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  • Chris McAndrew

Charles Whitman Grave - Texas Tower Shooter

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Based on his behavior in his younger years Whitman isn’t someone you would really expect to do something horrific like he did. At the age of six his IQ was tested and found to be 139 which put him in the Superior range. He was 12 years and 3 months old when he earned the title of Eagle Scout becoming the youngest person to do so at that point. He had also earned 21 Boy Scout merit badges in just 15 months. He went to Catholic school and was an alter server.

One red flag though was his father, whose name was also Charles, but liked to be called Charlie, was not a nice man. He beat up young Charles on a regular basis along with everyone else in the house. Judy Fabris grew up in a house next to the Whitmans. She told the Palm Beach Post in 2006 quote I can’t tell you how many times my mom and dad called the police because Charlie was beating his wife, his kids, his dog. I still remember the yelping when Charlie beat their little Boston terrier. End quote.

After the shooting rampage Charlie admitted to beating his wife saying I did on many occasions beat my wife, but I loved her. I did and do have an awful temper. I have to admit it because of my temper, I knocked her around. As for the kids he said I don’t think I spanked enough if you want to know the truth about it.

In 1959 Charles was ready to get away from his father and the beatings so he signed up for the United States Marine Corps where by all accounts he excelled and even received a Good Conduct Medal.

The Marines saw his talent and smarts so he was sent to study mechanical engineering at the University of Texas. There he met a girl who he married after five months of dating. Then things began to take a turn for the worse when his mother left his father and moved to Texas. His grades took a tumble, and he lost his scholarship. He was having bad headaches and trouble sleeping. He was sent back to active duty where things didn’t go well there either. The Marines sent him home with an honorable discharge. At that point he came back to the University of Texas where he re-enrolled.

By this point in time his headaches were getting worse and more regular. He started meeting with doctors and psychiatrists. After his death an autopsy was performed where a

Pecan sized brain tumor was found which would have more than likely killed him pretty quickly. Even with proper treatment this type of tumor today only has around a 30% 2-year survival rate.

On March 29, 1966, he met with a doctor by the name of Maurice D. Heatley who was a staff psychiatrist at UT Medical Center. He wrote in his report after the meeting.

This massive, muscular youth seemed to be oozing with hostility as he initiated the hour with the statement that something was happening to him and he didn't seem to be himself.

He expressed himself as being very fond of his wife, but admitted that his tactics were similar to his father's … on two occasions assaulted his wife physically.

The real precipitation factor for this initial visit … seemed to stem from the separation of his parents some 30 days ago.

Although he identifies with his mother in the matter above, his real concern is with himself at the present time … admits having overwhelming periods of hostility with a very minimum of provocation … vivid reference to 'thinking about going up on the tower with a deer rifle and start shooting people.'… No medication was given … at this time.

Just after midnight the day he climbed the tower he made a stop at his mother Margaret’s house where he killed her with a knife. He left a handwritten note by her bed saying 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.

In a decision that is difficult to understand, she was buried next to him in a joint funeral four days after the murders. Each was given a proper Catholic Mass. Charles' casket was draped with an American flag and some well known politicians including a couple of local mayors carried his casket while some successful businessmen were part of the group who carried Margaret’s.

On August 1st, Whitman also murdered his wife by stabbing her three times in the heart sometime around 2 in the morning. He left a note next to her saying 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 [...] Give our dog to my in-laws. Tell them Kathy loved the dog very much.

At around 11:35 that morning he entered the tower killing a receptionist and a couple tourists on his way up the tower then opening fire on people below. From the top of the tower he killed an additional 11 people and shot a total of 42 before he was shot and killed by two police officers who finally made their way to the top of the tower.

Charles was 24-years-old when he died. Seven years later his brother John Michael was also 24-years-old when he was shot and killed in a bar fight in Lake Worth Florida on July 4th, 1973. He has been laid to rest here next to his mother and brother as well.

We cordially invite you to come along as we go to West Palm Beach, Florida to see the grave of Charles Whitman who was the Texas tower shooter. On August 1, 1966 Whitman killed 16 and wounded 31 others in a day of terror first killing his mom then wife before making his way to the University of Texas clock tower in Austin where he shot dozens of people. We cordially invite you to come along. Support our channel - Buy some exclusive McAndrew Travels merchandise - For business inquiries please contact Find us on the web:

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