Has Been Filed by the Physi-
cians Who Investigated His
TO BE SANE.
Doctors Declare that Czolgosz
Was a Product of Anarchy,
Sane and Responsible.
official report of Drs. Floyd S. Crego, Joseph Fowler and J. W.
Putnam on the examination conducted by them to ascertain the mental
condition of Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley,
was filed in the office of the district attorney this morning.
Important features of the report are as follows:
with your request to examine into the mental condition of Leon F.
Czolgosz and report to you the result of our findings, we respectively
submit the following:
conducting the examination of the prisoner, we eliminated all bias
and personal revenges which so revolting a crime might suggest,
to reach a just conclusion as to his mental state.
early opportunity afforded us to examine Czolgosz, such examination
begining but a few hours after the commission of the crime, while
he was still uninformed of the fate of his victim, and had time
to mediate upon the enormity of his crime, aided us materially in
report then goes on to give a physical description of Czolgosz.
The report then continues:
"At our first interview held Sept. 7th, he
made the following statement: 'I don't believe in the republican
form of government, and I don't believe we should have any rulers.
It is right to kill them. I had that idea when I shot the President,
and that is why I was there. I planned killing the President three
or four days ago after I came to Buffalo. Something I read, in the
Free Society suggested the idea. I thought it would be a good thing
for the country to kill the President. When I got to the grounds,
I waited for the President to go into the temple. I did not see
him go in, but someone told me he had gone in. My gun was in my
right pocket with a handkerchief over it. I put my hand in my pocket
after I got in the door; took out my gun and wrapped the handkerchief
over my hand. I carried it that way in the row until I got to the
President. No one saw me do it. I did not shake hands with him.
When I shot him I fully intended to kill him. I shot twice.
do not know if I would have shot again. I did not want to shoot
him at the Falls; It was my plan from the beginning to shoot him
at the temple. I read in the paper that he would have a public reception.
I know other men who believe what I do that it would be a good thing
to kill the President and have no rulers. I have heard that at the
meetings in public halls. I heard quite a lot of people talk like
that. Emma Goldman was the last one I heard. She said she did not
believe in government nor in rulers. She said a good deal more.
I can't remember all she said. My family does not believe as I do.
After I shot twice, they knocked me down and trampled on me. Somebody
hit me in the face.
fully understood what I was doing when I shot the President. I realized
that I was sacrificing my life. I am willing to take the consequences.
I have always been a good worker. I worked in a wire mill and could
always do as much work as the next man. I saved three or four hundred
dollars in five or six years. I know what will happen to me-if the
President dies I will be hung.
want to say to be published--"I killed President McKinley because
I done my duty. I don't believe in one man having so much service,
and another man should have none.'
the second day's examination we covered about the same ground as
on the previous day in order to test his memory and to compare his
statements. We found his memory perfect and his statements almost
identical. On this examination we gained some further information,
that for months he had been an ardent student of the false doctrines
of anarchy; that he had attended many circles where these subjects
were discussed. He related how a friend of his had broken away from
the circle because he had changed his views and did not agree with
him and the others in their radical ideas of government. He had
heard Emma Goldman lecture, and had also heard lectures on free
love by an exponent of that doctrine. He had left the, church five
years ago because, as he said, 'he didn't like their style.' He
had attended a meeting of anarchists about six weeks ago, and also
in July-had met a man in Chicago about ten days ago who was an anarchist,
and had talked with him. The Friday before the commission of this
crime, he had spent in Cleveland, leaving Buffalo, where he had
been for two or three weeks, and going to Cleveland-said he had
no particular business in Cleveland, just went there to look around
and buy a paper.
circle he belonged to had no name. They called themselves anarchists.
At every meeting they elected a chairman and usually it was one
man (mentions name).
was a sort of spokesman for the crowd. This friend of mine who left
the circle, I don't think much of. I don't like a man who changes
around like he did. I like a man to have a fixed purpose, and one
who sticks to his belief. At this circle we discussed presidents,
and that they were no good, but didn't say that they must be killed;
just said they were no good.'
the examination the prisoner was very indignant because his clothing
was soiled at the time of his arrest, and he had not had an opportunity
to care for his clothing and person as he wished. He refused to
demonstrate again how he covered his weapon with a handkerchief
because his was soiled and bloody. When given a clean one he showed
at once the method of concealing the weapon, and how he held it.
His desire to keep himself tidy demonstrated that he was not careless
in dress and appearance as are most insane persons. He requested
clean clothing, and as he had a small amount of money, a shirt and
two handkerchiefs were purchased for him with it. When they were
brought in the change was shown him. He instantly turned to the
officer and said 'How is that? Don't I get more change?' The cost
of the articles was told him, and he said: 'Oh, that's all right
then.' Said he would have slept well last night but for the noise
of people walking about. He heard several drunken people brought
into the station at night. Said he felt no remorse for the crime
which he had committed. Said he supposed he would be punished, but
every man had a chance on a trial; that perhaps he wouldn't be punished
so badly after all. His pulse on this occasion was 72-temperature
normal-not nervous nor excited.
September 9th, we observed a marked change in his readiness to answer
questions. Many of the questions asked he refused to answer. He
denied saying that he had killed the President or that he meant
to kill him. Seemed more on his guard, and refused to admit that
he shot the President. He persisted in this course until nearly
the close of the interview, and until we told him that it was too
late for him to deny statements that he had made to us. He then
said: 'I am glad I did it.'
all subsequent interviews he declined to discuss the crime in any
of its details with us but would talk about his general condition,
his meals, his sleep and how much he walked in the corridor of the
jail, or upon any other subject not relating to the crime. From
the daily reports filed with us we note that he talked freely with
his guards; that his appetite was always good; that he enjoyed his
walks which he took in the corridor of the jail. He told his guards
that he would not talk with his lawyers because he did not believe
in them, and did not want them.
conclusion," the report says, "as a result of the frequent
examinations of Czolgosz, of the reports of his watchers during
his confinement in the jail, of his behavior in court during the
trial, and at the time he received his sentence, we conclude that
he was sane at the time he planned the murder, when he shot the
President, and when he was on trial. We come to this conclusion
from the history of his life as it came from him. He had been sober,
industrious, and law-abiding; till he was twenty-one years of age,
he was as others of his class, a believer in the government of this
country and of the religion of his fathers. After he cast his first
vote he made the acquaintance of anarchistic leaders who invited
him to their meetings. He was a good listener, and in a short time
he adopted their theories. He was consistent in his adherence to
anarchy. He did not believe in government, therefore he refused
to vote. He did not believe in marriage, because he did not believe
in law. He killed the President because he was a ruler, and Czolgosz
believed as he was taught that all rulers were tyrants; that to
kill a ruler would benefit the people. He refused a lawyer because
he did not believe in law, lawyers or courts.
come to the conclusion that in the holding of these views Czolgosz
was sane, because these opinions were formed gradually under the
influence of anarchistic leaders and propagandists. In Czolgosz
they found a willing and intelligent tool; one who had the courage
of his convictions, regardless of personal consequences. We believe
that his statement, 'I killed the President because I done my duty,'
was not the expression of an insane delusion for several reasons.
The most careful questioning failed to discover any hallucinations
of sight or hearing. He had received no special command; he did
not believe he had been especially chosen to do the deed. He always
spoke as his motive for the crime as duty; he always referred to
the anarchist belief that the killing of rulers was a duty. He never
claimed the idea of killing the President was original with him,
but the method of accomplishing his purpose was his, and that he
did it alone. He is not a case of Paranoia, because he has not systematised
delusions reverting to self, and because he is in exceptionally
good condition, and has an unbroken record of god health. His capacity
for labor has always been good, and equal to that of his fellows.
These facts all tend to prove that the man has an unimpaired mind.
He has false beliefs, the result of false teaching and not the result
of disease. He is not to be classed as a denegerate, because we
do not find the stigmata of degeneration; his skull is symmetrical;
his ears do not protrude, nor are they of abnormal size, and his
palate not highly arched. Psychically he has not a history of cruelty,
or of perverted tastes and habits. He is the product of anarchy,
sane and responsible."
Commercial, November 2, 1901.
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