Mary Phagan was born on June 1, 1899 in Marietta, Georgia. Mary was an employee of the National Pencil Factory in Atlanta, where she was raped, strangled and murdered, supposedly by Leo Frank, on April 26, 1913.
Evidence was later found that pointed the true fault and guilt of the crime at Jim Conley, a 29 year old black janitor at the factory. Conley was found on the day of Fagan's murder cleaning a blood drenched shirt. He claimed that the stains were rust stains, after trying to hide the shirt. Later, Conley denied, under oath, that he had a grade school education and could read and write. Conley had a record of drinking and violence, and had served a sentence on the chain gang. Conley eventually confessed to the murder, but only after Leo Frank was lynched.