Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
The Littleton, Colorado Columbine High School Killers
Stop the Violence, Remember Littleton
The purpose of this web page is to explore who were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and why they did what they did.  At this point we don't know the whole story, but we do know that they were in part motivated by other students abusing their group. 

What The Disaster Center would like to see is some effort made to reduce the kind of abuse that sometimes goes on between different groups of High School students.

  • DoE, DoJ -- A Guide to Safe Schools 

  • National Crime Prevention Council. -- Stopping School Violence

  • School Safety and the Legal Rights Of Students
  • Brooks Brown, a Columbine senior, told The Denver Rocky Mountain News,  that Eric told him the Marines are " unlike here, where they go for the lowest common denominator, like the teachers helping out the stupid kid. "There, they're going for the best."

    Five days before the killings the Marines rejected Eric because his parents disclosed his use of psychiatric medicine.

    A disaster such as this one has prompted some parents to insist that students receive their high school certificates instead of being exposed to such possible conditions. While there are plenty of online learning resources to make that possible, parents should continue to allow activities for children.

      An Overview of Strategies to Reduce School Violence 

  • PTA Community Violence Prevention Kit Index 
  • Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being afraid of attack or threat of attack during the previous 6 months, by location and selected student and school characteristics: Selected years, 1995–2003

    Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding one or more places in school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: Selected years, 1995–2003

    Number of student-reported nonfatal crimes against students ages 12–18 and rate of crimes per 1,000 students, by location and year: 1992–2003

    Total student, Number of school-associated violent deaths and number of homicides and suicides of youth ages 5–19, by location: 1992–2002

    Student Shooting Tragedy in Littleton, Colorado

    The nickname "Trench Coat Mafia" was the name given to a group of students, who wore black western dusters, by a group of people referred to as "Jocks."
    A member of the Trench Coat Mafia reportedly told "The Denver Post" --  "that life for members of his group as ``hell ... pure hell.''  He said that the athletes at the school called him "faggot,'' bashed him into lockers and threw rocks at him as he rode his bike home.

    "I can't describe how hard it was to get up in the morning and face that,'' the student who requested anonymity, told the newspaper.  He also said, that he did not know about his friends' violent plans.

    Harris and Klebold have been linked to "Trench Coat Mafia" group, yet members of the group of students insist they were just acquaintances. Members of the group say that they were not into "gothic" and not into NAZI symbols. "We're computer geeks." The group reportedly never had more than 12 members, out of the 1965 students, who attended Columbine High School. Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention -- facts and figures 

    --12% of 6th through 12th grade students reported they were victims of physical attack, robbery, or bullying in school in 1993

    The Student Council at Western High School in Fort Lauderdale Florida made 4,000 white ribbons and a large banner with the words "Stop the Violence, Remember Littleton..." by the end of the school day every student and teacher was wearing a ribbon.  And many hundreds had signed the banner, which had to stopped, because they ran out of space on the banner for signatures.  We suggest, that as a start towards preventing future events, that other schools across the country follow Western High's lead and engage in similar efforts.

    The question that many people are asking is who is Dylan Klebold?  What is being said about him by his fellow students at Columbine High School is that he was a nice guy.  Most of the people who knew the two suggest that Dylan was the follower of Eric; who participated in the killing of 13 of fellow students, because Eric led him to do it.

    Does this in anyway sound like a plausible explanation?  To accept such an explanation we must first embrace the ideas being stated.  An otherwise normal kid will become a mass murder, if his best friend leads him to do it.  Such an explanation is obviously absurd.  Of the two individuals Dylan had a far greater control over his life.  He was socially the more adapt.  What we know of their interactions, is that Dylan did often subordinate he wishes to Eric's, but Dylan was by no means under some magic spell being cast by Eric.  When he wanted to he would stand up to Eric; and Eric would back down.  It seems reasonable to conclude that Dylan participated in the killing because he wanted to kill the people who abused him as well.

    Other explanations for the killings are being totted by the major news media.  The media is taking the facts about what Eric and Dylan did, in their private lives, and school districts across the country are using these facts to form profiles of possible future mass murders.  Kids, who fit the profile, are being hauled into offices and confronted by authority figures to determine if they are also planning mass murder.  While in some school districts kids who fit the profile are not being picked on as much any more.  Of great concern is that some of these kids are grateful to Eric and Dylan, as anyone would be who was being abused, and now finds that he is not being abused.  (It should be noted that every one of these kids we've heard from deplores the killing.)  On the other extreme, we have reports that students who meet the profile, in other school districts are being subjected to more abuse.

    The fact is that this is such an isolated incident that no logical conclusion can be made from the profile of these two teenagers.  The only thing that they have in common with other students who engaged in mass killings is that they felt that they were abused and wanted revenge.

    While all this is happening the motives that the killers used to justify their acts are being largely ignored or swept under the rug.  Time Magazine explains to us, that abuse in High Schools is normal, so we should not look to this as this cause.   It's got to be those computer games like doom that have caused these too highly intelligent kids to commit mass murder, or the were into "Goth" so that's the cause of the problem, and of course they did not believe in God, and they had access to guns.

    The police have found a diary which now is being reported as being written by Harris.   The Sheriff, who has come under some fire for his handling of the tragedy, is placing blame on at least one of the families of the students that carried out the attack. For not knowing about the bomb making materials found in one of the killers bedrooms.  We can not be sure what we will learn once the whole of the diary becomes available.  The Sheriff has indicated that Harris wrote words to the affect that they are, "going for the big kill."  Some parts of the plan for the attack were being developed at the time Eric and Dylan were going through  a youth violence prevention program, and when they were receiving counseling. The diary details that plans for the suicide attack were developed over a period of a year to coincide with anniversary of Adolph Hitler's birthday, April 20.

    Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone, in an April 26 interview with the Denver Post, indicated that the students wanted to kill at least 500 classmates. "Once they burned the school down, then they were just going to start ravaging the neighborhood, killing as many people as they could,,"

    District Attorney Dave Thomas in an interview on NBC's "Today" show, said,  "I suppose when you first hear it, you think that it's some horrible fantasy.  But we now know that at least the first portion of those planned activities were in fact carried out. Unfortunately, we also know that had a couple of the devices in the school actually detonated as they had planned, the death toll could have been much higher than it was."

    The plans for the attack are in hand written journal  and includes details of the floor plan of the school with notations "good place to hide here," "eleven o'clock largest number in cafeteria."

    "We want to be different. We want to be strange and we don't want jocks or other people putting (us) down. ... We're going to punish you."

    Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold message board -- why and what should we do?

    When he heard reports of gunmen in trench coats rampaging through Columbine High, it's reported, that Thomas Klebold (the father of Dylan) contacted authorities, because he suspected his son might be involved and offered his help as a negotiator.

    According to a report in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was supplied with evidence a year ago that "Eric Harris was contemplating mass murder -- but did nothing, a Columbine father said. 
    The father gave printouts of Harris' Web site to a deputy to support his complaint that Harris had threatened his son's life and had broken his son's windshield."
    The police now report that they were limited in what they could do because the the parents of the child threatened by Eric Harris did not want to make their complaint public. 

    Eric Harris's web site wa set up more than a year before the shootings in Littleton.   It read in part, "I will rig up explosives all over a town and detonate each one of them at will after I mow down a whole ... area full of you,". 

    According to reports most adults who knew the suspects Klebold, and Harris, would agree with the opinion of the youth crime diversion program officer who wrote, in a Jefferson County report, that "Eric is a very bright young man who is likely to succeed in life. He is intelligent enough to achieve lofty goals as long as he stays on task and remains motivated,'' 

     "Dylan (Klebold) has earned the right for an early termination. ... He is intelligent enough to make any dream a reality but he needs to understand hard work is part of it.''

    As part of the sentence they participated in a youth violence prevention program, they received counseling, performed 45 hours of community service, and wrote apology letters. In addition, Eric Harris was required to receive counseling in anger management.

    Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold considered themselves to be part of the "Goth Culture." 

    From a site about Goth culture
    How do you define Goth?
    From the site.."Goth is actually much more than the sum of its parts, and, depending on who you ask, you can get a bewildering array of contradictory answers, many of which are valid parts of a much larger subculture. It is more than a label or description. Goth is at once a lifestyle and a philosophy that has its roots firmly embedded both in the historical past and the present."  Azhrarn, 1997-1998 © 
    -- It should be noted that individuals identified as prominent in this sub cultural movement have decried the violence that took place in Littleton. 

    We know that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were the Littleton Colorado Columbine High School Killers, but we do not know who they were or really understand why they did what they did.  Abuse of them and their group was somehow used by them as a justification for acts of violence that can not be justified. At this point I think we all agree that the violence was wrong and that some how it has it's root in hatred between groups of high school students.

    This event more than anything else has caused students around the country to take pause. Hatred and abuse have no place in school and can lead to consequences that no one wants.

    --A psychologist, who studied this problem, noted that 85% of students are not abusers or the abused, but are aware of the abuse that goes on. We need to engage this silent majority in the effort to mitigate the abuse. It seems to me that we would be better served to place more of our effort towards attempting to mitigate this abuse than to convert our schools into prisons. While I agree that some effort should be undertaken to plan for these events. It makes more sense to me that we should make some effort to mitigate the cause. 

    According to a Denver Rocky Mountain News report, Justin Preziodi, who attended high school with, Eric two years ago said, "Every once in a while, Eric would talk about blowing up the school -- but we all talked about blowing up the school, or 'going postal' and shooting someone you're mad at; but you would never think someone would actually do it."

    Eric had been rejected by all the colleges he applied to.  The girl he asked to go the the prom with rejected the offer.  He was rejected by most of his classmates. 

    Brooks Brown, a Columbine senior,
    told The Denver Rocky Mountain News,  that Eric told him the Marines are "unlike here, where they go for the lowest common denominator, like the teachers helping out the stupid kid. "There, they're going for the best."

    A Marine Corps spokesperson indicated that the Eric Harris's attempt to join the Marine Corp was rejected 5 days before the attack because his parents disclosed  that Eric was using the drug Luvox, an antidepressant often used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Five days before the attack Eric Harris took  his last rejection.

    Eric Harris

    Nickname - Reb
    AKA - Erik

    It was reported April 28th that Eric had attempted to join the Marine Corps days before the shooting. This calls into question the current theory that Eric was the ring leader of the event.  If Eric was trying to get out of Littleton 5 days before the shooting by joining the Marines, then it seems that he may not the person, that he has been characterized as being. The reports indicate that Eric was rejected because he was undergoing psychiatric counseling and taking psychiatric medicine, according to the New York Times. 

    Eric was a promising computer game programer.  He produced a Doom 2 wad file.  This ZIP file is not located at this site and we can make no guarantee for the file. There is also a text file with the wad file that reads in part.  "Whatsup all you doomers out there! REB here, bringin you another kick-ass doom2 wad! This one took a damn long time to do, so send me some bloody credit man! Sorry the file is so damn big, but you know how it is when you change sprites...well, you should know if you've every made wads like this. Enjoy the new death frames, made em all myself!"

    "Description\Story : OK, here goes: After defeating the demons on Earth, you learn of a new terror."

    "Now its PAYBACK TIME! Those godamned alien bastards are gonna get one helluva BFG blast up their FREAKIN ASS!"

    "Good luck marine, and dont forget, KILL 'EM AAAAALLLL!!!!!"

    There are millions of children that play these games and of course they don't engage in acts of mass killing.

     This statement was issued by Ben Colkitt, attorney for the Harris family 

    From the Harrises: 
    To whom it may concern, 
    I have been asked by the family of Eric Harris to assist them through the aftermath of the tragic events at Columbine HS. The family wishes to issue the following statement to the press: "We want to express our heartfelt sympathy to the families of all the victims and to all the community for this senseless tragedy. Please say prayers for everyone touched by these horrible events." The Harris family is devastated by the deaths of the Columbine High students and is mourning the death of their youngest son Eric. On their behalf I am requesting that the media respect their privacy and refrain from contacting any family member. No further statements will be made to the press and no media interviews will be granted. 

    April 21, 1999 

    Dylan Klebold

    Nickname - VoDkA
    Eric placed some "JO mamma!"  insults on his web site that he Dylan and a third party wrote.

     "JO mamma wears so many sunglasses so much of the time that everything seems bright when she takes em off........ JJJJEEEEEEEAAAAAAA!

    JO momma has so many keys on her key rings that people say "Gosh, you must be a janitor or something", but she isn't... she just has a lot of keys! JEEEEYAAAA!!

    Jo mamma uses Vidal Sasson so often, that she has really good hair...its not damaged...or dry....or oily!! JEEEYAAAA!!!

    From family of Dylan Klebold:
    "We cannot begin to convey our overwhelming sense of sorrow for everyone affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt apologies go out to the victims, their families, friends, and the entire community. Like the rest of the country, we are struggling to understand why this happened, and ask that you please respect our privacy during this painful grieving period.'' 
    April 21, 1999 

    At 11:30 MDT April 20, 1999 two gunmen approached the cafeteria at Columbine High School shooting and throwing explosive devices. They continued shooting as they entered the building through the cafeteria  They then entered the school hallway and then up a stairway to the school library, where the killers systematically shot students and would ultimately kill themselves. It is evident at this time that this act was planned long in advance.  Over 30 explosive devices were recovered from the scene of the assault. The explosive bombs used in the attack were of a number of different types and there are unconfirmed reports that the students rigged explosives on some of the victims bodies.  The killers vehicles also were reportedly rigged with explosives.  It is not known at this time if others were aware of the killers plans.
    The police investigation continues at this time. Thursday an additional explosive device was found that consisted of a five gallon propane tank upon which BB's and nails had been taped. This was after the building had been declared free of explosives. 

    Within a few minutes of the start of the shooting the first Sheriff Deputies arrived. Twenty minutes from the start of the shooting the first members of the swat team arrived on the scene. One hour after the shooting began it ended.  Yet, it was not until two hours later that the Swat Teams entered the building to evacuate the students.  and an hour and a half after they entered the building that they found the bodies of the killers.  A half hour later the building was declared clear and Dr. Chris Colwell was allowed to enter the building.  Six hours later a bomb set on a timer exploded. No one is injured in this explosion. 
    Reports are circulating that the School district was aware of threats being made, and that the Police Department had received reports that the suspects had in the past been making and exploding pipe bombs, and had threatened to use a pipe bomb to attack a fellow student. 
    The members of the Trench Coat Mafia group felt that they were being picked on by individuals that they referred to as "jocks." 
    Reports from students indicate that they believe that  Eric Harris was the likely leader of the attack. 

    The Disaster Center

    Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being afraid of attack or threat of attack during the previous 6 months, by location and selected student and school characteristics: Selected years, 1995–2003

    Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding one or more places in school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: Selected years, 1995–2003

    Number of student-reported nonfatal crimes against students ages 12–18 and rate of crimes per 1,000 students, by location and year: 1992–2003

    Total student, Number of school-associated violent deaths and number of homicides and suicides of youth ages 5–19, by location: 1992–2002