A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders
A Sniper in the Tower
Covers of the 1997 and 1998 edition.
Editor(s) Gary M. Lavergne
Published 1997
Publisher University of North Texas Press
Country United States
Pages 324
ISBN 9781574410211

A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders is a book by Gary M. Lavergne, published by University of North Texas Press, Denton, TX, in 1997.


On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower and committed what was then the largest simultaneous mass murder in American history. He gunned down forty-five people inside and around the Tower before he was killed by two Austin police officers. In addition to promoting the rise of S.W.A.T. teams to respond to future crises, the murders spawned debates over issues which still plague America today: domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, military indoctrination, the insanity defense, and the delicate balance between civil liberties and public safety.

Table of contentsEdit

Chapter Page
Prologue: Weathered Metal Plaques vii
1: Two Very Different Upbringings 1
2: The Soldier and the Teacher 16
3: Austin Is Different 36
4: The Nice Facade 50
5: Oozing With Hostility 64
6: After Much Thought 77
7: The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment 98
8: The Glass-Paneled Door 124
9: Strange Noises 139
10: Houston 154
11: Ramiro 167
12: The General 181
13: Independent Actions 197
14: The White Headband 209
15: To Whom It May Concern 223
16: APD 238
17: Why Did He Do It? 254
18: Who Killed Charles Whitman? 272
Epilogue: The Writer from Austin 287
Notes on Sources 299
Acknowledgments 305
Index 311


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