Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum
A place to discuss the Columbine High School Massacre along with other school shootings and crimes. Anyone interested in researching, learning, discussing and debating with us, please come join our community!
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:04 pm
My school hosted one of the "Rachel's Challenge" things about bullying. I wanted to know more about the shooting itself, so I went home and looked it up. I found out that all the stuff about Rachel and God was not true, so I started to research even deeper. Now, here I am.
Posts : 9 Contribution Points : 31696 Forum Reputation : 0 Join date : 2019-04-21 Age : 22 Location : Somewhere over the Rainbow
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:49 pm
I got into the community thanks to Brenda Spencer, but I have always been interested about this kinds of topics, investigations and even making theories, so one day I just look it up in the internet and poof! I discovered this nice and very entertaining community!
Posts : 2 Contribution Points : 22415 Forum Reputation : 0 Join date : 2020-04-15
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:01 am
I heard an episode of the radio show Opie and Anthony in which they interviewed one of the cops who interrogated Jeffrey Dahmer the night he was apprehended. After this, I fell down the rabbit hole of serial killer documentaries on youtube. I would rewatch them all the time, but they lacked a certain depth I craved, so I started purchasing books about serial killers off Amazon. I learnt everything I could about Dahmer. My name, apartment 213, is a reference to his apartment in which most of the killing took place. This interest broadened into a general fascination with aberrant psychology. I read Elliot Rodger's manifesto in 2016. In 2017, Randy Stair (who I know posted here) left behind a trove of primary sources in the form of videos and writings. He spoke a lot about Columbine, so I was intrigued. I've watched a few documentaries and today I bought Dave Cullen's book on Kindle. I hope to return armed with more information and ideas upon finishing the book.
Posts : 42 Contribution Points : 27387 Forum Reputation : 0 Join date : 2020-03-11
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:08 pm
I grew up watching it because of my mum. I would sit with her and watch it from serial killers, unsolved, missing cases and the unknown. In my early teens, I got into the rabbit hole from early youtube documentaries days. I would listen to them while I was studying.
For Columbine, I had always known about it. I wasn't interested in an understanding of school shootings. Until I watched documentaries about the Dunblane massacre that happened in my country in the 90's. I started getting curious about other school shootings like Texas tower, Virginia Tech, and others. Something about Columbine, that I wanted to learn more and understand from the resources we have access too.
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:50 pm
I had heard of Columbine before this but I never really got into it until 2015 after finding and playing a Columbine map in the game Garry's Mod.
Posts : 219 Contribution Points : 26528 Forum Reputation : 306 Join date : 2020-03-02
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:51 am
True crime in general: Honestly I think it was those "Have you seen this child?" things on the news back when I was a kid, as I would always be really freaked out by them, yet fascinated.
But, I think the first true crime case that sparked my interest to research was the Diane Schuler case. I saw the documentary playing on the TV in a bar for some reason, and was instantly drawn in. I immediately looked it up and watched it when I got home. Part of it was that the locations associated with the case were routes I traveled regularly at the time, and even included the area where I grew up. But the case itself is also just interesting. I have come to a conclusion on what happened that I feel pretty satisfied with, but I guess we will never know for sure, unless someone talks.
True crime really took off as an obsession for me a couple of years later though after I came across the "list of people who disappeared mysteriously" article on Wikipedia. After that I was really into missing and unidentified cases and even worked on trying to match unidentified bodies to missing people. I didn't get particularly interested in murder cases until last year.
Columbine specifically: I had kept up with mass shootings in the news for years because of their prevalence and the debate on what to do about them, so I had done some basic research on Columbine. But I only started researching it in depth last year after I got really obsessed with the Kam McLeod/Bryer Schmegelsky case. The motive in that case is still unknown and there's a lot of gaps in the information.
So basically I started researching other rampage killings to get some idea on the whole mindset and psychopathology of their perpetrators, beyond just the "shooter" stereotype or what was reported in the news. Columbine was one that had some parallels in particular for a few reasons: a) the dual perpetrators and codependent dynamic, b) the fact that the sequence of events was, at the time, sort of unprecedented, and didn't seem to really be copying prior crimes, c) the personal symbolism and "delusion of grandeur"-ism in a lot of what they did. Plus, of course, there is a lot of information out there about it.
But really, I just have an interest in the topic in general because of this one northern BC murders case, and Columbine is just one of the more well known attacks. Beyond that, I also find it interesting because of the whole 90s cultural aspect of it, and its impact as a world event.
Posts : 219 Contribution Points : 26528 Forum Reputation : 306 Join date : 2020-03-02
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:05 am
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I’m curious to hear your conclusion on the Diane Schuler case, I’m very interested in that case as well!
This is a copy of a post I made on another true crime forum a while back with my theory on the case (sorry it is so long, lol). I put it in spoiler tags so as not to clog up the thread.
Timeline and analysis of such: around 9:30 AM -- They leave the campground and the campground owner saw no signs of intoxication.
9:56 AM -- They go to the McDonalds in Liberty. The staff saw no signs of intoxication. Google Maps says it takes about 17 minutes to get there from the campground, although that is without traffic, plus the 9:30 time of leaving the campground was only an estimate. She gets an orange juice there which some speculate she used as a mixer with the vodka from the car.
10:46 AM -- They go to the Sunoco station in Liberty which is very close to the McDonalds. The time is about consistent with five kids eating breakfast, playing in the McDonalds playground, etc. The store clerk saw no signs of intoxication. Some people on Youtube think she was driving aggressively as she drove away from the pumps and onto the road, which could be from intoxication or just the local cultural tradition of driving aggressively (also statements by some of her friends indicate she was an aggressive driver in general). In any case if she was intoxicated it was only mildly at this point.
11:37 AM -- She calls Jackie Hance and has a seemingly normal conversation and says they are delayed due to traffic. Remember though this was 2009 and most people had flip phones and upstate the signal can be not great, so even if she was slurring her words or something they may not have been able to hear it due to subpar reception.
around 11:45 AM -- Witnesses see her on the side of Route 17 looking like she is vomiting, I believe this was Francis and Jean Bagley but not sure where this was (https://nypost.com/2009/11/09/taconic-ma-twice-car-sick/).
around 12 PM -- Gerald Salerno Esq. sees her driving erratically and aggressively on I-87, around Harriman. He says that she was "gripping onto the steering wheel, appearing to concentrate on driving" but also that her aggressive driving "appeared to be done with some level of precision." It is most likely that she started drinking between 10:46 AM and 12 PM. It takes about 30 minutes to feel the effects of alcohol after drinking it.
12:13 PM -- She goes through the Harriman toll plaza on I-87. Depending on where she was, without traffic it should have taken her around 50 minutes to get to this point from Liberty according to Google Maps, and it took her about an hour and a half. But if there was traffic or if she stopped somewhere else to get the Advil, the kids stopped for the bathroom, etc. it could have taken longer. I haven't seen any reports on whether there actually was traffic but I do know in the summer there can often be a good deal of traffic from upstate to NYC as people come back from weekend trips.
around 12:30 PM -- Francis and Jean Bagley see her (again?) driving aggressively on I-87 to the point of almost causing an accident. She drives into the truck area of the Ramapo Travel Plaza. She gets out and looks like she is vomiting again. According to Google Maps it should take about 12 minutes without traffic to get here from the Harriman toll plaza and it took her about 17 minutes.
sometime between 12:35-1:35 PM -- She consumes the marijuana according to toxicology reports. Although if it was an edible, which I suspect it was for a variety of reasons (no paraphernalia found in the car, the kids would have noticed and maybe said something if she smoked it, the effects are 100% consistent with my experience of edibles, and it is VERY common with edibles to accidentally consume way too much without realizing since they are often stronger than people realize), maybe it was consumed long before that (from what I remember they take an hour or more to fully kick in and then you are hit with the effects suddenly).
12:55 PM -- Wrong number dialed from her phone, no information on how long the call lasted, if anyone picked up, or whether it was her or one of the kids dialing. Clearly this was not the precipitating event of what happened, as some people have speculated, since she was most likely already intoxicated for up to two hours before that.
12:58ish-1:02ish PM -- She calls Jackie Hance and sounds disoriented, call lasts for about 2 1/2 minutes and ends abruptly at 1:01 PM. Warren Hance calls back. He says she didn't sound like herself and even called him by her husband's name at one point. I believe this is consistent with confusion caused by overconsumption of marijuana in combination with alcohol. The kids were crying in the background of the call and said that Diane couldn't see, which again is consistent with marijuana over-intoxication in my experience (you get tunnel vision and out of body experiences).
1:02 PM -- She goes through the Tappan Zee Bridge tollbooth which was on the Westchester side of the bridge (ie. the tollbooths happen after one has already crossed the bridge). According to Google Maps it should take about 24 minutes without traffic to get here from the Ramapo Travel Plaza and it took her about 34 minutes, although this is not 100% accurate since they tore down the Tappan Zee bridge and built a replacement bridge in almost the same location, plus we don't know the exact time she left the Ramapo service area. During this time she is still on the phone with Warren Hance and then pulls over to the right of the road immediately after the toll plaza. One of Warren Hance's daughters says that she sees a sign for Tarrytown and the image shown in the documentary is of the Tarrytown sign hanging from an overpass, which I believe is the overpass for Route 9.
1:10 PM -- Three wrong numbers are dialed from her phone, which could be her or one of the kids.
1:15 PM -- Warren Hance tries to call Diane as he is driving up to Tarrytown to find her and it goes to voicemail. Her phone was later found on the concrete divider just past the tollbooths, so she must have been sitting there in the car from 1:02 PM to sometime between 1:10 and 1:15 PM.
1:15-1:33 PM -- She is driving on an unknown route between where her phone was left and 41°08′34″N 73°48′51″W (listed on Wikipedia as where she got onto the Taconic State Parkway). Varying routes here take 10-15 minutes.
1:35 PM -- Crash happens. She is described as looking straight ahead and seemingly totally unconcerned with and oblivious to the fact that she is driving on the wrong side of the road.
So one of the biggest things is that the timeline is not really that inconsistent with how long it would take to drive normally with all the stops that were mentioned. In the documentary one of her family members claimed that the trip took four hours when it should have taken under an hour and that is completely untrue. There aren't really any big chunks of missing time especially if there really was traffic, which as I mentioned there most likely was. Everything she consumed was most likely in the car while driving.
I don't think this was a murder suicide. People who commit murder suicide usually have a past history of abuse and/or mental illness and she didn't as far as we know. Her family, including the Hances, and most importantly her friends described her as a person with flaws and demons, but not an abuser or an unstable person. I also don't think there was any affair coverup or anything.
I think she was a closet alcoholic and an addict. She intended to drink just a little (most likely vodka from the bottle in the car mixed with orange juice from the McDonalds...but her definition of "a little" could objectively be a lot if her tolerance was high) and consume a small amount of marijuana (most likely in the form of an edible) to get through the stressful drive with five kids and maybe her tooth abscess. She had probably done this many times before with no problems, as a number of people do.
However the edible turned out to be way more powerful than she had realized. I believe the full effects may have hit her between 11:40 and 11:45 AM causing her to go from having a normal conversation to vomiting and driving erratically. Overconsumption of edibles alone can definitely cause vomiting, in combination with alcohol even more so. She lost contact with reality, went into a blackout and/or a state of dissociation, and continued to consume more alcohol than she intended, continued to drive when she was in no state to drive, and had no conscious realization of the fact she was driving on the wrong side of the road. I believe that this is the most likely explanation.
On the possible route and reasoning behind it:
Another thing, I checked out the routes from the Tappan Zee bridge tollbooths to where she got on the Taconic State Parkway and one route makes sense.
She knew that Warren Hance was coming to get her and that he might possibly send police or an ambulance to her location for her "medical emergency," and she couldn't risk being found out that she was driving drunk and high with kids in the car. It would shatter her perfect supermom image, possibly cause her to lose her job, and nobody would ever trust her again. That's why she left her phone, so that it would be harder to find her. I don't know if she was necessarily in a total blackout but possibly she was in and out of a blackout, a "rolling blackout" if you will (that happened to me when I had edibles plus one or two drinks, so with ten drinks but a higher tolerance it would definitely be possible).
I think that possibly she intended to just drive around on random back roads for a while until she sobered up more and then she would come home and claim a medical emergency. I believe she got on the Saw Mill River Parkway going north and drove up a few exits, then got off at the Bedford Road exit. Warren Hance already knew she was in Tarrytown so she had to get away from there. From there she made a left turn onto Pleasantville Road, a two-lane road, and it was only a short distance to the Taconic Parkway off-ramp where she got on. If you look at the off-ramp on Google Maps, besides the "Wrong Way" and "Do not Enter" signs, you can't really tell it's a highway off-ramp, like you can't see the highway until you're actually on it, and it just looks like a random country road. There is no signage for the Taconic Parkway near the off-ramp either.
If she was experiencing rolling blackouts it's very possible she didn't even realize anything was wrong while she was getting on the off-ramp and even driving on the highway. It may sound weird but intoxicated drivers drive the wrong way on the highway all the time and most of them have no idea until they crash.
At first I thought she got on the Saw Mill River Parkway going north when she intended to go south to Long Island, then realized her mistake and got off and drove to the Taconic Parkway to go back south but just got on the wrong way. But the reason why I don't think this is as likely an explanation is because there was no signage on Pleasantville Road or on the Saw Mill River Parkway indicating that this was a route to the Taconic Parkway. Unless she was familiar with the area or just assumed she would reach a highway going south if she continued driving, it doesn't make any sense that she would know this road went to the Taconic Parkway. There was no indication she was using GPS in the car.
On edibles, etc.: Anyway on the subject of edibles...unfortunately I have had two bad experiences with edibles, not realizing how strong they were. I had intermittent blackouts as I described, out of body experiences, paranoia, I felt like reality wasn't real anymore (dissociation) and my consciousness was "resetting" itself every few seconds, time slowed down a ridiculous amount (a minute seemed to take five minutes), vomiting, trouble speaking (I thought I was speaking normally but nobody could hear what I was saying), trouble seeing, and trouble understanding what was going on. Other people had to direct me where to go, and the first time I had to use process of elimination to figure out which corner my boyfriend's building was located on based on the amount of lights on each corner because I couldn't see properly. Both times I was in an unfamiliar place where I had never been before, and the first time there were also unfamiliar people around, which added to the terror of the experience.
Both times when I had bad experiences it was due to the people who gave me the edibles being unclear about the dosage. Both times I assumed that one edible was the intended unit for getting high. It later turned out that the intended dosage was like 1/4 or less of what I took, which I was not informed of. I later learned that this is pretty common. If Diane had the same issue, she could have ended up in the same state as me. The other thing is that this high lasts for a long time. For me it lasted until I went to sleep, which was about 12 hours later the second time, and there were still after-effects the next day.
Wrong-way crashes on the highway with intoxicated drivers happen fairly often. Even if I knew how to drive I would have realized during my bad edible experiences that I was in no state to operate a vehicle. But I also have always been one of those "any amount of alcohol = no driving" people because that's what I was always taught growing up. If Diane got drunk and high in the first place, she probably got drunk and high while driving all the time. Perhaps she had even been very intoxicated while driving before. People are shocked that she would drive intoxicated but it happens. People drive drunk all the time, and many of them do it with kids in the car, and many of them aren't the people you would expect to do it. She isn't the first and she isn't the last to do it, or to kill innocent people because of it. I think people think it's a murder-suicide because they don't realize how common this is. There was even a news story ABC did (it's on Youtube) about one of those "wine moms" who became an alcoholic and she admitted to driving drunk with her kids.
Also Diane had control issues and so in her mind, she had to keep driving so she wouldn't be found out. First to try to get the kids home and keep the facade going, and then once it became clear that something was wrong, to hide from her brother and the police/ambulance so that she wouldn't lose everything. Weed causes paranoia too so she would have been too paranoid to just park somewhere and wait it out, especially if she thought people were looking for her. She was likely trying to go to an unfamiliar area on purpose, possibly out of Westchester County, so that it would take them hours to find her and she would be sobered up by then.
Ultimately the main reason that rules out murder-suicide is that there is no motive for her to kill her nieces. Jackie Hance was one of her closest friends. If there had been any animosity between her and her brother, the nieces would never have gone upstate with her in the first place. Also, murder-suicides don't just come out of nowhere. There is generally escalating abuse leading up to it, and in this case there was no evidence of abuse at all.
Posts : 555 Contribution Points : 37807 Forum Reputation : 106 Join date : 2019-05-21
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:48 am
I've been aware of Columbine since I was about 10 years old, even though I had previously read about serial killers and mass murders on the Internet. I've always had an interest with murder and mystery.
Posts : 87 Contribution Points : 47646 Forum Reputation : 0 Join date : 2017-09-13 Age : 19 Location : Sweden
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Tue May 26, 2020 6:29 am
There was a TV-show about Swedish-Americans revisiting Sweden to find their ancestral history. There was a woman there who went to Columbine and apparently been friends with Cassie Bernall. When I heard about it I started to research it, and then I found CVA which led me here!
Posts : 81 Contribution Points : 27960 Forum Reputation : 65 Join date : 2020-02-16 Location : Sleepy Hollow
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine? Tue May 26, 2020 2:15 pm
Observing the history of war and violence likewise acknowledging the suffering and tragedies of all peoples worldwide in all history along with the messages left behind.
For me it was not solely in regards to columbine and events alike but mass murder events in general from bloody battles of histories greatest wars to stories of great sorrow involving many losses throughout existence.
In regards to Columbine I fondly remember the Batman shootings and Sandy Hook Shooting seered into my mind before I would eventually look into the 1999 event of columbine and come to later realise it's significance after observing it's complete story inside out and in conclusion for the legacy of 21st century mass killings, and from there I went on till now researching all events of mass murder alike.
Subject: Re: What got you into true crime/ Columbine?