Source: Medical News
Source type: journal
Document type: news column
Document title: “Echoes and News”
Date of publication: 9 November 1901
Volume number: 79
Issue number: 19
Pagination: 746-52 (excerpt below includes only pages 750-51)
|“Echoes and News.” Medical News 9 Nov. 1901 v79n19: pp. 746-52.|
|Leon Czolgosz (mental health); Czolgosz physicians (public statements).|
|Floyd S. Crego; Leon Czolgosz; Joseph Fowler; Thomas Penney; James W. Putnam.|
Echoes and News [excerpt]
Report of Physicians Who Examined into Czolgosz’s
Sanity.—Drs. J. W. Putnam, Floyd S. Crego and Joseph Fowler, the three local
physicians who examined Czolgosz regarding his mental competency, filed their
report with District Attorney Penney last Saturday. Their résumé is as follows:
“In conclusion, as a result of the frequent examinations of Czolgosz, of the
reports of his watchers during his confinement in jail, of his behavior in court
during the trial and at the time he received the sentence it may be stated 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 the conclusion from the story of his life as obtained from him that he had been sober, industrious and law-abiding. Until he was twenty-one years old he was as others of his class, a believer in the Government of his country and in 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 and to kill a ruler would benefit the people. He refused a lawyer because he did not believe in lawyers or courts.
“We 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 an intelligent and willing tool, one who had the courage of his convictions, regardless of personal consequences.
“We believe his statement, ‘I killed the President because I was doing my duty,’ was not the expression of an insane delusion for several reasons. The most careful questioning failed to discover any hallucinations of hearing. He had received no special commands; he did not believe he had been specially chosen to do the deed. He always spoke of his motive for the crime as duty. He always referred to the Anarchists as having taught that the killing of rulers was a duty. He never claimed that the idea of killing the President was original with him, but that 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 the systemized delusions diverting to self and because he is in an exceptionally good physical condition, and his unbroken record of good health and his capacity for labor have been 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 teachings and not the result of disease.
“He is not to be classified as a degenerate, because we do not find the stigmata of degeneration. His skull is symmetrical, his ears do not protrude, nor are they of abnormal size. His teeth are regular and his palate not highly arched. Physically he has not a history of cruelty or of perverted tastes and habits. He is the product of Anarchy, sane and responsible.”