But we had no reference point then. The consensus in the medical community, however, was that the tumor was probably not to blame, given its size and location. We walked to the stairwell and went down one floor to the elevator. Heatly was the brother of a very powerful state legislator, and that caused some embarrassment politically, because—as the university, to its credit, immediately disclosed—Whitman had told him exactly what he planned to do. I figured out later when I read the newspaper that while we were going down in one elevator, the Gabours must have been coming up in the other. I ran toward Batts Hall, and I’d just gotten inside when the bell rang. KINKY FRIEDMAN had graduated in May. People started pouring out of classrooms; it was lunchtime and everyone was in a hurry. The first victim arrived at 12:12 p.m., and patients continued arriving at the rate of one every two minutes for the first hour. They got him.” There was lots of cheering when they brought the guy out. But until 1999, when the university dedicated a memorial garden near the Tower to the victims, the only physical reminder on campus of what had taken place were the few remaining bullet holes left in its limestone walls. BRAD CRIDER is an independent builder living in Austin. When we reached the first landing, I could see the face of a young boy. Charlie was one of my students. General practitioners, psychiatrists, dermatologists came too. Kevin tells Dre that they should let Lena die. Keep down!”. That was really grim: blood everywhere, heads blown apart, hands dragging on the pavement. And I instinctively felt that the way to get past that was to open the observation deck to the public again. Now a nonfiction writer, he lives in Austin. The two men spot Karley and Lena chatting in an alley where Karley's car is parked. BARTON RILEY: Charlie called me at eleven o’clock one night and said, “I need to see you.” I said, “Now?” and he said yes. A basketball coach named Billy Snowden saw what was happening on the news and got out of the barber’s chair to get a better look. BARTON RILEY: The fall semester started and life went on, just like nothing had ever happened. He suggested giving to the designated people who would be standing with donation cans at the exits. It never occurred to his friend that he might be serious. After my death I wish that an autopsy would be performed on me to see if there is any visible physical disorder … Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type.”. He must have heard the gunshot and turned to look over his shoulder at the Tower as he was walking down the Drag. When an autopsy was performed on Whitman the next morning, Dr. Coleman de Chenar discovered what appeared to be a small brain tumor. His eyes were open, looking at me, and he was dead. I think I’m done with my spotting.”. The guy who was with her had gotten a little tin cup and filled it with water. The film concerns a 96-minute-long story of 4 main characters in one night and their tragic ending. Dre and Kevin steal the car and force the two girls into the back. When the call ends, Karley is seen upset. I love it when we’re number one and they make it orange; that’s a kick for me. It explores the mind of Charles Whitman and what makes these things happen. I quickly looked around the corner and saw a dead woman lying at his feet. Whitman’s first shot was fired at 11:48 a.m. SHELTON WILLIAMS was a senior at UT. We looked around for at least a half an hour. We listened to the radio and realized he was shooting and killing people a long way off, all up and down the Drag. I mean, there were buildings and highways for as far as you could see; it just went on and on, and it was so beautiful. Whitman was blond, good-looking, solidly built. A security guard was sitting inside, and I asked if I could borrow his handheld radio. CLAIRE JAMES: I didn’t know it at the time, but I was losing a lot of blood; I felt like I was melting. A desk had been pulled across the doorway at the top of the stairs, so I volunteered to go up and inquire whether or not the observation deck was closed. Knowing I had to walk up those steps was a lonely feeling. I think about how Paul Sonntag was eighteen years old when he died. An armored car was used to evacuate some of the victims, but many had to lie in the line of fire for an hour or longer. CAMILLE CLAY was a nursing supervisor at Brackenridge. But he faithfully took down the notes I gave him. We report on vital issues from politics to education and are the indispensable authority on the Texas scene, covering everything from music to cultural events with insightful recommendations. DAVID BAYLESS JR. was a freshman. He got out and opened the rear doors and pulled out a gurney. BILL HELMER: I remember thinking, “All we need is a bunch of idiots running around with rifles.” But what they did turned out to be brilliant. And Charles Whitman ruined that. Dre stops the car in a tunnel and gets out. You could say whatever you wanted to say; you could be provocative if you wanted to. It was a beautiful, selfless act. Karley uses Lena's blood to write "Help" on the car's window. Snow, shaking off her teen-comedy background, shows similar promise, as does director Lagos. FORREST PREECE was a junior. I blasted him one more time as he was falling. Lena wakes up next to her boyfriend. Kevin imputes his actions on Lena. There were about eight of us, including two nuns. That was a defining moment, because I realized I was a coward. He sells insurance in Denison. Decades of institutional silence had turned the shootings, and Whitman himself, into the answers to trivia questions. We didn’t know much about each other, so we did a lot of visiting too. I met Charles Whitman that summer at his birthday party. In the book, people from all walks of life were, for various reasons, drawn together by fate to a critical time and place in space. He came running back and said, “There are bodies in the stairwell.”. My girlfriend, Ginger, and I live in Charlie Whitman’s house. I went back years later and saw that someone had filled it in with plaster. Fifty-eight doctors signed the ledger in the emergency room and volunteered their help. Sweeping Landscapes and Other Soothing Texas Videos to Assuage Your Election Day Anxiety, The Houston Roots of the Mastermind Behind the L.A. Dodgers’ World Series Win. He is a high-tech executive in Austin. We’re all capable of terrible acts, and we’re all capable of greatness. He was carrying an architectural drawing that I suppose he wanted to show me, but the moment he saw that I had a baby grand in my living room, he dropped his papers, sat down, and played “Claire de Lune.” It’s a fairly tough little tune to play, but he did it beautifully. It seems that her father can't join her because he has a meeting in Tokyo which coincides with her graduation. SHELTON WILLIAMS: I had a class that spring in the architecture building, and I was always compulsively early. BOB HIGLEY was a junior. (Many of the original scars had, over the years, been filled in with plaster.) My brother, my aunt, and my mother followed slightly farther behind. It was a high place, and we don’t have high places in West Texas. HERB RITCHIE was a sophomore. Part of why there wasn’t a memorial on campus for so long, I think, was out of concern that it would become a shrine to Whitman. The man on his left was whispering soothing words to him as they walked past: “You did okay, buddy. After one session I never saw the doctor again, and since then I have been fighting my mental turmoil alone, and seemingly to no avail. My boyfriend, Tom Eckman, and I were drinking coffee at the Chuck Wagon when we decided that we’d better put another nickel in the parking meter. But, of course, there was nothing at all trivial about that day. Dre stops at a gas station to grab some food. It has been about 96 minutes since Karley and Lena left the restaurant. Dre has got a passing grade, and his teacher tells him that he can graduate. In early September of 1961 he was standing on the seventh-floor balcony of the Goodall Wooten dorm, looking at the Tower, when he turned to a friend and said, “You know, that would be a great place to go up with a rifle and shoot people. Director Aimee Lagos, a Washington University graduate, has compressed the incident into "96 Minutes," which won best debut feature at last year's St. Louis International Film Festival. That was the only time I heard that sort of thing. When all that red had drained out of his face, he stood up. She and other victims lay where they had fallen on the hot cement and tried to play dead. I was eight months pregnant at the time. I didn’t want to get shot. CAMILLE CLAY: There were a lot of hysterical people trying to get into the emergency room. We wanted to take a look at the guy who did this; we wanted to see him led out in handcuffs, or dead. She is an assistant features editor at the Austin American-Statesman.The anti-war movement wasn’t very big yet on campus when this happened. The next thing I knew, I could feel bullets grazing the top of the hair on my head. We walked out onto the observation deck and enjoyed the view on all four sides, looking down at the whole city. RAMIRO MARTINEZ was a patrolman for the Austin Police Department. That was the closest I could get. Another woman was lying there, and we turned her on her side to keep her from drowning in her own blood. , Content Film Grabs '96 Minutes,' Sundance Selects Takes 'Last Days Here', https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=96_Minutes&oldid=969386256, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Best Editing in a Narrative Feature" – Aram Nigoghossian, This page was last edited on 25 July 2020, at 02:54. When you got up there, it was calm and cool, and you could see for a long ways. I was doing some work on the house when a couple approached me from the street and said, “Do you mind if we take a tour?” They had driven in from Houston to see where Whitman used to live. And after I got shot, the baby never moved. Professor Mench ran to the stairwell and went up the steps a partial distance. CLIF DRUMMOND: A person we didn’t know in a station wagon—someone crazier than us—came wheeling around Twenty-fourth Street and roared to a stop in front of us.
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