MOVED BY CURSE
OF FATHER AND SISTER'S TEARS
of Last Farewell Prove Trying Moments
for Assassin, But He Represses His Emotions
and Defends Crime Against Nation
2 o'clock this afternoon Leon F. Czolgosz. the Anarchist assassin
of President McKinley, will be arraigned before Justice Truman C.
White, who will sentence him to death in the electric chair.
Czolgosz exhibited a desire during the progress
of the trial to make a speech in defense of his crime and of the
principles of anarchy which he represents. Had not strenuous diplomacy
been resorted to it is not unlikely that Czolgosz would have arisen
in court and blunderingly attempted to defend his act Tuesday afternoon.
Today Justice White, following the usual legal
procedure, will ask the prisoner if he has anything to say as to
why sentence should not be pronounced upon him. There is considerable
speculation as to whether the prisoner will make a statement or
not. It is known that he desires to make one, but it is doubtful
if he possesses either the ability of expression or the unwavering
determination of purpose to carry out his will. By the time he appears
in court this afternoon his spirit may be so broken that when he
is asked if he desires to speak he may simply shake his head and
let the opportunity pass.
was a trying day for the assassin. He heard from his father's lips
an oath cursing the day that he was born. He saw his sister's tears
and heard her wails, "Poor brother, poor boy." He saw
his brother's fixed face and look of pity which is not expressed
in words. In all of this, probably his last meeting with his family,
he preserved the imperturbability which is characteristic of the
Anarchist trained for a monstrous crime.
Czolgosz's great desire is said to be to talk
to the newspapers. In this he is carrying out his anarchial teachings
to the letter. He had been instructed that when all hope was gone
to use every effort to spread the teachings of anarchy.
ATTEMPT TO TALK.
the freedom of speech by the authorities he would talk until the
moment of his death, proudly boasting of his crime and justifying
it with the false method of anarchial reasoning. Every fair means
will undoubtedly be resorted to to discourage Czolgosz in his wish
to make a statement in court today. In case he does speak it is
likelIy that he will repeat his declaration that he killed the President
because he thought it was his duty and after floundering through
a few disconnected sentences become embarrassed and sit down. It
is more likely, however, that the "strenuous diplomacy"
and decorum of the law will awe him to silence when the opportunity
comes for him to speak.
of Greatest Interest Is Whether
Anarchist Czolgosz Will Harangue the
Court in Defense of His Deed.
the sentence thirty days must elapse before the electrocution. The
maximum which the law allows between the time of sentence and the
execution of the death penalty is sixty days. There is no reason
why Czolgosz should be given more time upon earth than he is legally
entitled to. The thirty days after sentence will have elapsed on
October 26th, which will come on Saturday. Czolgosz will undoubtedly
be electrocuted on Monday, October 28th. As soon after the death
sentence is pronounced as is consistent with safety, the prisoner
will be removed from the County Jail to the Auburn prison, in the
chair of which institution he will meet his death.
Attorney Penney has decided to withhold from the public the details
of the report of the alienists who examined Czolgosz. It is known,
however, that these reports contain many things which throw interesting
light upon the mind of the criminal. While there was no doubt as
to his sanity, a condition of moral disease was found. His brain
is said to be of a peculiarly receptive character. Had he been thrown
into the society of fanatics of any sort before the teachings of
anarchy were absorbed by his mental faculties he would have as readily
become the follower of other teachings. Under favorable conditions
he would have been a Mormon or a vegetarian. He is capable of only
a narrow course of reasoning in which he is fanatically stubborn.
is the opinion of the best mental experts who have examined Czolgosz
that he is entirely incapable of having planned and carried out
the assassination of President McKinley without suggestion and encouragement
from others. Whether this encouragement was given Czolgosz in a
suggestive way or come to him in the form of absolute direction
is a point upon which the experts differ and which they say is for
the authorities to determine by legal process.
Attorney Penney has given no indication that he will prosecute alleged
accomplices. Just what legal proof susceptible of interpretation
into convincing evidence it is possible to obtain is doubtful.
In the minds of the experts there is no doubt. The Courier's investigations
have proved that others had at least gullty knowledge that Czolgosz
contemplated the assassination of the President. When the case of
Czolgosz is entirely disposed of the authorities may proceed to
investigate the plot. There is no hope that Czolgosz will reveal
anything that will implicate others. Unless the contemplation of
death works a marked change in his mental condition he will go to
the electric chair proudly defending his principles and ,his crime.
Sister Breaks Into Tears and Affectionately
Kisses Him on the ForeheadHe Relapses
Into His Stolid Taciturnity.
F. Czolgosz looked for the last time upon the faces of his father,
his brother Waldeck and his sister Victoria yesterday. He heard
his father's curse. He saw his sister's tears. In his brother's
eyes he saw the look of pity. He heard the last good-bye that he
will know from his family. For thirty-five minutes he was under
the pressure that tests men's souls. He wavered. His mask of unconcern
was broken. The mist of tears was in his eyes. His chin trembled.
But through thirty-five minutes of this most trying ordeal he kept
his faith. He was true to the teachings of anarchy.
11 o'clock yesterday morning, accompanied by Assistant District
Attorney Haller, Chief of Detectives Cusack and Detectives Solomon
and Geary, Paul Czolgosz the Anarchist's father, Waldeck, his brother
and Victoria, his sister, went to his cell in the county jail. As
the barred door was swung open his sister rushed in, threw her arms
about the neck of the prisoner and with sobs choking her until the
words were almost inaudible, exclaimed:
"Why did you do it, Leon? Oh, God, why did
you do it?"
all the love and tenderness of sisterly devotion the little woman
kissed the forehead of the murderer of a President. She turned away
weeping, hiding her face in her hands. With face set and stern,
yet with all the suppressed emotion of a true father, Paul Czolgosz
extended his hand to his son. He uttered an oath in his native tongue.
He denied his offspring. He cursed the day that Leon F. Czolgosz
was born, but even in his anger his voice choked with sobs. The
brother simply looked upon the scene in silence.
Then the sister spoke again. She told what the
family had suffered at their home in Cleveland. She recited the
story of the disgrace that had been brought upon the family name.
She told of the old friends that had deserted them.
told of the finger of shame that was pointed at them. Of the dishonor
that will follow as long as life shall last and the name of Czolgosz
lives. Then she broke down once more in a fit of weeping.
"Oh, Leon, why did you do this? Who told
you to do such a thing? You were not a bad boy at home. You never
did this alone."
The man who coolly murdered William McKinley and
who has defiantly and proudly acknowledged his crime, who listened
to the words that meant his doom with hardly a quiver seemed to
suffer mental anguish. He was silent for a moment as if at loss
for words. Then he said:
"I don't see why they blame you. I did this
alone. nobody told me to do it and I don't know why they should
For the first time since the curse-greeting the
"Where did you get such doctrines? Who taught
DEFENDS HIS CRIME.
prisoner then talked of his crime, defending it and declaring that
by reading anarchistic papers he had been convinced that the President
was an oppressor and a tyrant and should die.
The minutes dragged on with great spaces of silence,
broken only by the sister's sobs. Oft-repeated was her wail: "Why
did you do this Leon, why did you do it?"
Finally it came the moment for the last good-bye.
The sister once more threw her arms about her brother's neck and
buried her face upon his shoulder. She cried as only women cry and
then said: "Good-bye, Leon, good-bye-good-bye."
FATHER'S COLD FAREWELL.
father took the hand of his son and shook it lightly as a man would
shake the hand of an acquaintance he did not wish to meet. The brother
shook the assassin's hand and whispered a word of farewell. Then
the party left Leon F. Czolgosz in the gloom and darkness of his
cell. They had looked upon his face for the last time in life.
As the sister moved away clinging to her father's
arms, she turned to Chief of Detectives Cusack and exclaimed:
"Be good to him, won't you? Don't hurt him,
don't be cruel."
Through all this ordeal Czolgosz, the prisoner,
the man doomed to death, failed to shed a tear. Only the mist of
sorrow was in his eyes. It was not the regret of his monstrous crime
that affected him. It was the parental affection that is born even
in the lowest brutes.
For two hours he sat sullenly on the bench of
his cell, his hands upon his chin, his elbows on his knees. If ever
there can come to him in this life a realization of the meaning
of his crime and of the great mystery of death it must have come
after that last farewell. It was the most trying time that he will
know until he sits in the electric chair, the black cap is drawn
over his features and he faces the great eternity.
NO SYMPATHY IN CRIME.
the members of the family who came here are not in sympathy with
the assassin, it was only natural that they should come to Buffalo
to call on him before the words are pronounced which send him to
"I wonder what brought them here?" inquired
District Attorney Penney, in conversation with a Courier reporter
on Tuesday night. "We did not send for them," he said.
"and it was my belief that they might have been sent here by
some newspaper anxious to get a story."
Despite the antipathy which they have for their
relative, with the stain of murder upon his hands, their meeting
had its affectionate side. The murderer has a strong affection for
his sister Victoria, and when he opened his arms on her coming toward
him, she rushed to his embrace and he kissed her with a tenderness
that even the detectives, who had seen so much of him, hardly believed
The relatives left Buffalo early in the afternoon,
taking a train for Cleveland, which left shortly after 2 o'clock,
Detective Solomon accompanying them to the station and seeing them
aboard the train.
Yesterday morning a Polish priest called upon
District Attorney Penney and asked permission to see and talk with
Czolgosz. That official denied the priest the privilege he craved,
saying that he would be unable to let him have religious counsel
until after sentence had been pronounced.
"I doubt if he will want your kind offices,"
said the District Attorney, "but I assure you that if he does,
after sentence has been pronounced, we will consider the matter
and you will hear from us."
Courier, September 26, 1901.
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