On Monday, the memory of that day was inescapable as a calm killer wielded a knife on campus, stabbing four and killing one. Police identified him as Kendrex J. White.
“It was described to us that the individual calmly walked around the plaza,” the university police chief told reporters, “and basically attacked these four unfortunate students.”
In both acts of evil, the news of the attacks spread across campus quickly.
On Aug. 1, 1966, it was by radio.
“It’s like a battle scene,” newsman Neal Spelce said on the air, ducking bullets. “There’s a shot, and another shot, and another shot.”
On Monday, it was through social media.
Then and now, the victims seemed chosen at random. Wrong route between classes. Wrong time to head to the library.
UT’s president, Greg Fenves, said, “We all mourn today.”
The wounds, he knows, will linger.
Last August, at a memorial service to remember Whitman’s victims, Fenves said, “There will never be relief from the pain and the scars.”
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