Columbine High School shooting | Why?

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Why? Helluva fine question and one that will never truly be answered because the two guys who knew are dead. The media has blamed everything from Doom and other violent games, to goth/industrial music, clothes, Hitler, internet chatrooms, racism, gun control, mental instability; even the parents and the school district have suffered the brunt of finger-pointing for not having a better idea of what was going on in the lives of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

There are many 'Why's in this sad story; there are hundreds of them imbedded throughout the pages of this website. Some of the 'why's may never be known. There are several police reports that show a recent history of trouble Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were responsible for prior to the shootings at Columbine; reports of threats and violence that were swept under the rug by the local law enforcement, kept hidden for months after the tragedy.

So why didn't the parents notice the foreshadowing in their sons that seems to be so obvious to so many, when viewed in retrospect? Were the Klebolds and Harrises so certain that their intelligent boys were basically good people that they could overlook the fact that they were finding pipe bombs in their personal rooms? The way the boys dressed, the fact that they were making bombs, went shooting at Rampart Range, broke into a van, threatened neighbors, wrote violent stories... these things were not unknown to either boys' families.

Eric had been in treatment for anger management and was supposed to be taking medication to help stabilize his moods. When the shootings occurred, Dylan's father showed up at the scene and told officers he had a "feeling" his son was involved. There may have been insight on the Basement Tapes, but Jefferson County refused to release them to the public. In 2006 the release of the tapes was considered but eventually decided against, though Jefferson County did release more of the shooters' writing and other pertinent files (found in the 946-page Columbine Documents). The Harrises fought the release of those materials due to the fact that Wayne Harris' diary was also included in the files, detailing out how he'd been tracking Eric's unusual and criminal behavior before the shootings occurred.

What little we have been able to see of the Basement Tapes paints a stark portrait of two very angry young men -- teens who were sick to death of a situation they despised so much that they were willing and able to try and blow up their school, and take as many people with it as possible including themselves. More than this will never be known as JeffCo destroyed the tapes in 2011.

Forewarning aside, slow intervention (archived offsite link) on the part of the Denver SWAT team certainly factored into how many people bled to death waiting for help that wasn't coming. It took them over an hour to get inside the building to free twenty of the hundreds of people trapped and another two hours to make it into the area where weapons had been fired.

As I've searched for the 'Why?' myself, I've collected the information I found and organized it into this website: A grim museum of sorts. In order to better get an idea of the flow of events I put together a narrative timeline of events leading up to and including April 20th, 1999. The information is derived from various sources, primarily eye-witness reports taken directly from the news and the Columbine Report.

In the end, the only people who really knew what was going on that day - why things happened the way they did - were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The closest we'll come to knowing what was on their minds is by studying their journals and videos and other clues they left behind.

Yes, I do have my own opinions and thoughts on this subject and due to the surprising number of requests for it, I've put the short version of it here.

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