Relatives Talk with Murderer
Czolgosz Gave No Information Regarding a Plot.
UNCOMMUNICATIVE EVEN TO THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.
The Superstitious Find Much Food for Gossip in the Circumstances
Attending the Shooting of the President and His Illness and Death.
Special to The Post Express.
Buffalo, Sept. 25.—Paul, Waldeck
and Victoria Czolgosz, of Cleveland, father, brother and sister
of Leon F. Czolgosz, the convicted assassin of President McKinley,
were granted an interview with the prisoner in the Erie county [sic]
jail at noon. Assistant District Attorney Frederick Haller and Assistant
Superintendent of Police P. V. Cusack were present under instructions
of District Attorney Penney, throughout the interview. No other
person will be allowed to see the prisoner until after the sentence
of death is imposed to-morrow afternoon.
The interview between the assassin
and his father, brother and sister lasted thirty-five minutes, but
no information leading to the implication of any one [sic] else
in the alleged anarchist plot to kill the president was secured
from the prisoner.
“We learned nothing that we did not
know before,” said Assistant District Attorney Haller at the conclusion
of the conference. “He talked more than he has at any previous time
but even to his family he was not very communicative. The members
of the family returned to Cleveland immediately after the interview.”
There was no official interpreter
although the entire conversation was carried on in Polish. Czolgosz’s
sister interpreted the conversation for the officials.
“Why did you not have another interpreter?”
was asked of Mr. Haller.
“It was unnecessary because Czolgosz’s
family tried to help us in every way. We were satisfied if they
could learn anything they would tell us to vindicate themselves.”
“What was the nature of the conversation
that was carried on?”
“That is something that will never
be made public. It is not necessary that it should be inasmuch as
we learned nothing new.”
“How did Czolgosz and his family act?”
“The family feels a deep and bitter
grief. All three wept but Czolgosz not only did not weep but showed
no signs of a grief similar to that displayed by his family. He
was affected, however. He talked somewhat but not as freely as we
had expected. He did not show signs of breaking down at any time
and when we went away I am told he lay down on his cot in his usual
manner and showed no emotion of any kind.”
Czolgosz asserted, as he has from
the outset, that he did the deed alone and unaided, and that no
other person in the world was concerned in the tragedy.
“I did it alone. There was no one
Several times the prisoner repeated
these sentences when he was pressed to tell the true story of the
The father and brother were affected
naturally over the meeting, but they gave little outward evidence
of it. The sister cried all of the time, but the prisoner gave no
evidence at all aside from saying that he was glad he could see
them. At the end of thirty-five minutes the prisoner shook hands
with his father and brother and his sister tearfully kissed him
Czolgosz will be sentenced at 2 o’clock
to-morrow afternoon and it is expected that he will be taken to
Auburn prison shortly after. It is rumored that when Czolgosz is
given an opportunity to speak before sentence is pronounced, he
will make a statement, but the nature of it is unknown.
The City hall [sic] in which Czolgosz
was tried, and its surroundings had assumed their normal appearance
this morning. The ropes which guarded the approaches, and the guards
themselves were removed. The flags at the extremities of the approach
were still at half mast. A large crayon portrait of President McKinley,
draped with the Stars and Stripes, and resting upon heavy bands
of black and white, was still above the door. The corridors and
stair casings were draped with emblems of mourning. Little groups
of exposition visitors entered the court room in which Czolgosz
was tried, in their tours of inspection, this morning. They discussed
the murderer and his trial in low tones as they wandered about the
The superstitious find much food for
gossip these days in the circumstances surrounding the shooting
of President McKinley and his subsequent illness and death. There
is one coincidence of peculiar interest immediately connected with
the shooting, which has been much commented upon. A few minutes
prior to the shooting it was noted by lovers of music that a band
stationed near the scene of the tragedy was rendering a weirdly
fascinating selection of peculiar beauty. Curious inquirers were
informed that the piece was of German composition and that its title,
translated into English was “The Cursed Bullet.” The shooting of
the president occurred immediately after its rendition.
Shortly after midnight on the morning
of September 13th, the bulletin announcing the fatal change in the
president’s condition was read aloud in the corridor of the Hotel
Iroquois. As the concluding words of the bulletin were read the
electric lights suddenly went out. The day was clear here, yesterday,
up to the point when counsel for defense began to address the jury.
Then the whole sky suddenly became overcast. When Justice White
concluded his address the court room was enveloped in an almost
inpenetrable [sic] gloom.
The announcement made yesterday by
the attorneys for Czolgosz that the eminent alienists summoned by
the Erie County Bar association, and by the district attorney, to
examine Czolgosz and to determine his mental condition, had declared
him to be perfectly sane, destroyed the only defense that Judges
Lewis and Titus could have put together.
Czolgosz was as undisturbed, this
morning as if nothing had happened. When the verdict was brought
in yesterday afternoon, it was feared he was on the verge of collapse
and the detectives who escorted him through the tunnel back to the
jail, said the man had to be supported some of the time. To-day,
however, he is his same old brute self and has been such ever since
the jail doors closed on him yesterday.
“When the man was brought back last
night,” said Jailer Mitchell to-day, “his supper was ready for him,
and he ate heartily. As soon as he finished he went to bed and slept
without awakening until midnight, when the guard was changed. Then
he was awake for only a moment and again curled [sic] over and went
to sleep. This morning he was awake at 6 o’clock and was allowed
to take a short walk in the cell corridor. He washed himself carefully
and took great pains to comb his hair, after he had soaked it well
with water. He had breakfast at 7.30 [sic] o’clock and ate as heartily
as ever. He says absolutely nothing about the trial or the verdict,
but talks freely, as usual, on ordinary topics. He also maintains
his usual silence about his crime. He shows no indication of breaking
down, and, whatever may be said to the contrary, I do not believe
anything that will happen to him will make him give in.”
When Czolgosz is taken away, the utmost
secrecy will be maintained to protect him from mob violence. The
time of his departure will be a secret and all the arrangements
which are now in progress will be kept secret. A strong guard of
selected deputy sheriffs will accompany the man to Auburn and, it
is said, he will be taken there in a special car, the identity of
which will be kept secret from the men in charge of the train. Since
Czolgosz has been in jail, Sheriff Caldwell himself has not been
to see the prisoner. The sheriff has refused permission to his own
family to let them see the wretch and has done this in conformance
to orders he issued when the man was first taken there, that no
one except the regular guards should see him or speak to him.