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Charles Joseph WHITMAN






A.K.A.: "The Texas Tower Sniper"
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Shooting rampage
Number of victims: 15 + 1
Date of murders: August 1, 1966
Date of birth: June 24, 1941
Victims profile: His mother Margaret Whitman (43) / His wife Kathy Whitman (23) / Edna Townsley (47) / Mark Gabour (16) / Marguerite Lamport (45) / Paul Sonntag (18) / Claudia Rutt (18) / Roy Dell Schmidt (29) / Thomas Aquinas Ashton (22) / Thomas Eckmann (18) / Baby Boy Wilson (unborn) / Thomas Karr (24) / Karen Griffith (17) / Doctor Robert Boyer (32) / Harry Walchuk (39) / Billy Speed (22)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Status: Shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Houston McCoy the same day

The Whitman Archives

A selection of documents from the Austin Police Department's files held at the Austin History Center

All documents are PDF's made from photocopies. The free Acrobat Reader is required to view them. Some are rather large, so be patient with download times.


Whitman notes and letters

Whitman left this letter attached to a yellow legal pad and placed under the covers next to the body of his mother, Elizabeth Whitman, in Aug. 1, 1966, in her Austin apartment.

Whitman began this typewritten letter after having killed his mother. He breaks off typing when friends come to the house. He finished the letter in longhand at 3 a.m. on Aug. 1, 1966, after having killed his wife, Kathleen.

Whitman wrote letters to his brother Patrick and John after killing their mother and his wife.

Before leaving his house for the last time, Whitman reviewed some of the things he had written to himself in the two years before the shootings. He added commentary to some of them, like the note dated 8-1-66.


Official reports

The initial police report of Ramiro Martinez, one of the Austin Police Department officers who shot and killed Charles J. Whitman.

The initial police report of Houston McCoy, the other Austin Police Department officer who shot and killed Whitman.

The police inventory of arms and other items brought to the 27th floor of the Texas Tower by Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966.

The report on the autopsy performed Aug. 2, 1966, on the body of Charles Whitman.

A letter from the governor asking for the Austin Police Department's cooperation in a University of Texas inquiry into the Whitman shootings, along with the findings and recommendations of the committee.

A ruling by the Travis County Grand Jury commending those involved in stopping Charles Whitman. The Grand Jury also recommended that the police allow only other law enforcement officers to view Whitman's letters.


Witness accounts

The report of Allen Crum, a University of Texas Co-Op supervisor who volunteered to be deputized and, with a rifle loaned to him, helped cover the officers who shot and killed Charles Whitman.

A report by the Intelligence Division of the DPS based on an interview with John and Fran Morgan, close friends of Kathleen and Charles Whitman.

A report filed by Maurice D. Heatley, staff psychiatrist for the University of Texas Health Center, after his first and only session with Charles Whitman four months before the shootings. He asked Whitman to return the following week, but he did not.

A copy of an FBI report after an interview with Joseph G. Leduc, parish priest, scout leader and longtime friend of a young Charles Whitman and his family in Florida.



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