Saturday, March 13, 2010

Book 14- Columbine

This non-fictional account of the events pre- and post- shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO reads like a novel.

Not only does Cullen provide minute by minute details of the killing of 13 people in Columbine High School, but he reveals the insides the heads of the killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. These boys were cold blooded killers, and Eric Harris is depicted as a psychopath, and I believe it.

It's sad to hear the stories of the survivors, of the victim's families, about the repeated screw ups and cover ups by the local Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. Columbine shares experts of the journals from both boys.

On April 20, 1999 the two boys entered the school and killed 12 students and 1 teacher; they in injured many more, and then killed themselves. They weren't bullied; they were the bullies. They weren't part of a Goth movement; they hated the Goths. They weren't a Trench Coat Mafia; they only wore the trench coats because they thought they were cool, because they thought it made them look like "bad asses", and because they covered the weapons they were hauling into the school. Cullen dispelled so many myths associated with these boys and this shooting, making it scarier than it was already.

Their killing spree was intended to kill thousands but because the bombs didn't exploded and because they lost interest in the shooting spree, it only killed 13. It was planned for years and months and months and years in advance. It was sad. And it's best they killed themselves.

It also shows that the people of Columbine healed.

This was hard to read at time because though it read like a novel, it was real, and I remember watching it play out on my tv screen. I also remember it when I'm handed my new safety manual in the school where I teach each fall, when we practice lock down procedures, and when we have lock down drills. I still remember.

And I, like everyone else involved, would like to have the answer to "why." Well written and real, but still a sad and scary reminder of what can still happen in our schools any day, anywhere.


Annesphamily said...

My father would always say "Only God knows the real truth" but the autopsy on Klebold said perhaps Harris killed him too. Klebold was planning to attend college. It was absolutely creepy. A minister here locally hosted these teen nights and Harris came that weekend before the shootings. He flat out refused to partake in anything associated with God . I find that the most tragic. Many of the students who died, including a good friend of mines daughter, Rachel Scott, were Christians and therefore that is the only comfort those parents have knowing at least their children were with the Lord. My brother also lost a good friend, Dave Sanders, the teacher who gave his life to save many others. Littleton Colorado has suffered many tragedies since Columbine including also the death of one of its own, the pilot of the 9-11 plane that crashed in PA. lived there with his family. Then an unsolved murder and double homicide at the local Subway where a young man & his girlfriend were brutally murdered. Life is sad and tragedy strikes so quickly. There are so many good things that came out of Columbine but truly none of us want to see tragedy happen.

Maggie said...

Anne- I remember when it happened and it just shook the country, I can assure you.

Furthermore, as I read this book I thought how strong people in your community had to be to survive this tragedy, and still manage to come out on the other side.

In Cullen's book he made reference to the other events that happened in that area- it's so terrible that one small community would be straddled with so many terrible things in one small time period.

I sobbed when I read about Dave Sanders; I was just sick that he laid there waiting for help. It's the stories like his that made this even worse, if that's even possible. And the handling of it all by the JeffCo Sheriff's Department and the cover ups... it was like piling more horror upon horror.

I think the underlying outcome of Cullen was that Eric Harris was a psychopath. There was no other way to look at him. Part of me wants to say he was a sicko and I'm glad he's dead before he could do MORE damage; that makes me a terrible person, I know.

Again, in the book, he seems to allude to the fact that both boys killed themselves, but together, but as I read it I wondered if Eric really killed the Klebold boy.

A horrendous waste and tragedy all the way around. It's terrible and sad.

Thank you for commenting.

Cathy said...

Hi Maggie,

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my Cottage Style feature. I am so happy everyone is enjoying it as much as I am.

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.