Charles Whitman

Whitman-Oswald: Marine Corps Rejects
SOCI 3541 – Spring 2011
Department of Sociology
University of Memphis

Roger Brandon Shelton
University of Memphis
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Date:   Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Understanding and identifying mentally disturbed people is one of the most challenging and exigent aspects of societal interpretations an untrained citizen can fathom.   Every once in awhile the understanding and identifying of these individuals is further complicated by military service and early achievements as a child.   Sometimes these individuals are trained and depended upon by the world’s most elite fighting force, The United States Marine Corps.   The individuals I am referring to are Charles Joseph Whitman and Lee Harvey Oswald. The difference in the two is not simple, but determined by their targets, as murderers.   Whitman and Oswald, both highly trained marksman, planned an attack that would historically rock the United States of America, as well as, set forth changes from virtually every level of society and government alike.  
The Whitman family story is that of a typical semi-wealthy (upper-middle class) American family with ordinary family obstacles, which would later be interpreted as dysfunctional.   Charles Joseph Whitman was born June 24, 1941, and died August 1, 1966.   He was a prominent youngster and highly anticipated for future accomplishments, until he and his father had an unfortunate physical and emotional falling out.   Charles’ father, Charles Adolph Whitman, was a self made man of semi-prominent stature during the childhood of young Charles.   C. A. was a fairly wealthy family provider that saw potential to almost no bounds for his son, Charles.   He and Charles had a life altering fallout over Charles’ basic rebellious high school antics (drinking and irresponsibility). C. A was married to Charles’ mother, Margaret Whitman, who was very...