Czolgosz a Likely Tool of Stronger Intellects
Harriet Hubbard Ayer Makes a Thorough Physiognomical
Study of the
Assassin—Regards Him as Legally Sane, but as an Egoist, First and
However much we may
pretend to under-value the importance of an individual’s appearance
as an indication of character, every honest person must admit that
a man’s face expresses his own character and not the attributes
of another’s personality.
The physical make-up of the occasional
criminal usually shows no striking abnormalities.
The assassin is neither a giant nor
He is short or tall, weak or strong,
well put up or the reverse, as are other men.
Physically, so far as his body is
concerned, the signs for degeneracy, which is the popular way of
writing criminal tendency, are too indefinite to enable one to estimate
them. An investigation of the [?] tables of measurements are unconvincing
to the unprejudiced mind as to the physical line that is supposed
to exist between the normal sane man and the diseased abnormality—the
But a man’s face and head bear the
impress of his soul and, though normal characteristics are hard
to interpret at a glance, they are equally as difficult for the
possessor to disguise for any length of time.
Sooner or later, a man’s real life
is to be read in his face.
The assassin Czolgosz, from his photographs—this
sketch is made from a collection of pictures taken at the Police
Department in Buffalo immediately after the shooting—is a variation
of the Martin Thorne type. Czolgosz’s face is less sensual than
Thorne’s but it belongs to the same class.
It is first of all the face of the
Whatever else he may be, it is safe
to say the would-be murderer of our President is abnormally vain,
and from his point of view regards himself as the hero of the hour.
To be the centre of attention—the
target for all eyes—a man of whom every one in the civilized world
is talking, means intense gratification to the creature who is half
insane with a desire for notoriety, and, while Czolgosz is by no
means irresponsible and is legally as sane as any other miscreant,
his dastardly deed of itself fixes his mental status.
Like Thorne, he enjoys his notoriety,
which he cannot differentiate from popularity.
The face impresses me, first of all,
as exhibiting strong signs of secretiveness.
These signs are shown in the wide
spread of the nostrils, in the closely drawn muscles at the corners
of the mouth and in the expression of the eyes, which in the photographs
before me are totally devoid of frankness.
They are eyes that look but tell no
[?]—the well-known eyes of the man who determines to reveal nothing
Czolgosz may be surprised or harassed
into expressing his condition through his eyes, but not at this
stage of the proceedings.
The form of the assassin’s face indicates
a materialism not borne out in the profile view.
It is materialism, not sensualism.
It is rather childlike in its roundness and opposed to all suggestion
of true mental strength.
Men with these round faces are usually
sort of human vegetables—content to eat and sleep and enjoy life
in an elementary way and let others do the working and the thinking.
They rarely are roused to strong action and never lead but are easily
In profile Czolgosz’s face shows a
certain amount of intellectual capacity, but I am inclined to think
the real Czolgosz is reflected in the full-face picture.
Signs of Degeneracy.
As is usual in criminal
subjects and, for that matter, not unusual in every day life, Czolgosz’s
face and head display asymmetrical signs for degeneracy.
The face appears to be larger on one
side than the other, and the left ear is set higher up than the
The mouth is vain, uncultured and
The upper lip shows inordinate self-conceit.
It is the mouth of Martin Thorne,
with the difference that the lips are thicker and that Thorne had
not the secretive signs at the corners of the lips, which are caused
by the closely drawn muscles and give a certain tenseness to the
line of closure as seen in the full-face photograph of Czolgosz.
Thorne was a sensualist pure and simple.
His vanity, when his affairs with women were concerned, was so great
as to cause him to lose sight of his own peril, and he could not
refrain from telling of his own amour for Mrs. Nack.
Martin Thorne with Czolgosz’s mouth
would probably be alive to-day.
Thorne was a moral pervert of the
most disgusting type. He was the incarnation of the brute in man.
Czolgosz is a materialist but not
a sensualist—and he is the result of generations of rudimentary
men and women struggling against Russian oppression and tyranny.
The man who shot our President is
probably the miserable instrument of stronger minds.
The development of Czolgosz’s head
at the back is abnormal.
The organs of destructiveness, aggressive
protection, love of liberty, are all developed to exaggeration.
The forehead shows a depression where the organs of reason and construction
are located and the venerative faculties are totally undeveloped.
Czolgosz is just the instrument mentally
for stronger minds to play successfully upon if it were decided
to [use him?].
Thorn’s back of the head typified
lu[st?] and sensuality—a dominance of all [?] baser passions.
Nothing would have made a reputable
citizen of Martin Thorn in my opinion, while the assassin of the
President[,] in different circumstances, might have lived a creditable
life, with proper influences and environment.
Vanity and Weakness.
Czolgosz has a dimple
in his chin—an unerring symbol for vanity and weakness.
All physiognomists agree that a dimpled
chin means a nature easily influenced. A dimple is the symbol for
mobility, and mobility means susceptibility to external influences
in the subject with a dimpled chin.
Men and women with dimpled chins love
to be approved of by their superiors.
If Czolgosz has been trained to believe
himself the instrument of a great cau[se] his chin has not helped
him to make [a?] moral struggle.
All hollow or scooped-out places in
the face are signs of weakness, either physical or mental.
Czolgosz’s picture exploits a pronounced
hollow just below the cheekbone, showing either an impaired digestion
or malnutrition and lack [of?] mental stability.
Czolgosz’s face is not at all of the
The ears are at first glance rather
nasty-looking, but they are not the ug[ly] or murderous kind.
They are ill-formed, showing lack
[of?] sensibility and refinement, but they a[re] not murderous or
It has been said that a brown-haired
woman with pale blue eyes is likely [to] be very cruel.
Czolgosz has brown hair and expressionless,
vague blue eyes, but I think insensibility better describes the
[attributes?] of these eyes than premeditated [cruelty?].
The nose of the assassin is fairly
good. The spread at the nostrils gives it [a?] certain strength.
Czolgosz does not impress me through
his pictures as one who will exhibit mental anomalies.
He is a decadent and belongs [?] class
of men whose general [instability?] of character, lack of moral
[sensibility?] and excessive vanity make the [commission?] of a
heinous crime but a [question?] of environment and suggestion.
Czolgosz is neither a crazy man [nor?]
a common thug.
He represents a special type, and
[?] that needs more attention than [it?] [?] yet received, as we
have [sad, sad?] [?] to-day to realize.