Berry Springs Lodge

Berry Springs Lodge
Inside of the very cozy Berry Springs Lodge near Gatlinburg TN.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"A Sniper in the Tower" by Gary M. Lavergne

I know Texas is big and all, but when we first thought about a trip to the state, I really didn't know a lot about it.  Sure, there is the Alamo, JFK in Dallas, and the LBJ sites.  There is a lot of baseball there too.  Other than that, I did remember hearing about the sniper who shot people from the top of the school tower.

This story is haunting.  I knew the very basics, but I thought I might want to follow up on this horrible bit of information tucked in the back of my mind.

Author Gary M. Lavergne published this complete book on the shootings in 1997.  I think he gave a fair and factual account of all we know about the incident.  I read this nearly 400 page book easily over a couple of days.  The story does draw you in.

A few things really jumped out at me as I read "A Sniper in the Tower".  First- this was a different time.  The murderer was able to pretty effortlessly get to the top of the tower in Austin with a ton of weapons and ammunition.

He had a military and hunting background.  He wasn't shooting random shots here and there.  He was an excellent shot and utilized that.

Lavergne thoroughly covers all of the info about the shooter's relationship to his family... but this is where the reader scratches his head in a bit of confusion.  A demanding, abusive at times father is in the picture, but so are supportive relatives and friends.

AND, very sadly, the shooter's mother and wife are tragic characters in the story.  Both sound like caring and sweet people.

Gary Lavergne gives a very straight telling of this story.  He gives a lot of sources, and takes the time to interview those who stopped the terror, friends and family (including an odd interview with the shooter's father who tries to discuss compensation for his time).  I felt the author did not have any sort of agenda in his writing, stating the facts and adding little unnecessary commentary.

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