On August 1st, 1966, 25 years old Charles Joseph Whitman climbed into the tower of the University of Texas’s administrative building and started to shoot randomly at passersby below murdering 16 and wounding 32 before he was finally killed by a police officer.
This is an editorial published in The New York Times on August 2, 1966:
The monstrous torment that drove Charles Joseph Whitman to kill as many people as he could, strangers as well as those closest to him, remain a mystery. It died with him in his embattled turrets in the University of Texas tower―ended by the police who risked their lives to end his war on mankind, because that is their job. Before they got him, Whitman’s marksmanship created terror as awful as that of Howard Unruh, now in a mental hospital for the unexplainable killing of thirteen persons in Camden, N.J., nearly seventeen years ago.
Only two weeks ago eight students nurses were killed in their Chicago residence in another such act of irrational mass murder. The mystery of the defect in humanity that permits such things ever to happen remains elusive. So long as it does, the shadow of horror hangs over all of us―always.
Below are more reproduction from LIFE magazine. The whole copy is accessible online for free (follow the links posted above):