Charles Joseph Whitman was an American mass murderer who became infamous as the \”Texas Tower Sniper\”. On August 1, 1966, he used knives to kill his mother and his wife in their respective homes, then went to the University of Texas in Austin with multiple firearms and began indiscriminately shooting at people. Whitman killed a total of 16 people; the 16th victim died 35 years later from injuries sustained in the attack.
About Charles Whitman in brief
Charles Joseph Whitman was an American mass murderer who became infamous as the \”Texas Tower Sniper\”. On August 1, 1966, he used knives to kill his mother and his wife in their respective homes, then went to the University of Texas in Austin with multiple firearms and began indiscriminately shooting at people. Whitman killed a total of 16 people; the 16th victim died 35 years later from injuries sustained in the attack. Whitman was born on June 24, 1941, in Lake Worth, Florida, the eldest of three sons born to Margaret E. Whitman and Charles Adolphus “C.A” Whitman Jr. Whitman’s father was a firearms collector and enthusiast, who taught each of his young sons to shoot, clean, and maintain weapons. Whitman became an Eagle Scout at 12 years three months, reportedly the youngest of any Eagle Scout up to that time. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps one month after his June 1959 graduation from high school, where he had graduated seventh in a class of 72 students. Whitman told a family friend that the catalyst for his enlistment was an incident a month earlier, in which his father had beaten him and thrown him into the family swimming pool because Whitman had come home drunk. Whitman left home on July 6, having been assigned an 18-month tour of duty with the Marines at Guantánamo Bay. After completing his assignment, Whitman applied to a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps scholarship program, intending to complete college and become a commissioned officer. Whitman earned high scores on the required mathematics and physics examination before being approved to study mechanical engineering.
He was initially a poor student, but earned a reputation as a practical joker in his years as an engineering student. Shortly after his enrollment at the university, Whitman and two friends were observed poaching a deer, with a passer-by noting his license plate number and reporting them to the police. The trio were arrested when they were butchering the deer in the shower at Whitman’s dormitory. On September 15, 1961, Whitman entered the mechanical engineering program at the Universityof Texas at Austin. He became an accomplished pianist at the age of 12, and by the next month, he had saved enough money from his newspaper route to purchase a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he used on his route. He achieved 215 of 250 possible points on marksmanship tests, doing well when shooting rapidly over long distances as well as at moving targets. During Whitman’s initial 18- months service in 1959 and 1960, he earned a sharpshooter’s badge and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. He told a friend that he had been beaten by his father, who had thrown him in the family pool because he had came home drunk the previous month. His father still did not know he had enlisted. As Whitman traveled toward Parris Island, his father learned of his action and telephoned a branch of the federal government, trying to have his son’s enlistment canceled. During his first year of college, he completed courses in physics and mathematics.