Monday, April 20, 2009

Everything you know about Columbine is wrong

Jesse Kornbluth wrote in HuffPost today about Dave Cullen's new book, "Columbine." To read the column, go to

Two weeks ago, during spring break, Chris and I wandered into the Tattered Cover LoDo and discovered that Cullen was in-house that evening talking about his book. We found a few chairs in the back of a very crowded room.

Didn't take long to get very depressed. Everything I thought I knew about Columbine was wrong. Eric Harris was a psychopath, according to the author, and Dylan Klebold was his disturbed follower. Cullen bases his conclusions of a huge cache of documentation, including journals from both killers and interviews with law enforcement and witnesses. He's been researching this topic since it happened on a pleasant spring day in the Denver burbs.

I have not yet read the book, so this isn't a review. But after sitting there in TC listening to Cullen's talk, I sank into my chair, life's fragility weighing me down. How well do we know our kids -- really know them? Sure, Harris's parents could have done a better job keeping an eye on their son. But the kid got good grades and went to the prom just a few days before the massacre. He'd been in some trouble, but weaseled his way out of any major punishment. He was a fine liar. And a leader. That's what's so chilling. The kid next door seemed pretty normal. Never shot up the neighborhood or blew up anything up. Bombs? Guns? Never saw any.

Until April 20, 1999. And then it was too late.

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