Though published photographs clearly depicted the faces of his assailants, no one was ever arrested. On the morning of July 22, 1899, a white mob abducted Frank from officers transporting him to stand trial. He had been arrested roughly a month earlier, accused of assaulting a young white girl. Though he was scheduled to stand trial on July 22, he was lynched instead when the town’s residents grew impatient and decided to take “justice” into their own hands.
According to newspaper accounts, the mob attacked officers transporting Embree, seized him, and loaded him into a wagon, then drove him to the site of the alleged assault. Once there, Embree’s captors immediately tried to extract a confession by stripping him naked and whipping him in front of the crowd, but he steadfastly refused despite this abuse. After more than one hundred lashes, Embree began screaming. He told the men that he would confess and, rather than plead for his life, begged them to stop the torture and kill him swiftly.
Embree, his body covered in blood from the whipping and skinned, with no courtroom or legal system in sight, offered a confession to the waiting lynch mob and was immediately hanged from a tree. According to a reporter’s account which was not added to the newspaper details about his capture and death, Frank was castrated and made to eat parts of his manhood before he was finally led to an oak tree to be hanged.