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Source: Post Express
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Relatives Talk with Murderer”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Rochester, New York
Date of publication: 25 September 1901
Volume number: 43
Issue number: 92
Pagination: 1

“Relatives Talk with Murderer.” Post Express 25 Sept. 1901 v43n92: p. 1.
full text
Leon Czolgosz (incarceration: Buffalo, NY: visitations); Czolgosz family (at Buffalo, NY); Frederick Haller (public statements); McKinley assassination (investigation: Buffalo, NY); Czolgosz family; Leon Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz (sentencing); Buffalo, NY (City Hall: curiosity seekers); McKinley assassination (popular culture); Der Freischutz; Leon Czolgosz (mental health); George N. Mitchell (public statements); Leon Czolgosz (incarceration: Buffalo, NY); Leon Czolgosz (removal to Auburn State Prison); Samuel Caldwell.
Named persons
Samuel Caldwell; Patrick V. Cusack; Leon Czolgosz; Paul Czolgosz; Victoria Czolgosz; Waldeck Czolgosz; Frederick Haller; Loran L. Lewis; William McKinley; George N. Mitchell; Thomas Penney; Robert C. Titus; Truman C. White.


Relatives Talk with Murderer


Czolgosz Gave No Information Regarding a Plot.
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 else.”
     Several times the prisoner repeated these sentences when he was pressed to tell the true story of the assassination[.]
     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 good-bye.
     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 building.
     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.



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