Guessers See a Mystery in Dorsey-Hooper Trips
The Atlanta Journal
Tuesday, June 17, 1913
Speculation About Departure of Phagan Case Figures Not Credited, However
What is believed to be but a coincidence in the unheralded out-of-town trips of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who is to assist the solicitor in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank, and Attorney Thomas B. Felder, has given rise to a rumor that these lawyers really have gone on a secret mission of importance and one connected with the Phagan case.
Solicitor Dorsey left Atlanta Saturday afternoon, saying he was going to Atlantic City and New York for a week’s rest; Mr. Felder went away on Sunday, announcing that he was headed for Cincinnati, where he had business that was not of interest to the public; and Mr. Hooper left Monday afternoon, it being stated by his family that he had gone to Indianapolis on business and would return to Atlanta either Thursday or Friday.
Those who profess to scent a mystery in the departure of the three attorneys are allowing their speculations free range. One of the rumors set in motion is to the effect that Messrs. Dorsey, Hooper and Felder have arranged to meet in some eastern city to discuss some important feature of the Phagan case.
Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, and others who are posted as to the progress of the Phagan case, do not believe that the trips of the three lawyers have any relation whatever.
Chief Lanford and Detective Scott continue to accept as true the statement of the negro sweeper, James Conley, who swore that the only part he played in the Phagan murder was to assist Superintendent Frank to dispose of the body and to write the notes, which he says he did at the dictation of Frank.
It is claimed that Solicitor Dorsey and his investigators have in their possession evidence which strongly corroborates Conley’s story and that they are guarding this evidence very jealously in an effort to keep any inkling of it away from the defense. It was this evidence, it is said, which satisfied the solicitor general that the case against Frank was complete and that he could afford to take a much-needed vacation before the trial.
On the other hand the defense continues to ridicule the efforts made by the prosecution to substantiate Conley’s confession. The defense, it is said, has a few cards up its sleeve which it promises to play at the trial and which may result in some surprises.