Czolgosz to Die at 7 Tomorrow
Assassin of President Will Go to Electric Chair
in Auburn with Scant Ceremony.
CURRENT TESTED DAILY.
Prisoner Crazed with Fear When He Hears Workmen Preparing for His
SENTENCE NOT YET READ.
Auburn, N. Y., Oct. 27.—[Special.]—The
time that Leon F. Czolgosz, assassin of President McKinley, has
to live is reckoned by hours now, but there has been no relaxation
of the stringent rule under which the prisoner has been secluded
since his confinement. Auburn prison was closed today to any man
who sought the assassin, and so it will remain until the prisoner
has paid the penalty, which the law exacts. In fact, the plan to
deprive Czolgosz living of any notoriety has been extended to deprive
Czolgosz dead of notoriety.
The hour of 7 on Tuesday morning is
the time set by Warden J. Warren Mead for the execution.
Czolgosz Shows Alarm.
Murderer Czolgosz called his guard
to the cell door today and remarked: “They’re getting the chair
ready. I hear them.”
Father Hyacinthe Fudzinski of Buffalo,
who visited the assassin last Friday, was with him for nearly an
hour this evening. He came from Buffalo on a late train. After leaving
the prison he said that the assassin was in a better frame of mind
and more disposed to accept consolation. He would not say, however,
that the assassin had repented. Father Fudzinski said that the prisoner
was in a morbid, highly nervous state, so paralyzed with fear that
he is in a semi-stupor, which gives him an appearance of indifference.
Would Live Different Life.
“He has admitted that if he had his
life to live over he would be a different fellow,” said the priest.
“I have strong hopes for him.”
He volunteered it as his personal
belief that the assassin was on the verge of collapse at the end
and might be carried to the death chair.
Father Fudzinski would not say that
he would accompany the assassin to the death chair. He would not
say that the assassin had asked him to do so. The father said he
would offer his services and hoped they would be accepted.
“He is a strange product—a puzzle,”
said the priest.
Dead to World Since Midnight.
It is understood that an unrepealed
law has been found that will allow the warden to refuse any request
for Czolgosz’s body from even his relatives, and will give the warden
the privilege of disposing of it. In that event within two hours
after the execution, unless Dr. McDonald makes an analysis of the
brain, Czolgosz’s body, clothes, letters, and everything reminiscent
of him in the prison will be disposed of; the body of the assassin
will be buried in quicklime, and the clothes, letters, and packages
will be consumed by fire. And this is not all.
Warden Mead, with Superintendent Collins’
approval, has decided that for the next thirty hours preceding the
execution of Czolgosz not one word of his condition or actions shall
be given out from the prison. In other words, the man, beginning
from midnight, is practically dead, so far as the public is concerned.
When his death is accomplished Warden
Mead will give out a brief statement of the prisoner’s last hours,
including any confession he may make. The result of the autopsy
will also be given out by the Warden.
Formal Report to Go Out.
At the execution on Tuesday, Dr.
Carlos F. McDonald of New York and Prison Physician Gerin will be
the attending physicians, and the priests, if any are requested
by Czolgosz, will be the two Polish ones that have heretofore visited
him. State Controller Erastus Knight of Buffalo has been asked to
be foreman of the official jury, and will be here. The rest of the
jury of twelve men is made up of prominent individuals, including
some other State officials.
Rumored Change in Time.
Various reports changing that time
have gone through Auburn today and tonight. One rumor places the
time at 7 o’clock tomorrow, but that is discredited by the fact
that Superintendent of State Prisons Cornelius V. Collins will not
arrive here until 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, and none of the
regularly summoned witnesses has yet reached Auburn.
The chair in which Czolgosz will sit
to receive the deadly electrical shock was examined and tested today
by State Electrician E. F. Davis and is ready for the part that
it is to play in the final scene of the great national tragedy.
Davis carefully examined the wiring, switchboard, and electrodes
and satisfied himself that they were in good condition. He also
inspected the dynamos in the prison shop where the current is generated,
and at his direction the current was for a brief period sent pulsating
into the deathhouse as it will go on Tuesday morning, carrying final
punishment to the murderer.
Prison Officials Drilled.
Electrician Davis will look the apparatus
over again tomorrow, and review with the prison officials the plan
under which the sentence of death is to be carried out.
Czolgosz will be the fifty-ninth man
in the State and the fifteenth at Auburn prison at whose electrocution
Davis has applied the current.
The death warrant has not yet been
read to the prisoner, but it is believed that it will be tomorrow
afternoon. The general practice is to read this paper some time
after the commencement of the period for execution designated by
the court. That period in this commenced at midnight tonight.
Dr. Carlos F. McDonald of New York
City, who examined Czolgosz in Buffalo and pronounced the prisoner
sane, has been anxious to take away with him from the autopsy the
assassin’s brain for purposes of microscopical examination. Permission
Father Sends Last Message.
Cleveland, O., Oct. 27.—The last
message from the father of Leon Czolgosz was sent this afternoon,
when the elder Czolgosz said:
“Tell Leon that I hope that he may
rest in peace, that he will become reconciled to God, and will meet
his end bravely. Tell him that as much as I and all of our family
regret his most unhappy plight, we can do nothing to interfere;
that he alone is responsible for his unfortunate position, and that
he must meet his punishment as a consequence.”