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Columbine High School Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold


This paper will explore the events that lead up to the fatal shootings, committed by high school students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, at Columbine High School on April 0, 1. To find out why these boys committed these horrific crimes, we need to examine not only the events of April 0, 1, we also need to examine the events which lead up to this fatal day.


In this research essay I will examine the many influences and environmental forces that may have contributed to the planning and execution of this mass murder and suicide. We will look at where and why Eric and Dylan’s friendship began. We will also examine the various theories reported by the media as to why Eric and Dylan, individually, would kill 1 people and wound over twenty others. Individuals have many different theories as to why the boys committed this crime Was it revenge, suicide, fame, anger, or maybe depression?


Also, I would like to examine these events from the killers’ point of view instead of the victims. It seems to me that everyone wants to believe the boys were just sick and twisted. I believe differently. I will be arguing in this essay that Eric and Dylan were not just hateful people from the beginning. The torment and bullying that these teenagers went through is more than most people could handle and, in the end, Eric and Dylan got what they wanted, they made a statement.





Eric Harris was born in Kansas. According to an article called Fatal Friendship, Eric Harris’ father was in the military and Eric’s family was constantly moving until his father retired and moved them to Littleton, Colorado. Eric was always looked at as cute and smart. Eric’s parents always made him and his brother work hard in school and do all of their homework.


Dylan Klebold seemed to have a wonderful childhood. All the kids loved his parents, Tom and Sue. All in all, Dylan seemed to grow up much more normally than Eric, which is probably why everyone labels Dylan as only a follower of Eric.


Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were like soul mates, each was the other’s backbone during the most deadly school shooting in history. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold met sometime in junior high school, exactly when is unknown. In junior high school, Dylan was a little awkward but loved sports. Dylan was the bright kid who impressed everyone with his intelligence. Eric was sort of a dork who always tried to fit in. The one thing for sure that Dylan and Eric both had in common during their junior high schools years was that they both enjoyed the game of baseball. This interest in baseball may have been the catalyst for their friendship.


In a newly remodeled high school, Eric and Dylan started to hang out with another fellow by the name of Brookes Brown. The three buddies began isolating themselves from others and indulging in video games for hours on end. They made fun of their peers who weren’t as clever as they were. The boys were “lazy and uninterested” and didn’t care about school activities and would rather play games such as Doom. Their freshman year in high school seemed to be enjoyable to them, at least from a distance. A classmate told a Columbine newspaper, “That’s back when they were just like everybody else, they dressed normal, I’d even say preppie.” During this year, Dylan joined theater and had a lot more friends than Eric did. No one would have suspected that Dylan would ever commit the crime that he did. Dylan talked about drinking a lot, but friends say they never really saw him drink and maybe he was saying he did to look “cool”. This could surface another possible motive for Eric and Dylan fame. Or maybe the boys were just bored and tired of sitting at home on the computer, so they began to plan something to shock the nation.


During Eric and Dylan’s tenth grade year at Columbine they began to feel like the outcasts and didn’t really fit in with any group. They wore combat boots and trench coats and began to be aggravated by the teachers and the “jocks” of their high school. Eric seemed as though he didn’t want to fit in, which is odd to me, people that were his friends before high school didn’t make the cut with him anymore. Dylan was the only one that Eric seemed to really trust. Without each other, I believe that the attack at Columbine would have never crossed Eric or Dylan’s minds.


During the boys junior year of high school they broke into a van and stole a few things, they were just bored, nothing else to do. Both Eric and Dylan were grounded and not allowed to hang out with each other for a little while. Eric and Dylan got sent to a diversion program for this crime. The boys were let out of their diversion program early because they did so well. This did not seem to detour the boys, however, and the two continued to commit illegal acts such as setting off the bombs they made.


Eric would be irate when caught in the act of committing these illegal activities and would always blame others for the crimes he committed. Eric Harris was also turned into the police for a website he had that contained threatening comments. Eric’s second website was stumbled on by parents of a Columbine student and they were disturbed at what they saw. The person that tipped them off about this site was none other than Dylan Klebold. The site ranted about murders and explosives that Eric and Dylan planned. Everyone thought they were only bluffing, Eric and Dylan would show them different.


Soon Eric’s web page disappeared and he turned to writing in a journal. There were many signs of distress from Eric including the pictures he drew and messages he wrote in fellow students yearbooks. Eric liked the bands KMFDM and Rammstein (which is a German band). Eric liked these bands because he enjoyed listening to the violent lyrics. At one point, during Eric’s high school years, Eric’s parents took him to a psychiatrist when they realized he had severe mental problems. The doctor gave him a drug called Luvox.


Parents of teens in Littleton seemed to be troubled by Eric Harris and thought he was nothing less than extremely violent. People weren’t too worried though, because they thought Dylan could tame Eric. Although Dylan was also exhibiting signs of distress as was evident in the messages he wrote in fellow students yearbook, Dylan was perceived as a nice kid. Dylan seemed so full of heart. He enjoyed spending time with his dad and didn’t mind when a classmate bumped into his BMW with her car.


It showed in both Eric and Dylan’s schoolwork that they were getting more and more violent by the day. Eric and Dylan chose violent themes in their writing so much that their teachers felt very concerned. Also the way they dressed was getting more rebellious. .


Eric was still the same motivated kid with good grades. Dylan slacked off his senior year. In their classes students noticed one common thing about the two best friends Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, they both had a very short temper. The boys were angry. Did their anger turn into a bloody rage?


Also during their high school years, Eric and Dylan worked at a pizzeria for minimum wage. To their co-workers, Eric was a fun guy who was very social at work, Dylan on the other hand was very quiet and never really fit in with the playful group. After Dylan brought a pipe bomb to work and got written up, he quit. Eric did not. Eric was close with his co-workers and they never understood why he didn’t fit in, they figured it was because of his clothes. They didn’t care how he dressed, they liked him anyway. Eric hung out with them a few times but mostly he thought he wouldn’t fit in. Eric got a second job with a friend to save extra money for a new computer, his boss there loved him.


Outside of school and work, Eric’s friend would much rather visit Dylan, who was more fun. When friends would visit Eric’s house he would only sit on his computer and play games. Eric, who was always named the leader of the Columbine shootings, was not only an outsider but it seems to me he was the biggest misfit of them all. For Dylan’s sake Eric was nice to Dylan’s friends. He didn’t want Dylan to feel as though he had to choose


Eric and Dylan went through a lot of mocking during their years in high school. Eric, which people thought didn’t even want to fit in, endured more ridiculing than Dylan. He was constantly made fun of by the “jocks and bullies” of Columbine. He was called a “fag” and had things thrown at him on a daily basis. The popular crowd would constantly threaten him and make loathsome comments toward him. I think the reason that Eric got picked on wasn’t because he didn’t want to fit in and would walk through the halls of Columbine with a sneer on his face, but I believe it was because he was one of the smaller boys in “The Trench Coat Mafia”. This young man had a reason to do what he did. He was tired of getting laughed at. He was not all wrong in his thinking and I don’t believe he was a psychopath. Eric Harris wanted revenge. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, always smart boys that had a lot of potential, killed their classmates and themselves after years and years of getting jeered at because they didn’t dress the same as their peers. The Rocky Mountain News states that we know that part of their motivation was, of course, revenge.


The crowd that Eric and Dylan belonged to “The Trench Coat Mafia” was a group of so called rebels. Although Eric and Dylan wore these coats, even with this group they didn’t exactly fit in. The boys in trench coats decided that they would not show the “jocks” fear. The leader of the group, named Chris Morris, liked Eric and Dylan and taught them how to stick up for themselves. Although the group talked about doing what Eric and Dylan made a reality, they were never really serious. Eric and Dylan were never shown in pictures with The Trench Coat Mafia. It seemed the boys really only had each other.


As far as Eric and Dylan’s romantic relationships, Dylan Klebold was a shy young man that rarely dated girls. Dylan never really seemed very interested in girls even if they liked him. Eric Harris on the other hand liked a lot of girls, but most turned him down. Eric did have one girlfriend though, but she was while he was only 16. She didn’t know this. Eric would visit her very often and to her he seemed charming and smart. Dylan would come along to visit her with Eric once in awhile but was very quiet. Eric’s relationship with his girlfriend didn’t last too long since both him and Dylan were grounded a lot and couldn’t get out much to visit her. When Eric and his girlfriend broke up he was very unhappy and Eric, Dylan, and a friend from school went gun shopping. Eric and Dylan bought an array of guns with help from their friends. Eric called his girlfriend many times to try and salvage their relationship. She told him that she only wanted a friendship with him, but called him back to see if he was okay. The messages from him on her answering machine disturbed her. It could be that Eric Harris was heartbroken and once again felt left out, another possible motive for his crime.


It got closer and closer to graduation for Eric and Dylan. Dylan was on his way to the University of Arizona to study science. They boys were finally almost though with Columbine High School. Soon after they got out their guns and decided they needed a little practice. They went into the woods. Eric and Dylan videotaped themselves practicing with they guns. Eric Harris proclaimed on a home video that no one could have prevented the events that occurred on April, 0, 1, at Columbine High School. They were almost ready. These guns would soon be the death of these two boys.


Notes


I don’t want it to seem as though I am saying that it is right to kill people if they are mean to you. I am simply saying that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold made a statement and to this day bullies will think twice about badgering the outcasts in their school.





Works Cited


Abbott, Karen. “Parents of Klebold, Harris settle suits.” Rocky Mountain News. 1 Aug. 00 1-14.


The Story About Eric and Dylan. 0 Sep. 00 http//www.angelfire.com/ct/chat/longstory1.html.


Columbine Shooting. Know Gangs. 0 Sep. 00 http//www.knowgangs.com/school_resources/menu_004.htm.


Fester, Dave. High Noon at Columbine High. News-4-Teens. 0 Sep. 00 http//www.evildave.com/columbine.htm.


Columbine High School cafeteria surveillance tape. 0 Sep. 00 http//columbine.freehost.net/quotes.html.


Bowling For Columbine. Dir. Michael Moore. Michael Moore. 00.


Maher, Heather. “Evidence Uncovered.” ABC News. 4 Apr. 1.


Prendergast, Alan. “Deeper Into Columbine.” The Columbine Reader. 1 Oct. 00 1-4.


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