Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Columbine High School Massacre

Secret Lives

Surveillance footage from the shooting.
Surveillance footage from the shooting.

It was soon discovered that Eric Harris had a website posted which openly expressed his anger toward the people of Littleton, especially teachers and students at Columbine High School. On this site, Harris had begun to express his desire for revenge against everyone that had irritated or annoyed him. The words "God, I can't wait until I can kill you people," and "I'll just go to some downtown area in some big (expletive) city and blow up and shoot everything I can" were posted as early as March 1998. It was also around this time that both Harris and Klebold began experimenting with pipe bombs, posting the results of their tests on the site.

A number of students told of incidents where Harris and Klebold had bragged that they would one day seek revenge on the "jocks" at the school, whom they felt had ridiculed them and treated them as outcasts. A video made as a school project by the pair showed them walking through the corridors of the school wielding guns, killing all who stood in their way. They had been disappointed when their teacher had not allowed the video to be viewed by the rest of the school because of its violence. Harris was also known for his violent themes in creative writing projects.

Many of their teachers described the youths as being depressed, angry, and admirers of Nazism. In the minds of some teachers, Harris and Klebold had shown many disturbing signs of their violent tendencies; these same teachers had reported their concerns. Unfortunately, no action could be taken against the boys, as they had in fact done nothing to warrant it, although, one of the boys had been suspended the year before for hacking into the school's computer system. Despite the growing concern of many of their teachers, the Klebolds and Harrises claim that they had never been informed of their sons' behavioral problems.

The lack of communication between the juvenile authorities, school officials and their parents enabled Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to maintain the appearance of normalcy to those closest to them, while secretly planning the fulfillment of their angry, violent fantasies.

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