About Gary Lavergne





2009 TX Book Fest
Sniper 66 Docum
Why did he do it?
1997 TX Book Fest

Rave Reviews
Dateline NBC
Tower Heroes
NY Times Column




The Charles Whitman Murders

On a sweltering afternoon in 1966, Charles Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower with enough firepower to hold off an army. For the next ninety-six minutes he methodically gunned down forty-five strangers, killing fourteen. But as shocking as the rampage that made world headlines -- and the murders of his wife and mother the night before -- was the smiling photograph on the front page: a handsome, all-American Eagle Scout and U.S. Marine. A bewildered nation asked: How could this golden boy be a mass murderer?

At last we have an answer. Sifting through the facts and firsthand research, Gary Lavergne exposes the darkness behind Whitman's "golden boy" facade, and the issues this case forced America to confront: the insanity defense, domestic violence, military indoctrination, gun control. In his minute-by-minute account of one shattering day and its aftermath, Lavergne sheds new light on the mass murderers who have followed in Whitman's bloody footsteps, and the nation changed forever by their presence.

... Bantam Books


Click on the image to watch video

Gary Lavergne Appears Longhorn Network feature of UT's Tower Memorial Garden

The Longhorn Network, part of the ESPN family of cable stations, recently did a feature on UT's Tower Memorial Garden and Turtle Pond. In 1999 the Garden was dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Tower Tragedy of 1966. In 2007 the University installed a memorial to the victims and their families.

He appeared in a documentary in the Tower Garden, which is an area just north of the UT Tower.


CO tragedy evokes 1966 tower killings: kxan.com

CO tragedy evokes 1966 tower killings
Charles Whitman introduced public to mass murder

Updated: Friday, 20 Jul 2012, 10:33 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 20 Jul 2012, 9:35 PM CDT

Chris Sadeghi, Reporter

AUSTIN (KXAN) - It has been 14 years since Gary Lavergne wrote the book "A Sniper in the Tower."

With the country's eyes focused on the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO, Lavergne's book details every known movement of Charles Whitman in the days leading up to the Texas Tower shooting.

A crime that set the precedent for mass murder in a public place like the one that happened Friday.

"The University of Texas tower shooting in 1966 was America's introduction to mass murder as we think of it today." Click here to read more

"Reading the authoritative account of the Whitman case, A Sniper in the Tower by Gary M. Lavergne -- which was published in 1997, before our recent mass murders -- one feels it's as much prophecy as history."

Frank Rich in a New York Times OP-ED Column, September 25, 1999

A Sniper in the Tower was first published in hardcover and trade paperback  in April of 1997 by the University of North Texas Press. The limited hardcover edition sold out in ten days. Today, it is a collectors' item. The only edition currently available is the UNT Press trade paperback edition. Copies can be purchased through Amazon.com or BN.com (Barnes and Noble). Any bookstore can order the trade paperback edition. Just ask for ISBN #1-57441-029-6. Customers can also purchase a copy directly from Texas A&M University Press by calling 1-800-826-8911.

In November of 1999, Bantam, Doubleday and Dell Books released the mass market edition of A Sniper in the Tower. SNIPER has the distinction of being a book, originally published in hardcover as a criminal justice/sociology title by an academic press, and reissued as a mass market true crime book. Mike Cox of the Austin American-Statesman wrote that Gary Lavergne created a "new genre"--true crime with footnotes. It may still be available online or some bookstores, but the edition is sold out and out of print.

Award Winning True Crime

1997 Violet Crown Special Citation for non-fiction.

Austin Chronicle's annual reader's poll
Best book by a local author.

Top Ten Small Presses Book for 1997.

Top Ten Books of 1997!

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