Trial and Execution of McKinley's Assassin

When Leon Czolgosz was removed from the Temple of Music and taken to Buffalo Police Headquarters, he was in near death condition. Having suffered a terrible beating at the hands of President McKinley's military escort and the secret service, it was questioned as to whether or not he would survive to go to trial. The police had a terrible time trying to keep the angry mobs of Buffalo away from Czolgosz. If given the chance the mobs would tear him apart, so security and protection for the assassin was a constant problem.

 

On September 27, 1901, Czolgosz was moved from Buffalo to Auburn prison where he was to receive the punishment for his crime. When he arrived at Auburn, he came into contact with more people than he ever had during the entire ordeal. At 3:10am, his train arrived at the prison and he was brutally dragged from the train and shoved through a crowd of three hundred people who were constantly mauling him. Czolgosz was handcuffed and the continuous beatings made it almost impossible for him to walk. The prison guards were caught completely off guard by the crowd's reaction and had to use clubs and revolver butts to keep the mobs back. Many times he was knocked to his knees so the guards found it necessary to drag him up the stairs to the prison office. He was thrown to the ground upon reaching the office and cried out in terror, frothing at the mouth and uttering the most horrible sounds.

 

He stumbled into a cane seat and lay there moaning in terror, while the crowd hung on the iron gates outside and chanted, "GIVE HIM TO US! GIVE HIM TO US!" Shivering uncontrollably, Czolgosz nearly jumped out of his skin when a guard approached him and removed the handcuffs. He was then dragged through heavy oaken, iron-barred doors that led to the warden's office; in fact, he was carried. Four husky guards held his shoulders and arms. They dumped him in a chair; a limp, disheveled figure, his cries echoing down the long corridors and arousing all the other convicts. Czolgosz was in a state of absolute collapse, and when left alone rolled onto the floor, convulsing uncontrollably.

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