Tuesday, August 01, 2006

40 years ago today: the UT tower sniper

On August 1, 1966, a man named Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the UT tower in Austin, TX and started shooting people. He was there for 1 hour and 36 minutes. He killed 15 people and wounded 43. Among them was a woman who was 8 months pregnant. She lived, but her baby didn't.

I just read a poignant article in Texas Monthly about it. It recounts the ordeal through the eyes of those students, police and just regular joes who bore witness to it. I feel pity and anger toward Charles Whitman. His story is a strange and eerie one. Being a person who believes wholeheartedly that we are surrounded by an invisible spiritual world, to me it reeks of the demonic.

On thing that struck me about the whole thing was that civilians went home, grabbed their hunting rifles and started shooting back. That kind of thing only happens in Texas. There were also a lot of brave men and women that risked their lives running out in to the open to help the ones who had been shot.

1 comment:

Jada said...

It reeks to me, too. I woulda shot him back. Sorry, but I woulda. Call me simple.