Is Shown to Have Been Peculiarly
Fitted for His Fearful Crime-
Has High Order of Criminal Capability.
(By Broughton Brandenburg.)
BEGINNING this careful and critical review of the points of the
skull and face of Leon Czolgosz as indications of his character,
the writer desires to say that there are few people who do not
laugh at phrenology and physiognemetry in the abstract, but that
is because they know so very little of it in the concrete. The
writer in a long period of amateur investigations and examinations
of all classes of human faces and heads, has as yet failed to
find an instance where a man's character is not as plainly written
thereon as the letters on a giant signboard would be, only that
it takes an understanding won by patience to perceive the characters
and translate them. Once this art is understood, the human race
is an open book to the reader. Let him who thinks it is a great
gain in power to be so equipped, pause and think what a loss it
is to be compelled to be ever aware of your enemies' good traits
and the blackening faults of your friends.
In this sketch the writer will give the salient
points in the nature of the murderer of President McKinley, as
observed during short periods in the assassin's presence, immediately
after arrest and while the private examinations were taking place
in District Attorney Penney's office. This has been supplemented,
for the sake of absolute accuracy, by some one hundred measurements
of the photographs of the condemned man.
In the first place, Czolgosz showed remarkable
development, for a young man, in certain faculties, and in all,
was fairly up to the average. Let it not be thought for a moment
that he was an ordinary man, stupid, a degenerate, a maniac or
a man of low, vicious propensities. He had qualities so far above
this level that if they had been rightly combined and supplemented
by a development of true idealism they would have made him an
admirable citizen instead of a victim of the electric chair.
In his domestic nature there were certain faculties
which render his career pathetic. These faculties lay in the base
of the brain at the back, and the writer found that he was fully
developed there, showing that he loved his home and his parents,
and his sense of patriotism was strongly developed but perverted
by a preponderance of a very bad combination of other characteristics.
His love of his family and of children was strong
but had been suppressed by his secretive, reticent faculty, one
of the most strongly developed faculties of its class the writer
has ever seen. The domestic qualities were all inherited from
his father and mother, both of whom have strong characteristics
of this sort, as their home and family show.
The lack of the bestial was shown notably behind
and before the ears. The physical vitativeness was not good nor
was the alimentiveness up to the average. The combative, or fighting,
sense was unnaturally raised and combined with the large faculty
of caution, was shown to be more defensive than offensive and
aggressive. Of love of life there was but a shred, and that accounts
for much of the prisoner's strange conduct after the crime. It
is not to be thought for a minute that he did not feel and know
the dreadfulness of his position, for his senses of perception
were fairly acute but he was lacking in the mind love of existence
and so, knowing that he would certainly be captured and killed
by law if not at the hands of the populace, he nevertheless did
as he thought was right, regardless of consequences to himself.
This seems to belie what has already been said about his extreme
caution, but the writer is positive that this feature is borne
out in the care which he took to conceal his accomplices, if he
had any, to get a perfect chance at the President and to conceal
his weapon and intentions so cleverly. He was a careful man with
the incentive, but holding little love of life, he had not the
functions, of the brain are like those of a clock of many parts;
all work together and each is dependent upon all.
let the development of his moral nature be considered. A man who
is good, will not do wrong, because his impulses are to do right
unless he abstain through fear of consequences, when his moral
nature has little to do with it.
Czolgosz was not morally a bad man. He was just about the average.
This combination of faculties was shown in height and breadth
of the top of the head. The very good man is always tall above
his ears and is frequently broader through the top of his head
than at the top of his ears. In faith, hope, veneration, sense
of right and wrong the murderer was fairly good, but not strong
enough or weak enough to bend him from the course in which he
was impelled by other strongly-developed faculties.
the artistic and poetic qualities there was a notable lack, for
his upper forehead and temples were depressed below the line of
the average curvature 25 per cent, of the maximum proportionate
radius calculated on the basis of the line from the ear-hole to
the eyeball, the one which is acceptedly used by all physiognometricists.
He was neither a dreamer, a poet, a musician, a mathematician,
an artist, a constructor nor a designer, though in the last two
features he was stronger than the other. The swell in the left
temple just above the little projection of the fine short hair,
indicated a plotting ability which, connected with the cunning
shown just back of the corner of the eye, enabled him to plan
so well what his caution told him was the best means to his end.
In the judgment of form, size, color, weight and distance he was
just about the average of young men of his age. In language he
was remarkably deficient. The hollow trench under the eye showed
have now considered all of the faculties, but those which impelled
him to the deed and it may be well to capitulate them, inasmuch
as a dissertation on the character of Leon Czolgosz is merely
an elaborated answer to the question: "Why, and how did he
and could he shoot the man whom everyone loved and revered?"
direct answer to this inquiry I found in the most phenomenal combination
of developed faculties which the writer has ever seen in a sane
many head. There was a ridge of developed faculties running around
the back of Leon Czolgosz's head, culminating in the love of approbation,
which explains why he did as he did.
was the dramatic instinct which spurred Czolgosz on to the perpetration
of his deed. The love of knowing that his name would be in the
mouths of the people and that, believing as he did in the truth
of the principles of anarchy, that future generations would rise
and call him great and make him a martyr.
must be remembered that with a very narrowed life, slender means
of education, squalid environment and little in general to lift
his standard of ideals, he must seek the ends of these dominant
faculties, he must gratify his love of approbation, his desire
for great action, and while in this state, with the full physical
vigor of a young blacksmith, he learned first of the doctrines
of the Reds. It is easy to convince how his eager mind should
grasp those fierce principles and make them its own.
had no high civic or personal ideals to restrain him; he had no
strong moral convictions to deter him, nor was his perception
keen enough for him to see that his end would be miserable and
without glory. It has been shown that he was combative, destructive
and had little love of life. Having been spurred on to murder
a President, or some other great one, there was nothing in his
own mind to balk him.
consider the qualities in his nature which, combined, made him
one of the greatest assassins of the world's history. They were
all found in this phenomenal ridge which runs around the back
of his head: Love of destruction, love of combat, great caution,
ability to maintain secrecy, firmness and continuity and love
writer does not hesitate to say that if Czolgosz's artistic nature
had been developed one half as much as his executive, he would
have made one of the greatest actors in the world's history. As
it was, he was equipped for his deed as few men could ever be,
and there is nothing to show that he committed it in absolutely
cold blood, even unbuoyed by an enthusiasm more than the selfish
determination to accomplish.
cunning was marvelous, his persistency most marked, his daring
wonderful, and his behavior after the deed and during his imprisonment
indicative of a character that is far above that of the brutal
thug who slays because his path is crossed.
these observations should be taken as praise for Czolgosz. the
writer has anticipated, and desires to say that they are not so
meant. To the scientific observer of human nature in its infinitely
varied forms there is no such thing as bad. There is a chain of
faculties, all developed to certain degrees, in the make-up of
each individual, and all are good faculties. There are no bad
ones. The Creator would not have given them to man if they had
been bad. It is merely the wrong use of these faculties that is
what is called bad. It is, to the observer, all a case of more
or less good and of bringing all the faculties to the highest
point of development.
the case of Leon Czolgosz, the trouble was that, with a very ordinary
development in his reasoning, perceptive, moral and domestic natures,
he has a wonderful over-development in his executive, and at a
critical moment, the one when he heard his first line of anarchy,
it was turned into the wrong path.
to the matter physiognometry, a few points in his face will but
reinforce what has been said above.
breadth and angle of his jaw showed his tremendous determination
and continuity. His upper lip was the lip of an actor and showed
the intense liking for approval. The corners of his mouth were
indicative of his cruel, destructive nature, and the eyelids showed
more plainly than anything else in the whole face the proud, secretive,
self-contained and self-sufficient character. The angle at which
the head was poised on the neck, not only in his photographs but
in his actual habit, was a certain sign of his reckless defiance
which arose from his desire for combat and lack of love of life.
The creases under his eyes showed that he had a poor command of
language. The greatest speakers invariably have puffy lower eyelids.
Orators who have not are not naturally orators, and their efforts
the cunning with which he plotted was shown in the development
of a little spot in his forehead at the edge of the temple, where
there is a little ridge.