Austin History Center

Austin (Tex.). Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case

An Inventory of the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Austin (Tex.). Police Department
Title: Austin (Tex.). Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case
Dates: 1941-2000, undated
1966
Abstract: Charles Joseph Whitman (1941-1966) was an ex-Marine and student at the University of Texas at Austin who shot and killed 14 people and wounded at least 33 others from the UT Tower observation deck on August 1, 1966. In the early morning hours prior to the UT attack, Whitman also murdered his beloved mother and his wife. Another individual died years later of complications from a gunshot wound inflicted during the UT attack, bringing the total death toll to 17. The collection (1941-2000, undated) documents the Austin Police Department (APD) investigation into the mass murder and is composed of reports generated by APD and other investigating bodies, photographs, negatives, digital images, correspondence, personal writings, notes, and clippings.
Identification: AR.2000.002
Quantity: 7.25 linear feet (14 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, qAR, Outer Vault
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe St., PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX, 78768

Biographical Note

Charles Joseph Whitman (1941-1966) was an ex-Marine and student at the University of Texas at Austin who shot 15 people and wounded at least 33 others from the UT Tower observation deck on August 1, 1966.

Whitman was born in Lake Worth, Florida in 1941 to Charles Adolphus, a financially successful plumbing contractor, and Margaret Hodges Whitman. Whitman was the eldest of three siblings. His two brothers were Patrick, born 1945, and John Michael, known as "Johnnie Mike", born 1949. He grew up in an authoritarian household in which his father was emotionally and physically abusive to his wife and children. As a boy, Whitman was involved with the Boy Scouts, playing piano, and hunting. At age 12, he received national recognition by becoming the youngest Eagle Scout in the world. He had a large paper route in the Lake Worth, FL, area delivering the Miami Herald. Although he was described as intelligent (with an IQ of 138.9) and had a history of good grades in school, during his final two years of high school his grades dropped. He graduated from Saint Ann High School in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1959.

On July 6, 1959, Whitman joined the United States Marine Corps. Beginning in December, 1959 he was stationed at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. He earned a Good Conduct Medal, a Sharpshooter's Badge, and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. While at Guantanamo Bay, he was awarded a Naval Enlisted Science Education Program (NESEP) scholarship, which was designed to increase the number of scientists in the U.S. military. As part of this program, Whitman was sent to The University of Texas to begin in the Fall 1961 semester. During this time at UT, he lived at the Goodall-Wooten Dormitory and served as a dorm counselor. It was also during this period that Whitman and two other students were fined for illegally poaching a deer and butchering it in his dormitory bathroom.

Whitman earned poor grades during his first semester. In November, 1961, friend and fellow UT student, Francis Shuck, Jr. introduced Whitman to his future wife, student Kathleen "Kathy" Leissner. On August 17, 1962, the couple were married at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Needville, Texas, Kathy's hometown. Although his grades improved after marriage, they still were not up to the standards set by the NESEP. The Marines withdrew his scholarship in the Spring 1963 semester. Whitman responded by dropping out of UT in February, 1963, and was returned to active duty with the Marines with a promotion to Lance Corporal. Kathy graduated from UT and stayed in Austin to teach at Lanier High School.

In November, 1963, he was court martialed and found guilty of gambling, usury, and the unauthorized possession of a non-military pistol. He was busted to the rank of Private and served 90 days of hard labor. In December, 1964, he was honorably discharged from the Marines and returned to Austin. In January, 1965, he re-enrolled in UT and maintained a respectable grade point average. During this time, he was employed in a number of jobs and served as a scoutmaster while still receiving financial support from his father.

In February, 1966, his parents' ongoing marital problems came to a head. Whitman drove to Lake Worth, Florida in March to help move his mother to her own apartment in Austin. He was so concerned that his father would resort to violence while his mother was moving that he requested a local policeman stand guard while she moved her belongings out of the home. In April, 1966, she accepted a position in Austin as cashier at Wyatt's Cafeteria. Over the next few months, Whitman's father repeatedly phoned his wife and son pleading for his wife to return home. On July 30, two days before the shootings, the elder Whitman withdrew his financial support from his wife and son.

During 1965, Whitman visited several different doctors at the University of Texas Health Center for headaches. In March, 1966, he sought medical treatment there once again, complaining of mental health issues. He obtained a prescription for Valium and requested a psychiatric referral from general practitioner Dr. Jan D. Cochrum. He was referred to psychiatrist Dr. Maurice Dean Heatly. During his only session with Dr. Heatly, Whitman, whom Heatly later described as "oozing with hostility", expressed concern and fear about "overwhelming periods of hostility with a very minimum of provocation" and conveyed his reoccurring fantasy of, "...going up on the Tower with a deer rifle and shooting people". Whitman also spoke at length about his childhood, his father and his distress over his parent's recent separation. Heatly concluded that Whitman was not dangerous enough for involuntary commitment but asked him to return one week later and/or call anytime that he needed help. Whitman never returned for treatment.

On August 1, 1966 Whitman first killed his mother, Elizabeth Whitman, at 12:30 a.m. at her residence in the Penthouse Apartments at 1212 Guadalupe Street. Later, he killed his wife, Kathleen, at 3:00 a.m at their residence on 906 Jewell Street. Around 11:30 a.m. he ascended to the top of the Tower observation deck at The University of Texas at Austin and began shooting at people on campus below. The shooting spree lasted approximately 95 minutes before he was killed by police. Two Austin Police Department officers, Houston McCoy and Ramiro Martinez, both claimed to have shot fatal rounds at the sniper. At the time, sixteen people were killed (including his wife and mother, APD officer Billy Speed, and an unborn baby) and at least 33 people were injured. In November, 2001, David Gunby died in Fort Worth, Texas, from gunshot wounds he received from Whitman in 1966. Dr. Nizam Peerwani, the Tarrant County medical examiner, ruled Gunby's death a homicide, bringing the total dead to 17.

Whitman's body was embalmed 24 hours before an autopsy was conducted and conclusive toxicology tests could be performed for evidence of drugs. Dexedrine, a potent amphetamine/stimulant widely used in the military to combat fatigue, was found on his body at the time of death and was a drug that Whitman ingested on a regular basis for all-night study sessions. The initial autopsy, performed by Dr. Coleman de Chenar, a Travis County medical examiner, revealed the presence of a brain tumor. De Chenar concluded that the tumor did not have an effect on Whitman's behavior. Shortly after the shootings, Texas Governor John Connally assembled a team of medical experts, known as the Connally Commission, to investigate whether the tumor could have had an impact on Whitman's behavior. It found that the tumor had features suggesting a glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive, malignant brain cancer. The Commission concluded that the relationship between the brain tumor and his actions were unclear, but conceded that the mass could have influenced his ability to control his actions and emotions.

Family members and friends mentioned in this records set include:


  • Charles Adolphus "C. A." Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's father
  • Margaret Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's mother
  • John Michael "Johnnie Mike" Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's brother
  • Patrick Grady Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's brother
  • Kathleen Leissner Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's wife
  • Kathleen Leissner Whitman - Charles Joseph Whitman's wife
  • Nelson Leissner - Kathleen Whitman's brother
  • Ray Leissner - Kathleen Whitman's brother
  • Adam Leissner - Kathleen Whitman's brother
  • Carol Leissner - Kathleen Whitman's cousin
  • Linda Leissner - Kathleen Whitman's grandmother; called Mama.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Don Thornbury - Friends of Charles and Kathleen Whitman
  • Jim Poland - Friend of Johnnie Mike Whitman's from Florida
  • Schocie - Pronounced "sko-shee". Charles and Kathleen Whitman's dog. According to Nelson Leissner, dog did not disappear nor was it murdered. Schocie was taken to live with the Leissner family.

Source: Report to the Governor, Medical Aspects, Charles J. Whitman Catastrophe" (PDF). September 8, 1966. Accessed: 2015 Aug 15


Scope and Contents

The Austin Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case (1941-2000, undated) contains reports, correspondence, photographs, negatives, digital images, personal writings, notes and clippings generated primarily during the investigation of the Charles Whitman mass murder event and includes work done by several local, state, and federal agencies working in conjunction with the Austin Police Department such as the Texas State Department of Public Safety, Travis County, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Many of the records produced by other agencies were provided as a courtesy between agencies. Researchers should not assume that the Austin History Center holds the complete set of investigatory records from any of those agencies except those of the Austin Police Department.

Records Created by the Austin Police Department (1966, 2000, undated), is comprised of material, primarily murder and assault reports, generated as a result of the multi-homicide investigation which took place in August, 1966. Of note in this series is material used as evidence in these reports including Whitman's suicide letter, personal notes to his brothers, copies of his UT health records, invoices for weapons and equipment acquired in preparation for the mass attack and the note he left behind at the home on Jewell Street requesting that two rolls of camera film be developed. The photographs subseries includes numerous graphic crime scene and morgue images taken by the Austin Police Department as well as black and white prints developed by police from the undeveloped film Whitman left behind. The developed photographs capture a more personal side of Whitman, depicting scenes of him with family and friends, sitting on the porch with his dog, Schocie, and a trip to San Antonio he took with his wife just one week before the murders. There are also two CDs of digital images depicting the crime scene and evidence created by APD in 2000.

Copies of Records from Other Institutions (1941-1966, undated), contains Whitman's educational records and correspondence related to his estate. A substantial portion of material in this series is composed of records created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with courtesy copies furnished to the Austin Police Department. The records available to researchers were provided by the FBI as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request made of original, sealed FBI documents transferred to the Austin History Center from the Austin Police Department. The copies provided by this request were redacted by the FBI and are freely available to researchers. All original (unredacted) copies of this material have been transferred back to the FBI. Other material of note in this series includes the report of Whitman's autopsy, performed by Dr. Coleman de Chenar, who worked under the Travis County coroner's system. The autopsy was not performed until approximately 24 hours after death and after the body already had been embalmed. Therefore, conclusive toxicology testing could not be conducted. However, Dr. de Chenar did find evidence of a brain tumor.

The Writings and Personal Effects series (1941-1966, undated) is composed of material either sieged from the Whitman's rented home on Jewell Street or were recovered from his wallet following his death. Personal writings contained in hand-printed motivational sayings and journal entries in items such as the Green Memoranda notebook (1963) and the Daily Record of C.J. Whitman (1964) provide context and insight into his life prior to the shootings, encompassing his struggles and impending court martial from the Marines, as well as his relationships with his wife and other family members. Meticulous handwritten notes and drawings, a Marine Corps score book and training handbills clearly document his training and expertise as a military sharpshooter.

The final series, Newspaper articles, Post event Interest and Other Records (1965-1985), is comprised chiefly of magazine articles and newspaper clippings gathered in the aftermath of the tragedy; many concern the two police officers, Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy, both of whom apprehended and shot Whitman on the Tower observation deck. Several articles document the controvesy surrounding which officer actually fired the fatal shots that ended Whitman's rampage. This series also contains the police statement of Allen Crum, the University Co-op floor manager who first helped save a boy who had been wounded in the gunfire and then accompanied Martinez and McCoy up to the tower in pursuit of Whitman.

The Austin History Center is not the official archives repository for the State of Texas nor its agencies, such as the Department of Public Safety. Nor are we the official archives repository for the United States of America or its agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Drug Administration. Individuals wishing more information on those agencies' investigations of the Charles Whitman mass murder event may choose to place a Freedom of Information request directly with each agency. Alternatively, they may choose to place a Freedom of Information request with the Texas State Archives or the National Archives and Records Administration.


Arrangement

The records are organized into the following series and subseries. Material may be viewed in the Reading Room without prior approval with the exception of Series III, Subseries I, Original Writings and Personal Effects of Charles Whitman (Boxes 10 and 11). Please see details under Restrictions.
Series I. Records Created by the Austin Police Department
Subseries I. Murder Reports
Subseries II. Assault with Intent to Murder Reports
Subseries III. Additional Police Reports
Subseries IV. Murder Reports (Carbon copies)
Subseries V. Radio Dispatch Recordings
Subseries VI. Photographs
Series II. Copies of Records from Other Institutions
Subseries I. Department of Public Safety
Subseries II. Educational Records
Subseries III. Estate of Charles J. Whitman Records
Subseries IV. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Subseries V. Federal Drug Administration
Subseries VI. Palm Beach County Health Department
Subseries VII. State of Texas
Subseries VIII. Travis County
Subseries IX. United States Marine Corps
Subseries X. United States Naval Intelligence
Subseries XI. United States Treasury Department
Series III. Writings and Personal Effects of Charles Whitman
Subseries I. Originals
Subseries II. Copies
Series IV. Newspaper Articles, Post-Event Interest, and Other Records
Subseries I. Text for Article in American Rifleman
Subseries II. "The Deadly Tower"
Subseries III. Policia Internacional
Subseries IV. Press Clippings
Subseries V. Records from Houston McCoy
Subseries VI. "The Tower Incident"

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Requests to view original material in Series III, Subseries I, Writings and Personal Effects of Charles Whitman (Boxes 10 and 11) must be submitted to the Curator of Archives and Manuscripts and will be granted under special consideration. Photocopies of this material, Series III, Subseries II, (Box 12), may be viewed in the Reading Room without an appointment.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made for both the Austin Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation documents. The Austin History Center received redacted courtesy copies of the FOIA release (Request No.: 1088642-000). These copies (Boxes 8a-c) are freely available for use by researchers. All original (unredacted) FBI documents were returned to the FBI in August, 2016.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Personal writings and photographic images created by Charles J. Whitman are under copyright ownership. While the Austin History Center has physical ownership of these items, copyright is held by the Whitman Family. Permission to publish these materials must be obtained from the Whitman Family. Consult repository for more details.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Persons:
Allen, John Scott
Ashton, Thomas
Boyer, Robert Hamilton
Carr, Thomas
Cochrum, Jan
Eckman, Thomas F.
Ehlke, Roland
Esparza, Avelino
Evgenides, Ellen Miller
Foster, F.L.
Frede, Robert
Gabour, Mark Jerome
Gabour, Mary Frances
Gabour, Mike
Garcia, Irma
Griffith, Karen
Gunby, David
Harvey, Nancy
Heard, Robert
Heatly, Maurice Dean
Hernandez, Alex
Hohmann, Morris
Huffman, Devereau
Kelley, Homar J.
Khashab, Abdul
Lamport, Marguerite
Littlefield, Adrian
Littlefield, Brenda Gail
Martinez, Marina
Martinez, Ramiro
Mattson, David
McBee,
McCoy, Houston
Ortega, Delores
Paulos, Janet
Phillips, Lana
Royvela, Oscar
Rutt, Claudia
Schmidt, Roy Dell
Snowden, Billy
Sontag, Paul Bolton
Speed, Billy
Sterzing
Stewart, C.A.
Townsley, Edna Elizabeth
Walchuk, Harry
Wheeler, Carla Sue
Whitman, Charles Adolphus
Whitman, Charles Joseph
Whitman, Elizabeth M.
Whitman, John Michael
Whitman, Kathleen Frances (Leissner)
Whitman, Patrick G
Wilson, Claire
Wilson, Infant
Wilson, Sandra
Organizations:
Austin Police Department
Boy Scouts of America
Department of Public Safety
Educational Records
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Drug Administration
The University of Texas
Travis County
United States Marine Corps
United States Naval Intelligence
United States Treasury Department
Places:
Austin (Tex.)
Needville (Tex.)
Lake Worth, Florida
Subjects:
Mass murderers
Mass murders

Related Material

Archives and Manuscript Collection


  • AR.2000.002 - Austin (Tex.). Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case. Includes police reports, witness statements, crime scene photographs, correspondence, clippings and personal effects including photographs, diaries, and writings belonging to Charles Joseph Whitman.
  • AR.2002.001 - Gary M. Lavergne Papers. Includes the manuscript for Gary Lavergne's book, A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Mass Murders, and a collection of articles about the author and his book. Collection also contains audio cassettes copies and transcripts of recordings of telephone communications of the police operator and the police radio of the Austin Police Department on the day of the shootings.
  • AR.2001.014 - Records of the Office of the City Clerk. Box 21, folder 10 of this collection contains telegrams and correspondence related to Whitman.
  • AR.2009.045 - Whitney Milam Video Collection. This collection contains the unedited video footage of interviews conducted by Whitney Milam for his "Sniper '66" television documentary. Milam interviewed three people who witnessed the Charles Whitman tower shootings at the University of Texas, as well as the author of a book about the incident. The collection also contains a CD access copy of the original KTBC (now KLBJ) broadcast of the Tower shootings by reporter Neal Spelce on August 1, 1966.
  • AR.2006.026 - Grover Simpson Papers. A long-time game warden for the state of Texas, Simpson is responsible for citing Charles Whitman in 1963 for deer poaching. Whitman and two friends were discovered butchering the animal in his UT dormitory bathroom. Collection contains an oversized scrapbook (1948-1973, undated) with two newspaper clippings: "Illegal Deer Cases Filed" [album page 3]; "Three Fined In Deer Case" [album page 5].
  • AR.2005.009 - Betty Cox Papers. Box 8, subseries C, Ramiro Martinez, contains an edited draft and manuscript proofs for They Call Me Ranger Ray, which was edited by Cox and published by Rio Bravo Publishing in 2005. Martinez was one of the APD officers who shot Charles Whitman in 1966 at the University of Texas tower shootings. The book contains a chapter dedicated to the Tower tragedy.
  • AR.2010.026 - Linalice Carey Papers. Box 5 folder 16 contains a play written by Texas playwright Cleve Haubold titled The Man on the Tower written on August 27, 1966. Linalice Carey was a local actor, producer, writer and director and was a key figure in Austin's theatre scene from the 1960s-1980s.

Oversized Archives


  • Playboy. October, 1970. [qAR Box 18 Item 6] "The Many Faces of Murder," by Bruce Porter. Includes The Charles Whitman Papers.
  • Life. August 12, 1966. [qAR Box 18 Item 4] "Texas Sniper's Murder Rampage.
  • Austin American. August 2, 1966. [qAR Box 18 Item 1]
  • Austin Statesman. August 2 and 3, 1966. [qAR Box 18 Items 2 and 3]
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram. August 2, 1966. [qAR Box 18 Item 5]
  • Family First 2002 [qAR box 18 Item 8]. "UT Tower Massacre Still Haunting Austin Police Hero" - about Houston McCoy
  • The Police Line 2002 [qAR Box 18 Item 7]. "City Says No to Counseling for Police Hero's PTSD"

General Collection


  • 1960s Austin Gangsters : Organized Crime that Rocked the Capital by Jesse Sublett, 2015. [A 364.1066097 SU]
  • A Study in Murder: A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Psychology, Bates College by Carol Jean Renaud, 1966. [A 364.1509764 RE]
  • Admissions: The Extraordinary History of Brackenridge Hospital by Lisa Fahrenthold and Sara Rider, 1984. [A 352.4 Fa]
  • Austin City Directories Listings for Charles and Kathleen Whitman during the mid-1960s.
  • The Impossible Tree by Mary Frances (Gabour) Lamport, 1972. [A 364.1523 La]
  • LT : A Street Cop's Stories by Ernie W. Hinkle, 2014. [A 353.36 H6634H]
  • Mass Murderers Time-Life Books, 1993. [A 364.1523092 Ma]
  • Monday, Monday 1st ed. by Crook, Elizabeth, 2014. [A 813.54 CR 2014]
  • Press Conference. Report to the Governor, Medical Aspects Charles J. Whitman Catastrophe, 1966. [A 364.1523 Pr]
  • A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Mass Murders by Gary M. Lavergne, 1997. [A 364.1509764 La]
  • Summer of '66, 2nd edition, Williams, Shelton L., 2007. [A 364.1523092 W7272W]
  • Texas Crime Chronicles, "The Madman in the Tower" by William J. Helmer, 2000. [A 364.9764 Te]
  • They Call Me Ranger Ray 1st ed., Martinez, Ramiro, 2005. [A 363.2092 M3858M]
  • Tower Sniper: The Terror of America's First Active Shooter on Campus by Monte Akers, Nathan Akers and Roger Friedman, Ph.D., 2016 [A 364.1509764 AK]
  • The University Methodist Pulpit, "Is There an Answer?" by Jack D. Hooper, 1966. [A 287.676431 Un]
  • Cactus [A 378.005 Ca] University of Texas at Austin yearbook. The 1963 yearbook includes the yearbook photographs of students Kathleen and Charles Whitman.
  • Rebel Roundup [A 373.05 Ro] William B. Travis High School yearbook. The 1967 edition features an article on student and shooting victim Alex Hernandez.
  • Viking [A 373.05 Vi] Sidney Lanier High School yearbook. The 1967 edition includes a dedication to victims Kathleen Whitman and Karen Griffith, Lanier teacher and student.

Austin Files Collection


  • AF Biography: Heard, Robert AP reporter shot while covering the shooting.
  • AF Biography: Hipple, Augusta The Austin fortuneteller who read Whitman's cards.
  • AF Biography: Hohmann, Morris Funeral home ambulance driver wounded in the attack while transporting victims to Brackenridge Hospital. He was transported to Brackenridge in his own ambulance.
  • AF Biography: Keever, Jack AP reporter responsible for first story published about the shooting.
  • AF Biography: Lavergne, Gary Author of Sniper in the Tower.
  • AF Biography: McCoy, Houston Austin Police officer responsible for firing the shots that killed Whitman.
  • AF Biography: Martinez, Ramiro The first Austin Police officer on the tower deck to confront Whitman and one of the officers who shot Whitman.
  • AF Biography: Preece, Jr., Forrest, Personal account. Preece was a student at UT on campus the day of the shootings.
  • AF Biography: Spelce, Fannie Lou Includes information about on-the-scene newsman Neal Spelce.
  • AF Murders--Mass--Whitman, Charles [AF -- M8960] Newspaper and magazine articles, inquest reports, autopsies, psychiatric evaluation and various other items.
  • AF Murders--Mass--Whitman, Charles [AF -- M8960(1)] Photocopies of Inquest Docket, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Place 2, Travis County, Texas, 1966-67. Original material has been transferred back to the county archives. Includes records and some death certificates for the following individuals: Eckman, Thomas Frederick, p. 18. Sonntag, Paul Bolton Speed, Billy Paul Whitman, Charles Joseph Whitman, Margaret E.
  • AF Murders--Mass--Whitman, Charles [AF -- M8960 (1)] Photocopies of Inquest Docket, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Travis County, Texas, 1960-1972. Includes inquest report on Kathleen Whitman, page 54. Note: Original material has been transferred back to the county archives.

Oral History Collection


  • *Note - Check the "AF-Biography" files under the interviewee's name for a transcript of the oral history, if one exists.
  • Abell, Dr. Joe, Jr. N.d. Interview. Emergency Room doctor at Brackenridge Hospital during the shooting. [Cassette # 0502; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Abell, Joseph Miles]
  • Calhoon, Dr. Jim. June 2, 1983. Interview. Doctor at Brackenridge Hospital. [Cassette # 0454; no access copy. No transcript.]
  • Clay, Camille. May 26, 1983. Interview. Nurse at Brackenridge Hospital during the shooting. [Cassette # 0457-B; access copy available. Transcript in AF -- Murders - Mass, Whitman, Charles Joseph. [AF -- M8960]
  • Dellana, Judge Jerry. N.d. Interview. Justice of the Peace who performed inquests on most of the victims and on Whitman. [Cassette # 0511-B; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Dellana Family.]
  • Dowdy, Julia Ruth and Wood, Ruby Anne Corder. May 7, 1983. Interview. Graduates of The Nursing School At Brackenridge Hospital. [Cassette # 0459-A; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography Dowdy, Julia Ruth.]
  • Heard, Robert. June 16, 1983. Interview. Shooting Victim. [Cassette # 0470; no access copy. No transcript.
  • Hohmann, Morris. May 31, 1983. Interview. Ambulance attendant wounded by Whitman shots. [Cassette # 0513; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Hohmann, Morris.]
  • Jaso, Rita. June 21, 1983. Interview. Head surgical nurse on duty the day of the shooting. [Cassette # 458-A; access copy # 2230. Transcript in AF- Murders - Mass, Whitman, Charles. [AF -- M8960]
  • Kelly, Eunice. May 23, 1983. Interview. Emergency Room nurse on duty the day of the shooting. [Cassette # 0459-B; access copy available. No transcript.]
  • Lalonde, Dr. No date. Interview. Chief of Staff at Brackenridge Hospital in 1966. [Cassette # 0511-A; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Lalonde, Albert.]
  • Lamport, Mary Frances (Gabour). 1974. Interview. Art Young, interviewer for KRMH-FM. Whitman shooting victim. [Cassette # 0118-B; access copy # 2227-B. Transcript in AF - Murders - Mass Whitman, Charles Joseph. [AF -- M8960]
  • Martin, Dr. Claud. February 18, 1983. Interview. Old Brackenridge Hospital. [Cassette # 0457-A; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Clay, Camille.]
  • Moffett, Bill. May 19, 1983. Interview. Victim, injured during the shooting. [Cassette # 0469-A; no access copy. No transcript.]
  • Pape, Dr. June 14, 1983. Interview. Emergency Room doctor who treated victims. [Cassette # 0490-A; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Pape, Robert.]
  • Roddy, Joe. June 14, 1983. Interview. Newsman who reported from Brackenridge Hospital on the status of the victims. [Cassette # 0479-B; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Spelce, Neal.]
  • Schmidt, May. February 14, 2000. Interview. Friend of 2 victims briefly discusses incident. [Cassette # 1642; access copy available. Transcript in AF - Biography, Hamilton, Edward R.]
  • Smith, J. H. Buck. July 5, 1983. Interview. Justice of the Peace who helped identify shooting victims at hospital. [Cassette # 458-B; access copy # 2230. Transcript in AF - Murders - Mass, Whitman, Charles Joseph. [AF -- M8960]
  • Spelce, Neal. June 14, 1983. Interview. An on-the-scene news television reporter. [Cassette # 0479-A; access copy # 2226. Transcript in AF - Biography, Spelce, Neal.]
  • Tobias, Ben. N.d. Interview. Administrator of Brackenridge Hospital who directed personnel that day. [Cassette # 0490-B; access copy available. Transcript available in AF - Biography, Pape, Robert.]
  • White, Norma. N.d. Interview. Operating room supervisor at Brackenridge Hospital during the event. [Cassette # 0494; access copy available. Transcript available in AF - Murders - Mass, Whitman, Charles Joseph. [AF -- M8960]
  • Yarborough, Ralph Webster. 1974 Interview. Art Young, interviewer for KRMH-FM radio station, June 24. [Cassette # 0118-A; access copy # 2227-B. No transcript.]

Video and DVD Recordings


  • APL Mayor's Book Club: Community Conversations A moderated panel discussion, hosted by the APL Friend's Foundation and the Austin History Center, on September 26, 2014. The panel was composed of three individuals involved in the shootings - Neal Spelce, Clif Drummond and Forrest Preece and moderated by KUT News Director Emily Donahue. The event begins with a talk by Susan Rittereiser, Curator of Archives and Manuscripts at the Austin History Center, about the AHC manuscript collection, Austin Texas. Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case, AR.2000.002. [unprocessed audio and video recordings located on AHC shared drive. Ask staff for assistance]
  • Slacker Richard Linklater's 1991 satirical comedy contains a scene referencing the Whitman tragedy. [VHS 791.43 SL]
  • Sniper '66: the Charles Whitman Murders at the Texas Tower A film by Whitney Milam, Austin: Fox Television Stations, 2006 available in two versions [A DVD 364.1523 SN DVR-R ver.2.1]. This documentary aired on local station KTBC, Austin, Texas on July 29, 2006, followed by an edited version (approximately 21 minutes) of a one-hour news special which KTBC aired the night of the shootings. Whitney Milam, producer-director and Danny Baker, executive producer. The second version is a 61 minute full-length version of the documentary.
  • Teleclip Videos recording daily newscasts typically feature stories about the Whitman murders around the time of the anniversary, August 1. Longer segments were typically produced around major anniversaries, such as thirty years.

Muscial Recordings


  • Friedman, Kinky. 1973 "The Ballad of Charles Whitman." On Sold American. New York: Vanguard. [A MC R872]
  • Friedman, Kinky. 198-? "The Ballad of Charles Whitman." On Sold American. Santa Monica, CA: Vanguard. [CD MC FRIE 167]

Periodicals Collection


  • Austin American-Statesman The Austin History Center has the Austin American, Austin Statesman, and Austin American-Statesman on microfilm. In 1966, coverage occurred on several days throughout the month of August. In subsequent years, articles often appeared near the anniversary of the shootings. Some indexing is available to help locate articles.
  • The Austin Citizen, August 1, 1977. "Tower Tragedy Sequel: She's Still Not Bitter" by Carolyn Bengtson.
  • Austin Jaycee Keynote, August 9, 1966. "Program This Thursday to Honor 'Tower Tragedy' Heroes."
  • Life, Vol 61, 1966 "Texas Sniper's Murder Rampage" by William J. Aelmer [A 364.1523 Te]
  • Texas Monthly, August 1986. "The Madman in the Tower" by William J. Helmer.
  • Texas Monthly, September 2001. "Where Are They Now?" by Chester Rossom.

Photograph Collection


  • AF Murders -- Mass -- Whitman, Charles Joseph [AF-M9860 (1)]
  • AF University of Texas -- Buildings -- Main Building, Tower [AF-U3455]

Other Institutions


  • Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, UT Austin - The Shel Hershorn Photograph Collection
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library - John B. Connally Papers
  • Texas State Library and Archives - Texas Govenor's Committee and Consultants: An Inventory on the Report of the Charles J. Whitman Catastrophe at the Texas State Archives, September 8, 1966

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Records were transferred from the Austin Police Department.

Preferred Citation

Austin (Tex). Police Department Records of the Charles Whitman Mass Murder Case, (AR.2000.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1958/003

Donation Date: August 13, 2000 and January 11, 2002.

Donor #: DO/2008/038

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of Austin Police Department and the FBI Headquarters file 63-11732 was received from the United States Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 11, 2008.

Processing Information

The arrangement of the records has followed the system originally used by the Austin Police Department as much as possible. All materials from the Police Department were retained by the History Center, including duplicate and triplicate copies of documents. These records were transferred to the History Center in a green and brown Geo Cycle Office Papers box. The bulk of the records were reports filed by police officers. These were filed in cardboard binders with metal fasteners. The top, white copies were filed in a black binder. The duplicate yellow copies were filed in brown binders. Another portion of the collection is comprised of copies of reports from other institutions including The University of Texas and Texas Department of Public Safety. Arrangement, description, and processing completed by Rebecca Rich-Wulfmeyer with assistance from staff and volunteers, January 2002 and May 2003. Further processing, finding aid updates, revisions and final encoding by Susan Rittereiser, 2015, 2016.

All original, unredacted records belonging to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (.5 linear feet) were returned to the FBI in August, 2016.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made for both the Austin Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation documents and the Austin History Center received a courtesy copy of the FOIA release (Request No.: 1088642-000). Arrangement, description, and processing of redacted FBI coutesy copies completed by Molly Hults, 2009.

People and places in photographs identified by Austin Police Department, Gary Lavergne, Nelson Leissner, and Susan Rittereiser.

Researchers wanting to ensure they have viewed the complete, available record of this event may choose to contact other organizations and institutions such as:

The UT Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Other Finding Aid

For a more detailed list of this collection's contents at the item level, please see here


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I. Records Created by the Austin Police Department, 1966, 2000

Subseries I. Murder Reports, 1966,
Box Folder
1 1-2 Black binder titled "M 968150 Original Case Files" and Table of Contents
2-8 I: Reports on the Murder of Officer Billy Speed, Offense Number 0968150
9 II: Reports On The Justifiable Homicide Of Charles Joseph Whitman, Offense Number 968152
10 III: Reports On The Murder Of Elizabeth M. Whitman, Offense Number 968151
11 IV: Reports On The Murder Of Kathleen Whitman, Offense Number 968156
12 V: Reports On The Murder Of Thomas Ashton, Offense Number 968160
13 VI: Reports On The Murder Of Thomas Carr, Offense Number 968184
14 VII: Reports On The Murder Of Thomas F. Eckman, Offense Number 968162
15 VIII: Reports On The Murder Of Mark Jerome Gabour, Offense Number 968174,
16 IX: Reports On The Murder Of Karen Griffith, Offense Number 968176
17 X: Reports On The Murder Of Marguerite Lamport, Offense Number 968203
Box Folder
2 1 XI: Reports On The Murder Of Claudia Rutt, Offense Number 968191
2 XII: Reports On The Murder Of Roy Dell Schmidt, Offense Number 968192
3 XIII: Reports On The Murder Of Paul Bolton Sontag, Offense Number 968194
4 XIV: Reports On The Murder Of Edna Elizabeth Townsley, Offense Number 968206
5 XV: Reports On The Murder Of Harry Walchuk, Offense Number 968157
6 XVI: Reports On The Murder Of Infant Wilson, Offense Number 968188
7 XVII: Reports On The Murder Of Robert Hamilton Boyer, Offense Number 968161
Subseries II. Assault with Intent to Murder Reports, 1966
Box Folder
2 8-9 Black binder "M 968150 Original Files Continued" and Table of Contents
10 I: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of John Scott Allen, Offense Number 968209
11 II: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Roland Ehlke, Offense Number 968208
12 III: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Avelino Esparza, Offense Number 968173
13 IV: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Ellen Miller Evgenides, Offense Number 968155
14 V: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of F.L. Foster, Offense Number 968198
15 VI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Robert Frede, Offense Number 968202
16 VII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Mary Frances Gabour, Offense Number 968199
17 VIII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Mike Gabour, Offense Number 928200
Box Folder
18 IX: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Irma Garcia, Offense Number 968175
Box Folder
2 19 X: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of David Gunby, Offense Number 968177
20 XI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Nancy Harvey, Offense Number 968178
21 XII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Robert Heard, Offense Number 968179
22 XIII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Alex Hernandez, Offense Number 968180
23 XIV: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Morris Hohmann, Offense Number 68181
24 XV: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Devereau Huffman, Offense Number 968182
25 XVI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Homar J. Kelley, Offense Number 968185
26 XVII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Abdul Khashab, Offense Number 968184
27 XVIII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Adrian Littlefield, Offense Number 968186
28 XIX: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Brenda Gail Littlefield, Offense Number 968154
29 XX: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of David Mattson, Offense Number 968187
30 XXI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Della Martinez, Offense Number 968204
31 XXII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Delores Ortega, Offense Number 968207
32 XXIII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Marina Martinez, Offense Number 968205
33 XXIV: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Janet Paulos, Offense Number 968188
34 XXV: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Lana Phillips, Offense Number 968190
35 XXVI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Oscar Royvela, Offense Number 968197
36 XXVII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Billy Snowden, Offense Number 968193
37 XXVIII: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of C. A. Stewart, Offense Number 968189
38 XXIX: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Carla Sue Wheeler, Offense Number 968153
39 XXX: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Claire Wilson, Offense Number 968195
40 XXXI: Reports on the Assault with Intent to Murder of Sandra Wilson, Offense Number 968196
Subseries III. Additional Police Reports, 1966
Box Folder
3 1 I: Complaint Reports
2 II: Correspondence
3 III: Davis, William Leo, Jr.
4 IV: Five Dollar Bill
5 V: Medicine from Charles J. Whitman's Residence
6 VI: Miscellaneous Records
7 VII: One Dollar Bill
8 VIII: Patient Lists
9 IX: Shift Lists
10 X: Statement from Cheryl Botts
11 XI: Statement from Donald W. Walden
12 XII: Teletypes/Telegrams
13 XIII: Records Regarding Firearms
Box Folder
4 1-10 Subseries IV. Murder Reports (Carbon Copies Received from the Austin Police Department), 1966
Box Folder
5 1-4 Subseries V. Radio Dispatch Recordings [Copies of recordings and transcripts available in Gary Lavergne Papers, AR.2002.001.], 1966
Subseries VI. Photographs, 1966, 2000, undated
Box Folder
6 1 Black binder titled "M968150 Photographs"
2-4 I: Crime Scene and Morgue Photographs (#001-085)
5-8 II: Vacation Photographs (#86-113)
9 III: Family Photographs (#114-130)
10-11 IV: Photographs of the University of Texas (#131-172)
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault B&W Negatives and Color Negatives drawer V: Photographic Negatives (B&W: #173-177, #242-249; Color: #178-241, #250-266)
Box Folder
6 12 Paper envelope for Kodacolor Prints
12 VI: Digital Copies of Photographic Prints (2 CD-ROMs)



Series II: Copies of Records from Other Institutions, 1941-1966, undated

Box Folder
7 1 Subseries I: Department of Public Safety, 1966
2 Subseries II: Educational Records, 1947-1963
3 Subseries III: Estate of Charles Whitman, 1966
Subseries IV: Federal Bureau of Investigation [Only FOIA release documents available (Request No.: 1088642-000)], 1966
Original, unredacted records belonging to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were returned to the FBI in August, 2016. Boxes 8a, 8b and 8c contain a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release that was processed by the FBI under FOIA and include both the documents that were provided by the Austin Police Department and the FBI Headquarters file 63-11732. Deletions were made pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, subsections (b)(2), (b)(6), (b)(7)(C), and (b)(7)(D). Each section contains a coversheet(s) that lists what pages were deleted.
Box Folder
8a 1-4 I: FOIPA 1088642, HQ 63-11732, Section 1
Box Folder
8b 1-4 II: FOIPA 1088642, HQ 63-11732, Section 2
Box Folder
8b, 8c 5, 1-4 III: FOIPA 1088642, HQ 63-11732, Section 3
Box Folder
8c 5-8 IV: FOIPA 1088642, "Documents"
9 V: FOIPA 1088642, HQ 63-11732, Sub A
Box Folder
9 1 Subseries V. Federal Drug Administration, 1966
2 Subseries VI: Palm Beach County Health Department, 1941
3 Subseries VII: State of Texas, undated
4 Subseries VIII: Travis County, 1965-1966
5-7 Subseries IX. United States Marine Corps, 1957-1963
8 Subseries X. United States Naval Intelligence, 1966
9 Subseries XI. United States Treasury Department, 1966



Series III. Writings and Personal Effects of Charles Whitman, 1941-1966, undated

Box Folder
10,11 1-7, 1-3 Subseries I. Originals, 1941-1966, undated
Box Folder
12 1-11 Subseries II. Copies of Whitman's Personal Writings, 1956-1966, undated



Series IV. Newspaper Articles, Post Event Interest, and Other Records, 1965-1985

Box Folder
12 12 Subseries I. Text for Article in American Rifleman, 1966
13 Subseries II. "The Deadly Tower", 1974-1982
14 Subseries III. "Policia Internacional", 1965-1966
15 Subseries IV. Press Clippings, 1966-1978

Note: Includes various articles in Oversized Collection, qAR Box 18, Items 1-9.
16 Subseries V. Records from Houston McCoy, 1966, 1985
17 Subseries VI. "The Tower Incident", 1966