyway, most notably by directly approaching Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., arch-Yankee. Even with his backing, on Dec. 7th, the Supreme Court issued a one-word response: “Denied.” Yet, somehow, they were allowed to make a second appeal, which was granted on Dec. 28th, on the grounds that Frank had not been present when the verdict was read. Frank’s defenders in the “committee” then renewed their media push. Luckily, on April 19, the Supreme Court ruled against Frank’s motion. Their last court effort denied, they went directly to Governor Slaton and asked that Frank’s sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. Pressured by the media, the bankers, the “New South” scalawags, and even the stars of infant Hollywood, Governor Slaton caved and commuted Frank’s sentence. Georgia exploded in righteous rage.
DEATH OF A PERVERT, BIRTH OF A BEAST
The people saw Frank spared death and sent in a Pullman car to the State Prison Farm in Milledgeville. In the wake of the extraordinary skullduggery the Jewish power brokers had thrown behind Frank, they knew that it was likely “…an escape will be arranged for him in less than thirty days!” Angry citizens posted notices on every Jewish business in Milledgeville to get out by the night of June 26th. Governor Slaton, his mansion besieged by protestors, had them rounded up and detained in his stables. He then handed over the governorship to Nat Harris, who had won the recent election. A few days later, he fled to New York, where he was feted at the Waldorf-Astoria and paraded around at the behest of the Jewish financiers and their pawn, William Randolph Hearst. Meanwhile, Frank was nearly murdered in the prison by a fellow prisoner. While former governor Slaton toured New York and California, the Jewish powers were pushing Governor Harris to whisk Frank away North, away from the angry Georgians. They would fail. On August 16th, 1915, a group of angry citizens broke into the prison at Milledgeville and pulled Leo Frank out of his cell. They took him back to Frey’s Gin, just northwest of Marietta, and hanged him from a tree. They knew that this was the only way justice would ever come to Frank in the face of his shadowy, yet powerful supporters. Leo Frank was dead, but the Tribe would extract a terrible price. They took a fledgling part of the B’nai B’rith and turned it into a tool to strike the Gentiles. They called it the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL. Its stated mission is to fight “anti-Semitism” and “bigotry.” Yet we know the truth: since its birth, it has been a sword against any Gentile who stands against “the Chosen,” and a destroyer of all that is good and true.■