Source: Minneapolis Journal
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “His Face Is Weak”
City of publication: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of publication: 11 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
|“His Face Is Weak.” Minneapolis Journal 11 Sept. 1901: p. 6.|
|Leon Czolgosz (physiognomical examination); Alonzo P. Williamson; Alonzo P. Williamson (public statements).|
|Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley; Alonzo P. Williamson.|
His Face Is Weak
Czolgosz’s Pictures Indicate a Man Easily Influenced.
OPINION OF DR. A. P. WILLIAMSON
The Face Shows No Marked Traces of Degeneracy—Problem a Difficult One.
The face of Czolgosz, President McKinley’s assailant,
according to the opinions of expert criminologists, is weak rather than bad.
It displays no marked traces of degeneracy, but indicates clearly enough that
the man is readily susceptible to outside influences.
Dr. A. P. Williamson, one of the best known alienists of the northwest, agrees with this estimate of Czolgosz’s character. Dr. Williamson has made alienism his hobby. For many years he was connected with one of the state insane asylums, and his library is filled with works on degeneracy and kindred subjects. Said Dr. Williamson:
“The face of Leon Czolgosz is decidedly weak, but it exhibits no marked traces of degeneracy. At least, nothing of the kind is to be noticed in his published photographs. The mouth and chin are very weak. The lips are a trifle thick, and that is sometimes regarded as a mark of degeneracy. The head is perhaps too round; the oval head being considered the better type. The man is undoubtedly easily influenced, and predisposed to follow along the line of least resistance. He lacks will power. In one of the photographs his ears seem to be set rather low down on the head. That is considered a bad sign, but as it is not noticed in the other photographs, it may be simply a trick of the camera.”
It is, of course, a difficult task to estimate the character of a man simply from a photograph, unless the subject is a pronounced type. The color of the eyes and hair, the expression of the eyes, and the actions of the subject, all of which are lost in the photograph, are invaluable aids in reaching a correct conclusion in such investigations. However, so far as the photograph may be utilized, authorities agree that the face of Leon Czolgosz is weak rather than bad. It is not the face of a typical murderer.
In making his estimate of Czolgosz’s character Dr. Williamson spoke with three photographs before him, furnished by The Journal.