Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was an American engineering student and former U.S. Marine, who...

Prior to the shootings at the University of Texas, Whitman had murdered both his wife and mother in Austin. The shooting would remain the deadliest shooting on a U.S. college...

Charles Joseph Whitman was born on June 24, 1941 in Lake Worth, Florida, the eldest of three sons born to Margaret E. (Hodges) and Charles Adolphus "C.A." Whitman, Jr. Whitman's father had...

As a boy, Whitman was described as a polite, well-mannered child who seldom lost his temper. He was extremely...

Margaret Whitman was a devout Roman Catholic who raised her sons in the same faith. The Whitman brothers regularly attended Mass with their mother, and all three brothers served...

Whitman Sr. was a firearms collector and enthusiast, who taught each of his sons from an early age how to shoot, clean and maintain weapons. He regularly took them on hunting trips, and Charles became an avid hunter and...

At the age of eleven, Whitman joined the Boy Scouts and earned a total of twenty-one merit badges in fifteen months. In September 1953, at the age of twelve years and three months, Whitman also earned the rank of Eagle...

On September 1, 1955, Whitman entered St. Ann's high school in West Palm Beach, where he was regarded as a moderately popular student whose intelligence was noted by teachers and his peers alike. By the next month, he had saved...

At the age of sixteen, Whitman underwent a routine appendectomy and was hospitalized following a motorcycle accident. In February 1958, Whitman was hospitalized for surgery to remove a blood...

One month after his June 1959 graduation from high school (where he had graduated seventh in a class of seventy-two students), Whitman enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He...

Whitman's initial 18-month tour of duty in 1959 and 1960 was exemplary, and he earned a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, a...

He earned high scores on the required examination, and the selection committee approved his enrollment at a preparatory school in...

Whitman entered the mechanical engineering program at the University of Texas on September 15, 1961....

Whitman acquired a reputation as a practical joker in his years as an engineering student, but friends also noted he made some morbid and chilling statements. On one...

In February 1962, Whitman met Kathleen Frances Leissner, a teaching student two years his junior. Leissner was Whitman's first serious girlfriend. The couple courted for five months before announcing their engagement on...

On August 17, 1962, Whitman and Leissner married in a Catholic ceremony held in Leissner's hometown of Needville, Texas. The couple chose the 22nd wedding anniversary of Whitman's parents as the date for their...

Although Whitman's grades improved somewhat during his second and third semesters at the University of Texas, the Marine Corps deemed his academic...

Whitman apparently resented the fact that his college studies had ended. He was automatically promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. On one...

He had a reputation among his fellow Marines as an exemplary Marine, but Whitman continued to gamble during his time at Camp Lejeune. In November 1963, he was court-martialed for gambling, usury, possession of a personal firearm on...

In 1963, as he awaited his court martial, Whitman began to write a diary entitled "Daily Record of Charles J. Whitman". He covered...

In December 1964, Whitman was honorably discharged from the Marines. He returned to the University of Texas, enrolling in the architectural engineering program. To support himself and...

Two close friends of Whitman, John and Fran Morgan, later told the Texas Department of Public Safety that he had told them of striking Kathy on three occasions. They said that Whitman...

In May 1966, Margaret Whitman announced her intention to divorce Whitman's father because of his physical abuse. The younger Whitman drove to Florida to help his mother move to Austin. Reportedly, Charles was so...

In Austin, Whitman's mother found work in a cafeteria and moved into her own apartment. She remained...

On the eve of the shootings at the University Tower, Whitman wrote in his journal, reaffirming his love for his wife Kathy. These final entries were written in the past tense,...

The day before the shootings, Whitman bought a pair of binoculars and a knife from a hardware store, and Spam from a 7-Eleven convenience store. He picked up his wife from her summer...

At approximately 4:00 p.m. on July 31, Charles and Kathy Whitman visited their close friends John and Fran Morgan. They left the Morgans' apartment at 5:50 so...

Whitman wrote that he requested an autopsy be conducted upon his body, to determine if there was a biological reason for his actions and increasing headaches. He also wrote that he had decided to kill both his mother...

Just after midnight on August 1, Whitman drove to his mother's apartment at 1212 Guadalupe Street. After killing his mother, he placed her body on her bed and covered it with sheets. His method of murder is disputed, but officials...

Whitman then returned to his home at 906 Jewell Street, where he killed his wife by stabbing her three times in the heart as she slept. He covered her body with sheets, then resumed the typewritten note he had begun the previous...

At 5:45 a.m. on August 1, 1966, Whitman phoned his wife's supervisor at Bell System to explain that Kathy was ill and unable to work that day. He made a similar phone call to...

On the morning of August 1, Whitman rented a hand truck from Austin Rental Company and cashed $250 ($1800 in 2013 dollars) of worthless checks at the bank before driving to a...

Inside his garage, Whitman sawed off the barrel of the 12-gauge shotgun, and packed the weapon, together with a Remington 700 6mm bolt-action hunting rifle, a .35...

At approximately 11:35 a.m., Whitman arrived at the University of Texas. Showing a security guard, Jack Rodman, false...

Entering the Main Building, Whitman tried to activate the elevator. Vera Palmer, an employee, said it had not been powered...

Whitman lugged the dolly and equipment up the final flight of stairs to the hallway that led to a dog-legged stairway ascending to the rooms within the...

Moments later, an Austin couple named Cheryl Botts and Don Walden returned to the reception area; having been observing the view upon the observation deck....

As he prepared to enter the observation deck, he saw two families: M. J. Gabour, his wife Mary and their teenage sons Mike and Mark and the boys' aunt and uncle,...

Whitman closed and barricaded the door to the reception area. He then shot Edna Townsley in the left side of her head before walking onto the observation...

Following the sniper tradition of "one shot, one kill", Whitman never shot twice anyone who had fallen to the ground. The first shots fired by Whitman from the tower's outer deck came at approximately 11:48 a.m. He...

Whitman began to fire upon people walking on Guadalupe Street; he shot and wounded 17-year-old newspaper delivery boy Alex Hernandez, before...

On the corner of 24th and Guadalupe, Whitman shot and wounded two students, Abdul Khashab and his fiancee Janet Paulos, outside a...

Three Peace Corps trainees, Tom Herman, Roland Ehlke and David Mattson, were Whitman's next targets. The trio were shot at as they walked...

To the rear of the intersection of 24th and Guadalupe Street, Whitman targeted two 21-year-olds, Oscar Royuela and Irma Garcia, as the pair walked toward the university's biology laboratory....

Directly in front of the entrance to the West Mall on Guadalupe Street, two 18-year-old students named Paul Sonntag and...

A block north of where Sonntag and Rutt were killed, Whitman shot and killed Harry Walchuk, a 38-year-old doctoral student and father of six. He next shot the 36-year-old...

Having seen several students shot in the South Mall, a history professor was the first to telephone the Austin Police Department at 11:52...

Students and university staff worked to assist and move the wounded to safety, risking their lives. One student later recalled, "That was the moment that separated the brave people from the scared people ... I...

The shootings and news of the sniper caused panic in and around the University. All active police officers in Austin were ordered to the campus....

Approximately 20 minutes after first shooting from the observation deck, Whitman began to encounter return fire from both the police and other...

Three officers who responded to reports of the sniper were Ramiro Martinez, Houston McCoy and Jerry Day. Prior to advancing upon the tower,...

Accompanied by 40-year-old civilian Allen Crum—whom the trio encountered as they ran toward the tower—they were the first to reach the tower's observation deck. After reaching the 26th floor by elevator, they...

Beneath the stairwell leading to the reception area, Officer Martinez saw the body of a teenage boy, Mark Gabour. Next to him lay a middle-aged woman, Marguerite Lamport. Nearby, Mike Gabour lay...

Stepping outside the south door at approximately 1:24 p.m., Martinez, closely followed by McCoy, proceeded north on the east deck, while Day, followed by Crum, proceeded west on the south deck, with the...

As Whitman sat crouched with his back positioned on the north wall, and looking in the northwest corner area of the observation deck where Crum's shot was heard, Martinez jumped around the corner into the...

Martinez threw down his now-empty revolver and grabbed McCoy's shotgun, running to Whitman's prone body and firing point blank into his upper left arm. Martinez threw the shotgun onto the deck and...

On August 5, 1966, Houston McCoy appeared before the Travis County Grand Jury to give testimony McCoy was the only officer called to testify. At the...

On August 2, an autopsy was conducted upon the body of Charles Whitman by a Dr. Chenar (a Neuropathologist at Austin State Hospital) at the Cook Funeral Home in Austin, Texas. The autopsy, which had been requested by Whitman...

Although Whitman had been prescribed drugs, and was in possession of Dexedrine (which a friend stated he consumed "like...

In the days following the shootings, Texas Governor John Connally commissioned a task force of professionals to examine the physical autopsy findings and material related to Whitman's actions and motives. The commission was...

Following a three-hour hearing on August 5, the Commission said that the findings of Dr. Chenar's initial autopsy conducted on August 2 had been in error; that a...

Forensic investigators have theorized that the tumor may have been pressed against the nearby amygdalae regions of his brain. The amygdalae are known to affect fight/flight responses. Some...

The Connally Commission recommended that the university and state aid the wounded and those affected by the events. Aid...

A joint funeral service for Charles Whitman and his mother, Margaret, was held at their family's home parish of Sacred Heart in Lake Worth on August 5, 1966. The Catholic service was...

Investigating officers found that Whitman had visited several University doctors in the year prior to the...

Whitman met with Maurice Dean Heatly, the staff psychiatrist at the University of Texas Health Center, on March 29, 1966. Whitman referred to his visit with Heatly in his...

During Whitman's command of the tower, the university learned that the shooter might have been a student....

At the time of the shootings, the Austin Police Department had no specialized tactical unit to deploy in response to reports of a sniper. Officers were equipped with revolvers and shotguns, which were...

Following the shootings, the Tower observation deck was closed to visitors. In 1967, the University of Texas spent $5,000 to repair the bullet holes left from the shooting. The tower reopened in...

In January 2003, the University of Texas committed $200,000 and sought another $800,000 to redesign the...

In 2008, on the 42nd anniversary of the attacks, the following names were added to a plaque on an Austin police precinct building, dedicated to officers and other persons who helped stop Whitman on August 1, 1966. With the...


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