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ERIC Number: EJ766203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr-27
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
The Legacy of the Texas Tower Sniper
Lavergne, Gary
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n34 pA22 Apr 2007
In this article, the author relates the incident that happened at the University of Texas to the tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech. On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower, in Austin, and in 96 minutes fired 150 high-powered rounds of ammunition down upon an unsuspecting university family. The shooter killed or wounded nearly 50 people that day. Like the tower tragedy, the Virginia Tech incident will see passionate discussion about whether or not violence is the result of organic disease. A detailed account of his actions shows that Charles Whitman was fully conscious of what he was doing. He could not have done what he did otherwise. While the details are sketchy, initial reports are that the gunman at Virginia Tech was likewise conscious of his actions, having acquired ammunition and weapons designed for efficient killing. Reports of chained doors to prevent escape and of the gunman's purposeful behavior to inflict the greatest possible damage on his victims are consistent with what Charles Whitman did in Austin in 1966. Unless any strong evidence to the contrary surfaces, it can be safely assumed that the man in Blacksburg, Virginia, who broke people's hearts was a cold-blooded murderer, in the Whitman mold. Lessons that can be learned from these incidents are discussed.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas; Virginia