Testimony of Dr. Charles Wagner
 Harry Thaw Trial 1907


Wagner: [The alienist testified that Thaw was insane at the time of the shooting and acted out of a "sudden impulse."]

"Mr. Thaw said in his conversation with me, that he had no idea of killing White up to the very time he shot him. Thaw said his sole purpose had been to get evidence against White to send him to the penitentiary for his offenses against young women. White, declared Thaw, made a practice of his sins against girls, to pick out young women who had a disposition toward morality rather than toward girls with an inclination toward immorality.

"Thaw told me, that 'White did not hesitate to use drugs or employ physical force to accomplish his evil purposes....Thaw constantly referred to White as 'this man, this creature, the beast, the blackguard,' and said the man had sought to pollute every pure minded woman who came within the sphere of his observation.

" I tried to save them,' Mr. Thaw said to us, and added, 'I did all in my power, I never wanted to shoot the creature. I never wanted to kill him. I knew he was a foul creature, destroying all the mothers and daughters in America, but I wanted through legal means to bring him to trial. I wanted to get him into Court so he would be brought to justice.'

"I then asked him why under such circumstances he had shot Mr. White. 'Providence took charge of it,' he replied. 'This was an act of Providence. For my part I would rather have had him suffer in court the humiliation the revelation of his acts would have caused.'"

Delmas:  "Did he tell you what he had done, if anything, to bring White into court?"

Wagner: "He said he had gone to see Anthony Comstock, District Attorney Jerome and a Private detective agency. He said Mr. Jerome had told him he had better let the matter drop; that there was nothing to it.  The detectives told him they would take the matter up, but they had not submitted a proper report. As to Mr. Comstock, he said, he discovered that Delancey Nicoll, an attorney, was acting as legal adviser both to White and to Comstock. He regarded this as another link in the conspiracy against him.

"I asked him why he carried a pistol, and he said that Roger 0'Mara, a Pittsburg detective, had advised him to do so after he had told 0’Mara that on several occasions thugs had jostled him in an attempt to get him into a street brawl. He said these things were the hired agents of Stanford White, who did not want to take the responsibility and danger of making it personal attack. He said White had hired the Monk Eastman gang to get him into a quarrel and beat or kick him to death." 

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