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  #771  
Old 08-12-2015, 05:10 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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50 years ago - 1965 August 15 - In England, George Ulycz, 39, dies from a stab wound to the chest. He had apparently invited someone back to his room who then killed him. Since, by all indications, Mr. Ulycz was not homosexual, some thought that the murderer, in this unsolved case, might have been a woman.
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  #772  
Old 08-13-2015, 05:39 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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50 years ago - 1965 August 16 - Outside of Tucson, Arizona, serial killer Charles Schmid murders sisters Gretchen and Wendy Fritz by strangulation. Schmid was eventually sentenced to 50 years in prison and, after a brief escape, was stabbed to death by fellow inmates in 1975.

50 years ago - 1965 August 16 - The four members of the Boles Family, as well as the family dog, are found shot to death in their Southern Californis cabin. The massacre remains unsolved and there is not much in the way of theories although there is one involving Zodiac.
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  #773  
Old 08-14-2015, 05:07 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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100 years ago - 1915 August 17 - A former Atlanta pencil factory manager Leo Frank is broken out of prison and hanged. Mr. Frank had earlier been convicted of murdering an employee named Mary Phagan, 14, and given the death penalty. That sentence was later commuted to life in prison due to doubts about Frank's guilt. None of the members of the lynch mob were ever convicted. In 1986, Frank was granted a tepid pardon that only affirmed that the state had failed to protect him so that he could continue to appeal his case through the courts. Today, the general consensus is that a factory janitor by the name of Jim Conley was the more likely culprit.
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  #774  
Old 08-14-2015, 09:29 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by sdreid View Post
100 years ago - 1915 August 17 - A former Atlanta pencil factory manager Leo Frank is broken out of prison and hanged. Mr. Frank had earlier been convicted of murdering an employee named Mary Phagan, 14, and given the death penalty. That sentence was later commuted to life in prison due to doubts about Frank's guilt. None of the members of the lynch mob were ever convicted. In 1986, Frank was granted a tepid pardon that only affirmed that the state had failed to protect him so that he could continue to appeal his case through the courts. Today, the general consensus is that a factory janitor by the name of Jim Conley was the more likely culprit.
There was a major problem that few people could understand about the events of 1986.

I happen to believe it was Jim Conley, but this is due to the "evidence" that surfaced in 1986. An extremely old man named Alonzo Mann told the press he saw Conley carrying the dead body of Mary Phagan, but being very young at the time he was scared off from saying anything because Conley threatened to kill him and his family if he did. So Mann kept quiet during Frank's circus of a trial, during the anti-Semitic atmosphere pumped up by local press baron Tom Watson, and during the aftermath when Governor John Slaton reduced the sentence (the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision in a poorly written - typically poorly written - decision of Associate Justice Mahlon Pitney of New Jersey; the only two who rejected this majority opinion were Oliver Wendell Holmes, and future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes). Slaton, a lawyer before he had his political career, did not think the evidence merited the death sentence, and commuted it to life imprisonment. This effectively destroyed Slaton's career, and he even moved his family to another state. While in prison Frank was stabbed and wounded by a fellow prisoner, and he was later broken out of prison and lynched.

Now the problem in 1986 with Mann's statement was that it was no longer of any judicial value. Had Mann made the statement in court in 1913, he could have been cross-examined by the district attorney of Atlanta to see how the "evidence" stood up. Conley would also have been cross-examined a bit more. By 1986 Mann was like one of the few contemporaries to the tragedy who was still alive. From the point of view of how we insist that witnesses face cross-examination, Mann's statement was questionable at best.

The state of Georgia knew that the fate of Leo Frank, and Watson's orchestrated anti-Semitic campaign, were black marks that had to be removed from it's record, but it just could not give the full pardon people outside the state expected. So it gave a secondary reason (failure to properly protect Frank) as it's reason. It is wimping out, but it is understandable about why it is wimping out.

If that is not enough of a reason to wonder about Mann's statement (which again, I feel probably makes Conley guilty) think about these points:

1) Conley may have been Frank's accomplice (as he was the janitor at the pencil factory, subject to orders from Frank who was the person who ran the pencil factory). When he made the threat to Mann he might have made it because to try to say "Mr. Frank is responsible!" might not hold water to any witness.

2) While the case is recalled for the anti-Semitism Watson caused, an equally unpleasant result came up. We don't usually think of it, but Jim Conley was always the secondary suspect (in some cases he would have been the primary suspect, except that Leo Frank was Jewish and born in the North). Frank supporters did not hesitate to point to Conley, and to bring up an extremely nasty anti-African American campaign, which in the South in 1913-1915 (when the K.K.K. was about to be reborn) was always active.
If you don't believe this, after the trial ended, and after the verdict was upheld, Jim Conley moved out of Georgia to the Midwest (probably Chicago) for safety sake.

3. A problem with Mann's statement (for me, anyway) is the improbability of Mann's reaction to Conley's supposed threat. Even if he was a kid of about 12 at that time, and had seen Conley carrying the murdered girl, I can't believe a Southern white boy, running away after hearing those threats, would not have told his family. In which case, Jim Conley would have been (in 1913) in deadly serious trouble. Male African-Americans were lynched, and even castrated and burned for supposedly disrespectful looks at white men and women in that day - this one told Mann he'd kill him and his family, and Mann failed to mention such a comment?

I might add that the descendants of Mary Phagan (through her brothers), including a great niece named Mary Phagan (who is a writer) still insist that Frank was guilty. So the actual issue of his guilt and innocence is up in the air (not universally settled).

Only one more thing is to explain my disdain for Mr. Justice Pitney. A Republican from New Jersey, he met then President William Howard Taft in 1912, and Taft was impressed enough to name him to a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. When Taft got on the court as Chief Justice in 1921 he soon realized that his actual abilities to pick good (if Conservative) judges failed him on this occasion. Pitney had seemed (like Taft) to be fair minded about labor unions, but by 1921 he had become totally hostile. Taft could have accepted that, but he could not accept Pitney's idiotic long windedness as a "dissenter" on the court.

Taft never (or rarely) agreed with Holmes and Louis Brandeis on their viewpoints when they dissented, but he and George Sutherland admired the style and intellectual vigor of their dissents (Taft later would write to Brandeis that despite their differences he and the Court were proud of him). Pitney noticed how much attention Holmes and Brandeis generated by these dissents, and started writing needless separate opinions and dissents of his own. But while Holmes and Brandeis added to the court's intellectual prestige, Pitney didn't. The great pair would stick to the main thread of the majority opinion to show why they did not share it. Pitney would go off on his own confusing everyone (to make up an example, if the case dealt with the equal protection clause for the constitution regarding corporations, Pitney might bring in total dicta about direct election of senators!). Fortunately for Taft Pitney's health began to decline, and he left the court in 1923. Taft was able to find a better replacement whom President Harding was able to push onto the court.

Pitney is remembered for one other thing. He was an ancestor of the actor Christopher Reeves.

Jeff
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  #775  
Old 08-17-2015, 05:35 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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50 years ago - 1965 August 20 - Jonathan Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian and civil rights activist, is cut down by a shotgun blast in front of an Alabama store. Daniels was attempting to enter the integrated business with two black women and a Catholic Priest named Richard Morrisroe when they were confronted by a gun wielding Tom Coleman. Father Morrisroe was also shot in the back but survived his wounds. The shooter was tried for the killing but, although none of the activists were armed, was acquitted on the grounds of self defense. Coleman died in 1997.
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  #776  
Old 08-19-2015, 05:20 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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50 years ago - 1965 August 22 - Hermann Schmitz, 25, is stabbed in the heart and murdered in a German lover's lane by serial killer Joachim Kroll. The victim's girlfriend escaped the attacker. Kroll was believed to have murdered at least 14 individuals from 1955-1976. In 1976, he was arrested when a sewer pipe in his neighborhood was found to be clogged with the internal organs of a little girl and more of her body parts were found cooking on his stove. Kroll was then sent to prison for life where he died in 1991.
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  #777  
Old 08-21-2015, 05:03 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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50 years ago - 1965 August 24 - Mariann Colby, 40, lures John Young Jr., 8, to her Ohio home by claiming that she might have his lost jacket. When John gets there, she shoots him in the head, killing him. In court, Colby was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to an asylum then released in 1972.
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  #778  
Old 08-21-2015, 11:19 AM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Quote:
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50 years ago - 1965 August 24 - Mariann Colby, 40, lures John Young Jr., 8, to her Ohio home by claiming that she might have his lost jacket. When John gets there, she shoots him in the head, killing him. In court, Colby was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to an asylum then released in 1972.
http://greendoch.com/finds/?p=53 has some accounts by children who lived in the neighborhood at the time.
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  #779  
Old 08-22-2015, 06:51 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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250 years ago - 1765 August 25 - In England, Maria Jenkins, a maid, kills her newborn son. She dropped him down into the pit of the latrine in her employer's backyard. Ms. Jenkins was convicted of murdering, what was referred to in contemporary parlance as, her bastard child and hanged in the following month.
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  #780  
Old 08-25-2015, 06:06 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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100 years ago - 1915 August 28 - William Burkitt of England stabs, his mistress, Mary Jane Tyler several times in the throat. He was tried for murder but only convicted of manslaughter. After a prison term, he was released and killed another female cohabitant then again only convicted of manslaughter. Back in prison, then out again, he killed another woman he was living with and, as usual, only convicted of manslaughter, however this time his prison sentence was permanent.

50 years ago -1965 August 28 - In Florida. Carmela Coppolino is killed with anesthetic poisoning. Dr. Carl Coppolino, her husband, was convicted of second degree murder but paroled in 1979. The doctor was also put on trial for killing the husband of his mistress in New Jersey but was acquitted on that charge.
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