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Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum
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By Jaxon Van Derbeken Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
Police and family grappled Thursday with what led an 18-year-old honor student to shoot and kill his stepfather and then commit suicide.
Robert Craig, a Columbine High School senior, shot his stepfather, Steve H. Sharpe, 44, and then went into the garage and killed himself Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The two had been close, enjoying weekends together of hunting and fishing. They also spent time together at a ranch owned by Sharpe's parents.
``Robbie thought the world of Steve,'' relative William Hagge said. ``It's bizarre . . . ''
Joanne L. Sharpe, 46, discovered the bodies when she came home from the grocery store at 5 p.m.
She found her son dead in the garage, a .22-caliber handgun next to him. Then she found her husband dead in the living room in front of the television.
``Apparently, it was a family argument,'' said Deputy Jim Parr of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. ``It looks like someone may have kicked the TV. We may never know what the argument was. There was nothing going on when she left. He was sitting there watching TV, the kid was down the street visiting with a neighbor.''
Craig had no criminal record, Parr said.
Craig's relatives said the 18-year-old excelled in school and appeared to get along with his stepfather.
``He was a straight-A student'' and played in a rock band, said Annie Hagge, a family member who lives less than a mile from the home at 5610 W. Rowland Ave. in south Jefferson County.
Joanne Sharpe told family members there was nothing amiss when she went shopping.
``When she left for the store, they were in real good humor,'' said Hagge said. ``They were great buddies, they went hunting together, fishing together.''
Steve Sharpe was a former Arapahoe County sheriff's deputy, said Undersheriff Grayson Robinson.
``He worked in the detentions division, but left (10 years ago) for other job opportunities,'' he said. ``From everything I've heard, he was a solid performer, with no problems in any shape or form.''
Posts : 2363 Contribution Points : 117198 Forum Reputation : 2115 Join date : 2013-12-01 Location : South Florida
Subject: Re: Robert Craig Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:35 am
The Denver Post - April 27, 1999
'Kids lead secret lives'
By Susan Greene Denver Post Staff Writer
To concerned parents, to armchair psychologists and to others speculating about the family lives of the two teens behind last week's Columbine High School massacre, Joanne Sharpe has a message:
"Kids lead secret lives. Sometimes it's impossible to know them. Sometimes they're way beyond your control.''
In September 1997, Sharpe's 18-year-old son, Columbine senior Robert Craig, took the .22-caliber handgun Sharpe stashed in her bedroom, killed his stepfather with a single shot to the head, then fatally shot himself through the roof of his mouth.
Robert - who, as he grew older, urged his mom to stop calling him Robbie - had a 3.8 grade-point average, a part-time job at his neighborhood Quizno's and plans to attend the University of Colorado.
He liked math, Stephen King novels and playing electric guitar in his heavy-metal band, called "Lost Cause.'' Sharpe said he didn't drink or do drugs. He had friends, returned home before his curfew and often told his mom he loved her.
Mother and son regularly stayed up together watching late-night TV, often dashing to King Soopers for chocolate and Cheetos.
"I thought he was a pretty wonderful kid,'' Sharpe, a semi-retired paralegal, said of her second and youngest child.
For what it's worth, she said Robert "looked like every other kid at Columbine,'' with T-shirts, baggy pants and a chain he wore hanging from his waist.
Further, he had a close relationship with his stepfather, Steve Sharpe, 44.
"Nobody's going to believe me, but they didn't fight. They got along very well,'' she said.
She said she and her husband of 11 years had talked with Robert about college, safe sex, drinking and driving and so many other issues that magazines and public service announcements urge parents to discuss with their kids. She had, quite simply, assumed Robert was doing fine.
"You don't even think to tell them not to commit suicide or not to commit murder,'' she said. "That just never enters your mind.''
But looking back, she realizes there were signs she shouldn't have ignored.
- He often acted quiet, withdrawn and brooding.
- He had said he hated school, but wouldn't elaborate on why.
"We didn't push him because his grades were good. He seemed to be doing very well,'' she said. "Have you tried to get a teenager to talk when they don't want to?''
- He had given away some of his T-shirts to friends.
- And a few weeks before his death, he told Sharpe he didn't need her to buy him a new car to replace the 1979 Malibu clunker he inherited from his grandmother.
"What 18-year-old boy doesn't need a new car?'' she asked, angry at herself for not noticing his warning.
Sharpe, 48, said "there must have been'' some incident or experience that traumatized her son, "but he didn't confide it to me.''
With hindsight, she knows Robert simply told her what she wanted to hear - that everything was fine.
"He kept it really carefully guarded from all the people who had power to stop it,'' she said about his troubles. "If my antennae were up, I would have figured it out.''
Sharpe sees the murder-suicide as an act of hate toward her and her husband.
"I think he hated us both because we didn't see the amount of pain he was in,'' she said. "I think after he killed his (step)father, it wasn't what he thought it would be. He couldn't go any further. So, the suicide.''
Before last week's killings at Columbine, Sharpe had never heard of the school's Trench Coat Mafia - the group of teens with which last week's killers, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, have been linked. And, despite reports from students, Robert wasn't a member of the clique.
Sharpe places no blame on Columbine nor on the Jefferson County School District, and says she wonders each day who or what really was responsible.
Maybe she should have spent more time with Robert, she said. Maybe he had some kind of imbalance or was traumatized at age 4 by her divorce from his father. May be he saw too many violent movies. Maybe ...
The details about the young lives of Robert's schoolmates, Harris and Klebold, are starting to come to light. And, no doubt, the scores of people stunned by the bloody rampage will ask the same questions about them and their parents.
Sharpe - who describes the past 19 months as "a fog'' - says TV viewers and others following the Columbine tragedy shouldn't jump to conclusions about what was going on in the killers' heads or homes.
Sometimes everything seems OK, she said. Sometimes parents can't see that their kid is on the edge.
And so, she urges parents, "Ask your kids what's hurting them.
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Subject: Re: Robert Craig Sat Jul 03, 2021 8:11 pm
This whole case is a lot more errie in light of recent events. Especially this excerpt:
Steve Sharpe was a former Arapahoe County sheriff's deputy, said Undersheriff Grayson Robinson.'
Anyways I saw in Brooks's book that he incorrectly identified the year of Craig's murder-suicide as happening in 1998. I wonder if it was a simple mistake or another instance of him stretching the truth to make things sound more interesting.
_________________ "My guns are the only things that haven't stabbed me in the back." -Kip Kinkel