Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was an American engineering student and former U.S. Marine who killed 14 people and wounded 32 others in a spree shooting in Austin, Texas, on the...

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...

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

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...

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 accomplished...

At the age of eleven, Whitman joined the Boy Scouts and earned a total of twenty-one merit badges in fifteen months. On September 15, 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 whose intelligence was noted by teachers and his peers alike. By the next month, he had saved enough...

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

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...

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 son's enlistment...

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

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

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 hobbies included karate, scuba diving, gambling...

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...

In February 1962, Whitman met Kathleen Frances Leissner, a teaching student two years his junior. Leissner was Whitman's...

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...

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

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...

He had a reputation among his peers as an exemplary Marine, but Whitman continued to gamble during his time at Camp Lejeune. In November 1963, he was...

In 1963, as he awaited his court martial, Whitman began to write a diary titled "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 at Austin, enrolling in the architectural engineering program. To support himself and Kathy, he worked as a bill...

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...

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...

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...

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 job as a telephone...

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 that Kathy could get to her...

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...

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...

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...

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...

On the morning of August 1, Whitman rented a hand truck from Austin Rental Company and cashed $250 ($1800 in 2013...

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 M1, a 9mm Luger...

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

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 that...

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 observation deck...

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...

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...

The first shots fired by Whitman from the tower's outer deck came at approximately 11:48 a.m. He first hit Claire Wilson, an...

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

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

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. Mattson had part of his wrist blown off....

To the rear of the intersection of 24th and Guadalupe Street, Whitman targeted two 21-year-olds, Oscar Royuela and Irma Garcia, as the...

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...

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 on the South Mall, a history professor was the first to telephone the Austin Police...

Students and university staff worked to assist and move the wounded to safety, risking their lives. One student later recalled,...

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 Department of...

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

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

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...

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 west on the south deck, with the intention...

As Whitman sat crouched with his back positioned on the north wall, and looking in the north-west corner area of the...

Martinez threw down his now-empty revolver and grabbed McCoy's shotgun, running to Whitman's supine 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 McCoy was the only...

At the time of the shootings, the Austin Police Department had no specialized tactical unit to deploy in response to...

Although Whitman had been prescribed drugs, and was in possession of Dexedrine at the time of his death, no toxicology test was performed at first because...

On August 2, an autopsy was conducted upon the body of Charles Whitman by Dr. Chenar (a neuropathologist at Austin State Hospital) at the Cook Funeral Home in Austin, Texas. Urine and blood were...

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

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

Forensic investigators have theorized that the tumor may have been pressed against the nearby amygdala region of his brain. The brain contains two amygdalae, one on each side, and...

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

Investigating officers found that Whitman had visited several University doctors in the year prior to the shootings, who had prescribed him various medications. Whitman had seen a minimum of five doctors between...

Whitman met with Maurice Dean Heatly, the staff psychiatrist at the University of Texas Health Center, on...

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

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...

Following the shootings, the Tower observation deck was closed to visitors. In 1967, the University of Texas spent...

In January 2003, the University of Texas at Austin committed $200,000 and sought another $800,000 to redesign the "Memorial Garden" dedicated to recognize the deaths of August 1, 1966. The Memorial Garden was dedicated in 2006, 40 years...

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


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