Hadley Resigned to His Fate
Scheduled to Hang Today at 5 A.M.; Maintains His Innocence in 11th Hour Statement to Star Reporter
Hadley Maintained Nerve Despite the Approach of End
(By Special Correspondent)
Florence, Ariz., April 12.—Separated from death by a bare eight hours, knowing that it was incontrovertible, beyond the range of the smallest chance that he would be alive after five o'clock of the following morning, what would be the inmost feelings of a strong man?
Iron will quavers eight hours from the death that they know no option or appeal of theirs alone can avert. A strong man, convicted of a crime for which death is impending frequently has at this point reached the decision that they dare not face an unknown hereafter burdened with a crime unconfessed.
Paul V. Hadley, recognizing that death faces him at eight hours distance; that he is helpless to combat it; that it is inevitable unless the efforts of an indefatigable attorney to call together the Board of Pardons and Paroles and present his case in a favorable light, is tonight a remarkable psychological study. The prison authorities and the one newspaper correspondent whom he saw on the last day preceding that set for his execution, were puzzled at the demonstration of either a stoical cynicism or the exemplification of a conscience free from any memory of a crime.
Tomorrow morning at five o'clock, Paul V. Hadley will march to the death chamber watched by several witnesses. Convicted to die, he will be asked whether he has any final statement, a hood will close the world from his view, and the man whose stoicism has excited an unprecedented attention will face a hereafter where he declared tonight he has no accounting of crime to make.
Starting with the beginning of what he termed his troubles in Beaumont, Texas, Paul Hadley tonight gave an account of years of misfortune which he holds to have been a visitation not merited by intentional criminal conduct of his own.
Stoicism would be an unsuitable term for the demeanor of Paul Hadley on the last day before his sentence, for stoicism perhaps implies cynicism. Paul Hadley is not cynical. Visibly affected, his eyes glowing or dry in turn, Hadley was helpless in the face of his sentence.
"I try to keep my last thoughts off the people whom I believe have wronged me," said Hadley to the representative of the Arizona daily Star. "Vengeance, I think, would be an unsuitable sentiment for my last hours of life."
Hadley related the circumstances of the death of Mrs. Anna Johnson, told his version of the story of an attack by bandits and assaults upon himself, and finally his own puzzlement when arrested the following morning.
"Peter Johnson I do not hold a vengeful spirit against. If I believe a man had killed my wife, I would be just as vengeful. Mr. Johnson has been misguided from the start; made to believe me guilty without actually knowing that I was."
Told by Warden Sims that the last word from Phoenix was not encouraging to his opportunities for a commutation of sentence and that he regretted being forced to bring sad news, Hadley replied with resignation: "You can't bring what you haven't got."
Hadley thanked the prison authorities for courtesies and declared his treatment has been above reproach. That he holds immeasurable gratitude for the long fight waged by John L. Van Buskirk, Tucson attorney, for his freedom, was expressed by Hadley who declared the lawyer had done so because he believed in his innocence.
Peter Johnson, husband of the woman of whose murder Hadley was convicted, was in Florence tonight accompanied by Ben B. Mathews, assistant prosecutor in both trials, and intended witnessing the execution.
Hadley declined to see the representative of another Tucson newspaper, with the declaration that that publication had been distinctly unfair to him and that he did not care to assist one definitely unjust toward him. An exclusive interview was given a Star representative, together with a written communication to the public prepared by the doomed man on the last day before his sentence.
Prison authorities and those in Florence in connection with the execution had tonight virtually given up expectation of action by the government or parole board, although word reached here at a late hour that attempts were being made to call the board together. Among those who would be present at the execution will be: Peter Johnson, husband of Mrs. Anna Johnson; Ben B. Mathews, Tucson attorney; John C. Haynes, Tucson attorney; A. J. Upham, Tucson business man; R. B. Sims; T. A. French; Mr. Hart, assistant Maricopa county attorney; Mr. Duffy, representative of the attorney general's office; Sheriff Chappell of Yuma county; a representative of the Arizona Daily Star; Ira Rickerson, and several guards.
On the final day before his execution, Hadley spent practically the entire day in his cell and did not take his usual walk about the prison grounds.