“so i wait 5 more days. 5 more days. 5 eternitys. & i know he & i are concieved from ourselves & each other. every night of the self-awareness journey, every thought we concieved, we have finished the race. time to die. everything we knew, we were able to understand it, to percieve it, into what we should, everything we knew, we know & use. an understanding of the everything. An einstein stuck in an ant’s body. we are the nature of existence. the zombies were a test to see if our love was genuine. we are in wait of our reward, each other. the zombies will never cause us pain anymore. the humanity was a test. I love you, love. Time to die, time to be free, time to love.”
– An entry from Dylan’s journal.
“Two students, cloaked in black trench coats and armed with guns and bombs, opened fire Tuesday at Columbine High School, killing 15 people and wounding 28 others in the worst school shooting in U.S. history (massacre at columbine highBloodbath leaves 15 dead, 28 hurt).” “Columbine High School” … It has been 18 years and that name has been burned into our memory. Not for prefect attendance, outstanding test scores, or overachieving students which all schools thrive to have their school’s name known for. This school is known for something the history of America did not have for a school. We know it as “The Columbine School Shooting.” Wednesday morning on April 21 in 1999 was flooded with the headlines of two senior boys bring weapons onto their campus and killing their classmates. The events to the worst school shooting in the history of America was being shown on the news, talked about on the radio, and read in the newspapers. The names of the two shooters became a household name. Dylan Bennet Klebold is one of the shooters at Columbine High School yet if he did not cross path with Eric Harris, not been rejected from his peers, and been able to handle his depression then perhaps Dylan would not have been involved.
Dylan Klebold was only one of the shooters that Tuesday April 20, 1999. Eric David Harris is the other shooter and you can not say one name without saying the other. Together they have done something America was not ready to comprehend and to this day what lead the boys to the decision is not certain. What is know is the planning to the terrible day and other events that may be linked to their decisions. “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 (Shepard).” Both Dylan and Eric rode the same bus and attend the same middle school with one other friend Nathan Dykeman. The boys would be involved with school and were interested in video production. The boys made countless videos of themselves some of which were used to study their behavior. Video showed the boys in the woods firing hand guns, wearing trench coats in one project called ‘Hitman for Hire’, talking violently to the camera about the acts they would do to bullies, and lastly videos from Eric’s basement which have not been fully release to the public. Yet not being 18 to purchase guns themselves, Dylan had a friend who would also be his prom date, Robyn Anderson, bought the guns for them. Eric and Dylan take turns shooting the guns and practice their aim. The ‘Hitman for Hire’ was a project were the Eric and Dylan were hire by students who have been bullied at their school as they saw their role as “the men in black that geeks, outcasts, nerds, and other picked-on souls could turn to in order to take care of bullies who were harassing them and making their lives hell. In the film, Dylan and Eric run around protecting the weak (Shepard).”
The project’s video is chilling to watch due to the day the shooting happened the boys wear black trench coats as in the video and walked the halls with guns looking for victims to shoot. Some suggest Eric and Dylan were rehearsing for what they called ‘judgement day’. From all the videos Eric and Dylan made the basement videos have yet to be completely released to the public. The day of the attack about 30 minutes before, Eric and Dylan made their last video which they both take a turn saying goodbye, Dylan had a message for his mother, “”Hey mom. Gotta go. It’s about a half an hour before our little judgment day. I just wanted to apologize to you guys for any crap this might instigate as far as (inaudible) or something. Just know I’m going to a better place. I didn’t like life too much and I know I’ll be happy wherever the fuck I go. So I’m gone. Good-bye. Reb. (Shepard).” Dylan’s mother, Susan Klebold, was not aware of the videos her son was making and stated, “Dylan was a gentle, sensible kid. No one in our family had ever owned a gun. How in the world could he be part of something like this (I Will Never Know Why P.1)?” His mother knew of the depression he faced, the friendship with Eric, but was she aware of how depressed he truly was which may have needed assisted from doctors, how toxic Eric was to Dylan, and the anger from the rejection from others he held inside.
Dylan kept a journey from 1997 to 1999, his writing consisting of his thoughts and hatred for his life, talking about a girl he loves which transforms his writing almost to poetry, and to dark desires of killing, bombing the school, and the schedule of April 20. Dylan was aware of being different from his classmates. As a teenager growing up and trying to understand himself he knew his thoughts were not the same as his classmates. “I know that i am different, yet i am afraid to tell the society. The possible abandonment, persecution is not something I want to face, yet it is so primitive to me,” this side of Dylan seems to feel helpless as if he has already chosen his fate (Shepard). Throughout the journal, and videos, you witness different sides of Dylan. He struggles with his emotions as read in his journal at times he talks about his loneliness and wanting to reach out to people, then to anger of not being welcome, and then spends briefly of his unrequited love but ultimately Dylan wanted to be accepted. “I will be free one day, in the land of purity & my happiness, I will have a love, someone who is me in a way. Someday… Possibly thru this life, maybe another, but it will happen…,” in his journal Dylan is seeking accept perhaps even help. After 19 years the question if Dylan would be been on antidepressants could have changed the outcome of that day? Dylan was not quiet about his desire of killing, he wrote an essay on it which his teacher found unappreciated and gave it to the counselor to evaluated it. Yet thing came from it. Dylan’s mother notices her son behaving differently yet passed it as, “Dylan was just being a typical teenager (Dawson).” With the journals and videos psychologist and FBI profilers stated yet neither were formally diagnosed, “Dylan likely suffered from severe depression and suicidal thoughts, while Eric was likely a psychopath (Dawson).” Both dealt with mental issues yet it was too late it help.
Eric Harris was a big influence on Dylan, many students stating that Dylan was a follower and Eric was a leader. Eric’s parents never spoke or were interviewed about what their son have done. Eric would be shown on the media of killing the most between himself and Dylan, was Eric the mastermind of that day which Dylan called ‘judgement day’? Its simply really Dylan wanted to die, and Eric wanted to kill. Eric in Dylan’s life was the approximating cause to his involvement on April 20, 1999. Dylan dealt with depression and perhaps if the influence of Eric caused him to think that others should suffer for his sad life. In Dylan’s journey he talks about the jocks and the girls who ignored him, Eric could have known to make history of killing at his high school he would need help and Dylan was easily influenced. In the end Dylan suffer in life and in death, when Dylan shot himself was not enough to kill him instantly but to slowly have him drown in his own blood whereas a shot gun in the mouth cause Eric no pain.
Dylan, thanks to Eric’s planning, is known as a monster since 1999 for dwelling at the gates of differences as Cohen would say. Cohen has seven theses to monster one being “The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference”, Dylan felt has an outcast knowing his thoughts were not was called ‘normal’. He then acted on it which caused him to be label as a monster, as his mother had mention teenage depression is common but not given the full action it needs. Due to the lack of interest Dylan acted on his emotions and did something terrible. And what Dylan did that day at his high school has changed our cultural forever such as the safety in our school and to how police officers are to respond in that situation. What cause him to be part of the planning, agreeing to act upon his thoughts, and to kill and harms others will never be understood and will be kept with Dylan.
“Colorado News.” The Denver Post Online – News, extras.denverpost.com/news/shot0420a.htm.
A news article the day before of the events of April 20, 1999. Prefect example of how an impact the school shooting shock the nation. This new article is only one of many that was read at the time after the event and already stated that it was “the worst school shooting in the history of America.” It gives a brief description of what was known briefly after it took place and will be used to show what the nation knew what happened.
Shepard, Cyn. “~(@)~ 4-20-99 a Columbine Site ~(@)~ All about the Columbine High School
Shootings.” a Columbine Site, http://www.acolumbinesite.com/.
Website dedicated to the school shooting and provides evidences such as the 911 calls, police reports, and a summary of the shooter and victims. This site will be used to take a look at the journey to cite in the paper. The journals allow us to take a closer look at the emotions Dylan was feeling from 1998 to the day of the shooting.
“‘I Will Never Know Why.’” Oprah.com, www.oprah.com/omagazine/susan-klebolds-o-
Dawson, Margaret, et al. “Columbine Killer’s Mother Sue Klebold on Relationship with Her Son, Warning Signs She Missed, What She Went through after the Tragedy.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 12 Feb. 2016, abcnews.go.com/US/columbine-killers-mother-sue-klebold-relationship-son-warning/story?id=36891650.
Sue, out of both mothers, spoke about her son and wrote a book. She has brought awareness to depression to high school students and the importance of looking into seeking help. She describes Dylan’s personality before and the days leading up to April 20. Her quotes of her son will be used to show how Eric was the ringleader of the event. Dylan was a follower with anger and wanted to punish others for his life.