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In the previous episode, Inside Story Of The Deadliest Attack On Police Officers Since 9/11, the negotiator for the Dallas SWAT team revealed the inside story about the mass killer who ambushed Dallas officers during a Black Lives Matter protest five years ago.
Members of our True Crime Community have asked to learn more about the purpose of SWAT teams.
SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. It’s a highly trained elite unit selected from rank and file officers who apply.
In the True Crime Reporter™ podcast episode published on July 18, 2022, about the Uvalde School Shooting, Police Waited To Subdue Killer While Uvalde School Children Lay Dying you heard how a SWAT team from the U.S. Border Patrol finally stepped in and ended the mass shooting.
SWAT teams grew out of the mass shooting at the University of Texas Tower in Austin a half-century ago.
In 96 minutes, Charles Whitman, an architectural engineering student cut down nearly 50 people with 150 rifle shots from the 30th-floor observation deck on August 1, 1966.
From his perch, three hundred feet above the campus, he methodically picked off victims as far as five blocks away.
Police were outgunned and did not have protective gear to make a quick assault.
You can learn more about the incident and how it influenced policing in our March 28, 2022 episode titled, A Sniper In The Tower–Why Did He Do It?
We interviewed Gary Lavergne, the author of A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders.
Here are links to black and white film footage from the shooting and a video of Gary Lavergne following the sniper’s trail to the top of the UT Tower.
If SWAT teams had existed back then, that’s who would have responded.
We asked retired Dallas Police Lt. Bob Owens to explain the role of SWAT teams. Owens is a 40-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department.
Here is his interview with Robert Riggs.
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