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The serial killer compen.., p.16
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       The Serial Killer Compendium, p.16

           R. J. Parker
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  Mary Karen Read, 19, of Annandale, Va., a freshman in Interdisciplinary Studies.

  Reema Samaha, 18, of Centreville, Va., a freshman in Urban Planning.

  Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, 32, of Zagazig, Egypt, was a doctoral student in Civil Engineering.

  Leslie Sherman, 20, a sophomore from Springfield, Va., was a History and International Studies major.

  Maxine Turner, 22, a senior from Vienna, Va., was a Chemical Engineering major.

  Nicole White, 20, an International Studies major from Hampton Roads, Va.


  Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old student from South Korea. He was a senior English major at Virginia Tech

  University of Texas


  August 1, 1966 (17) Dead (32) Injured

  Perpetrator – Charles Whitman, an Engineering student


  Charles Joseph Whitman, born June 24th, 1941, was a student at the University of Texas and a former Marine. He grew up in an upper-middle class family headed by a father who owned a successful plumbing business in Lake Worth, Florida. Whitman excelled academically and was well liked by his peers and neighbors. There were underlying dysfunctional issues within his family, however, that escalated in 1966 when his mother left his father and moved to Texas. The older Whitman was a controlling man who was known to become physically and emotionally abusive to his wife and children.

  Preliminary Activities

  Charles Whitman's frustrations with his dysfunctional family were complicated by abuse of amphetamines and health issues including headaches. A glioblastoma, a highly aggressive brain tumor, was discovered during Whitman’s autopsy. Experts have concluded that it may have played a role in his actions. Whitman was also affected by a court martial as a United States Marine, his failings as a student at the University of Texas, his ambitious personal expectations, and his psychotic mental state.

  Several months prior to the shootings, he was summoned to Lake Worth, Florida, to pick up his mother who was filing for divorce from his father. The stress caused by the break-up of the family became the dominant discussion between Whitman and a psychiatrist at the University of Texas Health Center on March 29th, 1966.

  Whitman enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at the University of Texas on September 15th, 1961, through a USMC scholarship. His hobbies at this point included karate, scuba diving, and hunting. This last hobby got him into trouble at the University when he shot a deer, dragged it to his dormitory, and skinned it in his shower. Due to this incident, and sub-standard grades, Whitman's scholarship was withdrawn in 1963.

  In August 1962, Whitman married Kathleen Frances Leissner, another University of Texas student, in a wedding that was held in Leissner's hometown of Needville, Texas. The following year, he returned to active duty at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he was both promoted to Lance Corporal and involved in an accident in which his Jeep rolled over an embankment.

  In November of 1962, Whitman was court-martialed for gambling, possessing a personal firearm on base, and threatening another Marine over a thirty dollar loan for which Whitman demanded fifteen dollars interest. He was sentenced to thirty days of confinement, ninety days of hard labor, and demoted to the rank of Private.

  In December, 1964, honorably discharged from the Marines, Whitman returned to the University of Texas and enrolled in the Architectural Engineering program. He worked as a bill collector for Standard Finance and later as a bank teller at Austin National Bank. In January, 1965, he took a temporary job with Central Freight Lines and worked as a traffic surveyor for the Texas Highway Department. He also volunteered as a Scoutmaster for Austin Scout Troop five while Kathy worked as a biology teacher at Lanier High School.

  In May of 1966, Whitman's mother contacted Charles after several disagreements with his father and announced she was filing for a divorce. Whitman drove to Florida to help his mother move to back to Austin, where she found work in a cafeteria. The move prompted his youngest brother, John, to leave Lake Worth as well, but his brother Patrick decided to continue living at home and working for their father at his plumbing supply business.

  Whitman's father began to telephone him several times a week, pleading with him to convince his mother to return to Lake Worth, but Charles refused. The day before the shootings, Whitman purchased binoculars and a knife from a hardware store, and Spam from a 7-Eleven. He then picked up his wife from her summer job as a Bell operator, and met his mother for lunch at the Wyatt Cafeteria near the campus.

  Around 4:00 p.m., on July 31st, they visited friends, John and Fran Morgan, who lived in the same neighborhood, leaving at approximately 5:50 so that Kathy Whitman wouldn’t be late for her 6:00–10:00 p.m. shift that night. At 6:45, Whitman began typing his suicide note, a portion of which read:

  I do not quite understand what it is that compels me to type this letter. Perhaps it is to leave some vague reason for the actions I have recently performed. I do not really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I cannot recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts.

  The note explained that he had decided to murder both his mother and his wife, but made no mention of the coming attacks at the university. Expressing uncertainty about his actual reasons, he nevertheless observed that he felt he wanted to relieve Kathy and his mother Margaret from the suffering of the world.

  Just after midnight, Whitman rendered his mother unconscious and then stabbed her in the heart. He left a handwritten note beside her body, which read in part:

  To Whom It May Concern: I have just taken my mother's life. I am very upset over having done it. However, I feel that if there is a heaven she is definitely there now...I am truly sorry...Let there be no doubt in your mind that I loved this woman with all my heart.

  Whitman returned to his home at 906 Jewell Street and stabbed his wife Kathy three times in the heart as she slept, returning to the typewritten note he had begun earlier, which he then finished by hand, writing,

  I imagine it appears that I brutally killed both of my loved ones. I was only trying to do a quick thorough job...If my life insurance policy is valid please pay off my debts, donate the rest anonymously to a mental health foundation. Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type.

  Whitman also requested that an autopsy be done after his death to determine if there had been anything to explain his actions and increasing headaches. He also wrote notes to each of his brothers and his father, and left instructions in the apartment that the two canisters of film he left on the table should be developed, and that the puppy, Schocie, should be given to Kathy's parents.

  At 5:45 a.m. on Monday, August 1st, 1966, Whitman phoned Kathy's supervisor at Bell to explain that she was sick and could not make her shift that day. He made a similar phone call to Margaret's workplace about five hours later.

  The Weapons

  Whitman rented a hand truck from Austin Rental Company and cashed $250 of worthless checks at the bank before going to Davis' Hardware and purchasing an M1 carbine, explaining that he wanted to go hunting for wild hogs. He then went to Sears and purchased a shotgun and a green rifle case. After sawing off the shotgun barrel – while chatting with the mail carrier – Whitman packed it with a Remington 700 6mm bolt-action hunting rifle with a 4x Leupold Scope, an M1 carbine, a Remington .35 caliber pump rifle, and various other equipment, in a wooden crate and his Marine footlocker. He also had a .357 Magnum revolver, 9mm German Luger, and another small caliber pistol on his person.

  Before heading to the tower, Whitman donned khaki coveralls over his shirt and jeans. Pushing the rented dolly carrying his equipment, he met security guard Jack Rodman and obtained a parking pass, claiming he had a delivery to make. He showed Rodman a card identifying him as a research assistant for the school.

  Whitman entered the Main Building shortly after 11:30 a.m.. He str
uggled with the elevator until an employee, Vera Palmer, informed him that it had not been powered and turned it on for him. He thanked her and took the elevator to the 27th floor of the tower, just one floor beneath the clock face. Whitman then lugged the dolly up one long flight of stairs to the hallway that led to a doglegged stairway that went up to the observation deck area. Edna Townsley, the receptionist on duty, observing Whitman’s trunk, asked if he had his University work identification. Whitman knocked her unconscious with the butt of his rifle and dragged her body behind a couch. She later died from her injuries at Seton Hospital. Moments later, Cheryl Botts and Don Walden, a young couple who had been sightseeing on the deck, returned to the receptionist area and encountered Whitman holding a rifle in each hand. Botts later claimed that she believed that the large red stain on the floor was varnish, and that Whitman was there to shoot pigeons. Whitman and the young couple exchanged hellos and the couple left for the elevators. When they were gone, Whitman barricaded the stairway and donned his white sweatband.

  The Massacre

  Two families, the Gabours and Lamports, were on their way up the stairs when they encountered Whitman’s barricade. Michael Gabour was attempting to look beyond the barricade when Whitman fired the sawed-off shotgun at him, hitting him in the left side of his neck and shoulder region, sending him over the staircase railing onto other family members. Whitman fired the sawed-off shotgun two more times through grates on the stairway into the families as they tried to run back down the stairs. Mark Gabour and his aunt, Marguerite Lamport, died instantly. Michael was partially disabled and his mother was permanently disabled.

  The first shots from the tower's outer deck came at approximately 11:48 a.m. A history professor was the first to phone the Austin Police Department after he saw several students in the South Mall center gunned down. Many others had dismissed the rifle reports, not realizing there was directed gunfire. Eventually, the shootings caused panic as news spread and all active police officers in Austin were ordered to the campus. Other off-duty officers, Travis County Sheriff's deputies, and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, also converged on the area to assist.

  About twenty minutes later, once Whitman began facing return fire from the authorities and armed civilians who had brought out their personal firearms to assist police, he used the waterspouts on each side of the tower as gun ports. These allowed him to continue shooting largely protected from the gunfire below, but it greatly limited his range of targets below.

  Ramiro Martinez, an officer who participated that morning, later stated that the civilian shooters should be credited as they made it difficult for Whitman to take careful aim. Police lieutenant Marion Lee, reporting from a small airplane, noted that there was a single sniper firing from the observation deck. The airplane circled the tower while Lee tried to shoot Whitman, but turbulence made it difficult for him to get a clear shot. The airplane, piloted by Jim Boutwell, was hit by Whitman's rifle fire but continued to circle the tower from a safe distance until the end of the incident.

  Whitman's choice of victims was indiscriminate. Most were shot on Guadalupe Street, a major commercial and business district across from the west side of the campus. Efforts to reach and rescue the wounded included an armored car and ambulances run by local funeral homes. Ambulance driver Morris Hohmann was responding to victims on West 23rd Street when he was shot in the leg. The bullet severed an artery, and another ambulance driver quickly attended to Hohmann, taking him about ten blocks south of UT to Brackenridge Hospital, the only local emergency room.

  The Brackenridge Administrator declared an emergency and medical staff raced to reinforce the on-duty shifts. Following the shootings, volunteers donated blood at both Brackenridge and the Travis County Blood Bank. Austin Police Department (APD) Officers Ramiro Martinez, Houston McCoy, Jerry Day, and civilian Allen Crum, were the first to reach the tower's observation deck, stepping outside the south door at 1:24 p.m. Martinez, closely followed by McCoy, formed one team and proceeded north on the east deck. Day, followed by Crum, formed a second team and proceeded west on the south deck, with Whitman believed to be between the two teams.

  Several feet before reaching the southwest corner, Crum accidentally discharged a shot from his borrowed rifle. At the same time, Martinez jumped around the corner into the northeast area and rapidly fired all six rounds from his .38 police revolver at Whitman. As Martinez was firing, McCoy jumped out to the right and fired two fatal shots of double-ought buck with his 12-gauge shotgun into the head, neck, and left side of Whitman, who had been sitting with his back toward the north wall in the northwest corner area, fifty feet away.

  Whitman, who appeared to be unaware of the presence of Martinez and McCoy, was partially shielded by the deck tower lights, and in a position to defend assaults from either corner.

  After firing six rounds, Martinez threw his empty revolver onto the deck and grabbed McCoy's shotgun. He ran to Whitman's prone body and fired directly Whitman’s upper left arm. Martinez then threw the shotgun on the deck and hurriedly left the scene, repeatedly shouting, "I got him."

  After tending to the wounded in the stairwell, APD Officers Milton Shoquist, Harold Moe, and George Shepard, made their way up the stairs to join APD Officer, Phillip Conner, and Texas Department of Public Safety Agent, W.A. Cowan. Arriving on the 28th floor as Martinez, McCoy, Day, and Crum were outside on the observation deck, Moe, with a hand-held radio, heard Martinez as he ran past shouting "I got him," and relayed his words to the APD radio dispatcher.

  Houston McCoy appeared before the Travis County Grand Jury on August 5th, 1966, and received a justifiable killing verdict for the death of Whitman. At the Cook Funeral Home the next day, an autopsy was performed and an astrocytoma brain tumor was discovered in Whitman. Due to his status as a veteran Marine, Whitman had a casket draped with an American flag for his burial.

  The following are those who needlessly died on August 1st, 1966. God bless all of them:

  Margaret Whitman, 43, killed in her apartment.

  Kathy Whitman, 23, killed while she slept.

  Edna Townsley, 47, tower observation deck receptionist.

  Marguerite Lamport, killed by shotgun on tower stairs leading to the observation room inside the deck.

  Mark Gabour, 16, killed by shotgun on tower stairs leading to the observation room inside the deck.

  Thomas Eckman, 19, wounded in the shoulder, kneeling over Claire Wilson, died on the mall.

  Robert Boyer, 33, a visiting physics professor, wounded in the back.

  Thomas Ashton, 22, Peace Corps trainee, wounded in the chest wound.

  Thomas Karr, 24, wounded in the spine.

  Officer Billy Speed, 22, police officer, hit in the shoulder and the bullet traveled into his chest.

  Harry Walchuk, 39, doctoral student and father of six.

  Paul Sonntag, 18, shot through the mouth while hiding behind construction barriers.

  Claudia Rutt, age 18, killed helping fiancé Paul Sonntag.

  Roy Schmidt, 29, electrician shot outside his truck near the Littlefield Fountain.

  Karen Griffith, 17, wounded in the chest, died after a week in the hospital.

  Unborn child, fatally injured when Claire Wilson was shot in her upper rear hip; the bullet exited the abdomen.

  Columbine High School

  April 20, 1999 (15) Dead (24) Injured

  Perpetrators – Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris

  Dylan Klebold & Eric Harris


  Dylan Klebold was born September 11th, 1981, in Lakewood, Colorado, to Thomas and Susan Klebold. Thomas Klebold was a geophysicist turned realtor and ran a small real estate business from home. Susan Klebold worked for the State of Colorado, administering training programs for the disabled.

  Eric Harris was born April 9th, 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, to Wayne and Katherine Harris. His father was a US Air Force Transport Pilot and his mother a homemaker. They moved to Columbine, Colorado, in 1996 where Eric met Dylan i
n Junior High.

  Preliminary Activities

  In 1996, Eric Harris created a private website on America Online. The site was originally set up to host Doom levels that he and Dylan Klebold had created, mainly for friends. The blog postings, however, began to show the first signs of Harris' ever-growing anger against society. Harris's site had few visitors, and caused no concern until late 1997, when Dylan Klebold gave the address to Brooks Brown, Harris's former friend. Brown's mother had filed numerous complaints with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office about Eric Harris, believing him to be dangerous.

  The website was filled with death threats towards Brooks, and Dylan knew that if Brooks had the address, it would eventually be seen by his mother, and possibly result in problems for Harris. Indeed, Brooks Brown's parents contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and investigator Michael Guerra was notified of the site. Guerra discovered the website contained violent threats directed at the students and teachers of Columbine High School. Other material included blurbs Harris had written concerning his hatred of society in general, and his desire to kill those who annoyed him. Harris began noting the completion of pipe bombs on his site, and included a gun count and hitlist of individuals he wished to target. He never, however, detailed his overall plan. As Harris had admitted to having explosives, Guerra wrote a draft affidavit for a search warrant of the Harris household, but it was never filed.

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