The first page
of Dylan Klebold's 1997 journal begins with a preface he wrote: "Fact: People are so unaware... well, Ignorance is bliss I guess... that would explain my depression."
The grim words set the tone for the rest of the personal diary. Reading his journal and the things he wrote for school allow us to get an inside look at what the shooter's mindset was like in the weeks and years before the massacre at Columbine. A few illustrations of Dylan's ideas follow the title page; the first dated and written entry was written on March 31, 1997
. Dylan describes not fitting in, being depressed and generally hating his life and existence. In another entry later that year he wrote, "I swear -- like I'm an outcast, & everyone is conspiring against me..."
During one period Dylan's tone briefly changed and he described his 'first love' though from the writings, it was an unrequited love. At one point he listed several girls he claimed to love but never mentioned telling them about his feelings. In fact, whenever he brings up the subject of talking to one particular girl he has a strong crush on, the romantic prose often dissolves into a letter of self-hate. One letter he wrote to the girl (but never delivered as it was found in his notebook) he claimed to love dearly starts out as a "You don't know me.." sort of secret admirer letter but by the second page has turned into a write-up of all the reasons he could think of why some girl like her wouldn't want to be around him. He later wrote a letter to the same girl, presumably, that describes in veiled terms how he's planning to do something horrible soon and would understand if she didn't want to be involved -- before that letter, too, turns into another exercise in self-loathing.
In November of 1997
, he penned out a fantasy about getting a gun and going on a killing spree. Most of his entries had less to do with wanting to hurt people, apart from himself, and more to do with not understanding why the world - and his peers - refused to give him the attention and affection he so badly craved. He seemed to hold himself largely at fault for it at times then at other times seems to blame society for not being on his level of intelligence in order to find common ground with him.
In Klebold's 1997/1998 academic day planner are what appear to be random thoughts and poems. One entry simply said, "The lonely man strikes with absolute rage."
In April of 1998, at the end of their junior year, Harris and Klebold received their copies of the Columbine High School 1998 yearbook
. A year before the rampage Dylan made four entries in Eric's yearbook. One entry referred to "the holy April morning of NBK (Natural Born Killers)."
Another entry says in part "killing enemies, blowing up stuff, killing cops!! My wrath for January's incident will be godlike. Not to mention our revenge in the commons."
Their "revenge in the commons" happened on April 20, 1999 when they tried to blow up the cafeteria and went on their brutal shooting spree. The January incident Dylan refers to in his writing was when he and Eric were busted breaking into a van. Dylan seemed to think that the crime and the juvenile diversion program he was sentenced to had branded him for life as a dangerous criminal. His view of how serious that particular crime was seems extreme, considering how relatively minor it was. Neither he nor Eric even served time in juvenile hall -- they simply had to complete the diversion program, which they both did so well in they were released ahead of schedule. But to Dylan Klebold, this was the point of no return. He was a bad guy.
In September 1998, Dylan wrote a paper for school entitled The Mind and Motives of Charles Manson
and later turned in a paper to Creative Writing class (a class he shared with Eric Harris and Brooks Brown during 4th period) that his teacher, Ms Judith Kelly, thought was quite inappropriate. She gave a written statement
to police following 4-20-99 detailing the nature of the story and her reaction to it. The story was about a man coming into town and killing all the popular kids. Ms. Kelly talked to Dylan's parents about it; Dylan dismissed it as "It's just a story.". In 2009 Dylan's mother, Susan Klebold, wrote an essay for O Magazine
wherein she says that Ms Kelly didn't actually show Dylan's parents the writing as she didn't have it with her during the meeting. With the Klebolds' consent the teacher said she would turn the writing assignment over to the guidance counselor and see if he thought it should be followed up from but Sue said that the counselor never called them about it.
There were about 8 pages found in his notebook, apparently written the day before the assault on the school. One portion
read: "About 26.5 hours from now the judgement will begin. Difficult but not impossible, necessary, nervewracking & fun. What fun is life without a little death? It's interesting, when i'm in my human form, knowing i'm going to die. Everything has a touch of triviality to it."
There were a few more pages of drawings and writings included in the notebook, all notes about the coming shooting.
One of Dylan's last entries
Walk in, set bombs at 11:09, for 11:17 |
set car bombs.
Drive to Clemete Park. Gear up.
Get back by 11:15
Park cars. set car bombs for 11:18
get out, go to outside hill, wait.
When first bombs go off, attack.
Dylan also wrote some plans on a page from Eric's day planner
that also had to do with the events to occur on 4-20.