A sniper in the tower: the Charles Whitman mass murders by Gary M. Lavergne

By Gary M. Lavergne

On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman ascended the college of Texas Tower and devoted what was once then the most important simultaneous mass homicide in American background. He gunned down forty-five humans inside of and round the Tower earlier than he used to be killed via Austin law enforcement officials. as well as selling the increase of S.W.A.T. groups to reply to destiny crises, the murders spawned debates over concerns which nonetheless plague the United States this day: household violence, baby abuse, drug abuse, army indoctrination, the madness security, and the fragile stability among civil liberties and public safety.

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Schuck later remembered: "It didn't take long after this incident and the urging of myself and Kathy, whom he was now dating steadily along with another girl . . to stifle Charlie's interest in card playing. 14 Not all instances of Charlie's immaturity were so sinister, though some could be cruel. David Pratt, a dorm resident, related that after a night of drinking, Charlie decided to try to get Nikita Khruschev on the phone in order to tell the Soviet General Secretary that he did not like him.

Large awnings shielded the windows of the wood-framed house from Florida's radiant heat. The home's front yard had been expertly landscaped and dotted with tropical fruit trees. By the 1950s a swimming pool was installed in the backyard and an upstairs apartment rested above the large garage. By the 1960s the home was valued at $12,00015,000. Every room was finely furnished. On almost every wall, along with the pictures, guns were displayed. C. 's admitted fanaticism for weapons provided his sons with the opportunity to become accustomed to instruments of hunting and aggression.

He seemed more mature than most students, and [was] very, very serious," stated Professor Leonardt Kreisle, Charlie's academic advisor. Schuck remembered him as well-mannered, good looking, well-dressed, and personable. 12 Today it is evident that Charlie had become a consummate actor. He could be a serious student, a contrite poacher, a daredevil, or a model marine. He considered himself a polished bluffer and a better-than-average gambler. In Charlie's circle of acquaintances, the stakes could get high, especially for college students with limited resources.

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