Source: Buffalo Courier
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Many Cranks Pester the District Attorney with Absurd Advice”
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 66
Issue number: 264
|“Many Cranks Pester the District Attorney with Absurd Advice.” Buffalo Courier 21 Sept. 1901 v66n264: p. 8.|
|Thomas Penney; McKinley assassination (investigation: Buffalo, NY); McKinley assassination (public response); Thomas Penney (public statements); McKinley assassination (poison bullet theory).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Harvey R. Gaylord; Emma Goldman; Herbert M. Hill [first name wrong below]; Thomas Penney.|
Many Cranks Pester the District Attorney with Absurd Advice
Tips from Eager Amateur Detectives Mingle with Demands from
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 unnecessary.
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.”