A small update or three: I fixed the broken images in the Memorials section. In the process, I learned that Greg Zanis, who created the crosses seen at the memorial, passed away in May of 2020. Also, John Stone — sheriff during the Columbine High shootings — passed away November 2022.
So, I fixed the main page here. Reload if it still looks wonky. I'm going to be redoing the layout in a bit... With as much as things have changed with websites, this format just doesn't want to display correctly anymore. Hopefully what I come up with will be easier to navigate for you.
Also: I want to thank all of you kind folks who have been keeping others updated about this site. Reddit, Tumblr, Wikipedia, the forums, all of you are wonderful. With as much as I have going on right now (books and films and managing the family), it's impossible for me to engage everywhere. But I do see what you're doing and I really appreciate your taking the time to tell folks what's going on.
I will be working more on tidying up the site and fixing those nagging broken links and things. I also have some higher-res photos to upload that will replace some of the smaller images on the site.
As I'm tinkering with the site, I'm finding and fixing broken links. Several resource sites have disappeared, so I'm replacing the original links with Internet Archive ones.
In the process, I found 3.5 hours from the Columbine security tape that was rolling in the cafeteria on April 20, 1999. You can see it on Archive.org below. (ETA: I have added a text link in addition to the link connected to the image, for ease of viewing on mobile.)
Ran into more problems with Chrome not displaying images. Tried customer support again and got a gal who told me she wasn't going to help me because she didn't know enough about her job to do it. I asked her to put me through to her supervisor. She pretended she couldn't find anyone. After 16 years of giving that company my business, that was not the kind response I expected. I am now in the process of migrating to another host. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, there will be minimal disrution and down-time. By the time you read this, in fact, the migration will be done.
I will be going through the site this evening to make sure I got everything moved over. Please bear with me if you encounter any weirdness or missing files. Everything should be right-as-rain soon.
Chrome does not seem to be displaying images correctly. I am not sure why this is. The site displays fine on Firefox, so until I figure out what's going on, you'll want to use that to view the site. Sorry about that!
Hello, everybody. Long time, I know. Life threw some serious curveballs (as you can see in the entry below this one). I had to take some time to make sure everything stayed on the rails, especially with my family. After things started to level out, I got involved in a film project that took a lot of my free time and things have been incredibly busy for me since then. I'm about to publish a book (unrelated to Columbine) and I've got more film and photo projects on deck the next couple of months. But I haven't forgotten about this site or you guys. I've just been trying to decide what to do.
Back when I first started this site, it was primarily because there wasn't a lot of reliable coverage on the event, and I was afraid that the truth would get lost in all the rumors people were peddling. This was before Wikipedia and even before most news sites had up-to-date information and were prone to posting things without fact-checking first. Now, we have loads of investigative sites and YouTube channels, books and documentaries. I still feel this site and the information it houses has relevance and is useful, particularly to students and teachers, so I have left it up. I don't have a problem with continuing to host it, but I probably won't be doing much with the content in the future.
As for the book I've spoken about...I did finish it back before the pandemic. It has been sitting on my hard drive while I've been stewing on what to do with it. I still haven't reached a conclusion, but I'm leaning toward self-publishing. However, if I do end up publishing it, it won't be until my other book debuts. That one is nearly finished and already has a publisher lined up to produce and market it. It's a nonfiction book about a rescue dog and the man who adopted him, both survivors of abuse when they were young. The story is that of a friend of mine who has been a huge source of inspiration to me. I'll post a link to it when it's available in case you're interested. But like this site, the story is a very emotional one that is very painful at points. But it does have a happy ending.
Anyway, I've been meaning to post an update for a while now. Thanks to all of you who have written to me over the past couple of years. I don't have time to answer everyone personally, but I do appreciate the support. I hope you are doing well in these weird times.
Strange times. 3 months after my family's loss, a friend of mine lost his battle to cancer. 2 months after that, another friend lost his wife unexpectedly. Then came the COVID shutdown. My kids are schooling from home now and so am I. It's so weird to see so many things upheaved all at once. I feel bad for folks who were supposed to graduate this year and for folks cut off from their regular social routines, especially the senior citizens who are not net-savvy.
In regards to the book, I had some interest before the economy came to an abrupt halt but now that's off the planner. I may self-publish at a later point, but that remains to be seen.
I hope you're staying safe and well, and have toilet paper.
If you've been coming here a while or have tried to contact me via email, you will have noticed a silence here. My spouse passed away recently and quite unexpectedly. It's been a lot of emotional, legal, and physical work handling the estate and helping our kids cope. Chances are, I won't be updating this website much in the near future, though it will remain up and running. I still intend to publish a book eventually but it's been put on the back burner for the time being while my family adjusts.
Denver school shooting update. No one was killed. One adult, one juvenile shooter. Both are in custody.
Sol Pais is dead.
Media agencies and folks doing interview inquiries, please title your emails "QUERY" so I can see it. I'm getting a lot of email right now so it's hard to tell what's what. Thanks, everyone, for reaching out. I appreciate it. I read your personal stories and am inspired by them. There are so many people in the world who connect with this event in some way. You're not alone, even 20 years later.
I'm working on getting my book published. I still can't give specifics but I can say that it centers around a topic I've had a lot of requests for a book about. I'm talking to agents so hopefully soon we'll see some print.
Still trying to sort out why the FTP's inaccessible. I've got Spring Break coming up so I'll get on the phone with tech support and get it fixed.
Survivor Kacey Ruesegger-Johnson has published a book that details her experiences on April 20, 1999. It will be available March 2019.
I'm happy to tell you that Amazon's now allowing me to link directly to their Prime videos. If you have a Prime subscription, any of the videos I've linked to throughout this site can now be watched immediately for free, on your computer or mobile device. I've already linked a few below. I'll be working to link more as soon as I have time.
As for the picture below, back when the Columbine Memorial was being built, this site contributed to the cause. The Columbine Memorial Foundation sent me a card in return, with this pin. I'm terrible with losing small things, so I've kept it on the card all these years.
It's been a while since my last update and I apologize for leaving you in the dark for so long. I have been working on a book for publication, about the Columbine High shootings, and pursuing my Bachelor's in Forensic Science at the same time. I feel like I've got the proverbial pedal to the floor these days, and still run out of time every day before I run out of things I need to do.
I'll be pitching the book in February. I'll provide more information on the exact scope of the book after I've talked with the agents. I know "a book about Columbine" doesn't tell you much. Also, I would like to say again that I am very interested in talking to anyone who was at the school that day or had family there. I want to be sure everyone involved has a chance to make any necessary corrections or share whatever you feel is important for the world to know about you or your loved one. My thanks goes out to those who've already responded.
Folie a deux: French for "madness of two", or shared psychosis, is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief and sometimes hallucinations are transmitted from one individual to another.
Over the summer I got enrolled in college. I'm going for my Bachelor's in Forensic Science. Psychology 101 is a core prerequisite. I've always been intrigued with the way the human mind works--it's what got me interested in true crime. I'm curious to see how higher learning will help shape the way I see criminal acts.
Reference source: Wikipedia
Copying a crime is not only disgusting, it's unoriginal.
19 years ago, Columbine students ran from their school. This year... they walked.
See Reuters video footage of Columbine High students participating in the national March 14, 2018 walkout.
Fixed some more missing images and replaced some links on Eric's page that disappeared with the Rocky Mountain News website disappeared. As I'm working on the book I'm writing, I'm cleaning the site and plugging in bits of information I've had in my archives for years but haven't had time to transfer to the site.
I used to send out CDs of the information so folks could still access it even though it wasn't in website format. I don't offer the CDs any longer but I do host it on my FTP site. It's interesting though... I've had this info available for years but lately I've seen more than one new website that's grabbed the stuff and posted it in terms that make it seem as though those site owners spent the past 20 years digging it all up. One I saw even put their own copyright on it and claimed the info's never appeared anywhere but their site, despite their using original images I created for my website and using my site's source code to display them.
The reason I made this information available is so researchers wanting answers can find them. It's not a contest about who has the most exclusive stuff or the biggest collection on their website. It's about making the facts available to whoever wants them. Anyone borrowing stuff from this site to try to make themselves look good in the eyes of unsuspecting strangers needs to re-examine their priorities in life.
Fixed the problem with the images not showing. Sorry about that.
I've fixed the issues with the FTP server. You can now login to ftp.acolumbinesite.com with the username anonymous and no password. You should be able to resume your downloads now.
Nasim Aghdam opened fire on people at YouTube's headquarters because she was mad about how she thought YouTube was handling traffic to her videos. She injured three people and then shot herself. Looking through her Web content, the woman was not a stable person. Even her family knew it: Her father Ismail alerted police the day before the shooting that Nasim was upset about how YouTube was handling her videos and might be planning to head to the corporation's office.
There's a fine line society walks in dealing with the mentally unstable. By law little can be done about someone who's a potential threat until after they've done something tragic. Once upon a time a dangerous individual could be put into an asylum but abuse of the intake system and abuse of the bigger system in general led to the shutdown of most mental health facilities.
Try calling around where you live and see how many doctors you can find who actually practice traditional "on the couch" therapy. I was able to find only one in my city, which has a population of over one million. One. And he wouldn't take patients who were younger than 18. So if you have a troubled teen where I live, your only options are to put them on drugs or leave them untreated.
Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz has been indicted on 17 counts of 1st Degree murder. If found guilty he could face the death penalty. Initially a "Not Guilty" plea was entered for him but his attorney has since withdrawn it. Instead his defense team entered No Plea. They've said Cruz will plead Guilty if the death penalty is taken off the table. I'm going to guess they'll be able to produce enough security footage to prove he's guilty, whether he pleas it or not. The real question is whether he'll be able to plea out by reason of insanity or not.
Frankly I don't feel insanity is reason for a 'Not Guilty' verdict. 'Guilty but Insane'? Sure. But if somebody's so crazy they can and will murder a bunch of people at school... they shouldn't be out and about where they can do it again.
Unfortunately mental health care took a huge blow when corruption went unchecked in so many facilities worldwide. Mental care pretty much went down the tubes when the bad reputations of places like Pennhurst and Waverly came to light. The asylums were shut down and nothing new was proposed to fill the void except drugs. Drugs have become the padded cell of the future. Not the most secure of cells either when the patient can choose to stop taking the medication at any time. Like Nikolas Cruz did. Like Jared Loughner did. Like Eric Harris did.
Things are still churning away behind the scenes here. I'm going to be doing crime scene investigation once I get my degree. Ever since I was a kid I've been intensely interested in crime scene and perpetrator analysis. The first crime I truly studied was when I was twelve. The crime: The Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by the Manson Family. Ironically enough, I've been doing charity events for Alice Cooper the past few years and it turns out he lived in the same neighborhood where the murders took place. He was out of town at the time so he only heard about the goings-on later but can you imagine what it would be like to come home to that media frenzy on your street?
Still working on moving the archive. I've been working on a book as well. More information on that later. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. Me? I'm staying indoors till after December.
When this site first got started I was an unemployed stay-at-home parent with very little money. Over the years many visitors to the site have donated to help cut back on the costs of running the site. With that support this website has stayed online and free for the whole world to use since 1999. There were several months where, if it weren't for those generous souls, this site would have gone offline.
Fast forward 18 years. I own my own company and work a part-time job. I'm working on getting a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice. While donations make it easier to cover the site's costs, it no longer -needs- them. With inflation being what it is, the cost to ship CDs (especially overseas) has grown quite a bit. Recently I was faced with a choice: Raise prices again or stop shipping CDs.
I just can't see raising prices again to cover the rising costs of supplies and postage. I don't like the fact that I've already had to do it several times just to make sure the site actually gets some of that money. So I've decided to stop offering the CDROM sets. If you want you can still make donations to help the site but the CDs will no longer be available.
But what about all that information??
I will be moving it all to a spot where you'll be able to access and download it all for free. It will take some time so please be patient but in the end it will all be up there. It's always been my mission to share it all with you. I'll still be patching it all into the main site as I get time but till then it'll be there in raw, unformatted form soon.
You can now log onto the site and download news video files from 4-20-1999 and the days immediately following. These are the same videos that I offered to folks who donate to the site. They will no longer be available as a gift option now that the files can be downloaded. They are zipped up so you'll need to unzip them to view them.
Host Name: ftp.acolumbinesite.com
User ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
I've finally got an FTP location up and running. I'm currently in the process of uploading all of the news videos I've converted. Once I've gotten everything moved over I'll let you guys have access to it all. Should be up within the next couple of weeks. The files are huge though so it's taking time to upload them.
The site overhaul is finished, for the most part. The new design is live and site-wide now anyway. I developed it because I noticed that on mobile it was kind of hard to read. Hopefully this new look will be easier on your eyes if you're on a mobile screen but it should also scale up if you're on a full sized screen. There are bound to be a few broken links and images. I'll be fine-toothing the site over the weekend to chase these loose ends down.
Those of you who've been here a lot will notice there are some other changes as well. I've added more info to some of the sections and uploaded better quality photos. Made some images bigger, changed the layout of some areas. The search tool has moved to the top right up there and there's a boodle of site-specific links way down at the bottom now.
Site redesign is making steady progress. Soon I hope to have the site converted over to this new layout. Putting it together has been sort of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Had to learn some new coding skills to make it cross-platform.