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 John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....

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tfsa47090
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PostSubject: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:47 pm

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Very interesting article from a reporter who says he viewed the basement tapes.

In my personal opinion it is one of the most important articles related to the basement tapes that I have ever read.

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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:09 pm

What is so powerful about this piece to me is the last part, which I will leave as a quote here in case we ever lose the article's original.. This was the part that originally left me breathless for a second thinking about this alternate reality.

Quote :
At one point Klebold was playing with the shotgun trying to close the slide with a round hung in the chamber. Harris was videotaping and the viewer could see the gun pointed directly at the camera as Klebold struggled with it.

Harris cried out in alarm knowing the shotgun could go off.

It could have killed him.

I caught myself watching ... tense, wide-eyed, in-the-moment ... wishing it had.
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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:19 pm

thedragonrampant wrote:
What is so powerful about this piece to me is the last part, which I will leave as a quote here in case we ever lose the article's original.. This was the part that originally left me breathless for a second thinking about this alternate reality.

Quote :
At one point Klebold was playing with the shotgun trying to close the slide with a round hung in the chamber. Harris was videotaping and the viewer could see the gun pointed directly at the camera as Klebold struggled with it.

Harris cried out in alarm knowing the shotgun could go off.

It could have killed him.

I caught myself watching ... tense, wide-eyed, in-the-moment ... wishing it had.

I entirely agree.

That, along with:


"They showed two very disturbed young men who had descended into the depths of self loathing. These two teens hated themselves and so many others."



"It was clear throughout that the killers were equally responsible for the attack. The home videos undercut the myth that Harris was the leader and Klebold the follower."



"In watching the two, talking about their attack, showing off their weapons, and suiting up for the assault it was so clear they had divorced themselves from the reality of the murders they were about to commit."
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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:26 pm

Thedragonrampant, considering the point you made about the possibility of the article disappearing, I will paste it here.

I have almost everything I've ever discovered saved in some form, so I forget to do things like this here. I'm going to try to remember to share the actual text along with the link from now on.


John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook: Covering Columbine


I was working at my desk at about 11:25 a.m. on April 20th, 1999 when someone from the news desk rushed in telling me there might have been a drive-by shooting at Columbine High School.
Could I jump in the helicopter with the pilot and photographer to check it out?

In minutes we were flying fast to Columbine and as we approached I noted two police cars parked on the grass outside what I later knew was the library. From the air, it seemed the officers were exchanging fire with someone inside.

On the ground I could see what appeared to be three people down.

I was immediately on the radio telling the news desk that this was much more than a drive-by shooting.

As we began to shoot pictures from the air, we noted what appeared to be someone on the roof of the building and I immediately recognized that, if it was a gunman, he would have a direct angle on the officers crouching behind their patrol cars.

As I was about to relay that information to the news desk, the police radio crackled that someone was on the roof. Shortly, a flare came up from the ground indicating to the pilot we should land.

A police commander on the ground asked if he could put an officer in our helicopter as there may be multiple gunmen in the building and on the roof putting officers and civilians in danger.

The chopper only held three persons -- the pilot, the photographer, and me. That would mean I would have to give up my reporting perch from above.

In a quick decision (that was initially roundly criticized by many journalists) I gave up my seat as long as the 7NEWS helicopter could stay in the airspace around the school and our photographer could continue to shoot uninterrupted, sending live pictures back to the station and to the rest of the world. I also made a deal that I would be able to stay inside the police perimeter.

For me, the decision was simple. The police officers on the ground were vulnerable from a shooter on the roof, as were people within hundreds of yards of the school. Lives were on the line and I believed my first duty was to help protect those lives if I could. But, we also protected our right to report by having our photographer inside the Columbine airspace and continually feeding information about the incident.

Our decision to allow an officer in the helicopter paid off for our viewers and viewers around the world. Our live pictures from the air, especially those of Patrick Ireland's dramatic struggle to get out the library window, brought the world an understanding of the horror of Columbine. Pictures of the ad hoc SWAT team rescues also gave investigators a clear understanding of what tactics were needed in future school shootings.

Meanwhile, I was able to report, via cell phone, for a very long period inside the police perimeter, explaining the surrealist vision of young people shot and wounded struggling out of the area to safety.

As a correspondent for CBS News in the 1980s I had been in war-torn Beirut during the civil war and along the Afghan-Pakistan border during the Russian war in Afghanistan. In those settings, one is prepared to see the worst as it is a war zone -- bodies ripped apart by violence.

I was totally unprepared to see the worst in a residential neighborhood, with manicured lawns, where the dogs were barking and people were interrupted on their morning walks. There was, even for someone who had been in a war zone, a complete disconnect.

Could this really be happening?

Yes.

The gunshots and wounds and blood and horror were real.

Later, as I worked investigating the story and its aftermath I was one of only about half-dozen reporters who reviewed the home movies videotaped by the killers. Those tapes are now sealed by the court. They showed two very disturbed young men who had descended into the depths of self loathing. These two teens hated themselves and so many others. They laughed at their parents for not checking their rooms and the Harris's garage where so many of the deadly bombs were made. They laughed and joked about how many they would murder. It was clear throughout that the killers were equally responsible for the attack. The home videos undercut the myth that Harris was the leader and Klebold the follower.

In watching the two, talking about their attack, showing off their weapons, and suiting up for the assault it was so clear they had divorced themselves from the reality of the murders they were about to commit. I found that the most terrifying moment of the video was when Harris fondled his sawed-off shotgun like a demented child with a new toy. At one point Klebold was playing with the shotgun trying to close the slide with a round hung in the chamber. Harris was videotaping and the viewer could see the gun pointed directly at the camera as Klebold struggled with it.

Harris cried out in alarm knowing the shotgun could go off.

It could have killed him.

I caught myself watching ... tense, wide-eyed, in-the-moment ... wishing it had.

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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:26 pm

thedragonrampant wrote:
What is so powerful about this piece to me is the last part, which I will leave as a quote here in case we ever lose the article's original.. This was the part that originally left me breathless for a second thinking about this alternate reality.

Quote :
At one point Klebold was playing with the shotgun trying to close the slide with a round hung in the chamber. Harris was videotaping and the viewer could see the gun pointed directly at the camera as Klebold struggled with it.

Harris cried out in alarm knowing the shotgun could go off.

It could have killed him.

I caught myself watching ... tense, wide-eyed, in-the-moment ... wishing it had.
I feel the same way about this particular quote, I mentioned this in the original post also. One other part of this article that stands out to me is how Eric is described as a "demented child with a new toy." For me I can really picture this and it sounds like something from a horror movie, if that makes any sense. I feel like Ferrugia does a fantastic job of describing the content of the tapes, I can really picture everything he is talking about.
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PostSubject: Basement Tape Scene I Knew Nothing About   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:50 pm

I was just digging through the Columbine news section on the forum and came across an article written around the 10th anniversary of the shooting by John Farruggia of Ch 7 news. He stated he was one of only a half dozen or so reporters to view the BTs (lucky bastard!).  He wrote:

"In watching the two, talking about their attack, showing off their weapons, and suiting up for the assault it was so clear they had divorced themselves from the reality of the murders they were about to commit. I found that the most terrifying moment of the video was when Harris fondled his sawed-off shotgun like a demented child with a new toy. At one point Klebold was playing with the shotgun trying to close the slide with a round hung in the chamber. Harris was videotaping and the viewer could see the gun pointed directly at the camera as Klebold struggled with it. Harris cried out in alarm knowing the shotgun could go off."

This last part about Dylan pointed a loaded shotgun at Eric and the camera and Eric "crying out" is not in the BT transcripts, is it?
And also, has anyone ever tried to interview any of the reporters who did get to watch the BTs, to find out about other stuff like this in the videos that weren't part of the meager transcripts that were released?
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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:50 pm

If this really appear on the tapes, this could be a proof that the transcripts are not complete and we don't know everything about the basement tapes. I don't remember read anything like that on the transcripts and I never found any info about some reporter that saw it, talking about it, so or this is false or is just something that are on the tapes and the reporters didn't put on the transcripts even though I have a doubt now. ¿Why if this guy was there, mentioned that until a few years ago and not before?

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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:14 pm

I don't recall encountering this detail. In past readings, I knew there had to be more that wasn't included. Plenty of it was summarized and not possible to fit within the time length of the videos.
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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:18 pm

Someone mentioned this on the forum previously, but I don't think they actually quoted the article. If you watch Rampart Range, there's a scene where Dylan is being quite reckless with his shotgun, first aiming it at Phil Duran, then at his own stomach. Dylan seemed to have a pretty hard time with his shotgun and Tec 9. It's obvious he was unaccustomed to handling firearms.

In regard to this specific scene on the BT -- boy would I love to see the expression on Eric's face.   Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: John Ferrugia's Reporter's Notebook.....   Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:39 pm

The John Ferrugia article was posted twice in the documents section (once close to a year ago in an articles thread, and again in December in its own thread). The new thread that has been posted expounding upon it in the Thoughts on the Shooting section references this article and the fact that it was posted in one of the two aforementioned threads, therefore, for the purpose of cohesion, they are being merged.
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