- GOLDEN, Colorado - U.S. officials
made public 2-1/2 hours of chilling videotapes of the two teenage Columbine
High School gunmen bragging about plans to kill as many people as they
could to pay back every slight ever suffered in school.
- The tapes, shown to reporters a day after Time magazine
made the Columbine gunmen the cover story of its latest issue, offer the
fullest reasons yet -- hatred of others, anger at being slighted and despair
at living -- as to why Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, killed 13
people at the school on April 20 before taking their own lives.
- "If you could see all the anger I've stored up for
four years (of high school)," Klebold said in one tape while sitting
on an easy chair in Harris' home as the latter drank from a whiskey bottle
and fondled a rife.
- Klebold turned, facing the stationary camera and said,
"I'm going to kill you all. ... We are going to kill 250 of you. ...
It's humanity that I hate." Harris then added, "I've never been
able to get any pay back."
- Release of the tapes to first Time and then the general
media has infuriated parents. Some criticised the release as coming too
close to Christmas and rekindling tragic feelings.
- Gov. Bill Owens said families should have been shown
the tapes before they "were plastered across the front cover of Time
- Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Jane Hammond
said the information on the tapes was a shock. "We believe it revictimises
and retraumatises our community and our families," she said.
- In the tapes, Klebold and Harris decry middle class life,
make constant racial slurs, apologise to their parents for what they are
about to do and wonder about life after death.
- The two look like typical American teenagers, sitting
in easy chairs, goofing off, using bad language. But the venom spills out
as they claim they've evolved "one step above" human beings.
- Klebold complained about how he was treated in day care
and how freshmen at Columbine even treated him badly, although he was a
senior, about to graduate.
- "I hope death is like you're in a dream state. I
want to spend all my time there," Harris said.
- The tapes also include a tour of Harris' messy bedroom
full of small incendiary devices, pipe bombs, ammunition, a knife whose
case has a swastika on it, shells and clips. He points to various things
on his dusty book shelves and says "thank goodness my parents don't
search my room."
- The parents of both boys have been criticised for not
knowing what their children were up to.
- Just before they left for Columbine High School the fateful
day of April 20, Klebold says on the last tape the two made: "I'm
going to a better place than this. I didn't like life too much."
- The two boys had nothing but praise for their parents
and expressed fear their families would suffer because of what they were
going to do.
- Sheriff's deputy Wayne Holverson said a Time reporter
was allowed to view the videotapes "with the clear understanding that
it was for background purposes only and not to be referenced in the Time
article in any manner."
- But Time magazine strongly disagreed. "The tapes
and the other evidence were given to Time with no restrictions on their
use, so that readers could get a complete picture of the investigation.
No agreement was violated," Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson said
in a statement.
- Sheriff John Stone met with parents on Monday to allow
them to view the tapes. Two parents, Randy and Judy Brown whose son Brooks
had been targeted by Harris on the Internet but not harmed in the attack
on the school, viewed the tapes with reporters.
- When asked outside why they wanted to see the tapes,
Judy Brown, holding back tears said: "To see what we had to see, to
help us through this."