About Gary Lavergne
A SNIPER IN THE TOWER
Why did he do it?
• DC Sniper-MSNBC
1997 TX Book Fest
NY Times Column
BAD BOY FROM ROSEBUD
WORSE THAN DEATH
|Only two weeks before he murdered her, Charles
Whitman posed for this picture with his wife Kathy during a trip to the
historic Alamo in San Antonio. The trip occurred during a visit by Charles'
younger brother, John Michael. While there he climbed the Alamo Monument
for a picture, probably taken by John. These and other pictures from Charles
Whitman's cameras are reproduced in A Sniper in the Tower. (Austin Police
|Charles Whitman's mother Margaret lived in
Apt. 505 of this building at the corner of 13th and Guadalupe Streets after
separating from her husband, C.A. Whitman, in 1966. Just after midnight
on 1 August 1966, Charles Whitman brutally murdered his mother minutes
after entering her apartment here. Whitman's murder of his mother is covered
in Chapter 7 of A Sniper in the Tower.
|Austin Police Officer Billy Paul Speed gazed
at the deck through decorative ballusters which separate the upper and
lower terraces of the South Mall of the UT campus. From the deck, Charles
Whitman's best shot -- a 6mm round through the opening between the ballusters
-- killed Speed.
|Cindie Brooks, a well-known journalist for
K-EYE Witness News in Austin interviewed Gary Lavergne during the April
11, 1997, noon news show. K-EYE's noon show is the highest rated in central
Texas. Coincidentally, Cindie and Gary are from the same hometown in Louisiana
-- the small Cajun Community of Church Point.
|On the 30th anniversary of the University
of Texas Tower shootings, August 1, 1996, KXAN-TV anchor Robert Hadlock
interviewed Gary Lavergne live during the evening news. KXAN is Austin's
|KVUE-24 evening news anchor, Walt Maciborski, did a feature for
the 30th anniversary of the UT Tower tragedy. Gary Lavergne conducted a
tour of the twenty- eighth floor reception area and observation deck.
|By 1:24pm, Charles Whitman had been shooting
from the deck for 96 minutes -- until Austin policemen Houston McCoy and
Ramiro Martinez cornered and killed him. Whitman had positioned himself
to fend off an attack from the southwest corner of the deck, but McCoy
and Martinez attacked from the northeast corner. A controversy continues
today as to whether McCoy or Martinez actually killed Whitman. Nearly all
of Chapter 18 of A Sniper in the Tower is devoted to the lingering,
tragic controversy. (Austin Police Department Files)
|In March of 1995 Gary Lavergne interviewed
one of the two police officers who killed Charles Whitman. Pictured here
with Lavergne is Houston McCoy. The interview was held at the home of Hugh
Bob Spiller in McCoy's hometown of Menard, Texas.
|In 1966, McCoy was married to a
beautiful young woman named Ruth, whom he met in Germany. (Courtesy
of Ruth McCoy)
|In April of 1995 Gary Lavergne interviewed
Ramiro Martinez in Luby's cafeteria in New Braunfels, Texas. Today, Ramiro
Martinez is the Justice of the Peace of Precinct 2 of Comal County. He
is a retired Texas Ranger.
|Only two weeks before he confronted Charles
Whitman on the deck of the UT Tower, Ramiro and VerNell Martinez posed
for their first family portrait with their two-year old twin daughters.
(Courtesy of Ramiro and VerNell Martinez)