Newt Lee

Eddie Hinds

The middle-aged African American night watchman at the National Pencil Company the night that Mary was killed. A middle-aged janitor, greying at the temples, downtrodden, put upon.

He has one, slow song which, ideally, should be sung in a deep, mournful voice and joins in with Angela, Riley, Minola “Minnie” McKnight and Jim Conley at the beginning of Act Two with “Rumblin’ and a Rollin'”.


“Interrogation: “I Am Trying to Remember…” – with Leo Frank, Detective Starnes and Officer Ivey
“Rumblin’ and a Rollin'” – with Angela, Riley, Minola and Jim


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At about 3:17 a.m. on April 27, that Newt went to the factory basement to use the “Colored” toilet. Lee said he discovered the body of a dead girl and called the police, meeting them at the front door and leading them to the body. Mary Phagan’s body was found dumped in the rear of the basement near an incinerator. Her dress was hiked up around her waist and a strip from her petticoat was torn off and wrapped around her neck. Her face was blackened and scratched. Her head was bruised and battered. A seven-foot strip of quarter-inch wrapping cord tied into a loop was around her neck buried a quarter inch deep. Initially, there was an appearance of rape. Based on the ashes and dirt from the floor that were stuck to her skin, it appeared that she and her assailant had struggled in the basement.

Newt was suspected for a while until procecutor Hugh Dorsey thought “hangin’ another nigger wasn’t good enough this time”.

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