Ten years ago yesterday, I remember sitting in my high school psychology class watching the live coverage of what would be known as one of the most violent high school shootings in U.S. history, the Columbine massacre. Its devastation still remains in the hearts of Americans today.
In 1999, substantially over half of the American population remained cemented to the outpouring of news coverage related to the killings. The disturbing and barbarous nature of the event and the severity of its impact provoked an eagerness to know more and to know why. As a result, many accounts of what happened and why it happened, both official and unofficial, began to circulate. Without suspect, the American people bought into the litany of embellishments, and ten years later, the myths have been unveiled.
In lieu of the tragic ten year anniversary, author and journalist, Dave Cullen, released his book entitled, “Columbine.” Cullen calls into question the truthfulness of the popular storied motives of the killers, their affiliations and facts that occurred during the course of the massacre.
On his website, Cullen provides a substantial collection of documents, photos, videos, and other evidence confirming that the common perception of the two gunman, such as their claimed affiliations with the Trench Coat Mafia and their loner, outsider dispositions, were not as accurate as once thought.
What was their motive?
Wading through much of the content in Cullen’s website, which supports his newly released book, I was awakened to the utter hate and self-loathing existence that consumed both these boys—pure antipathy for all mankind.
Dylan and Klebold laid the groundwork for the many more violent campus acts to come—Cho Seung-hui, who murdered 32 fellow students at Virginia Tech before killing himself, Steven Kazmierczak, who killed 6 at Northern Illinois University including himself, or Kimveer Gill, a Canadian shooter, who opened fire at Dawson College, killing himself, one other, and injuring 19.
A recent article published by the BBC News, identified the recurrent characteristics between each of the killers and what fueled their hate: acute rejection, various psychological problems—sociopathic behavior, depression, etc., and a fascination with death.
Each of the perpetrators planned, plotted, and documented their mission and purpose. Journals, testaments, videos, Internet profiles were all uncovered in the aftermath of these events and show the gunmans’ disturbed perception of humanity, dominance and mastery over the “ignorant,” and in Eric Harris’ case, complete revere for Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
Unfortunately, in each case, many people, friends, family members who could attest to the demeanor of these men before the killings claimed each were not the likely to commit such grievous crimes.
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