A Crime to Remember (2013–…): Season 2, Episode 4 - The 28th Floor - full transcript

A rain of bullets descends on students and faculty at the University of Texas. Policemen and civilians alike come together to save the wounded and put an end to the violence. But when the smoke clears, there remain more questions than answers: who could have done this evil, hideous thing, and why?

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Female student:
AUGUST IN TEXAS.

MY MAMA USED TO SAY,

"IT GOT SO HOT, THE HENS LAID
HARD-BOILED EGGS."

THAT'S HOW IT WAS
THAT MORNING IN 1966.

IT'S FUNNY WHAT YOU REMEMBER.

I WAS ON MY WAY TO HAND IN
A PAPER ON "THE GREAT GATSBY."

EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL,
JUST LIKE IT ALWAYS HAD BEEN.

IT WAS
JUST REGULAR COLLEGE LIFE.

[ GUNSHOTS ]

DO YOU THINK
THAT'S HOW IT ALWAYS SEEMS

IN THE MOMENTS
BEFORE THE WORLD EXPLODES?



[ GUNSHOT ]

[ SCREAMING ]

IT WAS HELTER-SKELTER.

[ INTERMITTENT GUNSHOTS ]

ONE SECOND,
I WAS WALKING TO CLASS,

AND THE NEXT,
I WAS RUNNING FOR MY LIFE.

[ GUNSHOTS ]

I THOUGHT, "WHAT IS HAPPENING?

THIS CAN'T BE REAL."

GUNFIRE WAS
RAINING DOWN ON US...

[ CASING CLINKS ]

[ BULLET RICOCHETS ]
AAH!

[ GASPS ]

...FROM THE TOP
OF THE UNIVERSITY TOWER.



[ GUNSHOTS CONTINUE ]

Spelce: AUSTIN IN 1966 --
SLEEPY LITTLE COLLEGE TOWN.

THE BIGGEST EVENTS
WERE THE FOOTBALL GAMES.

AND THEN, IT EXPLODED.

[ GUNSHOTS, PEOPLE SCREAMING ]

[ SIRENS WAILING IN DISTANCE ]

Milam: 30 MINUTES IN,

OVER A DOZEN PEOPLE
HAD BEEN SHOT

AND WERE LYING, BLEEDING TO
DEATH AND ROASTING IN THAT SUN.

AND THE GUNFIRE CONTINUED.

Shoquist: SIRENS SCREAMING,
PEOPLE SHOUTING,

GUNSHOTS GOING OFF.

[ GUNSHOTS ]

[ POLICE RADIO CHATTER ]

IT WAS ONE GOD-AWFUL MESS
DOWN THERE,

WITH BODIES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

POLICE COMMUNICATIONS
WERE ALMOST NONEXISTENT.

Shoquist: WE HAD RADIOS IN THE
CAR, SO IF YOU GOT OUT OF YOUR CAR,

YOU WERE VIRTUALLY CUT OFF
FROM COMMUNICATIONS.

[ GUNSHOT ]

THEY DIDN'T KNOW
IF THERE WAS ONE SNIPER OR 10.

HEY, DO YOU GUYS HAVE
ANY ADDITIONAL SHOTGUNS?

NO.

WE HAD NO HIGH-POWERED WEAPONS
AT ALL.

WE HAD A 12-GAUGE SHOTGUN

AND WE HAD OUR SIDEARMS --
A .38 PISTOL --

NEITHER OF WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE.

I HAD A FRONT-ROW SEAT IN HELL.

BLOOD AND BODIES ALL AROUND.

THERE WERE POLICEMEN
EVERYWHERE.

BUT BULLETS KEPT COMING,

AND THERE WAS
NOTHING THEY COULD DO.

[ BULLET RICOCHETS ]
AAH!

THIS IS NEAL SPELCE ON
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS CAMPUS.

IT'S LIKE A BATTLE SCENE.

IT'S LIKE -- THERE'S
ANOTHER SHOT AND ANOTHER SHOT.

THE SIGHT IS REMINISCENT
OF SOME SORT OF WAR.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT KINDS
OF SHOTS.

APPARENTLY, POLICE ARE
RETURNING THE FIRE NOW.

I'M SEEING A SCENE THAT
YOU WOULD NEVER BE PREPARED FOR.

WE'VE GOT TDBC REPORTERS
RINGING THE CAMPUS.

THE STORY WENT OUT TO ALL
BROADCAST OUTLETS NATIONWIDE

AND THEN, ULTIMATELY, WORLDWIDE.

Lavergne: IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST
CRIMES TO BE BROADCAST LIVE.

BOB!

BOB,
YOU ALL RIGHT?

YEAH, YEAH.

THERE'S A GUY
OVER THERE.

SITTING ACROSS THE STREET
FROM US

WAS A STUDENT PROPPED UP
AGAINST A PARKING METER.

AND HE'S A SITTING DUCK.

ON THREE.ON THREE.

TWO, ONE... TWO, ONE...

GO! GO!

Higley: THE BULLETS
WERE COMING IN AT OUR FEET.

YOU TALK ABOUT FEAR --
THAT IS BEYOND FRIGHTENING.

[ GUNFIRE ]

I REACHED OUT AND PULLED HIM IN.

IS HE STILL ALIVE?

AND, UH...

MM.

AND, AT THAT MOMENT, RECOGNIZED
THAT HE WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED.

[ GUNFIRE ]

AMBULANCES ARE SCREAMING

UP AND DOWN
THE UNIVERSITY DRAG.

Spelce: BRACKENRIDGE HOSPITAL
WAS CHAOS.

IT WAS THE ONLY FACILITY WHERE
AN EMERGENCY ROOM WAS SET UP.

Woman: HERE'S THE LIST,
MR. ABBOTT.

THANK YOU, MISS.

THIS IS
REPORTER JOE RAUDY?

NORMALLY, THE MEDIA
DOES NOT WANT TO RELEASE

THE NAMES OF THE DEAD
OR THE WOUNDED

BEFORE
THE FAMILIES ARE CONTACTED.

KAREN GRIFFITH,
UH, IRMA GARCIA,

HARRY WALSH, BILLY SPEED.

Milam: BUT IN THIS CASE,

BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE IN AUSTIN
HAD FAMILY AT THE UNIVERSITY...

Spelce: JOE RAUDY
AT BRACKENRIDGE HOSPITAL

STARTED TICKING OFF THE NAMES.

ROBERT HEARD, ALEX HERNANDEZ,
ROBERT BOYER, PAUL SONNTAG.

THIS IS PAUL
OVER AT THE NEWSROOM.

IN OUR NEWSROOM,

THE VETERAN NEWS DIRECTOR
PAUL BOLTAN JUMPED IN.

AND HIS VOICE WAS TREMBLING.

HE SAID, "JOE..."

[ BREATHING SHAKILY ]

"READ THAT LIST OF NAMES AGAIN.

I THINK YOU HAVE MY GRANDSON
UP THERE."

I'M SORRY.

I DIDN'T KNOW THAT BOY
AT THE TIME.

TURNS OUT
HE WAS PAUL BOLTAN'S GRANDSON.

THERE'S NO REPORT
AS TO WHO THIS MAN MAY BE

OR WHAT PROMPTED
THIS APPARENT MADNESS.

Milam: OF COURSE, THE OFFICERS
WANT TO KNOW WHO'S DOING THIS,

BUT AT THIS POINT,

WHAT'S IMPORTANT
IS STOPPING THE GUNFIRE.

Shoquist: AT THE SECURITY OFFICE,
A GUY WITH THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

THAT KNEW HOW
TO GET TO THE BASE OF THE TOWER

THROUGH A TUNNEL SYSTEM.

ALL RIGHT,
COME WITH US.

Milam: A YOUNG POLICE OFFICER,
HOUSTON McCOY,

LEADS A GROUP OF OFFICERS

THROUGH THE UNDERGROUND
MAINTENANCE TUNNELS.

Lavergne: AT THE SAME TIME,

RAMIRO MARTINEZ RUNS
IN A ZIGZAG MOTION...

[ GUNSHOT, CASING CLINKS ]

...AND MAKES IT
TO THE BUILDING UNHARMED.

OFFICER!

HOLD THE DOORS.

MARTINEZ MEETS UP
WITH ALLEN CRUM...

LET'S GO.
LET'S GO.

Milam:
...WITH OFFICER JERRY DAY.

THEY TAKE THE ELEVATOR
TO THE 27th FLOOR.

THE ACTUAL OBSERVATION DECK
IS ONE FLOOR UP.

YOU HAVE TO REACH THAT
BY A STAIRWELL.

Milam: SO WHAT YOU HAVE
AT THIS POINT

WAS TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS
OF POLICE OFFICERS

ACTING ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE,

AND THEY JUST WERE NOT AWARE
OF THE OTHER.

Shoquist:
WHICH IS VERY DANGEROUS.

[ ELEVATOR WHIRRING ]

Shoquist: JERRY DAY
HEARD THE ELEVATOR COMING UP,

SO HE GOES BACK DOWN.

Lavergne: ON THOSE STAIRS,

THEY DISCOVER A FAMILY
THAT HAD JUST BEEN MASSACRED.

TWO OF THE PEOPLE
ARE OBVIOUSLY DEAD,

AND THE OTHERS
ARE WOUNDED AND BLEEDING.

[ Voice breaking ]
I'M SO SCARED.

Shoquist:
THE GROUP OF US,

INCLUDING MYSELF
AND HOUSTON McCOY,

GOING UP THAT ELEVATOR

WHERE WE HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT WE'RE GONNA FIND

WHEN THAT DOOR OPENS UP THERE.

JERRY DAY IS STANDING
ON THE 27th FLOOR.

[ ELEVATOR BELL DINGING ]
FOR ALL HE KNOWS,

IT COULD BE OTHER PERPETRATORS
FROM ANOTHER FLOOR

COMING UP TO JOIN THE SNIPERS.

WE ALL HAVE OUR WEAPONS DRAWN.

[ ELEVATOR BELL DINGS ]

AND HOUSTON'S GOT THE SHOTGUN
AIMED POINT-BLANK.

[ ELEVATOR BELL DINGS ]

[ ELEVATOR BELL DINGING ]

Shoquist:
WE ALL HAVE OUR WEAPONS DRAWN.

[ ELEVATOR BELL DINGING ]

[ GASPING ]

AND THEN,
EVERYBODY KIND OF HAS A SMILE.

IT'S PROBABLY THE ONLY TIME
WE SMILED THE WHOLE DAY.

IS ANYONE UP THERE?

I GOT TWO
ALREADY ON THEIR WAY UP.

ALL RIGHT,
I'M GOING WITH THEM.

ALL RIGHT, YOU GUYS.

WE NEED TO FIND EVERYBODY
ON THE FLOOR, ALL RIGHT?

I'LL GO WITH YOU GUYS.

[ GUNFIRE, PEOPLE SCREAMING ]

Female student:
SO MUCH PAIN. SO MUCH DEATH.

FOR 90 MINUTES, I STAYED PUT,

HELPLESS
AS THE BULLETS RAINED DOWN,

TEARING FLESH,
SHATTERING LIVES.

WAS ANYONE GONNA STOP THIS?

[ GUNSHOT ]

Shoquist: RAY MARTINEZ AND CRUM
WENT UP THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.

[ DOOR FORCES OPEN ]

SO THEY MAKE THEIR WAY OUT
INTO THE RECEPTION AREA.

Milam:
THEY FIND THE BODY

OF A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN
WHOSE HEAD HAD BEEN CAVED IN,

LYING BEHIND A COUCH.

ARE WE DOING THIS?

DAMN RIGHT WE ARE.

WELL, THEN,
YOU'D BETTER DEPUTIZE ME.

YOU'RE NOT A COP?

I WAS A SERGEANT
IN THE AIR FORCE.

SO, RAMIRO SAYS, "OKAY.
CONSIDER YOURSELF DEPUTIZED."

THEY KNOW THAT THIS HAS
GOT TO COME TO AN END

AND THEY'RE GONNA HAVE TO BE
THE ONES TO DO IT.

[ RAPID GUNFIRE ]

[ GUNSHOT ]

[ GUNSHOT ]

[ THUD ]

[ GUNSHOT ]

AND THEN,
AFTER WHAT SEEMED LIKE

A LIFETIME OF GUNFIRE
AND SCREAMS AND TERROR,

I COULDN'T BELIEVE
WHAT I HEARD NEXT --

NOTHING.

PURE SILENCE.

GO RADIO THE ALL-CLEAR.

Spelce:
THE FIRING HAS NOW STOPPED.

IT NOW SEEMS TO BE OVER AS FAR
AS THE SHOOTING IS CONCERNED.

Milam: THE SNIPER IS DEAD.

AND HE IS A YOUNG MAN
WEARING A WHITE HEADBAND,

AND HE'S DRESSED
IN WORKMAN OVERALLS.

THERE WERE MULTIPLE RIFLES
LAID OUT.

Shoquist: HE HAD CANNED FOOD.
HE HAD TOILET PAPER.

HE WAS PREPARED TO BE UP THERE
A NUMBER OF DAYS.

BUT HE CLEARLY DIDN'T INTEND
TO COME DOWN ALIVE.

OFFICER McCOY FINDS
A UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS I.D. CARD

IDENTIFYING THIS MAN

AS AN ARCHITECTURAL-ENGINEERING
STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY

WHO IS 25 YEARS OLD.

CHARLES J. WHITMAN.

CHARLES JOSEPH WHITMAN.

Spelce: THE SNIPER, APPARENTLY
TENTATIVELY IDENTIFIED

AS CHARLES J. WHITMAN,
25 YEARS OLD, IS DEAD.

[ INDISTINCT TALKING ]

Spelce: A SEA OF PEOPLE
CONVERGED ON THE SOUTH MALL.

AND THEY LOOKED UP AT THE TOWER,

AND THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER.

BUT IT WAS JUST,
"WHAT HAS HAPPENED?"

Milam:
THE IDEA THAT SOMEONE

WOULD BE SHOOTING PEOPLE
THEY DID NOT KNOW

FOR NO OTHER REASON
THAN TO DO SO

WAS JUST NOT IN
THEIR MENTAL LANDSCAPE IN 1966.

[ TYPEWRITER CLACKING ]

THIS IS ALL WE HAVE
ON WHITMAN.

THANKS.

Spelce: ALL THE AUTHORITIES
NEEDED TO TRY TO DETERMINE --

"COULD WE HAVE PREVENTED THIS?

IS THERE A WAY
WE COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS?"

Lavergne: AT THAT TIME, THEY DIDN'T
KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CHARLES WHITMAN,

INCLUDING HIS ADDRESS.

THE GUY HAD
NO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND.

JUST DOESN'T MAKE
ANY SENSE.

CHARLES WHITMAN'S FRIENDS
WERE JUST UTTERLY SHOCKED.

TO THEM, HE WAS A NICE GUY.

Milam: THEY ALL SAID
THAT HE WAS SMART,

THAT HE HAD A BRIGHT FUTURE.

THERE WAS
NOTHING WRONG.

Lavergne: CHARLES WHITMAN
WAS FROM A SEASIDE TOWN

CALLED LAKEWORTH, FLORIDA.

HE WAS THE SON OF A VERY
SUCCESSFUL PLUMBING CONTRACTOR.

Milam: HIS MOTHER
WAS A DEVOUT CATHOLIC

WHO STAYED AT HOME
TO RAISE HER THREE BOYS.

CHARLES WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED
PIANO PLAYER BY THE AGE OF 12.

Lavergne:
HE WAS, REPORTEDLY,

THE YOUNGEST EAGLE SCOUT
IN HISTORY,

AND HE HAD AN I.Q.
AS HIGH AS 139.

THE MARINE CORPS.

I SEE.

AND WHAT YEARS WERE THAT?

Milam: CHARLES WHITMAN
JOINED THE MARINE CORPS.

AND, AS HE HAD THROUGHOUT
HIS LIFE, HE EXCELLED.

Spelce: HE EARNED
A VERY HIGH SHARPSHOOTER RATING.

HE WAS A DECORATED SOLDIER.

HE EVEN SAVED
A FELLOW SOLDIER'S LIFE.

Lavergne:
THE MARINES HAD A SCHOLARSHIP.

Milam: SO, CHARLES WHITMAN WAS
OFFERED THE SCHOLARSHIP IN ENGINEERING

TO GO TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

AND BECOME
A COMMISSIONED OFFICER.

Man: HAVE YOU GUYS
TALKED WITH KATHY?

WHO'S KATHY?
IT'S HIS WIFE.

Milam:
THE POLICE QUICKLY FOUND OUT

THAT THEY LIVED IN
A LITTLE HOUSE IN SOUTH AUSTIN.

NO ONE ANSWERS THE DOOR.

Man: MRS. WHITMAN?
THIS IS THE POLICE.

ARE YOU HOME?

IN FEBRUARY OF 1962,

CHARLES WHITMAN MET
KATHLEEN LEISSNER.

Whitman: SO, WHAT ARE --
WHAT ARE YOU READING?

UM, JUST "ANTIGONE."

[ CHUCKLES ]

I DON'T KNOW.
OH, THAT'S A GOOD ONE.

YOU KNOW IT?
YEAH.

DO YOU LIKE IT?
I DO.

YEAH?
I DO. YEAH.

IT'S, UH,
IT'S -- IT'S HEAVY.

[ LAUGHS ] THAT'S TRUE.
I'VE BEEN NOTICING THAT.

YEAH.

AND HE WAS
IMMEDIATELY MESMERIZED BY HER.

ARE YOU FROM AROUND HERE?

UM, NO.
I JUST MOVED HERE, ACTUALLY.

REALLY? WHERE YOU FROM?

I'M FROM FLORIDA.

OH, WOW. SO THIS MUST BE
REALLY DIFFERENT FOR YOU.

EH, YOU KNOW.
THE HUMIDITY'S THE SAME.

OH, YEAH.
[ CHUCKLES ]

WELL, I MEAN, DO YOU KNOW
ANYTHING AROUND HERE?

I CAN SHOW YOU AROUND,
IF YOU WANT.

THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

HAVE YOU EATEN LUNCH?

NO. I HAVEN'T.

SHE WAS A BEAUTIFUL, SMALL-TOWN
TEXAS GIRL WHO EVERYBODY LOVED.

SIX MONTHS LATER, THEY MARRY.

Lavergne:
IN AUGUST OF 1962,

CHARLES WHITMAN SEEMS TO HAVE
EVERYTHING GOING FOR HIM.

HE'S VERY HANDSOME.

Milam: HE'S GOT
A BEAUTIFUL, ACCOMPLISHED WIFE,

A FULL-RIDE SCHOLARSHIP.

Lavergne:
AND HE HAS VERY GOOD FRIENDS.

HOW COULD A MAN LIKE THIS
DO WHAT HE DID?

THIS IS NOT OUR UNDERSTANDING
OF A MONSTER.

THEY ENTER THE BEDROOM...

...AND THEY REALIZE THAT
THE BLOODBATH IS NOT YET OVER.

Female student: WITH SO MANY
BODIES FALLEN ALL OVER CAMPUS,

IT HADN'T OCCURRED TO POLICE

THAT THE CRIME SCENE
COULD STRETCH WIDER.

BUT AS IT TURNS OUT, IT COULD.

IN THE BED IS HIS WIFE, KATHY.

Lavergne: SHE HAD BEEN BRUTALLY
STABBED FIVE TIMES IN THE CHEST.

IT WAS A VERY LARGE KNIFE --

EITHER A BAYONET
OR A HUNTING KNIFE.

Shoquist: IT APPEARED THAT SHE HAD
BEEN ASLEEP WHEN SHE WAS STABBED

AND THEN COVERED UP
WITH A SHEET.

THE POLICE FOUND A LONG NOTE
LEFT BY CHARLES WHITMAN.

Lavergne:
IT WAS A VERY CHILLING NOTE.

[ TYPEWRITER CLACKS ]

Whitman: "LATELY -- I CAN'T
RECALL WHEN IT STARTED --

"I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM

"OF MANY UNUSUAL
AND IRRATIONAL THOUGHTS.

"IT WAS AFTER MUCH THOUGHT

"THAT I DECIDED
TO KILL MY WIFE, KATHY, TONIGHT

"AFTER I PICK HER UP FROM WORK
AT THE TELEPHONE COMPANY.

"I DON'T KNOW
WHETHER IT IS SELFISHNESS

"OR I DON'T WANT HER TO HAVE TO
FACE THE EMBARRASSMENT

"MY ACTIONS
WOULD SURELY CAUSE HER."

GET A LOAD OF THIS.

Lavergne:
THE NOTE WENT ON TO SAY,

"FOR SIMILAR REASONS

I HAVE DECIDED
TO TAKE MY MOTHER'S LIFE."

Milam: HIS MOTHER
IS SEPARATED FROM HIS FATHER

AND LIVING IN AUSTIN.

Lavergne: CHARLES WHITMAN'S
MOTHER, MARGARET,

HAD BEEN BEATEN
AND STABBED TO DEATH

AND PLACED IN HER BED TO MAKE IT
LOOK LIKE SHE WAS ASLEEP.

Milam: THE POLICE OFFICERS
FIND A SECOND NOTE.

AND THIS IS WHERE THEY FIRST SEE

WHAT WAS GOING ON
WITHIN HIS MIND.

"THE INTENSE HATRED
I FEEL FOR MY FATHER

"IS BEYOND DESCRIPTION.

"MY MOTHER GAVE THAT MAN
THE BEST 25 YEARS OF HER LIFE.

"I AM TRULY SORRY THAT THIS IS
THE ONLY WAY I COULD SEE

"TO RELIEVE HER SUFFERING,

BUT I THINK IT WAS BEST."

CHARLES WHITMAN'S LIFE,
IT WAS NOT AS GOLDEN

AS THEY ORIGINALLY
PERCEIVED IT TO BE.

Spelce: HIS FATHER AND HIS
MOTHER HAD A STORMY RELATIONSHIP.

IN FACT,
HIS FATHER ABUSED HIS MOTHER.

Lavergne: CHARLES WHITMAN SR.
WAS A VERY STERN,

AND SOME PEOPLE
EVEN SAY A VERY CRUEL, FATHER.

WHEN CHARLES WAS 17 YEARS OLD,
HE GOT A LITTLE DRUNK,

AND HIS FATHER BEAT HIM UP

AND THREW HIM
IN A SWIMMING POOL,

AND CHARLES ALMOST DROWNED.

Schug: THAT WAS THE EVENT
THAT PROVOKED HIM

INTO JOINING THE MARINE CORPS.

TO GET AWAY FROM HIS FATHER.

DID YOU, UH, SPEAK
WITH THE PROFESSOR IN 204?

IN THE SPRING OF 1963,
THREE YEARS BEFORE THE SHOOTING,

HE'S NOT REALLY FOCUSING
ON SCHOOL,

AND HIS GRADES BEGIN TO SLIP.

CHARLES WHITMAN
LOST HIS SCHOLARSHIP.

AND THE MARINE CORPS
IS NOT GONNA COUNT HIS TIME

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

SO HE'S FORCED
TO RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY.

AND AT THIS POINT,

CHARLES WHITMAN'S LIFE
BEGINS TO FALL APART.

Female student:
WITH EVERY DAY THAT PASSED,

WE LEARNED MORE
ABOUT CHARLES WHITMAN.

A FEW YEARS
BEFORE THE SHOOTING,

HE LOST THAT HARD-WON
MARINE CORPS SCHOLARSHIP,

WHICH MEANT HE HAD TO RETURN
TO ACTIVE DUTY.

AND THAT'S WHEN A DARKNESS
INSIDE HIM BEGAN TO GROW.

TWO.

COME ON.

YOU GOT TO BE QUICK
ON YOUR FEET.

YOU PUT 'EM IN THE PILE?
COME ON, MAN.

HE STARTED GAMBLING -- HEAVILY.

THANK YOU.

THAT'S IT, THAT'S IT.

MARINES,
WHO WANTS TO DEAL ME IN?

READ 'EM.

WHERE'S THE $45
YOU OWE ME?

[ CHUCKLES ]

I OWE YOU $30.

I WANT $15 IN INTEREST,
AND YOU'RE GONNA PAY ME,

OR I'M GONNA
KNOCK YOUR TEETH IN.

HOW ABOUT
YOU GET NOTHING?

KNOCK IT OFF!
COME ON, MAN!

Schug:
AND ACTUALLY, THIS CULMINATES

IN THE FIRST DOCUMENTED ACT
OF VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY CHARLIE

WHEN HE ASSAULTS A FELLOW MARINE
OVER A GAMBLING DEBT.

HIS SECOND STINT
AS AN ENLISTED MAN

IS THE OPPOSITE OF HIS FIRST.

Lavergne:
HE WAS A TROUBLEMAKER,

AND HE DID HARD LABOR
IN NOVEMBER OF 1963.

Milam: AND IS REDUCED
BACK IN RANK TO A BUCK PRIVATE.

Whitman: "I WISH SO MUCH
THAT THE MARINE CORPS

"WOULD QUIT HINDERING MY LIFE
AND GIVE ME A DISCHARGE.

I WONDER IF I WILL EVER AMOUNT
TO ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD."

HE'S KEEPING A JOURNAL,
AND HE'S SEETHING WITH ANGER.

"I HAVE GREAT PLANS AND DREAMS.

"I HAVE SO MUCH
I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH.

"SEEMS I'LL NEVER GET STARTED.

GOD, I CAN'T STAND THE CORPS."

Lavergne: HE GETS A DISCHARGE
FROM THE MARINES,

AND CHARLES WHITMAN RETURNED
TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

IN THE SPRING OF 1965,
ONE YEAR BEFORE THE SHOOTING.

HEY.

HOW WAS WORK?

IT WAS FINE.

JUST THE SAME AS ALWAYS.

DID YOU...
MAKE ANYTHING FOR DINNER?

NO, I --
I'VE BEEN... DOING HOMEWORK.

WELL...

I GOT PAID TODAY.

WE CAN GO OUT
AND GRAB A BITE.

BUT AT THIS POINT, HE NO LONGER
HAS THE SCHOLARSHIP.

I'M NOT HUNGRY.

Lavergne:
THIS IS A YOUNG MAN

WHO IS BEING SUPPORTED
BY HIS WIFE AND HIS FATHER,

AND HE DOESN'T LIKE THAT.

WHAT'S WRONG?

NOTHING.
I JUST HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

SO I'LL LEAVE YOU BE.

IT'S AROUND THIS TIME
THAT CHARLES WHITMAN

BECOMES AWARE THAT SOMETHING
IS CHANGING INSIDE HIM.

Spelce:
CHARLES WHITMAN WROTE DOWN

THAT HE HAD
SOME SEVERE HEADACHES

THAT HE HAD NOT NOTICED
PREVIOUSLY.

[ CHUCKLES ]

Elaine:
DON'T CHAR THEM, LARRY.

COME ON, LARRY.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

GIVE ME THE SPATULA.

HERE, YOU WANT TO BE
GRILLMASTER?

WHAT DO YOU THINK
OF THE GRILL?

IT'S NICE.
YEAH.

Schug: HE'S BECOMING QUIETER.
HE CAN'T FOCUS.

"THERE IS SOMETHING UNUSUAL
IN MY MENTAL STATE.

SEEMS AS IF
I AM GOING TO EXPLODE."

* ...BUT MY BABY
CAN'T BE FOUND *

[ RADIO TUNING ]

* ...STARS ARE RISING *

* BRIGHT MORNING STARS
ARE RISING *

Milam:
HE IS NOW PROJECTING AN IMAGE,

AND CHARLES WHITMAN'S LIFE

BECOMES MORE AND MORE
OF A FACADE.

DO YOU KNOW IF HE HAD
ANY DRUG OR ALCOHOL PROBLEMS?

CHARLIE, UH, WAS TAKING
THIS AMPHETAMINE.

Lavergne: ONE OF THE THINGS HE TRIED
TO DO IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH MORE

WAS TO SLEEP LESS,
AND HE DID THAT

BY TAKING A DEXTROAMPHETAMINE
CALLED DEXEDRINE.

I KNOW IT DIDN'T HELP
HIS TEMPER.

Man:
DID HE HAVE A BAD TEMPER?

I MEAN, I-I DON'T --
I NEVER SAW IT PERSONALLY.

I KNOW HE WASN'T...
PROUD ABOUT IT.

Schug: INVESTIGATORS ALSO
LEARNED THAT HE HAD ADMITTED

TO STRIKING HIS WIFE, KATHY,
ON TWO OCCASIONS

AND THAT HE FELT HORRIBLE
ABOUT THIS.

BECAUSE HE ASSOCIATED THAT
WITH HIS FATHER.

HE WITNESSED
HIS FATHER BEAT HIS MOTHER,

AND FOUR MONTHS
BEFORE THE SHOOTING,

CHARLIE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL
FROM HER,

AND SHE CLEARLY BELIEVED
THAT HER SAFETY WAS IMPERILED.

Milam: HIS MOTHER FINALLY HAS
THE COURAGE TO LEAVE HIS FATHER,

AND SO HE MOVES HER ACROSS
THE COUNTRY TO AUSTIN, TEXAS,

WHERE HE SETS HER UP
IN AN APARTMENT.

Female student: AND IT SEEMED
LIKE THAT GESTURE OF KINDNESS

FROM A SON TO HIS MOTHER

BROUGHT BACK
AN OLD FAMILIAR STRAIN.

[ TELEPHONE RINGING ]

CHARLES WHITMAN SR.
WAS CONSTANTLY PHONING HIS SON.

Whitman: DAD...

WHITMAN SR: Your mother needs
to get her stuff packed up...

I NEED YOU
TO LET ME TALK.

...airplane...

DAD!
Charles!

Milam:
"YOU'VE GOT TO HELP ME.

"YOU'VE GOT TO TALK
TO YOUR MOTHER.

HELP ME GET THIS FAMILY
BACK TOGETHER AGAIN."

I UNDERSTAND --

We have certain obligations.

You and me are gonna
figure this thing out right now.

WILL YOU PLEASE
JUST LET ME TALK FOR A S--

Understand something --

She needs to come home
right now.

STOP TALKING FOR A SECOND
AND LET ME TALK!

I want you to listen
to me now...

[ Talking continues
indistinctly ]

Lavergne: HE EXPERIENCES
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

TO THE POINT OF A BREAK.

KATHY HERSELF SUGGESTED
THAT HE SEE A PSYCHIATRIST.

Schug: ON MARCH 29, 1966,

JUST THREE WEEKS
AFTER HIS PARENTS' SEPARATION,

CHARLES IS REFERRED TO SEE

STAFF PSYCHIATRIST
DR. MAURICE DEAN HEATLY.

SO...

WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT
WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE TODAY?

ALL RIGHT.

I GET VERY UPSET,

AND I CAN'T CONTROL
MY -- MY TEMPER.

DR. HEATLY!
DR. HEATLY!

DR. HEATLY.
DR. HEATLY!

Schug: DETAILS OF THAT MEETING
WERE MADE PUBLIC

BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
A FEW DAYS AFTER THE SHOOTING.

HE WAS
THIS MASSIVE, MUSCULAR YOUTH

WHO SEEMED TO BE OOZING
WITH HOSTILITY.

Spelce: DR. MAURICE HEATLY
HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE,

TRYING TO DESCRIBE
WHAT HAPPENED.

I'VE BEEN HAVING THESE HEADACHES
QUITE FREQUENTLY.

MY FATHER WAS OUTRAGED.

THREW ME IN THE POOL.
[ CHUCKLES ]

VERY ANGRY.

ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU MIGHT BE
WILLING TO TELL ME?

WELL, I'VE HAD
SOME THOUGHTS, UH...

I'VE HAD A THOUGHT

THAT I WOULD GO UP
TO THE TOWER AT THE UNIVERSITY

AND I WOULD TAKE
MY DEER RIFLE...

...AND I WOULD
SHOOT PEOPLE.

DR. HEATLY!
DR. HEATLY!

IF HE WAS CONTEMPLATING
SHOOTING PEOPLE,

WHY DIDN'T YOU
REPORT HIM?

Spelce:
THE PRESS WAS STUPEFIED.

"WHAT? YOU KNEW THIS?

WHY DIDN'T YOU DO SOMETHING?"

DR. HEATLY!
DR. HEATLY!

DR. HEATLY!
DR. HEATLY!

Schug: HOWEVER,
GIVEN THE GUIDELINES OF 1966,

DR. HEATLY HAD TO MAINTAIN
CONFIDENTIALITY.

Lavergne: SO DR. HEATLY DID
THE ONLY THING

THAT WAS REALISTICALLY AVAILABLE
TO HIM,

AND THAT'S ASK WHITMAN
TO COME BACK,

AND WHITMAN CHOSE NOT TO RETURN.

DOESN'T MAKE SENSE,
BUT AFTERWARD

I BECAME CONVINCED THAT
I COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING,

THAT IF I'D SEEN HIM
AROUND CAMPUS,

I COULD HAVE WARNED SOMEONE

THAT THAT QUIET-LOOKING MAN
SITTING ALONE

WAS LIKE A STICK OF DYNAMITE,

JUST WAITING FOR SOMETHING
TO LIGHT ITS FUSE.

Spelce:
ACCORDING TO A FAMILY MEMBER,

JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS
BEFORE THE SHOOTING ITSELF,

HIS FATHER HAD THREATENED
TO CUT OFF MONEY

BEING SENT TO THE FAMILY.

Schug: THIS PUTS AN ENORMOUS
AMOUNT OF PRESSURE ON CHARLES.

HE'S LEFT TO PROVIDE SUPPORT
FOR HIS MOTHER AND HIS WIFE.

Lavergne:
THE TIMING SUPPORTS THE IDEA

THAT THIS WAS KIND OF A STRAW
THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK.

[ TYPEWRITER CLACKING ]

WAS THAT THE PUSH
THAT CHARLES WHITMAN NEEDED?

NO ONE CAN SAY FOR CERTAIN.

BUT THAT'S WHEN HIS VIOLENT
FANTASIES BECAME OUR REALITY.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE SHOOTING,

HE DROPPED OFF KATHY
AT THE PHONE COMPANY,

AND HE RETURNS HOME
TO JEWELL STREET

AND BEGINS TYPING
HIS INFAMOUS NOTE.

[ KNOCK ON DOOR ]

Elaine: HI, CHARLIE.

HEY, GUYS.
HI.

JUST COME ON IN.

HOW'S IT GOING?
HOW'S IT GOING?

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

WHAT YOU WORKING ON,
CHARLIE?

NEXT GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL?

[ CHUCKLES ]

Larry:
WHAT YOU WORKING ON, CHARLIE?

NEXT GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL?

[ LARRY AND ELAINE CHUCKLE ]

Milam: LARRY AND ELAINE FEASE
SEE A LETTER,

AND THEY'RE SO CLOSE
TO UNCOVERING

WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO.

[ CHUCKLES ]

NO. I'M WRITING A FRIEND
IN WASHINGTON.

I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM
IN FIVE YEARS.

UH, SIT DOWN.

YEAH. THANK YOU.

YOU GUYS, UH,
WANT SOMETHING TO DRINK?

INTERESTINGLY,
THEY REPORT TO THE POLICE

THAT CHARLES APPEARED
MORE CALM AND RELAXED AND HAPPY

THAN HE HAD APPEARED IN MONTHS.

Female student: IT HAD BEEN BUILDING
FOR A LONG TIME IN SMALL WAYS,

NOTICEABLE NOT EVEN
TO THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM.

AND THEN...

THE DAM BURST.

THE FIRST TO GO
WERE THE PEOPLE HE LOVED --

HIS MOTHER, HIS WIFE.

AND THEN
HE TURNED HIS RAGE OUTWARD --

ON US.

Milam:
THE MORNING OF THE SHOOTINGS,

CHARLES WHITMAN
WENT TO SEVERAL GUN STORES,

BUYING ADDITIONAL WEAPONS,

BUYING HUNDREDS OF ROUNDS
OF AMMUNITION.

AND THEN HE DRESSED
IN A WORKMAN'S OVERALLS

AND BLUFFED HIS WAY
ONTO THE CAMPUS

BY SAYING HE WAS THERE
TO DO SOME REPAIRS.

THE ELEVATOR DIDN'T WORK.

Woman: IS IT STUCK?

Lavergne:
AND, IN A TRAGIC IRONY,

ONE OF THE ELEVATOR OPERATORS
ACTUALLY HELPED HIM.

AND SHE WAS ABLE
TO TURN THE POWER ON HIM.

AND HE SAID, SO INFAMOUSLY...

THANK YOU. YOU DON'T KNOW
HOW HAPPY THAT MAKES ME.

Shoquist: EDNA TOWNSLEY WAS
A RECEPTIONIST UP THERE.

SHE WASN'T EVEN
SUPPOSED TO BE THERE THAT DAY.

SHE WAS TAKING SOMEBODY'S PLACE.

MAY I HELP YOU?

SIR?

THIS IS THE WOMAN
THAT ALLEN CRUM AND RAMIRO

STUMBLE ACROSS WHEN THEY FIRST
ENTER THE RECEPTION AREA.

CHARLES WHITMAN TAKES
EDNA TOWNSLEY'S DESK,

AND HE BEGINS TO BARRICADE
THE DOOR.

[ INDISTINCT CONVERSATION ]

BUT AT THAT MOMENT,
TWO SISTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

ARE COMING UP THE STAIRS TO LOOK
OUT AT THE OBSERVATION DECK.

[ CONVERSATION CONTINUES ]

[ SHOTGUN COCKS ]

[ GUNSHOT ]

16-YEAR-OLD MARK GABOUR
IS KILLED INSTANTLY.

HIS OLDER BROTHER, MICHAEL,
IS ALSO HIT.

Spelce: HE HIT THEIR MOTHER,
MARY GABOUR.

Milam: AND MIKE AND MARK'S AUNT,
MARGUERITE LAMPORT, KILLING HER.

WE'D LEARNED EVERYTHING
WE COULD LEARN

ABOUT CHARLES WHITMAN.

BUT A PERSON'S BIOGRAPHY,
NO MATTER HOW DETAILED,

ISN'T THE PERSON.

[ GUNSHOT ]

WHY DID WHITMAN DO THIS?

FROM HIS LETTERS, IT SEEMS LIKE
EVEN HE DIDN'T KNOW.

Schug: HE REQUESTED
THAT SOMEONE AUTOPSY HIS BRAIN.

DURING THE AUTOPSY
IT WAS DISCOVERED

THAT CHARLES HAD A LARGE
TUMOR -- THE SIZE OF A WALNUT --

IN AN AREA OF THE BRAIN

ASSOCIATED
WITH EMOTION AND AGGRESSION,

PERHAPS LEADING TO MORE VIOLENCE

AND AGGRESSIVE IMPULSES
IN CHARLES.

HOWEVER, WE KNOW
THAT THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS

WHO HAVE SIMILAR TUMORS
IN THEIR BRAIN

AND YET DO NOT GO UP
ON TOP OF CLOCK TOWERS

AND START SHOOTING
INDISCRIMINATELY AT PEOPLE.

MAYBE I'M SIMPLISTIC,

BUT I STILL THINK
THERE'S GOOD AND THERE'S EVIL,

AND THIS WAS JUST PURE EVIL.

Lavergne: UNDERSTANDING CHARLES
WHITMAN IS UNDERSTANDING

THAT YOU'RE DEALING WITH
A YOUNG MAN

WHO WANTS TO SET UP HIS DAD
FOR SOMETHING REALLY TERRIBLE.

HE DOES THE ONE THING
HE DOES WELL -- SHOOTS.

HE SHOOTS PEOPLE AND HE KILLS
THE TWO PEOPLE HE SAYS HE LOVES

SO THAT HIS FATHER
IS LEFT BEHIND

TO HAVE TO EXPLAIN
ALL OF WHAT HE HAS DONE.

[ PEOPLE SCREAMING ]

[ GUNFIRE ]

[ DOOR FORCES OPEN ]

[ GUNSHOT ]

ARE WE DOING THIS?

DAMN RIGHT WE ARE.

[ SIRENS WAILING IN DISTANCE ]

Milam: RAMIRO GOES FIRST
TO THE OBSERVATION DECK,

AND THERE'S NO ONE THERE.

ALLEN CRUM AND JERRY DAY
GO ONE WAY,

AND HOUSTON McCOY AND RAMIRO
GO THE OTHER.

EVERYTHING STARTED HAPPENING
SO QUICKLY.

Milam:
THE ADRENALINE'S PUMPING.

Shoquist: ALL OF THIS HAPPENS IN
A MATTER OF A COUPLE OF SECONDS.

THE SNIPER
WASN'T POINTED TOWARDS HIM.

[ GUN COCKS ]

[ GUNSHOTS ]

RAY JUST
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM --

SIX SHOTS AS FAST
AS HE CAN PULL THE TRIGGER.

BUT HE'S NEVER HIT
BY THE REVOLVER.

McCOY, BEHIND HIM,
FIRES HIS SHOTGUN TWO TIMES,

HITTING THE YOUNG MAN
IN THE HEAD.

AND THEN
MARTINEZ GRABS THAT SHOTGUN

AND FIRES A THIRD SHOT
INTO HIS SHOULDER.

WHAT'S THAT SAYING?

"LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT"?

AS TERRIBLE AS THIS WAS,

WE DID LEARN A FEW THINGS
FROM IT.

Spelce:
A LOT OF PEOPLE CREDIT THAT

WITH THE SUBSEQUENT CREATION
OF S.W.A.T. TEAMS.

AMBULANCES,
THEY DEVELOPED E.M.T.s.

Lavergne:
AND TODAY, IN MANY STATES,

IT IS LAW THAT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
HAVE TO REPORT THREATS

TOWARDS INDIVIDUALS
AND INSTITUTIONS.

BUT I THINK THE BIGGEST CHANGE
THAT OCCURRED

WAS THAT THIS HIDEOUS ACT

WAS NOW IN
OUR COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS.

THE SEAL HAD BEEN BROKEN.

Spelce:
IT'S LIKE A BATTLEFIELD.

I REMEMBER MY DAD TELLING ME
THAT, "THIS IS NOT GOOD,

"BECAUSE THAT GUY IS SHOWING US
WHAT IS POSSIBLE.

WE'RE GONNA SEE
A LOT MORE OF THIS."

COLUMBINE.

VIRGINIA TECH.

NEWTOWN.

I THINK CHARLES WHITMAN
TOLD VERY, VERY TROUBLED PEOPLE

WHO DON'T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE

WHAT THEY CAN DO
TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES

BEFORE THEY FORCE SOMEBODY ELSE
TO KILL THEM.

Female student:
AND THERE ARE SOME

WHO FOUND A WAY
TO DENY WHITMAN --

AND ANY OF HIS IMITATORS --
THAT NOTORIETY.

Shoquist: HOUSTON McCOY NEVER
WOULD USE THE SNIPER'S NAME.

AND I AGREE.

AND BY NOT USING HIS NAME,
WE'RE NOT ELEVATING HIM

TO THAT LEVEL THAT HE WANTED
TO BE ELEVATED TO.

AND FOR ME,
ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES,

THE WORST PART IS THAT I WILL
NEVER ENTIRELY FEEL SAFE AGAIN,

NO MATTER WHERE I GO.

Lavergne:
BEFORE THIS INCIDENT,

MANY OF US ASSUMED THAT THERE
WAS SAFETY IN PUBLIC PLACES.

CHARLES WHITMAN, IN SOME WAYS,
TOOK THAT AWAY FROM US.

Spelce: THE KEY IS TRYING
TO KEEP GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS

OF PEOPLE
THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE THEM.

BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT
IN A FREE SOCIETY?

Milam: THERE WILL BE PEOPLE
WHO ARE GOING TO DO

WHAT CHARLES WHITMAN DID.

IT'S JUST PART OF WHAT IT MEANS
TO LIVE IN AMERICA.

* BRIGHT MORNING STARS
ARE RISING *

* BRIGHT MORNING STARS
ARE RISING *

* BRIGHT MORNING STARS
ARE RISING *

* DAY IS BREAKING IN MY SOUL *

* DAY IS BREAKING IN MY SOUL *