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Summary

Charles Whitman, Jr. was born and raised with his two younger brothers in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs of Lake Worth, Florida. From the outside, the Whitmans appeared to be living the American dream but within the household, lay a much darker reality. Charles Whitman, Sr. made sure his family wanted for nothing, and in return, he demanded perfection. Lethargy or failure were unacceptable and resulted in violence.

Growing up under the brutal rule of Charles, Sr. took its toll on Charles, Jr. He could not live up to the impossible expectations set by his father, nor could he accept his failures. 

Charles, Jr. struggled to control his inner thoughts and temper, and his life started to unravel. He needed to put an end to his trajectory. He wasn’t going to slide into mediocrity. He wouldn’t go silently into suicide and oblivion. The world needed to know his name and what he was truly capable of, for the rest of time.

The Texas Tower Sniper is a chilling account of one of the largest campus shootings in American history. Ryan Green’s riveting narrative draws the listener into the real-life horror experienced by the victims and has all the elements of a classic thriller. 

Caution: This book contains descriptive accounts of abuse and violence. If you are especially sensitive to this material, it might be advisable not to listen to it.

©2020 Ryan Green (P)2020 Ryan Green

What listeners say about The Texas Tower Sniper

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It is a bit slow at start but stay with it

As my heading says, its slow at the start and I was going to give up on the book but give it a chance that's all I will say.

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Ryan Does It Again!!!!

Another Fantastic and well written book - such a joy to listen too. Top Marks Ryan 👍👍👍

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  • txdoc
  • 02-05-20

Sad and terrifying...

In what is, in my opinion, Ryan Green’s best work yet, the life and horrifying crimes of Charles Whitman are explored. From his childhood spent trying, yet never quite managing, to gain the approval of his domineering and abusive father to his service as a marine and, ultimately, to his time as a young husband and college student, the life of Charles Whitman was never what people were led to believe. The Whitman family made every effort to appear as the quintessential upper middle-class family to be admired and emulated but this was only a shiny façade concealing a dark truth. This fascinating book details the appalling physical and psychological abuse he endured which left permanent scars on his body and his mind. It chronicles both the remarkable achievements and the faltering steps that led a promising and intellectually gifted young man down a dark path of skewed reality, self-loathing, and desperation until he lost all concept of empathy and humanity. Such a vivid picture of his life is painted that it plays out in the mind as clearly as watching it on the big screen. The myriad factors contributing to Charles’ ultimate downward spiral are presented for consideration and, while it is impossible to be certain exactly what happens in the mind of a killer, Charles left many notes and clues which afforded reasonable and cogent conjecture into his thought processes concerning the murder of his beloved family and the UT Austin Tower shootings. This is an absolute must-read/must-listen for all students of abnormal psychology and for anyone who enjoys the true crime genre. Also of note is the wonderful job the narrator, Steve White, did with the reading of this book. He is one of those narrators, in my opinion, that keeps the flow of the story going smoothly and is able to hold the interest of his listeners from start to finish. I was provided with an audio copy of this book by the author but I also chose to purchase a copy and I am voluntarily offering my honest and unbiased review.

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  • Amanda Kliebert
  • 10-06-20

Great book

I loved it. I read the book and listened to the Audible. I love being able to listen to the story while doing other things. I can't wait for more.

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  • Neesie315
  • 30-05-20

Terrifyingly true

Ryan Green has written another insightful true crime book, this time about the Texas Tower Sniper, Charles Whitman. Whitman is probably the first mass shooter of his type and many others have emulated him. Having visited the Tower on the University of Texas campus many times, hearing the methodical, calculated way that Whitman planned to kill so many from this beautiful vantage point was especially poignant. Mr. Green does an excellent job in weaving together facts with enough speculation to make it easier for the listener/reader to get a feel for the crime. He manages to make the perpetrator more human by adding in personal touches. Most true crime books tend to be fairly clinical in their tales and I like the fact that Mr. Green adds his own spin on his true crime books. Also, he does not romanticize the perpetrator in any way, even when the reader can see the humanity in their twisted psyche. The narrator, Steve White, does an excellent job, with perfect pacing and careful pronunciation throughout the book. HIs performance adds a lot to an already excellent book.

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  • Sena Schneider
  • 07-05-20

The Man Who Stretched Until He Snapped!

Charles Whitman was held to ultra-high standards when he was a child. His abusive father would beat him for not meeting said standards. This created a serious flaw, as he was taught to ignore when he had far too many responsibilities to handle. When he was failing to handle them all, he decided to leave this world doing the only thing he ever thought he was good at, marksmanship. This lead to one of the most gruesome massacres in the 20th century.

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  • Cheryl
  • 19-05-20

This may be Ryan Green's best book yet...

I really enjoyed The Texas Tower Sniper. It was one of those books that when I had to hit pause and walk away, I would instantly start planning when I could listen to more, I have read other Ryan Green books, but this was my favorite so far!