Dylan Bennet Klebold
Dylan Bennet Klebold was
born in Denver, Colorado on
September 11, 1981.
He was the second child of Thomas and Susan and the brother of Byron,
three years older.
As a boy, he was in the Boy Scouts and was a pitcher on his Little League
parents told investigators that Dylan was a gentle boy and never gave any
indications of a violent nature.
attended Normandy Elementary School in Littleton, Colorado, for first and second
grade and then transferred to Governor’s Ranch Elementary School where he was
part of the CHIPS (Challenging High Intellectual Potential Students) program for
gifted and talented children.
Klebold’s parents told investigators he was somewhat sheltered at
Governors Ranch Elementary and believed his transition to Ken Caryl Middle
School was a little difficult for him because he was so quiet and shy.
However, his parents thought the transition from elementary school to
middle school is difficult for many adolescents and therefore they were not
During his earlier school years, he played T-ball, baseball and soccer.
at Columbine High School, Klebold became active in school play productions and
operated the lights and sounds.
He was involved in video productions and Columbine High School’s Rebel
News Network. Klebold
also became a computer assistant at school and helped maintain the school
He also built his own home computer.
to Thomas and Susan Klebold, their son was extraordinarily shy and did not have
a girlfriend but did socialize with different groups of friends.
He and his group of friends were interested in video games, midnight
bowling and fantasy football leagues.
had few close friends other than Eric Harris.
Klebold’s nickname was VoDKa with his initials capitalized.
His friends generally described him as shy and quiet and somewhat of a
most accounts, he was a typical teenager with an interest in video games,
movies, computers and spending time with groups of other teenagers.
According to friends, nothing in his behavior gave clues of what he and
Harris were planning.
Tom Klebold told investigators that, as far as he knew, Dylan never showed any
fascination with guns.
The Klebolds indicated that their son had dreams of being a computer
science major and had been accepted at the University of Arizona.
In fact, the Klebolds drove to Arizona with Dylan on March 25, 1999 to
pick out Dylan’s dorm room.
The Klebolds spent four days driving to Arizona and back to Colorado with
their son and saw nothing unusual with his behavior or demeanor.
January 30, 1998, Klebold and Harris were arrested after breaking into a vehicle
in Jefferson County.
In April 1998, they were both placed in the juvenile diversion program
offered by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
As part of the program Harris and Klebold were required to pay fines,
attend anger management classes, counseling and complete community service.
Once they successfully completed the diversion program, all charges were
dropped and they were released from the program on February 9, 1999.*
the tragedy at Columbine High School investigators searched for answers to why
Klebold opened fire on his classmates and teachers.
Although no clear-cut answers were found, there were clues.
Investigators spoke with friends and teachers of Klebold who described
him as a “nice, normal teenager.”
there was another darker side.
Klebold left behind glimpses of his thoughts in the form of notes jotted
down in a day planner, a 1997 journal and writings in a math notebook and a
and Harris also left videotapes behind articulating many of their thoughts and
the cover of Klebold’s 1997 journal is written “Fact:
People are so unaware…well, Ignorance is bliss I guess…that would
explain my depression.”
Klebold began his journal on March 31, 1997 during a point he described
as “a weird time, weird life, weird existence.”
He described not fitting in, being depressed and generally hating his
existence and hating his life.
He talked about suicide.
In another entry in 1997 he wrote, “I
swear – like I’m an outcast, & everyone is conspiring against me…”
one period Klebold’s tone briefly changed and he described his “first
appeared that this was an unrequited love.
Throughout his journal, Klebold named several girls he “loves” but he
did not indicate that he ever actually spoke to any of them.
He even went so far as to write letters to one girl but it appears he
never sent them because they remained in his journal.
in 1997 Klebold wrote that he wanted to die.
He mentioned getting someone to buy him a gun so he could kill himself.
In November of 1997, Klebold described getting a gun and going on a
Klebold’s 1997/1998 academic day planner are what appear to be random thoughts
and poems. One
entry simply said, “The lonely man strikes with absolute rage.”
April of 1998, at the end of their junior year, Harris and Klebold received
their copies of the Columbine High School 1998 yearbook.
A full year before their rampage Klebold made four entries in Harris’s
such entry referred to “the holy April
morning of NBK (Natural Born Killers).”
Another entry says in part
“killing enemies, blowing up stuff, killing cops!!
My wrath for January’s incident will be godlike.
Not to mention our revenge in the commons.”
The January incident Klebold referred to is believed to be his arrest for
breaking into a vehicle on January 30, 1998.
The Columbine cafeteria is also called the commons.
In Klebold’s notebook, along with his math homework, were eight pages of writings and drawings that appeared to be written the day before April 20. One part began, “About 26.5 hours from now the judgement will begin. Difficult but not impossible, necessary, nervewracking & fun. What fun is life without a little death? It’s interesting, when i’m (sic) in my human form, knowing i’m going to die. Everything has a touch of triviality to it.”
were a few more pages of drawings and writings included in the notebook.
Klebold’s last entry was:
Walk in, set bombs at 11:09, for 11:17
Drive to Clemete Park. Gear
Get back by 11:15
cars. set car bombs for 11:18
out, go to outside hill, wait.
first bombs go off, attack.
Eric David Harris
David Harris was born April 9, 1981 in
Wichita, Kansas, to Wayne and Kathy Harris.
He had a brother, Kevin, who was three years older.
Wayne Harris was in the U.S. Air Force and moved his family many times
during the course of his career. In
1983 the Harris family moved to Dayton, Ohio; in 1989 they moved to Oscoda,
Michigan, and in 1992 the Harris family moved to Plattsburg, New York.
Wayne Harris retired from the Air Force, and in July of 1993 the family
moved to Littleton, Colorado. Eric
went to Ken Caryl Middle School where he met Dylan Klebold.
and Kathy Harris told investigators that, as a child, Harris played soccer and
baseball, and by the 7th and 8th grades developed an
interest in computers. Harris was
also interested in baseball cards, computer games and videos.
His parents said that their son was content to be by himself but also had
close friends in high school. While
attending Columbine High School, Harris became involved in video productions and
the school’s Rebel News Network as well as the school’s computer labs.
Harris went by the nickname “REB.”
This may have been short for “rebel,” which is also the name of the
On January 30,
1998, Harris and Klebold were arrested after breaking into a vehicle in
Jefferson County. In April 1998,
they were both placed in the juvenile diversion program offered by the Jefferson
County District Attorney’s Office and were required to pay fines, attend anger
management classes, counseling and complete community service.
Once they successfully completed the diversion program, all charges were
dropped and they were released from the program on February 9, 1999.*
As part of the diversion program, Harris wrote a letter of apology to the victim. In the letter, Harris apologized and explained how disappointed he was in himself for his actions. It seemed to be a sincere, heartfelt letter from a young man who had made a mistake. Harris also wrote a paper on anger management and how to control his anger.
March 18, 1998, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office took a “suspicious
incident” report from Randy Brown, stating that his son, Brooks, had received
death threats from Harris. These threats were reported to have been contained in
Harris’ web pages. On his web
pages, Harris also allegedly wrote about making and detonating pipe bombs and
using them against people. Brown requested that he and his family remain
anonymous in making the report for fear of retribution, particularly to his son.
The information was reviewed by Sheriff’s investigators; however, Harris’ web site could not be accessed nor could reports of pipe bomb detonations be substantiated. Because of Brown’s request to remain anonymous, Klebold and Harris were not contacted. Further investigation was initiated but no additional information was developed.
of the routine nature of the report and investigation, the former Jefferson
County Sheriff, Ronald Beckham, was not informed of the report at the time. The
District Attorney, subsequent to April 20, was provided with information from
Harris’ web pages. After
reviewing the report, the DA offered the opinion that, based upon the
information in the report to law enforcement, there would have been insufficient
basis to legally support a request to obtain search or arrest warrants.
and Brooks Brown later reconciled their friendship and, on April 20, 1999,
Harris allegedly told Brown, immediately prior to the shootings, to leave the
school “because he (Harris) liked him (Brown).”
the spring of 1998, Harris began his journal and wrote about how much he hated
mankind and how much he loved his anger.
journal began in April 1998, and he wrote about how much he hated the world and
his belief that he and V (Dylan Klebold) were different because they had
self-awareness. Harris 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 perceived had
ever wronged him.
October 1998, Harris wrote that someone was 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.”
also talked about choices and the fact that he chose to kill.
He went on to say, “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 stated, “I’m full of hate and
I love it.” There was only
one journal entry in 1999 and in it Harris evaluated his and Klebold’s
preparations, to include their weapons and bombs.
He ended by writing, “I hate you
people for leaving me out of so many fun things.”
December 1998, Harris wrote that he would have been a good Marine, that “it
would have given me a reason to be good.”
Whether Harris truly wanted to be a Marine or if he used this as an
excuse to avoid planning for a future he would never have is unknown.
Harris did apply for enlistment in the Marine Corps, but the medication
he was taking disqualified him.
Klebold’s 1998 yearbook, a year before they went on their rampage, Harris
wrote, “God I can’t wait till they
die. I can taste the blood now -
NBK” (Natural Born
know what I hate? …MANKIND!!!!…kill everything…kill everything…”
Harris also drew a gunman standing amongst a sea of dead bodies with
a caption, “The only reason your (sic)
still alive is because someone has decided to let you live.”
also wrote in his own 1998 yearbook. He
wrote on the photographs of almost every student words such as “worthless”,
“die”, and “beat.” As he continued through the yearbook, he simply put X’s on
those students who he did not like. Very
few photos were not marked.
Harris’ 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 wrote, “Good
wombs have born bad sons.”
undated piece of notebook paper was recovered showing a diagram of the Columbine
High School cafeteria with two X’s next to the pillars.
Alongside the diagram was a timeline of how many people were in the
cafeteria just prior to and during the first lunch period.
as Klebold had a written itinerary for April 20, Harris had one as well.
On a piece of paper from his day planner he recorded the plans for the
day. The entry follows:
6:00 meet at KS
7:00 go to Reb’s house
7:15 he leaves to fill propane
I leave to fill gas
8:30 Meet back at his house
made d. bag set up car
10:30 set up 4 things
11:10 set up duffel bags
11:12 wait near cars, gear up
Investigators will never know
exactly when Harris and Klebold verbalized to each other their hate towards
others and their desire to kill. However,
it is clear from his journal that Klebold had those feelings as early as 1997,
and Harris began expressing his thoughts in his journal in April 1998. It is also apparent from their cryptic yearbook messages to
each other that they had already begun their plans for the Columbine shootings
by April 1998 -- a full year earlier.
were also many common themes throughout their writings.
Harris and Klebold both wrote of not fitting in, not being accepted and
their lack of self-esteem. They reflected on natural selection, self-awareness and their
feelings of superiority. They
plotted against all those persons who they found offensive – jocks, girls that
said no, other outcasts or anybody they thought did not accept them.
Most of those teens were unaware that they had ever offended Harris or
and Klebold left behind videotapes documenting many of their plans, their
activities and their philosophies. One of the tapes was almost two hours long and taped on three
separate occasions in March 1999. The
second tape, about 22 minutes in length, was shot on two separate occasions on
April 11 and 12, 1999. The third
tape, 40 minutes long, was taped on eight separate occasions from early April
1999 to the morning of April 20, 1999. Harris
and Klebold taped a tour of Harris’s bedroom and showed off their weapons and
bombs. They recorded each other
conducting dress rehearsals and they taped the drive in Harris’s car to buy
supplies needed for their plans.
talking to the camera, Harris and Klebold laughed at how easy it was to make
other people believe what they wanted them to.
They talked about how “evolved” they were and how they considered
themselves to be “above human.” They
said they were going to be successful because they were going to die and
stressed that they had been planning the Columbine shootings for over eight
months, before all the other school shootings had occurred.
and Harris both talked on camera about the rage and anger that had built up for
years and declared they would destroy the world if they could. Harris asserted that, “There
is nothing that anyone could have done to prevent this.
No one is to blame except me and Vodka.”
He went on to say that their actions were “a
two man war against everyone else.”
were also indications that Harris and Klebold initially planned the shootings to
occur on April 19. They
specifically mentioned Monday and another time said, “Today
is the 11th, eight more days.” They never articulated why they
chose the day they did and never mentioned that April 19 was the anniversary of
Waco, Texas or the Oklahoma City bombing. They
never verbalized that they even knew April 20 is Adolph Hitler’s birthday.
and Klebold seemed to have lived two lives.
Their friends and family described them as normal teenage boys. Others
described them as outcasts. But
they left behind evidence of a much darker and sinister side.
This darker side was an aspect they apparently shared only with each
was also evidence that Harris and Klebold had little concern for the welfare of
their friends and the siblings of their friends, many of whom were in the
cafeteria and library on April 20. In
fact, they mention nonchalantly that some of their friends might die and
casually point out that their families would be devastated but justified it by
The Juvenile Diversion Program is an alternative to prosecution for first-time offenders in the juvenile justice system. When a case is reviewed by a deputy district attorney, he may make a decision to offer a deferred judgement and sentence through the courts with supervision through Diversion. This offer is made if:
the juvenile accepts responsibility and show remorse for the offense;
the offense is non-violent and does not involve the use of a weapon;
the juvenile and his parents want to make reparation to the victims and the community;
there are no prior adjudications.
The term of a deferred adjudication is 12 months. Diversion policy allows for an early termination from diversion on cases that do not involve drugs, burglary, or assault. Cases can be dismissed early if:
there have been no new offenses or law enforcement contacts;
all contract items have been completed;
juveniles have not had any "hot" scans indicating drug or alcohol use;
school reports are average or above with no reports of discipline problems.
Prior to any
termination the diversion officer gathers information from parents, school and
runs a record check. The case is
staffed with the full diversion team.
termination is unusual because most diversion cases do not meet all of these
criteria. An estimated five per cent of cases are terminated before the 12-month