About Gary Lavergne








DATELINE NBC Arrives in Cedar Park !!

Dennis Murphy, winner of three national Emmys for excellence in news reporting, has filed stories for NBC News from more than 50 countries. As a regular contributor to "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today" show, his assignments have given him a front-row seat for some of the biggest stories of the last two decades -- from wars in the Persian Gulf and Central America to the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the Berlin Wall. Since May 1994, Murphy has been a correspondent with "Dateline NBC." In 1999, he was awarded a Clarion Award, Harry Chapin Media Award and a National Headliner Award for "Children of the Harvest," the story about children in the U.S. working as migrant laborers on farms. In addition, he received a Clarion Award for his work on "A Few Good Men," the story of several men from one marine unit who fought together in Vietnam. Murphy has also received a National Association of Black Journalists Award for International Reporting. In 1996, he was honored with two Emmys for his work on Dateline and an American Bar Association certificate of merit for an hour-long Dateline program on the anatomy of a civil trial.

He is pictured here in Gary's home office in Cedar Park, Texas, for a taping of a DATELINE NBC special on the Charles Whitman murders.

Selected Quotes From DATELINE NBC Appearance

"If Charles Whitman had looked like Charles Manson, I think we’d have a very different take on him. But Charles Whitman was pretty. He gave mass murder a face and it was a pretty face."
—GARY LAVERGNE, Author, on the myth of Charles Whitman as the "All-American Boy."
"He knew the area, he knew his talents. He knew he was capable of committing an enormous mass murder and he wanted to hear about it before he died himself."—GARY LAVERGNE, Author, on why Charles Whitman had a transistor radio on the deck while he shot nearly 50 people on August 1, 1966. "They didn’t know if there was one sniper or ten. They had no idea what they were getting into. But they did it anyway. That’s extraordinary courage."
—GARY LAVERGNE, Author, on the two officers who first entered the tower.

"America discovered in the summer of 1966 in Austin that people can take their guns and go to school."

“There are some who say they knew him well, who thought that he was a nice guy and very normal and very responsible and very studious, and there are others who knew him equally well who said that he was immature. He was weird. He was violent. And the thing about Charles Whitman is, I’ve come to believe that they’re all right.”
—GARY LAVERGNE, Author, on the myth of Charles Whitman as the "All-American Boy."
"I thought I had stepped on an electrical wire because I felt this huge jolt and I started falling."
CLAIRE WILSON, Whitman's first victim from the deck.

“You’ve got to understand that this was 1966. When we got out of a patrol car, we were on our own.”
RAMIRO MARTINEZ, Former Austin Policeman
“He was living in a dorm nearly across the street from the tower. In 1961, five years before he did it, he looked to a friend and he said, ‘You know, that would be a great place to go up with a deer rifle and shoot people. You could hold off an army and no one could get to you.’”
—GARY LAVERGNE, Author, dismissing a widely held belief that Charles Whitman "snapped."
“I say to the wounded boy, I say, ‘We’ll shoot him for you, don’t worry. Then I ask him, ‘How many are up there?’ And he says he only saw one. So that’s making me feel a little bit better, you know?”
HOUSTON McCOY, Former Austin Policeman

“Every two minutes there was a patient brought in for about an hour or so. It was so many of them, and you couldn’t believe it. My god, when’s this going to stop?”DR. JIM CALHOON, Emergency Room Physician


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