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Old 02-15-2017, 11:36 AM   #1
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Post 'Tower' on PBS 'Independant Lens' Last Night

I know, (knew), bugger all about the Texas Clock Tower mass killing from August 1966 save that it represents the first such incident. I knew it had happened, that a number of people were killed & more wounded but essentially nothing else.

PBS aired a remarkable depiction of it last night called simply 'Tower'. Anyone who didn't see it, try to do so when it repeats. I hate using this word - "powerful" but that's what this little documentary was. It's filled in a unique mix of animation & news film from the time & the animation fills in nicely for parts where there simply wasn't film.

Over & above the stark fact that so many died & were wounded, here were some of the aspects that really struck me. The surreal characteristic of this, the very first such shooting - certainly the first of this magnitude. Witnesses, passers by, those pinned down by the gunfire had no concept of what to do, how to protect themselves, with the exception of some military veterans.

When faced with the wounded & dying, very few had any notion of first aid & CPR wasn't "invented" yet. I couldn't help but wonder if some of the dead might, today, have been saved. The youth of most of those involved, from the shooter to the victims to the police & others trying to resolve this situation... this was the mid 60s & by your early 20s, you were embarked or embarking on your adult life.

The unfathomable, staggeringly brave actions of several people discussed in the film & no doubt there were more that simply didn't get on film...

The police asking in the dorms if any of the young men had firearms & were willing to help... wouldn't see that today.

Today, the entire area would have been immediately sealed off for crime scene processing. Then, almost immediately after the shooter was killed, hundreds of students, staff, passers by, filled the area.

Apparently, PBS is showing the film on their web site for a time - in Canada, I can't get it but it's really worth the 96 minutes.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #2
A.T. Hagan
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The Wikipedia entry for Charles Whitman is pretty good: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

Also the main entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univer...en_respons es

Note the "Autopsy", "Connolly Commission", and "Investigation of Medical History" entries in Whitman's entry at the first link.

It's been so long now since it happened many have forgotten or never heard of the incident, but it used to be widely known.
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independant, lens, night, pbs, tower

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