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Press Conference Clips Regarding the UT Tower Shooting (1966)

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1966

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  •  Governor Connally gives commendations to Police department, DPS, student and medical rescue workers 
  •  Connally broaches the subject of gun control in response to preventing mass shootings 
  •  Connally describes the Police response in pinning down Charles Whitman 
  •  Connally addresses new legislation that will respond to those who commit murder and claim insanity thereafter 
  •  Robert Miles describes the event of the mass shooting from the police department’s perspective 
  •  Early autopsy report on Whitman’s brain tumor 
  •  Ramiro Martinez and Miles describe the tactics involved in surrounding Whitman 
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This compilation reel contains clips of several interviews given in the aftermath of the University of Texas tower shooting on April 1, 1966. First, Governor John Connally expresses condolences and commends the response by the Austin Police Department, University students and ambulance drivers. Connally then suggests new legislation in response to mass murderers. The next interview cuts to Chief of Police Robert Miles describing the Austin Police Department’s tactical response in pinning down Whitman during the shooting. The following interview describes the mental illness and brain tumor that afflicted Whitman, followed by another joint interview given by Ramiro “Ray” Martinez and Robert Miles.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.