Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Salt Lake Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Say Czolgosz Was Sane”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of publication: 3 November 1901
Volume number: 29
Issue number: 160
Pagination: 1

“Say Czolgosz Was Sane.” Salt Lake Herald 3 Nov. 1901 v29n160: p. 1.
full text
Leon Czolgosz (mental health); Leon Czolgosz (psychiatric examination); McKinley assassination (investigation: Buffalo, NY); Leon Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz (as anarchist).
Named persons
Floyd S. Crego; Leon Czolgosz; Joseph Fowler; William McKinley; Thomas Penney; James W. Putnam.
Click here to view the full report of Drs. Fowler, Crego and Putnam summarized below.


Say Czolgosz Was Sane


Result of Doctors’ Examination into the Assassin’s Mental Condition Is Made
Public—Was an Intelligent Product of Anarchy.

     Buffalo, Nov. 2.—Drs. Fowler, Crego and Putnam, the specialists who were requested by District Attorney Penney to examine into the mental condition of Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin of the president, have made public their report, in which they state as the result of frequent examinations of Czolgosz, of the report of his watchers and his behavior in court, that they have “concluded that he was sane at the time he planned the murder, when he shot the president and when he was on trial.”
     His first examination was but a few hours after the commission of the crime and while he was still uninformed of the fate of the victim. During the first three examinations Czolgosz answered questions unhesitatingly. After that, however, he became more cautious and less communicative. He had a common school education, the reports say, and read and wrote well.
     During the first day’s examination he said he planned killing the president three or four days after he came to Buffalo. The report then recites, in Czolgosz’s own words, the assassin’s story of the murder of President McKinley.
     The sanity of Czolgosz was told “from the history of his life as it came from him. He had been sober, industrious and law-abiding; until he was 2 years of age he was, as others of his class, a believer in the government of this country and of the religion of his fathers. After he cast his first vote he made the acquaintance of anarchistic leaders, who invited him to their meetings. He was a good listener, and in a short time he adopted their theories.
     “He was consistent in his adherence to anarchy. He did not believe in government, therefore he refused to vote. He did not believe in marriage, because he did not believe in law. He killed the president because he was ruler and Czolgosz believed that all rulers were tyrants; to kill a ruler would benefit the people. He refused a lawyer because he did not believe in law, lawyers or courts.
     “We come to the conclusion that in the holding of these views Czolgosz was sane, because these opinions were formed gradually under the influence of anarchistic leaders and propagandists. In Czolgosz they found a willing and intelligent tool; one who had the courage of his convictions, regardless of personal consequences. The most careful questioning failed to discover any hallucinations of sight or hearing. He had received no special command; he did not believe he had been especially chosen to do the deed. He always spoke of his motive for the crime as duty; he always referred to the anarchist’s belief that the killing of rulers was a duty.
     “He never claimed the idea of killing the president was original with him, but the method of accomplishing his purpose was his, and that he did it alone. He is not a case of paranera [sic] because he has not systematized delusions reverting to self, and because he is in exceptionally good condition and has an unbroken record of good health. His capacity for labor has always been good and equal to that of his fellows.
     “These facts all tend to prove that the man has an unimpaired mind. He has false beliefs, the result of false teaching and not the result of disease. He is not to be classed as a degenerate, because we do not find the stigmata to degeneration. Physically he has not a history of cruelty, or of perverted tastes and habits. He is the product of anarchy, sane and responsible.”



top of page