Reimagining The 1966 University Of Texas Massacre
On August 1, 1966, a man named Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas clock tower and started shooting. When the carnage ended, 16 people were dead and 32 were left wounded. The dead included Whitman, who had already killed his wife and mother prior to opening fire on campus.
Writer Elizabeth Crook turned that very real event into the novel “Monday, Monday,” which tells the story through characters who were there that day, including one who was badly wounded. Crook’s description of what it was like on the ground, as Whitman peppered the campus from above, is visceral.
“This was the first time, of course, that anything like had happened like this in our country, and so the reactions were very raw,” Crook told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson last year. “None of the people there that day had any way to think ahead about this, so they were just acting instinctively. I mean, rushing out into the line of fire and dragging people off the mall where they had been wounded.”
As the book comes out in paperback, we revisit this conversation.
- Read an excerpt of “Monday, Monday” and an essay about the massacre by Here & Now producer Alex Ashlock