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Posted July 12, 2008
Gary Lavergne has done an outstanding job in writing this book. Unlike most true crime books, 'A Sniper In The Tower' is meticulously well researched and attention is given to detail and logic. Qualities all too rare in this genre. Those qualities make this book a must read. I for one look forward to seeing more books by Gary Lavergne. Keep up the good work sir!
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Posted November 5, 2013
Posted April 6, 2009
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Mr. Lavergne has done quite a bit of research into Charles Whitman and the tower shootings. Unfortunately, he does not tell the story very well. The first half of the book is repetitive, as the author tries to point out the All-American attributes of Whitman, which we learn is a facade. Whitman failed at whatever he did, detested his father, and a couple of times even hinted at shooting people from the college tower. Lavergne keeps repeating these facts over and over, perhaps as a way to build tension, but it doesn't work. You keep hoping he'll move on.
Finally, we get to Whitman making his preparations and beginning his murder spree, and this is where Lavergne gets better. His descriptions of Whitman murdering his wife and mother are chilling. The down to the second narrative of where the victims were when they were shot, brief biographical info on the victims, the police officers who responded and what they experienced is as fascinating as it is thorough. Along the way you learn interesting and somewhat sad tidbits of info (Whitman's two brothers died young). There's even a chapter on the made-for-TV movie about the event which proves that the words "based on a true story" doesn't mean you're getting the facts.
One other note, the photographs in the book are of poor quality, at least in my copy.
Overall, not as good as could it have been. Lavergne's top-notch research deserved writing skills to match.
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