Alice Goodwin Reinarz was a junior at UT-Austin in the summer of 1966. She was working towards a degree in microbiology.
Reinarz was in the biology building when when the shooting started. She and her biology classmates crowded near one of the lab’s windows – a move that now seems foolish in retrospect, she says. As they looked up toward the tower, someone rushed into their classroom and told them, “Somone’s shooting from the tower. Get away from the windows, get down.”
As the only child of older parents, Reinarz had led a sheltered life. She says it was almost impossible to understand what was going on at the time.
“My life had been so easy and I couldn’t really understand what was happening. It was so surreal that, I guess, it was almost like we were in a play or in a movie.”
Once they received the all-clear, Reinarz and her classmates exited the building, which was situated close to the tower. They stood in the parking lot, and she saw Charles Whitman’s body moved toward an ambulance on a gurney, draped in a sheet.
“I had never seen a dead body before. And again, it was unreal. It was surreal. It didn’t seem frightful to me – it was just unreal. I couldn’t wrap my head around it in an emotional way. And it wasn’t until the news began to unfold that I realized how many people had been wounded and killed.”