Conley’s Story Cinches Case Against Frank, Says Lanford
Sunday, June 1st, 1913
‘He Has Told the Whole Truth—There’s Not a Lawyer Who Can Shake Him,’ Asserts Chief.
Jim Conley has told the whole truth—there’s not a shadow of a doubt about it. We feel perfectly satisfied now with the case against Frank. If we had the least suspicion that his story were false, we could not feel satisfied—we would be puzzled and worried just as much as when the crime was first committed.
Conley’s evidence cinches the case against Frank. He will go on the witness stand in the trial of Frank and tell his story just as he has told it to the officers. There’s not a lawyer in the whole United States—no matter how shrewd he may be—who could shake that negro’s testimony—because it’s the truth. No person could doubt this after seeing him re-enact that tragedy in the pencil factory Friday. It was the most dramatic and remarkable spectacle ever witnessed here, and thoroughly convinced us that the negro was acting a role vividly impressed on his mind from already having portrayed it in tragic realism.
Conley’s story makes the case against Frank direct and positive. It is no longer a case of circumstantial evidence. We were already convinced that we could convict Frank with the web of circumstances woven about him, but now we have direct evidence on which to rely, and which is corroborated by this maze of condemning circumstances.
Conley will make no further confession—there’s none for him to make. There is not a feature of his story that causes me to doubt that he has told all he knows.
From the very first we suspected that Frank was guilty, but we were never prejudiced against him. We have entertained every possible theory and worked on many different lines, as have all of the detectives on the case, and have been open to conviction. But every bit of real evidence unearthed pointed to Frank, and now the confession of Conley makes it all plain—NEWPORT LANFORD, Chief of Detectives.