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Old August 8, 2008, 11:07 PM   #1
Art Eatman
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September -- "Snipers In The Tower"

I saw the inset picture, taken through the rainspout. Hey! "MY" pecan tree is still there! The large one, straight down the middle at 20th and University, a block past the Memorial Fountain at.

From an old thread, here, wherein I posted:

"Yeah, Whitman had gone to the university student health center several times, complaining of headaches. Later discussions after the event led to specualtion of a tumor, mentioned in Kinky Friedman's "The Ballad of Charles Whitman".

His first shootings were to the south mall of the main building, with the M-1 Carbine. After people took cover, he shifted to the 6mm Rem.

He had bought a break-open single-shot 12 gauge from (IIRC) Sears a couple of days before the shooting. He borrowed a neighbor's hacksaw to make it into a pistol.

The night before the shooting he killed his wife with his hunting knife. The next morning, he went to his mother's and killed her with the knife.

He had a footlocker on a dolly, with all his gear. He was dressed in khakis, appearing to be a university workman. Elevator to the top, and into the access office. He used the shotgun pistol on the secretary there. A family of four came in as he was hiding the body behind a couch; he shot and killed two of them with the "pistol" and wounded one other.

It is surmised that the interruption delayed his schedule; that he had intended to begin shooting at the beginning of class-period change when the mall would be full. As it was, he had only about five minutes of "free time".

I don't remember a second pistol besides the .357, nor had I heard about the .35 Rem. No matter; not saying it ain't so...He did have five gallons of water plus suchlike as sardines, tuna fish, crackers and, disremember, some bread.

While a civilian employee of the University Co-Op bookstore, a WW II vet of city fighting in Europe was the "guide", it was two young Austin policemen who saw and killed Whitman. Revolver and shotgun.

At Rotary meeting the week after the shooting, Col. Homer Garrison, then head of Texas' Department of Public Safety, told my father that had it not been for civilian deer-rifle ground fire, Whitman could have been up there until his water gave out. The ground fire forced him away from control of the access door through which the police got onto the observation deck."
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Old August 17, 2008, 11:49 AM   #2
ojibweindian
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My dad was Whitman's corpsman while they were in the 'Corps. He said the guy was pretty nice, never gave dad any trouble but, unfortunately, got the short end of the stick a lot.

I won't swear to this, but I believe dad said that even while in the 'Corps, Whitman suffered from excruciating headaches.
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Old August 17, 2008, 06:12 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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I also enjoyed Brian's article but unlike you, Art, I can't tell from the photo that it's a pecan tree. It looks like a tree to this city boy.

BTW Steve, I didn't know your pop was a medic. So was mine.
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:39 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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I had just moved from an apartment about 100 yards past that tree. I'd gone by on my lunch hour to make one last check on the mailbox. Saw what looked like a minor fender-bender at the intersection; wandered down to see what had happened. Walked down the sidewalk, white shirt and tie, checking my watch by the Tower clock. Perfect target...

When somebody spoke of a shooter on the Tower, I became intimate with the back side of that tree.
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Old August 22, 2008, 12:57 PM   #5
Sidewinder6
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Similar subject, different town, the editors might consider looking up the sniper incident in New Orleans where a gunman perched himself in a Howard Johnsons hotel and shot several people before he was smoked out to the roof and eventually killed. I recall studing this case and the Detective Sergeant (IIRC?) who led the investigation of the entire aftermath did one heck of a presentation on the entire incident.

Still basking in the afterglow of Katrina, this story is worth keeping derranged snipers on the SWAT radar a while longer. I want to say this guy took some long shots out almost one click. Like the Texas incident, the PD opened the area gun stores and declared open season. The number of rounds fired and the conclusion of the incident are worth digging up.
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Old August 26, 2008, 01:01 PM   #6
Al Thompson
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SW^, great idea - I remember reading bits and pieces of the story years ago. IIRC, there was a .50 cal in a Huey that was used as well. I always figured it was an interesting story, just never read about it.
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Old August 27, 2008, 10:03 AM   #7
Denny Hansen
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Sidewinder, Al-

While I agree with both of you, I have my doubts if it will happen. Snipercraft Inc. was teaching a class in Austin and received special permission to go onto the observation deck of the clock tower at the University of Texas. I'll get in touch with the author and see if they can do something similar if they teach a course in the NO area.
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Old August 28, 2008, 01:36 PM   #8
Sidewinder6
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Thanks Denny.

I have no idea if the officers/investigators are even around like they were in Texas OR if the hotel is even still standing. The photo slide show was unbelievable. You might ask to review them but I think given the recent weather reports, you are no doubt correct.
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