98 Slices
Medium 9781574410297

18: WHO KILLED CHARLES WHITMAN?

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

18
Who Killed Charles Whitman?

I

In 1985 two sociologists from Northeastern University, Jack Levin and James Alan Fox, completed a “comprehensive exploration of the characteristics of and the circumstances which precipitate mass murder,” producing a work entitled Mass Murder: America's Growing Menace. In 1994 they followed up with Overkill: Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed. In the foreword of Mass Murder noted defense attorney F. Lee Bailey wrote that Americans know little about mass murder and that much needs to be done to understand and prevent it.1 In their work Levin and Fox present a composite profile of a mass murderer: a white male, in his late twenties or thirties, whose motives to kill include money, expediency, jealousy, or lust. American mass murderers, hardly ever career criminals but sometimes with a history of property crimes, often commit their murders following lengthy periods of frustration. For some, like Charles Whitman, guns become a solution to this frustration and are seen as the “great equalizer.”2

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12 “An altered state of consciousness”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter twelve

“An altered state of consciousness”

“Brain damage is fairly common.”

—Dr. John Mullen an Assistant Professor of

Neurological Surgery and Neurology

I

A

fter the defense rested, Norman Kinne lined up witnesses who had dealings with Belachheb and were ready to testify that he was perfectly sane. Oh, he was odd, and in their minds maybe a little crazy, but he was certainly someone who had enough mental capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.

The first of the witnesses was Beth.1 She was a secretary for a law firm and the person who had introduced Abdelkrim

Belachheb to Joanie. She described Belachheb as a selfish schemer who readily admitted that he needed to marry a woman who had money—an American who could help him secure permanent residency in the United States. According to Beth, he seemed to have found what he wanted in Joanie, who spent large sums of her limited income on his expensive tastes. He had nice clothes, memberships in clubs, and drank to excess in plush bars and restaurants (not to mention his custom wig). Beth even testified that

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2 Morocco

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter two

Morocco

“He simply responds to women according to the script, the code, the prescription, the values that his culture has given him regarding women.”

—Dr. Harrell Gill-King

Anthropologist and Defense Expert Witness

I

T

here is an area of northwest Africa, between the Atlas and the

Rif Ranges called the Maghreb, where at the height of its power and prestige, the mighty Roman Empire discovered it could go no farther. The Atlas Mountains form a diagonal range traversing

Morocco from the southwest to the northeast, separating Morocco’s

Atlantic coastal plains to the north and west from the expansive

Sahara Desert to the south. A smaller range, the Rif, runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast. Between the two ranges, which almost merge near the eastern urban center of Taza, a passage connects

Algeria and the rest of North Africa to the Moroccan interior and the Atlantic Ocean.

From Taza, the fan-shaped plain of the Maghreb opens westward toward the Moroccan political capital of Rabat and the business capital of Casablanca. Though geographically close to the Strait of Gibraltar, this area is surprisingly isolated. On a political map, it appears ideally situated to be a portal from the Middle East, through

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19. The Northrup Trial

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press ePub

19

The Northrup Trial

“This was a monster that needed taking care of.”

—Mike Freeman, McLennan County Assistant District Attorney

On May 18, 1992, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Internal Affairs Investigator named John Moriarty called APD Detective Sonya Urubek at her office. Moriarty told her that he was compiling a timeline of Kenneth McDuff’s known whereabouts from the time he first entered prison in 1965 to the present. Other than informal meetings among officers, this was the first serious attempt to compile data from several law enforcement jurisdictions into a central location. The synopsis Moriarty compiled became a godsend for the dozens of detectives investigating McDuff, allowing them to safely eliminate McDuff as a suspect in a number of pending murders, rapes, and abductions.1

John Moriarty and TDCJ had been brought into the case because McDuff was an ex-con on parole. John was originally from the South Bronx in New York, but he fit in very well with the Texas posse informally assembled to track down McDuff. John Aycock, a quintessential Texas lawman, called Moriarty “a cop’s cop.” The information he supplied the posse about McDuff’s prison career greatly assisted in efforts to understand and profile the fugitive. He also had vast experience dealing with the families of ex-cons, and conducted masterful interviews with Addie and J. A. McDuff.

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7: The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

The Neat Little House and the Swank Apartment ------~m

In April of 1966 Charlie and Kathy Whitman mov ed to 906 Jewell St reet in sout h

Austin. At the time, the tree in the front ya rd was a st ruggling sapling. Dir ectly behind the tree is the front bedroom used by the Whitmans, where Charles murdered Kathy on I August 1966. Th e garage to the right and behind th e hous e is where Charlie stored "a whol e lot of military stuff. " Gmy Lavergne.

which led to a small dining room and finally to a kitchen facing the back yard. On the east side of the house were two small bedrooms and a bath. The back bedroom served as Charlie' s study, and on its wall Charlie hung a sign: "Strength Has No Quarter." Charlie and

Kathy used the front bedroom. I

The neat little house did not hold many possessions. As

Whitman's father-in-law later recalled, "there wasn't much; they were just kids .'? Resources went to pay for their college educations.

Much like everything else about Kathy Whitman, her home was orderly. The Whitmans universally impressed their neighbors, who considered them a model couple: smart, beautiful , and hardworking.

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