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 "Plan B"

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cakeman

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PostSubject: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2018 3:18 pm

I was surprised to see most bought into the "Plan B" theory on this site, and with Columbine researchers generally. Maybe I am just missing something, but I don't buy it. Been interested in the case for a long time. I can remember back to the days of "she said yes" and the "1, 2, 3" before committing suicide.   "Why did they start shooting" was always the question to which I came back. Other questions interest me more now.

I don't think they "realized the bombs had failed and gave up on that and moved to plan b to shoot everyone", or whatever.  They had planned this for a long time, and opened fire two minutes after the bombs were supposed to go off. After planning for so long, do you give up after two minutes? That by itself is enough to make the point.  Did they give up, or were they confident the bombs would work the whole time in the library? Did they give up, or did they go back to the cafeteria to make them go off? Simply, I think one of them looked at his watch, saw that Plan A should have started two minutes ago, and so began Plan A. That's why they started firing. There was no "oh geez do we remove the bombs do we go home what do we do oh the diversion bombs must have gone off already guess we just start shooting". It was simply time to go, and they were a little late.

Plan B is so entrenched as a myth that I owe more of an account. Cullen seems to reference security cameras catching them outside at the beginning, and Dylan going back to his car after he's spooked that the bombs haven't gone off, and Eric recruiting him back up the stairs to plan B.  But that's Cullen, and while I am open to changing my mind, I don't believe a word of that. They went right to the top of the stairs.

I think the reason for the plan B myth is two fold. First, they parked their cars such that they flanked the exits. Because of this, investigators say plan A was to stand by their cars and shoot those fleeing the exits. Of course, I'm no investigator of the case, and they saw more than I have with the Basement Tapes and all, but I think that overlooks two facts. One, the cars were set to explode. Two, people would eventually get the idea to turn around and run the other way.

Second, investigators said the library massacre was improvised, and not mentioned in any journals or tapes. Given what I have to say about everything else, I am skeptical even of that claim, but I can grant it. In a similar vein, it's said often, though I don't believe by investigators, that entering the school at all was improvised, and not mentioned in any journals or tapes. This is simply false.

As evidence, I cite Dylan's last journal entry. "Park cars. set car bombs for 11:18; get out, go to outside hill, wait. "

A picture of one of the clocks from the car bombs shows it set to noon, and that is about the time they return to the library before committing suicide, providing as good a reason as any for why they returned, to watch the car bombs go off. So, admittedly, Dylan's last journal entry seems a rough sketch at best. However, if it were followed, and their plan was to shoot from their cars, 60 seconds is the longest the massacre would have lasted.  I can imagine them killing themselves with the car bombs, but not intentionally making the massacre last only a minute.

And "go to outside hill, wait" - so they're full of *#&$&^  to say the plan was to shoot from the parking lot.  "Go to outside hill, wait" was PLAN A, dadgummit.

Also, from the Basement Tapes transcript - Dylan says "It will be the most nerve-wracking 15 minutes of my life, after the bombs are set and we're waiting to charge through the school". Also Hitmen for Hire was made with the massacre in mind, and has them walking through the halls.  So, entering the school was also plan A.

Why? As above, people would eventually realize running out the exits meant getting shot and turn around. One could enter the school to kill those who did.  The same sequence would replay itself, and eventually people would turn back around, out the cafeteria exits they avoided the first time around. The car bombs would be for them.  It's usually said they were for cops and first responders, which is probably true, but that doesn't explain why they flanked the exits. I think it's likely because of the above sequence. If not, then maybe it just seemed the spot to pick in the parking lot, to maybe hurt a few extra students as well, but I submit it cannot be because it marked the spot from which to shoot.

Therefore, until Dylan is tasked with entering the cafeteria to check on the bombs, I think they thought they had gone off.  They certainly wouldn't have seen that the bombs didn't go off from the vantage point of the hill. They probably should have heard them, but they were also probably anxious enough to start without hearing it.  Another option is they knew there would be a fire before a bang, and so did not yet expect a sound. I think it is ten times easier to say "well, they should have heard it, but they must have thought they went off anyway" than it is to say "well, two minutes had past, so they gave up on the bombs working...yet told everybody the bombs were gonna work".

Also, given the above, entering the school seems a lot more rational. Dylan tells Eric that the bombs hadn't gone off, and everybody is running up the cafeteria stairs away from the exits. Well, time to enter the school then.  Dylan not shooting at them while in the cafeteria is a bit odd, but that is another discussion.

Also makes me think Eric thought this was a video game and that shooting at the propane tank would make it explode like in Duke Nukem or some nukage in Doom.  Hard otherwise to explain their confidence in the library that the bombs were going to go off, and Eric shooting at the bombs as his first move in the cafeteria. That's not some new opinion, but it's another thing that flies in the face of plan B. They were not "demoralized" that the bombs hadn't gone off outside. Before Dylan checked, they thought they had gone off, hence they began the massacre. Once Dylan checked, they thought we'll just shoot at the tanks later.

I think the only "Plan B" enacted that day was shooting themselves instead of suicide-by-cop, once the sprinklers put out the cafeteria fire.
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cakeman

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeSun Jul 29, 2018 6:29 pm

Guess i'm just some noob and nobody cares lol.

I won't bump my thread again after this, but I was looking at the diagrams where the cars were parked. Eric's car was about as close as you could get to the exit in that parking lot, but Dylan's wasn't at all, and of course Dylan's was on the side with the hill. I say again this shows walking down the stairs shooting fleeing survivors was plan A. There was no plan to shoot from the cars. Dylan parking closer meant risking the bombs affecting them on the stairs.
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeSun Jul 29, 2018 9:05 pm

If plan B was winging it, then yes I believe in plan B!
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cakeman

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 1:53 am

Must have done an awful job of explaining it then.

My contention is you should not believe in plan B. I suppose I am saying they were not "winging it" before they entered the library.

I think plan B can be made something quite specific. It is said regularly. Im Not Ashamed did an awful scene for it. It is the idea that the shooting began because the bombs didn't go off. If that's what you mean, winging it because they knew the bombs failed, that is what I was trying to challenge.

I offer instead they were to open fire at a set time - the time when the bombs would go off, and they could not tell the bombs had failed until they went down the stairs sufficiently.

The biggest motivation is I don't think you move on to some other plan in two minutes after planning for months.

I also think this Plan B idea requires a Plan A about shooting from the cars which it doesn't seem like was ever the plan that day.

Even Cullen, who seems to buy into Plan B, and provides what I think is a fanciful scene for it, notes that the time bombs were not a red, digital read out, but an analog clock. They didn't "set it to go off at 11:17" so much as "stick the minute hand between the 3 and the 4". He doesn't seem to make the inference that since that is so, it seems unlikely they would have moved to plan B when the bombs didn't go off at exactly 11:17.
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thelmar

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 9:42 am

I don't really buy the Plan B theory, either.
I agree with you that, unlike Cullen and the police said, they weren't planning to shoot while standing by their cars. It seems that standing at the top of the hill and shooting down on people fleeing the cafeteria was the intention all along.
I think they parked their cars to flank the building so that when the explosive devices in the cars went off they would maximize casualities, both of students/ teachers, and of first responders. I know there were 12 devices in Dylan's car and one in Eric's.

On one hand, if they had faith that the cafeteria bombs would work, there is no reason why they couldn't have started shooting around the time that the bombs were supposed to go off, expecting them to detonate at any minute. Plus, maybe shooting the kids outside would push them back into the school where they would then be killed by the bomb blasts.

I do feel that E& D would have entered the building, regardless, and that aside from the cafeteria the library was the most likely place where there would be large numbers of people all in one place. So, it's conceivable that the library was also an intended target. Obviously, they were hoping for mass casualities in the Commons as a result of the bombs but the goal was to kill as many as possible so I don't think that they intended to stop until they ran out of ammunition, ran out of victims, or were taken down by police. I think the only "Plan B" was that once they realized the bombs weren't going off and people weren't fleeing out of the Commons like they were "supposed to", they had to enter the building a little sooner then thought they would because they were running out of victims within range outside.

I think once they realized the bombs had failed and the Commons was mostly empty, the plan did switch to, "Well, if we can't kill people with the bombs, at least we can destroy the building" which is why they made several attempts to get them to detonate once they went into the cafeteria. When that failed, they then went about destroying things manually with their guns, crickets, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 9:55 am

"Why did they start shooting?" is one of the mysteries of NBK that will never be solved.

We know that between 11:19 AM and 11:23 AM, Dylan stepped over Sean Graves and briefly entered the side entrance of the cafeteria and stood just inside the doorway:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

To me, this suggests he's "checking" on the bombs.

1) Did Dylan know the bombs hadn't gone off prior to shooting, and went into the cafeteria to see what was wrong?
2) Did Dylan think the bombs HAD gone off prior to shooting, and wanted to see how much damage they caused?
3) Did Dylan think the bombs were going to explode at some point during the shooting prior to shooting, and just wanted to check on them?

I personally think the second and third options are unlikely. Time was of the essence given the police would be arriving soon and teachers would be evacuating students, so wasting time checking bomb damage would be unproductive, and standing in the same room as bombs you think could explode at any moment would be pretty dumb.

So I think the boys knew the bombs had failed prior to shooting, but weren't overly phased because they actually did have a "Plan B" - but it was literally just to detonate the bombs manually with gunfire or explosives if they didn't go off as planned. We later see Eric shooting at the bombs and Dylan tossing a molotov at them.
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Sabratha

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 pm

From 2007 when I joined the old forums, for many years I did not believe in a plan B.

Now I do, though it was a simplistic plan. What makes me think there was "plan B" (or rather just a serious consideration on E&D's part that the bombs are not reliable) is the timeline.

There was simply too little hesitation after the explosion did not happen. They went in and started shooting so fast that there does not seem to be enough time for them to go through any prolonged state of "what the hell?!" psychological surprise. There does not seem to be enough time for them to go through any long discussion on what to do next. I do not believe in a follower-leader model, so I don't believe a state of deep surprise would have ended in a simple order by Eric.

If the surprise was real and absolute, they'd spend some time talking about what to do next, considering their options etc.

There's also no signs that they went in to reset the bombs again before the shooting. Which is what imho they would have done if they felt the bombs are fullproof. To me this lack of time spent on discussing the situation and no attempts to check the bombs without startling everyone are clear signs that there were not in a state of complete surprise.

I also think that while Eric was not a great bombmaker, he was aware of the rush and the "last-minute-shoostring" state of the bombs.


Thus I think the interpretation that most fits the known facts is that they were dissapointed, but not surprised. I think the likely discussion was something like this:
Dylan: "That's a fucking shame."
Eric: "Damn. Well, I told you it was going to be a long shot. No sense losing more time, let's go."

_________________
Life is like a tram - you need to know when to get off.

"Bullet Time" - a school shooting film from Poland


Last edited by Sabratha on Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cakeman

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 2:53 pm

Thank you for the thoughtful posts. Laying out the options is interesting, and Sabratha is one on the short list for insightful poster who I was surprised to see believes in Plan B. Worse, it seems to be for the same reasons I think Plan B is a myth.

Sympathy:

'"Why did they start shooting?" is one of the mysteries of NBK that will never be solved."

Possibly. If I am correct, it is solved simply. They had planned. It was time.

Though of course maybe it was something else, most seem to agree that Dylan was probably taking a look at the bombs. Even I grant you that. Sean says Dylan said "Sorry dude". Cullen says it was other people running out of the cafeteria who missed Dylan somehow.

Laying out the options is interesting. Given there were two shooters, we can multiply the possibilities further. Say Eric thought the bombs went off, but Dylan knew they had not. Would explain Dylan taking just 3 shots before shooting Daniel and Lance.

I believe strongly in option 2, though I would modify it slightly. Not sure he was checking on the damage. It may have been he thought they had gone off while walking down the stairs, but as he reached the bottom saw the windows were intact, etc, and so went in to check on why there was no damage.

Perhaps they knew of the possibility of a fire before a bang, and he expected to see a fire. I tend to think wanting a big fire is why they chose propane rather than some other kind of bomb.

" standing in the same room as bombs you think could explode at any moment would be pretty dumb."
Not if you want to die. I disagree precisely because "We later see Eric shooting at the bombs and Dylan tossing a molotov at them.".  Yeah, we see Dylan get much closer than Eric does, and he seems the more suicidal one.  Less prepared to shoot himself apparently, but not less prepared to die, and so more willing to be the one to check on the bombs. That is all I see going on there.

Also, of course, if his entering the cafeteria at all proves he was confident the bombs had failed, why not walk right up to them? Why lurk in the corner if you are checking on dead bombs and not live ones?

Sabratha:

Surprised to see you have taken the opposite path.  I can't say I understand your reasons. Here's how I think it went down:
....
Eric: (looks at his watch, it's 11:18 or 11:19)
Eric; Go Go Go!

and that's it.

We probably both agree with that first part. We probably even agree on the next part, one or both of them thought "The bombs should have gone off by now." But we disagree on what that means. I think when they thought that, they thought  it meant the bombs had indeed gone off. Indeed, I contend they would not have started firing otherwise.

That there was no discussion, that there was no "prolonged state of "what the hell?!"', no sense of surprise, I think all favors the idea that they never moved on to a plan B when the bombs didn't go off at exactly 11:17.

Why would they reset the bombs before shooting? That seems to assume Plan B, not support it. That assumes before shooting, they realized the bombs had failed because they failed to explode at exactly 11:17. I say because they did not do this, but started shooting instead, it shows they didn't think the bombs failed to explode.

I think if at 11:18 they knew the bombs were never going off and that they needed a plan B, they would have came down from the hill and floored their cars into the cafeteria.
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Sabratha

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 3:18 pm

cakeman wrote:

Eric: (looks at his watch, it's 11:18 or 11:19)
Eric; Go Go Go!

Well, its all speculation because none of us was there. but I do not think they would "blindly" follow a timetable if the main component (which was also the initial component) would unexpectedly fail. I also think (as long as we are not in the follower-leader model) that its unreasonable to assume Eric would simply order Dylan around in such a confused moment.

If the failure of the bomb fell upon them as a total surprise, they would imho stand there for a minute or so hoping it was just late. Then they would spend another minute or more talking what to do, with trying to reset the bombs the most likely outcome. If they did not have a plan B, they would spent a few minutes or so trying to come up with any alternative to plan A and hammering out an agreement between the two of them on what to do.

Eric loved his explosions, I'm quite certain he would be willing to postpone the shooting if he thought he still had a decent chance to detonate the bomb by the clock timer with unsuspecting vistims inside. The fact that he didn't try to do it imho suggests that he did not have much faith in the timer to begin with. He badly wanted to blow it up, but on a rational level he knew its likely going to be a dud. It was a rush job and the same Eric who methodically tested pipebombs knew it was a rush job.

That's my view.

cakeman wrote:
Why would they reset the bombs before shooting? That seems to assume Plan B, not support it. That assumes before shooting, they realized the bombs had failed because they failed to explode at exactly 11:17. I say because they did not do this, but started shooting instead, it shows they didn't think the bombs failed to explode.
But the course of actions does not match their original bomb plan. They were planning to gun down people who are running away from the explosion. By all evidence, they were planning to watch the explosion and open fire after it blew up, not before.

cakeman wrote:
I think if at 11:18 they knew the bombs were never going off and that they needed a plan B, they would have came down from the hill and floored their cars into the cafeteria.
I doubt they ever considered using their cars as weapons (other than the bombs in the cars). This was before the jihadi car rammings and there's no evidence to suggest they knew about Hepnarova.

I think the thought of running people down with cars before the shooting simply did not occur to them as a valid strategy. They were't that original to come up with it on their own.
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cakeman

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 4:09 pm

Sabratha wrote:

Well, its all speculation because none of us was there. but I do not think they would "blindly" follow a timetable if the main component (which was also the initial component) would unexpectedly fail. I also think (as long as we are not in the follower-leader model) that its unreasonable to assume Eric would simply order Dylan around in such a confused moment.

It's true that it's speculation of course. I wasn't there. Have never been to the school, and so forth.

I think blindly following a time table is the only thing that explains their opening fire without the bombs going off. I think they were confident that the bombs would go off at the right time.  At that point, when they were blindly following a time table, they didn't think the main component would unexpectedly fail, hence it was blind.

So, I'm not saying they would follow a time table if they knew the bombs had not worked.  On the contrary. I'm saying, because of their confidence in the bombs working, they would follow a time table whether or not the bombs worked, and the latter is what happened.  I'm saying because they started shooting, they must not have known the bombs had not worked. Instead of looking at the bombs, and knowing whether or not they would work, they were looking at their watches.
Sabratha wrote:

If the failure of the bomb fell upon them as a total surprise, they would imho stand there for a minute or so hoping it was just late. Then they would spend another minute or more talking what to do, with trying to reset the bombs the most likely outcome. If they did not have a plan B, they would spent a few minutes or so trying to come up with any alternative to plan A and hammering out an agreement between the two of them on what to do.

Eric loved his explosions, I'm quite certain he would be willing to postpone the shooting if he thought he still had a decent chance to detonate the bomb by the clock timer with unsuspecting vistims inside. The fact that he didn't try to do it imho suggests that he did not have much faith in the timer to begin with. He badly wanted to blow it up, but on a rational level he knew its likely going to be a dud. It was a rush job and the same Eric who methodically tested pipebombs knew it was a rush job.

That's my view.

Well, I'm not saying the failure of the bomb fell on them as a surprise and then they began shooting, I am saying the failure of the bomb had not yet fallen on them, or else they would not have started shooting. I agree with for example "they would imho stand there for a minute or so" and " I'm quite certain he would be willing to postpone the shooting if he thought he still had a decent chance to detonate the bomb". I actually think that's the strongest point in favor of rejecting plan B - that they went from plan A at 11:17 to plan B by 11;19. I don't think it would have happened like that. You are saying this shows they had plan B ready the whole time. I am saying this shows Plan A was 2 minutes late, not that they abandoned the bombs and several months planning in two minutes.

I do think it seems like Eric wanted to be exhausted. Don't think that means he entertained the bombs failing, though.

Sabratha wrote:

But the course of actions does not match their original bomb plan. They were planning to gun down people who are running away from the explosion. By all evidence, they were planning to watch the explosion and open fire after it blew up, not before.


You were saying that not resetting the bombs before shooting proves they moved on from thinking they were going to explode, which I think is contradicted by all the library accounts  and the cafeteria video, but nevertheless it assumes they started shooting because they realized the bombs failed. That's what is at issue; that's what I'm calling into question.

Not all evidence says they planned to watch the explosion before shooting. Evidence like that they opened fire from the hill, and Dylan writing that this was the plan, says otherwise. Evidence like that they started shooting without the bombs going off, I submit, says otherwise.

Sabratha wrote:

I doubt they ever considered using their cars as weapons (other than the bombs in the cars). This was before the jihadi car rammings and there's no evidence to suggest they knew about Hepnarova.

I think the thought of running people down with cars before the shooting simply did not occur to them as a valid strategy. They were't that original to come up with it on their own.

It's a fair point that running people over on the sidewalk wasn't so popular then, but driving your car into a building and shooting was not new. There was the Luby's Massacre, for instance.  Also, my point is more about the car bombs. In this Plan-B-sympathetic hypothetical, they know the cafeteria bombs are a failure, but they don't know that about the car bombs. One solution: put the cars in the cafeteria.
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cakeman

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 4:10 pm

thelmar wrote:
I don't really buy the Plan B theory, either.
I agree with you that, unlike Cullen and the police said, they weren't planning to shoot while standing by their cars. It seems that standing at the top of the hill and shooting down on people fleeing the cafeteria was the intention all along.
I think they parked their cars to flank the building so that when the explosive devices in the cars went off they would maximize casualities, both of students/ teachers, and of first responders. I know there were 12 devices in Dylan's car and one in Eric's.

On one hand, if they had faith that the cafeteria bombs would work, there is no reason why they couldn't have started shooting around the time that the bombs were supposed to go off, expecting them to detonate at any minute. Plus, maybe shooting the kids outside would push them back into the school where they would then be killed by the bomb blasts.

I do feel that E& D would have entered the building, regardless, and that aside from the cafeteria the library was the most likely place where there would be large numbers of people all in one place. So, it's conceivable that the library was also an intended target. Obviously, they were hoping for mass casualities in the Commons as a result of the bombs but the goal was to kill as many as possible so I don't think that they intended to stop until they ran out of ammunition, ran out of victims, or were taken down by police. I think the only "Plan B" was that once they realized the bombs weren't going off and people weren't fleeing out of the Commons like they were "supposed to", they had to enter the building a little sooner then thought they would because they were running out of victims within range outside.

I think once they realized the bombs had failed and the Commons was mostly empty, the plan did switch to, "Well, if we can't kill people with the bombs, at least we can destroy the building" which is why they made several attempts to get them to detonate once they went into the cafeteria. When that failed, they then went about destroying things manually with their guns, crickets, etc.
I agree completely. The library was also the best if not the only place to shoot at the police.
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Sabratha

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 4:32 pm

cakeman wrote:

I think blindly following a time table is the only thing that explains their opening fire without the bombs going off.
The timetable required them to fire after the blast, at people escaping the school. Firing before the bomb blast in itself means they were not following that timetable anymore.

cakeman wrote:
At that point, when they were blindly following a time table, they didn't think the main component would unexpectedly fail, hence it was blind.
They opened fire after the planned time of the explosion. They already knew the initial component failed.

cakeman wrote:
I'm saying because they started shooting, they must not have known the bombs had not worked. Instead of looking at the bombs, and knowing whether or not they would work, they were looking at their watches.
This is unreasonable to assume. They were standing at a place with a decent view on the cafeteria wall and windows. They were expecting to see an orange fireball and a large blast of sound, which obviously they wouldn't be able to miss.
The fireball and blast were not there, they knew no explosion was taking place.

cakeman wrote:
Well, I'm not saying the failure of the bomb fell on them as a surprise and then they began shooting, I am saying the failure of the bomb had not yet fallen on them, or else they would not have started shooting.
Again, can't imagine they would miss the big explosion that at least Eric was dying to see, hear and smell. Also they were planning to start shooting after the explosion. Not before it, not 2 seconds after it. They were to shoot after people already start to flood out of CHS in terror.

cakeman wrote:
I am saying this shows Plan A was 2 minutes late, not that they abandoned the bombs and several months planning in two minutes.
They already knew the bombs did not explode on schedule. What would make them so sure they would go off 2 minutes late?

cakeman wrote:
You were saying that not resetting the bombs before shooting proves they moved on from thinking they were going to explode, which I think is contradicted by all the library accounts and the cafeteria video
Nope. Dylan enters the cafeteria only after he and Eric fire multiple rounds.

cakeman wrote:
Evidence like that they opened fire from the hill, and Dylan writing that this was the plan, says otherwise. Evidence like that they started shooting without the bombs going off, I submit, says otherwise.
Standing at the top of the stairs was exactly the place from which they could cover both western CHS exits with gunfire. They were positioned to hit people going out of CHS, not drive them in.

cakeman wrote:
It's a fair point that running people over on the sidewalk wasn't so popular then, but driving your car into a building and shooting was not new. There was the Luby's Massacre, for instance.  Also, my point is more about the car bombs. In this Plan-B-sympathetic hypothetical, they know the cafeteria bombs are a failure, but they don't know that about the car bombs. One solution: put the cars in the cafeteria.

Agreed. Though it doesn't feature in any of their plans. We have no evidence they planned to use the cars as anything other than static bombs.

Also, driving the cars into the cafeteria, would cause most poeple to escape in terror before they blew up. E&D weren't planning a suicide bombing, they wanted to shoot as well.

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeMon Jul 30, 2018 9:49 pm

Tbh they peobably had so much adrenaline they couldn’t wait to start killing
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeTue Jul 31, 2018 3:28 pm

Dylan did write out the plan the night before, where he specifically wrote "when first bombs go off attack", that coupled with a lot of points Sabratha raised makes me think they realized the bombs had failed

Although I've never thought about it from your perspective, and it was an interesting read
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 12:12 am

Good response. On top of that, lost power between finishing an answer and hitting send, so losing the will to live. I moved things around to hopefully better respond.

Sabratha wrote:

Standing at the top of the stairs was exactly the place from which they could cover both western CHS exits with gunfire. They were positioned to hit people going out of CHS, not drive them in.

Yeah, I agree. I think they entertained the idea of people turning around, or running either direction, and could cover both by running up and down the stairs.  I think that's why they weren't shooting from the parking lot. Plan B is often presented as in contrast to a Plan A which involves shooting from their cars.  Your view admittedly seems more moderate, where plan A was if the bombs did go off while on the stairs (or if they thought they did), and plan B was if the bombs didn't go off on while on the stairs.

Thelmar brought up the idea of keeping them in the cafeteria with gunfire, and qualified it with "plus". I think it's interesting and possible, but I wasn't working with that assumption. I was accepting the usual idea of shooting those who flee from the bombs and fires.  

Sabratha wrote:

The timetable required them to fire after the blast, at people escaping the school. Firing before the bomb blast in itself means they were not following that timetable anymore.

That's true. I took "blindly following a time table" to be your (I think accurate) description of my view. Blindly following their time pieces anyway - blindly following their watches. It seems to me rather than waiting to see the bombs go off, they synchronized  the time they would begin shooting with the time that the bombs would go off.  It does imply a certain confidence in the bombs. I think you're right to challenge that confidence, if the above is false.

Sabratha wrote:

This is unreasonable to assume. They were standing at a place with a decent view on the cafeteria wall and windows. They were expecting to see an orange fireball and a large blast of sound, which obviously they wouldn't be able to miss.
The fireball and blast were not there, they knew no explosion was taking place.

Were they? A picture from their vantage point at the top of the stairs showing this would sure shut me up.  Looking at what I can find, I still think it would be difficult to see the cafeteria windows rather than just the wall preceding them. Most seem to agree even if the bombs worked they would have had to heat up for a while. So, I wonder if they imagined that there was a fire inside.

I confessed from the start that the sound is the hardest part to explain. They didn't have earplugs as far as I know. I am compelled to say either the adrenaline was enough to make them start without asking "Why hasnt there been a sound",  or they figured there was a fire before the boom.

Sabratha wrote:

They opened fire after the planned time of the explosion. They already knew the initial component failed.
Taking "the initial component" to means the bombs, I think that's challenged by their comments in the library and movements caught on the cafeteria tape. That is, they said the bombs will go off and were still trying to set them off. They did not give up on the bombs eventually going off, of course.

Taking "the initial component" to mean idk the clocks connected to the bombs, I think our intuitions are clashing. You are saying if they were still going for plan A, they needed an explosion, and so they would have reset the bombs. They didn't reset the bombs, therefore they had plan B. I am saying  if they started shooting without resetting the bombs, they must have thought they had an explosion and therefore it was plan A. Perhaps I think that they started shooting is queerer than the bomb failing. "but they started shooting" I say  -"but they needed an explosion" you say, and yeah shit idk (still but they started shooting tho i whisper)

Sabratha wrote:

They already knew the bombs did not explode on schedule. What would make them so sure they would go off 2 minutes late?

That it was only 2 minutes late is what makes me think they hadn't moved on from a plan which had taken months to a year or more.
First, presumably their several clocks and their own watches were not all synchronized to the second. Even if they were, I can think of two scenarios.

One is the boys on the hill musing about how they're gonna die or how cool they look or whatever while they wait for the bombs to go off, and with no explosions to cloud his thought, two minutes pass before he looks at his watch to see the bombs should have gone off by now, therefore thinks they have gone off by now (I submit) and therefore begins shooting.

Two is alluded to above, the clocks were analog and not digital. "Setting it to 11:17" amounts "sticking the minute hand between the 3 and the 4". One might think if it didn't go at 11:17 it would at least go off "before the 4", which amounts to by 11;19

Sabratha wrote:

Agreed. Though it doesn't feature in any of their plans. We have no evidence they planned to use the cars as anything other than static bombs.

Also, driving the cars into the cafeteria, would cause most poeple to escape in terror before they blew up. E&D weren't planning a suicide bombing, they wanted to shoot as well.

Yeah I agree it doesn't feature in any plans or evidence or anything like that, but I don't think plan B features in any plans, and don't think they executed plan B that day. I think they thought the bombs worked at first. But, I was saying, if they knew before they opened fire that the bombs failed, i. e. plan B, then they 'knew' they had working bombs in their cars to destroy the cafeteria, rather than shoot Rachel.

I referenced Luby's Massacre, which involves shooting. I mean drive into the cafeteria, get out and shoot, later cars explode in the cafeteria. Probably nobody in the cafeteria by the time they go off, but that's true the whole time they're trying to set off the cafeteria bombs on video.

Also fwiw and you probably know but they did seem to entertain the idea of killing themselves with bombs and napalm and "eating crickets" and such.


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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 12:20 am

23september wrote:
Dylan did write out the plan the night before, where he specifically wrote "when first bombs go off attack", that coupled with a lot of points Sabratha raised makes me think they realized the bombs had failed

Although I've never thought about it from your perspective, and it was an interesting read
That's a fair point.  That might show they were waiting to see the bombs go off, not waiting for the right time.  Of course, I might say they did attack, therefore they thought the first bombs went off.

and thanks. Glad it was at least stimulating.
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 12:23 am

r4911 wrote:
Tbh they peobably had so much adrenaline they couldn’t wait to start killing
That seems the possible option outside of plan A or B so to speak. Say they didn't think the bombs had gone off, and say they didn't think the bombs had failed either. They were still waiting for the bombs to go off, but couldn't wait any longer. That's possible, I think.
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 2:07 am

r4911 wrote:
Tbh they peobably had so much adrenaline they couldn’t wait to start killing

And start dying as well.

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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 4:07 am

cakeman wrote:
23september wrote:
Dylan did write out the plan the night before, where he specifically wrote "when first bombs go off attack", that coupled with a lot of points Sabratha raised makes me think they realized the bombs had failed

Although I've never thought about it from your perspective, and it was an interesting read
That's a fair point.  That might show they were waiting to see the bombs go off, not waiting for the right time.  Of course, I might say they did attack, therefore they thought the first bombs went off.

and thanks. Glad it was at least stimulating.

yes it does go both ways!
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 8:00 am

cakeman wrote:
r4911 wrote:
Tbh they peobably had so much adrenaline they couldn’t wait to start killing
That seems the possible option outside of plan A or B so to speak. Say they didn't think the bombs had gone off, and say they didn't think the bombs had failed either. They were still waiting for the bombs to go off, but couldn't wait any longer. That's possible, I think.

This is a good possibility
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeWed Aug 01, 2018 3:03 pm

cakeman wrote:

Yeah, I agree. I think they entertained the idea of people turning around, or running either direction, and could cover both by running up and down the stairs.  I think that's why they weren't shooting from the parking lot. Plan B is often presented as in contrast to a Plan A which involves shooting from their cars.  Your view admittedly seems more moderate, where plan A was if the bombs did go off while on the stairs (or if they thought they did), and plan B was if the bombs didn't go off on while on the stairs.

Shooting from their cars seems hardly sensible, since they would be away from the action. I think the "go back to cars" part in the plan just referred to them going back to the cars to equip themselves, take up ammo, set carbomb timers etc. The top of the stairs was probably the best place for them to be for plan A. Both entrances covered by gunfire, clear view to the parking ot and any approaching cop cars.

cakeman wrote:
Thelmar brought up the idea of keeping them in the cafeteria with gunfire, and qualified it with "plus"
You mean keeping people in the cafeteria while firing from the stairs? Does not seem possible, due to the layout. Check the map.. The people would just run deeper into Columbine to escape east (which is actually what occured).

cakeman wrote:
Were they? A picture from their vantage point at the top of the stairs showing this would sure shut me up.  Looking at what I can find, I still think it would be difficult to see the cafeteria windows rather than just the wall preceding them.

It was hard to find a photo of CHS with the correct angle that was not violating the rules (no dead people in the photo), but this should be fine:
Spoiler:

You are right, they would not see the big windows. They did have a line of fire to the route people running out of the west cafeteria entrance would use, but not to the door itself.

cakeman wrote:
Most seem to agree even if the bombs worked they would have had to heat up for a while. So, I wonder if they imagined that there was a fire inside.
By all evidence it would need time. I'm not sure E&D were aware of that. If they were, this would make plan B more likley imho. If Eric knew the time required for the heat to build up, he must have known there's a decent chance some kid with a fire extinguisher will put the blaze out before the explosion.

I think given the evidence (Dylan's minute planner) it is most likely that they were not aware of the "heat-up-time" or severely underestimated its duration.

cakeman wrote:
I confessed from the start that the sound is the hardest part to explain. They didn't have earplugs as far as I know. I am compelled to say either the adrenaline was enough to make them start without asking "Why hasnt there been a sound",  or they figured there was a fire before the boom.
I'm pretty usre they were expecting a blast, probably glass and stuff flying all the way into the parking lot (which they could well see from the vantage point). They were also expecting to hear screams and see kids running away from the cafeteria through the western door or maybe even the blown-out cafeteria windows due west and southwest (see the diagram in the first link in this post).

cakeman wrote:
Taking "the initial component" to mean idk the clocks connected to the bombs, I think our intuitions are clashing.
I meant that they realized the timers failed and thus the bombs won't just blow up by themselves amongst hundreds of unaware kids eating their lunch. E&D of course tried to detonate the bombs through direct means later in the attack.

cakeman wrote:
I am saying if they started shooting without resetting the bombs, they must have thought they had an explosion and therefore it was plan A.
I understand what you mean, but I simply disagree. They heard no explosion, saw no evidence of that, have not seen any kids run away in terror. There were kids all around them sitting on the grass, having lunch or talking. E&D would see that nobody else noticed any signes of anything wrong.

It is one thing to mistake a gunshot for a blown tire, its another thing to completely fail to notice a nearby bomb. I think its unreasonable to assume E&D or anyone else nearby could "miss" the bomb explosion.
Especially since E&D did not fire at kids running away from the cafeteria or running anywhere in fact. They started shooting at kids sitting on the grass. These obviously weren't the fleeing terrified victims that plan A envisioned.


cakeman wrote:
I don't think plan B features in any plans, and don't think they executed plan B that day.
Yep, it does not. Which is the strongest argument against plan B and the reason that for many years I didn't think there was plan B.

But without plan B, I don't see a good explanation for the lack of time wasted in surprise and then in debating what to do. With your version, I don't see a good explanation why E&D started the attack without hearing or seeing any evidence of the blast. Especially since they fired at kids sitting on the grass, not on the mass of panicked students flooding out of the cafeteria through the CHS western entrance.


cakeman wrote:
I referenced Luby's Massacre, which involves shooting. I mean drive into the cafeteria, get out and shoot, later cars explode in the cafeteria.
Was it feasible to drive there and brake through the wall under the windows? The cafeteria windows did not reach to the ground, the wall beneath looks to be some 1 meter tall:
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PostSubject: Re: "Plan B"   "Plan B" Icon_minitimeSat Aug 04, 2018 4:47 pm

Sabratha wrote:

Shooting from their cars seems hardly sensible, since they would be away from the action. I think the "go back to cars" part in the plan just referred to them going back to the cars to equip themselves, take up ammo, set carbomb timers etc. The top of the stairs was probably the best place for them to be for plan A. Both entrances covered by gunfire, clear view to the parking ot and any approaching cop cars.
Yes, at least we agree the hill was plan A.  As I recall, investigators thought the plan was to shoot those fleeing the bomb blast due to their video tapes. So, presumably there are parts of the Basement Tapes which are not transcribed, for I don't remember that mentioned specifically.  So, I assume on those they also mentioned shooting from the parking lot as the plan evolved. If not, then  I am kinda baffled why they thought that.


Sabratha wrote:

You mean keeping people in the cafeteria while firing from the stairs? Does not seem possible, due to the layout. Check the map.. The people would just run deeper into Columbine to escape east (which is actually what occured).
It's not my first guess, and not what I thought while starting the thread, but I think it's possible. One has to account for why they started shooting without the bombs going off. I wished to avoid an interpretation with plan B. One possible interpretation is they started shooting  while thinking the bombs were soon to blow. But if that's the case, those first shots would not be shooting fleeing survivors, and could possibly serve the function of keeping students in the cafeteria.   Sean Graves tried to get back in there, for instance.

They only escaped east (or like, north) once Dave Sanders realized staying in the cafeteria under the tables was a bad idea, yes? Judging by the cafeteria footage, the first move was to stay in the cafeteria. Had the bombs gone off at 11:24, the story would be something like "Nobody thought to turn around, and nobody dare go forward because people were being shot outside, so we shielded ourselves under the tables then the bombs went off".

Though I agree with you that they went to the hill to wait for the bombs to explode, and could stick Eric at the main entrance or something if the idea was to frighten the cafeteria, rather than lull them to sleep. I think they just shot everything that moved and especially anybody in their way as they made it down the stairs, or at least as Dylan made it down the stairs.

Sabratha wrote:

It was hard to find a photo of CHS with the correct angle that was not violating the rules (no dead people in the photo), but this should be fine:
Spoiler:

You are right, they would not see the big windows. They did have a line of fire to the route people running out of the west cafeteria entrance would use, but not to the door itself.
Good image. I suspect they were there in part because they would be shielded from the blast, and that it shielded them enough to make them go by their watches, not what the senses told them. There is also something about how little they could see and Dylan noticing the lack of explosion as he walks down the stairs that rings true for me, perhaps similar to the infamous shot in the cafeteria after the sprinklers put out the fire.

Sabratha wrote:

By all evidence it would need time. I'm not sure E&D were aware of that. If they were, this would make plan B more likley imho. If Eric knew the time required for the heat to build up, he must have known there's a decent chance some kid with a fire extinguisher will put the blaze out before the explosion.

I think given the evidence (Dylan's minute planner) it is most likely that they were not aware of the "heat-up-time" or severely underestimated its duration.
I'm not sure either, and agree with you. Dylan's planner, shooting at the bombs, etc, suggests they probably didn't. Though I don't think a fire extinguisher could deal with the fires on the cafeteria footage, and I feel pretty confident they didn't just want a boom and the building to crumble, but fires as well. So, without a boom, but with the shooting already begun, I find it natural to wonder if they thought a fire had broken out. And really that's all you need for people to flee. Maybe they had read about the Mystic Massacre.


Sabratha wrote:

I'm pretty usre they were expecting a blast, probably glass and stuff flying all the way into the parking lot (which they could well see from the vantage point). They were also expecting to hear screams and see kids running away from the cafeteria through the western door or maybe even the blown-out cafeteria windows due west and southwest (see the diagram in the first link in this post).

Flinging the glass into the parking lot seems ambitious for bombs planted in the middle of the cafeteria, but I take your word for it.

Sabratha wrote:

I meant that they realized the timers failed and thus the bombs won't just blow up by themselves amongst hundreds of unaware kids eating their lunch. E&D of course tried to detonate the bombs through direct means later in the attack.
Sometimes it seems like while in the library, they did think the bombs would blow up by themselves, but upon returning to the commons,  they realized it needed work, and so focused on the bombs without killing anybody after that.

Sabratha wrote:

I understand what you mean, but I simply disagree. They heard no explosion, saw no evidence of that, have not seen any kids run away in terror. There were kids all around them sitting on the grass, having lunch or talking. E&D would see that nobody else noticed any signes of anything wrong.

It is one thing to mistake a gunshot for a blown tire, its another thing to completely fail to notice a nearby bomb. I think its unreasonable to assume E&D or anyone else nearby could "miss" the bomb explosion.
Especially since E&D did not fire at kids running away from the cafeteria or running anywhere in fact. They started shooting at kids sitting on the grass. These obviously weren't the fleeing terrified victims that plan A envisioned.
All fair points. Would say shooting at the soccer fields with a full cafeteria seems a bit bizarre on any theory, but perhaps especially mine. Maybe that was kill the jocks plan B until the plan C of the library.

Sabratha wrote:

Yep, it does not. Which is the strongest argument against plan B and the reason that for many years I didn't think there was plan B.

But without plan B, I don't see a good explanation for the lack of time wasted in surprise and then in debating what to do. With your version, I don't see a good explanation why E&D started the attack without hearing or seeing any evidence of the blast. Especially since they fired at kids sitting on the grass, not on the mass of panicked students flooding out of the cafeteria through the CHS western entrance.
And I didn't even think to mention that much!

I find it hard to believe you move to plan B after just two minutes, even if you know there is a plan B going in.  Then again, perhaps the diversion meant they couldn't wait twenty.

Sabratha wrote:

Was it feasible to drive there and brake through the wall under the windows? The cafeteria windows did not reach to the ground, the wall beneath looks to be some 1 meter tall:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Another good one. It does look like you would need a ramp to get the cars into the cafeteria.  Still hard to believe plan B would not be close to the magnitude of plan A.  Maybe that's all thanks to Eric's nose or lack there of.
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