Skip to content

The Columbine Papers

Last week, authorities in Jefferson County, Colorado released over 900 pages of diary entries and maps that were seized from the homes and cars of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two teens responsible for the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. The documents provide startling insight into how methodically the massacre was planned (down to the approximate time of attack) and into how lonely and angry the troubled teens were. Harris’ diary entries include such hate-filled sentiments directed to his classmates as, “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many things.” Harris and Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher before killing themselves during the shooting, which remains the deadliest school attack in U.S. history.

Here’s what the people are saying:

“I think it’s a good idea for [the journals] to be released. Trying to understand the thought process that went on here and maybe law enforcement and schools can use this as a meter sort of. Maybe try to take this info and learn from it so that it will not happen again.” — Chris,

“What is the best that can come out of [releasing the journals]? As a medical case study? For freedom of information? [What about] copycat killers obsessed with the story? Help me understand…” — topkat,

“[I] downloaded [the journals and] will read them later — it is fascinating to look into the mind of a monster.” — bigjohn_1972,

“Anyone else think it poor taste to publish the diaries of some dead kids? I don’t care what they did, these were poor bastards that in a better world would’ve been given the help they needed, and perhaps become productive members of society. You’ll argue, ‘These will help us figure out what went wrong.’ I wanna see how many people read this with the intent of making things better, and how many read it for gruesome thrills. At least they’re not publishing it for sale…they’re not, are they?” — Dorcas,

Talk: Do you think Harris’ and Klebold’s personal papers should have been released? COMMENT

On the Web: Columbine papers at