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 Articles on Eric and Dylan

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PostSubject: Articles on Eric and Dylan   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:24 am

NBC News Transcripts, DATELINE NBC (9:00 PM ET),  April 30, 1999, Friday,  3694 words,  THE LOST BOYS; WHO WERE DYLAN KLEBOLD AND ERIC HARRIS AND HOW DID THEY BECOME THE MURDERERS AT COLUMBINE HIGH,  MARGARET LARSON
Copyright 1999 National Broadcasting Co. Inc.
NBC News Transcripts
SHOW: DATELINE NBC (9:00 PM ET)
April 30, 1999, Friday

LENGTH: 3694 words

HEADLINE: THE LOST BOYS; WHO WERE DYLAN KLEBOLD AND ERIC HARRIS
AND HOW DID THEY BECOME THE MURDERERS AT COLUMBINE HIGH

REPORTERS: MARGARET LARSON

BODY:
  THE LOST BOYS

Announcer: From Studio 3B in New York, here is Jane Pauley.

JANE PAULEY: Good evening. What will be the legacy of the shootings at Columbine High and
all the school shootings that came before? Can anything be done to keep a next time from
happening?

(Voiceover) To find some answers, President Clinton today called for a conference on youth
violence, educators, entertainers, Internet experts, and gun manufacturers.

(Voiceover) In Littleton today, we got our first look at the sheriff's command center, where dozens
of investigators are pursuing leads: Were others involved? Where did the killers get their weapons?
Who were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold? And what we're learning about the boys in the black and
white Columbine High School yearbook pictures is beginning to add up to a profile of potential
killers.

Tonight, Columbine students, some speaking for the first time on national television, help us put the
pieces together. Two friends, a leader and a follower. What was driving them toward such a horrific
ending? Here's Mike Taibbi.

(President Clinton speaking; police command center; photos of Harris and Klebold)

THE LOST BOYS

Unidentified Girl [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: These people didn't start trouble. They didn't start fights. They hung out in their
circle of friends and they didn't bother anybody, and nobody bothered them.

MIKE TAIBBI reporting: (Voiceover) The students who knew Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
continue to sift through their memories looking for clues. The two teens who turned into killers may
have been part of an odd group at Columbine High, the so-called Trenchcoat Mafia, but they
weren't really scary. Speaking publicly for the first time, student Mikala Scrodin finds herself
agreeing with most of her classmates.

(Yearbook; yearbook photos of Harris and Klebold; Columbine High School; yearbook photo of
Trenchcoat Mafia; Mikala Scrodin)

Ms. MIKALA SCRODIN: Like, what I see with Eric and Dylan is that they were just--they were
yearning for attention.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Weren't really scary, others added, even though in the past year they'd
sometimes add ominous touches to their black garb.

(Photo of Harris)

Unidentified Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: They did wear swastikas sometimes on their trench coats.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) And would openly praise Hitler and his regime of hatred.

(Footage of Nazis marching before Hitler)

Unidentified Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: They didn't like minorities, and they liked what the Nazis were trying to do.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Even though, for a film class, they starred as gun-toting killers.

(Columbine High; photos of Harris and Klebold)

Girl [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: Their fantasy film was that all the athletes died, that they killed all the athletes.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) And for a poetry class, says classmate Terra Oglesbee, Eric Harris would
craft couplets of doom.

(Photo of Harris)

Ms. TERRA OGLESBEE: You know, just not really like pretty clouds and flowers, it was more like
dark clouds and dead flowers.

TAIBBI: If they weren't that scary to most of their classmates, it's perhaps because Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold, for all the ever darker trappings of their young rebels' poses, didn't seem like the
typical losers at the bottom rung of a high school society. They were good students, and nice looking
to boot, who spent their off hours going bowling, playing video games, planning for college.

(Voiceover) That's why many of their peers were shocked when the killers at Columbine High
turned out to be them, the killers who were somehow able to get four guns, 50 bombs, and an
intricate plan of lethal calculation into a school, executing a teacher and 12 students, injuring dozens,
then turning their shotguns on themselves. Were there any road signs on their individual journeys
toward that terrible final destination?

(Shocked students and parents crying after shootings; SWAT team; stretcher being put into
ambulance; injured students; crime scene tape; photos of Harris and Klebold)

Reverend WILLIAM STONE: He was active in things that young people get involved in, like the
Scouting program and Little League.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Reverend William Stone lived across the street from the Harris' in 1989 when
Eric and his older brother and parents lived in Oscoda, Michigan. Eric had been born in Wichita,
Kansas. But his father, Wayne, an Air Force pilot, moved the family every few years. Reverend
Stone recalled a normal family, and in Eric a friendly, happy nine-year-old.

(Neighborhood; photo of Harris; Oscoda town sign)

Rev. STONE: He was bright. He was also very good at computers at that young age.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) It was all good at the Harris' next stop too, in 1991, at the now closed
Plattsburgh Air Force Base in upstate New York. In the aftermath of the massacre, Eric's friends
poured over the photographs, one in particular to fix their memories of the 11-year-old they knew.

(River; Plattsburgh Air Force Base; teens; group photo including Harris)

Unidentified Girl [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: Him eating scrambled egg pizza in Boston, and he had on like a smile from ear
to ear.

(Voiceover) It was a perfect picture. He looked so incredibly happy.

(Photo of Harris)

Unidentified Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: He was just like the rest of us.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Eric continued with his Scouting and with baseball. Today his Little League
coach can only remember an eager to please, innocent kid from a happy, two-parent family.

(Little League team photo)

Unidentified Man [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: There isn't any way in the world that I could ever conceive that that person
would do this, the person that we know, the Eric Harris that we know. No way.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Dylan Klebold, meanwhile, was another baseball fan and Boy Scout who
spent his whole life in Colorado with his older brother and his parents. His father, Thomas, a
businessman and former geophysicist, and his mother, Sue, an administrator for a disabled students
program. Onetime neighbors Vickey and Randy DeHoff remember a happy family.

(Scouting photo of Klebold; photo of Klebold with friends; Vickey and Randy DeHoff)

Mr. RANDY DEHOFF: They knew what their kids were doing, they cared what their kids were
doing. They were involved, they were there.

Ms. VICKEY DEHOFF: Dylan was just an ordinary, average, happy little guy.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Dylan met Eric when both were in junior high school in 1994. The Harris' had
just moved to Littleton. Friends say from the beginning, Eric was the leader, and Dylan the
follower. They were both young computer whizzes and solid students. And they played recreational
league soccer together, with Eric eventually named team captain. In this home video, seen here for
the first time, he's number seven on the field, described as a good but not great player. And at a
team end of the year banquet, with his hat on backwards and with a smile, one of his rare smiles
according to assistant coach John Shultice.

(Junior high school; computer; footage of Harris playing soccer; footage from team banquet)

Mr. JOHN SHULTICE: A quiet kid, and very stern. You could see that he was one of the kids that
you knew in high school that was intense.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) But though they enjoyed soccer and other sports, they were not good enough
athletes to even go out for Columbine's varsity sports teams. Eric would not follow in the footsteps
of his older brother Kevin, a former varsity football star. Eric and Dylan were never going to join the
jock elite, their school's inner circle. They were outsiders, and saw themselves that way.

(Footage of boys playing soccer; Columbine High; photo of Kevin Harris; kids in school hallway)

Ms. SCRODIN: The jocks didn't like them. They taunted them and teased them and stuff because
of the way they looked.

(Voiceover) There was just so much tension between the groups, kind of like a competition in a
way, and I mean you see it everywhere.

(School bus)

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) After a while it wasn't just jocks the two outsiders said they hated.

(School bike rack; school sign)

Unidentified Girl [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: They hated school, they hated the teachers, they hated just coming to school
every day.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Classmates say the two retreated further and further into a smaller and
smaller world--a world described by how they dressed, mostly all black with long black push coats;
by the music they listened to, German rock groups with their gothic themes of apocalypse and
strike-first violence; and by the computer games they'd play together for hours. Brooks Brown was
a friend of both teens.

(School hall; clip from computer game)

Mr. BROOKS BROWN: I know Eric loved playing Doom. I know Eric loved playing, like, Blood,
and all of these other first-person shooters for computers.

TAIBBI: Millions of teen-agers play those games or listen to that music. Many kids say they hate
their teachers or their classmates, or one clique or another. Many kids do see themselves as
outcasts, or behave in a way that makes them outcasts for awhile. But for Eric Harris and Dylan
Klebold, isolation from the mainstream was not a passing phase. Then, a little over a year ago, as
shown by Harris' diary entries about the planned assault, the quality of their anger changed.

(Voiceover) On March 25th of last year, Harris and Klebold pleaded guilty to felony theft and
trespass, admitting that two months earlier they'd stolen some electronic equipment from a van. As
minors, they were sentenced to a one-year diversion program, a youthful version of probation. In
audiotapes of that diversion hearing, Magistrate Jack DeVita first questions Harris.

(Graphic of court documents; audiotape recorder; photos of Harris and DeVita shown during playing
of tape)

Magistrate JACK DeVITA: (From tape) Now this was the first time you went out and engaged in
this kind of activity, isn't it?

Mr. ERIC HARRIS: (From tape) Yes, sir.

Magistrate DeVITA: (From tape) Why don't I believe that?

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Then the magistrate addresses Klebold, who says he's a B-minus or C-plus
student.

Magistrate DeVITA: (From tape) I bet you're an A student, if you put--put the brainpower to the
paperwork, aren't you?

Mr. DYLAN KLEBOLD: (From tape) I don't know, sir.

Magistrate DeVITA: (From tape) You don't know? Well, when the hell are you going to find out?
You got one year of school left.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Bobbi Spicer supervised the diversion program to which both teens were
assigned. She says it seemed they'd gotten the message, staying in school and even finishing the
program six weeks ahead of schedule because they followed all the rules perfectly.

(Bobbi Spicer working)

Ms. BOBBI SPICER: They successfully completed everything, and they completed it timely or
early. They were very compliant.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) But neither Spicer nor Magistrate DeVita later knew that the two youths
were angrier than ever following their first encounter with the criminal justice system. Friends say
it's because a week after their guilty pleas, Klebold and Harris watched as that same system dealt
differently, in their view, with a group of jocks.

(People walking in front of courthouse window; courthouse)

Mr. ANDREW BEARD: They thought that they should've, I guess, been doing jail time, just like
kicked out of school or suspended for a week.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) It was April 4th of '98, when five Columbine students, including four
athletes, were charged with burglarizing and trashing an apartment in a revenge attack that resulted
in thousands of dollars in damages. The charges against two of the students were reduced to
misdemeanors. But the other three defendants, including state wrestling champ Rocky
Hoffschneider, would plead guilty to felony burglary, and be sentenced to four years probation.
Hoffschneider spent three days in jail and was briefly suspended by his high school, his lawyer says,
though he did go on to graduate with offers of college athletic scholarships. Andrew Beard says his
friend Dylan Klebold was furious over what he saw as a double standard for jocks, not only in
school, but outside as well.

(Graphic of court documents and mug shots of students; Beard walking; Columbine High)

Mr. BEARD: He just went off, he was just like, 'Oh, jocks can do this and that and have--don't have
to worry about what will happen because they just--they can do anything they want.'

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Eric Harris' long-simmering anger now began to include specific threats.
Student Brooks Brown says that after last spring, Harris used his existing Web site and the Internet
for more than just games.

(Photo of Harris; Harris' Web page)

Mr. BROWN: On his Web page he had, 'The top 10 things I hate most,' and I was number one. He
gave out my address and phone number, and said how 'This guy, I'm going to kill him, I'm going to
get a gun.'

(Voiceover) He threatened me. He told me he was going to kill me. He threatened my friends.

(Photo of Harris)

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) When Brooks' parents heard this, they didn't sit idly by. They say they twice
complained to authorities, a claim confirmed by this police blotter item that appeared in the local
paper in March of '98, a father reported that his son had been threatened. The threats were right
there on Eric Harris' Web page. When Judy Brown printed out some of the more violent passages
and gave them to the police, at least one detective said there was reason to worry.

(Judy Brown; newspaper front page; police blotter item; Harris' Web page; sheriff's department)

Ms. JUDY BROWN: He called in his bomb specialist. The bomb specialist showed us what a bomb
would look like, a pipe bomb, so we could look around our yard and under our cars. He was quite
concerned.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) In fact, it was clear from Harris' Web page that his rage was boiling over.
Here are some passages, minus the expletives. "My belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am the
law, if you don't like it, you die. God, I can't wait till I can kill you people. I'll just go to some
downtown area in some big city and blow up and shoot everything I can. Feel no remorse, no sense
of shame. You all better hide because I'm coming for everyone soon, and I will be armed to the
teeth, and I will shoot to kill because dead people don't argue!"

(Voiceover) And how did the Browns find their way to Harris' private Web page? It turns out, Judy
Brown says, that the person who told her son about the Web page was none other than Dylan
Klebold, Eric Harris' best friend.

(Graphic of Harris' Web page printouts; drawings; Judy Brown at home; photo of Klebold)

Ms. BROWN: He said whoever gave it to him was afraid of Eric, and please don't ever tell who
gave--who had given the information. And until this happened, I didn't know that it was, in fact,
Dylan Klebold that had given my son access to the information.

(Voiceover) Now that I look back, I think that maybe he saw it going in a bad direction, maybe that
was a cry for help.

(Photo of Klebold)

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) But Judy Brown says the police did nothing, and her own fears subsided
when her son told her he and Eric Harris had made peace and resumed a friendship. What few
people knew, though, was that for Eric Harris, writing about violence and guns was no longer
enough. During an argument outside a 7-11 last July 4th, witnesses say Harris or one of his friends
allegedly flashed a gun, a pistol grip shotgun. And Harris reportedly told several classmates he'd
begun assembling a whole arsenal of guns and fireworks and bomb components. He told Brooks
Brown that it wasn't just talk.

(Sheriff's department; Brooks Brown; photo of Harris; Harris' Web site; photo of Harris; 7-11;
Harris home; photo of Harris)

Mr. BROWN: He was building pipe bombs in his basement, and he was telling us about them and
how he was detonating them and using fireworks by peoples' houses, just people he didn't like.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) At the same time, Harris and Klebold became more brazen about their
claimed neo-Nazi affections.

(Photos of Harris and Klebold; Nazi swastika)

Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: They spoke German to each other and stuff, and wore clothing sometimes with swastikas
on it and stuff.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) They became more offhand about their obsession with guns, one classmate
recalling a poetry exercise by Harris.

(Guns; photo of Harris)

Unidentified Girl [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: We had to pick an object that we were going to be. He chose a bullet. And we
had to choose a best friend, and Eric chose that his best friend was a gun.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Still, many, if not most of their classmates, saw it all as shock value stuff, the
poems, the essays about "Rambo"-style annihilation, the home video depicting their destruction of the
jocks. Besides, Klebold and Harris were going ahead with their college applications, just like any
seniors. They began working at this pizza parlor, their on-the-job performance just fine. They had no
trouble making their 6:30 in the morning bowling class. Dylan was offered a job at a computer store.
He was accepted by the University of Arizona. And he would even take a date to the senior prom.
So what about all the talk of guns? What about the air of menace, the swastikas?

(Photo of Harris; photo of Klebold; college application; college campus; pizza parlor; bowling alley;
computer store; University of Arizona campus; guns; swastika)

Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: I just thought, you know, maybe they liked this stuff for a day.

Unidentified Boy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: I knew he was, like, setting off bombs out in the field and stuff, but I know I've had my--I've done my fair share of some of that and, you know, just grab the big firecrackers, go watch them blow up. But it was no big deal.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) But for Eric Harris, the leader between the two, the news was bad and
getting worse by the day. He was turned down by every college he'd applied to. The girl he asked to
the prom said no. And on April 15th, five days before the massacre, Harris tried to sign up for the
Marines and was rejected. The reason--he was taking an anti-depressant drug called Luvox, which
is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Harris' friends reportedly wonder if he stopped using
the drug in his last days, though Brooks Brown says he never stopped ranting about guns.

(Photo of Harris; footage of emergency workers handling person on stretcher; Marines recruiting
center; three medications; guns)

Mr. BROWN: He was talking about how when he turns 18--he turned 18 and how he was going to
get a gun and how he just wished there wasn't a stupid waiting period.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Two days later, April 17th, neighbors recall loud noises coming from Harris'
garage when it's believed he and Klebold were putting together pipe bombs for their arsenal. And on
the 20th of April, Eric Harris, with Dylan Klebold at his side, stopped waiting. Could the answer to
the terrible puzzle be that simple? That two kids who saw themselves as the losers in a double
standard high school world moved from virtual violence in computer scenarios to planning the real
thing when they felt that double standard existed beyond the school grounds? Dr. Erika Freeman, a
psychiatrist who specializes in treating creative and troubled minds, never met the killers, but has
thought about the last year of their lives.

(Harris' home and neighborhood; footage of Columbine scenes; photos of Klebold and Harris side
by side; computer game; Dr. Erika Freeman)

TAIBBI: Their behavior was different by a degree than it had been the previous year?

Dr. ERIKA FREEMAN: It's the difference between temperature and fever. And nobody
recognized when the fever started.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Today the "if only" questions--"if only I'd known what they were really
thinking and doing"--are haunting to so many people. Eric Harris' parents are in seclusion, but Dylan
Klebold's father Tom reportedly lamented, 'It can't be. My son's not like this. He's not violent.' While
his mother, Sue, according to Judy Brown, who was with her when the news broke, struggled to
understand her son's explosive relationship with Harris.

(Footage of Columbine High scenes; Harris' home; photos of Klebold)

Ms. BROWN: They were afraid he was some way connected because he was a friend of Eric's,
but they couldn't imagine the connection in the violent way.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Others recall what they saw in a backward search for the clues they wish
they'd seen, like the magistrate who sentenced Harris and Klebold to probation last March.

(Footage of SWAT team members approaching school behind fire truck; photos of Klebold and
Harris)

Magistrate DeVITA: I didn't see any red flags. I didn't see any markers. I didn't see any attitude. I
didn't see any dysfunction in the relationship with the boys.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) And to the supervisor whose department released the two from probation.

(Spicer working at desk)

Ms. SPICER: We've spent agonizing time. Even over the weekend we were calling each other and
saying, 'OK, so what about this and what about that?' and 'Maybe we should try this.' We're really
trying hard to see what we could have done.

TAIBBI: But Dr. Freeman says, by then, it was probably already too late.

Dr. FREEMAN: They were sick. And they had the kind of sickness that we never catch. And they
are never caught until they do something horrible.

TAIBBI: (Voiceover) Horrible, of course, does not come near to describing what they did. For days,
we have watched a litany of unspeakable grief, a teacher and 14 children going to their rest instead
of celebrating the richness of another spring. Who could think to author mayhem on this scale? Who
could actually do it, and for what reasons that anyone could understand? Eric Harris and Dylan
Klebold took with them whatever answers they might have had when they turned their guns on
themselves, a final act to make the pain of grieving deeper still.

(Footage of injured persons, memorials, people mourning at Columbine; funeral service; photo of
Isaiah Shoels)

JANE PAULEY: Tomorrow, students from Columbine High and other local schools are planning
to protest outside the Denver hotel where the National Rifle Association is scheduled to meet. The
NRA scaled back its long-planned convention in Denver after the massacre, but it wouldn't cancel
it.

Announcer: This is DATELINE Friday for April 30th, with reports tonight from chief medical
correspondent Dr. Bob Arnot, Margaret Larson, and Mike Taibbi.

Coming up next, he's a husband living with five wives and living outside the law.

MARGARET LARSON reporting: You spent a lot of years feeling pretty sure the law would not
come after you. How confident are you now?

Mr. TOM GREEN: Not nearly as confident. A lot more nervous.

Announcer: After decades of secrecy, are prosecutors taking a new look at polygamy?

(Announcements)

LANGUAGE: English

LOAD-DATE: May 2, 1999
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on Eric and Dylan   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:33 am

Killer friendship
Colorado shooter Eric Harris' old middle school classmates remember a normal kid, not an outcast
By AMANDA LEHMERT and JESSICA MAJERUS


In a town of 25,000 people, no one suspects the kid
she sits next to in class may someday be a mass
murderer.

At least Abi Tenebaum and Jessica Sapel never
thought Eric Harris -- now one of the infamous
Columbine High shooters -- would cause such terror
and devastation.

Harris, who with his friend Dylan Klebold gunned
down a dozen fellow students and a teacher before
killing themselves in an April 20 attack at their high
school in Littleton, Colo., was a former middle school
classmate of Tenebaum and Sapel's in Plattsburgh,
N.Y.

Tenebaum, now a 17-year-old senior at Mayo High
School in Rochester, Minn. and Sapel, an 18-year-old
senior in Plattsburgh, each knew Harris when his
family lived on the local Air Force base.

Plattsburgh, on the western shore of Lake Champlain
in the northernmost part of New York, is less than 25
miles from the Canadian border.

Tenebaum said Harris was a "normal sixth grader,"
and "not one of the outcasts."

Sapel called Harris a "good kid" and "sweet."

He "never struck me as someone who would do this,"
said Sapel.

Although there have been reports that Harris and
Klebold chose the date because it was Hitler's birthday
and singled out a black student and athletes as victims
for their savage attack, both teenagers said when
Harris lived in Plattsburgh he never showed signs of
any hatred toward those groups.

According to Tenebaum, Harris dated a Jewish girl,
Sarah Davis.

Davis and Harris apparently remained friends after
Harris left town, exchanging messages via e-mail.

Contacted recently in Plattsburgh, Davis didn't want to
talk about Harris.

"It's been difficult," she said.

Sapel said she didn't believe the news that Harris had
targeted a black student. She said Harris' two best
friends in Plattsburgh were an Asian student and a
black student.

Harris was also an active athlete who played Little
League in the town.

Tenebaum said that Harris associated with "preps," but
said he wasn't "an annoying prick."

Sapel can't imagine how this gentle middle schooler
turned into a trench coat toting criminal, but she thinks
Harris began having problems after his family moved
from New York to Colorado, during their seventh
grade year.

"It didn't happen to him here (in Plattsburgh)," Sapel
said. "None of us can imagine what happened."

In Plattsburgh, Harris was a "nice, normal kid" who
wore "jeans, t-shirts, and sweat shirts," Sapel said.

If any group of students in the country have stopped to
think twice about the massacre in Columbine, it's the
students of Plattsburgh.

When she heard from a local newspaper reporter about
Harris' role in the killings, Sapel said, her mouth just
dropped. She said she was amazed that "something
like this could happen to someone I know."

At first, Sapel said, getting attention from the national
media who came to the town to talk about the
incident, "was kinda exciting."

But the attention soon became too much.

Sapel said she felt like telling the media to "go away."

"We don't want to talk about this. It isn't a news story,
it's a tragedy," she said.

Now Sapel said teenagers in her town are wondering
what might have happened "if [Harris] had stayed
here" instead of moving to Colorado just five years
ago.
________________________________________
"We're glad it didn't happen to us," said Sapel. "It
could have been us."



_________________
We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus; That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.-Charles Bukowski
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on Eric and Dylan   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:43 am

Shooter Harris' father walks straight and narrow path
DICK FOSTER
Scripps Howard News Service
Published Tuesday, April 27, 1999

LITTLETON, Colo. -- Wayne N. Harris wore pilots wings, an Air Force meritorious service medal and two Air Force commendation medals. His son, Eric, wore a black trench coat and swastikas.

There are few clues to explain this divergence in their paths.

Wayne N. Harris and his wife Kathy raised another son, Kevin, who is described by a former Columbine football coach as "one of the nicest, most sincere people I've come across."

According to the University of Colorado directory, Kevin Harris is a junior majoring in kinesiology, the study of human muscular movements.

"I can't say enough about Kevin," said coach Andy Lowry, who coached Kevin as a tight end and kicker for the Columbine team several years ago. "There are no holes in Kevin."

He did not know Eric Harris at all.

"Kevin is very bright," Lowry added.

So was Eric. And, by all accounts, so is their father.

Wayne N. Harris had the brains and leadership ability that the Air Force put to use in some of its most important programs, including development of the B-1B bomber and its newest electronic warfare aircraft now in use over Kosovo.

Harris was more of a technical expert in the officer corps than one of its swaggering fighter pilots. But when the Air Force was looking to develop new planes, it called on him.

Records provided by the National Personnel Records Center on Monday said Harris was 24 when he entered the Air Force in Denver as an enlisted man in 1973. Only 3-1/2 months later, after finishing work on a bachelor's degree, he was given his officer's commission and sent into pilot's training.

Harris flew refueling tankers out of Fairchild, Wash., and Wichita, Kan., but quickly climbed the Air Force ladder to instructor and check pilot positions. Nine years into his career, he became a research and test pilot in programs to develop and modify Air Force planes.

In 1985, he was tagged to work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, on the EC-18, the Air Force's latest electronic warfare plane. Harris was also placed in charge of the technical orders section during development of weapons systems for the B-1B bomber.

The Air Force awarded Harris its Meritorious Service Medal for his work on the two planes.

Harris then moved to the Strategic Air Command in 1989, where he piloted tankers out of Wurtsmith, Mich., and became a flight instructor and trainer. He retired in 1996 and moved to Littleton.

Harris took a job with Flight Safety Services Corp., which has contracts with the Defense Department for several programs that include computer-driven electronic flight simulations.

When the family moved to Colorado, they lived next door to Linda Pollock and her family.

Wayne and Kathy were "very nice people. If I could talk to them I would say, 'Please don't think you're bad parents.' "

Four years ago, Pollock's daughter, Sarah, would walk with Eric to Ken Caryl Middle School. Eric was new to the area and Sarah wanted to help him make new friends. Sarah told her mother that Eric was "preppy and a dork," but was otherwise a nice boy.

Pollock said she is alarmed at much of the angry talk aimed at the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Kelbold. "I don't blame the parents," she said. "If they (children) don't want you to find or see something, you're not going to find or see it."

Having raised five teenagers, Pollock said, "you cannot always choose what your kid is going to be."

------

(Dick Foster is a reporter for the Denver Rocky Mountain News in Colorado.)

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PostSubject: Re: Articles on Eric and Dylan   Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:51 am


A boy with many sides

By Bill Briggs and Jason Blevins
Denver Post Staff Writers


May 2 - There were the bullets - the slugs he fired into mountain pine trees last fall for fun and all those rounds he gleefully sprayed into dozens of his classmates 12 days ago. No one disputes that.

There were his racist ramblings, the Internet death lists, the bedroom-made bombs he nicknamed "Peltro" and "Pazzie." And there was that seething, secret hunger to "just kill." Those are the facts. That is the profile.

But two weeks before Eric Harris stormed Columbine High School with guns in his hands, bombs in his pockets and payback on his mind, his biggest worry was his seizure-wracked dog. The sick pooch was all he talked about on a recent date, a friend says.

Even as the clock ticked down to his long-planned, self-appointed zero hour, Harris was smiling, rolling strikes and trading happy "high fives" with other teens at their weekly Friday night bowling party. Two weeks later, some of those same kids said he was throwing the high fives with his best friend, Dylan Klebold, as they summarily executed 12 fellow students and one teacher.

At work, Harris could be a cut up, talking in funny voices and telling jokes. At school, he could be an inspired student and writer, hurling his hand in the air to offer his take on Shakespeare. He told girls they looked nice. He escorted friends to class. He gave one teacher a Christmas present. He had a contagious laugh. He talked about building a better future.

"I think he was the greatest actor I've ever known because he never showed me anything, never deviated from the character I knew - a bright, smiling kid," says friend and fellow Columbine student Jennifer LaPlante, 18.

Eric Harris was a killer, certainly cold-blooded, probably deranged. But to simply boil an 18-year-old high school senior down to a soulless, Nazi-loving monster is too easy, too clean. It misses the point: If most kids have two sides, Harris had 10 - some charming, some spiteful, one lethal.

What made him snap? Was it his rejection by the Marine Corps five days before the April 20 massacre? Was it a decision before the shootings to stop taking his anti-psychotic drugs? Was it years of schoolyard taunts? Was it life under the shadow of a successful brother or a decorated military father? Answers to these questions might explain the unexplainable.

But his parents, Wayne and Katherine Harris, have declined repeated interview requests from The Denver Post. They left their home in unincorporated Jefferson County after the shootings, hired an attorney and urged their friends and co-workers to avoid reporters. They also have refused to talk with investigators unless granted immunity.

Interviews with more than two dozen close friends and classmates offer a chilling portrait of an outwardly normal but shy teenager who suddenly careened into a world of hate and violence.

Eric David Harris was born on April 9, 1981, in Wichita, Kan., where his dad was working at the Boeing Military Airplane Co. Wayne Harris already was an officer and a heavily decorated pilot lauded for a cool hand during airborne refueling missions.

In 1983, Wayne and Kathy and their sons, Kevin, then 5, and Eric, moved to Beavercreek, Ohio, where Harris flew for the 4952nd Test Squadron at Wright Air Force Base.

Eric attended first and second grade at Valley Elementary School in Beavercreek and his father continued collecting medals. Harris' flying "skill and leadership" helped in the testing of strategic missile and space systems, Air Force records show. He earned the meritorious service medal, four oak leaf clusters, two bronze service stars and an award for small arms marksmanship.

His youngest boy would aspire to be a military man too, but would also develop a twisted love for combat gore and battlefield violence.

In 1989, Wayne Harris, still flying KC-135 refueling tankers, was transferred to the Wurtsmith Air Force base in Oscoda, Mich., a small city near the shore of Lake Huron. Instead of living on base, he bought a two-story, Cape Cod-style home in a comfortable subdivision next to Cedar Lake.

"I just remember they wanted the children to have a normal, off-base relationship in a normal community," says the Rev. Bill Stone, a pastor who lived across the street. "They were just great neighbors - friendly, outgoing, caring."

Wayne Harris, a Scoutmaster and baseball coach, got elected to the nine-member Lake Shores Property Owners Association. Kathy Harris was a stay-at-home mom. The family lived on a wooded lot on a street where deer often graze in the flower gardens and kids splash around at the neighborhood beach club. After work, Wayne Harris shot baskets with his two boys. Eric Harris attended third and fourth grades at Cedar Lake Elementary School. But their stay ended when Wurtsmith was shut down at the end of 1991 and Wayne Harris was transferred to the air base in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

He served two years with the 380th Operations Support Squadron at the upstate base. While there, Eric Harris attended Stafford Middle School for fifth and sixth grades. As a kid from the base, his friends were a diverse bunch and included some of the same minorities he allegedly would target as a teenager.

"His best friends on the base were ... an Asian and ... a black kid," said 18-year-old Mike Condo, who played Little League baseball with Harris and joined him on a whale-watching trip to Boston around 1993.

Harris is remembered in Plattsburgh as a "normal" 12-year-old, though so timid he struggled to communicate even on the ball field. At the plate, he rarely swung at pitches, preferring to draw walks, a coach says.

"(Eric) was the shyest out of everybody," says Brenden LaPier, a former teammate. "Eric was kind of the total opposite of his brother. I don't really think he wanted to play baseball all that much. It was more of a parent thing."

In the fall of 1993, military cutbacks were about to hit Plattsburgh, so Major Wayne Harris decided to retire after 20 years of service. He moved his family to Littleton, renting a home in the 7000 block of West Elmhurst Avenue.

It's not clear why they chose Colorado, but it ended a lifetime of military moves for Eric Harris. In his two decades in the Air Force, Wayne Harris held 11 different positions at six different bases from Oklahoma to New York. Eric went to five different schools.

Now a civilian, Wayne Harris took a job at Flight Safety in Englewood, where he trained pilots to fly large refueling aircraft. Kathy Harris worked part time at a catering company on West Hampden Avenue.

Kevin Harris enrolled at Columbine as a freshman. Two years later, the older brother would blossom on the football team as a kicker and reserve tight end. Now a 20-year-old junior and kinesiology major at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Kevin Harris declined to comment.

But his little brother had to make friends all over again in another state. Eric Harris enrolled at Ken Caryl Middle School. One of his classmates was Dylan Klebold.

After school, Harris played kickball in the street with other kids and jumped on the neighbor's trampoline. He also followed the new baseball team in town, the Colorado Rockies.

In 1996, Wayne Harris bought a $180,000 home on a cul-de-sac overlooking Chatfield Reservoir in the tidy Columbine Knolls subdivision.

Neighborhood kids remember Eric Harris playing street hockey in front of his house. He'd help the family with yardwork on weekends. When he got his driver's license and a 1986 Honda, registered under his father's name, he'd drive slowly and wave to neighbors.

A talent for computers and a love of video games like Doom quickly drew Harris to teenage neighbor Brooks Brown. A fellow freshman, Brown liked Harris' quirky sense of humor and marveled at his keyboard skills.

In just two years, the two friends would temporarily split and their nasty feud would play a role in Eric Harris' unraveling. Yet even in 1996, signs of strangeness already were creeping in.

Harris, still tongue-tied and meek, took fellow freshman Tiffany Typher to the Columbine homecoming dance. He was nervous and quiet, she remembers. Nothing odd - until she broke up with him a few days later and Harris faked his suicide.

"He had his friend take me over to his house. When I went there, he was laying with his head on a rock, and there was fake blood around him, and he was acting like he was dead," Typher says.

Harris grew more confidant and outspoken in his sophomore year yet kept to the fringes of the Columbine social circles. He and Brown "were outcasts, kids who didn't fit in," says Randy Brown, Brooks' father. "It is a school of cliques and the athletes are the biggest, toughest group." Harris watched and grew angry as student athletes pushed their way to the head of the lunch line every day. Sometimes he challenged them verbally. Soon he was one of the jocks' favorite punching bags. He was pushed against lockers and called names. like "fag" and "pussy."

Late in his sophomore year, in early 1997, Harris took a $6.50-an-hour cooking job at Blackjack Pizza in a strip mall near his house. He fretted openly about not having a girlfriend and was "just a lonely kid," a co-worker says.

Klebold also landed a job at the pizza place. Some friends think Harris saw a lot of himself in the painfully shy Dylan.

The two teens quickly became inseparable, friends say. Every school day, Klebold parked his beat-up BMW next to Harris' Honda. Klebold sat in front of Harris in creative writing class and next to him in their video class. Fellow students say Harris often initiated talk between the two about music, computers, or - eventually - his racial dislikes. Klebold simply followed along.

"Eric had a persuasion," says classmate Jeniffer Harmon. "I think Eric would always tell Dylan that people never liked him and he was his only true friend." But there may have been a similar influence on Harris. Another Columbine student working at Blackjack was Chris Morris, 17, a member of the schools' Trench Coat Mafia, a small band of misfits who sometimes wore long, black coats and found refuge as fellow outsiders.

One co-worker says Harris began dressing in darker clothes like Morris, even smoking his brand of cigarettes - Camels. Klebold, Harris and Morris became a tight threesome. By their senior year, they would bowl together on Friday nights at Belleview Lanes. And they shared other tastes.

Co-worker Kristen Kuiken, 17, a junior at Columbine, says she sometimes heard the three boys talking about weaponry and explosives. "They were fascinated with things like that." Morris, 17, could not be reached for comment. He has hired a lawyer who says his client had nothing to do with the Columbine rampage.

Harris and Klebold began hanging out with the Trench Coat Mafia in their junior year. One group member says she never sensed anything dangerous about the pair.

"Eric was like the little Christian kid out of all of us, just a good little kid at school," the girl says. But his association with the group seemed to coincide with troubling changes in Harris' behavior his junior year. In January 1998, he and Klebold were arrested for breaking into a van and stealing $400 worth of electronic equipment.

Friends now call it a "goof," barely more than a prank. And Harris was outwardly ashamed of the bust, those close to him say. He only talked of the incident in whispers.

He and Klebold were ordered to perform community service work and attend an anger-management seminar. A termination report on Harris later described him as "a very bright young man who is likely to succeed in life." A B-plus student, he often flashed that intellect in classes. His favorite, friends say, was composition class, taught just after the lunch period by Jason Webb.

"Any time Mr. Webb would ask us all questions on Monday, we'd all be slouching down, but Eric would always answer," says classmate LaPlante. "Mr. Webb would ask, 'What's a preposition?' and Eric would know. Or, 'What's the meaning of a reading from Shakespeare?' and Eric would know.

"I just remember him as the kid in the corner with his hand up all the time." Webb declined to comment.

Out in the student parking lot, Harris would sit on the trunk of his car at lunch time and joke with Klebold or other friends. When LaPlante walked by, he would playfully throw french fries at her.

But inside Columbine's hallways or in the cafeteria, Harris and the other trench-coaters were harassed by jocks, friends say.

"Everywhere they went, they were taunted and teased about how they dressed ... ," says Typher, the girl Harris went out with briefly his freshman year. "You could tell he'd get upset by it.

"What might have driven him to do this might have been the way the jocks treated him. If you're called a psycho all your life, you're going to live out that reputation." Adds longtime friend Brown: "People hated him. He felt it probably more than others because he was a really intelligent kid. They'd throw cigarettes at us out of cars as we walked past." What perhaps added fuel to the abuse, Brown says, was that Harris was outspoken about how he dressed and who he hung out with. No peer pressure was going to force him to change.

Harris grew more unhappy and distant at school, friends say. But at the Friday night bowling parties, he would relax and come alive. "Rock 'N Bowl," as it's called, was his social life. At Belleview Lanes, 16 students would crowd together on four lanes to bowl and smoke cigarettes.

They kept score on the electronic monitors overhead and the team of Harris, Klebold and Morris often won. Harris' style was odd: he would pick the lightest ball in the place, an eight-pounder, then heave it from his chest down the alley. It was loud but he got strikes.

Back at school on Mondays, though, the teasing would continue. Beginning late in his junior year, Harris began plowing some of his anger into the Internet.

In writings on his Web page - a compilation believed to have been launched sometime in late 1997 - Harris seemed to be opening his dark side to the cyber world. The predominant emotion was rage.

At the same time, he threw himself into violent video games, becoming an expert at the games Doom and Duke Nukem, where players use guns to kill as many creatures as possible. His musical tastes fell into the realm of industrial, German techno and shock bands that spewed hate rhetoric.

Boyhood pranks, like wrapping a neighbor's trees in toilet paper or lighting firecrackers on a doorstep, became military-like "missions" and included shooting BB guns at houses.

According to "mission logs" posted by Harris on his Web page, he and "VoDKa," a nickname for Dylan Klebold would vandalize the neighborhood, lighting firecrackers, exploding batteries and stealing road signs. One road sign was still hanging in Harris' garage when investigators searched his home.

"We are more of a gang. We plan out and execute missions," Harris wrote. "Anyone pisses us off, we do a little deed to their house. We have many enemies in our school, therefore, we make many missions." Under a file on his Web site called "pissed," Harris' growing anger flares further.

"I will rig up explosives all over a town and detonate each one of them at will after I mow down a whole f---ing area full of you snotty a-- rich mother f---ing high strung godlike attitude having worthless piece of s--- whores," he wrote at age 17. "I don't care if I live or die in the shootout. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you p---- as I can, especially a few people, like Brooks Brown."

After a bush was burned and the doorknobs glued at one neighborhood house, Harris blamed Brown. But Brown had been grounded at the time and his mother, Judy, told police it was Harris who pulled the prank. Authorities told Wayne and Kathy Harris to watch their son.

Eric Harris later apologized to the Browns, though they say it seemed utterly insincere. Meanwhile, Harris fumed. On his Web page, he began threatening Brooks Brown. The Brown family were tipped off about Harris' rantings and made printouts of his Internet writings.

The tipster? Dylan Klebold, who as a little boy played with Brooks Brown in a muddy ditch at the end of their street. He was risking a lot by warning an old pal, friends say now.

The Browns gave copies of Harris' Web pages to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. That was a year before the Columbine rampage. No action was taken. But on Friday, officials said the Browns had refused to let their son's name be used in the investigation, and they also had declined to file a formal complaint that would have allowed detectives to question Harris. In April 1998, days after the Browns gave those printouts to the sheriff's department, authorities say Harris began keeping a handwritten diary with explicit plans for destroying his high school on April 20, 1999, the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday. He drew diagrams of the building and made notes about the lighting in hallways and wrote that at 11 a.m. the largest number of students would be in the cafeteria.

That's where investigators would find the biggest of 51 bombs assembled by Harris and Klebold - a 20-pound device fueled by a propane tank. It never went off.

Other "mission logs" written by Harris and later recovered by authorities describe the progress of Harris and Klebold's bomb-building efforts during their junior year. One entry designates names like "Peltro" and "Pazzie" for several bombs "created entirely by scratch by" Harris and Klebold.

His computer talents also landed Harris a girlfriend. Through an on-line chat last summer, he met a local teenager and began dating her around July or August. He even took her to a Columbine dance during the fall semester, friends say.

But a fresh school year didn't seem to buoy Harris' spirits at school. The taunting continued. He seemed more depressed than ever to some.

Sources have confirmed that Harris was taking the prescription drug Luvox, often used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Patients are told that combining Luvox with alcohol could cause extreme agitation. Harris was known to drink Jack Daniels whiskey.

"No, I am not crazy, crazy is just a word, to me it has no meaning," Harris wrote on his Web page in March 1998.

None of Harris' friends say they knew he'd been diagnosed with a mental illness.

It could explain, however, why during his senior year Harris seemed to fall deeper into dark infatuations with guns and racist views, other students say.

Harris began wearing hats and shirts with German slogans. At "Rock 'N Bowl" he and Klebold sometimes traded "Sig Heils" after rolling strikes.

In his morning video class, he and Klebold made four videos during the fall semester. In one, the boys pretend to attack a house with toy guns, searching the rooms and firing at empty beds. In another, they were taped while in the mountains, shooting real guns - possibly the ones used in the Columbine rampage - at pine trees, cans and other targets.

"Nobody really paid attention to it because it was pretty much normal for these guys. They were so obsessed with military stuff," says Columbine student Jon Ungerland, who sat next to Harris and Klebold in the video class.

"I could hear their conversations. Eric would be the main one talking and Dylan would follow along," Ungerland says. "Eric would say, "You know, I wish we could kill all the n------.' They were extremely racist."

But by this spring, close friends say Harris was outwardly trying to soften his edges. He even made up with his old pal Brown, who he would later warn to "get out of here" as Harris walked into Columbine that Tuesday morning.

"(The jocks) just wouldn't let him change," Brown says. "That's what really sucks about this. He became a really nice guy. A friend went on a date with him two weeks ago and all Eric talked about was how his dog was having seizures."

It's not clear how badly Harris wanted to follow his father's footsteps into the military - or whether his dad was pushing him to enlist. But unknown to most friends, Harris was trying to get into the Marine Corps.

Just five days before the attack, however, the Marines rejected Harris' application because he was taking medication and had lied about it in an earlier screening interview. He never talked to friends about going to college despite taking college-level courses.

Some friends of Harris told The New York Times they believed he might have tried to go off the anti-psychotic drug, maybe after that Marine rejection. Two nights later, on April 17, Klebold took a friend, Robyn Anderson, to the prom. Harris didn't have a date but showed up at the after-prom party in the high school's cafeteria. He played casino games with other members of the Trench Coat Mafia. He got angry.

"He was at the game where you throw baseballs at milk bottles and Eric picked up all three balls at once and threw them. He was getting really violent, shouting and stuff," Ungerland recalls. "The game coordinator told him to calm down. Eric got mad and walked away."

On Tuesday morning, the day he had been planning for at least a year, Harris and Klebold showed up for their 6:30 a.m. bowling class at Belleview Lanes, a friend says. At 11 a.m., they drove to school and parked in their assigned spaces.

They unloaded two black duffel bags filled with guns and bombs from their trunks, walked over a small hill outside Columbine and started shooting kids. Four hours later, Harris and Klebold were found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the school library. Around them lay the bullet-riddled bodies of eight young men and women. Five more bodies lay in other spots inside and outside the school.

"Two weekends ago, before all this started, he was talking about his future," Kuiken recalls. "I had quit (Blackjack Pizza) and we he was like, 'Yeah, once I graduate I think I'm gonna quit too. But not now.'...

" 'When I graduate I'm going to get a job that's better for my future.' "

Denver Post staff writers Patricia Callahan, Mark Obmascik and Kevin Simpson and Theo Stein of the Berkshire Eagle contributed to this report.

Copyright 1999 The Denver Post. All rights reserved.
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