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

Prior to the shootings at the University of Texas at Austin, Whitman had murdered both his wife and mother in...

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 orphanage...

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

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...

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,...

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

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

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 had not told...

As Whitman traveled toward Parris Island, his father learned of his action and telephoned a branch of the federal government, trying unsuccessfully to have his...

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...

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

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

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 occasion in 1962, as he and a fellow student named Francis Schuck...

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...

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 at Austin,...

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 peers as an exemplary Marine, but Whitman continued to gamble during his time at Camp Lejeune. In November...

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 at Austin, enrolling...

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...

In May 1966, Margaret Whitman announced her intention to divorce Whitman's father because of his physical abuse. The younger...

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 day before the shootings, Whitman bought a pair of binoculars and a knife from a hardware store, and Spam from a 7-Eleven...

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...

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...

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

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 his mother's workplace...

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 hardware store, where he purchased a Universal M1 carbine,...

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 caliber pump rifle, a .30 caliber carbine, a 9mm Luger pistol, a...

At approximately 11:35 a.m., Whitman arrived on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Showing a security...

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...

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. The...

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, Marguerite and William Lamport, ascending the...

Whitman closed and barricaded the door to the reception area. He then shot Edna Townsley in the left...

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...

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 dress shop. Khashab, a 26-year-old chemistry student from Iraq, was shot in the elbow and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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

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...

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 slumped against the wall, with his...

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 intention of...

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 and rapidly...

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 hurriedly left the scene,...

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

On August 2, an autopsy was conducted upon the body of Charles Whitman by a Dr. Chenar (a Neuropathologist at Austin State Hospital)...

Although Whitman had been prescribed drugs, and was in possession of Dexedrine (which a friend stated he consumed "like popcorn") at the time of his death, no toxicology test was performed because Whitman...

In the days following the shootings, Texas Governor John Connally commissioned a task force of professionals to examine the physical autopsy findings and material...

Following a three-hour hearing on August 5, the Commission said that the findings of Dr. Chenar's initial autopsy...

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 to survivors and the wounded were to include loans, with...

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...

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,...

During Whitman's command of the tower, the university learned that the shooter might have been a student. Once his identity was released, officials conducted a search of Whitman's...

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 ineffective against a sniper; some...

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 suicides of four...

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

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


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