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

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 been raised in an...

As a boy, Whitman was described as a polite, well-mannered child who seldom lost his temper. Whitman's academic achievements were...

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 as altar boys at the Sacred Heart Roman...

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...

At the age of eleven, Whitman joined the Boy Scouts and earned a total of twenty-one merit badges in fifteen...

On September 1, 1955, Whitman entered St. Ann's high school in West Palm Beach, where he was regarded as a moderately...

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 clot...

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...

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

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

Whitman entered the mechanical engineering program at the University of Texas on September 15, 1961. Whitman was initially a poor student whose grades were largely...

Whitman acquired a reputation as a practical joker in his years as an engineering student, but friends also...

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...

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...

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

Whitman apparently resented the fact that his college studies had ended. He was automatically promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. On one occasion during his service at Camp Lejeune, Whitman and two other Marines were involved in an...

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...

In 1963, as he awaited his court martial, Whitman began to write a diary entitled "Daily Record of Charles J. Whitman". He covered his daily life in the Marine Corps and...

In December 1964, Whitman was honorably discharged from the Marines. He returned to the University of Texas, enrolling...

Two close friends of Whitman, John and Fran Morgan, later told the Texas Department of Public Safety that he had...

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...

In Austin, Whitman's mother found work in a cafeteria and moved into her own apartment. She remained in close contact with Charles. Whitman's father later admitted to having spent...

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, suggesting he may have already killed Kathy...

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...

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...

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...

Whitman then returned to his home at 906 Jewell Street, where he killed his wife by stabbing her three times in the heart as...

He also left instructions in the rented house requesting that two rolls of camera film be developed. Whitman also wrote...

Whitman last wrote on an envelope labeled, 'Thoughts For the Day,' in which he stored a collection of...

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...

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...

Inside his garage, Whitman sawed off the barrel of the 12-gauge shotgun, and packed the weapon, together with a Remington 700...

At approximately 11:35 a.m., Whitman arrived at the University of Texas. Showing a security guard, Jack Rodman, false identification as a research assistant, he obtained a 40-minute parking permit, saying he was...

Entering the Main Building, Whitman tried to activate the elevator. Vera Palmer, an employee, said it had not been powered and turned it on for him. Whitman thanked her, saying: "You don't know how happy...

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

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

As he prepared to enter the observation deck, he saw two families: M. J. Gabour, his wife Mary and their...

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 deck. The Tower has a vantage point...

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

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 toward a luncheon for volunteers....

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...

Directly in front of the entrance to the West Mall on Guadalupe Street, two 18-year-old students named Paul Sonntag and Claudia Rutt had taken refuge behind a construction barricade alongside teenager Carla...

A block north of where Sonntag and Rutt were killed, Whitman shot and killed Harry Walchuk, a...

Having seen several students shot in the South Mall, a history professor was the first to telephone the Austin Police Department at 11:52 a.m.; four minutes after Whitman had first fired from the tower....

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 realized 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. Off-duty officers, Travis County Sheriff's deputies, and Texas...

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

Three officers who responded to reports of the sniper were Ramiro Martinez, Houston McCoy and Jerry Day. Both...

Accompanied by 40-year-old civilian Allen Crum—whom the trio encountered as they ran toward the tower—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...

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...

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 northeast area...

Martinez threw down his now-empty revolver and grabbed McCoy's shotgun, running to Whitman's prone body and...

On August 5, 1966, Houston McCoy appeared before the Travis County Grand Jury to give testimony in...

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...

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...

Forensic investigators have theorized that the tumor may have been pressed against the nearby amygdalae regions of his brain. The...

The Connally Commission recommended that the university and state aid the wounded and those affected by the events. Aid to survivors and the wounded were to include loans, with University of Texas and...

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 officiated by Fr. Tom Anglin. As a veteran, Whitman...

Investigating officers found that Whitman had visited several University doctors in the year prior to the shootings, who had prescribed him various...

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 final suicide note. He said, "I talked with a Doctor once for...

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....

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 1968. Following the...

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

In 2008, on the 42nd anniversary of the attacks, the following names were added to a plaque on an Austin...


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