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Columbine killers’ diaries offer chilling insight

Anger-filled diaries kept by the Columbine High School gunmen and nearly 1,000 pages of other documents were made public Thursday.
Eric Harris, left, and Dylan Klebod killed 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo., before killing themselves in 1999.
Eric Harris, left, and Dylan Klebod killed 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo., before killing themselves in 1999.Getty Images File
/ Source: The Associated Press

Hundreds of pages of hate-filled diary entries, maps and documents released Thursday offer a chilling insight into the minds of the Columbine High School killers in the days and months before the 1999 massacre.

On a calendar entry dated the day of the attack, April 20, the time 11:10 is written across the top — an approximate reference to when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold pulled out their weapons inside the suburban high school and started firing.

The two killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives in what remains the deadliest school attack in U.S. history.

Elsewhere in the calendar are notations including “get nails” and “get propanes, fill my clips” and “finish fuses.”

The newly released documents include a tirade by Eric Harris in which he wrote that he and Klebold hoped to carry out an even bigger attack. He said that they wanted to torture and kill the family of a former friend and hoped learn enough about bombs to be able to set off hundreds around houses, roads, bridges and gas stations.

“It’ll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together. ... I want to leave a lasting impression on the world,” he wrote.

Since the Columbine attack, more than 20,000 documents and videos have been released, and some of the details in the more than 930 pages of documents released Thursday by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office had been reported before.

Videotape not released
Several names, some song lyrics and other parts of the documents were blacked out before they were released. Sheriff Ted Mink also decided against releasing videotapes the two gunmen made before the massacre over concerns they could encourage copycat attacks.

Some of the documents include references to graffic video games, such as Duke Nukem and Doom.

In one school paper, Harris writes about Nazism. Another document is an essay he wrote for a court-ordered anger management class he attended after he and Klebold were convicted of breaking into a van in 1998.

“I believe the most valuable part of this class was thinking up ideas for ways to control anger and for ways to release stress in a non-violent manner,” he wrote.

Entries in a journal kept by Harris’ father, Wayne Harris, were also released Thursday. Some addressed threats made by his son against a classmate more than a year before the attack. Brooks Brown reported that Harris had threatened him sometime in early 1998.

“We feel victimized,” Wayne Harris writes in the journal. “We don’t want to be accused everytime something happens. Eric is not of fault. Brooks Brown is out to get Eric. Brooks had problems. ... manipulative con artist.”

Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was among those slain, said he had not yet read the documents. He was struck by the fact that Wayne Harris had kept a diary tracking his son’s problems.

“It tells you this kid was dangerous,” Rohrbough said. “The premise that these are families that didn’t know what was going on in their homes is completely refuted by this journal. They used all the influence they could muster to keep their kids out of trouble.”

Wayne Harris’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.

A federal judge years ago threw out lawsuits brought by victims’ families against sheriff’s officials and school administrators over the rampage, suggesting they should have known the teens were a threat.

'Kick natural selection up a few notches'
In Eric Harris’s tirade about a bigger attack, first reported in 2001, the teenager wrote that he and Klebold would start by torturing and killing the Brown family.

“Sometime in april me and V (Klebold) will get revenge and will kick natural selection up a few notches,” Harris wrote. “We will be in all black. Dusters, black army pants ...we will have knifes and blades and backup weaponry all over our bodies.”

Remarking on the possibility that he and Klebold would survive the Columbine attack, Harris wrote the two would try to escape to a foreign country where they couldn’t be extradited.

“If there isnt such place then we will hijack a hell of a lot of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside (f)iring away as we go down. just something to cause more devistation.”

Authorities had disclosed the diary’s reference to a New York City crash shortly after the school shooting.

The documents were released after The Denver Post sued to force their release. The Colorado Supreme Court left the decision up to the sheriff’s office, and the Harris and Klebold families did not challenge the decision.