A Photo Album

About Gary Lavergne





Why did he do it?
1997 TX Book Fest
Rave Reviews
Dateline NBC
Tower Heroes
NY Times Column




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 Department Files)
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 NBC affiliate.
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)

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