On Aug. 1, 1966, whacked-out Whitman turned his fantasy into a bloody reality by slaughtering 15 people and wounding 33 more while high atop the landmark on the University of Texas campus.
Before his terrible assault, he brutally killed his mom Margaret and stabbed his wife Kathy to death. Then the 25-year-old Eagle Scout loaded three rifles, three pistols, a sawed-off shotgun, a radio, water, gasoline, 700 rounds of ammunition, a hammer and a knife into a footlocker. He dragged it all to the tower entrance.
There, the engineering student unloaded his gear and took an elevator to the reception area on the 30th floor. He hit receptionist Edna Townsley with the butt of a rifle and dragged her behind a couch, where she lay unconscious with a fatal wound. He then barricaded the door.
When six visitors tried to push through, Whitman greeted them with blasts from his shotgun. Two died and two were wounded. Whitman then went to the observation deck. Using a remington sniper-style rifle, he began to cut down victims walking on the campus and neighboring streets - some as far as 500 feet away.
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Finally, four policemen and Allen Crum, a civilian, made it into the tower, surprised Whitman and killed him.
An autopsy discovered Whitman had a brain tumor, but medical experts could not determine if that touched off the terrible rampage that stunned the nation.
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