Robert Smalley was a Texas Ex living in Dallas in the summer of 1966. He had graduated from UT in 1962 and was pursuing a medical degree.
During his time at UT, he served as a dorm counselor with Charles Whitman. Whitman was chosen by the Navy to get a bachelor’s degree and he would pay the Navy back with service time.
“I was extremely impressed (with Whitman),” Smalley says. “He was a poster boy for the Navy. He was a very courteous gentleman, very kind.”
Smalley was fond of Whitman and had even planned to go to Whitman’s wedding had it not been for a family illness.
Smalley says he cannot figure out what triggered Whitman’s rampage but says Whitman would periodically get himself into trouble with gambling debt.
Smalley was watching television when he heard of Whitman’s death but didn’t realize, at first, that Whitman was the killer.
“Charlie never had a weapon in his room…. I never saw him do one violent thing, period,” Smalley says.