Czolgosz in Death Cell
ASSASSIN REGAINS HIS NERVE AFTER ENTERING PRISON.
Shrieks with Terror When Penitentiary Officers Remove His Clothes—Slayer
President McKinley Again Denies That He Had Any Accomplices in His
and Expresses Regret for His Deed and Sorrow for the Widow—May See
Auburn, N. Y., Sept. 27.—[Special.]—In
one of the death cells at the Auburn penitentiary tonight is Leon
F. Czolgosz, assassin of President McKinley, once more cool, calm,
and indifferent to his fate. He knows he will leave the cell only
to go to the electric chair, but the doomed man has regained his
There are five cells for condemned
men in the prison, and Czolgosz was placed in the only vacant cell,
so all now are occupied.
Two keepers are constantly in the
room, which is separate from the main prison, to guard against an
attempt on Czolgosz’s part to commit suicide. Two more guards have
been added, and one will constantly sit in front of Czolgosz’s cell
and will have a key so that any attempt at self-destruction may
Czolgosz, in the custody of Sheriff
Caldwell of Erie County and twenty-one deputies, arrived in Auburn
at 3:15 o’clock this morning. The prison is only about fifty yards
from the depot. Awaiting the train was a crowd of about 200 persons.
Either for fear of the crowd, which was not demonstrative, or from
sight of the prison, Czolgosz’s legs gave out and two Deputy Sheriffs
were compelled practically to carry the man into the prison.
Cries and Moans in Terror.
Inside the gate Czolgosz’s
condition became worse and he was dragged up the stairs and into
the main hall. He was placed in a sitting posture on the bench while
the handcuffs were being removed, but he fell over and moaned and
groaned, evincing the most abject terror. As soon as the handcuffs
were unlocked the man was dragged into the principal keeper’s office.
As in the case of all prisoners the
officers immediately proceeded to strip the condemned man and put
on a new suit of clothes. During this operation Czolgosz cried and
yelled, making the prison corridors echo with evidence of his terror.
The prison physician, Dr. John Gerin,
examined the man and ordered his removal to the cell in the condemned
row, which he will occupy until he is taken to the electric chair.
The doctor declared that the man was suffering from fright and terror,
but said that he was shamming to some extent.
Story of Accomplice Denied.
En route from Buffalo
Czolgosz reiterated his former statement that he had had no accomplices
and declared that he never had heard of the man under arrest in
St. Louis, who claimed to have tied the handkerchief over his hand,
concealing the pistol with which the President was shot. He said
the handkerchief was not tied. He went behind the Temple of Music,
arranged the handkerchief to hide the weapon, and then took his
place in the crowd. By Jailer Mitchell he sent this message to his
father: “Tell him I am sorry I left such a bad name for him.”
Speaking of his crime, Czolgosz said:
“I am sorry I did it.”
Sorry for Mrs. McKinley.
“One thing more I want
to tell. I would give my life, if it were mine to give, if I could
help Mrs. McKinley. That is the saddest part of it. But what is
the use talking about that now? The law is right, it is just. It
was just to me and I have no complaint, only regret.”
“If you had to do it over again would
you do it?”
“No, I would not. It was a mistake.”
“Was your mind influenced by reading
Anarchist newspapers or books?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you know anybody in Paterson,
N. J., and Anarchists?”
“No, I don’t know anybody there.”
“Was your trial fair?”
“Yes, it was fairer than I thought
I would get. The Judge could not help doing what he did. The jury
could not; the law made them do it. I don’t want to say now it was
wrong. It was fair to me and it was right. I have nothing to say
The last question asked him was if
he would have a priest and if he hated religion.
“I don’t want to be ashamed,” he said.
“Maybe I will see a priest—maybe I will. It is worse than I thought
it would be.”