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John Flammang SCHRANK






The Attempted Assassination of Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt
Classification: Attempted assassination
Characteristics: He claimed to have shot Roosevelt as a warning to other third termers and that it was the ghost of William McKinley that told him to perform the act
Number of victims: 0
Date of attempted murder: October 14, 1912
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1876
Victim profile: Theodore Roosevelt (United States ex-President)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Status: Found insane. Sentenced to the Central State Mental Hospital in Waupun, Wisconsin, in 1914. He remained there for 29 more years, until his death from natural causes in 1943



Although Schrank's bail finally was fixed at $15,000, bail would not have been accepted. This was announced by District Attorney Zabel. One of the several reasons for raising the bail was that motion picture men had planned to pay Schrank's bail and secure his release long enough to once again go through the shooting for the purpose of making a motion picture film of the event.

"I absolutely refused to sanction such a thing," said the district attorney. "It is bad enough to have it happen once without perpetuating the deed by enacting it once again for the motion picture men.

"I do not begrudge the earning of the motion picture men. What I object to is the demoralizing effect such a picture film would have. It would tend to make a hero out of this man, and I don't propose that the young shall be allowed to worship him as a hero.

"I understand, however, that a motion picture concern, when it found how we had frustrated its attempts to secure an actual picture of Schrank actually reproduced a scene of taking Schrank from the county jail to the city hall by palming off another man who resembles Schrank.

"In order to reproduce a scene of taking him from the jail, they picked out a building that resembled the jail, the Ivanhoe temple. They reproduced Schrank emerging from the 'jail' between two bogus deputy sheriffs. Later some one told me the same performance was repeated at the city hall to convey the impression that the would-be slayer was being taken into the city hall and up to the courtrooms."

During the time Schrank was confined in jail he showed signs of repentance but once, that was on Sunday, October 24, when religious services were conducted in the jail.

The Rev. Mr. Cavanam, a traveling evangelist, started the services shortly after 10 o'clock. Schrank, who a week before refused to attend services conducted by Christian Endeavorers, was one of the first to appear when a hymn was started.

At the close of the sermon Schrank turned away and walked to his cell with head bowed. He entered the cell and fell on his knees alongside his cot. Several of the prisoners who had been walking up and down the corridor stopped in amazement on seeing Schrank on his knees, but quietly walked away until he had finished.

When Miss Alice Evans, a soloist, sang a song, Schrank reappeared, and the prisoners noticed a happy look on his face which had not been visible before during his imprisonment. After the religious people had left the jail Schrank mingled more than had been his wont with the other prisoners, and seemed to be in high spirits.

When Gustave Struber delivered an address to the prisoners in German Schrank appeared to be one of the most attentive hearers, and shook hands with the speaker before he left the jail.

There is nothing about Schrank which portrays the human fiend.

On the contrary, he is a very ordinary type. There are hundreds of thousands men of his very type, and who are peaceable citizens.

The only way that Schrank differs from other men is in mind. He undoubtedly is a degenerate possessing a depraved and diseased mind, but there is nothing in his physical make-up that would brand him as such.

Police Chief John T. Janssen, student of human nature, penetratingly studied and measured the man's features for hours during examinations, and arrived at the conclusion that the man was suffering from a condition of mind known as paranoia, pronounced the most dangerous form of insanity.

This mental disease makes a man a monomaniac. He is perfectly sane, except upon one subject, which controls him and pushes him forward, even in some cases, to murder.

In telling of his crime, there was nothing defiant about Schrank. He displayed no bravado. He told everything in a frank tone of voice—too frank, almost, as it raised the suspicion that probably Schrank was not a mad man.

There is nothing about him that would cause any passer-by to glance at Schrank twice. And his face is the most uninteresting part of him.

His face is fat and round—moon-shaped. His eyes are placed wide apart, but this effect is lost through ptosis, a species of paralysis of the eyelids, which gives the eyes a half closed appearance, and is responsible for the sleepy look in his face. It affects one eye more than the other and is responsible for that squint which has been designated as "a murderous squint" by sensationalists.

His nose is rather large and prominent. Continued application of the handkerchief has caused it to turn almost sharply to the left.

His weak mouth finishes off what would otherwise be a fairly good face. Cover mouth and chin and one will say that he has the strong face of the ordinary American workingman. His lips, for the most part, are closed, but in an irregular line, giving the idea that his jaws are hanging loosely.

Altogether, he is not a repulsive looking man. Merely a weak looking man. Laughs and grins come readily during his conversations.

The only remarkable feature about him is his knowledge of American history and politics. He is able to talk intelligently upon modern political questions, showing that he is a great reader along these lines.

The more one looks at him and studies him, the more one wonders what it is that could have pressed him forward to commit such a deed.

Nothing explains his weak character more than his hesitancy to fire the shot at Chattanooga. He had traveled miles to do it, and at the last minute his courage oozed out. The same thing happened in Chicago. He stood at Hotel La Salle with murder in his heart, but hesitated until it was too late.

And when he struck Milwaukee, he acted just like a boy afraid to coast down a big hill, who, finally impelled by the taunts of his comrades, closes his eyes and starts.

Look down through history and you find that the most atrocious crimes were committed by weak persons of the same caliber as John Flammang Schrank.




John Flammang Schrank was taken to the central police station, Milwaukee, immediately upon his arrest in front of the Hotel Gilpatrick. Under direction of Chief John T. Janssen, of the Milwaukee police department, the following examination of Schrank was conducted:

Chief. What is your name?

A. Do I have to tell that tonight, sir?

Q. Yes.

A. I have to?

Q. Yes.

A. I have given the man below the promise I will do that tomorrow, tell him all I know.

Q. Well, there is no reason for you to do that tomorrow, if you do it this evening it will facilitate matters.

A. I suppose I will inconvenience someone by not telling.

Q. Yes, you are helping a good deal by telling.

A. Well, I come from New York.

Q. What is your name?

A. John Schrank.

Q. When did you come here from New York?

A. I left New York on the twenty-first of September and I left for Charleston and I left my grip there in the Hotel Mosely; from Charleston to Augusta and from there to Atlanta and from Atlanta I think to Birmingham and over to Chattanooga, and from Chattanooga I went to Nashville and then to Evansville, and then to Louisville, and then to Chicago, and from Chicago here, and I arrived here Sunday at one o'clock.

Q. Why did you go to all those places?

A. Because I wanted to meet that man.

Q. What man?

A. Theodore Roosevelt.

Q. How long have you lived in New York?

A. About twenty-five years.

Q. What is your business?

A. Well, I am not doing anything now, I have been in the liquor business.

Q. Where?

A. In New York.

Q. What place?

A. Tenth street.

Q. Give us the number please?

A. Three hundred seventy, East Tenth street, between avenues B and C; I have been with my uncle; my uncle's name is Flammang.

Q. Are you a married man?

A. No, sir.

Q. How long have you been in the liquor business?

A. Well, ever since I was a boy. My folks were in business the time I come over here and I was twelve years old then.

Q. How old are you now?

A. Thirty-six.

Q. Well, what object did you have in following around and trying to meet Theodore Roosevelt?

A. Well, because I have been reading history and following up history and I have seen that this man Roosevelt is trying to break one of the old established traditions of the country, calling it a third termer, which he has no right to; he can create a third party and create all the offices, but to nominate himself it was absolutely out of the way and I think today that it is absolutely unnecessary to establish now and have the third tradition to exist and not to be violated by anybody.

Q. Well, what did you have in mind to do when you went around in these different places?

A. I had in mind to meet him and he escaped me every time; he escaped me in Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Q. He escaped what?

A. He has not come the way I expected, he did not come out the way I expected; if he goes in a hall today and speaks in a hall and he come in this way or that way he goes out a different way and the man got away.

Q. What did he escape from?

A. From the places I wanted to meet him?

Q. Why did you want to meet him?

A. Because I wanted to put him out of the way. A man that wants a third term has no right to live.

Q. That is, you wanted to kill him?

A. I did.

Q. Have you any other reason in wanting to kill him?

A. I have.

Q. What is that?

A. I had a dream several years ago that Mr. McKinley appeared to me and he told me that Mr. Roosevelt is practically his real murderer and not this here Czolgosz, or whatever his name was, Mr. Roosevelt is practically the man that has been the real murderer of President McKinley in order to get the presidency of the United States, because the way things were that time he was not supposed to be a president; all the leaders did not want him, that's the reason they give him the vice-presidency, which is political suicide; and that's what I am sore about, to think Mr. McKinley appeared to me in a dream and said, "this is my murderer and nobody else."

Q. Did you speak with anybody in New York about this before you left?

A. No, sir.

Q. You made your mind up to this all yourself?

A. Yes, because I am alone, although I own property in New York.

Q. What property?

A. I own property in four hundred thirty-three East Eighty-first street.

Q. What does it consist of?

A. It consists of an apartment house with ten tenants; it's estimated at twenty-five thousand dollars.

Q. Did you attend any political meetings in New York before you left?

A. I attended several, yes, sir; ever since I was coming across the country; I had political meetings in Evansville, Indiana, of the three political parties.

Q. Who furnished you with the funds that you needed to travel around the country?

A. I beg your pardon, I was just telling you I have property there and had the money.

Q. Have you any money now?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you run out?

A. I just took this three hundred dollars to go around and all I saved up is one hundred forty dollars.

Q. Where did you leave that?

A. I left that here.

Q. Well, why did you come here; oh, this was yesterday?

A. I came here Sunday at one o'clock in order to find out in the city where he was going to speak and where I could meet him.

Q. You never were married?

A. No, sir.

Q. You said a minute ago you weren't doing anything now; when did you go out of business?

A. I am out of business going on two years, living off the income of the property.

Q. And that is sufficient to keep you?

A. Sufficient to keep me as long as I keep in my limits.

Q. How much is the property worth?

A. Well, it has been worth for twenty-five, supposed to be worth at twenty-five and taxed at twenty-five thousand.

Q. How much is the income you derive from it?

A. Around eight hundred dollars a year.

Q. And do you live with your brother when you are at home?

A. I have no brother. I have been living for the past seven months in one hundred fifty-six Canal street, New York, that's a hotel.

Q. What is the name of the hotel?

A. White House they call it; the owner of the hotel is Jost, Gustav, Gustav Jost.

Q. How long you been living there?

A. I think seven months.

Q. Is there a bar connected with the place?

A. Oh, indeed.

Q. Have you been drinking lately?

A. No, sir; no, sir; that ain't my habit.

Q. What is your favorite drink when you do?

A. Beer.

Q. If you had your mind set upon shooting Mr. Roosevelt, how does it come that you had to follow him to so many places before you came here?

A. As I have been telling you a minute ago, he escaped me many a time, he escaped me in Chicago.

Q. By leaving the place where he spoke by some other door?

A. By some other door and I was watching and he didn't come out that way and it was advertised by the papers he would come on the Northwestern and instead he come on the St. Paul.

Q. Where did you buy the revolver?

A. In New York.

Q. When?

A. On Saturday the twenty-first.

Q. And you bought it with the object in view of shooting Mr. Roosevelt?

A. Yes, sir; exactly.

Q. Where did you buy it?

A. I could not really tell you where I bought it, in Broadway, I know it's below Canal street, but I could not tell you the name.

Q. What's the make?

A. Colt; thirty-eight caliber; it's where you turn the barrel to the side way, it's none of those you open this way.

Q. What kind of place, a hardware store or gun shop?

A. No, sir; nothing but guns; I paid fourteen dollars for it.

Q. Did you ever discuss this matter with any other person of what you intended to do?

A. No, sir; no, sir.

Q. You didn't speak to anyone?

A. I discussed as far as the political discussion is concerned, but I never give anybody a hint that I was going to do this, that was all my own make-up.

Q. You didn't tell anybody why you bought the revolver?

A. No, sir; nobody knew I bought a revolver.

Q. In this dream that you had, McKinley told you that it wasn't Czolgosz that killed McKinley, but it was Roosevelt?

A. Well, he says in this way, "this is my murderer."

Q. Did you ever meet Czolgosz or know him in his life-time?

A. No, sir; no, sir; how could I. I have been all that time since I have been here in New York.

Q. Did you know John Most when he was alive?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever hear him talk?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever hear Emma Goldman?

A. No, sir; I am not an anarchist or socialist or democrat or republican; I just took up the thing the way I thought it was best to do.

Q. You are not a member of any party?

A. No, sir; I thought there should be an example of the third term if it should exist any longer; Mr. Grant was refused and he was satisfied; this man was refused and he is not satisfied; it's gone beyond limits; if he keeps on doing this after election, he can't possibly carry a solid western state; the next thing we will have is a Civil War, because he will say the scoundrels and thieves and crooks stole my nomination and now they will steal my election, and they will take up arms in all the western states; we are facing a civil war just to keep him in a third term, in an illegitimate place.

Q. Where did you get all this idea from?

A. I have been reading history all the time.

Q. You don't find that anywhere in history that they stole his nomination and going to steal his election?

A. I don't have to read that in history; you must know in the Chicago convention it was in every paper, everybody could read it.

Q. You read it in the paper then?

A. He says it every time he speaks.

Q. What paper do you read at home in New York?

A. The World.

Q. Is that the only paper you read?

A. I read German papers and every paper I got, but the regular paper is the World.

Q. What country do you hail from?

A. Germany.

Q. What part of Germany?

A. Bavaria.

Q. What is the name of the place?

A. Two hours from Munich; Munich is the capital of Bavaria.

Q. What is the name of the place?

A. Erding.

Q. What schooling did you have?

A. Well, I have attended school in the old country and I attended night school in New York for about four winters; that's all the schooling I had.

Q. You haven't a very good education then?

A. Indeed I ain't.

Q. Have you always enjoyed good health?

A. Yes, sir; I am a healthy, sane man, never been sick.

Q. Never been sick?

A. No, sir.

Q. Ever been sick within the last year?

A. No, sir.

Q. Well, do you believe that that's a sane act that you committed this evening?

A. I believe that is my duty as a citizen to do, it's the duty of every citizen to do so.

Q. Well, how did you happen to get the idea that it was your duty among all the people that live in the United States?

A. I don't know; I thought maybe somebody else might do it before I got there.

Q. And you spoke to no one about your intention on all the route you took concerning this, nobody?

A. No, sir; nobody.

Q. Are you familiar with the law in New York with reference to carrying concealed weapons?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is it?

A. I know when I bought the gun the man told me, "I have to take that one screw out in order to make the trigger ineffective" and I told him not to do so because I was going to leave town the very same day, which I did.

Q. He didn't take it out?

A. No, sir; he didn't do it; I showed him the ticket for the steamship that I was going south the very same day and he said as long as I was going out the law didn't fit that.

Q. Where were you going to?

A. To Charleston.

Q. On the steamship to Charleston?

A. Yes, sir; I wanted to go from New York to New Orleans because I thought he was going to speak in New Orleans and I thought I would be too long on the road and he would be gone before I got there and I thought I would go and get him at Atlanta.

Q. What hotel did Mr. Roosevelt stop at in Charleston?

A. Sir?

Q. What hotel?

A. He hasn't been at Charleston; I went to Augusta and from Augusta to Atlanta.

Q. What hotel did he stop at at Atlanta?

A. I really could not tell you, I don't know; I think I left the memorandum downstairs where I stopped, but I don't think I could tell you where he stopped.

Q. What hotel did he stop at at Chicago?

A. At Chicago, at Chicago he stopped, stopped at La Salle.

Q. Where did you stop?

A. I stopped at Jackson, Hotel Jackson.

Q. Where is he going to after he leaves here?

A. The way I read in the paper this morning he is going back to Chicago and from there to Indianapolis and from there to Louisville.

Q. What name did you register under at Augusta?

A. Walter Ross.

Q. What name at Atlanta?

A. All the way except Charleston I give my real name; the only time I give the right name is in Charleston where I left my grip; I saw it was a respectable house and I didn't have to stay away more than a week and now I have been away more than three weeks.

Q. Have you a check for it?

A. No, sir; I have no check; it is not a hotel, it is a boarding-house.

Q. What street is it on?

A. It is I believe on Meading street near Main.

Q. What place did you stop at since you have been in this city?

A. In this city I stopped here, let me see, what do they call that hotel again, right here on Wabash, small hotel.

Q. Blatz?

A. No, sir.

Q. St. Charles?

A. No, sir; small place, Argyle, that's on Third street.

Q. Did you have any baggage when you came here?

A. No, sir; I left all the baggage at Charleston.

Q. When you registered did they ask you whether you had any baggage?

A. No, sir; nobody asked me.

Q. Did you pay in advance?

A. I generally never stayed any longer than one or two nights and for every night I pay a dollar for my room; nobody asked me about baggage.

Q. You paid that after you registered at the Argyle?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What room did you occupy?

A. In the Argyle I guess it was number one, right toward the Wabash River.

Q. Why do you call it the Wabash River?

A. Because the man told me it was; he said, "the only room I have left is the one facing the Wabash River."

Q. What is the name of this city?

A. This city, it's supposed to be Milwaukee; I feel very sorry that the trouble has happened in this city; I suppose I have made considerable trouble for you people and for the citizens of the town.

Q. Have you any relatives living in this country?

A. No, sir.

Q. Any in Germany?

A. Yes, sir; I think I have, I haven't been in correspondence for quite a while, I don't know if they are well.

Q. What relatives have you?

A. I have a mother living there.

Q. Mother?

A. Yes, brother and sister.

Q. At Erding?

A. No, they are at Tyrol.

Q. Switzerland?

A. Tyrol that is not Switzerland, that is Bavarian Tyrol.

Q. Have you ever been in trouble before?

A. No, sir; not that I remember.

Q. Ever been arrested for anything?

A. Not in my life.

Q. Have you ever been committed to an institution of any kind?

A. No, sir; never, I have always stayed out of trouble, I have never been in any trouble whatever, and this trouble I committed myself, now I am contented I did.

Q. You are not a bit sorry?

A. No, sir. You may look up the records of all New York police headquarters, because I have never been there, I have never been arrested there.

Q. What did you say your name was?

A. John Schrank.

Q. Did you tell anybody that you were going to leave your baggage there?

A. I told them people I was going to stay away for about three days.

Q. Did you make any arrangement for them to send it in case you wrote for it?

A. No, sir; I stopped there two days and paid eight dollars in advance for a week's board, and I dressed up and went away and I told the people I might be back in three days and of course ever since then they didn't hear anything of me and I guess if they do hear and I can communicate they will give it over and all perhaps they will charge is the storage.

Q. Why did you tell them you were going to be gone three days?

A. I didn't think it would take longer than three days when I would be away.

Q. Then you thought you would go back?

A. I thought I would be arrested, I couldn't tell.

Q. What does your grip contain?

A. Nothing but a suit of clothes and underwear and I got a deed to my property and as I told you the box where the gun is in and that's about all there is in.

Q. Are you a full citizen?

A. Sir?

Q. Are you a full citizen?

A. What does that mean?

Q. Got your second papers?

A. I never had my first, I come over here a minor; I got my papers when I was twenty-one, I think my paper reads July twenty-third, ninety-seven; I think that's what it reads.

Q. When did you first begin to think about this?

A. I began to think of it after the Chicago convention.

Q. What caused you to think of it?

A. I thought on account of calling a new convention and starting the third party that makes anybody think; what's the use of being a citizen if you don't take any interest in the politics of our country?

Q. What did you read in the paper that directed your mind to Mr. Roosevelt?

A. You read a lot of things in the papers and especially in the New York World; the New York World practically come out that the country is in danger if he has the chair again.

Q. Did you read Harper's Weekly?

A. Harper's I don't read, no, sir.

Q. Did they say anything in particular that centered your attention on this act?

A. No, sir; not at all, perhaps a million people read it and didn't think anything and I just happened to read the matter over, I was interested from there.

Q. Editorial page?

A. Editorial page.

Q. You remember any particular editorial?

A. No, sir; I do not remember. I could not repeat it.

Q. Well, did you read anything else in any other paper except the World that made any impression on you of Mr. Roosevelt?

A. Well, in fact I have been following up all papers of the political views and I have been taking out the World as the right thing, she is right the way she talks and one paper I read, the New York Herald, and she never speaks about Theodore Roosevelt but the third termer and she don't mention his name, only the third termer.

Q. Did you ever apply for any position in the United States Government?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you know Mr. Roosevelt when he was Police Commissioner?

A. I did, indeed I did. In those days we was and my folks were in the liquor business and they closed us up like the other people and I didn't feel any sympathy with them.

Q. Which particular place did he close up?

A. What do you mean?

Q. You say he closed up some place of your people, which one?

A. He closed up all places.

Q. Were you in the liquor business?

A. I was with my folks.

Q. With whom?

A. My uncle.

Q. He closed your uncle?

A. He closed everything and there was about two months there was nothing open and a policeman stationed at every door.

Q. That was after midnight and on Sunday?

A. It was not closed up on Sunday but during the week, I am not talking about the Sunday Law.

Q. And you thought that was not right?

A. Anybody encroaches on your right you think it is not right.

Q. How long ago was that?

A. Eighty-six he ran for Mayor against Henry George, I think it was nine-three or ninety-four.

Q. Did the fact of that act of his, of closing you up on Sunday, have anything to do with what you done tonight?

A. No, sir.

Q. You never felt kindly toward him?

A. Yes, sir; I did until he started a third party.

Q. You thought he was infringing on your right?

A. Well, on everybody's right, every citizen's right, he had no right to do that; he could start a party and nominate every officer in there, but not put himself on for a third term, that was no way to do.

Q. Did you vote for him in nineteen hundred four or for Parker?

A. I voted Democratic.

Q. Parker?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You a member of Tammany?

A. No, I am not a member, I am not a member of any political party; when they arrested me one man called me a Socialist.

Q. Did you oppose him in nineteen hundred four?

A. I voted against him; I never expected the man to draw as big a majority as he did.

Q. Did you make speeches against him?

A. No, sir.

Q. Talk against him?

A. The same as anybody else.

Q. You thought he wasn't liberal?

A. He was not liberal.

Q. You didn't like his attitude, you were against him?

A. Yes, sir.




The following statements of Wheeler P. Bloodgood, representing the Progressive National committee; F. E. Davidson, Milwaukee county chairman of the Progressive party, Capt. A. O. Girard and others set forth arrangements for Col. Roosevelt's speech in the Auditorium on the night of October 14, 1912, and present many facts concerning the shooting of Col. Roosevelt not before made public.

These statements were made to District Attorney W. C. Zabel during the examination of Schrank conducted by him on Oct. 16.

The purpose of this hearing was to ascertain if possible whether others were with Schrank in the plot to kill the ex-president.

While the examination developed a second man who was very anxious to get close to Col. Roosevelt during his stay in the Gilpatrick, no other evidence concerning this second man's connection with the shooting was developed.


The following statement by Attorney Wheeler P. Bloodgood was made on Oct. 16 to District Attorney Zabel:

As the acting national committee man of the Progressive party in Wisconsin, I called a meeting of the Executive Committee in connection with the address to be made by Col. Roosevelt in Milwaukee, Oct. 14. By direction of the committee, F. E. Davidson, county chairman of Milwaukee County of the Progressive party, was put in charge of arrangements for the meeting, and was directed to lease the main hall of the Auditorium in Milwaukee for the evening of Oct. 14.

After Mr. Davidson, who accompanied Mr. Norman L. Baker, state chairman, in engaging the hall and making other arrangements, had made his report, I discussed with him the question of proper police protection for Col. Roosevelt and his party while they were in Milwaukee, and Mr. Davidson informed me that he and Mr. Paul Heyl, whom he had appointed sergeant-at-arms, had taken this matter up with the police department of Milwaukee.

I went to Chicago on the morning of Oct. 14th, accompanied by H. E. Miles and others. Col. Roosevelt and his party came to Milwaukee. On the train from Chicago to Milwaukee I advised Colonel Lyon, of Texas, who was in charge of Col. Roosevelt's person, that we would be met at the depot in Milwaukee by Mr. Davidson, who was in charge of the arrangements for the meeting, and by others, and that they would request that Col. Roosevelt have his supper, at least, at the Hotel Gilpatrick. I advised them that Mr. Davidson had made all of the arrangements in Milwaukee for the meeting of the Colonel, and his care, between the time of his reaching the city and the holding of the meeting at the Auditorium. Col. Lyon and O. K. Davis strongly objected to Col. Roosevelt leaving his car, and said it was there that he should have his dinner and go directly from the car to the Auditorium.

When the Colonel's car reached Racine, Capt. Girard got on the train and spoke to me in reference to his acting as the Colonel's bodyguard while he was in Milwaukee. My recollection is that the Colonel was in the back part of the car when the captain got on board, and he at once recognized the captain and spoke to him as though he were greeting an old friend. Then Capt. Girard had a talk with Col. Lyon and Mr. O. K. Davis, and it was understood that the captain would be with the Colonel during the whole time he was in Milwaukee, and it was understood that he was in charge of the Colonel's person.

When the train reached Milwaukee, Mr. Davidson got on the rear platform and was introduced by me to Col. Roosevelt, and he at once said to Col. Roosevelt:

"The boys are all anxious that you have your supper at the Hotel Gilpatrick, and we have made arrangements there so that you can rest. The hotel is not one of the best known hotels in Milwaukee, but it is a quiet and good place. The owner has been a great friend of the county committee and it would please us all very much if you would come."

The Colonel said to Mr. Davidson and to me that he had planned to stay in the car and go directly from the car to the Auditorium. As I recall it, Col. Lyon, O. K. Davis, Dr. S. L. Terrell spoke up and said:

"That is the arrangement, and that is what will have to be done."

Then the Colonel turned to Mr. Davidson and wanted to know whether these arrangements had been made, and whether the boys would be disappointed if he did not do what had been expected. Mr. Davidson said:

"We do not want to do anything that will inconvenience you, but I think they will be disappointed."

Whereupon the Colonel saluted and said:

"I am going."

The Doctor went back to get the Colonel's overcoat, and as soon as he put on his overcoat the Colonel, accompanied by Mr. Davidson, Capt. Girard upon one side and Col. Lyon on the other, went through the line of the marching club and got into the automobile. Col. Lyon requested of me that the party be made a small one and not have a great many automobiles. They went directly to the Gilpatrick. At about twenty minutes to eight I went to the hotel with H. E. Miles, Frank M. Hoyt, Congressman H. A. Cooper, of Racine, Prof. Merriman, of Chicago, and others. When I reached the lobby of the hotel I talked with Capt. Girard and told him that I had another machine there and that I found there was only one machine in front of the hotel; that Mr. Moss, Mr. Taylor and I thought that machine should be used, and that I, with the others who had accompanied me, would walk from the hotel to the Auditorium, my understanding being that Col. Lyon did not want a large crowd to accompany Col. Roosevelt to the Auditorium. Capt. Girard told me that he understood that the party would be down and ready to start promptly, to reach the Auditorium at a few minutes after eight. Mr. Moss and Mr. Taylor were in the auto in which the Colonel was to drive from the hotel to the Auditorium. The machine that I had came through the crowd and got right close to Mr. Moss' and Mr. Taylor's auto.

I went immediately to the Auditorium and went in at the State Street entrance and went on the platform. Mr. Miles, state treasurer of the party, had called together Mr. Heyl, Mr. Davidson and some of the sergeants-at-arms and was making arrangements to take up a collection from the audience. Mr. Miles had started to go on the platform to announce this collection and the sergeants-at-arms proceeded to their various places to get instructions, and I went to the stage door.

Col. Roosevelt came and I knew nothing whatever of what had occurred; while I noticed the party accompanying him seemed excited. The Colonel showed no excitement at all, and I said to him:

"Wait a few minutes back of the stage while Mr. Miles takes up the collection. Mr. Donald Ferguson desires to have it."

The Colonel said:

"Mr. Bloodgood, I have been shot and there is a bullet somewhere in my body; the important thing is that nothing should be said or done to cause a panic in the audience. I intend to deliver my address, or at least a part of it."

Col. Roosevelt then went back of the stage and requested us to go to the front and prevent any one saying anything. He said:

"It will only be a minute before I will be out."

I also heard the Colonel tell Mr. Cochems to say or do nothing that would frighten the people.

The appearance of the Colonel on the platform and the circumstances connected with it have been fully described. Col. Lyon, just before the address of Col. Roosevelt was made, suggested to me that it was very important that the crowd should not press around Col. Roosevelt and to make arrangements to prevent that. I went back and found three men who said they were detectives, and I asked them to come on the stage and to make arrangements so as to prevent the crowd from pressing around Col. Roosevelt. Mr. Cochems, in the mean time, had gone in front of Col. Roosevelt so as to catch him if he should fall, and had made all arrangements to prevent the crowd from rushing on the platform after the address was finished.

Col. Roosevelt, after the address, walked through the aisle, which was kept open from the stage door, to the automobile; as he got into the automobile he shook my hand and said that he wanted it made emphatic that he blamed no one; that the city authorities were not to blame, nor was any blame to be attached to any one that had charge of this meeting; that it was an accident and could not have been prevented; that it might have happened anywhere; and repeated the importance of making that clear, and that that was his feeling.

That was just before he left in the auto for the Emergency hospital.


The following statement was made by Capt. A. O. Girard, who was in the automobile when Col. Roosevelt was shot. The statement was made in the office of the district attorney on Oct. 16, 1912.

I was asked by the secretary of the Progressive State Central committee to go to Racine and meet the Colonel, having been with him in his department and been his body guard before, and take some papers down. The Colonel requested that I stay with him for the evening and after we got at the hotel I stood in front of the door so he wouldn't be disturbed, and also at the dining room door.

While sitting in the dining room door there was a slight, dark man who said he came there especially from New York to see the Colonel, and was very persistent and wanted to open the dining room door and see him at the table. I finally forced him away. He was sallow complexioned, 28 or 30 years of age, I imagine, had a dark overcoat on, not so extra well dressed, smooth face. I noticed his eyes particularly—they were rather shifty—and he was very, very persistent in getting to the dining room. He was a man of about five feet ten; this happened at 7 o'clock at the Gilpatrick dining room.

I saw him after that after I had told him to go away; he got something to smoke at the cigar stand and then went out. I did not see him after that, things happened so rapidly.

The Colonel went upstairs and got his hat and coat on and came down. I cleared the way going out with Sergeant Murray, and I told the fellows on the other side of the automobile to get back; they were jammed up against the automobile; the Colonel started to get into the automobile.

Just as I put my foot on the step of the car, I saw this man raise his gun, stick it between two fellows' heads at the full extent of his arm, and Mr. Taylor can tell you the rest.

I started to get into the machine from the sidewalk, and Mr. Moss sat up on the seat to get out of my way, and Mr. Taylor laid back, as I remember it, to give him room; after he was laid back, I had my right foot on top of the car door. That is as far as I got into the machine. I saw this man extend his hand with this gun between two other men's heads. He reached as far as he could with it. The end of that gun was probably six feet raised to the level of his eye; he took a good aim. Everybody was watching the Colonel.

The moment I saw that arm go up I remember distinctly the flourishing of the gun almost in my face, and at the same time somebody else jumped from the other end of the machine. We were all on the ground together and then Sergeant Murray came up and Murray and I took the man over to the Colonel's seat, Murray having him by the arm and I by the throat. Mr. Martin had him by the other arm.

The Colonel said, "Bring him to me, bring him here," and we bent his head back so the Colonel could see him. Then they began to shout, "Lynch him, kill him."

The Colonel said, "Do not hurt him."

Before that, on the ground, the fellow tried to kick me and made it more difficult for us to get the man, and as a result I got most of the kicks.

After we took him to the Colonel, Sergeant Murray and I had a difficult thing to get that man away. I shouted to Murray: "Into the kitchen."

We fought our way through the dining room into the kitchen with two or three hundred fellows. Murray left the man in my care until he called the patrol wagon. Then I started for the Auditorium. After we went to the kitchen I searched the man again for possible other weapons. I did not find anything. He said: "My gun is gone; your people took it away from me."

I forced him down into a chair and held him down until the police got back.

(Mr. Zabel)—You accompanied the Colonel from the train to the hotel?


(Mr. Zabel)—Did you notice the police protection?

(Answer)—They did not have enough men to keep the crowd away from the side of the Colonel. I think it was one of the ex-President's party who walked along side of the ex-President. When I got to the hotel I was of course pretty busy with the Colonel, and Sergeant Murray was there. Someone asked me to see if he could not get an officer to go with the carriage to the Auditorium and walk on the side the ex-President was. I called the Sergeant and he said he would find a man for me there. As to how many men were there, I do not remember. I know Sergeant Murray was there and I saw one other man.

(Mr. Zabel)—Any policeman assisting you and the sergeant in making the arrest of this fellow?

(Answer)—There was another officer there when we started to the hotel trying to keep the crowd back.


Francis E. Davidson, chairman of the Milwaukee County Progressive committee, made the following statements to District Attorney Zabel on Oct. 16:

Mr. Bloodgood called me over to his office and said that I was to take charge of the Roosevelt meeting in the Auditorium. Among other duties, I was to inform the police department and ask for protection for Col. Roosevelt while he was in the city. I went to the office of the chief of police with Paul Heyl, sergeant-at-arms, two days before the meeting. The chief of police was not in, but I was sent to the inspector. We told him that we wanted police protection at the depot, on the streets and at the Hotel Gilpatrick for Col. Roosevelt, which was promised. In going away I did not think that he attached enough importance to what I told him, and I went back and asked him on account of conditions in the country I wanted extra police protection for the Colonel, and was informed that he had taken care of Col. Roosevelt before.

(Mr. Zabel)—When this car arrived in Milwaukee, what police protection was visible to you?

(Answer)—I think there were two or three policemen down at the station in uniform.

(Mr. Zabel)—Were there any plain clothes men that you recognized?

(Answer)—Not that I recognized.

(Mr. Zabel)—Are you familiar with them?


(Mr. Zabel)—Where were they stationed?

(Answer)—One in front of the depot and one at the gate.

(Mr. Zabel)—Was the ex-President obliged to pass through the depot on his way out?

(Answer)—No, through the small gate.

I told Mr. Bloodgood that we had made arrangements which would prevent any one calling on Col. Roosevelt at the hotel, having a private room and also police protection.

(Mr. Zabel)—What protection did you notice when you came there?

(Answer)—I noticed a policeman at the door. There may have been plain clothes men.


The following statement was made to District Attorney Zabel on Oct. 16, by Thomas Taylor, who was in the automobile with Col. Roosevelt:

We had the honor of escorting the ex-President in our machine from the depot to the Gilpatrick. We left him there and we kept the machine in front of the main part of the hotel door all the time. While Mr. Moss was away I remained with the machine, and when he came back I went into the hotel.

As I came in, I asked where the Colonel was. They said he was in the dining room, and I talked to two or three of the committeemen there. After I got to one side there was a man about twenty-eight or thirty years of age, smooth face, fairly well dressed, who asked me if I could get him a ticket to the Auditorium.

I said, "Where are you from?" He said, "I am from New York." Well, I told him the tickets were all given out, and there was no way for him to get in unless he wanted to go immediately over to the hall and take chances with the rest.

The thing that struck me after that was that he did not go immediately over to the hall, but stood about talking. His appearance is just exactly as Capt. Girard described. He was a man that would weigh probably 145 pounds, five feet nine, probably nine and a half, smooth face, no emblems that I could see, but was very anxious about getting into that hall.

Soon after that another man came to me with the same request and wanted to know if I knew of any way he could get in. I told him the same story.

I said, "Where are you from, are you a stranger here?"

And he said: "I am from Ohio," but I do not recall what place.

I returned to the machine and had it all ready when the ex-President was seen coming down the stairs to the door. I turned on the power, opened the door and the Colonel came right along; Capt. Girard was right near him. Martin jumped into the machine first, and, turning his back, started to assist the ex-President. Capt. Girard stepped up, as he has described, and Henry F. Cochems had got in.

Just then, right to my side, I heard the very low report. I hunt a great deal and shoot, and the flash of a gun doesn't scare me but sets me instantly on my nerve.

Quick as a flash, I saw this man with his arm about so (indicating).

I was knocked down by Capt. Girard, and when I sprang to my knees Capt. Girard and Martin were on top of Schrank.

A dark man took Schrank's arm; he looked like a laborer. He grabbed him and seemed to be struggling with him. The laborer got hold of Schrank first; I think the captain was up as soon as any man.

I turned to the Colonel and he was just sitting in his seat. Henry F. Cochems put his arms around him. It was only for a second or two, and the Colonel rose up and said:

"Do not kill him; bring him here; bring him here."

He must have said that five or six times immediately after, and they brought the man back and bent his head back on the back of the machine. The ex-President looked into his eyes for a second or two and the ex-President shook his head, and then turned away. I turned to the ex-President and I said:

"Colonel, he hit you."

He said:

"He never touched me; he never touched me."

I said:

"You have a hole in your coat," and the Colonel put his hand to his side and said:

"He picked me; he picked me."

This did not scare him. Then he addressed the crowd and said:

"We are going to the hall; we are going to the hall; start the machine; go ahead; go on."

After we got up and turned on Wells street, we turned up about a block and a half and the doctor and some friend opened the front of Roosevelt's coat, and he turned then and saw the blood. Then he turned pale. That is the first time I saw him turn pale was when he saw that blood. Before we got to the Auditorium he had recovered as far as the paleness was concerned. He was immediately taken into a side room there.

(Mr. Zabel)—Did you have charge of taking the tickets at the Auditorium?

(Mr. Taylor)—I was one of the committee the same as the rest of the people that were around there with badges on; I had given out some tickets.

What strikes me as peculiar about this affair is that this man Schrank, claiming not to be familiar with the use of firearms, should be able to select the kind of revolver that was used, a 38-caliber Colt with a 44 frame, one of the most deadly weapons made.

I may explain that the frame being large enables the shooter to have a more deadly aim. The Colonel also remarked the same thing in regard to this weapon, 38-caliber, a 44 frame.

Col. Cecil Lyon held the gun up to us to look at, and it was an ugly looking weapon.


Reference: It will be noted was made by members of the Roosevelt party to a laboring man who struck Schrank's arm as he fired, and who was one of the men who struggled with Schrank immediately after the shot was fired. That man was Frank Buskowsky, 1140 Seventh avenue, Milwaukee. In an interview Buskowsky said:

"I was so excited when I realized that the man next to me had shot at Roosevelt that I felt like killing him, and I cried out at the top of my voice as I held him, 'Kill him, kill the d——n scoundrel.'

"The police must have thought that I meant Roosevelt, for when one of them came up to me he yelled, 'What in h——l is the matter with you?' and hustled me away.

"As I cannot speak good English, I could not explain that I had meant Schrank and not Roosevelt. I was so excited when the police took me away that way that I went immediately home.

"If I could have explained myself that patrolman would have heard something from me for the way he clubbed me on my head. My hat was smashed in.

"I came home, disgusted with the treatment I had received by the police. The next morning I read all about Martin capturing that man and it made me mad, for I was the first one to grab him and prevent him from shooting any more."

Buskowsky is a Bohemian and has been in America seven years, during which period he has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Bull Moose leader.

Affidavits corroborating what is set forth in statements presented were made by Donald Ferguson, of Goldfield, Nev.; Arthur W. Newhall, 812 State street, Milwaukee; Jacques R. Thill, 574 Jackson street, Milwaukee, and Sergeant Albert J. Murray, Milwaukee police department, and Abraham Cohen, 519 North avenue, Milwaukee.




Report of questions propounded by District Attorney Winifred C. Zabel, of Milwaukee county, and Wheeler P. Bloodgood, to, and answers given by, John Flammang Schrank, at the county jail, of the county of Milwaukee, Wis., in the presence of Sheriff Arnold, Donald Ferguson, Francis E. Davidson and others, commencing at 12:50 P.M. on the 16th day of October, 1912. Reported by Alfred O. Wilmot, court reporter, District court, Milwaukee county.

Mr. Zabel:

While you were living in New York what newspapers did you read?

A. I read the New York Herald and I read the New York World, and the New York Staats-Zeitung, a German paper.

Q. That is a German publication?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that a morning paper?

A. Yes, sir; also evening edition.

Q. Did you read any of the Hearst publications?

A. No, sir.

Q. The New York American?

A. No, sir.

Q. New York Journal?

A. No, sir.

Q. What you read in the New York World and what is the other news——

A. Herald.

Q. And New York Herald did anything you read in those papers impress you in any way?

A. Well, it did in a way impress me, that means, I thought whatever I read in the paper was pretty much right, what the people were talking about this building of the new party and deserting the old party. You can read that in the newspapers and that is what I read and it must be right.

Mr. Bloodgood:

Q. Mr. Schrank, you remember I examined you at some length on Monday evening and you spoke of the New York Herald and New York World and the headlines that appeared in those papers, and that you have been reading them constantly, is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes, sir.

Mr. Zabel:

Q. Did you read those papers for the political items that were contained in them?

A. Well, in fact, not exactly for that. I read the papers the same as anybody else, and naturally things like those I took interest in every, and the items interested me in those articles.

Q. What headlines are still fresh in your recollection which you read? concerning political——

A. Oh, I could not just recall anything. Headlines doesn't amount to much. It is now and then perhaps, but it doesn't amount to much. It is just the item itself.

Q. Was there anything you read in those papers that gave you any distinct impression to kill Roosevelt?

A. No, sir; not at all. I cannot blame the papers whatsoever. I have done what I done on my own convictions.

Q. Well, were you not impressed by what you read in the New York papers as to the menace which Mr. Roosevelt would be to our nation?

A. No, sir; not by the papers, hardly. I thought my own opinion about that.

Q. Do you remember reading anything in those papers in which Mr. Roosevelt was described either as a tyrant or as a traitor?

A. Oh, no.

Q. Or his ingratitude or words to that effect?

A. No; there might have been a few criticisms that says I am It Or Me and I and that is about all, but that doesn't impress much on anybody.

Q. When you say that—— You started to say before that you were much opposed to Mr. Roosevelt deserting the old party and building up a new party—— What old party did you have in mind?

A. The Republican party.

Q. Were you interested in the Republican party?

A. No, sir; I was not interested.

Q. Ever vote the Republican ticket?

A. Yes, sir; I have several times.

Q. On National elections?

A. National elections.

Q. Ever vote for Mr. Roosevelt?

A. No.

Q. Municipal elections were you——

A. A democrat.

Q. Democrat for what particular reason?

A. Well, as long as we were in the liquor business there in New York it was almost natural that we should vote the Tammany rule because every liquor dealer needs protection.

Q. On account of what?

A. Account Sunday law, because we was selling Sundays beer that we could not sell unless you belonged to that organization. You will have the police after you all the time. I suppose you know that as well——

Q. Did you ever contribute?

A. Well, we had to contribute at times—yes, sir. There would be a different way to contribute.

Q. Did you ever give money to the organization?

A. No, not to the organization.

Q. Or to the police?

A. There is a different way of doing that. If you didn't do it willingly of course there would be a way. They will be around one of those nice Sundays and arrest you and naturally there will be two there and they will impress a charge against you in a manner that will get you out in case you paid them. I have been doing that several times, gave each one five dollar bill or ten dollar bill and they won't press the charge.

Q. This money was to be used for what purpose?

A. That I could not tell.

Q. The men that came around on that mission were they police officers or politicians?

A. Well, regular officers, specials, what takes these Sunday——

Sheriff Arnold:

Mr. Zabel, did anybody here send for a man named Moss?

Mr. Bloodgood:

Yes. Send him in.

Q. Did you ever contribute anything to the Republican campaign fund?

A. No, sir; I had no reason.

Q. Was ever any contribution solicited of you by Tammany Hall or by the Police?

A. No, sir.

Q. Now isn't it a fact that a good deal of your feeling against Roosevelt was created by what you read in the papers?

A. It was not created, no, sir.

Q. Well, was it to a large measure influential?

A. I could not just deny that it had some influence but not to be decisive.

Q. Not decisive.

A. No, sir.

Q. Didn't it make you feel angry and unfriendly?

A. Not any worse than what I was.

Q. Didn't make you feel any worse or more unfriendly?

A. No, sir.

Q. Toward Roosevelt?

Mr. Bloodgood:

Q. How long have you been reading the New York Herald?

A. Oh, I believe since I am able to read.

Q. And the World?

A. Also.

Q. Now you said the other evening that papers you principally read were those two—was that correct?

A. Correct.

Q. Now did you read them during August of this year. You were in New York then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And state what impressed you in particular—what you saw in the New York Herald in August—at about that time of the formation of the new progressive party in Chicago?

A. Well, in fact I cannot remember much. I could not be very much impressed by the New York Herald because the Herald is a very conservative paper. The Herald is not what they call the Yellow press and the only excuse the Herald had is simply to say, Well, the Third Termer, that is all.

Q. Now what in the New York World impressed you during that time?

A. From that time?

Q. During that time.

A. Well, as I have said before, there was no special impression nohow. It was only the same as anybody else could read, which was to be found in the editorials or the man was building up a new party and was deserting and he cries that he stole the nomination away from him, such as that; as anybody else would read. That didn't make any serious impression on me.

Q. Now, when did you write out these statements that was in your pocket?

A. On the 14th of September.

Q. Wrote it all out on that day?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Every bit of it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. From the beginning to the end? Answer my question.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Yes, or no?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And the very statements the police found in your pocket was written by you and all of it on the 14th day of September, 1912?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now in your pocket was found a statement in regard to the various places that Col. Roosevelt was to speak. Where did you get that from?

A. Oh, every day in the papers. Just as I followed the towns. I generally bought a paper there the same day or the next morning and that would just about give me the information where I could meet him next.

Q. That was in your own handwriting, that statement?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The other night when you were examined with reference to that you said you hadn't written it out?

A. Which. Written out?

Q. That statement they found in your pocket.

A. That I hadn't wrote it out? Well, who should have written it out?

Q. You said you hadn't written it out in your own handwriting or on the typewriter?

A. On the typewriter.

Q. Is that in your own hand?

A. Well, in the first place I cannot handle a typewriter and in the second place who else should furnish that or who else should write it?

Q. That was——

A. In fact I suppose if you compare the two of them there must be some likeness. I don't profess that I write the same all the time or every time, but I think that was written on one day.

Mr. Zabel:


A. I think it is one and the same writing.

Q. How did you happen to compose those articles?

A. Because it was the 14th of September, the day McKinley died and the day I had that vision I completed my will-power that I was going to do that what I did.

Q. You made up your mind then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. There wasn't anything you read in any papers that caused you to do that?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where was it you wrote those articles?

A. In New York.

Q. In your room?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Ever read them to anyone?

A. No, sir.

Q. Ever mention the fact of having written them to anyone?

A. No, sir.

Q. Ever show them to anybody?

A. No, sir.

Q. Anybody help you compose those articles?

A. No, sir.

Q. Ever talk to anybody before that that you intended to do that?

A. No, sir; no, sir.

Q. Now, how was it you come here from Chicago?

A. Chicago. To here?

Q. Yes. Who was it came with you here from Chicago?

A. Nobody came here with me.

Q. Wasn't you traveling with somebody?

A. Indeed not.

Q. Didn't somebody keep you posted as to where he was going?

A. No, not at all. My God I am 36 years old and I am not crazy, the same as the papers has stated. I ought to be able to follow——

Q. Did you attempt to get tickets to get in the Auditorium?

A. No, sir; I didn't. I waited outside in front of the Auditorium. Yes, is that the Auditorium in Chicago—— No, that is the Coliseum.

Q. Is that—— I mean in Milwaukee?

A. No, I didn't intend to go there at all.

Q. Did you go inside of the Hotel Gilpatrick?

A. No, sir.

Q. Ever talk to any of these gentlemen (referring to those present)?

A. No, sir; to none of them, unless they have questioned me here Monday, I don't know. I have never seen them before.

Mr. Bloodgood:

Q. Were you at the depot at about quarter of six on Monday night?

A. On what depot?

Q. In Milwaukee, when Mr. Roosevelt came to Milwaukee.

A. No, sir; I was not.

Q. Where were you at quarter to six?

A. Quarter to six. I was standing in front of the Gilpatrick.

Q. Did you go down to Chicago and Northwestern depot?

A. Chicago-Lake Shore depot—around four o'clock, but not later.

Q. And how long did you stay there?

A. I didn't go to the depot—as far as that goes. I went to the last street and I walked around this way up to the hill and came back to the town. I didn't go into the depot.

Q. What time was that?

A. Four o'clock, I believe it was.

Q. On Monday afternoon?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now you left New York on what date?

A. On the 21st. 21st of September.

Q. Upon what railroad?

A. I took the ship.

Q. What transportation company?

A. I really don't know which it was.

Q. Well, what dock did you leave from?

A. I could not tell you, Mister, what dock. I know the steamship's name was Commache (Commanse, so pronounced).

Q. Where bound for?

A. For Charleston. No, it was bound in fact for Florida, but it stopped at Charleston.

Q. You got off at Charleston?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What day did you reach Charleston?

A. I reached that on Monday—Monday, I believe at five o'clock.

Q. In the afternoon?

A. In the afternoon; yes, sir.

Q. Did you expect Col. Roosevelt at Charleston?

A. No, I didn't.

Q. What was your purpose in going to Charleston?

A. Well, my original intention was to go to New Orleans, and reading the papers I found that he was changing his way of traveling and so this that before the steamship comes to New Orleans why I wouldn't be following him there any more—he would be gone, so I thought I would take Charleston and then get to Atlanta, perhaps I can meet him at Atlanta.

Q. Where did you stay there?

A. At a boarding house by the name of Mosley House.

Q. Do you know the street?

A. I believe it is Merlin street, near Main.

Q. How long did you stay there?

A. I stayed there Monday and I stayed there Tuesday, I think I did. I guess I left the next day.

Q. Well, where did you go to from Charleston?

A. Charleston I went to Augusta.

Q. Where did you stay at Augusta?

A. At Augusta I stayed in the Planters Hotel. I have got it in that slip, if I make a mistake it ain't my fault, but I got it all down in every city where I stopped, so if I make a mistake——

Q. You put that down on a slip from time to time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. As you went along?

A. Yes, sir. I might make a mistake now, and you think I am making you a false statement.

Q. Did you meet anyone at Charleston whom you knew?

A. No, no; I was a perfect stranger there.

Q. Did you meet anyone at Savannah, Georgia?

A. Augusta.

Q. Augusta?

A. No, I was a stranger there. At every place. I didn't know anybody to go to.

Q. Did you go to the hotel where Col. Roosevelt was staying at those places?

A. No, I didn't. I could not tell where he was going to stop. I could not tell that every time. Now the same as his coming from New Orleans I took a trip down to Birmingham I thought sure he was going to stop at Birmingham. Instead of that he changed his way and he went way to Macon, Georgia. That is the way he deceived me half a dozen times after it was advertised that I could meet him there and there.

Q. What day did you get to Chicago?

A. Chicago. I arrived if I ain't mistaken, now I might not tell the truth but I guess it, I think it was Friday.

Q. Friday morning?

A. Friday dinner time, if I ain't mistaken.

Q. Now what did you go over to the La Salle Hotel where Col. Roosevelt——

A. I was over to the La Salle, but not in the hotel.

Q. You didn't go inside of the hotel?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where did you stand?

A. On the street, the same as here, on the street.

Q. In front of the entrance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Waiting to hear whether he was coming out?

A. No, I didn't wait for him to come out because he got there in the morning—I think he did, in the morning, yes, at ten o'clock he got there. I seen him go in and I never seen him go out.

Q. You saw him go out or go in at ten o'clock Saturday morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where were you standing?

A. On the street with the rest of the crowd.

Q. Did you try to get your revolver there?

A. No, sir.

Q. What prevented you from drawing?

A. Well, I thought it is his reception that might have a bad feeling on the city of Chicago, giving him a reception like that; I thought I might have plenty of chance to get at him later on if it wouldn't be just at the reception.

Q. Let me understand you what prevented you from drawing.

A. I says because it was the reception—— There was so many people receiving him and I suppose the city of Chicago would like to give him a decent respectable reception. It would look awful bad if at the reception he would have got shot down, I says to myself that wouldn't go, I might get a better chance.

Q. You knew there was a death penalty in Illinois?

A. No, sir; I never knew anything like that.

Q. How near were you to him when he passed you that morning at the La Salle?

A. How near? It was on the other side of the street.

Q. Is that the nearest you got to him?

A. Yes.

Mr. Zabel:

Did you carry your revolver at that time in your pocket?

A. No.

Q. You had one that you——

A. In here (indicating hip pocket).

Q. Where did you go—to the Coliseum—— Why did you go to the Coliseum if you didn't intend to shoot him in Chicago?

A. Indeed I did intend to. I am just telling you I didn't intend to do it that morning when he was being received there. I thought I would get a better chance.

Q. So it was a matter of chance or was it a matter of your wanting to kill him in front of the hotel?

A. When he was being received?

Q. Do you mean by that that you didn't want to kill him in front of the La Salle but that you were perfectly willing to kill him when he was away?

A. I was willing to kill him, that is all, but I was I just wasn't willing to kill him at the reception. I told you that three times I didn't want the city of Chicago to feel sore that a stranger comes along at the beginning——

Q. Just a matter of the time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now that he had—— That was Saturday morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now when you went—— Did you go to the Coliseum?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you stand—— How near were you to him?

A. Well, as near as I could get in the crowd. As near as the crowd let me get there, mostly in the middle of the street.

Q. Well, how near were you to the automobile?

A. I could not see the automobile coming. They came in a different way. I was in the main entrance and they came on the side way.

Q. You were standing at the main entrance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you have the gun—here?

A. Here. In here.

Q. In your vest pocket?

A. Yes, sir. Here is the hole (indicating exhibiting a hole in the lower left hand vest pocket).

Q. Right through here?

A. And down in the trousers.

Q. And you were waiting at the main entrance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What time did you get to that main entrance?

A. I could not tell you now, sir.

Q. Well, approximately.

A. Well, perhaps half an hour before he came.

Q. You were right by the portal or door?

A. No, sir; I was in the middle of the street.

Q. You intended to shoot him right from the street?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now then, when you found he came into the other entrance what did you do then?

A. I went up. I could not do nothing. I had to wait until he comes out.

Q. Did you wait until he came out?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you wait?

A. At the main entrance again.

Q. And you were there then when the speech was over?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you get near him then?

A. No, I didn't. He didn't come out the main entrance.

Q. You were all ready to shoot him then at the main entrance?

A. Well, I was there, I expected him to come there.

Q. Now, after you found he didn't come out through the main entrance, where did you go?

A. Went home.

Q. Went to the hotel. How long did you stay there at the main entrance?

A. Until he came out.

Q. Well, how did you know which way he would come out?

A. I could not know—that is why I was—I was at the main entrance, I expected him to come out there.

Q. Where were you standing then, in the street?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. By the automobile?

A. No. I was standing at the front entrance. I didn't know his automobile. Automobile don't wait all the time, anyhow, I didn't see it or I forgot.

Q. Now then, where did you learn that he was coming to Milwaukee? From the papers?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You came up to Milwaukee at what hour?

A. Twelve o'clock, noon time.

Q. Now, on Monday night, did you go and inquire of the—— Did you talk to Mr. Moss, who is in charge of one of those automobiles?

A. Never spoke to that gentleman. Never spoke to anybody.

Q. Did you go up and ask anyone whether Mr. Roosevelt was going to get in this car?

A. No, sir; nothing like that.

Q. Now there was a big car right back of this car in which the Colonel was when you shot him—there were two automobiles, smaller cars in which the Colonel got and a larger car right back of him.

A. Might be.

Q. Well, did you speak to the chauffeur in the car back of the Colonel's and ask him whether he was going to sit in that car?

A. I didn't do anything of the kind. Didn't ask anybody. I didn't speak to anybody. It was always my principle not to speak to anybody unless a man bids me the time then I answer him, but why should I speak in that way?

Q. Now, what other place did you see the Colonel besides in Chicago, in front of the La Salle other than on Monday night?

A. I saw him in Chattanooga.

Q. Chattanooga, Tenn. Was that the time the automobile was going so fast?

A. Yes, sir; that was the time.

Q. How near were you to him then?

A. I was near enough when he came out but I could not stay within reach.

Q. You were standing in front of the entrance?

A. In front of the entrance.

Q. With your revolver ready to shoot him then?

A. Yes, sir; I was always ready to shoot him.

Q. Now, did you see him as he went in or came out that day at Chattanooga?

A. When he came out the entrance.

Q. After he finished his speech?

A. No, I didn't go there to see him there.

Q. But you say you saw him at——

A. I saw him going out the Chattanooga depot, out of the railroad station, going to his hotel.

Q. At the railroad station?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You went there just as you went to the railroad station in Milwaukee?

A. No, I didn't go to Milwaukee.

Q. Well, you said you went down to the lake shore station at four o'clock?

A. Yes, at four o'clock, but I didn't go down there to see him coming in.

Q. Now at Chattanooga did you go down to the railroad station?

A. No, I didn't have to go down. I just stopped at the other side in the hotel.

Q. How near were you at Chattanooga?

A. I was near enough to shoot him.

Q. Why didn't you shoot him at Chattanooga?

A. Well, I didn't shoot him at Chattanooga because it was a new thing to me. I didn't just exactly have courage enough to do it and he started off so fast in his automobile and I thought maybe there is a better chance.

Q. How near were you to his automobile in Chattanooga?

A. Why, from there to there, about ten feet.

Q. Were you as near as you were the other night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you standing in the street?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you start to draw your revolver then?

A. No, sir.

Q. Your courage left you then?

A. For a moment it did.

Q. Were there any policemen standing around you at Chattanooga?

A. Yes, there was some, keeping the crowd back.

Q. And were you on the sidewalk or in the street?

A. In the street, off of the entrance.

Q. Did you get right next to his automobile?

A. No, sir; I could not get next——

Q. You were about ten feet away from him?

A. Yes, about half a dozen other people in front of me.

Q. And your courage had left you at that time?

A. For a moment it did.

Q. When his automobile started off did you start to go after him?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see him again in Chattanooga?

A. No, sir.

Q. After that time. Now, when did you see him next after Chattanooga?

A. That was the last time I saw him until in Chicago.

Q. Until in Chicago. Did you see him any time prior to the time you saw him at Chattanooga?

A. No, sir.

Q. So the only three times you were within reach of him was in front of the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, Saturday morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And at the Chattanooga depot?

A. At the depot.

Q. And then in Milwaukee Monday night? Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. And since the 21st of September up to the 14th of October the only times that you were within reach of or even saw the Col. Roosevelt were the three times you have mentioned?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was he in any of the cities you were in at the time you were there excepting Chicago, Chattanooga and Milwaukee?

A. Not at the time I was there. He was there either before or after me.

Q. So those were the only three——

A. That I had a possible chance to shoot him, yes.

Q. Now state again, when he was at the La Salle Hotel, could you have shot him then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were near enough to have shot him at the La Salle?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What prevented you from shooting him, was it that your courage gave way?

A. No, sir; not my courage didn't give way. As I said I didn't want to do it because it is his coming-in reception—man is getting there—I didn't want to do it for that sake. I thought I'd get a better chance.

Q. Was it because of the fact you desired a better chance or you didn't want to do it on that particular occasion?

A. On that particular occasion. I didn't want to do it. Yes, sir.

Q. And at Chattanooga it was a matter of personal courage with you—your nerve failed you?

A. Just for a moment it failed me, yes, sir.

Q. Have you been accustomed to using firearms?

A. No.

Q. Had you ever shot a revolver?

A. I have shot a revolver several times during the 4th of July, that is about all, but I never handled it much. I don't know how to shoot. I didn't know whether I shot the man or not.

Q. How was it you got a 44 frame for a 38-caliber gun?

A. 44 frame?

Q. For a 38-caliber gun?

A. Well, my dear man, you know more about a gun than I do. I don't know anything about that. I bought that in that place that is a gun shop and they got all new ware and he told me it was a 38-caliber and I paid $14. Whatever the housing of it was I don't know.

Q. You speak of housing—you are familiar with revolvers?

A. You are telling me a 44 casing.

Q. That is what you call a housing?

A. Well, that is what I meant—that is what I understand—casing—unless you mean the box where it was laying in.

Q. No, I am talking about the housing—frame?

A. I never knew they could use a 38 on a larger casing, could they? How is it possible that they can have a 38 cartridge in a 44, in a larger casing than that?

Q. Well, that is what you did—44 frame?

A. You found a different revolver than mine.

Q. Who did you discuss the question of the formation the character of revolver. Who did you talk with over that?

A. What?

Q. As to what sort of a revolver to buy?

A. To nobody. I didn't have to talk to nobody.

Q. How did you happen to get the 38?

A. I asked for it.

Q. Why didn't you ask for a 32?

A. I don't know. I tell you the other one I had home was a 38.

Q. Oh, you had another one home?

A. Oh, not now, that is years ago. If I had that home I didn't have to buy it. I got the thing in storage. It is in the storage house if you want to get it. Stored with the stuff.

Q. Where is your stuff stored?

A. In New York.

Q. Whereabouts?

A. 80th street, I guess, and Third avenue.

Q. Well, what warehouse?

A. Well, you got to wait now until my grip comes here from Charleston. I got the whole thing.

Q. Have you sent for your grip?

A. I don't know. You gentlemen—told me that you are tending to that.

Q. Can't you give us the name of the warehouse?

A. I could not give it to you now.

Q. What have you stored there?

A. Five-room furniture from the old folks of mine.

Q. And your revolver?

A. Why, everything, of course, that belongs to the house.

Q. How long had you had that revolver?

A. I don't know. I could not tell you.

Q. Are you sure it is stored there?

A. Unless they stole it. I know I stored it there.

Q. Did you have a receipt for the different articles you stored there?

A. Sure. I can show you that as soon as—but of course the revolver is not marked on that because the revolver is in one of the drawers, I suppose.

Q. You don't know when you got that revolver?

A. I could not tell you.

Q. Have you ever shot it?

A. I shot it, I believe twice or three times during the 4th of July celebration out in the yard.

Q. Had you ever shot this revolver?

A. No, sir.

Q. You shot it the other night. Where did you buy the bullets that went in that gun?

A. The same place with the gun.

Q. How many cartridges did you have?

A. Did I have? Well, I bought a box of them and paid 55 cents for it.

Q. Where are the rest of the cartridges?

A. They are in the grip.

Q. Oh, they are in your grip in Charleston?

A. As soon as it comes over you can see it all.

Q. You didn't bring extra cartridges with you?

A. Yes, sir; I had. I took some out. I had five in the gun and I had six with me in my pocket.

Q. Did they find those?

A. They have got it in the police station.

Q. They have got those cartridges in the police station. Now, who hit your arm—did somebody hit your arm?

A. I don't think so.

Q. When you were coming—who was the first man to get hold of you—that great big man?

A. I could not say who it was. I simply shot and I don't know whether I hit the man or not or whom I hit, but I know the first thing I went down and a whole lot on top.

Q. When you aimed the revolver at Roosevelt was there anybody standing on each side of you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you stick the gun between the heads of two people?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you say any word?

A. No, sir.

Q. When you fired?

A. No, sir; I said nothing.

Q. Talk—— Did you try to pull the trigger again?

A. No, sir.

Q. You were knocked down before you could pull it again?

A. Yes, sir; I was.

Q. You would have pulled it again?

A. Perhaps I would. I don't know.

Q. Well, now in your grip have you any literature—any papers?

A. I have a book in there, yes, a memorandum book.

Q. Did you have any newspapers which you carried about—did you cut out clippings out of the newspapers?

A. Oh no, no. I didn't do it.

Q. Did you have any record that Col. Roosevelt that you cut out of his acts when he was commissioner of police?

A. Oh no, no. You think I'd carry that here, if I wanted to carry that with me ever since 1893 when he was commissioner—you are crazy or I must have a whole book.

Q. Well, did you keep any?

A. No, sir; nothing at all. I didn't take that much interest.

Q. How do you mean, you didn't take that much interest?

A. I didn't feel that way about him then when he was police commissioner.

Q. When did you first commence to feel that way?

A. I felt it in Chicago.

Q. That was the first time?

A. The first time, yes, sir.

Q. When was that?

A. In fact, the first time I felt against him was when I had that dream against him the time McKinley died and then I thought I really could not believe in dreams, I could not go to work and shoot a man down because all dreams don't come true.

Q. When was that?

A. That was the same night or the evening that Mr. McKinley died.

Q. How long did you feel that way about it?

A. I felt about it. Well, have at least two weeks.

Q. Did you see Col. Roosevelt at that time?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you go to Washington?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you follow him about at all?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had you ever seen him personally prior to the time——

A. No, sir.

Q. Had you ever seen him when he was in New York?

A. No, sir.

Q. When was the first time you ever saw Col. Roosevelt?

A. At Chicago. In Chattanooga.

Q. At Chattanooga. The first time you ever saw him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Personally the first time you were ever near him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You mean to say all the time you were living in New York and the times he has been going back and forth from New York you have never seen him at all?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever go out to Oyster Bay?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever go over to the Outlook office?

A. I don't know where that is.

Q. Well, that is a publication—Mr. Abbott's weekly publication in New York.

A. I don't know where it is. I could not even find it. I know quite some streets in town, in the neighborhood. I have never been interested in that. I didn't know that Roosevelt had anything to do with the Outlook at all.

Q. Well, you knew where his office was in New York?

A. Whose office?

Q. Col. Roosevelt.

A. At the time he was police commissioner?

Q. No, since he was president—he has been going back and forth in New York——

A. Since he has been on his third term here.

Q. I say he has been back and forth in New York?

A. How could I know his office?

Q. While he was in New York after the meeting of the Progressive party in Chicago you knew that, didn't you?

A. I don't think so. I thought he was to Oyster Bay. I don't think that I ever read of it that he was in New York city.

Q. He went to his office to the Outlook office?

A. I have never been looking for him then, sir.

Q. You weren't looking for him then?

A. No, sir; I wouldn't know where to find his office.

Q. When you read of the formation of the party in Chicago what papers did you read that in?

A. The same papers.

Q. New York Herald and the World?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What you read about it then, did that rouse you up to anger at all?

A. Well, not exactly anger but I was getting more and more convinced that this man's ambitions is nothing else but a blow to McKinley's death and he wants to get a third term and he shouldn't have it, and that is all.

Q. When did you make up your mind to that—in August?

A. I made up my mind pretty much in August and then I was corroborated during the vision I had on the 14th day of September.

Q. When you say you made your mind up pretty much in August after the meeting of the party, what do you mean by that, that you thought of killing him then?

A. Yes, sir, I thought of killing him then.

Q. In August. Had you made any plans then to kill him?

A. No, I had made none until the 14th.

Q. And you thought then of doing this same thing?

A. I thought about it, yes, sir; although I was making up my mind as to how or whether I would do it and I thought about it.

Q. What time in August was that that you thought about it—just after you read in the papers?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. After the formation of the party?

A. After the formation of the party—wasn't that the 7th of August?

Q. What particular thing in the accounts of the papers impressed you at that time that gave you or caused you to make up your mind?

A. Nothing particular but simply the fact that he built the new party; that he was going to take a third term presidentship.

Q. Did you have any grip with you when you went to Chicago?

A. No, sir.

Q. You had no baggage when you went to that hotel?

A. I never had any baggage since I left it in Charleston.

Q. Bought no underwear?

A. Yes, I bought underwear, certainly, and I threw the old underwear away.

Mr. Zabel:

I think that is all.




The report of the sanity commission follows:

To the Honorable A. C. Backus, Judge of the Municipal Court of Milwaukee County:

Pursuant to your appointment of the undersigned on the 12th day of November, 1912, as a Commission to examine John Schrank with reference to his present mental condition, we respectfully submit our report.

This report consists of:

First: The examination of John Schrank with reference to his personal and family history, his present physical state, and his present mental state.

Second: Inquiry by means of data furnished by the New York Police Department, the Magistrate of Erding, Bavaria, reports furnished by the Milwaukee Police Department and other officials brought in contact with him, and certain documents furnished by the defendant himself, and others found in his possession, some of which are herewith submitted as exhibits, duly numbered.

Third: Summary and conclusions arrived at.


Age 36. Single. Born in Erding, Bavaria, March 5, 1876. Father born in Bavaria, and mother born in Bavaria. Occupation, bar tender and saloonkeeper. No regular occupation in the last one and one-half years. Education, common schools in Bavaria from the seventh to the twelfth year; three or four years in night school in New York, in English.

In early life a Roman Catholic; not a practical Catholic for the past 15 years.

His father died at the age of 38 of consumption; was a moderate drinker; the mother living at the age of 56 or 57. One brother and one sister living, in good health. One brother and one sister died in infancy.

A sister of mother insane, suffered from delusions of persecution; died of softening of the brain, so-called, in 1904, in Gabersee Asylum, Bavaria. Certified by Magistrate of Erding, Bavaria.

Patient states he was never seriously sick. Knows of no serious accident or injury. Never suffered from headaches.

Lived with grandparents from three to nine years of age; worked in a vegetable garden during that time, and then returned to parents.


Denies excesses; no use of tobacco until two years ago, never more than five or six cigars a day, average two or three cigars. Has generally taken about five pint bottles of beer in twenty-four hours, of late years. For two years, in 1902-1903, drank no intoxicants at all. He states he drank to slight excess at most half a dozen times a year. Never used drugs of any kind. Denies all venereal diseases, and presents no physical evidence of them. His usual habit was to retire before 10 o'clock at night.


Height 5 feet 4½ inches in stocking feet. Weight, 160 pounds, with clothing. Is right-handed. Head presents no scars or injuries or evidence of injuries or irregularities of cranial bones; normal in shape, except measurements over left parietal bone from ear to median line at vertex is 1.25 centimeters larger than the right. Cephalic index 80. Cranial capacity normal. External ears normal in shape. Holds head slightly tilted to left. Shape of hard palate, mouth and teeth normal. Maxillary bones normal except lower jaw slightly prognathic. Blonde hair. Eyes, bluish gray. Complexion fair. Tongue, slight yellowish coating, edges clean. Appetite and general nutrition good. Stomach, digestion, bowels normal. Sleep good. State of heart and arteries normal. Blood pressure 125 to 130 systolic; 115 to 120 diastolic. Pulse 82-86. Temperature Nov. 12, 1912, P.M., 99.4. Nov. 14, normal. No scars on genitals. Urine practically a normal specimen.


The Eyes—Light, accommodation and sympathetic reflex present, but somewhat slow. Slight inequality of pupils, right distinctly larger than left. Color sense normal. No contraction of visual field. Slight horizontal nystagmus in both eyes on extreme outward rotation of the eyeballs. (Pupils equal and normal Nov. 20th, 1912.)

After above symptoms ascertained, 1.40 grain euphthalmine inserted, and examination of eye grounds showed no optic atrophy. The right eye ground (retina) was slightly higher in color than the left.

Hearing very acute, both sides.

Sense of taste and smell normal.

Tactile, pain, temperature and weight sense normal.

Deep Reflexes—Knee, reflex, right, irregularly present, regular on reinforcement; knee, left, absent; brought out by reinforcement irregularly.

Myotatic irritability of forearm, right markedly heightened; left slightly heightened.

No ankle-clonus.

Superficial Reflexes—Abdominal reflex present. Epigastric reflex absent. Cremasteric reflex, active both sides. No Oppenheim reflex. No Babinski reflex. Plantar reflex: right markedly heightened; left heightened.

Musculature—Arm and leg showed slightly diminished power on right side. The left side stronger, though subject right-handed.

Dynamometer, right 90, 90 (two tests); and left 100, 100 (two tests).

No Romberg symptom, and no inco-ordination of upper and lower extremities.

Gait and station normal.

Slight tremor of fingers, noticeable under mental excitement. At times slight tremor of lips.


Tests for attention show normal conditions.

Tests for memory, general and special, show normal conditions.

Tests for association of ideas and words showed special bearing upon his delusional state.

Logical power good, except as limited by his delusions.

Judgment the same.

Has no "insight" as to his own mental condition.

Emotional tests show tone of feeling exalted.

Orientation correct as to time and place.

Delusions present, as subsequently set forth.



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