To Buffalo under Watchful Eyes
Czolgasz’s Family Leave Cleveland This Morning.
Father Hopes to Learn Much from His Son.
Paul Czolgasz, the father of the
assassin, with his wife, a son, and possibly his daughter, will
leave over the Lake Shore at 8 o’clock this morning for Buffalo.
The party will be accompanied by Detective Jake Mintz, who arranged
Some time ago Paul Czolgasz called
at Mintz’s office and requested that Mintz accompany him when he
went to Buffalo, as he feared that his life would be in danger.
The old man expressed his contempt for the act of his son. He said
that his son should receive the punishment that is his due, and
claimed that he was ready and willing to help the government in
every way. Any testimony that he can give to clear up the mystery,
if any there be, he will give voluntarily, he said. His wife will
also appear for the state if necessary, and also the brother and
sister, if called. As far as is known the evidence will not be material,
but there may be some light thrown on the past life of the culprit
that may lead to the exposition of a conspiracy. The father is extremely
anxious to do everything in his power to relieve himself of odium,
and it may be that his presence will break the prisoner’s silence.
He will try to get his son to tell
what led him to commit the terrible act, as he believes that someone
instigated the crime. It may be that when the father implores the
son to tell all, before they part forever, that the stolid indifference
of the assassin will change. The father is paying all of the expenses
of the trip and goes voluntarily as a witness for the prosecution.
He is fearful, however, that he will be attacked by a mob, and for
that reason takes along Detective Mintz for a bodyguard. Mintz himself
thinks that the job will be a ticklish one, but will use every effort
to protect his clients. Upon the arrival in Buffalo a carriage will
be taken and they will drive directly to the office of Prosecutor
Penney and further plans will then be decided on. The elder Czolgasz
told Mintz of a certain meeting that was held down at the farm in
Orange at which there were thirty or forty people present. This
outing was in July and Leon was present. Many of these people were
strangers to the others of the family, and it is thought there may
be something in their presence. The father is firmly convinced that
someone induced the son to commit the act and will make every endeavor
to discover the identity of the conspirators.
The family will be closely watched
while in Buffalo by secret service men.
The Cleveland police finished yesterday
the investigation of the latest clew that seemed to connect the
assassination of the president at Buffalo with a plot hatched in
Cleveland. They are now more than ever convinced that if a plot
was behind Leon F. Czolgasz when he committed his terrible crime
it was not organized in Cleveland and that neither the members of
the murderer’s family or any of the Cleveland Anarchists had anything
to do with it.
It was brought to the attention of
the detectives Sunday that Waldeck Czolgasz, a brother of Leon,
had sent him money at West Seneca, where the assassin then was,
a short time before his attack on the president. All the members
of the Czolgasz family have stoutly maintained ever since the murder
that they had had no communications with Leon since he left Cleveland
months ago. The discovery that one of them had responded to Leon’s
call for aid seemed to open possibilities of their having been in
constant touch with him while he was preparing for his crime. It
suggested that the brother who sent the funds might have been acting
as agent for Cleveland “Reds” who were behind Leon.
A detective was sent Sunday to interview
Waldeck Czolgasz and to make an investigation in Orange township
where the family had lived before one member of it went forth on
his terrible mission.
After a little questioning Waldeck
Czolgasz admitted sending $10 to his brother at West Seneca. The
money was sent to Frank Snider. Waldeck said that he received a
letter from Leon, asking him to send that amount to Frank Snider
and that he supposed that the man was not Leon himself, but someone
to whom the latter owed a board bill. He also admit- 
ted having received a letter from Leon from Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Leon Czolgasz left Cleveland with
the purpose, ostensibly at least, of going west for a change of
climate that would better agree with his health than the air in
the lake region. The letter from Ft. Wayne reiterated this intention
and stated that he was about to go on to Kansas.
Waldeck Czolgasz insists that he had
no other letter from his brother until the one asking for the money
at West Seneca. No reason was assigned in this letter, he says,
for Leon’s change of plan and his presence in the east after he
had started for the west. He says that he destroyed the letter from
West Seneca, but that he still has somewhere the letter from Ft.
Another circumstance apparently startling
when at first discovered by the detective, was that some neighbors
of the Czolgasz family when they lived in Orange township said that
one of the two brothers remarked two years ago that the president
would never live out his term; that he would be shot, and in conclusion
said, “I would like to serve John D. Rockefeller the same way.”
It was also claimed that the two boys were always insisting in conservation
with the townspeople on their “socialistic” doctrines. The last
fact elicited by the examination was that between the people who
made the charges and the Czolgasz family there had been a bitter
To probe this matter to the bottom
Waldeck Czolgasz was summoned yesterday to the central station and
subjected to a session in the sweatbox, lasting nearly all the afternoon.
Throughout this trying ordeal he never flinched under the rain of
questions and clung to the end to one story that never varied. He
told the same story in regard to the letters that he had told to
the detective and he denied that he had ever made the remark attributed
to him and insisted that his brother had never made such a remark
in his hearing. He also explained the bitterness of the row between
the family from whom the accusations came and the brothers.
At the close of the examination, which
was conducted by Supt. Corner and Capt. Lohrer of the detective
department, neither felt that the facts justified the holding in
custody of Waldeck and both were more skeptical than before that
either he nor any Cleveland Anarchists had a hand in the plotting,
if plot there was, of the death of the president.
“Waldeck Czolgasz told a straight
story and stuck to it,” said Chief Corner at the close of the examination.
“He said that he had no sympathy for Leon, and that his brother
should be executed for his crime. He says that he had no communication
with his except the two letters after he left Cleveland, and that
he believed him to be on his way to Kansas for his health until
he received the second letter, and that he sent the money then because
he believed Leon to be in serious need of money. He denies that
he or his brother ever made the remark attributed to him about the
president not living out his term, or that he or Leon would like
to shoot Rockefeller. He says that he never heard Leon make such
a remark. We can do nothing but accept what he says as the truth,
for we have nothing in the way of proof to the contray [sic].
We certainly have no reason for holding the man in custody.”
“Do you still hold your first opinion
that the president was not the victim of a plot?” was asked.
“I am as positive as before that he
was not the victim of a plot hatched in Cleveland,” was the response.
“It looks now as though Czolgasz started west with the intention
of going to Kansas for his health as he declared. He must have met
with someone out there whose influence was strong enough to turn
him back and send him to Buffalo on the errand that ended in the
murder of the president. This person or these persons might have
met him in Chicago or in some other part of the west.
“There is no denying that we have
some pretty bad citizens in Cleveland, but as far as any investigation
has gone it has failed to bring to their doors the plot, if there
was a plot, of which Czolgasz may have been the tool. No evidence
produced yet justifies such a theory.”
Capt. Lohrer was of the same opinion
as the chief.
“Waldeck Czolgasz told a straight
story and we have to accept it until we can prove something to the
contrary,” he said. “I do not think any plot was hatched in Cleveland
to murder the president, whatever might have been done somewhere
In the complaint made to the police
emphasis was laid on crowds of supposed Anarchists who were alleged
to have been weekly visitors at the farm in Orange township while
the Czolgasz family lived there. The police say these meetings were
peaceful picnics planned by foreign friends of the family who took
advantage of the farm to escape from the heated city for a summer
While the investigation up to this
point has failed in the opinion of the police to establish the fact
of a plot started in Cleveland yet as a matter of precaution the
people who have been under suspicion will undoubtedly be kept under
surveillance as long as the crime of Leon Czolgasz and the question
of the existence of a plot remains something of a mystery.
One fact that tends to discredit the
story told of the Czolgasz boys by their former neighbors in Orange
township is in the statement of these people that the brothers preached
“Socialistic” doctrines. Leon F. Czolgosz is not a Socialist but
an Anarchist and the difference between the two bodies is so wide
that they could not be easily confused. Neither of the men would
have talked “Socialism,” the police say, if they were Anarchists.