Many Cranks Pester the District Attorney with
Tips from Eager Amateur Detectives Mingle with
Demands from Freaks
Who Would Wreak Personal Vengeance Upon the Assassin.
One of the very busiest men in the
country is District Attorney Penney. His office is thronged from
morning till night with people and his mail is huge. This extra
amount of labor is caused by the fact that the Czolgosz case is
of such general importance and so widely advertised that hundreds
of cranks have taken it upon themselves to offer fool suggestions.
At least fifty letters are received
each day, which are full of advice as to how to handle the assassin.
Some beseech that the writers be allowed to see Czolgosz in jail,
and assure Mr. Penney that if he will allow this a trial will be
The bulk of the letters, however,
contain vague and uncertain tips on plots and counterplots. Emma
Goldman’s name figures in at least half of them. Every amateur detective
in the country has turned his undivided attention to the surveillance
of every suspicious-looking Pole or Italian, and the results of
his observations, magnified by his fancy, are communicated by the
next mail to Mr. Penney, who reads it carefully through to see if
there is a grain of value in it.
When asked for the privilege of printing
some of these crank communications, Mr. Penney refused, laughingly,
saying that they were for the most part so foolish that nobody would
believe they were genuine. “Besides,” said he, “they are all gone
into the waste basket now and I hope not to get any tomorrow.”
The rumors afloat concerning the progress
of Dr. Gaylord in his bacteriological examinations, and Chemist
Herman Hill in his analytical work, Mr. Penney refused to confirm.
“Those matters are in the hands of
men who are advised to keep all information conserved for the use
of the District Attorney’s office. I do not believe it is wise for
me to tell you what we may have discovered. If it has a bearing
on the case it will be adduced at the time of the trial.”