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 Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2020 3:55 pm

I’ve seen this discussed a few times on the forum and I wanted to say what I think about it.

First of all, NBK was Dylan’s idea. He was writing about it in 1997. He wrote about wanting to do it three different ways before he even considered Eric as a partner: by himself, with a girl, and (presumably) with Zack Heckler. If he was able to do it any of those ways, Columbine would be very different, but I don’t think it happened those ways for the following reasons: Dylan would not have been able to plan the massacre himself due to his slacker attitude, he knew there was little to no chance he would find a girl willing to do it with him, and when Zack found a girlfriend, he knew he wasn’t going to do it with him either. So, he chose Eric. But back to Zack. He felt abandoned by Zack. He considered him his best friend and he wrote that they did everything together, including the rebel missions (before they were even called that and before Dylan even invited Eric to come with them). After Zack found his girlfriend, Dylan hung out with Zack less and Eric more, and this is really when things started to take shape. You could say, “Ok, they started hanging out more, but what if Eric was the one who influenced Dylan?” He wasn’t, it was the other way around. Dylan was thinking about NBK BY HIMSELF and was doing rebel missions WITHOUT ERIC. It was Eric who was INVITED to the rebel missions by DYLAN and it was Eric who then started bringing up “NBK,” DYLAN’S massacre name, about a year after Dylan first mentioned it, because of Dylan.

Leading off of that, the rebel missions weren’t even Eric’s idea like many assume. Like I stated above, Dylan and Zack did them together without Eric. Dylan eventually invited Eric to join them. Most people seem to think the rebel missions were organized by Eric/were all Eric’s ideas/Eric was the one who got Dylan into them all just because he was the one who wrote about them on his website. They were Dylan and Zach’s thing long before Dylan invited Eric. Therefore, Dylan was obviously the one who got Eric into doing these, not vice-versa. Dylan was the influence on Eric, not vice-versa. Just like how Dylan brought NBK, his own code name for the massacre, up to Eric. Just like how it’s presumed the van incident was Dylan’s idea, because Dylan said they both thought of it “at about the same time,” which I highly, highly doubt. There is no way they both said it at the same time, one of them had to bring it up first. Even Dylan saying “ABOUT the same time,” backs this up. I believe Eric’s story that Dylan originally said they should do it and then he agreed a few minutes later. I believe this is also how NBK was first brought up.

Second of all, continuing on with Dylan being an influence on Eric, Devon Adams stated Eric copied everything Dylan did to the point where Dylan would get annoyed about it. He copied his style of dress, he copied his trench coat, he copied his sunglasses, he copied some of his music taste, he started working at Blackjack because Dylan did, he put a rammstein sticker on his car days after Dylan did. Dylan talked about “zombies,” being a “god,” and having “self-awareness,” in his journal. Then a year later, Eric talks about the same exact things, using the same exact terms. It is clear Dylan talked to Eric about his views/ways of thinking and it rubbed off of Eric. I have no doubt he also brought up NBK to Eric at or around the same time. Because just like how Eric copied Dylan’s other terms, he also started copying his term “NBK.” Now, those are just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head as to how Eric copied Dylan, but I’m sure there are more. I know it’s not strange for friend’s to copy off of each other, but I just need to say that if either of them were copying the other and if either of them was having any kind of influence on the other, it was Dylan influencing Eric and Eric copying Dylan. Dylan had many close friends, whereas the only close friend Eric had was Dylan. It just makes sense that Eric would be the one copying him. He had no other close friend to lean on or look up to. Dylan was his “best friend.” Eric was just a “good friend” to Dylan, which is why he was his not first, not even second, but third choice for his partner in NBK. I always got the impression that Eric respected and admired Dylan, but Dylan didn’t act the same way back. Eric made it known he was in it (NBK) with Dylan. He was his ONLY choice of partner. He mentioned him a lot in his journal and spoke of him almost in a high regard, or at least as equals. Dylan never spoke of him in the same way and even seemed not happy that Eric was his partner. Dylan seemed to use his “friend” as a tool to accomplish his own suicide (I’ll get into this more below), and murder on the way. I never got the impression that Dylan viewed Eric the same way Eric viewed Dylan. He didn’t want to do NBK with Eric, he sort of just settled for him.

I can’t finish this without touching on the “Eric was a psychopath” thing. I do not understand how people can call Eric a psychopath when Dylan literally had more signs of psychopathy than Eric. Eric fools no one, but even today, Dylan is still fooling everyday. Eric felt sympathy and remorse for what he was going to do. He even apologized to the future victims. He felt bad for what this was going to do to parents, said they may have made mistakes they weren’t aware of, and tried to lessen their pain by distancing himself from them. Meanwhile, Dylan said his parents + family added to his rage, it’s his choice what he does with life, and seemed to not care how this would affect them. As far as he was concerned, the world ended with his death. He even deceived his own mother three days before the massacre, telling her she can “trust him,” knowing what he was about to do. Hell, Eric felt bad just because his mother would sometimes bring him snacks to his room. Dylan willingly had his parents drive him to Arizona not even a month before the massacre, knowing full well he wasn’t going to be alive to go to college and knowing he was getting his parents’ hopes up about him attending college. He didn’t show any signs of guilt about having his parents go on a whole road trip for him, yet Eric feels guilty just because his mom brought him a snack. In the diversion program, Dylan pretended he didn’t have any problems, told his mom he doesn’t need to see a therapist, whereas Eric admitted to having both homicidal and suicidal thoughts (and other things too). I think Eric wanted help and was willing to receive it, but Dylan felt above it all and just wanted to prove he didn’t need help when he clearly did. Let’s not forget that during the massacre, it was Eric who seemed to have empathy when he spared Bree Pasquale, a complete stranger, while Dylan was telling him to “shoot her already.” Imagine if this scenario was switched, with Dylan being reluctant to shoot somebody while Eric was telling him to “shoot her already.” That would be talked about allll the time, yet I rarely see anyone bring up what Dylan said just because it doesn’t fit the popular narrative. What about Dylan being rude to teachers, calling them bitches, or hitting and pushing girls? People say a lot about Eric just because of his posturing journal that was obviously written for an audience, but Eric never did any of those things, and I rarely see people talk about Dylan doing those things. In fact, when I do see the slapping incident brought up, half the time people think it was a lie. Or people are surprised to hear Dylan did those things and are in disbelief. Oh wait, of course! How could I have forgotten? Dylan drew hearts in his journal! He wrote romantic poems! Those obviously speak louder than his actions! /s

I truly believe NBK was originally planned as Dylan’s suicide mission because he was too scared to commit suicide alone in his own home. He didn’t care if other people died and he didn’t care if he had to kill people, all because he needed a reason to commit his own suicide so he couldn’t back out. He knew Eric was angry, bullied a lot, and on edge so I bet he assumed it would be easy to recruit him. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he recruited Eric while thinking about Eric’s get-shit-done type attitude, knowing Eric would get busy and do all the planning and organizing for NBK while he could just relax, write about his halcyon girl, draw hearts, write poems, and wallow in his depression. If people didn’t die, I would almost have to admire him for it. I mean, think about it: He managed to get someone else to plan, supply, and organize his suicide mission that he so desperately craved.

I also believe that if anyone was having second thoughts about the massacre, it was Eric. As I stated above, Dylan didn’t want help. He hid his problems. I have no doubt in my mind that he wanted nothing other than to kill himself. He truly thought that was the only solution to his problems (or this unrealistic halcyon perfect girl fantasy that girls who didn’t even know he existed were in love with him). I don’t think Eric wanted to die, and I even think he had second thoughts about the whole thing. It was on the final basement tape that Eric was apologizing to everyone, his parents, Susan, “everyone [he] loves.” While Dylan was hurrying him up, eager to start NBK and finally die. Eric cried thinking about not being able to visit his old friends. Eric uploaded his plans on the school server a day before the attack. Eric told the diversion counselor about his problems, obviously wanting help. He left the Nixon tape on his kitchen counter. The “clue” poster. I think Dylan got happier the closer NBK got and acted more deceitful to his friends/family to hide it because he needed it happen, while Eric was getting more detached from family/friends, trying to make it easier for them, dropping obvious hints like he wanted to be stopped, and acting more depressed. It’s also very telling how Eric said “NBK came quick.” When you’re looking forward to something, it typically comes very slowly. But if you’re not looking forward to something, and dare I say maybe even having second thoughts, it tends to come fast and really creep up on you out of nowhere.

In conclusion, Dylan was the one who thought of the idea and Eric followed. Just like how Eric followed a bunch of other things Dylan did. But most of the blame gets put on Eric just because he wrote a hate filled journal that he himself alluded to being written for an audience. But all the blame gets put on Eric even though Eric was the one with the get-shit-done type attitude while Dylan was a complete slacker which explains why Eric wrote down most of the planning and details. The points I’m trying to get across are that this was definitely Dylan’s idea (which was mainly motivated by his desire to die), there is evidence Eric copied Dylan more than Dylan copied Eric so the Dylan follower theory is bullshit, neither were psychopaths but I don’t get why Eric is always called one when Dylan seemed more likely to be one, Dylan wasn’t a saint until the day of April 20, 1999, and Dylan had much more of an influence on Eric (and the massacre itself, imo) than Eric had on him. If I have to hear Eric was an evil psychopath who manipulated innocent, depressed Dylan just one more time, I’ll lose it. Anyone who believes that obviously hasn’t studied this case deeply enough, or the boys are still fooling you 21 years later, with Dylan’s hearts and sad poems that make people overlook or lessen the blame for other things he did, and Eric’s angry “Reb” coping mechanism persona that hid the real Eric, who behind it all, hated himself, desperately wanted to fit in, and externalized most of his self-hatred. They were both responsible for what happened and Columbine never would have happened if they never met. I actually think if they never met, and if Eric made it to graduation and got out of that school, he would have been less angry and he could have had a normal life, but I think Dylan would have killed himself regardless. It seemed like the only thing that would have made him happy was an unrealistic halcyon girl fantasy that would have just made him more depressed when he realized the perfect girl/relationship doesn’t exist.


Last edited by kblu on Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2020 4:38 pm

Totaly agre whit this!
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2020 8:57 pm

I agree, people often forget Dylan was the manipulative one, fooling his family and friends without any remorse. Personally, contrary to popular narrative, I find his persona more complex and deranged than Eric's.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2020 9:03 pm

I can agree broadly with your thesis, but on several finer details I have to question some things and offer alternative explanations for others. If there's something here I make no comment on, it's because I agree with you and thus do not feel a need to say anything.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
It was Eric who was INVITED to the rebel missions by DYLAN
[…]
Dylan and Zack did them together without Eric. Dylan eventually invited Eric to join them.
[...]
They were Dylan and Zach’s thing long before Dylan invited Eric. Therefore, Dylan was obviously the one who got Eric into doing these, not vice-versa.

Citation needed. I've never heard anyone posit that the rebel missions were started by Zack and Dylan with Eric joining in later until now.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Eric felt sympathy and remorse for what he was going to do. He even apologized to the future victims

Huh? He talked about coming back as a ghost to give them flashbacks. I think the closest either of them got to apologizing to their victims was telling their friends that they can have whatever they want "if they live".

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He felt bad for what this was going to do to parents, said they may have made mistakes they weren’t aware of, and tried to lessen their pain by distancing himself from them.

He also claimed that their constant moving caused a lot of his anger and led to him getting picked on at every new school he went to.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think Eric wanted help and was willing to receive it

Very questionable when by all accounts Eric seemed to have lied to his therapist about the nature of his problems. Eric was given medication for OCD. OCD can cause some people to have intrusive thoughts related to hurting themselves or others. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that you do not want and are not your own; people with OCD feel guilty for having them but would never act on them. Eric's homicidal and suicidal ideation were clearly not intrusive, but rather organic. They were his own.

This tidbit aside Eric railed against people who he felt were trying to control him, and specifically mentioned his anger at being forced to take medication and getting forced to suppress his thoughts and urges. And of course while seeing his psychiatrist he was actively planning a killing spree with Dylan, continued to make bombs, bought weapons, etc. Brooks (I know, grain of salt) also alleges that Eric didn't even take his medication consistently. So this throws a massive wrench into the idea that Eric wanted to be saved from himself.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Let’s not forget that during the massacre, it was Eric who seemed to have empathy when he spared Bree Pasquale, a complete stranger, while Dylan was telling him to “shoot her already.”

This is a really awful example to use, because you've deliberately left out much of the actual circumstances behind her getting spared. Eric shouted "Do you want to die?" at her repeatedly and then screamed about how everyone would die because they were going to blow up the school. In other words, Eric's not actually sparing Bree, but rather wants to deliberately delay her death.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
People say a lot about Eric just because of his posturing journal that was obviously written for an audience

This is just an opinion not borne out by evidence. I could just as easily say Dylan's self-flagellating in his journal is posturing intended to get people to sympathize with him more.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I truly believe NBK was originally planned as Dylan’s suicide mission because he was too scared to commit suicide alone in his own home. He didn’t care if other people died and he didn’t care if he had to kill people, all because he needed a reason to commit his own suicide so he couldn’t back out.

I think a lot of people understate just how much Dylan wanted to kill people. I feel like mass murder was a pretty central component to his wants and desires considering how he talks about getting a gun and shooting people he doesn't like multiple times, and, y'know, decided to follow through with the massacre to the end and (as you yourself noted) encouraged Eric to kill more at every step of the way.

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I don’t think Eric wanted to die

Only technically true.
"i don’t care if I live or die in the shootout, all I want to do is kill and injure as many of you pricks as I can"

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He left the Nixon tape on his kitchen counter. The “clue” poster.
[…]
Eric was getting more detached from family/friends, trying to make it easier for them, dropping obvious hints like he wanted to be stopped

The Nixon tape was left on the kitchen counter the day of the attack, so I really wonder what "obvious hints" he was dropping for them.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
It’s also very telling how Eric said “NBK came quick.” When you’re looking forward to something, it typically comes very slowly. But if you’re not looking forward to something, and dare I say maybe even having second thoughts, it tends to come fast and really creep up on you out of nowhere.

Conjecture.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Dylan had much more of an influence on Eric (and the massacre itself, imo)

Except Dylan's idea of a massacre was just the idea of shooting people he hated. Eric was almost definitely the one who thought of using bombs (he explicitly compared the upcoming kill spree to the Oklahoma City Bombing and was building bombs before Dylan even mentioned NBK in his journal). The only indication that Dylan was interested in bombing people was when he gave one of his pipe bombs the nickname "Atlanta".

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Eric’s angry “Reb” coping mechanism persona that hid the real Eric, who behind it all, hated himself, desperately wanted to fit in, and externalized most of his self-hatred.

Except that's a distortion of the facts. If Eric had his little badass anti-hero persona, if he wanted to be seen as some feared and hated monster and wanted to hide the fact that at the end of the day he was just a scared kid who wanted to be part of the in-crowd, and furthermore wrote his journal purely to advance this idea, why would he, while still totally "in-character", write in his journal, to a supposed audience, all the fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities that you just mentioned? If nothing else, answer this question, because it's impossible to reconcile the idea that Eric was writing things for an audience, and then wrote things he supposedly didn't want his audience to know.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2020 10:21 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"Citation needed. I've never heard anyone posit that the rebel missions were started by Zack and Dylan with Eric joining in later until now."

In his journal, Dylan wrote about doing them with Zach with no mention of Eric. He wrote, "I finally felt happiness (sometimes) we did cigars, drinking, sabotage to houses, EVERYTHING for the first time together." That's from his July 23, 1997 entry where he was sad about Zack starting to date Devon and reflecting on what they used to do together. He is referring to him and Zack only in that sentence, not Eric. He says they sabotaged houses "for the first time together." So I don't think it's far off to assume he and Zack were doing them together before Eric joined them.

"Huh? He talked about coming back as a ghost to give them flashbacks. I think the closest either of them got to apologizing to their victims was telling their friends that they can have whatever they want "if they live"."

He said, "To you coolios out there still alive, sorry if I hurt you or your friends." I shouldn't have worded it as the future victims themselves, I meant he still apologized for people "coolios" he would have hurt during the massacre.

"He also claimed that their constant moving caused a lot of his anger and led to him getting picked on at every new school he went to."

That is true, but my point was he seemed to have more remorse/care more about how the massacre would affect his parents than Dylan did.

About Eric wanting help or not, there aren't really any facts to confirm either way because we don't know what he was thinking, but I do think he was more willing to receive help than Dylan was, and that was my main point. We know Dylan lied on his diversion sheet and told his mom he didn't need to see a therapist. But Eric did tell the truth about his problems on the sheet and did see a therapist.

About Bree Pasquale, I think he knew she would survive if he didn't shoot her. I don't think they truly believed the bombs were going to go off. He said he would have to imagine everyone as characters from Doom, and I think just by seeing her crying and begging for her life, he couldn't kill her. I think the only thing the broken nose did was stall/daze for him a few seconds so he didn't immediately go shoot the next person he saw, it sort of forced him to stop for a second and Bree happened to be right there, crying and distressed. It made him really look at/realize what he was doing and I think he very briefly snapped out of what he was doing. I definitely think he was threatening to kill her to look scary and be an asshole and play god, but I don't think he ever intended to. When he said the bombs were gonna go off anyway, he just wanted to seem like he wasn't actually sparing her, IMO. I don't think either of them shot anyone they made eye contact with IIRC. If Eric was having any kind of remorse at that moment, it was snapped out of him when Dylan called him over to Isaiah. I wonder if he did it intentionally because he was worried about why he refused to shoot someone and thought he had to get him back into it.

About the journals, Eric definitely wrote for an audience. He left it out on his bed in plain sight, almost like he was making sure the cops would find it. He addresses the readers of his journal multiple times throughout. I don't think all of it was really accurate as to how he was really feeling/what he was willing to do. An example of this are his almost rape-like fantasies, but when he had Susan Dewitt alone with him in his room for 4 hours IIRC, even home alone during half that time, all he did was put his arm around her. He even called himself "a crazy racist rapist," probably wanting to seem tough, but his actions with Susan show the opposite. Another example of this is his fantasy about torturing someone, yet during the massacre, he couldn't even/didn't want to stab someone.

"I think a lot of people understate just how much Dylan wanted to kill people. I feel like mass murder was a pretty central component to his wants and desires considering how he talks about getting a gun and shooting people he doesn't like multiple times, and, y'know, decided to follow through with the massacre to the end and (as you yourself noted) encouraged Eric to kill more at every step of the way."

I agree with you, but I think the very first time he thought about it, it was originally a suicide mission foremost and as time went along, it became more about the murders too. This is purely an opinion, but I don't think Dylan really cared about the bombs or was as disappointed as Eric probably was about them not exploding. As long as he got to die at the end of the day, and had fun during the massacre, that's all that really mattered to him.

About Eric not wanting to die, if he had a choice, he definitely would have done the massacre and got out of it alive without prison time if he could. Like his insane fantasy of going to New Zealand or somewhere else. He even wrote about that with Dylan coming with him in mind, which kind of makes me sad because I don't think he ever knew how suicidal Dylan was and how determined he was to die that day. He was probably shocked as hell when he heard Dylan triumphantly yelling about how "today is the day [he] dies" in the cafeteria. Whereas with Dylan, part of the goal of the massacre and part of the reason he was doing it was his death.

As for the hints, I feel like he was hoping his parents would find the nixon tape before 11am. I don't know about you, but I think uploading his plans on the school's server was a very obvious hint.

As for Dylan influencing the massacre, I didn't mean what exactly happened on that day, bombs or not. I mean he influenced the idea itself.

"Except that's a distortion of the facts. If Eric had his little badass anti-hero persona, if he wanted to be seen as some feared and hated monster and wanted to hide the fact that at the end of the day he was just a scared kid who wanted to be part of the in-crowd, and furthermore wrote his journal purely to advance this idea, why would he, while still totally "in-character", write in his journal, to a supposed audience, all the fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities that you just mentioned? If nothing else, answer this question, because it's impossible to reconcile the idea that Eric was writing things for an audience, and then wrote things he supposedly didn't want his audience to know."

There's little spurts of that throughout that seeped through, but you can't deny 98% of it was him trying to act all tough and bad-ass. I think his last entry in particular was real venting and the most true one about how he really felt and the reason why it was all happening.

And it still worked! Because lots of people will read his journal and completely ignore/disregard the moments where he got real, letting his insecurities and feelings slip in, but they will just focus on the rest of it and conclude those parts where he thinks he's so above everyone, full of hate, etc, are accurate to how he was feeling, when he didn't even really think of himself as that, it was really a coping mechanism for how much he hated himself/something for him to hide behind and also written for shock and scare value IMO.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 2:26 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
In his journal, Dylan wrote about doing them with Zach with no mention of Eric. He wrote, "I finally felt happiness (sometimes) we did cigars, drinking, sabotage to houses, EVERYTHING for the first time together." That's from his July 23, 1997 entry where he was sad about Zack starting to date Devon and reflecting on what they used to do together. He is referring to him and Zack only in that sentence, not Eric. He says they sabotaged houses "for the first time together." So I don't think it's far off to assume he and Zack were doing them together before Eric joined them.

Huh, must've slipped my mind. It's been a while since I last looked over Dylan's journal, so I apologize for the error.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
"Huh? He talked about coming back as a ghost to give them flashbacks. I think the closest either of them got to apologizing to their victims was telling their friends that they can have whatever they want "if they live"."

He said, "To you coolios out there still alive, sorry if I hurt you or your friends." I shouldn't have worded it as the future victims themselves, I meant he still apologized for people "coolios" he would have hurt during the massacre.

Fair.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
"He also claimed that their constant moving caused a lot of his anger and led to him getting picked on at every new school he went to."

That is true, but my point was he seemed to have more remorse/care more about how the massacre would affect his parents than Dylan did.

Also fair.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
About Eric wanting help or not, there aren't really any facts to confirm either way because we don't know what he was thinking,

True, but we can make inferences based on his behavior and actions. So when he's getting diagnosed with OCD and being given medications for it when he clearly doesn't actually have the disorder, we can infer that either he's not being fully honest about his problems or his psychologist is dumb as a brick (though the two aren't mutually exclusive).

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
About Bree Pasquale, I think he knew she would survive if he didn't shoot her. I don't think they truly believed the bombs were going to go off.

Respectfully, there's no way either of us can know that. After the library massacre they shot at the cafeteria bombs and tossed a Molotov and pipe bombs at them, so I have to wonder what's the point if they didn't at least hope that the bombs would detonate.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He said he would have to imagine everyone as characters from Doom, and I think just by seeing her crying and begging for her life, he couldn't kill her.

The possibility seems remote considering he kept killing after witnessing her crying and begging, so if such an action affected him wouldn't it make him hesitate with the other murders? He also told Kacey Ruegsegger to "Quit your bitching" when she was gasping for pain and bleeding to death, suggesting that the pain and misery of his victims meant little to him.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I don't think either of them shot anyone they made eye contact with IIRC.

IDK about "eye contact" but Dylan shot Lance Kirklin in the face after mocking him, so that's something.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
About the journals, Eric definitely wrote for an audience. He left it out on his bed in plain sight, almost like he was making sure the cops would find it. He addresses the readers of his journal multiple times throughout. I don't think all of it was really accurate as to how he was really feeling/what he was willing to do.

I disagree, I think the journal is supposed to be his method of explaining himself, of telling people "this is why it happened". But I'll get into that more a little later. For now I just want to point out a small excerpt he wrote that I feel is very illuminating:
"Fuck it. Why should I have to explain myself to you survivors when half of this shit I say you shitheads won’t understand and if you can then woopie fucking do. That just means you have something to say as my reason for killing. And the majority of the audience won’t even understand my motives either! They’ll say “ah, he’s crazy, he’s insane, worthless! All you fuckers should die! DIE! What the fuck is the point if only some people see what I am saying, there will always be ones who don’t, ones that are to dumb or naïve or ignorant or just plain retarded. If I can’t pound it into every single persons head then it is pointless."

He knows that anything he says will be misinterpreted, misunderstood, or ignored. He's exasperated that nobody's going to get it.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
An example of this are his almost rape-like fantasies, but when he had Susan Dewitt alone with him in his room for 4 hours IIRC, even home alone during half that time, all he did was put his arm around her.

There was no way for Eric to know if she wouldn't go to the cops if he attempted to rape her, and after the van break-in I very much doubt Eric would've relished the prospect of getting arrested again, for a much more serious crime, and potentially facing far more severe punishment. All this aside in your earlier post you mentioned that Eric apologized to Susan for the upcoming massacre, so it seems logical to assume that if he really did care about her, he wouldn't rape her.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He even called himself "a crazy racist rapist,"

In the same breath he questions if it's just teenage hormonal imbalances.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Another example of this is his fantasy about torturing someone, yet during the massacre, he couldn't even/didn't want to stab someone.

But on the other side of the coin, didn't seem to think much of people screaming and begging him to help as he shot them. Certainly not enough to consider stopping.  

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
About Eric not wanting to die, if he had a choice, he definitely would have done the massacre and got out of it alive without prison time if he could. Like his insane fantasy of going to New Zealand or somewhere else.

He might have harbored unrealistic fantasies of escaping after getting his revenge, but he states, both in his journal and elsewhere, that he expected to die during the attack.  

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
As for the hints, I feel like he was hoping his parents would find the nixon tape before 11am. I don't know about you, but I think uploading his plans on the school's server was a very obvious hint.

The idea that Eric's parents would find the tape in time, realize that it's something serious and not a video for school or something (since Eric and Dylan performed videos for different classes), and then watch it, and then contact the police...it feels like a stretch.

I also didn't comment on him uploading his plans on the school server because it's the first time I've heard of this information and didn't know what circumstances surrounded it were, or even the full details of the document. It could've been a deliberate leak or a careless act, but since I don't know anything about it I don't feel comfortable making a claim. I'll bet it's something I've heard of before but just forgot or misremembered.

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As for Dylan influencing the massacre, I didn't mean what exactly happened on that day, bombs or not. I mean he influenced the idea itself.

Fair.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
There's little spurts of that throughout that seeped through, but you can't deny 98% of it was him trying to act all tough and bad-ass.

Actually, most of the journal is him attempting to expand on his personal ideology and belief system. He goes on for quite a bit about how the unfit should be culled, how he's more self-aware than others, that everyone around him is brain-dead and smothering their violent instincts, etc. Admittedly it's peppered with edgy rants about how the Nazis are cool or joking about how people should be shot for mishandling a lighter (of all things), but generally it's not him trying to look tough and badass, it's him trying to look smart, intelligent.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
lots of people will read his journal and completely ignore/disregard the moments where he got real, letting his insecurities and feelings slip in, but they will just focus on the rest of it and conclude those parts where he thinks he's so above everyone, full of hate, etc, are accurate to how he was feeling, when he didn't even really think of himself as that, it was really a coping mechanism for how much he hated himself/something for him to hide behind and also written for shock and scare value IMO.

I don't understand how his stated feelings of inadequacy and failures are mutually exclusive to him talking about how hateful he is and how he wants to make people suffer. On the contrary I think that makes his rants about wanting to tear people apart easier to understand; he admits he feels like a loser, that people have picked on him, and therefore, to him, this is a good rationale for wanting to torture and kill others. The same passage he says this:
"If people would give me more compliments all of this might still be avoidable . . . but probably not. Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face. I’ll get revenge soon enough."

He follows it up with the rape fantasy and torture fantasy. One grows out from the other.

You're right in that many people only focus on one part of his writing, but that doesn't mean it's alright for us to do the same thing and focus on the other part to the exclusion of something else.

I think if you want to see an example of a shooter who was actually, truly posturing in their manifesto in order to cover up their insecurities, you should take a look at Seung-Hui Cho. The differences between his writings and Eric's are stark.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 2:53 am

Referring to that, when do the deposition tapes come out? Was it supposed to be this year or 2021?

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 8:36 am

Interesting discussion. I am here to follow you guys.

I am not a Columbine expert like you, but I’ll give my two cents here. I have always interpreted Eric as a psychopath. I’ve always seen him as manipulative, remorseless. He is extremely contradictory in his writings, in the tapes. I agree that it seems that he often wrote for an audience, he was always trying to explain himself and his actions. It is hard to know whose idea was to start the massacre, but clearly Eric is the one who invested more in the idea, both financially and strategically.

I think your arguments for Dylan are very interesting, because they made me question if he was actually just “angry-depressive” as most experts say, he could also have psychopathy traits. I think I see him differently now. And I agree, it pisses me off when people try to portray him as “innocent”, “poor little Dylan was manipulated by evil Eric”. He was none of that.
About his diary, I read that it wasn’t a proper diary, but instead scattered pages. We will never know if he threw away some of them (the compromising, violent ones) and only left the poems and hearts to manipulate us into pitying him, or if it was only that - poems and hearts. We will never know if he erased his Hd because it had his violent rants, or if it was because it was full of porn or other embarrassing stuff.

We will, unfortunately, never learn the full truth of this duo, but we can’t deny that, either way, BOTH of them are equally as guilty, they both looked forward to that massacre, and they felt defeated when the bombs didn’t work as planned. In my opinion, they didn’t shoot more people because: first, the bombs didn’t work and that probably came as a failure to them, and second it probably got boring.

I might be wrong, and I will be hardly be convinced otherwise, but I see no remorse in them at all. Those tapes saying nice words to parents and to victims “if they live”? Seriously? I don’t bite any of that. Just two teenager boys going to start a senseless tragedy and trying to prove themselves right at all costs.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 2:48 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
About his diary, I read that it wasn’t a proper diary, but instead scattered pages. We will never know if he threw away some of them (the compromising, violent ones) and only left the poems and hearts to manipulate us into pitying him, or if it was only that - poems and hearts. We will never know if he erased his Hd because it had his violent rants, or if it was because it was full of porn or other embarrassing stuff.

Could be, though his school assignment where he writes about a blatant self-insert character shooting preps and detonating bombs suggests that he might've channeled his violent fantasies into fictional works.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 3:24 pm

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“Respectfully, there's no way either of us can know that. After the library massacre they shot at the cafeteria bombs and tossed a Molotov and pipe bombs at them, so I have to wonder what's the point if they didn't at least hope that the bombs would detonate.”

True, but I don’t think they believed the bombs were just randomly going to go off while they were in the library. They also must have known that as soon as they left the library, everyone who survived would have fled out. So even if they did get the bombs to go off when they went back to the cafeteria, all the people who survived (besides Patrick and Lisa) would have been gone. Whether they thought they could get the bombs to explode or not, they must have known everyone in the library would have been gone by then, including Bree.


“The possibility seems remote considering he kept killing after witnessing her crying and begging, so if such an action affected him wouldn't it make him hesitate with the other murders? He also told Kacey Ruegsegger to "Quit your bitching" when she was gasping for pain and bleeding to death, suggesting that the pain and misery of his victims meant little to him.”

Like I said before, I think he very briefly snapped out of what he was doing after he saw Bree, but got back into it once Dylan called him over to Isaiah. I think that’s why he didn’t hesitate with murders after that. And also because no one else really acted that way again (besides Valeen Schnurr I guess, who they didn’t shoot again after she begged for her life). It’s easier to shoot someone hiding under a table when you can’t even see their face than someone who’s crying and begging you to let them live. If they encountered anyone else who acted like Bree, I think they would have been spared too. As for Kacey, I read a theory someone had on this awhile ago that I really agreed with, but I can’t find it. The gist of it was they thought Eric didn’t want to hear people crying during the massacre because it made it harder for him to pretend they were just Doom monsters, so he told them to shut up just because he didn’t want to hear it. It doesn’t make what he said to people any less fucked up, but I don’t think it’s because it didn’t affect him, I think it’s the complete opposite. He didn’t want to hear it because it did affect him.

I don’t want to get any more into the journals because we’ll just be throwing our opinions back and forth forever.

“But on the other side of the coin, didn't seem to think much of people screaming and begging him to help as he shot them. Certainly not enough to consider stopping.”

Wanting to stop the massacre because of people screaming is different than whether he wanted to stab people or not, which is what I brought up. I know he shot people, but I think it’s a lot easier to just shoot someone rather than stab them or torture them or hurt them with your bare hands. I brought the stabbing situation up because it proves his fantasies of torturing people weren’t real fantasies of his and he just wanted to appear that way. If they were, if he truly wanted to do those vile things he described (like ripping someone’s throat out for example), why couldn’t he stab someone? That’s hell of a lot easier to do and less graphic than the things he was describing in his journal. No matter how tough and scary he tried to appear with those torture fantasies, when he was given the perfect opportunity to stab people, he didn’t even want to. This is a perfect example of him posturing in his journal for an audience. I said I wouldn’t get any more into the journal so I’ll just stop now.

As for his plans in the school server, I think they’re somewhere in the columbine documents towards the end IIRC

The parents depositions come out in 2027 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 8:39 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
“Respectfully, there's no way either of us can know that. After the library massacre they shot at the cafeteria bombs and tossed a Molotov and pipe bombs at them, so I have to wonder what's the point if they didn't at least hope that the bombs would detonate.”

True, but I don’t think they believed the bombs were just randomly going to go off while they were in the library.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] has posited the theory that they might've timed the second bomb to go off at 11:35, and while I believe him I know this theory has been incredibly contentious here, so if we go with the usual theory that both were set for around 11:17 then they might've gambled on the bombs' detonation becoming delayed (sometimes this happens with real life bombs, which is why militaries across the globe make a show of deactivating "dud" bombs).  

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
They also must have known that as soon as they left the library, everyone who survived would have fled out.

Dozens to hundreds of students chose to hide in classrooms, bathrooms, and there were even a few people still hiding in the cafeteria when they returned to it.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
“The possibility seems remote considering he kept killing after witnessing her crying and begging, so if such an action affected him wouldn't it make him hesitate with the other murders? He also told Kacey Ruegsegger to "Quit your bitching" when she was gasping for pain and bleeding to death, suggesting that the pain and misery of his victims meant little to him.”

Like I said before, I think he very briefly snapped out of what he was doing after he saw Bree, but got back into it once Dylan called him over to Isaiah. I think that’s why he didn’t hesitate with murders after that. And also because no one else really acted that way again (besides Valeen Schnurr I guess, who they didn’t shoot again after she begged for her life). It’s easier to shoot someone hiding under a table when you can’t even see their face than someone who’s crying and begging you to let them live. If they encountered anyone else who acted like Bree, I think they would have been spared too. As for Kacey, I read a theory someone had on this awhile ago that I really agreed with, but I can’t find it. The gist of it was they thought Eric didn’t want to hear people crying during the massacre because it made it harder for him to pretend they were just Doom monsters, so he told them to shut up just because he didn’t want to hear it. It doesn’t make what he said to people any less fucked up, but I don’t think it’s because it didn’t affect him, I think it’s the complete opposite. He didn’t want to hear it because it did affect him.

IDK, to me at least it would be impossible for a would-be murderer suddenly have enough empathy for their victim to spare them, but also not show remorse, or stop their current behavior and continue killing people. I've never heard of such a thing before.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I don’t want to get any more into the journals because we’ll just be throwing our opinions back and forth forever.

Isn't this basically what we've been doing with everything else though?  Neutral
I don't want this to sound pushy or mean, but I have to say that my eyebrow is raised when I provide a rational explanation for Eric's edgy rants and violent fantasies that incorporates his self-hatred and professed inadequacies neatly, and furthermore point out that Eric knew any supposed audience would be too stupid to understand anything he's saying and would write him off as insane. You can at least see how I came to my conclusions, right?

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I know he shot people, but I think it’s a lot easier to just shoot someone rather than stab them or torture them or hurt them with your bare hands. I brought the stabbing situation up because it proves his fantasies of torturing people weren’t real fantasies of his and he just wanted to appear that way. If they were, if he truly wanted to do those vile things he described (like ripping someone’s throat out for example), why couldn’t he stab someone?


Expectation vs. reality for starters. Shooting people was certainly far different from what either of them imagined, so it's not unreasonable for them to be thinking in the back of their minds that stabbing someone IRL would definitely be far away from movies, TV, and video games. As absurd as it may sound, fear and cowardice may have played a role as well; maybe Eric only felt confidant, powerful, and capable wielding a gun, and a knife was a step too far out of his comfort zone (part of this may be related to them expecting the police to barge in at any moment, and another part of this may be related to the fact that neither were physically fit male specimens). And of course, there's the same explanations that are used to explain why they stopped shooting - running out of adrenaline, wanting a big explosion and a police shoot-out, etc.

You are right in that shooting someone is likely easier than stabbing them to death, but shooting someone can be just as cruel and painful, sometimes moreso, than a stabbing. After all, a bullet can do tremendous damage to the human body.

As one last aside, Eric wrote in the earliest draft of the plan about breaking into a home and killing the residents inside, so the idea of killing someone a tad brutally seems to have been percolating in his mind for a while.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
That’s hell of a lot easier to do and less graphic than the things he was describing in his journal.

Some of the things Eric talked about doing in that passage were also biologically impossible to do to someone and wildly unrealistic, so it gives off the impression that the torture fantasy was generally just that, a fantasy, not placed there to shock the readers, but to provide Eric an avenue to vent that wasn't just playing Doom or Postal over and over again.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
No matter how tough and scary he tried to appear with those torture fantasies, when he was given the perfect opportunity to stab people, he didn’t even want to. This is a perfect example of him posturing in his journal for an audience. I said I wouldn’t get any more into the journal so I’ll just stop now.

I hope you change your mind and allow at least some further discussion of the journal and its contents, because I feel like that's been the most productive part of the conversation. If that's final though, then I suppose that's that.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Mar 17, 2020 11:57 pm

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I do agree with some of the stuff you said about his journal. He was definitely venting a lot, trying to put himself/make himself think he has more control with his fantasies, and he was trying to explain to people his thoughts and why NBK was gonna happen. But I still think he was trying to make everyone who read it think he was so much more tough, smart, and scarier than he actually was, and give off this impression of him that he wished he was but really wasn’t. He was really putting on “Reb” in most of his journal, this superior bad-ass guy he wished he was, when he was really just a weak kid with no power and no self-esteem, just Eric. He did so partly for an audience and partly to make himself feel better about himself. I really would like to read a private journal that Eric wrote for his eyes only and that he never intended for anyone else to read. I think it would be different. Just like how I’m sure if Dylan had a journal that he intended for everyone to read like Eric did, it would be a lot different too (more like how he acted in the basement tapes). But neither of those exist.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeWed Mar 18, 2020 1:34 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
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I do agree with some of the stuff you said about his journal. He was definitely venting a lot, trying to put himself/make himself think he has more control with his fantasies, and he was trying to explain to people his thoughts and why NBK was gonna happen. But I still think he was trying to make everyone who read it think he was so much more tough, smart, and scarier than he actually was, and give off this impression of him that he wished he was but really wasn’t.

I can fully agree he wanted to seem far smarter than he actually was (name-dropping Nietzsche and Hobbes certainly seems like edgy teenager philosophy at play), I can even concede that it's possible he wanted to be seen as scarier than he actually was (though I have my doubts since he tried to blow up a lunchroom full of hundreds of people and participated in a mass shooting that left a dozen people dead and many others crippled and traumatized, and that sounds pretty terrifying to me), but the idea he wanted to be seen as tougher than he actually was is undermined by him also being somewhat open about being picked on, lacking confidence, and needing guns to be able to feel tough at all.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He was really putting on “Reb” in most of his journal, this superior bad-ass guy he wished he was, when he was really just a weak kid with no power and no self-esteem, just Eric. He did so partly for an audience and partly to make himself feel better about himself.

See I think this is really the main sticking point between us and it's something I differ with on a lot of the people in this forum. I don't think he created a character that he was acting out, at least not on a conscious level. I see the anger and hate, the spite fueled rants and declarations of superiority not as playacting, but rather the logical end result of someone with Eric's unique personality not getting the success he desperately craves. You could call this a coping mechanism, it very well could be, but I think it would be wrong to say that it's fabricated for someone else to be impressed (or distressed) by. Like I said before, the insecurities, the flaws, feeling like a loser, it feeds into his rage and homicidal ideation. Thus, in turn, Eric looks for anything that can validate himself and legitimates his desire to inflict violence. His praise for the Nazis could be an attempt to shock the reader with sheer edge, or it could just as easily be Eric's way of grabbing onto something he feels gives him legitimacy and power. Another example is his praise for natural selection - when he goes off about how everyone needs to be tossed into Doom or that retarded people should die, it sounds to me like he's trying to overcompensate for his low self-esteem by latching onto something he can feel above someone to.

I can keep going, but I imagine much of this is just a matter of perspective. As one last aside, I think it's telling that in Eric's murder fantasy, the proposed victim isn't a jock or policeman, both types of people Eric hated greatly, it's not even just a generic person, but a freshman. In other words, someone weak. It's an unintentional admission that he has no confidence taking on someone capable of fighting back and that he lacks real feelings of superiority.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeWed Mar 18, 2020 10:38 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

I do not understand how people can call Eric a psychopath when Dylan literally had more signs of psychopathy than Eric. Eric fools no one, but even today, Dylan is still fooling everyday.

No, I don't think Dylan ever showed signs of psychopathy, or matched the psychopathic personality traits in the 5 factor model. One of the best indicators of the psychopathy is the 5 factor personality model (abbreviated OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism). Psychopathy correlates negatively with three of the five traits just mentioned, those are conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticism. In other words, psychopaths (those with ASP) are low in conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism, as would be expected. On the other hand, they are high or average on openness and extraversion. Dylan, from what I've gathered, was low in conscientiousness (at least in his teen years) and extraversion and, moderately low in agreeableness but high in neuroticism and openness. Therefore, I don't find that he fits the psychopathic (ASP) personality traits.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeWed Mar 18, 2020 11:48 am

I think Dylan certainly came up with the idea,Eric then got into it and started serious plans,then maybe Dylan started trying to back out.In the end,and this is just my opinion,Dylan saw it as a convenient way of ending his own life.Eric certainly saw it as vengeance,again just my opinion.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeWed Mar 18, 2020 6:02 pm

Interesting topic, and thoughtful discussion in here. I'm just going to add a few things to what you've both already said, which may or may not be worth thinking about.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I do agree with some of the stuff you said about his journal. He was definitely venting a lot, trying to put himself/make himself think he has more control with his fantasies, and he was trying to explain to people his thoughts and why NBK was gonna happen. But I still think he was trying to make everyone who read it think he was so much more tough, smart, and scarier than he actually was, and give off this impression of him that he wished he was but really wasn’t.

I can fully agree he wanted to seem far smarter than he actually was (name-dropping Nietzsche and Hobbes certainly seems like edgy teenager philosophy at play), I can even concede that it's possible he wanted to be seen as scarier than he actually was (though I have my doubts since he tried to blow up a lunchroom full of hundreds of people and participated in a mass shooting that left a dozen people dead and many others crippled and traumatized, and that sounds pretty terrifying to me), but the idea he wanted to be seen as tougher than he actually was is undermined by him also being somewhat open about being picked on, lacking confidence, and needing guns to be able to feel tough at all.

So, yes, I agree that Eric wanted to appear to be something he may not have fully been. I don't think he lacked intelligence, though - an I know that's not what you were implying. He was a high school kid who was, for all purposes, kind of sheltered. I'm sure he looked things up on the internet like we all did/do and I'm sure he read his fair share of edgy philosophy that way, and absorbed what he felt aligned with his thinking. But this is the thing about him: he did have a way of thinking, of being self-reflexive about who he was and why he was the way he was. He didn't just talk about his ideas, philosophical or violent, he talked openly about his inadequacies. I've always found that fascinating. If this is a document he fully intended people to read, he was telling everyone what a loser he felt like, how he thinks he's garbage, weak, ugly, whatnot. I can see a teenage boy who thinks that way about themselves being drawn to the idea of making people pay for ignoring him or harassing him. I had teenage boys as friends, and some of them were pretty free and easy with talking about how they'd like to fuck people up. But, that wasn't the whole of what Eric told us, which [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] points out a little below.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He was really putting on “Reb” in most of his journal, this superior bad-ass guy he wished he was, when he was really just a weak kid with no power and no self-esteem, just Eric. He did so partly for an audience and partly to make himself feel better about himself.

Yeah, he did talk a big game and I do agree that he wished he was more of a badass in his day-to-day life than he had the confidence to be, but was in his journal to a degree. I don't know if his journal made him feel better about himself - sometimes I've considered that it might have made him feel worse. Or, at least worse in spots, like when he talks about his inadequacies. He can't possibly be feeling good at that time. And while he is talking to an imagined audience and we do know they planned to send out a media kit which the journal was to be part of, he's also a lonely teenage boy who might not have ever spoken openly about the way he felt about himself. His journal, specifically the self-deprecating parts, might have been the only time he admitted these feelings.

I think he and Dylan hid their inner turmoil very well. If they hadn't, the shooting might not have happened. They hid a lot of things that would have revealed them as violent, rage-driven, angsty kids who maybe spent too much time in their self-created fantasy land. Probably hid things from themselves, too. Total conjecture, but people do this so often that I can't see them being exempt from not recognizing all of the whys of what they felt. Which is why I've always seen Eric's audience as including himself - he was probably trying to figure himself out as much as anything, whether he thought of it that way or not.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
See I think this is really the main sticking point between us and it's something I differ with on a lot of the people in this forum. I don't think he created a character that he was acting out, at least not on a conscious level. I see the anger and hate, the spite fueled rants and declarations of superiority not as playacting, but rather the logical end result of someone with Eric's unique personality not getting the success he desperately craves. You could call this a coping mechanism, it very well could be, but I think it would be wrong to say that it's fabricated for someone else to be impressed (or distressed) by. Like I said before, the insecurities, the flaws, feeling like a loser, it feeds into his rage and homicidal ideation. Thus, in turn, Eric looks for anything that can validate himself and legitimates his desire to inflict violence. His praise for the Nazis could be an attempt to shock the reader with sheer edge, or it could just as easily be Eric's way of grabbing onto something he feels gives him legitimacy and power. Another example is his praise for natural selection - when he goes off about how everyone needs to be tossed into Doom or that retarded people should die, it sounds to me like he's trying to overcompensate for his low self-esteem by latching onto something he can feel above someone to.

I can keep going, but I imagine much of this is just a matter of perspective. As one last aside, I think it's telling that in Eric's murder fantasy, the proposed victim isn't a jock or policeman, both types of people Eric hated greatly, it's not even just a generic person, but a freshman. In other words, someone weak. It's an unintentional admission that he has no confidence taking on someone capable of fighting back and that he lacks real feelings of superiority.

Same, I don't think it was a character and I think a lot of the time - despite the fact that there was some vague intention to distribute their writings - Eric was just saying the shit that came to mind at that moment. He probably did have intent, yes, everyone has intent when they do anything and writing isn't exempt. But I also think he was just himself. People are confused, contradictory, weird things. He was probably (all of my "probably" are to let everyone know that I'm not making any hard claims, just putting half-formed thoughts out there as I grope towards less understanding over time rather than more) in some way also writing to himself - he was his audience, he was the person he was both admitting his failings to, and talking up his desire to be violent.

Which brings me to the point [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] made that I alluded to before. That in Eric's fantasy, he was directing his violence at a freshman. Someone who was (or should have been) weaker than him physically. And, socially. But the freshmen that year were - as you can find pointed out in multiple places - a bit more rowdy than usual. He and Dylan complained about the freshmen basically not knowing their place, giving them a hard time. It makes me think that they weren't just enraged at their treatment at the hands of jocks, cops - people who had some kind of advantage over them - but that they were (or maybe I should stick with Eric since we're talking about him) particularly offended by people who he/they saw as inferior and weaker daring to try to show them up in some way. But unlike beating up a jock, Eric did have a chance at beating up a weaker, youger freshman.

Hopefully that was all coherent, I've been a bit overstressed lately.

I really am enjoying the responses in here. You're all making great points, worth talking about - even if we don't arrive at any definitive answers.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeFri Mar 20, 2020 2:03 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] just adding a couple point of my own, I like the engagement and discussion this whole thing has brought on. Wish I could've responded sooner, but all this virus shit has had me on edge until now, so it is what is.  Smile

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He was really putting on “Reb” in most of his journal, this superior bad-ass guy he wished he was, when he was really just a weak kid with no power and no self-esteem, just Eric. He did so partly for an audience and partly to make himself feel better about himself.

Yeah, he did talk a big game and I do agree that he wished he was more of a badass in his day-to-day life than he had the confidence to be, but was in his journal to a degree.

I've thought a lot about it, and I think Eric did want to give off the impression of being some cool bad-boy type, but that his journal wasn't (wholly) where he expressed that. No, I think more and more he used his personal appearance to convey that - the trenchcoat, KMFDM hat, the Natural Selection T-Shirt he wore on the day of the attack plus all the T-Shirts related to industrial bands, combat boots, etc. Within his journal I think the parts where he wanted to be seen as a bad motherfucker were the time he fawned over weaponry, explained how it worked and what it could do to a person. Perhaps it was another unintentional admission that Eric by himself felt scared and weak without firepower on his side.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Which brings me to the point [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] made that I alluded to before. That in Eric's fantasy, he was directing his violence at a freshman. Someone who was (or should have been) weaker than him physically. And, socially. But the freshmen that year were - as you can find pointed out in multiple places - a bit more rowdy than usual. He and Dylan complained about the freshmen basically not knowing their place, giving them a hard time. It makes me think that they weren't just enraged at their treatment at the hands of jocks, cops - people who had some kind of advantage over them - but that they were (or maybe I should stick with Eric since we're talking about him) particularly offended by people who he/they saw as inferior and weaker daring to try to show them up in some way. But unlike beating up a jock, Eric did have a chance at beating up a weaker, youger freshman.

Oh definitely, I do think the rowdiness of the freshmen that year was part of the reason Eric chose a freshmen as his fictional victim, chances are he was probably thinking of a specific freshmen or two when he wrote that passage (God knows I lost my shit at underclassmen when I was a senior). I do know Eric mentions in his journal how much he hated not being shown the respect that he felt he deserved as a senior.

As one more addendum to my original point, I think it's interesting to note the differences between two people Eric railed against in a rant against liars. In the first example, Eric lists off the lies person one has told, but doesn't name them; it's generally assumed that the person he was referring to was Rocky Hoffschneider, the person accused of being the "king-jock" of Columbine and the nastiest bully to roam its halls. Eric lists off the lies the second person has told, but names them explicitly as having been told by Brooks Brown. I think we all know how the saga between Brooks and Eric went down by now. And of course, one of the easiest explanations for why Eric started drama with Brooks instead of Rocky is because Eric probably thought he could intimidate Brooks a hell of a lot easier than the six foot wrestling champ.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hopefully that was all coherent, I've been a bit overstressed lately.

I really am enjoying the responses in here. You're all making great points, worth talking about - even if we don't arrive at any definitive answers.

Absolutely, I've been enjoying the conversation and you came across perfectly fine. Smile

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Mar 21, 2020 11:56 am

I am reading “Why Kids Kill” by Peter Langman and I wonder if you have read it, and if yes, what are your thoughts about his interpretation of Eric and Dylan? I thought it was very interesting. However, differently from what [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] says in here, Langman points Eric as the main influence of the homicidal ideas and all the hate.

I apologize if mentioning this book feels like going out of the topic, it is not my intention. I suggested it to enrich this very interesting discussion about the two killers and their relationship.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Mar 21, 2020 6:58 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] just adding a couple point of my own, I like the engagement and discussion this whole thing has brought on. Wish I could've responded sooner, but all this virus shit has had me on edge until now, so it is what is.  Smile

Same here. It's screwed most of what I was going to be doing for the foreseeable future, so I've been kind of in and out of feeling like doing much.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I've thought a lot about it, and I think Eric did want to give off the impression of being some cool bad-boy type, but that his journal wasn't (wholly) where he expressed that. No, I think more and more he used his personal appearance to convey that - the trenchcoat, KMFDM hat, the Natural Selection T-Shirt he wore on the day of the attack plus all the T-Shirts related to industrial bands, combat boots, etc. Within his journal I think the parts where he wanted to be seen as a bad motherfucker were the time he fawned over weaponry, explained how it worked and what it could do to a person. Perhaps it was another unintentional admission that Eric by himself felt scared and weak without firepower on his side.

I'd have to agree. I do think he was most confident in his journal in some ways, but that he certainly was working to give the impression he was not someone you'd want to fuck with through appearance cues like those you noted.

I think him feeling he needed weaponry to complete that badass image - in the journal or in daily life - is true, too, and was what I was getting at when I said he was using the journal to be what he couldn't (fully) be on a day to day basis.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Oh definitely, I do think the rowdiness of the freshmen that year was part of the reason Eric chose a freshmen as his fictional victim, chances are he was probably thinking of a specific freshmen or two when he wrote that passage (God knows I lost my shit at underclassmen when I was a senior). I do know Eric mentions in his journal how much he hated not being shown the respect that he felt he deserved as a senior.

As one more addendum to my original point, I think it's interesting to note the differences between two people Eric railed against in a rant against liars. In the first example, Eric lists off the lies person one has told, but doesn't name them; it's generally assumed that the person he was referring to was Rocky Hoffschneider, the person accused of being the "king-jock" of Columbine and the nastiest bully to roam its halls. Eric lists off the lies the second person has told, but names them explicitly as having been told by Brooks Brown. I think we all know how the saga between Brooks and Eric went down by now. And of course, one of the easiest explanations for why Eric started drama with Brooks instead of Rocky is because Eric probably thought he could intimidate Brooks a hell of a lot easier than the six foot wrestling champ.

Agreed. I've wondered at times if part of the reason he went so hard at Brooks is because he didn't feel he could do that to Rocky and get away unscathed. I'm sure he was pissed at Brooks, but his inability to act against other people he hated likely made him lash out at Brooks with extra ferocity. His website - his public call-outs of Brooks - are among the few everyday places he felt safe unleashing his rage.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Absolutely, I've been enjoying the conversation and you came across perfectly fine. Smile

I'm trying! Still haven't touched on the original topic - Dylan's influence on Eric. Need to get to that as soon as I have another slightly less stressed moment.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 23, 2020 4:28 pm

A lot I could say. A healthy mix of agreement and disagreement. I agree Dylan may have been more twisted, and probably at least the original motive for the massacre was Dylan's suicide. His inability to do it at home seems to me more than needing to his force his hand with the massacre, but along with that doing something with his life and not dying alone (thus the aspect of unrequited love for Dylan's journal and even the homoeroticism often assumed about the massacre, or simply why there were 2). Also agree that in general when Eric is doing something, it probably started with Dylan. I don't think Eric or Dylan "wanted to be caught" or anything; I think they just wanted that "foreshadowing and dramatic irony".

Quote :
In his journal, Dylan wrote about doing them with Zach with no mention of Eric. He wrote, "I finally felt happiness (sometimes) we did cigars, drinking, sabotage to houses, EVERYTHING for the first time together." That's from his July 23, 1997 entry where he was sad about Zack starting to date Devon and reflecting on what they used to do together. He is referring to him and Zack only in that sentence, not Eric. He says they sabotaged houses "for the first time together." So I don't think it's far off to assume he and Zack were doing them together before Eric joined them.
 
It's not a crazy inference from that, but you should spell out that it's an inference from that. The difference between inference and fact is what being a dilettante sleuth like us is all about.

Quote :

About the journals, Eric definitely wrote for an audience.
Respectfully, this would not be said without it being a meme on Columbine forums. There's no real reasoning offered as much as it just seems like people have a gun to their head from everybody else and feel the need to repeat it. 

He addressed an audience; it doesn't follow that he was insincere. That's just blatantly a non sequitur.  He's trying to explain himself and very often says he doesn't care what we think about it, and that he'll be dead when we read this anyway. He also could not be certain they would be read, just as we don't have the Basement Tapes. They may have decided to scrap mailing in the journals or tapes and opted for the t-shirts to explain. 

Quote :
I know he shot people, but I think it’s a lot easier to just shoot someone rather than stab them or torture them or hurt them with your bare hands.
It's even easier in that respect to bomb people. You don't even need to look at them. It's the "hot" way to kill while stabbing or strangling is the "cold". If the second bomb's failure is why the library massacre stopped (the only rational explanation as I see it), and they started shooting before the first bomb not after (again, same),  then with the exception perhaps of Dave Sanders, all of the murders took place when they felt they were backed up by a bomb about to go off. That possibly makes it even easier. Just as the massacre forces Dylan into suicide, the bombs force them to shoot. 
Quote :
I don't think either of them shot anyone they made eye contact with IIRC.
I believe this comes from Tim Krabbe, who said they didn't shoot anyone they spoke to, not eye contact. And he's wrong, as shown by Lance Kirklin most obviously.  They certainly shot people they made eye contact with. Patti mentions looking right at them, Richard saw them, both Daniels almost certainly did, and Steven Curnow was facing forward and Eric knelt in front of him. That's just off the top of my head. If Kacey had been facing forward rather than a bit to the side, she'd probably be dead, not spared. 

And absurd to say Eric was lying to Bree about the bombs going off, when they had bombs underneath it, and didn't carry fake ones into the library to pull off some convincing psyop. John was told to run for the same reason. You can't say they were sparing people by not shooting them and at the same time say John needed to run, surely. The only way that John needs to run is if that library is going to explode. Otherwise he could've been "spared" like Bree. 

And then Evan is told he's going to live, after they stop shooting, and before they leave to go check on the bomb. One bomb, not the other. What explains that? Really easy explanation is the second bomb failed at 11:35. So, Bree is fuk'd even if they don't shoot her, because they're going to blow up the school anyway, hence John is fuk'd if he doesn't run. But the bomb failed, so they stop, Evan is going to live unless Dylan shoots him, and they need to make the bomb go off manually. Indeed, they didn't think if would go off on its own - yet they kept saying it would go off. So, it can't be that both bombs failed at 11:17, which calls a lot more about the start of the massacre into question, which already should be doubted. On this theory they don't leave the library because they 'snap out of it' or something, they simply leave to set off the bomb, which is much less speculative. Even my profile pic is from the clock on the bomb they tried to set off - note the hand on the 7, the 35th minute.

It opens an interesting question of why shoot anybody in the library then. I think the best explanation is to draw in police, so the bomb catches them too. Indeed they were criticized for not going in, and that would explain it. That the perps expected to die in the library when the second bomb went off could also explain their returning there to die. I think it may even explain that last Molotov cocktail.


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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 23, 2020 6:08 pm

“That the perps expected to die in the library when the second bomb went off could also explain their returning there to die. I think it may even explain that last Molotov cocktail.“

But why the library and not the cafeteria where the bombs were?

Also, if Dylan was the most influential and suicidal one, I wonder why Eric killed himself first.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Mar 23, 2020 6:24 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
“That the perps expected to die in the library when the second bomb went off could also explain their returning there to die. I think it may even explain that last Molotov cocktail.“

But why the library and not the cafeteria where the bombs were?

Also, if Dylan was the most influential and suicidal one, I wonder why Eric killed himself first.
Because it's not where the victims were; because the shooting began outside and alerted the cafeteria and the first bomb didn't go off, so the library massacre was improvised. I think they were supposed to die in the cafeteria where the bombs were, after surrounding it and shooting people after the first bomb, the second bomb was supposed to get them and police and so on. But then  that didn't work so they had committed themselves to dying in the library rather than the cafeteria. at 11:35. Thus they return when they don't get a bomb or a police shootout, and light a molotov cocktail as one last hope of at least burning down the library. But that's really icing on my case; I qualified it with the least confidence of any thing I said, i. e. "could", "may". What is in its favor is that it's several times better than the alternative for why, which just seems to me to be to watch the car bombs and then being so distraught from that not happening. The cafeteria being wet while the library was dry could also be a factor.

I don't know that I said Eric wasn't suicidal, but one could interpret it as Dylan was more "into it" while Eric just hurried up and got it over with. I would again emphasize the aspect of Dylan not dying alone being a motive; he may have wanted Eric to go first. But I agree that one could just as well point to Eric killing himself first as a leader role. Though I side more with Dylan if either had to be leader (might need to emphasize my ifs), I think perhaps the best reason to say Eric was leader is that the massacre happened in April, after his birthday. He wondered whether to do it before or after prom, which seems to say all the times they said "April" before did not mean as an homage to OKC or Hitler.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeWed Mar 25, 2020 7:33 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
A lot I could say. A healthy mix of agreement and disagreement. I agree Dylan may have been more twisted, and probably at least the original motive for the massacre was Dylan's suicide. His inability to do it at home seems to me more than needing to his force his hand with the massacre, but along with that doing something with his life and not dying alone (thus the aspect of unrequited love for Dylan's journal and even the homoeroticism often assumed about the massacre, or simply why there were 2). Also agree that in general when Eric is doing something, it probably started with Dylan. I don't think Eric or Dylan "wanted to be caught" or anything; I think they just wanted that "foreshadowing and dramatic irony".

I haven't had the chance to come back in here to say this, but, yes, completely agree with you on the notion that Dylan was probably the more fucked up of the pair. I also agree that things did start with Dylan - that he wanted to die, could not die alone, and realized that he needed help to die. We do know that he wrote at least one goodbye in his journal before the letter to his imagined love, but obviously did not carry out his intentions. He required a motivator, an event, something that would force his hand. I find the idea of needing someone to force you into dying, even though you want to die, particularly interesting. From a psychological standpoint, why might you need that? Is it simply that a fear of death remains even for those who want to die, or is it the desire beyond annihilating yourself to annihilate others? Did he derive some comfort from the thought that he would send others to their deaths before him, and maybe even intended for Eric to kill himself first? If – and I have to again emphasize that what I am saying is all speculation – any of those things are true, Dylan was indeed the more disturbed of the pair, and the more dangerous.

[quote="cakeman"]
”kblu” wrote:
In his journal, Dylan wrote about doing them with Zach with no mention of Eric. He wrote, "I finally felt happiness (sometimes) we did cigars, drinking, sabotage to houses, EVERYTHING for the first time together." That's from his July 23, 1997 entry where he was sad about Zack starting to date Devon and reflecting on what they used to do together. He is referring to him and Zack only in that sentence, not Eric. He says they sabotaged houses "for the first time together." So I don't think it's far off to assume he and Zack were doing them together before Eric joined them.

It's not a crazy inference from that, but you should spell out that it's an inference from that. The difference between inference and fact is what being a dilettante sleuth like us is all about.

Also, yes, wanted to note that Dylan and Zach going on missions before Eric was involved does speak to Dylan being more of an instigator than Eric. I would refrain from saying “leader,” because I don’t really know if it’s such a neat and simple dichotomy here, but certainly Dylan had a demonstrated propensity for causing havoc and wanting to cause more. That doesn’t preclude Eric from the same desire, though. Like I said, I think their relationship was a little more complex than one led the other followed, one wanted to die, the other to kill, one originated the plan, one ensured it was carried out. They were likely a great deal more mutually dependent than even we acknowledge.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He addressed an audience; it doesn't follow that he was insincere. That's just blatantly a non sequitur.  He's trying to explain himself and very often says he doesn't care what we think about it, and that he'll be dead when we read this anyway. He also could not be certain they would be read, just as we don't have the Basement Tapes. They may have decided to scrap mailing in the journals or tapes and opted for the t-shirts to explain.

Directed at someone else, but, again, though I do think he was writing for an audience – even in the sense of him being his own audience – I definitely don’t think that makes anything he wrote insincere. I do think it means the opposite. I think he wanted people, including himself, to know as exactly as possible why he was the way he was, why he took the actions he took, and how he understood it all.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Just as the massacre forces Dylan into suicide, the bombs force them to shoot.

And we can think, too, about other school shootings. How many of them eve attempted the kind of massacre that these two did? How many spend months building and testing bombs? The bombs were integral to their plan. It might have even been motivated by Dylan’s more passive attitude towards dying. He didn’t want to have to DO anything to die, really. But he wanted to die. Being blown up, whether by your own bomb or someone else’s, requires a lot less action on your part at the moment of death than some other ways he could have offed himself in his own home. It’s impersonal. It’s maximally destructive. With the foreknowledge of a grand explosion that will kill you and everyone else around to back you up, shooting a bunch of people likely seemed less a big deal.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
And then Evan is told he's going to live, after they stop shooting, and before they leave to go check on the bomb. One bomb, not the other. What explains that? Really easy explanation is the second bomb failed at 11:35. So, Bree is fuk'd even if they don't shoot her, because they're going to blow up the school anyway, hence John is fuk'd if he doesn't run. But the bomb failed, so they stop, Evan is going to live unless Dylan shoots him, and they need to make the bomb go off manually. Indeed, they didn't think if would go off on its own - yet they kept saying it would go off. So, it can't be that both bombs failed at 11:17, which calls a lot more about the start of the massacre into question, which already should be doubted. On this theory they don't leave the library because they 'snap out of it' or something, they simply leave to set off the bomb, which is much less speculative. Even my profile pic is from the clock on the bomb they tried to set off - note the hand on the 7, the 35th minute.

I do find this a compelling argument. There is also evidence in the form of the clock, things said during the shooting, and their own timing to back it up. I think it makes the massacre even more disturbing. If the bombs were planned to occur in phases, that likely means they wanted to enjoy the chaos the first would have caused before checking out with the second. And that the second had a purpose beyond just finishing them off…

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
It opens an interesting question of why shoot anybody in the library then. I think the best explanation is to draw in police, so the bomb catches them too. Indeed they were criticized for not going in, and that would explain it. That the perps expected to die in the library when the second bomb went off could also explain their returning there to die. I think it may even explain that last Molotov cocktail.

Which would be this. As to whose idea this might have been originally, who knows. But I am pretty secure in saying that Dylan had an incredible influence on Eric, and that Eric also had a substantial influence on Dylan.

I think it’s worth remembering here that in his journal, Eric talked about how he should die, that he was unworthy. His language was different than Dylan's, but his sentiment wasn't. Would he have acted on it the way he did without Dylan? And would Dylan have acted on his own desire to die without Eric? It’s impossible to know. What we do know is that neither did.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeThu Mar 26, 2020 6:49 am

Quote :

And we can think, too, about other school shootings. How many of them eve attempted the kind of massacre that these two did? How many spend months building and testing bombs? The bombs were integral to their plan. It might have even been motivated by Dylan’s more passive attitude towards dying. He didn’t want to have to DO anything to die, really. But he wanted to die. Being blown up, whether by your own bomb or someone else’s, requires a lot less action on your part at the moment of death than some other ways he could have offed himself in his own home. It’s impersonal. It’s maximally destructive. With the foreknowledge of a grand explosion that will kill you and everyone else around to back you up, shooting a bunch of people likely seemed less a big deal.

Yes, I agree on at least two levels. First, the bombs are ultimately what make Columbine special, both in the sense of grandiose plan and strictly speaking why we talk about it. Not denying there are several factors to why, bigger guns than some previous shooters, the media, their suicides, that there were two, the unanswered questions, happening partly on live tv, capture by the CCTV, etc, but I think most of those are simply the result of having bombs. They didn't have to just shoot as many as fast as they could like other shooters, they got to reload in the library, they took control of the school, and of their own lives.  While the bombs didn't work like they had planned, their effect in keeping the police outside gives the massacre its character of just two guys against the school with little interference for a long time.  I sometimes wonder if Cho noticed this, given he chained the doors and said he had a bomb on the door hoping cops would stay outside. One has to wonder if they had just not been mentioned by the shooters during Columbine, if cops would have rushed in and things would be different.

Secondly, also agree that not only is bombing an easier 'hot' way to murder, the same applies to suicide. Standing next to a bomb is arguably a little bit easier than putting a gun to your own head, much as dying by police or firing squad is a little easier. It seems to me they planned one or the other, and that they try for both before returning to the library and finally having to shoot themselves, i. e. what you see on the CCTV and the 'wandering the halls' in between. Though, there is the wrench in that idea of seeing them get out of the way of the bomb once they lit it on fire.  Some have said that's simply how the bomb worked, it would eventually go off from a fire - but I find that hard to believe given the timers. Seems to me they may have known that could work, and then cops would no longer have an excuse for staying outside, hence they seem a bit excited, but it still seems to me like a plan B as it surely does to most at first blush, to go for throwing the Molotov at it. Basically they wanted to explode but not burn alive and they wanted instant boom but would settle for cooking them, is how I reconcile that issue. Or, perhaps they thought a fire was good enough to get the cops inside and went looking for them, since they had not killed any yet, rather than use that second bomb for suicide as I think was originally planned.

Also, the rocket launcher/RPG up against a wall or close target is quickest way to die in the Doom clones.  Note also Dylan spoke of tying a pipe bomb to his neck to kill himself, and Eric talked about swallowing chlorine-gas-laced crickets or something in NBK.doc so the cops who find their bodies die too.

And agreed that if Eric had a time machine and saw a timeline where we considered his journal the greatest thing ever written, he would beam with pride, not smirk with duping delight. "finally they wise up" not "ha, you fools!"  Not to mention, he talks about lying in his journal. When people are lying to you, they usually don't mention to you that they are liars. And a journal is one place you don't have to lie. I think it was simply a throwaway line used for when Erics journal conflicts with somebodys conception of him, which has grown into an oft repeated meme. It's not some insight into Eric's state of mind or character, it's just a defense mechanism from whomever started that meme. I can force any theory if you allow me to say everything Eric and Dylan said  about the massacre or did during it was a deception. Rachel was just a hologram and they carried umbrellas into the school so really I think they'd love the same ice cream I do. It's that kind of explanation masquerading as the sophisticated alternative to Cullen. Funny how nobody says "vodka" is a character rather than just a nickname.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Apr 04, 2020 10:52 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Yes, I agree on at least two levels. First, the bombs are ultimately what make Columbine special, both in the sense of grandiose plan and strictly speaking why we talk about it. Not denying there are several factors to why, bigger guns than some previous shooters, the media, their suicides, that there were two, the unanswered questions, happening partly on live tv, capture by the CCTV, etc, but I think most of those are simply the result of having bombs. They didn't have to just shoot as many as fast as they could like other shooters, they got to reload in the library, they took control of the school, and of their own lives.  While the bombs didn't work like they had planned, their effect in keeping the police outside gives the massacre its character of just two guys against the school with little interference for a long time.  I sometimes wonder if Cho noticed this, given he chained the doors and said he had a bomb on the door hoping cops would stay outside. One has to wonder if they had just not been mentioned by the shooters during Columbine, if cops would have rushed in and things would be different.

I agree the bombs played a huge role in making Columbine stand out, for all the reasons you noted. Particularly in that the bombs gave them time. No doubt the possibility of getting blown up made the cops hesitate. Even though the main bombs didn't explode, they still made a huge difference.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Secondly, also agree that not only is bombing an easier 'hot' way to murder, the same applies to suicide. Standing next to a bomb is arguably a little bit easier than putting a gun to your own head, much as dying by police or firing squad is a little easier. It seems to me they planned one or the other, and that they try for both before returning to the library and finally having to shoot themselves, i. e. what you see on the CCTV and the 'wandering the halls' in between. Though, there is the wrench in that idea of seeing them get out of the way of the bomb once they lit it on fire.  Some have said that's simply how the bomb worked, it would eventually go off from a fire - but I find that hard to believe given the timers. Seems to me they may have known that could work, and then cops would no longer have an excuse for staying outside, hence they seem a bit excited, but it still seems to me like a plan B as it surely does to most at first blush, to go for throwing the Molotov at it. Basically they wanted to explode but not burn alive and they wanted instant boom but would settle for cooking them, is how I reconcile that issue. Or, perhaps they thought a fire was good enough to get the cops inside and went looking for them, since they had not killed any yet, rather than use that second bomb for suicide as I think was originally planned.

Good points here, too. When I've thought of the possibility they went back to the cafeteria to try to make the bomb go off, with the idea that they'd die then and there, I've thought about their getting out of the way in terms of what's called hesitation marks. These are cuts made by someone who intends to kill themselves that are too superficial to cause real harm. Usually, done either as a lead-in to a fatal cut, or as a kind of lead-out when the person decides not to go through with it. So, they may have talked about the possibility of dying in the cafeteria if the bomb went off, but there are usually these hesitation marks involved in suicides that involve physical harm. That might've been their hesitation mark. That's, of course, just one way of seeing it, and one way I've thought about over time. Other possibilities - which you name - are also probable. Especially using any resulting fire to try to lure cops inside.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Also, the rocket launcher/RPG up against a wall or close target is quickest way to die in the Doom clones.  Note also Dylan spoke of tying a pipe bomb to his neck to kill himself, and Eric talked about swallowing chlorine-gas-laced crickets or something in NBK.doc so the cops who find their bodies die too.

Dylan's neck pipe bomb is why I've always thought they intended to die in an explosion. It's always seemed like the plan of someone who didn't want to take that more direct action of cutting your wrists or even shooting yourself in the head. Forgot all about Eric saying that - going to have to go look for that and read it again.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
And agreed that if Eric had a time machine and saw a timeline where we considered his journal the greatest thing ever written, he would beam with pride, not smirk with duping delight. "finally they wise up" not "ha, you fools!"  Not to mention, he talks about lying in his journal. When people are lying to you, they usually don't mention to you that they are liars. And a journal is one place you don't have to lie.

This, exactly.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Funny how nobody says "vodka" is a character rather than just a nickname.

True, and I do wonder why we don't talk about Dylan making up a depressed romantic character and all his sad hearts being a front the same way we do Eric's writing being one. Sure, there's probably something easier to empathize with concerning Dylan on a surface level (most people have at least one unrequited high school crush after all), and maybe people see Eric's writings as having more bravado or something which translates to insincerity. But, maybe he was just being...Eric.

Sometimes, I wonder what people would see if they looked back at their own high school journals - if they kept them - and how your own writing would appear to you years or decade(s) later.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSun Apr 05, 2020 12:22 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think we all know how the saga between Brooks and Eric went down by now. And of course, one of the easiest explanations for why Eric started drama with Brooks instead of Rocky is because Eric probably thought he could intimidate Brooks a hell of a lot easier than the six foot wrestling champ.

I disagree to a degree. Although I agree that Eric might have wanted to hurt jocks who were physically stronger and taller than him, I don't believe he didn't feel genuine animosity towards friends who crossed him. I think, based on what I've read, he directed much of his anger towards Brooks because Eric felt that he thwarted his desires and threatened his carefully crafted persona. It seems that Eric had no patience for incompetence, patience, or acceptance from his peers. That could be because Eric either held others up to a higher standard than himself, or that he was displaying what is called in psychology "other-oriented" perfectionism (the other side is "self-oriented" perfectionism), a maladaptive form of perfectionism that is often linked to the dark triad.


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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSun Apr 05, 2020 12:31 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:


Also, yes, wanted to note that Dylan and Zach going on missions before Eric was involved does speak to Dylan being more of an instigator than Eric.


I disagree with this assessment because I don't see much evidence of Dylan starting conflict on his own, while there is some is plenty of evidence that Eric was capable, even willing, to start conflict without much provocation.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2020 12:23 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I disagree to a degree. Although I agree that Eric might have wanted to hurt jocks who were physically stronger and taller than him, I don't believe he didn't feel genuine animosity towards friends who crossed him.

I can agree, but the abuse he hurled towards Brooks seems to have been unusually tempestuous, even for someone as angry as Eric.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think, based on what I've read, he directed much of his anger towards Brooks because Eric felt that he thwarted his desires and threatened his carefully crafted persona.

I don't follow? Dan Lab punched Eric straight in the face, I'd say that ruined his persona a hell of a lot more than Brooks no longer giving Eric car rides.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:


Also, yes, wanted to note that Dylan and Zach going on missions before Eric was involved does speak to Dylan being more of an instigator than Eric.


I disagree with this assessment because I don't see much evidence of Dylan starting conflict on his own, while there is some is plenty of evidence that Eric was capable, even willing, to start conflict without much provocation.

There was the locker getting defaced and vandalized, the alleged harassment of girls in gym class, allegations that he got mouthy at teachers, the post you're quoting points out the vandalism of homes and getting drunk started without Eric's influence. I'm not so sure of this idea that Dylan was less willing to start conflict by himself.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2020 3:33 pm

I think you can pretty much have any opinion of Eric and Dylan and back it up with 'facts'. It's all about what you want to believe.
It doesn't help that both Eric and Dylan were extremely inconsistent in their behavior, including in their writing.
Eric has moments of supreme confidence and arrogance, but he also has moments where he seems aware of his smaller stature and other perceived flaws.
Dylan, likewise, has many moments of non-existent self esteem but also has moments where he describes himself as better than everyone else, as having self awareness where others have none.
Whichever version of them was real, you can believe either one and back it up with what they wrote.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2020 6:15 pm

I always assumed Eric gave Dylan the nickname Vodka because he had a penchant for giving his friends nicknames... but you are right, no one really talks about that as an alter ego like they do with "Reb"

He does mention in his journal an "entity" that took over Dylan, and this was when he was still 15 I think.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2020 10:53 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

I can agree, but the abuse he hurled towards Brooks seems to have been unusually tempestuous, even for someone as angry as Eric.

I can't decide if the Eric's altercation with Brooks was part of a behavioral pattern or an aberration. It seems like an indication of suppressed rage, but I am not sure certain that this is the case.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think, based on what I've read, he directed much of his anger towards Brooks because Eric felt that he thwarted his desires and threatened his carefully crafted persona.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

I don't follow? Dan Lab punched Eric straight in the face, I'd say that ruined his persona a hell of a lot more than Brooks

Could be, although it seems that Dan might have punched him in the face after a fight. I could be wrong, but it doesn't change what Eric was internalizing. Brooks had the ability to thwart Eric's plans because he knew, or at least his parents suspected what Eric was up to.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Also, yes, wanted to note that Dylan and Zach going on missions before Eric was involved does speak to Dylan being more of an instigator than Eric.

Yes, but it seems that Zach, the more gregarious and rebellious of the two, was the instigator. It seems that he relied on other people in social situations that involved strangers. It doesn't point to dominance but angry depressive behavior.



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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Apr 07, 2020 3:28 pm

Hesitation marks is interesting. Dylan's whole journal might be called hesitation marks. There's also Dylan's "close contact" but not "contact" wound - one can imagine the gun nervously hovering near his temple.   Most don't envision Eric's suicide as having much hesitation. Though some see that as his way to get over the hesitation, to jump in the deep end so to speak.

And agree that if anybody had some split personality, it was Dylan. Yet nobody says Vodka was some secret alter ego, and I think they are probably correct to do so. It was just a nickname. Same for Eric.

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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Apr 07, 2020 3:41 pm

Quote :
Forgot all about Eric saying that - going to have to go look for that and read it again.
He says "by that time cops are all over us...when we are trapped with absolutely no way out, we eat crickets along with a ton of chlorine or some other deadly gas so when we die, so will anyone close to us."

I sometimes wonder if reading this is why cops feared "booby traps" in the library. They seemed to fear motion detection due to the diversion, but I imagine that was more trip bombs, fear of opening a door. Not fear of lifting a backpack. Sometimes people act as if they thought a pipe bomb laying under a corpse will light or worse go off if you lift up the body somehow. Eric and Dylan walking around just before the suicide sneaking pipe bombs under corpses as if that would do something. Maybe could place bombs around and light that final Molotov hoping it makes them all go off together, but then you wouldn't want to hide them.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Apr 14, 2020 7:27 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think we all know how the saga between Brooks and Eric went down by now. And of course, one of the easiest explanations for why Eric started drama with Brooks instead of Rocky is because Eric probably thought he could intimidate Brooks a hell of a lot easier than the six foot wrestling champ.

I disagree to a degree. Although I agree that Eric might have wanted to hurt jocks who were physically stronger and taller than him, I don't believe he didn't feel genuine animosity towards friends who crossed him.

I didn't mean his animosity wasn't genuine. But I do think there are reasons he directed his anger at Brooks and not someone else. Part of it might've been that Brooks had been a friend, and Eric just had a lot of rage, and Brooks was then an easy target - because Eric knew him better. And, yeah, Brooks's parents could have gone to the cops more, or Eric's parents more. But they did and nothing really came of either of those interactions. Wayne seemed to think that the Browns were being unfair to his son, based on the notes he made about Eric's behavior, so I don’t really know that it would have been about Brooks exposing anything Eric might be doing or had done.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He says "by that time cops are all over us...when we are trapped with absolutely no way out, we eat crickets along with a ton of chlorine or some other deadly gas so when we die, so will anyone close to us."

Ah, now I remember that, thanks. Interesting point, too. I hadn't connected that line with the hesitation on the part of the cops before.

Also, agree about the connection you made between Dylan's journal and hesitation marks. That kind of desire to die that he expresses coupled with his inability to do it before the massacre, on his own, is one reason I think people see him as incapable of instigating anything.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
He does mention in his journal an "entity" that took over Dylan, and this was when he was still 15 I think.

He does, yes. That's one thing from his journal that's stuck in my mind more than his suicidal thoughts or sad romantic ramblings. It's such a jarring thing to read, and always felt to me like someone talking about the way their mental state has become unrecognizable. For him, it was probably knowing that there was something fundamentally different about the way he was and the way he thought and perceived the world. That line from his journal makes it really clear, to me, why he was so taken with Lost Highway.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeMon Apr 20, 2020 6:12 pm

Obviously, we can only speculate.
Some sources argue that Dylan and Eric were equally oportunistic. Other sources argues that Dylan was much more of a follower.

Child psychologist Peter Langmann has argued that in cases where there are two shooters, there tends to be a psychopathic leader and an impressionable follower. In that process, he dedicated entire chapters to psychopathic, schizoid and traumatized shooters. He places Dylan in the schizoid category. He argues that Dylan felt so profoundly alienated that he attached himself to Eric. Ive seen a lot of information which argues in the direction that Dylan attached himself strongly to other people. Also, friends described him as a follower. So, I dont think the idea is totally baseless.

Yet, Im also aware of experts that have argued that Dylan was less of a follower and an equal participant
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeTue Apr 21, 2020 10:51 am

After informing myself about this Shooting i think that Harris tried to be like Klebold(not sure,but someone on this Forum mentioned that Klebold would get annoyed sometimes over Harris efforts to "copy" him) That he wrote about a killing-spree in his Journals before Harris its interesting,maybe he tested Harris out, trying to Figure out if he would commit something like they did later. But,only speculation. I guess that this particular Attack is too twisted to explain it like "Klebold wanted to die,couldnt do it alone and Harris guided him trough the months of Planning etc." I think that they maybe could influenced each other, but how it all started will maybe never known. The following may be offtopic but: Its interesting how Harris reacted when Klebold pointed his Shotgun at himself in the Rampart-Range Video. He looked briefly,and immediatly turned bis Head away from this Sight. And as Klebold asked him for his Glove,Harris inmediatly reacted and gave it to him. Oh,and he joked with the Guy whos shooting with a rifle,mocking him. But with his Interaction with Klebold there is no mocking or insults.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2021 5:20 pm

I don't doubt they mutually influenced each other. Even if Eric is popularly portrayed as the "leader" (which probably isn't entirely inaccurate,) I doubt they individually would've done it. A mass murder requires a certain "critical mass" of depression and anger. Individually they didn't have what it takes, but together the other filled in what each of them lacked.


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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2021 6:17 pm

Its been studied, and its not uncommon that these are the two Main factors when people act in couples that they both influence each other, but also that one tends to be more dominant.
Both can be true at the same time.

I think people just have to deal with the truth the way it is if we are going to prevent such attacks in the future. But I cant say for sure that Eric was the ring leader. Just, it seems quite obvious.
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Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize   Dylan had more of an influence on Eric than most people realize Icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2021 7:14 pm

It think that in these types of couples, there will always be one side more influencing than the other, but also the other side can influence other certain aspects, and there I would say about mutual influence, that is for me both Eric and Dylan influenced each other But, I would not doubt that in certain aspects there is a more influential part in the relationship and it could change depending on the circumstances. I don't think there is a "follower" and a "leader" both were, and that destructive relationship influenced the two.

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