A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders

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University of North Texas Press, 1997 - History - 324 pages
This volume provides an analysis of American Charles Whitman (1941-1966), an American engineering student and former U.S. Marine, who killed seventeen people and wounded thirty-two others in a mass shooting rampage in and around the Tower of the University of Texas in Austin on the afternoon of August 1, 1966. Prior to the shootings at the University of Texas, Whitman had murdered his wife and mother the night before. The author attempts to answer the question "why?" with this historical analysis of the event. Using primary sources and photographs, the author details the significant events in Whitman's life that led to the massacre. The author details the life of Whitman, his relationships with his friends, mother and father, brothers and wife. He writes about the victims and where and what they were doing when they were gunned down. The author describes how civilians used their own guns to shoot back at Whitman and how an air attack from a helicopter was unsuccessful in gunning down the killer, but how Austin police were finally able to end the massacre by sneaking up to the Tower and catching Whitman off guard.

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User Review  - dara85 - LibraryThing

This is about Charles J. Whitman, a student of the University of Texas in 1966. He went to the tower on the Austin campus on Aug 1 and shot and killed 14 people and wounded many others. He killed his ... Read full review

A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the summer of 1966, America lost its innocence when two mass murders were committed. In Chicago Richard Speck murdered eight student nurses, and 19 days later, on August 1, Charles Whitman gunned ... Read full review


Weathered Metal Plaques
Two Very Different Upbringings
The Soldier and the Teacher
Austin Is Different
The Nice Facade
Oozing with Hostility
After Much Thought
The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment
The General
Independent Actions
The White Headband
To Whom It May Concern
Why Did He Do It?
Who Killed Charles Whitman
The Writer from Austin

The GlassPaneled Door
Strange Noises
Notes on Sources

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About the author (1997)

Gary M. Lavergne earned degrees from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and McNeese University. He divides his time between Cedar Park and Austin, Texas, where he is a Senior Assessment Associate for a major educational testing company. His articles have appeared in regional and national historical journals.

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