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

In the early morning hours of August 1, Whitman murdered his wife and mother in their homes. Later that day, he went to the...

Charles Joseph Whitman was born on June 24, 1941 in Lake Worth, Florida, the eldest of three sons...

As a boy, Whitman was described as a polite, well-mannered child who seldom lost his temper. He was extremely intelligent: an examination at the age of six revealed his IQ...

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 Catholic...

Whitman Sr. was a firearms collector and enthusiast, who taught each of his sons from an early age...

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

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...

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

One month after his June 1959 graduation from high school (where he had graduated seventh in a class of...

As Whitman traveled toward Parris Island, his father learned of his action and telephoned a branch of the federal...

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 received 215 out of 250...

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

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

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

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,...

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

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 peers 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...

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

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 two occasions. They said that Whitman had despised...

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...

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 over a...

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 and his...

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 6:00–10:00...

Whitman wrote that he requested an autopsy be conducted upon his body, to determine if there was a biological...

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...

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

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...

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

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

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...

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...

Moments later, an Austin couple named Cheryl Botts and Don Walden, who had been taking in the view from the observation deck, returned to the reception area. Whitman was leaning across the couch, holding a rifle in each...

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...

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 18-year-old anthropology student who was eight months...

Whitman began to fire upon people walking on Guadalupe Street; he shot and wounded 17-year-old newspaper...

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...

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

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...

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...

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, "That was the moment that...

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

Approximately 20 minutes after first shooting from the observation deck, Whitman began to encounter return fire from both the police and armed civilians. One Texas Ranger used a student as spotter...

Three officers who responded to reports of the sniper were Ramiro Martinez (accompanied with civilian Allen Crum),...

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

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,...

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 north-west corner...

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...

Martinez later credited the numerous civilian shooters for saving "many lives" by forcing Whitman to...

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...

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 Whitman had...

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...

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...

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 amygdala region of his brain. The brain contains two amygdalae, one on each side, and the amygdalae are known to...

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 State of Texas agencies to...

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 the fall and...

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

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 records and found that Whitman had visited the...

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...

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 at Austin committed $200,000 and sought another $800,000 to redesign the "Memorial Garden" dedicated to recognize the deaths of August 1,...

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


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