Columbine shooters | Eric Harris | Eric Harris writing
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Eric's online rantings began as early as 1996 in the form of hate-filled journal entries
broken up by dark lyrics from his favorite songs and bad jokes. After he threatened friend Brooks Brown via that website and the police got involved Eric turned to keeping his violently angry thoughts in hand-written journals
dating back to April 1998. In these he kept notes about the Doom levels he was creating but mostly what he wrote about was how much he hated the world.
His entries explained that he and "V" (short for VoDkA, Dylan Klebold's nickname) were different because they had "self-awareness"
. He wrote, "I will sooner die than betray my own thoughts, but before I leave this worthless place, I will kill whoever I deem unfit..."
He documented that he wanted revenge against anyone who he thought had ever wronged him. At one point he complains bitterly about being unable to steal from the van he and Dylan broke into Jan. 30, 1998
. Interestingly enough, in an essay
he had to write as part of the juvenile diversion program he was sentenced to after getting busted for the break-in he shows a completely different face. In it he talks about the moral lessons he's learned and how sorry he is for what he's done... at the same point in time that he's writing heatedly in his personal journal about how he should have the right to steal from a van if someone's dumb enough to leave stuff in it worth stealing.
April 26, 1998: Eric details out how he thinks society could be improved by boosting natural selection. He details out initial plans for how he and "V" would carry out this boosting, complete with a short weapons detail and tactics disclosure. It's a rough fantasy-rant but a foundation for further mayhem. You can read part 1 here
and part 2 here
, where he suggests crashing a plane in NYC.
* It has come to my attention that there's some contention over this date, as it does not appear in the Columbine Documents that were released to the public in 2006. This date was derived from a CNN article where I first obtained the scans of the rant in December 2001. You can see a copy of that article at CNN's website here. CNN had first access to the reports so they would know better than I where this date on the scan came from and why it doesn't appear on the version Jefferson County formally released to the rest of us later.
: Eric writes that someone is bound to ask, "What were they thinking?" He answered, "I want to burn the world, I want to kill everyone except about 5 people...if we get busted any time, we start killing then and there...I ain't going out without a fight."
November 1998: Eric writes in detail
about how he wants to have violent sex with a woman, quoting a line from Nine Inch Nails' song Closer
(a song about having rough, animalistic sex). This heated entry dissolves into a gory description of how he would like to taste human flesh. The cannibalistic rant eventually wraps around to school where Eric shifts his attention from a woman to a freshman, going on in vivid detail about the twisted, violent things he'd like to do. He goes on to write about picking up guns with the help of "someone I won't name"
who later turned out to be Robyn Anderson, an old friend of Dylan's. He specifies weapons that were used at Columbine, gleefully explaining that they've reached the "point of no return"
and how this is what he wants to do with his life.
December 1998: Eric writes that he would have made a good Marine, that "it would have given me a reason to be good."
It's hard to say whether he wanted to be a marine because his father was in the military, because he admired the uniform or because he thought it would be an 'easy' way to kill people legally. He did apply
for enlistment in the Marine Corps but on the day that the recruiter came to meet with him about his application, Eric's mother came down into the basement and asked the recruiter if the medication Eric was prescribed for anger management (Luvox) would disqualify him. The recruiter asked to see a bottle, which Mrs. Harris provided, and he took the empty bottle with him when he left. The recruiter told investigators that he had tried to contact Eric later about his application but had not reached him and didn't leave a message about his approval one way or the other. However, according to Brooks Brown, Eric told him shortly after the interrupted meeting that he had been disqualified because he had lied on his application about taking Luvox and a chest condition he had. Eric never got the formal word that he wasn't going to be accepted but was smart enough to have come to that conclusion himself.
There was only one journal entry
for all of 1999 and in it Eric evaluated his and Dylan's preparations and munitions. He ended it with: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things."
As with the videos
he made, in his writings he excused his family of blame in what he was planning to do. "It's my fault! Not my parents, not my brothers, not my friends, not my favorite bands, not computer games, not the media, it's mine."
In another entry he wrote, "I'm full of hate and I love it."
In Dylan's 1998 yearbook Eric wrote, "God I can't wait till they die. I can taste the blood now - NBK"
It's believed from other reference of NBK in both gunmen's writings that NBK stood for Natural Born Killers, a gorey movie about a senseless killing spree. He went on: "You know what I hate? .....MANKIND!!!!...kill everything...kill everything..."
He also drew a gunman standing amongst a sea of dead bodies with a caption quoted from KMFDM's 'Dogma', "The only reason your still alive is because someone has decided to let you live."
He wrote in his own '98 yearbook as well, writing on the photographs of almost every student things like "worthless"
, and "beat."
Further in he simply put X's over the students he didn't like. Very few photos were unmarked. In his 1998/1999 academic day planner were lists of things to buy and "things left to do."
On the page for Mother's Day 1999 Harris quoted Shakespeare: "Good wombs hath born bad sons."
Eric had Creative Writing class for 4th period, along with Dylan. According to the written statement (see pages 1
) his teacher Judith Kelly gave to investigators after the shootings, Eric never
missed this class... Till 4-20-99, anyway. She mentioned that Eric made 'machine gun gestures' often and wrote stories about the Marines.
A short time after 4-20 police received an email that claimed to be a suicide note written by Eric
. It wasn't the only hoax letter they received, though all were proven over time to have been patently false. Eric Harris' real journal entries
are posted to this site as they appeared in the Columbine Report and subsequent Columbine Documents.
6:00 meet at KS
7:00 go to Rebís house
7:15 he leaves to fill propane
I leave to fill gas
8:30 Meet back at his house
9:00 made d. bag set up car
9:30 practice gearups
Chill . . .
10:30 set up 4 things
11: go to school
11:10 set up duffel bags
11:12 wait near cars, gear up
A page from Eric's weekly planner shows a diagram of a figure showing how ammo would be worn (drawn over the April 20, 1999 day) and next to it is a list of munitions. His day planner has one entry for April 20, 1999, written in Dylan's handwriting, shown right.