233 Slices
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15: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

15
To Whom It May Concern

I

Charles Whitman began shooting from the deck at 11:48 A.M. Ninety-six minutes transpired before his shooting spree ended, enough time for major news organizations to cover some of the tragedy live. Bulletins interrupted regular programming all over the world. In Lake Worth, Florida, Charles's grandmother Whitman heard a bulletin and summoned Charles's brother Patrick to the television. Twenty years later, Patrick remembered it this way:

I went in to listen to the TV, but the news bulletin didn't come right back, so I called the station, and I asked them to repeat the news bulletin. At first they wouldn't repeat it, so I said, “My name is Patrick Whitman. Would you please repeat it.” Then I broke up and went and got my father. From then on it was turmoil. They had to sedate me.1

It probably went exactly as Charles would have hoped. Much of the world's media began to ask questions, many of them directed at C. A, Whitman of Lake Worth, Florida. The glare of publicity for the Whitman family was only beginning. Still to be discovered were the notes Charles had left at 906 Jewell Street and Penthouse Apartment #505.

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1: TWO VERY DIFFERENT UPBRINGINGS

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

1
Two Very Different Upbringings

I

During the post-World War II era, middle class workers populated the community of Lake Worth, Florida, a seaside community along the Atlantic Coast. Hard-working entrepreneurs penetrated markets, cultivated clients, and grew rich while economic Darwinism and American free enterprise eliminated the weak. Lake Worth's population doubled from 7,408 in 1940 to 15,315 in 1955.1 Charles Adolphus “C. A.” Whitman flourished in such an environment. He became a successful plumbing contractor as well as an accomplished, affluent and admired businessman. It had not always been that way.

C. A. Whitman knew his mother, but he spent much of his childhood in the Bethesda Orphanage in Savannah, Georgia. He overcame a lack of formal education by sheer determination and by out-working his competitors. His ruddy, round face and neatly cut slicked-to-the-side hair complimented a stocky, solid body. His appearance suggested he had “paid his dues.” Self-made and proud of it, he used his money to buy what he wanted, unapologetically. Some acquaintances, however, found his pride to be monumental egotism; he provided very well for his family—and never let them forget it.2

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 20. Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 20

Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Bill Longley quickly passed from the pages of Texas newspapers, and his notoriety with him. Other gunmen, such as Hardin and Ben Thompson, stepped to the forefront of the public spotlight, their sort continuing to fascinate those who found glamour and excitement in the larger-than-life exploits of an outlaw, as opposed to the humdrum routine of school, farming, or other similar everyday callings. As with Longley, the notorious Jesse James also capitalized on the press to insure a place in history, although James took great pains to deny his nefarious deeds.

Only eight months after the hanging, however, stories were already being passed around in Dallas that the execution had been a hoax, thus commencing decades of confusion and speculation about the ultimate fate of Bill Longley. “Rich relatives supplied him with a steel corset and neck piece, which prevented the rope from choking him or pulling on his neck at all when the drop fell.” Friends were supposed to have pretended to bury the body, smuggling Longley away and “setting him up in business in California, where he now lives a pious and model young man.”1 Although the story was briefly published in 1879, it did not garner a public response from those who knew better, apparently because it seemed so absurd on its face.

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17: WHY DID HE DO IT?

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

17
Why Did He Do It?

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.—Conte Vittorio Alfieri (1794–1803), Italian playwright and poet

I

Once he returned to Austin, Governor John Connally assembled a blue-ribbon commission to look into every medical aspect of the Tower incident. The commission members were giants in their respective fields. Fact-finders consisted mostly of medical school professors. Dr. R. Lee Clark, Surgeon-in-Chief of the University's M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, served as the chairman. The work of the eleven fact-finding members was reviewed by twenty-one other blue-ribbon physicians from throughout the United States.1 The Connally Commission (for want of a better name) established four investigative objectives:

1. To determine the events and circumstances which surrounded the actions of Charles J. Whitman on August 1, 1966.

2. To explore the findings and to make such additional examinations as might be indicated by the factual information which is available.

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Narcs Listening to B101 and The Edge

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

Narcs Listening to B101 and The Edge

“Have to pay trimmers, pay people, pay the babies, pay the earth, keep paying other stuff and then another rent’s going to hit us and then before we know it, fuck, we’re fucked.”

— Jeff DaSilva

Glenn Day and Constable Jones, who was posing as Day’s runner, went to a potential grow-op site at an industrial building in Welland, near the canal and right behind a Canadian Tire, to meet Bob DeRosa.

They waited outside until a black Jeep pulled up. DeRosa was inside, with two other men he introduced as the managers of the property, one of whom he said he had known for 10 years. Day openly told the two property managers he’d just met that he wanted the place for “growing weed.”

They looked around inside the building, where people were busy working, and Day and Jones took photos. DeRosa suggested that Day set up a scrap-metal recycling company as a front. He also said he would like a cut of the grow op’s profit, “just a little bit.”

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