Authorities Release
Chilling Columbine Videotapes
By Judith Crosson

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 magazine."
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."


This Site Served by TheHostPros