Publication information

Chicago Daily Tribune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Alienists Find Czolgosz Sane”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Chicago, Illinois
Date of publication: 10 September 1901
Volume number: 60
Issue number: 253
Part/Section: 1
Pagination: 1-2

“Alienists Find Czolgosz Sane.” Chicago Daily Tribune 10 Sept. 1901 v60n253: part 1, pp. 1-2.
full text
Leon Czolgosz (mental health); Leon Czolgosz (psychiatric examination); Thomas Penney (public statements); McKinley assassination (investigation: secrecy); Leon Czolgosz (prosecution); McKinley assassination (government response); Thomas Penney (staff: public statements); Leon Czolgosz (prosecution: legal precedents); McKinley assassination (connection with Haymarket bombing); McKinley assassination (investigation of conspiracy).
Named persons
William S. Bull; Henry A. Childs; Floyd S. Crego; Leon Czolgosz; Joseph Fowler; Philander C. Knox; William McKinley; Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.; Thomas Penney [misspelled below 4 of 5 times]; Elihu Root.
The article continues onto page 2, thereupon bearing the title “Experts Find Man Sane” and these subheads, which vary somewhat from those found at the beginning of the article on page 1:

Declare No Trace of Disease Is Revealed—Governor Odell May Convene Special Grand Jury—Holds Conference with Secretary Root and They Decide to Have Case Rushed as Much as Possible—Assassin Shows No Signs of Breaking Down.

Alienists Find Czolgosz Sane


Experts Examine the Assassin at Buffalo and Discover No Trace of Mental Disease.
Governor Odell Confers with Secretary Root and Special Grand Jury May Be Called Soon.
District Attorney Says Information Is Pouring in from All Parts of the World, But Is Not Convincing.

     Buffalo, N. Y., Sept. 9.—[Special.]—Leon F. Czolgosz was pronounced sane by the physicians who examined him late this afternoon at the request of the District Attorney and in his presence.
     It is a peculiarity of this crime and criminal that the suggestion of insanity never has been taken seriously by those familiar with the man and the deed. For the protection of the prosecuting evidence the District Attorney deemed it well to have an examination by experts made today.
     The policy of secrecy was preserved. Superintendent of Police Bull went to the District Attorney’s office late this afternoon and met by appointment Police Surgeon Joseph Fowler and Dr. Floyd S. Crego, an alienist who has testified in almost every case tried in this country in recent years where the question of sanity was raised. An arrangement was made for a meeting at police headquarters, and thence the doctors, and Superintendent, and District Attorney Penny went singly.
     The prisoner’s examination took place in the office of the Superintendent of Police, which may be reached direct from the cell-room where Czolgosz is held. It lasted an hour, and the examining committee then dispersed singly. Mr. Penny went out the front door of police headquarters. Dr. Crego was allowed to depart from a rear door which is rarely opened. Dr. Fowler emerged from another unused exit. All were under agreement to say nothing of the examination.

No Insanity in Family.

     In the hour Czolgosz was before the physicians he was questioned concerning his antecedents, and declared there never had been a case of insanity in his family, nor had there been cases of disease likely to affect the reason.
     Dr. Crego took measurements of Czolgosz’s head, examined his eyes, and made a general physical survey of the would-be assassin. He and Dr. Fowler said without hesitancy that the man was entirely sane, and in their judgment was sane when he attempted to kill the President.

Is Not Breaking Down.

     Dr. Fowler was asked if Czolgosz showed any signs of breaking down, and if he found any evidence of collapse which has been reported.
     “No,” said he, “he has not broken down. He is in good health and as well as when I examined him on Saturday. He is not going to collapse.”

Fail to Prove Plot as Yet.

     District Attorney Penny said: “I cannot make any statement regarding the examination. We are doing our best to fix the crime. We are receiving information from all parts of the world, and we are investigating.”
     “With what result?” he was asked.
     “No result,” he answered.
     Mr. Penny’s attitude seems to be that there is, as yet, no evidence of a conspiracy to remove the President.
     Governor Odell was here on Saturday and returned to Newburgh on Sunday. While here he held a consultation with Secretary Root and District Attorney Penney of Buffalo, at which it was decided to push the case against Czolgosz and his fellow-conspirators, if any there be, with all speed.
     Mr. Root is familiar with State, interstate, national, and international law, and for that reason it was not necessary to await the arrival of Attorney General Knox before deciding the steps to bring Czolgosz to justice.
     Governor Odell will return to Buffalo on Saturday, and, it was announced tonight, is to call an extraordinary session of the grand jury for Erie County to indict Czolgosz, and Henry A. Childs, Supreme Court Justice for the Eighth District, is to be designated by Governor Odell to preside at the trial.
     The full penalty on conviction is ten years in State prison.

Decide Not to Summon President.

     It has been practically decided, it was further declared not to summon President McKinley as a witness for the prosecution, for the reason that they [sic] are sufficient witnesses to tell of Czolgosz’s guilt. The assassin has no lawyer to defend him, and it may be that the court will be compelled to assign a lawyer to put in the best plea possible for him.
     Governor Odell, in his talks with Secretary Root, discussed the advisability of sending to the Legislature at the approaching session, a recommendation that a law be enacted making it treason to the national government to attempt the life of the Chief Magistrate, the penalty to be the same as the conviction for treason—death.
     No decision was reached as to this phase of the situation, but it is to be strongly urged on the Governor’s return to Buffalo.
     A member of the District Attorney’s staff said today:
     “The Illinois statutes under which the Chicago Anarchists were tried are substantially the same as the New York statutes. The identity of the person who threw the Haymarket bomb was not known, but eight members of the revolutionary society which had openly advocated the overthrow of law by violence were indicted for murder and convicted upon the trial. Great latitude was allowed in the introduction of proof to show the combination on the part of the defendants and ther [sic] members of society to which they [1][2] belonged forcibly to resist the officers of the law and to kill them if necessary. The case was taken to the United States Supreme Court upon allegation of error that the formation of the jury was improper, that the dwellings of the defendants were unlawfully searched, and generally that the rights of the defendants were violated. The judgment of conviction was unanimously confirmed.
     “There is no doubt that the Chicago case is a precedent which will be followed in this State, as it involves almost every question that could be raised upon an indictment of the members of the society to which Czolgosz belongs for complicity in his crime.
     “If it can be shown that there was a conspiracy to commit some felony, even though not the one actually committed, all the subsequent acts and declarations of those connected with the conspiracy to further the common object may be received in evidence upon a proceeding against and [sic] one or more of the conspirators. This proposition is fully established.”