Columbine – The Big Picture (Part 1)

Columbine – The Big Picture (Part 1)

[TUNING RADIO] “…school in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Another school shooting in the United States,
this one the worst yet. It appears 25 people are dead including two
students suspected to have been the gunmen. Witnesses say at least two young men, perhaps three,
walked into the school armed with guns and explosives, and opened fire. Police have identified the gunman as Eric
Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two young men were both found dead in the school’s library
with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. They apparently belong to a clique of outcasts
in the high school called, ‘The Trench Coat Mafia.’ Joule Levinson has the latest from Littleton.” A day that would forever change the foundation
of America, [GUNSHOT] Eric Harris: “Entry exit.” [laughter] leaving a permanent imprint on the societal
norms of the 21st century. Charlton Heston: “From my cold, dead hands!”
[audience cheering] Tom Mauser: “I am here today, because my
son, Daniel, would want me to be here today.” April 20th, 1999, the United States stopped
and stared at the massacre at Columbine High School, the most infamous school shooting
in history, officially starting an era of fear and sparking the debate on whether drastic
steps need to be taken in order to further protect the youth of the current generation. Columbine is not solely studied for what it
was, but also for what it aspired to be. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan
Klebold planned to carry out a tragedy more catastrophic than anything that had been seen
before, like the preceding Oklahoma City Bombings. “Columbine actually wasn’t a successful
shooting. It was a failed bombing. How much more indiscriminate can you get? Two big bombs to kill everyone who happens
to be in that part of the building of the start of A lunch.” Even almost 20 years later, the question still
remains: How did these two teenage students concur to commit these violent acts in such
unison, and what exactly does the evidence of their meticulous preparation that they
left behind tell us? Perhaps a very inclusive analysis of these
primary and secondary sources can give us a more transparent conclusion on Eric and
Dylan’s motives for the shooting, how they planned to perpetrate the incident, and also
why the events transpired the way that they did. It is the year where the two students start
their junior year of high school. Both had previously met and become close friends
at Ken Caryl Middle School and began attending Columbine in the 9th grade. 15-year-old Dylan Klebold is described by
his family and peers as being overall avoidant. He prefers to mostly stick to himself and
has reserved communication with other people. While Dylan is social enough to develop friends
and a liking from Columbine students, his unique attributes do periodically stand out
to others. “I was pushed against a locker one day by
a football player at the school because he saw me talking to Dylan, and he asked me ‘Why
are you talking to that faggot? You a dyke?’ And just, he was just throwing his weight
around he was just being a jerk. He didn’t know how to interact with anyone
without another person there or something that he can talk about like a movie, or music,
or something.” “I remember one time in particular in about
eighth grade where he was upset about something and he didn’t want to talk about it and
he went to his room and he closed the door, and I was concerned. I came up to bring him some chocolate milk
and he was asleep and I could see, you know, that he was crying, he had been crying, and
when I asked him the next day what it was he just said, ‘Oh, some kids were mean to
me.’” Although being a timid individual, Dylan has
a rather active presence in high school extracurricular activities. He is a light and sound coordinator for the
school plays and is also a video production assistant for the high school’s daily announcement
department known as the “Rebel News Network.” At home, Dylan keeps a logged journal, where
he expresses his thoughts, feelings, and interests, as well as covering the experiences that he
encounters throughout his day. Eric Harris is described as much more independent. Compared to Dylan, he does not have as many
friends or as big of a popularity status. Out of the two, he is the one that is most
vulnerable to bullying from other classmates. “They were treated very very poorly by some
of the student body. Some of the sports players were extremely
mean to him, both Eric and Dylan, and Eric especially because he was smaller, and people
would shove him around and pick on him and call him very derogatory names like ‘faggot’
and treat him in a very downward way towards him, and since he didn’t know how to defend
himself towards those, he let them do it.” Eric is a diligent student. He takes his grades seriously, has a relatively
good work ethic, and is reluctant when it comes to skipping his classes. In his spare time, Eric has a big involvement
on the internet. He is often participating in communities involving
the video games “Doom” and “Quake” and also runs multiple websites of his own. Like Klebold, Harris will use this site and
a diary of his own to also document his beliefs, impulses, and the thoughts of his daily life. [Bell rings]
[students chattering] 1997 is a very important year for Columbine. It is a period of self-reflection for the
two and marks the official beginning of their preparation for the massacre. While it is accepted that Eric and Dylan were
somewhat introverted in their lives, questions arise about whether their shyness had an influence
on their reputation with the other students. Most of the debate that circulates Eric and
Dylan’s motives for the shooting primarily focuses on their personalities and both on
how other people perceived them and how they perceived themselves. With the evidence that is currently available
to the public being mostly up to interpretation, only educated guesses have and really can
be made about exactly why they committed this act, with even some answers heavily contrasting
with one another. “There was lots of bullying at Columbine. It was a high school in America. Did it have anything to do with driving these
two boys to murder? I cannot find any evidence of that.” “They were the two bottom kids in the entire
school, not just out of the senior class. The entire school, they were the two uncoolest[sic]
kids. So, they were the losers of the losers is
the way to put it.” The information that the event does publicly
provide shows that there is clearly more than one reason, which is why their motives fall
under such a gray area and why things seem unclear. Although, Eric and Dylan’s writings bring
these answers one step closer to the truth. Eric Harris’s webpages provide a lot of
insight into his perspective. Eric’s websites mostly consist of song lyrics,
jokes, and web-postings about his favorite video games. However, within these webpages lies something
much darker. They contain information which expresses how
he views the environment around him and his urging desires to commit acts that will help
him cope and manage the things that dissatisfy him. On one of these sites, he rants about his
disdain towards many different types of people that are involved in his life. In what may simply appear to be the postings
of a venting online user, certain things do stand out. Included in this five-page rant is a manifesto
of how he will retaliate towards certain people that do him wrong. Eric appears to demonstrate not only a clear
hate for the world, but also begins to show signs of violent tendencies towards those
that surround him. His thought process also has a big influence
on his interests. On this same page, Eric also talks about his
fascination with the idea of natural selection. These writings give a glimpse into his perception
of the concept of social class. His thoughts show that he has an embellished
view of his ego and that he pictures himself to be more important than others. Dylan’s diary gets even more personal. While Eric frequently shows, in his writings,
a superiority complex amongst himself, Dylan’s feelings are slightly different. His entries convey that he battles with thoughts
of self-loathing, where he questions why he does not fit in with everybody else and focuses
on his depression. In the second page of his diary, Dylan writes
about his hate for living and dissects both the good and bad aspects of his life. It is clear that his feelings of self-hate,
his ambition to be accepted into society, and his strong belief that he fails to be
like other people are potential contributors to his depression. In this same entry, Dylan writes about cutting
himself. This section of his diary demonstrates the
severity of his depression and that it feels to be an ongoing part of his life. With the information that is provided, it
can be concluded that their struggle with fitting in is not a sole reason for their
killing spree, but it does coexist with other factors, with Eric being partially motivated
by self-righteousness and control and Dylan by his unhappiness. However, it can be argued as to whether these
boys always had these mindsets towards the world or if they developed them because of
their experiences at Columbine. Eric’s former friends presumably believe
the latter. Before Eric moved to Littleton in 1993, he
had befriended a group of students he attended school with in Plattsburg, New York, whom
they described as not even showing any red flags towards this dark behavior. “I took out my yearbook and I compared pictures
and sure enough it was him, and I couldn’t believe it. That’s the picture that really hits me the
most because in it, he looks like the happiest kid there, he’s having the time of his life,
he has this big grin ear to ear. All the guys were kind of troublemakers but
he even seemed tentative to do things like that. He was pretty quiet but–” Reporter: “So he was never even an instigator?” Friend of Eric: “No, not at all.” “Adam, you’ve been a great friend. Have a great summer. I’ll send you a shirt from Denver. I’m gonna miss all of you.” “I think that he just turned into to something
that he wouldn’t have turned into if he stayed here.” As for Dylan, while it is unclear if his self-esteem
issues existed before entering high school, it is certain that his fears of public rejection
and being alone were strongly catalyzed by Columbine, unrequited love. Although Dylan had had crushes on girls before,
as mentioned in his journal, he writes about officially finding his first true love after
10th grade, and expresses his frustration for how she doesn’t love him back. Regardless of the time these thoughts started
to come into play, it is clear that they will become strong motivators for orchestrating
this disaster. But how and when did they actually prepare? “Welcome to Blackjack Pizza. Blackjack Pizza is proud to have you as a
member of our team. Whether you are working as a pizza maker,
driver, prep-person, order taker, or manager, part-time or full-time, you are important
to our success.” During the end of his sophomore year, Eric
begins a job as a part time cook at Blackjack Pizza, a popular restaurant chain in the state
of Colorado. Shortly after, Dylan is also employed there. [Phone ringing] This period is when Eric and Dylan really
start to form a strong friendship. While they had been friends previously, their
new job begins to bring them much closer than they had ever been before. It is during their first year at the restaurant
where Eric and Dylan officially begin to experiment with explosives. They often spend time after work creating
dry-ice bombs and blowing things up in the back of the store with other coworkers. Their interests in creating explosive devices
grows stronger and stronger as they spend more time working together. One day, Eric arrives at work with a pipe
bomb in his hand and asks his boss for permission to use it on a watermelon. Eric is then firmly reprimanded and instructed
to put the device away immediately. The event is left unreported. Eric and Dylan’s peculiar behavior at the
restaurant eventually begins to affect their lives at home and at school, all the way through
their junior year. In August of 1997, a freshman at Columbine
named Aaron Brown anonymously files a report to the police department about the contents
of Eric’s website, which contained threatening information about Brooks Brown, Aaron’s
older brother and a group friend among Eric and Dylan. During this time, Eric and Brooks had had
a falling out due to a dispute that had occurred in their sophomore year. Eric would often gripe with Brooks about him
always showing up late to his house to pick him up for school. Growing tired of his complaining, Brooks told
Eric that he would no longer offer him rides to school anymore and to instead find another
way. This event followed by other incidents between
the two led Eric to develop more and more resentment towards Brooks. In retaliation to everything that had happened,
Eric threw a chunk of ice at Brook’s car, damaging his windshield. Their relationship continued to deteriorate
throughout the year, transitioning from friends to enemies. Not too long after Aaron’s report, Deputy
Dennis Huner arrives at the Brown household, where he reviews seven pages of computer printouts
with the family. These pages are submitted into a report and
given to investigator, John Hicks. The investigation becomes dormant. [students chattering]
Eric’s leanings toward violence and his thoughts of shooting up the school are indirectly
foreshadowed in the classroom. Towards the end of his first semester, Eric
writes about advocating towards enhancing school security to prevent guns from being
on campus for a school assignment. In this essay, he writes about how cheap it
is to purchase a gun, with some students being able to access one for as cheap as $69. He also states that it is as easy for a student
to bring a gun to school as it is to bring a calculator. To those that are not aware of his ulterior
motives, Eric’s essay appears to be a typical argumentative paper. He even receives a high grade on the assignment
and feedback from his teacher commenting on its great attention to detail. However, when understanding the full context
of Eric’s thoughts, objectives, and the events that involve him, it is clear that
his thoroughly detailed paper is correlated with his premeditated plans to bring about
an attack on the school. Around this same time, Dylan writes in his
journal about getting a gun and going on a shooting spree. Although he is not perceived as a potentially
dangerous teenager as much as Eric is, Dylan’s writings and thoughts demonstrate that he
has the same ideas and plans of mass destruction. These preceding events involving the two of
them, both together and independently, have caused their confidence in inflicting violence
on the school to flourish. Dylan Klebold: “I’m Dylan.” During his second semester of 11th grade,
Dylan Klebold is interviewed for a Rebel News Network school report, focusing on the ways
a student can prepare for college. “So, get better chances after high school
as far as college goes, maybe a scholarship.” Interviewer: “Okay, let me ask you this,
are you an independent learner or group learner?” Dylan: “Uh, probably independent.” In this video, he discusses the current progress
of his academics. Although this may seem like a typical school
news segment, it opens a whole lot of insight in how secretive Eric and Dylan were with
conceiving the very early phases of their plans, and their feelings in general. Dylan casually talks about his plans after
high school and expresses himself with a reserved and bashful personality. Although, his real priorities and intentions
are aimed elsewhere. Just a few hours after his video with RNN,
Dylan meets with Eric at a vacant lot in Deer Creek Canyon Road to listen to some music. After some time, they exit Eric’s car and
set off a couple of fireworks, where they notice a white van in the parking lot left
unattended close by. Assuming that the owner of the vehicle wasn’t
going to return anytime soon, Dylan grabs a rock and throws it at the window. [Glass breaking] The boys steal most of the contents from the
van, including a flashlight, a pair of sunglasses, a briefcase, and nearly half a thousand dollars
in electronics. They quickly return to Eric’s car and drive
to an uninhabited part of the mountains to inspect the items that they had stolen. When Eric goes to retrieve something from
his trunk, he is confronted by a Jefferson County sheriff on patrol. Deeming their behavior as suspicious, he questions
Eric and Dylan on how they received the electrical equipment. They eventually confess to stealing from the
van and are put under arrest. After spending a couple of hours in police
custody, they are released with court sentencings dated for March. Only a couple of weeks later, an unexploded
pipe bomb is found on a bike path in a suburban park about two miles away from Eric’s house
and is recovered by Jefferson County police. Because Eric Harris’s writings and web pages
are only known by a handful of people and have not been taken seriously by those that
had seen it, the general public is not aware of his experiments with explosives, and therefore
the district makes no connections between him and the bomb. However, his plans, ambitions, and online
postings are jeopardized four weeks later. [students chattering]
In the middle of March, just weeks before the court dates, Brooks Brown runs into Dylan
while walking to class. Dylan hands him a small piece of paper containing
a web address, telling him that he must look at it without telling Eric. When Brooks arrives home that night, he goes
on his computer and logs on to the address. It is Eric Harris’s website. Initially, he does not find anything out of
the ordinary, mostly seeing postings of jokes that they had made together as a group. Upon further inspection of his site, Brooks
finds many disturbing things. These pages contain instructions as well as
plans for creating pipe bombs with a friend named “VoDKa,” a code name given to Dylan,
and a number of hateful rants. Brooks notices that many of these rantings
are about him. Eric had posted multiple death threats towards
Brooks and even publicly listed personal information such as his phone number and home address,
encouraging other internet users to also go out and attack him and his family. His site also includes a “hit list” of
people that he plans to kill. Brooks discovers that his name is on this
list. “When I first saw the webpages, I was utterly
blown away. He’s not saying like he’s gonna beat me
up. He’s saying that he wants to blow me up
and he’s talking about how he’s making the pipe bombs to do it with.” The Brown family files another police report
regarding the contents of Eric’s website. Printouts of the site are given to police
and are sent to JCSO investigations, where Dylan is listed as a possibly being involved
in the bomb making activities. The family gets into contact with investigator
Michael Guerra, to see if they can connect the information on the website with the pipe
bomb that had been found recently. He requests a search warrant for the Harris
family residence to look for any possible weapons or other dangerous activity on the
premises. Since there is no concrete evidence of Eric
having any bombs in his possession, the warrant is never filed or enforced, so the police
case is dropped. March 25 is the day of Eric and Dylan’s
court sentencings. They each receive a five-minute hearing individually
with Magistrate Jack DeVita regarding the break-in of the van. They both plead guilty of criminal mischief,
first-degree criminal trespass, and theft and are faced with felony charges. However, DeVita sees potential in both adolescents
and is rather sympathetic towards them and clearly appreciative of their honesty. Because of this, DeVita considers dropping
the charges if both teens join and successfully complete a juvenile diversion program and
also receive psychological treatment through anger management. Eric and Dylan both comply and begin the classes. Just like Dylan’s interview with RNN, the
court tapes are a great demonstration for how well Eric and Dylan carried their façade
of politeness in order to secretly arrange both their hate for the world and their plans
for mass destruction. In these recordings, they present themselves
to judge DeVita as kind and remorseful teenagers, but other evidence disagrees. Similar to Klebold, Harris also begins to
start writing in a diary just a week after the court hearings. After learning Brooks had discovered what
he was writing on his website, he decided to instead express his thoughts on paper to
better protect it from unwanted people. Unlike how he behaved at his trial, Eric writes,
in his second journal entry, a number of hateful thoughts and rants, showing strong resentment
towards the owner of the van. Throughout the rest of his school year, Eric
continues to write, in his newly acquired diary, about his typical views of other people
and natural selection. In an entry dated almost exactly one year
before the massacre, Eric talks about how inferior he believes others are to him, showing
the same superiority complex that was present on his web pages. This can be also seen with another piece of
writing that Eric made only five days later, where he talks about hijacking an airplane
and crashing it into a building in New York City if him and Dylan survive Columbine, showing
hopes to cause as much damage as he possibly can. As for Dylan, his mindset has also remained
stagnant. Dylan continues to fixate on and write about
his true love. Knowing full well that it was previously deemed
incompatible, he communicates his thoughts with feelings of adolescent angst and implies
that he is quite certain that he is towards the end of his life. These journals signify that despite appearing
to the public as well behaved, mentally growing, and mature teenagers, their true morbid perspectives
haven’t changed at all. Towards the end of their junior year and throughout
the following summer, Eric and Dylan accelerate their production in making pipe bombs. Although creating these explosives is nothing
new and is something that has been done many times in the past, they begin experimenting
and testing more of them than ever before. This period is when they really prime their
preparation and have very high confidence for the attack. The two begin to codename their planned judgement
play as “NBK,” an acronym for “Natural Born Killers,” a reference to a movie about
a couple of mass murderers. It is the word that they begin to use in their
casual conversation and becomes the nomenclature for the day of the ordeal. In an entry made by Eric, he talks about him
and Dylan’s precise plans to incite chaos and their desired outcome for the event. Not only have their beliefs and views on the
world remained the same over the course of the year, they seem to be getting worse. [Explosions] On the 4 of July, Eric and Dylan hang out with a few other friends at a convenience
store. During this time, another Columbine student
named Peter Maher also enters the store with his friends, where he notices a group of kids
in the parking lot wearing long black trench coats. Eric and Dylan are among this group. Peter gets in an argument with the group and
as he drives away, notices one of the kids waving a pistol-grip shotgun in the air. Only a few hours later, Peter encounters them
again at a firework stand. This time, their altercation goes even further. One of the kids pulls out a knife and another
threatens Peter with his shotgun. Associating how they behaved and dressed with
the people they were hanging out with, Peter assumes that Eric and Dylan are part of a
clique perceived as outcasts at Columbine High School known as “The Trench Coat Mafia.” It is now clear at this point that both students
have officially begun to branch out their frustrations and beliefs just a little bit
more to the public, rather than only keeping their thoughts on paper or with one another. [rapid gunshot sounds]
On November 22, Eric and Dylan attend the Tanner Gun Show, a shooting venue traditionally
held in the Denver area. Their trip to the convention is another part
of their preparation, as it is the place where they will buy some of the weapons that they
intend to use on “NBK.” Dylan brings with a friend with him, 18-year-old
Robyn Anderson. Knowing full well that they are too young
to legally participate in a weapon transaction, they have Robyn purchase the guns on their
behalf. She is completely unaware of how they plan
to use them. After the show, Eric and Dylan obtain in their
possession a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine rifle, and 2 12-gauge shotguns, one being pump action
and the other double barreled. These purchases show that they were willing
to slightly expose some of their plans with another friend in order to receive their weapons
of choice. Spending so much time and effort preparing
and organizing the attack has made them much more comfortable with being less secretive
and a little more outspoken about the details. This is really exemplified towards the end
of their first semester of their senior year. Aside from writing some problematic essays
that raised questions with their teachers, it is at this time where both students indirectly
announce to the entire high school their plans for the massacre. Eric, Dylan, and a few other students are
assigned to make a video project together for their Government/Economics class. For the assignment, the class is required
to create a business and conduct a presentation on how it works. The group decides to create a business where
students can enact revenge on their bullies by using hitmen to take them out. The company and the video is named “Revenge
for Hire.” Although in the final draft, the project’s
name is instead changed to “Hitmen for Hire.” The video that they create and present appears
to the class as nothing more than a humorous and raunchy video. Though for Eric and Dylan, it is the quintessential
dress rehearsal for “NBK” and will become one of the most important pieces of evidence
for the Columbine shooting. Dylan: “No, you goddamn little bitch ass
piece of shit! Do not…goddamn it.” [laughter]
“No you goddamn piece of bitch ass shit! Do not even screw that little kid, if you
do, I’ll rip off your goddamn head and shove it so far up your…” “Just keep recording so I can—“
Eric: [mockingly speaking gibberish] Dylan: “No, you goddamn piece of punk ass
shit! Do not mess with that fricken kid! If you do, I’ll rip off your goddamn head
and shove it so far up your fricken ass, you’ll be coughing up dandruff for four fricken months!” Eric: “Look, I don’t care what you say. If you ever touch him again, I will fricken
kill you. I’m gonna pull out a goddamn shotgun and
blow your damn head off! Do you understand, you little worthless piece
of crap!” Student: “People are always making fun of
me. I don’t like it! I really don’t it makes me mad!” Eric: “Alright, we’ll protect you on school
then. We’ll take away any bullies that are picking
on you, whatever.” [quiet gunshot sounds]
“So, you want this guy taken care of?” Student: “Yeah, I want him out of my life.” Eric: “Alright, uh, that’s cool.” Student: “Hey, can I use that computer?” Dylan: “No, I don’t *** think so. If you don’t *** leave that *** alone, I’m
gonna rip your head off and shove it so far up your *** ass, he’s gonna fricken *** for
three *** weeks.” Despite the contents of the video, the entire
group gets an A on the assignment and the following constructive feedback from their
teacher: “lose the language and it’s perfect.” [Bell rings]
[students chattering] It is the start of a new year, and the start of a new semester. One of Eric’s first major assignments is
to write a short story for his Creative Writing class. Very similar to him and Dylan’s approach
in their “Hitmen for Hire” video, the story that Eric chooses to write not only
reflects the violent side of his personality, but leaves many hints for how they envision
the results of their upcoming attack. In this paper, he writes a first-person narrative
based on the video game “Doom,” where the protagonist sees the bodies of his fellow
comrades piled up on the floor. Although the overall premise of the story
does not share many parallels with NBK, details such as the gory description of the scene
subtly foreshadow their hopes for how the event turns out. Eric also makes implications about natural
selection towards the end. His teacher gives him positive comments regarding
the details and overall mood of the writing. He receives a C+ on the assignment. Just six days later, Eric and Dylan attend
the Tanner Gun Show for a second time, only two months after going with Robyn Anderson. They are searching for more weapons to use
in the massacre. While there, they meet up with a fellow Blackjack
Pizza employee, Philip Duran. As Duran becomes informed that Eric and Dylan
are looking to buy a TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol, he introduces them to his friend,
Mark Manes, who is also at the show. Manes claims to already have a TEC-9 in his
possession and agrees to sell it to the boys for $500. Later that night, Dylan arrives at Manes’s
house to purchase the gun, where they agree to a $300 down payment. Dylan pays back the remaining $200 two weeks
later. This is the same time where Eric and Dylan
successfully complete their juvenile diversion and anger management courses with very positive
reviews. They are released ahead of schedule due to
their good behavior. Immediately following their completion, more
questionable incidents arise in Eric and Dylan’s creative writing class. Although this time, these writings are not
overlooked. For another assignment in the class, Dylan
writes a story that almost directly prefigures the Columbine massacre. It talks about a man who goes on a killing
spree towards a group of college students. He is described as being left-handed, wearing
a long black trench coat, and being 6’4”. Dylan was also left-handed and around this
height. The descriptions used in this story were so
disturbing, Dylan’s teacher, Judith Kelly, decides to have a conference with his parents
before deciding to grade it. She expresses her concern with his mother
and father, Tom and Sue Klebold about the contents of the paper. Judith had seen her students write about violence
before, but nothing to this degree. “Now, at the end of his life, the very last
days of his life, he wrote a paper at school that was very dark. The English teacher did not mention this paper
until we got there, and she said ‘Dylan has written a dark paper, and used some bad
language. I don’t know what to make of that’ and
we talked about it, and there’s real irony here because she said, ‘It’s such a dark
paper. Now Eric,’ this other shooter ‘now Eric
wrote a paper in that class, and it was so cute.’ He wrote the story from the perspective of
a bullet that was being shot, and it was written with humor and it was just very entertaining. He read it to the class. But Dylan’s paper was so dark.’ Red flags! Red flags! Nobody caught it nobody saw it, that Eric
had written this story about a bullet being shot from the point of view of the bullet,
and Dylan had written this story, as it turns out, about witnessing a murder.” She also notifies Dylan’s school guidance
counselor about all this information. Dylan repeatedly dismisses to everyone that
it’s “just a story.” Around the same time these events with Dylan
had occurred, the students are required to write a story from the perspective of an inanimate
object for another project in that very same class. With most of the class not taking the assignment
very seriously, Eric decides to write about a shotgun. He presents this story to the class and describes
a shotgun and a shotgun shell getting married and making “pellet babies” after being
fired. The presentation is very well received with
the students, making everyone erupt into laughter. Although Judith also enjoys the story, she
still feels the need to also have a meeting with Eric’s parents, as his stories in her
class have consistently been about violence and warfare. She has a meeting with Eric’s father, Wayne
Harris, to talk about the assignments that he had been turning in to her class. After finding out that Wayne is a retired
Air Force officer and that Eric was also making plans of joining the military, she concludes
that his writing is merely a reflection of his aspirations, and nothing more. At home, it is around this time where Eric
and Dylan start to officially write out and draw their exact plans for “NBK.” Their journals and writings consist of diagrams
of the school, the outfits that they plan to wear on that day, the locations for where
they will plant their bombs, and a list of people to hunt down. Not only do they seem confident in how they
have things sorted out, they do not appear to show any reluctance or regret for the acts
that they are about to commit. [gunshots]
In the following March, the boys start to document the testing of their newly acquired
weapons. It is approximately one month before the massacre. Eric and Dylan meet up with Mark Manes and
Jessica Miklich at Rampart Range in Douglas County, Colorado for target practice. They take turns firing the TEC-9 that Mark
had just sold to them along with their other guns, using trees and bowling pins as their
primary targets. For Mark and Jessica, the event is nothing
more than a group of teenagers having a couple of laughs and enjoying themselves, but for
Eric and Dylan, it is much more sophisticated. The comments that these two make before and
after shooting at their subjects foreshadow the twisted remarks that they will say to
the victims of their upcoming attack. [gunshots] “Entry exit.” [laughter] “This is frozen wood, ain’t it? Oh shit. Ah, man. You got another round?” “Try to hit the tree. I want to see what a slug does to the tree.” “Ready?” “Yeah.” [gunshot] “Ah!” [laughter] “That’s a *** slug! Imagine that in someone’s *** brain.” Dylan: “It hurt my wrist like a son of a
bitch.” Eric: “I thought so.” [gunshots] “…happened to you.” [laughter] “Just say no to sawed offs!” [laughter] Eric: “Bad!” [laughter] Dylan: “No! No! No!” [laughter] [gunshots] [SCREAM] [gunshot] Based on the details that it provides, it
is clear that this tape is also a rehearsal for how they will perpetrate their actions
on that fateful day. This video is the official start of a new
chapter in their preparation. Only a week after going to Rampart Range,
the two begin to create a series of video diaries completely dedicated to “NBK,”
“The Basement Tapes.” They are given this name because the majority
of these videos are filmed in Eric’s basement, which contain many of their weapons. The first video that they make starts off
with both sitting on Eric’s couch drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels. Eric is holding his shotgun in his hand, which
he calls “Arlene,” a name derived from a character in “Doom.” They talk about many topics, ranging from
how much they hope that people will see the “masterpieces” that they are creating
to how much rage and anger they have towards many of the people involved in their lives. Eric and Dylan also show many of their completed
pipe bombs in great detail. In another tape made just three days later,
they are sitting in Eric’s living room discussing whether they should put nails in some of the
bombs that they created. It is the middle of the night. They begin to have a conservation about how
those who practice religion are weak and unable to manage their lives. They also begin to talk about places to plant
their bombs that are outside of the school, as Columbine is not their only target. Dylan recommends a trail near Wadsworth, not
too far from the location of Eric’s old home. The rest of the tape consists of them showing
more of their weapons and going on racist rants regarding certain people at their school. They then bring up the impossibility of world
peace, their plans for blowing up the school cafeteria, and their histories of credit card
fraud. Although Eric and Dylan have become a lot
more outspoken about their plans compared to the last two years, and have left rather
cryptic messages to their peers regarding “NBK,” they do still continue to directly
act as if nothing is going on. To Dylan’s parents, he appears as nothing
more than a teenager with a slightly troubled past showing strong ambitions of going to
college, which is why the entire Klebold family takes a trip to Tucson, Arizona on March 25. They go on this trip to pay a deposit and
see Dylan’s dorm room. According to his parents, Dylan seems very
happy and anticipates starting his new educational life away from home. On this campus visit with his family, he does
not exhibit any outlandish behavior, none of which that are red flags for what him and
Eric had been planning behind closed doors. Eric’s situation is quite similar. He also continues to publicly act like he
has his early adult life planned ahead of him. Although Eric does not have plans to go to
college, he instead shows aspirations of joining the military, Marine Corps. He meets with Staff Sergeant Mark Gonzalez
to schedule an interview and the dates for his testing. The day after, Eric writes his final journal
entry. Other than discussing the weapons that he
showed off in the tapes, he cannot get his mind off of NBK. He begins thinking of other places in Littleton
to set off more of the bombs. He closes venting towards the students who
perceived him as an outcast. While these events are occurring, both teens
make another video to add to their “Basement Tapes” series. It includes more typical footage of them showing
their many pipe bombs that they created. Although this time, they also show a plastic
box filled with 29 CO2 cartridges. They are planning to make grenades as well. This tape takes a rather emotional turn towards
the end. Eric is sitting alone in his car, apologizing
to all his friends about what he plans to do. He says, “It’s weird feeling knowing that
you’re going to be dead in two and half weeks.” After a brief period of silence, he begins
to cry, and turns off the camera. A few days after initially meeting with the
staff Sergeant, Eric arrives to his scheduled testing appointment and receives average scores
on his assessments. Eric tells the recruiting officer that he
is still considering enlisting and they both agree to have a meeting with his parents. One early Thursday morning, a custodian at
Columbine arrives on campus at around 5 o’clock in the morning, where he notices all of the
locks on the school doors are glued shut. He then suddenly hears voices and footsteps
coming from the roof of the building, which prompts him to call the police. When he goes up to the roof to investigate
the sound, he finds the word “seniors” written in duct tape across the glass ceiling. That same day, police review the school security
tapes and see two males wearing black clothes, along with gloves and masks. Although these people are never identified,
it is theorized that Eric and Dylan are the suspects. Eric had made posts on his web pages talking
about how him and Dylan had toyed with some of the door locks in their neighborhood, which
would show that they have the experience to pull something like this off. If they are indeed the ones responsible, it
is obvious that these events indicate possible ideas for locking the doors on the day of
their attack. Nate: “…where they were like, really late,
coming to—“ “this video I have that—“
It is now Eric’s 18th birthday. Dylan and their group friend, Nate Dykenman,
film a morning video of them at the King Soopers grocery store looking for a gift. Eric has a party at the Draft Bar & Grill
restaurant, where Nate and Dylan, a blackjack pizza employee named Chris, and a few other
friends attend. Later that evening, Eric, Dylan, and Robyn
Anderson hang out at the AMF bowling alley. [bowling pins falling] In their next video, Eric and Dylan are driving in a car, on their way to purchase what they
refer to as “the rest of [their] gear.” This tape is recorded on April 11. In the next clip, they are seen holding three
bottles of propane and two large fuel containers. Eric is driving the car, smoking what he calls
his “birthday cigar.” The video goes in a very strange direction,
as Eric begins to say things that contradict what he wrote in his journals and on his websites. He begins to express feelings of remorse towards
his parents, worrying about the things that they are going to endure after his death. He even apologizes to the future victims. The tape ends with him showing his planning
book, which he calls “Writings of God.” It contains the numbers of the bullets that
they plan to bring and also napalm labeled backpacks that he describes as their “suicide
plan.” This is their final basement tape before the
day of the massacre. Towards the end of that same week, Staff Seargant
Gonzalez meets with Eric’s parents at their household. They question the eligibility status of Eric
to join the military due to the anti-depressants that he prescribed to take by a doctor. The following day, Gonzalez leaves a voice
message, informing him that he would not be eligible to join the marines, but he never
receives a call back. Around this period, neighbors file complaints
to the police about sounds of glass breaking and construction tools coming from the Harris
residence. They also report that Klebold’s car has
been parking near the premises repeatedly. It is not until later where police realize
that these sounds are the boys creating shrapnel for their pipe bombs. [Party music] It is the night of the Columbine prom. Dylan attends with Robyn as his date. Eric does not attend, but instead stays home
and watches movies with Susan DeWitt, a girl he had met the night before at Blackjack Pizza. During the night, many of the posters around
the Columbine campus, which announced the prom with the phrase “it’s coming: 4/17/99”
are vandalized. The 17 is crossed out and replaced with a
20. The person responsible is never officially
identified. Dylan spends the entire prom night with a
very positive attitude, talking about how excited he is to go to college and that he
will keep in touch with everyone when he leaves. After Eric’s friend decides to leave his
house early, he meets up with Dylan and his group of friends at the after party. That following Monday morning is the last
full day of their preparation. It is April 19. Dylan writes the final 8 pages of his journal. He talks about how him and Eric’s “judgement
day” will be quite hard to accomplish. He expresses his excitement for the upcoming
event and looks forward to dying. In his very last entry, he writes the precise
schedule for how they will carry out their attack. Shortly after school begins, Eric and Dylan
meet up with their friends Eric Jackson and Dustin Gorton to make a video at around 9:30
in the morning during their third period. The video is for an assignment and is to be
aired on the school’s morning broadcast. In this video, the group of friends drive
through Burger King to get breakfast and eat in the Columbine parking lot. This video becomes known as “Breakfast Run.” Later that day, they both skip their creative
writing class to meet with Brooks Brown and Becca Hines. Brooks and Becca decide to eat a McDonald’s
where they were to meet up with the two after making a stop at Eric’s house. Although, Eric and Dylan do not return and
ditch school for the rest of the day. During that same day, witnesses recall hearing
more sounds of breaking glass and even some light explosions coming from the Harris family
garage. Eric makes a phone call to Mark Manes. Even though Eric was now old enough to purchase
weapon related equipment on his own, he still asks Mark to purchase some bullets for him. He complies and gets about 100 rounds for
$25 at Kmart. He meets with Eric later night to give him
the newly received ammunition. Eric tells Mark that him and Dylan were planning
on using it the next. He assumes that they have plans to go target
shootings, therefore no suspicions are made. Eric and Dylan’s persistent efforts to conceive
the events of NBK have not only elevated their interests with themselves and with one another,
but they have also amplified their hate for other people as well as made them more confident
and less hesitant with committing these atrocities. After nearly two years of practice, preparation,
and endless amounts of research, they are finally ready to act as a duo, waging their
war against the world.

100 thoughts on “Columbine – The Big Picture (Part 1)”

  • Leah Ingraham says:

    Them being bullied is not an excuse for the horrific evil they did, but it can push a kid over the edge of their already in a dark place.

  • The guy who said he couldn't find any evidence of the bullying being behind the attic is just plain wrong…not justifying it in anyway but it clearly had an effect on their character

  • where in the hell is the parents? the most paranoid time suspicious time in raising a child is the teenage son never knew when he looked up would I wouldn't I be standing somewhere off to the side , his room ? no my house ,I did periodical checks , car? not until he was 18 ,to strict? well let's see he's never been in any trouble with police , he's a very successful chef, graduated top of his class, 28years old no children no regrets he can't take back,like marrying the wrong person ending in divorce, he's never done street dope, he will barely take a Motrin, he's my only child, my gift from God above, and he's just wonderful, btw if your wondering did I ever find anything in his room that should not be there ? only my mother's day gift hidden in his closest a few times , or his dad's gift for dad day, I once asked him about all this , he said I knew better than to try and get anything by you mom , you are Like a bloodhound on the trail of a lost cat , an a green Bret ,an detective all rolled into one ! I also got a hug an a Thank you! for making Jesse my #1priority, not my career which is palliative nurse assistant, my son was an is ,always will be #1 . I bet Mrs Harris wish they could start all over from scratch and do it again,same goes for Dylan's mom, you only get 1 try at being able to get it right,to raise your kid right, I know they loved their boys ,but they gave them to much freedom, to do what they wanted, I was strict, but Jesse understood then cause I told him this is because I adore you , you are my son an you are not replaceable, I get one try to get this right, please know it's because of these reasons, that u can't run wild like your little friends, well all of them boys have been in an out of jail time after time, ones dead DUI his blood alcohol level was thru the roof when he wrecked going 85mph in a 45 zone, while Jess was finishing culinary school in NC, one boy was looking at 5years in prison,another 2divorce, an ECT.wstch your teen-agers!!!!! keep a eagle eye on them !!! do it with love .

  • hippiecheezburger says:

    Damn I’ve definitely have thought in my own head what Dylan wrote in his journal entries, besides the parts about guns and killing sprees

  • It's funny to think that people blame guns and video games and other shit but if they manage to take away these things people will commit atrocities without guns… The mind can develope.other ways to kill multiple people it's foolish to blame things that have no part it the acts it's only the person who commit the atrocity that is to blame do not blame the item that cause the murder blame the person who did the deed

  • Courtney Morquecho says:

    Wait Idk if it was for a movie or what but I rember seeing a group of people burning crosses for those two but I can’t rember where it’s from an it’s bothering me

  • 45:04
    Is that real?
    Also where did you find all these pieces of footage? Besides the obvious ones, like Rampart Range.

  • Michelle Lewis says:

    I'll say it like this I dont tollerate bullying I can see how someone being picked on so much would defiantly make one snap. If I ever see or hear of someone picking or bullying my kids ima woop their ads then ima nock on their parents door and woop ass their for not teaching their dam kids better. I tell my kids they best not pick on anyone but had best not tollerate being picked on either they best not throw the first punch. But they best sure throw the last one if a fight is started. Bullying needs to be handled seriously and stopped

  • @50:47 There is absolutely no way that it was them because if they would've gotten caught their plan would have been fucked. And this surveillance footage you could have tell 100% it was Dylan and Eric. Eric short and Dylan very tall.

  • So disappointed that the wait has been soooo long and the fans of this have been left hanging we just wanted updates but nothing is worth waiting this long. So I'm gonna unsubscribe also. You have alot of talent but with all the content out there people get bored and will move on. Good luck though.

  • We keep looking for answers to these when the answer is simple but the solutions are not. These are not caused by mental illness, they are caused because evil exists and sometimes evil acts in dramatic ways. We cannot force morality belief in a higher power or righteousness in others against their will. We can however quit attacking faith Christians and the Christian faith. This is done by design. Marxists and other evil actors in power do this to try to bring down western society knowing that as we kick God the Christ out of the public square and the people's hearts evil will have fertile ground to grow strong. They do this to try to bring a one world marxist dictatorship. I do know this to be true but do not know the solutions except to keep my faith and know that God does have a plan.

  • Yeah, I agree with a lot of people on here. The Part 2 release date is getting ridiculous. Every month or so, "it's getting close. I'm sorry it's taking so long". Whatever dude.

  • Mikaela burrell says:

    3:15 ok that sound effect was from the klasky and csupo Nickelodeon logo from the end of rugrats that was random 😌🙂

  • Millennial Lane Toys says:

    Watching the hit man for hire video, wondering how any teacher could ever have found that acceptable and not reported it. I had a fictional story about teen pregnancy that I wrote, reported to a school counselor in 1999, and you're telling me this video didn't get them reported?

  • Love it..the electronics the two stole out of the van were worth "half of a thousand dollars"….uhhh stop beating around the bush guy- you mean $500 in stolen property?😂😂😂 way to go & complicate the hell out of just saying $500👍👍👍

  • Kids today and even 20 yrs ago are not being raised to have thick skin and ignore people who say things.Bullying has been around since beginning of time…The combination here that changed dynamic and this happened is that both had behavior and mental disorders that either were undiagnosed or like normally what happens you think its teenage mood swings.I grew up and have a facial congenital birthmark- I've had multiple plastic surgeries over the years to look more normal – I also have diagnosed antisocial traits and clinical depression.My point being is this- NO ONE can predict what types of people will actually follow through on these types of violence.It comes down to individual choices.Parents need to start stepping up and being involved in their parenting – teach your kids not to be assholes…And also teach kids to stand up for themselves and tell them the reality of kids and teens at any age can be difficult but suck it gets harder as you grow up..there is nothing nowadays that has changed with bullying that is ANY different than all kids deal with – except the parents now and even 20yrs ago are relying on others to teach kids life survival skills.I had more reasons to be bullied than anyone but its how your parents teach you to carry yourself so you don't become a target and seen as weak,and then get that victim mindset and it will just cycle….Parents now days are letting xboxes and iphones, selfies and instagram raise their kids.PARENTS need to consistently teach their kids how to have social skills and not make excuses for their kids when they act unacceptable.Discipline the kid-this situation was 95% preventable.hope whoever got the guns for them was charged as well.Changing gun laws doesn't do shit if guns are legally bought then given to another kid or teen.
    .I grew up in 1980's.I don't feel sorry for any kid who gets picked on.i had parents who toughened me up knowimg i would get bullied while growing up.Yes it happened randomly bit how you react to it is key, BUT it's a part of growing up… and then you're done with school and hit the real world.High school problems are real, but parents need to be there to talk and listen and be supportive,and not throw $$ at the problem to compensate for not spending quality time with the kid.If your kid is an asshole- call them on it and discipline them if they are picking on another kid.if there is a problem you address the bullying or in some cases maybe look at WHY your perfect angel is getting picked on to begin with …they make themselves a target with the attitudes they have.Columbine was terrible.bullying is terrible – but that is nothing new and there will never be an end to it or it even decrease when kids are not having parents actually parent their kids.Im a psychologist as well, and society today has really just let kids raise themselves off websites,and if parents see a problem and kid won't talk about it ,tough.keep trying or get the kid help.Its called parenting and its the main job if you have kids.Life is rough,and parents are not teaching kids the sicial skills they need to interact with peers that build confidence.Columbine is NOT unique in how the social groups are set up-these have always existed with same cliques..brooks Brown – that guy seems like a real prize. calls these two the "losers of the losers" and died virgins- ok buddy ,hope you realize you were part of the problem as well, and 20 yrs later talk this condescending towards erik and dylan- who cares if they were both virgins.if you could've been more supportive of your "friends" the cycle wouldn't keep repeating this
    – think of the platform you come on talking shit and is EXACTLY why these two started hating the superiorty complex people like this guy-.teach your kids if you see kids who are getting bullied- stick up for them.usually its the kids who are the bullies have it worse in reality.

  • That man in around seven minutes with his wannabe gay accent didn't know shit neither did Brooks Brown. After all this last thing to do is keep up that Highschool losers and winners categorizeing. Brooks Brown apparently new Eric and Dylan but being serious about losers and winners nonsense or trying to be funny is wrong and inmature on this case. Did Dylan and Eric do wrong, yes. Had they the same way on thinking absolutely not and it is stupid to compare their action to normal state of mind. The fact is that they were bullied such as two only markable schoolshooters in Finland, make your of decisions. Bulluying n effects on self-esteem and so on. I don't believe that Eric or Dylan had special attitude they had strong feelings, not social life in a same way and kind of boring life.

  • amazing video been subbed for awile now also the triangle shirtwaste factory fire also a good video left a like on both cant wait for part 2 on the columbine series keep up the awesome work! 🙂

  • Sauron Merciful says:

    There is no effing way the parents didn't know what was going on. These bastards are sick evil terrorists and without doubt their hateful and racist views come from their parents. You are not born like this it's developed!!!! They were both very sick disturbed people

  • Lauren Macneill says:

    I really think that what Eric and Dylan did was immoral and evil. They could have been stopped many times. There were so many warning signs, like Eric's websites. He was threatening to kill Brooks Brown, and he had a hit list of classmates that he wanted to murder, AND he was talking about making pipe bombs. The fact that they both liked guns and explosives, Eric's website postings, their hatred for many people at Columbine, should have set off warning signs. If the police would have taken Eric's online threats seriously, Eric would be in jail. Columbine never should have happened.

  • Eric would have made one hell of a soldier, part of his break down process was already done, he could have been a diciplined marine especially seeing as hes already dabbled in 2 years of amateur boot camp practices

  • Big Sky 1991 says:

    The voice over for this video is so over the top corny…like the guy on " Cheaters". . Its unbearable, and distracts from the overall project… too bad

  • Alexander Balson says:

    Very sad but interesting. How similar are these young Americans to those who joined Isis( the Islamic state group).

  • I find myself relating to Dylan most of the time. I'm withdrawn, depressed and I'm 17. The only difference is that I wouldn't kill people

  • why were they visiting college and dorms and aspiring to go to the millitary weeks prior the attack if they knew they were going to be dead all along ?

  • Upon seeing the video at 14:32 I wondered if it were a re-creation at first. Where did you find this? I have never ever seen this footage before. Very informative.

  • AlienPrincess ATX says:

    Just STOP this bullshit narrative of how unrequited love and bullying caused this shooting. FUCK OFF!!!!!! THOSE ARE NOT LEGIT REASONS AS TO WHY THIS HAPPENED. They already had something fucked up inside them. PERIOD!!! all the bulshit reasons that uneducated morons try to pin on crimes like these are just that…. Bullshit!!! Marilyn Manson's music and video games and dungeons and dragons and school bullying and unrequited love and blah blah blah blah blah do not cause people to pick up a gun and start killing people. There is something inside them that is wrong. There is something inside them that is f*** up. Had that thing not been inside them already none of this would have ever happened. The problem lies within their soul and in their heart and in their personality. It doesn't line out where places to stop looking for it there.

  • translucentorb says:

    Just think if this never happened and Eric continued his life and joined the marines he could've still gotten the chance to shoot people in Afghanistan or Iraq.

  • Not making excuses for what they both have done but this just shows how bullying other ppl can make kids do the unimaginable things like this is why I worry about my children going to schol

  • Great job on this, minus having to see Dave Cullen on here. I just have to fast forward through his parts. Luckily that liar is only on couple of short times.

  • Yes they were bullied. That’s no excuse. There were clear signs just like every other event like this. I understand it’s easier to look back and see these things instead of seeing them as they happen. Journals are found after. Videos are found after. But still y’all there are signs. Signs that shouldn’t be ignored

  • Irmeli Strengell says:

    Did nobody really react to the video, Hitmen for Hire more seriously? It could never have been shown at any school here in Scandinavia and if someone had found it from those guys they would've been put to a psychiatric ward.

  • I think it is so important to educate yourself on events like these… This was so incredibly preventable! Absolutely heart breaking for these families and victims. 💔

  • these two were not your normal acting kids they had problems especially eric he was depressed and the two of them i guess got fed up because they were the outcasts of the school but it didn't ave to happen or end like it did the cops didn't do shit only the kids and dave saunders nobody else.

  • If anyone's interested, there is a movie, that is filmed to feel more like a documentary than a cinematic film, which is based on the Columbine school shooting. It's called "Elephant". It's very gritty, and it is NOT sensationalizing it in any way. This was such a pointless and unnecessary tragedy. Honestly, these two kids should've went the all American revenge route against their bullies. Graduate with honors, go to an Ivy League school. And then eventually become a success in business, until one day, you learn that your former bully either works for you on a menial labor level, or is seeking employment at your business. That's when your revenge starts. At that point, you have the guy by the frank and beans, and you can now make that guy's life a living hell. And while doing this, sleep with the dude's wife. No doubt it'll be the former prom queen, who now is living as the ex jock's wife in a trailer park whilst raising a gaggle of white trash clones of her alcoholic, abusive jock husband. All while enduring the nightly cheap booze and Schlitz beer fueled beatings at the hands of the former jock. You can whisper sweet nothings in her ear, use the washed up former beauty queen, and then cast her aside while making it known that she was nothing but a hobby of yours that you've grown tired of, and she is now being summarily dismissed now that you've relieved your loins. THAT is real revenge. Way more satisfying. Also, they didn't even really get the specific bullies. They just randomly shot whomever was in front of them. Where's the revenge on killing someone who never did ANYTHING to you? Weirdos.

  • Am i the only one trurly disturbed by this? 27:36
    And it was written 3 years before the 9/11 attack, to think that his mind went so far… i don't know it truly creeped me out. Kind of shows that people wanting to cause demage and hurt people may have the same thoughts, a place where our minds can't even go…

  • Doomguy 6 21 3 11 says:

    Eris makes a book in the first person about the game doom and seeing his fellow comrades body on the floor.

    Me replaying the original Doom for fun: Oh shit

  • Funny, well, not really, but no one wants to feel they contributed to the cause.  Bullies clam up immediately, these cowards can never function from any point of view that indicates any responsibility or a disadvantage.  The adults, parents chime in on what they did to try and prevent it, but parents play a major role in the attitude of their kids/teenagers.  Dylan's sweet Mom after the fact yet you see Dylan with a cigarette stuck in his mouth puffing away, along with Eric.  Eric's Father, clammed up too, and I would also if I were him.  As a military officer who puts duty ahead of everything in his life including his family fails to fathom the fact that once their high profile military career is history, what is left for them then?  Family?  Some would say a pension and training, all of which are personal.  But Family is what is left. It is what is left and should always mean the most.  I was in the military and when an idiot would tell me how they put the military first over their close immediate family the fail to fathom reality and I never wanted to be like that.  Then again, how many officers die in combat as compared to enlisted members?  Who then takes responsibility?  Authority yes, responsibility heck no.  Dave Cullen saying he could find no evidence bullying had anything to do with Columbine, I can only say that he interprets the boys journal writings a lot different than 99% of everyone else.  That is pretty clear.  After these boys had journals and tapes they left behind talking about this violence, idiots still try to create books, documentaries, interviews, for the last 20 years asking why?  That fact has been clear from day one.  When you ignore bullying, you are just as guilty as the perpetrator(s).  Sports coaches, principals, teachers, administration never looked at from that point of view did they?  I don't believe when they fired at Dave Sanders that they did not see him as a Sports Coach.  They disliked jocks, see the similarity?  Using the "N" Word was a slur they heard, in fact we all have had to hear it, thousands of times.  We still hear it almost daily.  99.999999 percent of the time we hear that slur from members of a particular race which happens to be the same race as Isiah Shoels was.  Let's all pretend though that isn't true right?  There is no mystery here although so many try to create mystery and unknowns.  It was all there be it after the fact.  Still does not hide the facts.  Kids with mentors, someone to look up to, helps more than we want to admit.  Adults at the time of this tragedy, none took a moment to put themselves in the shoes of the students involved.  Why?  Because they had to exhibit their influence as an intelligent mature adult.  But look at it this way, we all never began life as an adult.  We were that age once and knew and remember how things felt.  We also may have been bullied and know too what that feels/felt like.  So, bullying seemed to be okay unless it was a star athlete or athletes in general, Laura Townsend, and a few others victims were athletes.  Was she ever bullied? Shoels ever bullied?  If they were bullied would they wear white baseball hats?  So teachers and staff could omit those based on that sign.  Being bullied, kids, depending on if they come from broken homes, or unfunctional homes, tend to get fed up with bullying at some point and lash out.  They retaliate.  Most not in the way these two boys did but most lash out and many plan out how also.  Why do they plan?  Because they recognize the disadvantage and they see more enemies and foes then allies.   Bottom line is you have to care and not about ONLY a certain part of the student population.  Admitting the tough fault and responsibility has to happen before improvements can begin.  Ever heard people in positions of authority come out and want to wipe the slate clean and just start over, no harm no foul?  They want you to think they are wanting to strive for improvement while they discard lessons of the past.  They do not take the lessons from the past to heart.  Police wanted to discount the lessons and just make excuses.  Parents were infuriated and rightly so.  Make a decision and take action.  The story of our lives, even to this day, like a famous military motto, "hurry up and wait."  It means "I don't want to make a decision to take action because I don't want to be responsible for being wrong."  The lesson in the meantime?  People die from lack of action too.  A game plan does not mean victory, an SOP does not mean the incident you encounter will follow your SOP.  "Improvise, overcome, adapt" heard that in a movie with Clint Eastwood.  Think about that one for moment.  I can speculate all day long about this tragedy.

  • Maybe it was just a different era but it's surprising their teacher was okay with the subject matter of Hitmen for Hire. Outside of that, it's easy to see it in a totally different light. Strip that away and you can see why the teacher probably took the whole thing as a joke.

  • They were bullied. I don’t care what that dude says. There’s video of it. Eric and Dylan walking down the hallway and some dudes pushing them still doesn’t justify killing people but to say they weren’t bullied in school is utterly false. I don’t think there was just one incident that caused these dudes to do this. It was many. Theses two fed off one another Iam not sure one would have done it without the other. High school is a very small part of your life,once your out your life changes. Columbine is tragic all around. Too bad nothing has been learned from it.

  • Deep Poetic Society says:

    I just love how people in today's society have so many warning signs in front of their faces like brightly lit strobe lights and yet, they're still all like, "well, this is (insert random town name), nothing will ever happen like that here." Until it does… and then said person is dead.

  • Eric was very depersonalized and misanthropic for such a young age.

    A notable take away from this whole event is that bullying can scar, change a persons views of humanity at large.

    Many humans are inherently self absorbed and unjustifibly evil. This is an unfortunate fact, observable around you every day. It's unjust and radical to have taken place, but it is enlightening to analyze how bullying wasn't just "Hahaha, fuck you lololol."

    No, that shit influenced bone deep misanthropy in an 18 year old kid. FFS, people in their 40's are experienced in life itself enough to have seen and done enough to grow cold and jaded, but 18? I was excited about getting an ID at 18 so I don't have to have a friend grab my cigs for me; this kid concluded that humanity is inherently dysfunctional and thought himself as qualified to act upon this nihilistic conclusion.

    Scary intelligent and insightful at his age, and this bright mind was an angry and homicidal one instead of reflective and dedicated to change instead.

    Misanthropy is a dark mindset to dwell in or develop, which high school bullying brought him to these world views.

    Acting like human garbage can change a persons world view, man. Unless you're a mind reader, you don't surely know what impression you've left on someone or how deeply.

    Stop acting like fucking tribalistican animals to each other over petty things that won't matter after graduation. Start no shit, get no shit.

    20 years later, and nothing has changed unfortunately.

    You wear Jordans, they wear Van's. Who cares.

    It's a tragedy, but people acting like excessive dickheads had everything to do with this. It was a key factor and that speaks volumes no matter how anyone spins it.

    Take some insight away from 4/20/1999, if that's all that can be done about it now, it's something.

    Peace and prosperity to all of you.

  • it was all eric's idea dylan was his little pawn if only the police did their jobs what with the threats against brooks brown and all he's lucky to be alive eric was a psychpath

  • um his name is brooks brown not aaron get the facts right and it wasn't eric that brought the pipe bomb it was dylan.. and by the way very very good documentary i'm blown away squid can you make more about them i'm like everybodyelse still wanting answers this is very good anyway thank you and god bless

  • Really pisses me off when people stupidly say this was about bullying and retaliation. It has absolutely fuck all to do with bullying, what they did. Yes, both Dylan (lesser so due to his size) and Eric were bullied, but they themselves bullied people younger than them. Basically Eric was a psychopath that deluded himself over time into thinking he was greater than everybody, while Dylan was a suicidal depressive who followed Eric's lead like a sheep. Dylan hated himself and his life so much and was more than happy to die leaving some sort of mark on the world from what he would admittedly call his own tragic and pathetic existence. Had these two have not come together Columbine would have been spared, but Eric would have gone on to kill without any shadow of a doubt. Dylan probably would have commited suicuide the first time anything traumatic happened to him such as a loss of family member or a separation. Together they fed off each other and it was like putting a bullet inside of a gun. I do wonder how much the meds Eric was taking at the time might have pushed him over the edge. As somebody who has taken meds for anxiety for over 2 years I can certainly say that in that time my temper has become much, much worse, and I rage over the most stupid of things before then feeling guilty for blowing up. It's like a switch almost in how instant it can start and finish. Not using that as an excuse at all for Eric's actions, all I'm saying is they may not have helped his plight.

  • It’s really very tragic that the town turned against the Browns when they warned the police about Eric. All because Eric “let” Brooks go on 4/20/99. I hope they’re ashamed of themselves for that!

  • School shootings can be prevented in most cases if bullying and outcasting of a human being was demolished. We always blame the shooters, but how about the bullies the friends of the bullies the parents of said bullies who let this continuously happen. If you cant teach your kid how to be a respectable adult with good values then you dont need to have a kid

  • “The Columbine actually wasn’t a successful shooting it was a failed bombing”. 15 deaths, people running away in fear, students hiding under desks yeah that sounds like a pretty successful shooting to me moron.

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